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A Visit to Bellingham, Washington, the Mayor’s Homeland

Washington State is not in HeidiTown’s region, however, I do travel outside of the HeidiTown sphere occasionally, and when I do, I write about it here.

Squalicum Harbor at sunset / Photo by: Lou Nicksic / Credit: Bellingham Whatcom County Tourism

Squalicum Harbor at sunset / Photo by: Lou Nicksic / Credit: Bellingham Whatcom County Tourism

Also, rather excitingly, the mountains regions of Washington and Oregon are now in The Heidi Guide’s region (my travel column for Mountain Living magazine), so my recent trip there was for work and pleasure.

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I am not unbiased when it comes to writing a travel article about Bellingham, Washington. I grew up nearby and I attended Western Washington University during my sophomore and senior years of college in the late nineties. I met my husband, Ryan, in Bellingham, and I have many good memories of the town.

A Visit to Bellingham, Washington, the Mayor’s Homeland. downtown mural HeidiTown.com

If you are unfamiliar with the area, Bellingham is about an hour and a half north of Seattle and 30 minutes south of the border crossing into British Columbia, Canada. It’s where the mountains meet the sea and each year this connection is celebrated in a one-of-a-kind race called Ski to Sea. It’s the kind of event I’d cover if there was a HeidiTown, Washington. Continue reading

Five Reasons to Love Vail, Colorado

Vail has grown on me over the years and I enjoy it now more than ever, so without further ado, here are five reasons to love Vail, Colorado.

1. It’s a BIG Mountain

You may stand in lift lines at the base of Vail ski area but once you are on the mountain it’s easy to get away from the crowds. The size of Vail ski area is what makes it tops with my husband, a lifelong Colorado skier. He loves getting into the back bowls where he’s far away from any slope traffic. Here’s a great Insider Guide to Vail Back Bowls on Snow.com.

Five Reasons to Love Vail, Colorado_Vail_BackBowls__Photo by Jack_Affleck

Vail Back Bowls, Photo by Jack Affleck (Vail Resorts)

The only problem with the sheer amount of acreage here is that you might be late to lunch with your wife because you underestimated how long it was going to take to ski back to Vail Village — so plan accordingly!

2. Truffle Fries

While my husband’s a lifelong fan of skiing, I’m a lifelong fan of truffle fries. There’s nothing better in this world than when they are done right and the truffle fries at Expert Burger in Vail’s Lionshead neighborhood are to die for. Just thinking about them makes my mouth water. Continue reading

Brewery Hopping on Longmont, Colorado’s BrewHop Trolley

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.

Brewery Hopping on Longmont’s BrewHop Trolley (4)

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

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

Why You Should Visit Ouray, Colorado this Winter

There’s big news in Ouray. The 80-year-old hot springs pool is getting a major facelift and this is incredibly exciting. Unfortunately, this means the pool is closed this winter and it’s a big draw to Ouray at any time of year.

Why Visit Ouray, Colorado this Winter. Downtown Ouray in December. HeidiTown.com

However, the pool closure is no reason to postpone or cancel a trip to Ouray. No way! Not only are there other places to soak, there is so much to do and see in this charming mountain village. Here are just a few suggestions from someone who has been to Ouray multiple times during the winter months – me.

Ouray Ice Park

Even if you don’t ice climb, the Ouray Ice Park is worth visiting. It’s surreal in its beauty and if you happen to be lucky enough to watch someone climbing there, it’s impressive.

Courtesy of the Ouray Chamber Resort Association and Michael G. Seamans

Courtesy of the Ouray Chamber Resort Association and Michael G. Seamans

It’s easy to give ice climbing a try in Ouray, especially during several winter events. The Ouray Ice Festival, which occurs January 19-22, is an excellent way to become acquainted with the sport. This festival isn’t just for experts. There are presentations and clinics for every level, live music and more. It’s a party with ice climbing as the highlight. Continue reading

Beers In The Boat: Steamboat Springs’ Exploding Beer Scene

While on magazine assignment in Steamboat Springs earlier this spring, we got a taste of Steamboat’s growing beer scene and we liked it – a lot.

Beers in the Boat Steamboat Springs' exploding beer scene. a taster flight at Butcherknife Brewing Co. HeidiTown.com

It had been several years since we’d spent time in Steamboat and lots have changes have taken place in that short period of time. The town is now home to two breweries with a third on the way (Mountain Tap Brewery). And Yampa Valley Brewing Co. is now open in Hayden, just a short drive away.

