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Dog-Friendly Hotels in Your Favorite Colorado Destinations

If you’ve been following HeidiTown for any length of time, you’ve probably met our German Shepherd, Xena. As Xena got older and had more health issues, we started looking for ways to include her on our trips. However, I was astonished to discover that many so-called “dog-friendly” hotels do not allow dogs over 45 pounds.

Dog-Friendly Hotels in Your Favorite Colorado Destinations Hotel Aspen

Courtesy of the Molly Gibson Lodge / Hotel Aspen.

A lot of HeidiTown citizens have fur kids that exceed this weight limit – our Xena is 75 lbs – so I made it my mission to find a few awesome Colorado hotels that were large dog-friendly. Here’s the list I’ve put together of some truly fantastic hotels that do not discriminate against large breed dogs. If you know of others, please leave a note in the comment section.  

Hotel Aspen, Aspen, Colorado

On our trip to Aspen this past winter, we witnessed this town’s love affair with dogs first-hand at the Canine Fashion Show at Winterfest.

Dog-Friendly Hotels in Your Favorite Colorado Destinations Molly Gibson Barclay

Barclay lounging in the lobby of the Molly Gibson Lodge. Courtesy photo.

During our visit, we stayed at the pet-friendly Hotel Aspen. The owner’s dog, Barclay, is frequently seen at Hotel Aspen’s sister property, the Molly Gibson Lodge. Located across the street, Molly Gibson Lodge is also a pet-friendly property. The fee for having Fido at either hotel is just $25 per night.

Dog-Friendly Hotels in Your Favorite Colorado Destinations Molly Gibson Lodge

Courtesy of the Molly Gibson Lodge / Hotel Aspen.

The amenities at Hotel Aspen and the Molly Gibson Lodge are what set them apart from other Aspen properties. A large breakfast buffet is included in your stay, as is Apres Ski where complimentary beer, wine and heavy appetizers are served. Both hotels also feature gorgeous pool and hot tub areas.

Their amenities, plus their proximity to downtown make both hotels a great option for your next visit to Aspen, and don’t forget to bring your four-legged fur kid along.  

The Westin Waterfront Resort & Spa, Avon/Beaver Creek, Colorado

One might think that the Westin at Beaver Creek is too fancy to allow dogs, but this is not the case. In fact, when we checked in during our stay, a large labradoodle was waiting patiently with her owner at the front desk for a treat.

Dog-Friendly Hotels in Your Favorite Colorado Destinations The Westin Beaver Creek

Photo courtesy of Westin Riverfront.

I adore this Westin hotel. It features a Richard Sandoval restaurant called Maya and has a top-notch spa and fitness center, but my favorite amenity at this Colorado resort hotel near Vail are their saltwater hot tubs. A morning soak in these tubs is just what the doctor ordered (for whatever ails you).

People aren’t the only ones pampered at Westin Riverfront. Fido receives a Heavenly Dog Bed for use during their stay, a food bowl and mat and a dog amenity kit.

Happily, dogs of all sizes are welcome at The Westin for $50 per night, as is evident in the following video:

The Distillery Inn, Carbondale, Colorado

Here’s another luxury hotel that’s dog-friendly. Located above the Marble Distillery Co., this five-room inn is fantastic on every level. From the fresh flowers in the bathroom to the lighted nooks next to the bed, the owners have thought of everything.

Dog-Friendly Hotels in Your Favorite Colorado Destinations The Distillery Inn

Photo courtesy of The Distillery Inn.

Being confessed “dog people,” the owners made their luxurious inn dog-friendly, and because they own big dogs, large breeds are welcome too.  

A big selling point of this inn is that the Marble Distillery Co.’s tasting room and distillery is on site and I’d encourage anyone who stays at the inn to take a tour of the operation. Marble Distillery uses several unique processes including their Water Energy Thermal System (W.E.T.S.) which makes them the country’s first zero-waste facility.

Dog-Friendly Hotels in Your Favorite Colorado Destinations The Distillery Inn Whiskey Girl

Photo courtesy of Marble Distilling Co.

The Distillery Inn charges $25 per night per dog and a $75 cleaning fee. They also provide a dog bed, a food and water bowl and treats.

Residence Inn by Marriott, Breckenridge, Colorado

This brand new hotel in downtown Breckenridge seamlessly blends mountain and contemporary design into a comfy, yet chic establishment.

Dog-Friendly Hotels in Your Favorite Colorado Destinations Residence Inn Breckenridge

Courtesy of Residence Inn by Marriott, Breckenridge.

My first experience in this Colorado mountain town was around 17 years ago, and I distinctly remember thinking that Breckenridge sure did love their dogs. It seemed that every business had a welcome dog and dog bowls outside of shops and restaurants were commonplace.

