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Don’t Be a Hangry Travel Buddy: Tried & True Road Trip Rules To Live By

I am, without a doubt, the Road Trip Queen. I put tens of thousands of miles on my car every year checking out festivals and exploring new destinations, and I’ve learned a thing or two along the way.

Road Trip Planning 101. San Luis Valley, HeidiTown.com

Hwy 285 near Villa Grove, Colorado in the San Luis Valley.

With spring a few days away, and summer just around the corner, here are some tried and trued ways to make your next road trip the best experience possible.

Check Your Fluids

My first piece of advice is boring, but important. Before heading out on the highway, make sure your car is in good working order. Make sure the tires have the correct pressure and the oil isn’t overdue for a change. Also, check to make sure that your window washer fluid is full. Take it from me, you don’t want to be stuck on a slushy pass without it.

Don’t be Hangry

Pack snacks and water or plan to make pit stops for food along the way. There’s a gas station in Walden, Colorado with free popcorn and I hear there’s a gas station in Fairplay, Colorado with great hot dogs. Continue reading

Mayor of HeidiTown Announces Annexation of Six States

The HeidiTown Chronicle

HeidiTown.com

“Covering festivals & destinations across the west”

Volume 1   Festivals | Road Trips | The West   March 10, 2017
 
HeidiTown Annexation
Includes Six States

By Staff

The Chronicle

Mayor of HeidiTown, Heidi Kerr-Schlaefer, has just announced a major annexation that will happen throughout 2017 and into the future.
HeidiTown is annexing parts of Utah, Wyoming, South Dakota, Nebraska, Kansas and New Mexico.

Mayor of HeidiTown Announces Annexation. Heidi & the Saratoga donkeys

Heidi Kerr-Schlaefer on magazine assignment in Saratoga, Wyoming.

“This was inevitable,” says Kerr-Schlaefer. “I’ve been covering Colorado festivals and destinations for more than seven years. I believe it’s the right time to branch out into other states.”
The Mayor went on to say that HeidiTown’s focus will continue to be on festivals and road trips.
“If you can’t get to a destination by car within a day from the Denver area, it won’t be included,” says Kerr-Schlaefer.
Over the last seven years, HeidiTown has helped festivals grow, including the Annual Biergarten Festival in Morrison and the Estes Park Winter Festival.
She looks forward to introducing HeidiTown citizens to new festivals in new destinations and helping these festivals find a new audience.
“HeidiTown is about exploration. Not the kind that requires a passport, but the kind that requires a car and a desire to drive new roads,” said Kerr-Schlaefer. “While Colorado will always be the heart and soul, and main attraction of HeidiTown, new roads are calling me.”
“I think HeidiTown citizens will be excited to go on these new adventures with me, and I’m excited to expand the town’s population through this annexation.”

Savor the Summit Photo Provided by Park City Restaurant Association

Savor the Summit in Park City, Utah. Photo Provided by Park City Restaurant Association

Covering Festivals from Denver to Park City to Deadwood

By Staff

The Chronicle

HeidiTown was founded in 2007, but it wasn’t until 2010 that the town began to see major growth.
It was coverage of Colorado’s emerging festival scene that caught the attention of the masses and put HeidiTown on the map.
By publicizing startup festivals like Estes Park Winter Festival, the 1940s Ball,  and various beer festivals, HeidiTown became the go-to place for Colorado festival information.
HeidiTown’s focus wasn’t only on large events. She covered smaller festivals around the state such as the Glenn Miller Swingfest in Fort Morgan and niche events such as the High Plains Snow Goose Festival in Lamar.

Enjoying the 2013 Estes Park Winter Festival with a famous friend.

Heidi Kerr-Schlaefer at the 2013 Estes Park Winter Festival with a famous friend.

“Festival coverage is what sets HeidiTown apart and it will continue to be the focus of HeidiTown,” said Kerr-Schlaefer, Mayor of HeidiTown. “I’m just going to be driving a little farther to reach them, and in doing so, I’ll share about the towns I discover along the way.”