There’s also a brand new beer bar that’s outstanding, but I’m getting ahead of myself. Continue reading

A 2-day getaway to Golden, Colorado

Sitting on our room’s patio at the Table Mountain Inn, we felt a million miles away from the big city. This is the best part of a visit to Golden, Colorado; it is a small town that’s so close to Denver metro and the Front Range that you’ll hardly see your fuel indicator move on a drive there.

Welcome to Golden Sign HeidiTown.com

We were in town to attend the Golden Music Festival, but this 2-day itinerary works for whatever happens to bring you to Golden.

We arrived on a Friday afternoon, checked into our hotel and decided to indulge in nachos and a couple gigantic margaritas on Table Mountain Inn’s restaurant‘s new patio. A great idea because it was happy hour and everything was just $5, plus the nachos were impressive.

Tour Miller Coors Brewery

After our snack, we walked the short distance to Coors for our VIP tour. This was my first-ever big brewery tour and it was an eye-opener. The scale on which Miller Coors brews beer is staggering. My husband kept referencing “Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory” as we gawked at huge copper kettles and ginormous two story vats of bubbly stuff. Continue reading

What’s happening in Colorado this weekend,June 1-3, 2012, & beyond (HeidiTown on the Radio)

It’s the first weekend in June and the following is the transcript from my radio show on KRFC 88.9 FM.  Find out what’s happening around Colorado this weekend, plus a look ahead at the busy month of June.

If you’d rather listen to the show CLICK HERE.

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Colorado

Proud to be writing about Colorado. Photo by H.M. Kerr-Schlaefer, all rights reserved.

Hi, my name is Heidi and I’m the Mayor of HeidiTown.com, a blog about festivals, events and destinations around Colorado.

In just a couple weeks I’m heading up to TBEX, the world’s largest gathering of travel bloggers. This year the event is being held right here in Keystone, Colorado and writers from around Sydney, Australia to Paris, France are attending. I’m excited to be representing Colorado at this event. Tourism is one of the most important industries in our state, and I’m proud to have carved out my little niche in this dynamic industry.

Now… on to the show.

Here’s the lineup for June 1 through June 3, 2012.

It’s First Friday Art Walk across the state this weekend, and I recommend using this as an excuse for a date night!

This Saturday, here in Fort Collins check out Global Village Museum’s World Rhythms in Old Town Square. Seven bands will perform live World Music from 1 p.m. to 10:30 p.m.. Dance to the beat of African drums, swing your hips to some Latin tunes and tap your toes to Celtic jams. Enjoy craft beer, international vendors booth, and new this year, the Rio Patio featuring margs and salsa. For more information on this events and other fun happenings in Fort Collins go to DowntownFortCollins.com.

Berthoud Day Parade, Berthoud, Colorado

The Berthoud Day Parade attracts thousands of spectators. Photo by H.M. Kerr-Schlaefer, all rights reserved.

Also on Saturday it’s the 58th Annual Berthoud Day in Berthoud, Colorado. I am excited to announce to the KRFC listeners that I will be emceeing this event. The day starts with a huge parade at 11 am that winds through this charming small town, followed by a big celebration in Berthoud Park with several stages, a pizza eating contest, a beer garden and lots more. Bring the entire family out to enjoy Berthoud Day. Go to BerthoudColorado.com to keep tabs on this event and this town.

Looking for a foot-stomping good time? Look no further than the third annual Rocky Mountain Old-Time Music Festival. The event will be held at Parrish Ranch just west of Berthoud, Colorado on June 1 through 3rd, and the ranch will be alive with the sounds of fiddle, banjo, guitar, washboards and more. If you love old-time music you won’t to miss this musical event. For info go to the Central Rockies Old-Time Music Association website at TheCROMA.org, that’s TheCROMA.org.

Lots of stuff is happening in Denver this weekend, here are the highlights… the long awaited Toyota Elephant Passage is opening at the Denver Zoo. The 41st People’s Fair is taking place in Civic Center Park. This is a laid back event where I enjoy listening to the many different bands, doing a little shopping, a little drinking and a little people watching.

While in Denver, check out the Chalk Art Festival in Larimer Square. I have not yet had the opportunity to experience this event, but I’ve been told it’s really amazing. You can check out some of the past chalk paintings at DenverChalkArt.com or follow them on Facebook.