Today, it’s much the same, and thankfully, Residence Inn by Marriott is a pet-friendly hotel ($100 nonrefundable fee).

In addition to being pet-friendly, included in your stay is an amazing breakfast buffet, one of the best I’ve encountered, and there’s also a pool and hot tub with a million dollar view.

Other great places where Fido can join you on the road include Fireside Inn Cabins in Pagosa Springs and the YMCA properties in Granby and Estes Park.

While I did receive comped stays at each of these properties, this is not a paid advertisement and all opinions in this post are geniune and entirely my own.

Dining in Colorado – New Favorites & Longtime Favorites

I wish I were a picky eater, because if I were pickier I’d probably be a bit slimmer, but I like food a lot. Thankfully, Colorado’s food scene is fantastic right now. No matter where we go, we find good, often farm fresh, food to eat. It’s a fabulous time to be a foodie in Colorado.

Dining in Colorado, Meat & Cheese in Aspen. HeidiTown.com

Photo courtesy of Meat & Cheese.

In my work as a freelance writer and Mayor of HeidiTown, I get the opportunity to dine out a lot. Here are a few standout restaurants from the last six months; some are brand new to me and others are old favorites we hadn’t visited in awhile.

Brand New Discoveries 

Allegria, Carbondale

Warm and inviting, Allegria is an Italian restaurant with a farm fresh twist. They make much of their fare in-house and they source much of their meat and produce locally. If you’re lucky, you may even get locally foraged mushrooms in your meal.

Dining in Colorado, Allegria, Carbondale. HeidiTown.com

What to order: Bone marrow with octopus appetizer. Just do it.

Meat & Cheese, Aspen

I’ve already instructed you to eat all the things when you visit Aspen, and I was totally serious, but no foodie excursion to Aspen can be complete without a visit to Meat & Cheese.

I daydream about this restaurant on a fairly regular basis. It has a contemporary feel and yet the food is down-home good. Continue reading

5 Unique Colorado Inns that Should be on Your Radar

I’ve stayed at four out of five of these inns, and I toured the other one, so you can be assured that there is an authentic voice behind this post. These Colorado inns are all quite varied in price and ambiance, but they are each one-of-a-kind.

5 Unique Colorado Inns that Should be on your Radar. The Distillery Inn partio. HeidiTown

Photo courtesy of The Distillery Inn.

The Distillery Inn at Marble Distilling Co. – Carbondale

The Distillery Inn is the most luxurious property on this list. I had the great pleasure of staying there last month. When I say it’s “unique,” I’m not exaggerating – it’s the only distillery inn in the world.

The five rooms, located above the distillery, are top-notch. The ambiance of the entire place is laid back, yet elegant. My favorite detail of my room, the Ginger, were the daffodils in the bathroom and tulips in the main room.

5 Unique Colorado Inns that Should be on Your Radar. The Distillery Inn Ginger Room. HeidiTown.com

Photo courtesy of The Distillery Inn. The Ginger room.

This gorgeous inn is also dog-friendly (even big dogs), has free bikes for guests to use, and the mini-bar in each room features Marble Distilling Co. spirits complete with martini making supplies that include olives.

At The Distillery Inn, they’ve thought of every little thing to make your stay extra sweet.

Room rates range from around $250 to $350. Watch the inn’s Facebook page for specials.

The Living Farm Inn – Paonia

Paonia, located in the North Fork Valley, is one of my favorite places on the face-of-the-earth, and The Living Farm, is one of my favorite spots in Paonia. The inn is above their downtown restaurant, The Living Farm Cafe. Continue reading

FEATURED FESTIVAL: Front Range Rally, a Craft Beer & Food Truck Festival

If you like craft beer and food, you won’t want to miss Front Range Rally, one of Northern Colorado’s biggest and best beer festivals. I’ve been attending this event for a number of years and it’s one of our favorite Colorado beer festivals. 

The nitty gritty details

There are currently 44 breweries signed up to attend Front Range Rally in Loveland, Colorado. There are also nine vendors featuring other beverages such as cider, mead and spirits.

Most of Loveland’s local breweries will be in attendance, as well as a few Denver and out-of-state breweries including Melvin Brewing out of Jackson, Wyoming, who won a GABF gold medal for their IPA.

Front Range Rally beer shot Grimm

Loveland’s own Grimm Brothers Brewhouse at Front Range Rally. Photo by Emily Sierra Photography.

This event also features ten food trucks with offerings varying from barbecue to pizza to cheese curds and deviled eggs. Please note that food is not included in the price of your ticket and must be purchased separately.

I recently indulged in the deviled eggs from Yolk’n Around and I can tell you that they are delicious. I recommend the bacon/avocado. I also love, love, love the bacon wrapped jalapenos from Bedrock BBQ (you’d better bring them, Lance!), and you can never go wrong with wings from the Wing Shack.