 

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Three Comfy Colorado Cabin Getaways in the Mountains

When I was a kid, if my family wasn’t camping, we were staying in a cabin. Whether it was at a KOA in Ouray or a primitive cottage in Yellowstone, we were cabin people, and I still am.

Three Comfy Colorado Cabin Getaways in the Mountains, Fireside Inn Cabins, Pagosa Springs. HeidiTown.com

Fireside Inn Cabins, Pagosa Springs, Colorado.

Here are three very different Colorado cabin getaways in the mountains that I love.

A Cabin by the River

Fireside Inn Cabins, Pagosa Springs

FiresideCabins.com

We recently stayed in Cabin #7 at Fireside Inn Cabins in Pagosa Springs, Colorado during Winterfest. Open year round, these cabins are far from rustic. They offer all the conveniences of home including flat screen televisions and small kitchenettes.

During the summer, guests can bask in the sun on the banks of the San Juan River that flows next to the property. In the winter, there’s an enclosed hot tub for soaking weary muscles after a long day at Wolf Creek Ski Area, just 25 minutes away. Continue reading

When Visiting Aspen, Colorado, Eat All the Things

No matter when you plan to visit Aspen, Colorado — winter, spring, summer or fall — plan to spend some time and money on dining. You won’t regret it.

Before we visited this winter, I had no idea Aspen was such a foodie town, and I’m not kidding when I suggest that you should go there and eat all the things. Seriously, forget about the diet and don’t cry over carbs, just eat everything and be happy.

When Visit Aspen, Colorado, Eat All the Things, photo courtesy of Meat & Cheese, HeidiTown.com

Photo courtesy of Meat & Cheese.

While nothing in Aspen is cheap, the bar is set high for good food in this resort town, and it’s nearly impossible to have a bad meal here.

When in Aspen, you must go to Meat & Cheese. The restaurant was opened in late 2014, by the founders of Avalanche Cheese Company, and these folks know their cheese and meats.

When Visiting Aspen, Colorado, Eat All the Things, Meat & Cheese courtesy photo. HeidiTown.com

Meat & Cheese, courtesy photo.

Of course, when at Meat & Cheese, a restaurant and farm shop, you must order the Meat & Cheese board, which serves two, and follow it up with one of the restaurant’s creative entrees such as coffee chocolate rubbed short ribs or the rotisserie chicken (the best I’ve ever had). Continue reading

A Hot Air Balloon Ride in Pagosa Springs, Colorado with the Dickey Brothers

Hot air ballooning is a bucket list activity for many of you, and if you are lucky enough to live in or visit Colorado, it’s relatively easy to book a ride in a hot air balloon. In fact, you’ll find commercial hot air balloon outfitters in many beautiful destinations from Steamboat Springs to Pagosa Springs.

A Hot Air Balloon Ride in Pagosa Springs, Colorado with the Dickey Brothers. HeidiTown.com 6

Pagosa Springs Winterfest 2017

Earlier this month, Ryan and I attended Winterfest in Pagosa Springs. For years, a hot air balloon ascension has been part of this event, and I managed to hitch a balloon ride with the Dickey brothers from Albuquerque, New Mexico.

It turns out, I couldn’t have been in better hands. These brothers, Frank and Bill Dickey, have decades of hot air balloon piloting experience. And in fact, the Dickey brothers have come in first and second at the piloting championships held at the Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta, the world’s largest hot air balloon festival.

A Hot Air Balloon Ride in Pagosa Springs, Colorado with the Dickey Brothers. The 2nd Wind Hot Air Balloon. HeidiTown.com 5

Ryan up in the 2nd Wind.