I want to mention that Film on the Rocks starts Monday, June 4 at Red Rocks. If you’ve never been to this event, it’s a good time. This year’s movie lineup includes one of my personal favorites, Office Space, and other films such as Bridesmaids and Wayne’s World. For everything happening at this iconic Colorado venue this summer go to RedRocksOnline.com.

1940s WWII ball

Party goers check out a WWII era plane at the 1940s Ball in Boulder, Colorado. Photo by H.M. Kerr-Schlaefer, all rights reserved.

Lots of other stuff is going on this weekend, but I’m going to take this opportunity to look ahead at some June events that should be on your calendar, including one of my favorite events of the entire year, the 1940s WWII Era Ball. This year’s ball takes place on June 16 at the Boulder Airport. Watch for a write up about this one-of-a-kind event on HeidiTown.com on June 1st.

Also, I hope you’ve already marked June 23 and 24th on your calendar. It’s the 23rd Annual Colorado Brewers’ Festival in Fort Collins at Civic Center Park. This is one of the most highly anticipated beer events in the State, and for good reason. More than 40 Colorado breweries will be represented this year, and there is also a reunion show scheduled for 12 Cents for Marvin. More at DowntownFortCollins.com.

I’m running out of time, so I have to wrap up, but for more be sure to visit the blog at HeidiTown.com and join the town’s block party on Facebook at Facebook.com/HeidiTown.comonFB.

You can also follow me on Twitter @HeidiTown where I tweet tons of event and festival info or circle the town on Google Plus.

Thanks for listening! I hope to see you at a festival this weekend!  Happy 1st weekend of June!

It’s a gnarly beer festival giveaway!

Gnarly Barley Brew Fest in Loveland, Colorado

There is nothing HeidiTown residents (and tourists) like more than free beer and it’s time, once again, to give some away.

The 3rd Annual Gnarly Barley Brew Festival is Saturday, August 6 at the Larimer County Fair at The Ranch in Loveland Colorado. This year’s event will be bigger and better than ever with 24 breweries attending.

Food and beer pairings will be available again this year presented by Beer Ambassadors from Anheuser-Busch. These “mini-tastings” will be available on a first-come, first-serve basis and held every 30 minutes from 2 to 5 p.m.

Guests can bring chairs and blankets and spend the afternoon at this beer event that includes musical guests 5 Minutes with Blanche, Better than Bacon and Archie Funker.

Tickets to Gnarly Barley Brew Festival are $15 and include a 4 oz. tasting mug and six tasting tokens. Additional tokens may be purchased at the fest for $1/each. Tickets are on sale now at ComcastTix. The event runs from 1 to 6 p.m.

Thankfully, for thirsty HeidiTown residents and tourists I have two pairs of Gnarly Barley Brew Festival tickets to giveaway. Enter by leaving me a comment and telling me what beer is in your fridge right now (and if you don’t have beer in your fridge perhaps you shouldn’t be allowed to win these tickets).  🙂

Two winners will be chosen at random on Friday at 3 p.m.

Good luck!   And bottoms up!

***CONTEST NOW CLOSED***

WINNERS HAVE BEEN ANNOUNCED IN THE COMMENT SECTION.  THANKS FOR ENTERING!

Win tickets to Spirits at Sunset at Summerfest in the Rockies in Loveland, Colorado

Spirits at Sunset logoThis year, Summerfest in the Rockies will kick off on July 8, 2011 with Spirits at Sunset. This is a twist on their usual wine tasting event. With a unique new distillery now open in Loveland, as well as a new brewery, the organizers thought it would be fun to highlight these two small businesses.

The evening will be an interactive beer and spirits tasting with drinks provided by Dancing Pines Distillery and Grimm Brothers Brewhouse (two of the Mayor’s favorites!). The soiree will feature food by Taste Catering infused with liquors from DP and beers from Grimm. Dessert will be provided by I Dream of Cupcakes. After Midnight, an award winning jazz and swing band, will set the mood for this spectacular evening.

Guests at this event will witness the unveiling of the newest  Loveland HeART, sponsored by Ozzie’s Body Shop.

This event will be held Friday, July 8, at the Foote Lagoon in downtown Loveland, Colorado from 6:30 to 9:30 p.m. Admission to Spirits at Sunset is $35/person and $55/couple, and tickets can be purchased here.

I’m very excited to be giving away a pair of tickets to this exclusive event. Just leave a comment telling me why you’d like to attend Spirits at Sunset. A winner will be chosen at random on Friday, June 24 at 3 p.m.

Check out all the fun in store at this year’s Summerfest in the Rockies here.

~ CONTEST CLOSED ~

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