What comes to mind when you think of Cheyenne, Wyoming? Cowboy hats and big trucks? Trains? Those are all accurate descriptions of Cheyenne. It’s a historic train town with a lot of cowboys, cowgirls and big trucks. Today, however, Cheyenne is so much more.
We spent a weekend in Cheyenne earlier this month. We were there to attend the Celtic Festival and Rock the Block, as well as explore a town that we’d only ever passed through.
I’m going to write several posts about this trip, including some of the fun touristy things you can do here like the trolley tour, botanic garden and museums, but in this post, I want to concentrate on some of the surprising things we discovered in Cheyenne.
First of all, did you know that there are three breweries in Cheyenne, Wyoming? True story.
We visited two of the three, stopping first at Accomplice Beer Company where guests pour their own beer. Yes, you read that right. Accomplice has self-pour taps, and they have a lot of them. After a brief explanation of how it works from the bartender, we were off. They use an electronic card system to track how much you pour, so you can’t drink here all day long.
We also got lunch at this brewpub, sliders for Ryan and chicken tenders for me. The tenders were some of the best I’ve had, although the ranch dressing could be a bit thicker. While it’s a bit gimmicky, Accomplice is centrally located in the famous depot building and a must-visit when in Cheyenne.
Freedom’s Edge Brewing Co. is just a couple blocks from Cheyenne’s downtown plaza. They have a traditional taproom with a nice contemporary feel and really good beer. We’ll definitely be back to Freedom’s Edge on our next visit to Cheyenne.
We didn’t make it to Danielmark’s Brewing Co. on E. 18th Street, but this is Cheyenne’s newest brewery and is located in a renovated historic home. They have an outdoor patio and feature food trucks.
And speaking of food trucks, there’s a delightful pizza place in Cheyenne that got its start as a food truck. Bella Fuoco Wood Fire Pizza gets top marks from both Ryan and I, and we recommend the jalapeno popper and the NY Blue. Just thinking about these pizzas makes my mouth water.
Everyone knows about the Wrangler (Boot Barn) in Cheyenne, and I did purchase a hat there while I was in town, but we found a real gem of a shop next to Freedom’s Edge Brewery.
Mid Mod Etc. is a terrific store that’s worth the drive if you love mid modern clothing, furniture, decor and even cars. You can track their inventory by following their Facebook page. And here’s the best part, their prices beat anything you’ll find at the mid-modern stores in Denver.
Ryan was excited to discover two stores selling vinyl in Cheyenne. There’s Ernie November and Phoenix Books & Music.
In addition, Ryan was overjoyed to discover that Cheyenne has an arcade bar. Located in downtown, Flippers Family Arcade is good for families, but also fun for adults because not only do they have a large selection of arcade games and pinball, they have a bar serving beer and wine. It’s a great place to kill an hour or two.
So there you have it — did you know Cheyenne was so hip and happening? I didn’t. Keep an eye on HeidiTown.com for more posts about where we stayed and what we did in Cheyenne, Wyoming.
Thank you to Visit Cheyenne for hosting us on this trip.
I write a lot about beer because Colorado is filled to the brim with great craft beer. However, our wine scene is pretty spectacular too and I happen to love wine, so here’s a collection of five spectacular wine festivals that are taking place this summer in some of Colorado’s most beautiful towns.
Telluride Wine Festival, June 22-25, 2017
Telluride’s remoteness is part of its charm. A trip to this region comes with awe-inspiring vistas that you’ll find nowhere else.
The Telluride Wine Festival has been running for 36 years and features seminars, parties, luncheons, etc. You can pick your level of involvement at this wine festival that includes free events as well.
The Culinary Village in Mountain Village is a new feature this year. It’s free to stroll through Culinary Village where you’ll be treated to culinary demos, bands, wine tasting and more.
Keystone Wine & Jazz Festival, July 15-16, 2017
Having attended twice, Keystone Wine & Jazz is a personal favorite of mine. It’s free to stroll through the event that sprawls throughout the Keystone Village. In addition to the hundreds of wines being served from dozens of booths, there’s endless music on various stages.
Everyone has a good time at this festival, including children who love Keystone’s Kidtopia and the festival’s Kid Zone.
Whether you love wine and want to learn more at one of the festival’s various workshops, or just enjoy listening to great music in the sunshine, the Keystone Wine & Jazz Festival is for you.
Crested Butte Wine & Food Festival, July 26-30, 2017
Without a doubt, Crested Butte is one of Colorado’s most picturesque towns, and while the town has an old-timey feel, the Crested Butte Wine & Food Festival is anything but old-fashion.