For the participants, a hot air balloon event is a lot of work, a little flying and lot of tailgating. It’s a family and friends affair due to the fact that a balloon needs at least four people to help get it unpacked, up in the air, back down on the ground and packed away. Continue reading

Spring Break Festivals in the Colorado Rockies

Make your spring break experience extra special this year with these fantastic Colorado ski resort festivals.

Spring Break Festivals in the Colorado Rockies, Keystone photo by_jack_affleck_HighRes

Keystone Resort, Kidtopia Experience Week, photo by Jack Affleck.

Breckenridge

This town knows how to throw a party and spring break is no exception. There are lots of kids’ activities around Breckenridge from ice skating to arcade games at Downtown at Eric’s. See a full list of Breckenridge activities for kids here.

Spring Break Festivals in the Rockies, Breckenridge Spring Break courtesy of GoBreck

The Denver-based group, The Flobots, performs at the base of Peak 8 in Breckenridge, Colorado for the ski mountain’s Spring Fever music series.

Orbital Flight is a big-air format freestyle event featuring music from Keys-N-Krates. Taking place on March 19, this will be a fantastic event to watch.

For the adults, Spring Breckenridge Beer Festival is April 8, 2017.

And don’t forget that April 1 through 23, 2017, it’s Spring Fever at Breckenridge Ski Resort, an event that includes everything from sports competitions to free concerts.

Copper Mountain

Copper is a great festival destination. Their annual Copper Uncorked wine event, occurring on March 25 this year, is one of my favorites. Continue reading

Surprise! You Can Afford to Shop in Aspen, Colorado

If you’re in the market for a pair of shoes that cost more than my first car, Aspen is certainly the place to go. However, I was surprised to find a number of shops selling affordable items in this high-end town.

Surprise! You Can Afford to Shop in Aspen, Colorado. Mountain Flowers. HeidiTown.com

We visited Aspen in January during Wintersköl, their annual winter festival that features snow sculpting, a canine fashion show, on slope fun and more.

While in Aspen, I discovered that if you poke around, you can find some fun little shops scattered amongst the big fancy names we’re all familiar with from New York Fashion Week.

Here are some of my favorite Aspen shopping finds. I’d love to learn about your favorite Aspen stores in the comment section.

Explore Booksellers

Do you think the old-fashion bookstore is a thing of the past? It’s alive and well in Aspen at Explore Booksellers. This the kind of place that welcomes the reader and encourages them to stay awhile. Continue reading

A Symphony of Food & Music on a Denver Date Night

Ryan and I hadn’t been out in the big city since the fall, so when we read that the Colorado Symphony was playing Beethoven, we decided it was time for a Denver date night.

A Symphony of Food & Music on a Date Night in Denver, HeidiTown.com, © Todd Rosenberg Photography 2009

Colorado Symphony © Todd Rosenberg Photography 2009

We used to frequent the Colorado Symphony quite often. In fact, for several years we bought concert packages to the CSO, giving us an excuse for a Denver date night every month. The Colorado Symphony has all sorts of subscription packages available, making it easy to pick and choose the number of symphonies you want to attend and which shows.

We started our Denver date night at TAG Restaurant on Larimer Street, an eight minute walk from Boettcher Concert Hall. This restaurant has been on my radar for awhile now and this was the perfect opportunity to give it a try.

A Symphony of Food & Music on a Date Night in Denver, TAG Restaurant octopus

The food scene in downtown Denver has come a long way since we lived in the Mile High City in the early 2000s.

Chef Troy Guard, who opened TAG in 2009, is a big part of the city’s culinary expansion. He has opened a number of restaurants since, and there are still more in the works. Guard’s restaurants elevate food, while still making it approachable, and I think this is why he’s so well-loved by Denver foodies. Continue reading

Featured Festival: Loveland Fire & Ice Festival, Feb. 10-12, 2017

This fest has fireworks and fire arts, ice sculptures and light shows, bands and singers and so much more. No wonder Loveland Fire & Ice Festival won the Downtown Colorado, Inc. Governor’s Best Festival Award 2016.