Front Range Rally Heidi Kerr-Schlaefer, Mayor of HeidiTown

Hey, that’s me! Chowing down on wings at Front Range Rally. Photo by Emily Sierra Photography.

In addition to the beer and food, Front Range Rally always welcomes great musicians to their festival stage.

It’s good to be a VIP at Front Range Rally

Tap & Handle is catering the VIP section at Front Range Rally this year and they will provide four beer and food pairings. This means that while general admission tickets do not come with food, VIPs tickets do.

Front Range Rally VIP area

VIPs getting exclusive tastings at Front Range Rally. Photo by Emily Sierra Photography.

VIPs also get an hour extra at the festival (early entry at 1:30), access to the VIP Lounge which features exclusive beer varieties, complimentary hors d’oeuvres, shaded seating and my favorite, access to a private VIP only restroom.

I believe that splurging for VIP tickets at this festivals is well worth it. Plus, your money goes to a good cause.

Drink for a good cause

One hundred percent of the net proceeds from Front Range Rally go to the Food Bank for Larimer County. That’s right folks, this event, which takes a small army to organize and produce – is entirely run by volunteers.

The Food Bank for Larimer County distributed 9.2 million pounds of food in 2016 to low-income residents throughout the county.

By buying a ticket to Front Range Rally, you are helping support this great, local nonprofit.

Front Range Rally

May 20, 2017

2:30 to 7 p.m. (GA) / 1:30 to 7 p.m. (VIP)

2600 N. Lincoln Avenue in Loveland, Colorado

General Admission $40 / VIP $65 / DD $10

Purchase Tickets Here

FrontRangeRally.org

Join Front Range Rally on Facebook

Follow Front Range Rally on Twitter

#FrontRangeRally

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Featured Festivals spots on HeidiTown are paid advertisements. If you’d like to have your festival or event considered for a feature contact TheMayor@HeidiTown.com. Learn more about marketing with HeidiTown here. Thank you!

How We Ended up in Minturn, Colorado & Why You Might Want to Go

Sometimes the best part of traveling is when something unexpected occurs. Even getting stuck on Vail Pass in a snowstorm can result in a nice long soak at Glenwood Hot Springs, which is what happened to us in 2014.

It wasn’t a snowstorm that brought us unexpectedly to Minturn last month – it was Record Store Day. If you are an avid collector of vinyl, like my husband, Ryan, you know that this is an important day. It only happens once a year and vinyl nerds do not miss it.

How we ended up in Minturn, Colorado & Why You Might Want to Go. HeidiTown (6)

However, having been laid out flat with the flu for the week leading up to our Vail trip, Ryan had forgotten that Record Store Day was the Saturday we’d be 150 miles away from his hometown record store.

Thankfully, while browsing the Vail Daily over a beer at Vail Brewing on a Friday afternoon, Ryan realized the Record Store Day was the following day. Where in the world could he participate in Record Store in the Vail Valley? Continue reading

New Things to Do in Breckenridge, Colorado

Breckenridge is a town we know well and many of my readers do too. So on our last trip, we decided to do some things in Breckenridge that we’d never done before. That included the fat bike tour that I wrote about earlier this month.

New Things to do in Breckenridge, Colorado. free bus in Breckenridge. HeidiTown.com

When we weren’t biking or walking, we got our Breckenridge via the free bus service. It goes everywhere you want to be!

New Hotel in Breckenridge

It also included staying at a brand new hotel, the Residence Inn by Marriott. It’s not only new to us, this hotel is new to Breckenridge, having opened this winter on the south side of downtown. Its location is ideal for easy exploration of Breckenridge on foot.

New Things to Do in Breckenridge, Colorado. Residence Inn by Marriot wall art. HeidiTown.com

Fun wall art at Residence Inn by Marriott, Breckenridge.

The Residence Inn has cool, contemporary interior design, but retains mountain touches and odes to Breckenridge’s past. The best part of this hotel, for me, was the pool. If there were a “Best View from a Mountain Pool” award, this one would surely win. Continue reading

Featured Festival: Governor’s Art Show, Loveland, Colorado

I’ll never forget the first time Ryan and I attended the Governor’s Art Show & Sale in Loveland, Colorado. We love art and art galleries and visit many during our travels and to say that we were impressed by this show would be an understatement. The collection of artwork curated for this juried show is truly a cut above.

Governor's Art Show & Sale 2016 2

All photos courtesy of Governor’s Art Show & Sale.

Loveland, Colorado has been known for art since the 1970s when three bronze foundries called the town home. Over the years, the city’s reputation has grown beyond sculpture and many different types of artists have been drawn to this Northern Colorado community.

It’s appropriate that for the past quarter of a decade Loveland has hosted the largest juried art show to feature only Colorado artists. The 26th annual Governor’s Art Show will kick off on April 28 with a Preview Party and Gala and the show will run through May 28. 