This is a first-rate wine event with a Grand Tasting that features more than 500 wines. The five-day festival has a large variety of seminars to choose from and includes outdoor events such as the Standup Paddle Board & Lunch outing on July 29.
Steamboat Wine Festival, August 9-13, 2017
As many of you know, I’m a huge fan of Steamboat Springs. While there’s a ski resort, there’s also a lot of real people who call this town home and that gives it a welcoming feel.
Steamboat Wine Festival is a celebration of the town’s refined side. This festival has grown into a destination event that includes master winemakers and culinary celebs.
It’s a “stay and play” sort of event that invites guests to enjoy a long list of wine-centric activities throughout the festival. There’s everything from a hiking outing with mimosas to Wine on the Nine, a best ball tournament with a nice wine finish.
Colorado Mountain Wine Festival, September 14-17, 2017
The largest and oldest wine festival in the state, Colorado Mountain Wine Festival is the granddaddy of all Colorado wine festivals. This year the event turns 26.
Located in one of Colorado’s most fantastic agricultural areas, guests will enjoy a variety of farm-to-table food events at the festival, as well as guided tours of the region. “Festival in the Park” takes place on Saturday during the event and is the highlight with live music, grape stomping, chef demos and seminars.
Being the largest wine festival means that you should purchase your tickets early and plan your attack. Some local hotels fill up months in advance, especially ones in Palisade. Thankfully, Grand Junction is just 12 miles away.
This is only a small list of the many wine festivals that happen across Colorado every year. If you have one that you love, please tell me about it in the comment section.
I know it’s a big ask, but every town with more than two breweries should have a BrewHop Trolley. Not only is it fun, but it’s a safe, efficient way to explore a town’s breweries.
On Saturdays and Sundays, Longmont, Colorado’s BrewHop Trolley drives a repeating route between Longmont’s many breweries and brewpubs. There’s a schedule so you don’t have to guess when and where you’ll jump on and off. For just $15 bucks, you can ride as many times as you like throughout the day. A two-day pass is $25.
It’s simply brilliant. Continue reading
As many of you know, I’m a passionate dog-lover. I believe strongly in the dog/human bond and that’s why it’s inconceivable to me that some people abuse these wonderful animals. Puppy mills are a form of abuse. If you have any doubts, read the story of the little puppy mill rescue dog that inspired Hops & Harley.
Five years ago, the first Hops & Harley occurred in the taproom of City Star Brewing in Berthoud. Today, the event is held at Fickel Park and has grown into a festival that attracts dog and beer lovers from around the country; after all, Harley, who passed away last year, is quite famous. His work as a spokesdog against puppy mills eventually resulted in him becoming the 2015 American Hero Dog.
City Star Brewing is the host of Hops & Harley and 100 percent of the proceeds from the event go to Harley’s Dream, a nonprofit dedicated to raising awareness and educating the public about the commercial dog breeding industry (aka puppy mills).
While puppy mill tales are sad, Hops & Harley is a celebration. This year’s event features live music from Bonnie & the Clydes and Woodbelly Bluegrass Band. Food trucks will be in attendance, along with activities for children and for dogs. In addition, attendees will enjoy a photo booth, doggy doppelgänger contest, Painting & Pints, and they’ll have a chance to learn about puppy mills.
Of course, no Hops & Harley is complete without beer. City Star will be pouring a variety of their craft beers including Harley’s Wheat, and a personal favorite of mine, Spirit Hound Distillers from Lyons, will provide cocktails.
Hops & Harley is kid-friendly, dog-friendly and free, so pack up the entire family and head to Berthoud on Saturday, June 24.
Hops & Harley
June 24, 2017 | 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.
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!
Last week I was invited to Fort Collins to be on a tourism panel. Happily, the event was held at The Gardens on Spring Creek, a place I’ve wanted to visit for some time now.
The gardens were established in 2004 when Ft. Collins voters supported a proposal to create a community horticultural center. More recently, an expansion of the gardens has been approved which will add a permanent Butterfly House and a concert venue that will accommodate 1500. You can see an artist’s rendering of the plan at The Gardens on Spring Creek. Continue reading
It’s that time of year. What time of year? It’s time to party!
I’ve spent years telling you to never forget sunscreen and to hydrate, hydrate, hydrate, so I decided to write a different sort of festival survival guide. Without further ado, here’s my festival survival guide for smart people.
Festival Apps are the Bomb
Many festivals now have an app to help you get around their event. These apps include things like the event schedule, breweries in attendance, food truck lists, etc. Continue reading
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.
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. Continue reading
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.
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. Continue reading
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.
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. Continue reading
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.
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.
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.
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
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!