Featured Festival Loveland Fire & Ice Festival, courtesy photo

Courtesy of Loveland Fire & Ice Festival

The amount of things to do at the Loveland Fire & Ice Festival will make your head spin. It truly has a little something for everyone. Whether you like live music or are looking for entertainment for the kids — toddler or teens — this festival has got you covered.

In addition to the festival’s fireworks show that occurs every evening throughout the three day festival, and ice sculptures that dot the downtown landscape, there is a new event happening at this year’s Loveland Fire & Ice Festival.

It’s the brand new Brewing & Distilling Arts event. In addition to a carved ice bar that will be on display, local craft beers, ciders, wines, sangria and specialty moonshine will be available to taste via a token system.

The Brewing & Distillery Arts events, which happens daily throughout the event, is sure to liven up this already joyous festival. Check here for specific times and token sale information.

At its core, Loveland Fire & Ice is a family festival. Children will enjoy a carousel and carnival games. There are also carriage rides available to both families and sweethearts.  

Featured Festival Loveland Fire & Ice Festival, ice sculpture, courtesy photo

Photo courtesy of Loveland Fire & Ice Festival

If you love live music, you won’t want to miss this festival.

The musical lineup on the event’s Main Stage is filled with bands that will keep festival attendees dancing in the streets of Loveland to the sounds of classic rock, blues and pop.

There will be three more places to listen to music over the weekend including the Cleveland Performance Stage, Lincoln Performance Stage and Jefferson Performance Stage. The festival’s website has a complete lineup of performers on each stage on their Attractions page.

Visitors can also shop at Loveland Fire & Ice Festival in the event’s Marketplace featuring multiple vendors and exhibitors.

Loveland Fire & Ice Festival 2015. HeidiTown.com (9)

Should all this excitement make you hungry, visit the Food Truck Food Court which will host 13 different vendors selling everything from coffee to waffles.

Loveland Fire & Ice Festival is an extravaganza of fun and an affordable way to entertain the entire family.

Featured Festival Loveland Fire & Ice Festival, fire performer, courtesy photo

Photo courtesy of Loveland Fire & Ice Festival

Loveland is located just 52 miles north of Denver, 58 miles south of Cheyenne, Wyoming, and is just minutes from Fort Collins. It’s easy to join in the free fun in downtown Loveland this February.

 

Loveland Fire & Ice Festival

February 10-12, 2017

Loveland, Colorado (downtown)

Admission: FREE

(with the exception of some ticketed events)

LovelandFireandIce.com

Loveland Fire & Ice on Facebook

Follow Loveland Fire & Ice on Facebook

#LoveFireIce2017

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Featured Festival spots on HeidiTown.com are paid advertisements. Interested in having your festival or event considered for a feature? Email TheMayor@HeidiTown.com.

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Finding the Real Aspen

I am ashamed to admit that an iconic Colorado town has been missing from my HeidiTown travels and it’s entirely my fault. After six years of traveling the state, up until this month, I had only ever been to Aspen for an afternoon.

Finding the Real Aspen, HeidiTown.com. The deck at Sundeck Restaurant on Aspen Mountain

The deck at Sundeck Restaurant on Aspen Mountain in Aspen, Colorado.

To be honest, I was intimidated by Aspen.

I’m a laid-back, West Coast girl. I grew up in small towns in Oregon and Washington, far from the glitzy streets of LA or cultured avenues of NYC. I’m all about jeans and t-shirts. I get a manicure once a year, and I’ve only ever had one French manicure and that was for my wedding.

I was truly worried that I’d feel out of place.

We finally visited Aspen for a three-night stay earlier this month during Wintersköl, and while the town was all the things that I’d imaged it would be — women in fancy fur, high end shops catering to the mega rich and $20 cocktails — under the glossy surface, Aspen is a real town, with real people and real Colorado charm. It is, in fact, much more laid back than I expected. Continue reading

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