Governor's Art Show & Sale 2016

Hundreds entered, but only twenty percent of the artwork submitted, a total of 56 artists, were chosen for this year’s show and more than half of those artists are new to the Governor’s Art Show. Artworks of various mediums, techniques and styles will be represented. See list of selected artists here.

On May 20, the Plein Air Festival, in association with the Governor’s Art Show, will take place in various locations around Loveland. This event is your opportunity to see more the 50 painters from across Colorado at work in downtown Loveland, at Sweetheart City Wines and beyond. See a list of locations here. The festival is followed by an auction held at the Rialto Theater.  

Governor's Art Show & Sale Plein Air Festival

While exhibit admission to the Governor’s Art Show is just $5, there is free admission to the show during Loveland’s second Friday art walk, Night on the Town, Friday, March 12, 6 to 9 p.m. and the last day of the show, May 28.

If you go to one art show this year, this should be it. At just $5, you’ve got no excuse not to visit.

Governor’s Art Show & Sale

GovernorArtShow.org

GALA – April 28, 2017

Purchase Gala tickets here

SHOW – April 29 to May 28, 2017

Admission $5 (tickets available at the door)

Join the Governor’s Art Show on Facebook

Loveland Museum Gallery

(show hours are museum gallery hours)

503 N. Lincoln Avenue

Loveland, CO 80537

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The Governor’s Art Show is presented by Loveland and Thompson Valley Rotary Clubs, directed by Pam Osborn and endorsed by the Governor of Colorado. It requires year-round planning, a budget exceeding $100k and many hours of volunteerism. All proceeds will benefit Rotary-sponsored charitable projects and causes, including scholarships for local art students.

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Featured Festivals spots on HeidiTown are paid advertisements. If you’d like to have your festival or event considered for a feature contact TheMayor@HeidiTown.com. Thank you!

A Staycation at Hilton Denver Inverness in the Denver Tech Center

Why would one staycation at the Denver Tech Center? Hilton Denver Inverness, that’s why. This resort hotel has everything you need for the perfect getaway and you’ll never need to leave the building unless of course, you want to golf their pristine, 18-hole park-like course.

A staycation at the Hilton Denver Inverness in the Denver Tech Center. Golf Course shot

Photo courtesy of Hilton Denver Inverness

This is part two of my three-part series on great staycation resort hotels around Colorado’s Front Range, and Hilton Denver Inverness, formerly The Inverness, is indeed a truly great staycation spot south of Denver.

Hilton Denver Inverness is undergoing a multi-phase remodel and the new contemporary look and feel of the place suit my tastes perfectly. It also suits the architecture of the hotel which was built by a Scandinavian hotel company in 1989. Continue reading

Beer, Bourbon & Fat Bikes in Breckenridge, Colorado

I love riding bikes. I know this because at the end of a ride my teeth are covered in bugs and grit from smiling widely during my outing, but that’s okay – totally worth it. Riding a bike is one of the last things that genuinely makes me feel like a kid again.

Beer, Bourbon & Fat Bikes in Breckenridge, Colorado. HeidiTown (2)

This past weekend, I got to experience the best of both worlds during a fat bike tour with Ridden – I rode a bike that made me feel ten again and I took full advantage of being an adult because our bike ride destination was Breckenridge Distillery and Broken Compass Brewery.

We met up with our tour guide, Ashley Mahs at Ridden, a cool downtown sports shop selling new and used gear and providing rentals. Ridden started offering guided fat bike tours this winter, and participants get to ride brand new Borealis fat bikes that are made in Colorado Springs. Continue reading

Six Reasons to Visit Steamboat Springs this Summer

Most of you don’t need a reason to visit Steamboat Springs, Colorado, but I’m going to give you six great reasons to visit anyway because you never know what new things you may discover. I thought I knew this town well, but last summer .

  1. Yampa River Botanic Park

We’d been visiting Steamboat Springs for more than a decade before stumbling across this fantastic park last summer during a bike ride.

Six Reasons to Visit Steamboat Springs, Yampa River Botanic Park, HeidiTown.com

Yampa River Botanic Park

Located alongside the Yampa River Core, #5 on this list, this park is a true hidden gem. I did not inherit my mother’s gardening gene, so the fact that the gardeners can make stuff grow at 6,880 feet above sea level, is sort of like magic to me.

The gardens here are absolutely stunning and feature meandering stone paths, ponds and waterfalls and colorful perennials.

The peaceful space is used for yoga classes, weddings, theater and is also home to Music on the Green each summer. The park is free and open to the public from dawn to dusk May 1 through October 31.

  1. Taco Cabo

Located on the west side of downtown, Taco Cabo has become a must-stop for us when we visit Steamboat Springs. Continue reading

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