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 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.
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.
You be the judge.
Saloon Tour in Breckenridge
As part of our “new” look at Breckenridge trip, we went on the Behind the Swinging Doors Saloon Tour with the Breckenridge Heritage Alliance. While we’d been into nearly all the bars on this tour, we’d never heard the many stories associated with the town when it was a rough and tumble mining community in the 1800s.
One interesting fact about Breckenridge is that many of the original buildings are not located in their original locations. Through the years, buildings were moved around in order to suit the needs of the community as they arose.
The saloon tour involves stops at various downtown watering holes that are still popular today. It also includes entertaining stories and time for those taking the tour to imbibe a drink or two along the way. The tour is for adults only (21+), and at just $15, is a fun way to expand your knowledge about Breckenridge and Colorado history while enjoying a cold beer or whiskey shot.
Breckenridge Distillery Tour
While in town, we toured the new Breckenridge Distillery location on the north side of town (we accessed the area via our fat bike tour). While the distillery has been around for quite some time, we’d never been on the tour, which features tasters of their booze and a behind-the-scenes look at this big operation.
Tours are free, but please tip your tour guide.
During this weekend trip, we also ate at the brand new Breckenridge Distillery restaurant, a dining experience I wrote about in its entirety here on The Heidi Guide.
Back at the Residence Inn after an exhausting first day, we ordered wings at the hotel bar, Base Camp Lounge. They were delicious and the bar menu is full of great Colorado craft beer as well.
On our two night stay, we ate breakfast at the hotel every morning; not because it was free, but because it was so good. It’s one of the best complimentary breakfast buffets we’ve encountered in our vast travels around Colorado.
We didn’t bring our dog Xena, but we could have because the Residence Inn is a dog-friendly hotel property in Breckenridge.
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.
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
Lyons, Colorado is one of our longtime haunts; after all, we’ve been visiting for more than a decade. It’s home to one of Ryan’s favorite destination, Lyons Classic Pinball, and anytime we’re in town some pinball must be played.
Last Friday, we had a new destination in Lyons – Spirit Hound Distillers. They’d invited me for a tour and we’d gladly accepted. Spirit Hound has been open for four years, and I’m embarrassed to say that this was my first visit.
The distillery has obviously been embraced by locals as the place was packed on a Saturday evening.
We weren’t just here for a tour, but to taste some spirits, including their holiday drinks made with their recently released barrel aged rum. Ryan had a warm chocolatey rum drink while I had my first-ever hot buttered rum – I highly approve. Continue reading
I am dog person. I can’t imagine coming home to a house without having an excited canine there to greet me. While some people ooh and aww over babies, I’m the person who will get overly excited about a new puppy or newly adopted dog. Let’s face it, dogs are awesome and many of us couldn’t live without ours.
That being said, this week’s give away is a pair of tickets to Fall Harvest Brewfest, the annual fundraiser for Animal House, a no-kill dog shelter in Fort Collins, Colorado. Animal House specializes in second chances. They obtain dogs from other shelters; dogs that have been slated for euthanasia.
This is the 3rd Annual Fall Harvest Brewfest and it’s being held at Drake Center in Fort Collins on October 15, 2011. There will be over 20 craft breweries in attendance as well as several micro-distilleries (including my personal favorite, Dancing Pines Distillery, in Loveland). To satisfy your growling tummy, there will be craft-beer inspired food pairings served throughout the evening.
So here’s the deal folks, enter to win a pair of tickets to Fall Harvest Brewfest here by telling me your best dog tale. I know it’s a little work, but it can be simple. For example, our German Shepherd likes to talk to the cat. Here’s another, when our German Shepherd pees in snow she covers it up – true story! We have no idea why she does this, but we find it highly amusing.
I will pick a winner sometimes on Friday afternoon (October 7, 2011) – we have guests coming to town, so I can’t give you a specific time, because I won’t stick with it. Just be sure to have your entry in by noon on Friday.
If you don’t win, I encourage you to buy a ticket to this event. Tickets can be purchased at www.fallharvestbrewfest.com. Tickets are $35 and include your night of fun and the warm fuzzy feeling that you drank for a great cause. You can also join the Fall Harvest Brewfest and the Animal House on Facebook.
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This 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 ~
1. The gift of dinner & theater. This is the gift of an entire evening of fun, including dinner and a show. We are lucky to have several excellent dinner theaters nearby, including my favorite, Boulder’s Dinner Theater. You can read my past review of one of their shows by clicking here.
If you live in Northern Colorado check out Carousel Dinner Theatre in Fort Collins (www.adinnertheatre.com), Union Colony Dinner Theater in Greeley (www.ucdinnertheatre.com) or Candlelight Dinner Playhouse in Loveland (www.coloradocandlelight.com). For my review of a past show at Candlelight click here.
Also consider a gift certificate to the Dinner Detective with shows in Fort Collins, Golden, Denver and Colorado Springs. See my review of a Dinner Detective show here. For tickets go to www.thedinnerdetective.com.
2. The gift of music. How about giving a gift certificate to the Colorado Symphony Orchestra? Several years ago my husband and I had season tickets to the CSO, and it was wonderful. We looked forward to each symphony event because it was a built-in date night in Denver. Instead of an entire season, you can also purchase smaller packages that include a grouping of specific shows. Visit www.coloradosymphony.org to find out more.
If you live in Northern Colorado check out the Greeley Philharmonic Orchestra at www.greeleyphilharmonic.com, or the Fort Collins Symphony, www.fcsymphony.org, currently running a buy one, get second one half off of their flex passes.
Do you know someone who loves jazz? Buy them tickets to the University of Northern Colorado Jazz Festival. The 41st annual festival runs August 28-30, 2011 and is the largest festival of its kind in the country.
3. The gift of membership to a local museum or zoo. For many individuals and families a membership to a local museum or zoo is a gift that they will use again and again, and museum or zoo membership comes with benefits.
For example, a family membership at the Fort Collins Museum & Discovery Center costs $70 (individual, $35) and benefits includes unlimited access to the FCMDC, discounts on programs, workshops and at the museum store, free newsletter and advanced schedule of events, exclusive new exhibit previews and free admission to ten other Colorado museums including the Denver Museum of Nature & Science.
4. The gift of artisan beer or liquor. Need to find something for the person who has everything? I recommend a growler of craft beer or a nice bottle of craft liquor. In Northern Colorado we have a brewer on every corner, but I like Grimm Brothers Brewhouse. These guys specialize in German style beers, a unique option for Coloradoans. You can purchase a full growler for just $13, and your gift recipient can refill his/her growler for $9. Find Grimm Brothers online at www.grimmbrosbrewhouse.com, or on Facebook.
While already well known for beer, the craft distillery business is making its mark in the rocky mountain region. Colorado is ranked fourth in number of distilleries in the state and one of the newest and finest is located in Loveland, Colorado. Dancing Pines Distillery opened this past summer and they make several varieties of artisan spirits including a chai liqueur that is already tremendously popular. A bottle of any of their top-shelf spirits would make a splendid gift. Visit Dancing Pines on Facebook by clicking here.
5. The gift of bed & breakfast. My husband and I love staying in bed and breakfasts, even if it’s close to home. Buying someone a gift certificate for an overnight stay in a fabulous B&B is like buying them a miniature vacation. For instance, why not buy a Denverite a stay in a Golden, Colorado? Or a Fort Collins resident a stay in Denver?
My favorite website for finding the perfect B&B is www.tripadvisor.com. This site is a great way to browse photographs and read reviews from real people who have stayed at the thousands of B&Bs listed on the site. The Mayor’s reviews are on Trip Advisor, just look for reviews by HeidioftheRockies!
Any reproduction or unauthorized publication of this article or photographs is strictly forbidden. If you’d like to republish this article please send your request to TheMayor@HeidiTown.com.
Top 5 Christmas Gifts, according to the Mayor by Heidi Kerr-Schlaefer is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.
Based on a work at www.heiditown.com.
Colorado is already known for beer, but the craft distillery business is making their mark in the rocky mountain state.
Colorado is fourth in number of distilleries around the country, falling behind California, Michigan and Oregon. Nationally the number of distilleries is around 150, and is growing by 20% every year.
While distilling liquor may make you think of moonshine, bootleggers and prohibition, today, distilling liquor is a true artisan craft. Distillers make small batches of premium liquor and sell their product to discriminating buyers, including liquor stores, restaurants and walk-in customers.
The first ever Colorado festival dedicated to craft distilling will be held October 15-16, 2010 in Breckenridge. The Breckenridge Craft Spirit Festival will feature distilleries from across the state, as well as distilling seminars, local cuisine and lots of samples of the handcrafted spirits.
Northern Colorado’s own Dancing Pines Distillery will be offering samples of their spirits, handcrafted at 1527 Taurus Court, Loveland. For more information on DPD visit them on Facebook here.
The entire town of Breckenridge is celebrating craft spirits during the festival; there will be a poker run, restaurant deals, bar tours and much more. Visit www.gobreck.com to check out the schedule and book discounted festival lodging.
Today’s HeidiTown contest is courtesy of Dancing Pines Distillery. This brand new distillery in Loveland is giving away two tickets to Fall Harvest Brewfest, the annual fundraiser for Animal House Rescue in Fort Collins.
Fall Harvest Brewfest is a celebration of good drink from local breweries and Dancing Pines Distillery. It will raise much-needed funds for Animal House, one of only two non-kill shelters in Northern Colorado. The event is this Saturday, October 2 at The Drake Center in Fort Collins.
Dancing Pines is a small, family-run distillery that opened this summer in Loveland, Colorado. October hours are 4-7 p.m. every Friday evening. They are located at 1527 Taurus Court. Stop in to try or buy their espresso liqueur, chai liqueur, rum, or whatever else they’ve recently distilled in their imported copper still. Dancing Pines products will be available in liquor stores on October 8, 2010.
Visit Dancing Pines on Facebook.
ENTER TO WIN two tickets to Fall Harvest Brewfest by leaving a comment here telling the Mayor you’d like to be a winner! The winner will be chosen at random at 9 a.m. on Thursday, Sept. 30, and will be contacted via email.
To purchase tickets to Fall Harvest Brewfest visit www.FallHarvestBrewFest.com.
*You must be 21 or older to be eligible to win this prize.