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So You Think You Know Cheyenne, Wyoming? Think Again

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.

So you think you know cheyenne, think again. Wrangler building. HeidiTown

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.

So you think you know cheyenne think again. taps at accomplice beer co. HeidiTown.com

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.

So you think you know cheyenne Accomplice Beer Co. HeidiTown.com

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.

So you think you know Cheyenne think again. Freedom's Edge Brewing. HeidiTown.com

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.

So you think you know Cheyenne Think Again. Bella Fuoco Wood Fire Pizza. HeidiTown.com

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.

So you think you know cheyenne think again. Mid Mod Etc. sign. HeidiTown.com

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.

So you think you know Cheyenne Think Again. Ryan sporting his Mid Mod, Etc. shirt in Cortez, Colorado. HeidiTown.com

Ryan sporting the vintage shirt he bought at Mid Mod, Etc. on our recent trip to Cortez, Colorado.

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 you think you know Cheyenne Think again. Flippers Arcade & Bar. HeidiTown.com

As some of you know, I’m a coffee snob, so I was delighted to discover Paramount Cafe in Cheyenne. This trendy coffee shop under The Second Floor, a coworking space, serves up a quality cup of Joe.

So you think you know Cheyenne Think Again. street scene. HeidiTown.com

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.

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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

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

A Holiday Shopping Extravaganza in Ouray, Colorado

I’ll be the first to admit that I love online shopping. I’m also going to admit that when I visited Ouray this past weekend for Wine, Chocolate & Cheese Festival, I had no intention of Christmas shopping while in town except to maybe find something for my nieces at Ouray’s excellent toy store.

Kristopher's Culinaire and Hotel Ouray, Ouray, Colorado. HeidiTown.com

Khristopher’s Culinaire below Hotel Ouray.

After a satisfying breakfast at Backstreet Bistro, now located on 7th Avenue, we crossed the street to O’Toys. We’d browsed this toy store before and knew that they had a lot of great stuff for kids.

The new owners have taken a keen interest in getting to know the products they sell, and Tina helped us pick out the perfect gifts for our pre-teen and post-toddler nieces. We also picked up a new card game that’s been a hit in Ouray. It’s called Happy Salmon and is chaos your family will love. Continue reading

Fort Collins for Christmas

Considering a holiday getaway this month? Fort Collins is an excellent Colorado Christmas town. Downtown sparkles with thousands of lights and from Old Town Square to Oak Street Plaza Park, the atmosphere is merry.

Fort Collins for Christmas

This past weekend, we did one-night getaway in Fort Collins to experience the city’s holiday offerings. Before exploring the festive scene we checked into the Fernweh Inn & Hostel on Mulberry, just blocks from the excitement of downtown Fort Collins.

Some people, including my husband, Ryan, have an aversion to any place with hostel in the name. The word makes him worried that he’s going to have to share a bathroom or wash dishes to earn his keep.

Fort Collins for Christmas, the Fernweh Inn & Hostel in the snow

Fernweh is a modern-day, American hostel which offers private rooms as well as bunk rooms. Our private room, “The Loft,” was a virtual suite because the space occupied the entire upstairs of this historic, Victorian home. There was a full bathroom in the room complete with large, soaking bathtub and multiple beds, making it perfect for a family or friends. Continue reading

Girlfriend getaway in the Colorado Rocky Mountains

I get asked year round for advice on where to go on a girlfriend getaway in Colorado and I usually respond with, “It depends.” It depends on the type of women in your party; is your group filled with outdoor enthusiasts or would they rather shop till they drop? Or perhaps they want to do a bit of both?

Grand County Colorado. Girls Getway in the Colorado Rocky Mountains. HeidiTown.com

On a back road in Grand County, Colorado.

Here are some of my suggestions for a Colorado girls getaway this summer that will make everyone happy and provide beautiful backdrops for adorable selfies.

Shopping girls trip

Steamboat Springs is one of my favorite mountain shopping towns. With a variety of shops and galleries and F.M. Light & Sons, one of the West’s most famous western wear boutiques, shopping in Steamboat is a real Colorado kind of affair.

Girlfriend Getaway in the Colorado Rocky Mountains - Steamboat Springs

Flower box on the Yampa River Bridge in Steamboat Springs, Colorado.

If all that shopping makes you thirsty and hungry, check out Laundry Kitchen & Cocktails for the perfect happy hour. Continue reading

The Good Life In Cherry Creek At JW Marriott

In the heart of Cherry Creek, you’ll find a hotel where they celebrate the finer things in life on a daily basis. Whether you’re looking for a weekend spa escape or a girls shopping weekend extraordinaire, JW Marriott Denver has got you covered.

The Good Life In Cherry Creek at JW Marriott. blue room. HeidiTown.com

Photo courtesy of JW Marriott Denver.

This past weekend, Ryan and I needed a place to stay in Denver after Bru Frou, an amazing culinary and craft beer pairing event held annually at Wings over The Rockies Air & Space Museum. JW Marriott Denver, just 4.5 miles from the venue, graciously offered to host us.

This Denver hotel is the very definition of posh, but you don’t have to take my word for it. In 2014, it made Condé Nast Traveler’s Readers’ Choice list as one of the “Best Hotels in the West.” 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

Featured Festival: Denver Christkindl Market

A grand welcome to the market by Ms. Laura Kantwerk.

A grand welcome to the market by Ms. Laura Kantwerk. Photos by H.M. Kerr-Schlaefer, all rights reserved.

It seems rather appropriate for the Mayor of a place called HeidiTown to have a connection to the German Chamber of Commerce – Colorado Chapter. Full disclosure: This organization has been advertising their events with HeidiTown for a while now and it’s a match made in heaven.

This organization puts together well-organized and top-notch events that I am more than happy to slap my endorsement on. Their Biergarten Festival is a summer party my husband and I look forward to every year.

The GACC-CO’s winter event is the Denver Christkindl Market. In operation for 12 years, this year there’s a new look, but the market hasn’t lost its intimate, European feel.

Christkindl markets have deep roots in Germany where the oldest recorded Christmas market dates back to 1310 in Munich. Held in front of churches, the markets were often part of a person’s church visit. Today, these markets are still held in town squares across Germany.

Tour the Denver Christkindl Market to find unique, handmade gifts for nearly everyone on your list. I found lots of knit hats and beautiful artisan jewelry that I’d love to find under the tree this Christmas.

Pastries at the Denver Christkindl Market

Pastries at the Denver Christkindl Market.

The best part of the market, in my illustrious opinion, is the food and the beer/entertainment tent. I’d recommend coming hungry, having some delicious European-style food and a beer or two and then going shopping.

While we were visiting the beer tent last weekend, the Chalet Dancers from Castle Rock were peforming and their authentic German dances impressed the crowd, me included. Under the tent you’ll find a full lineup of entertainment on the weekday evenings and weekends.

Sipping a beer or gluehwein (spiced wine), you’ll be transported to a different time and place, and this is what I love the most about the Denver Christkindl Market and the Biergarten Festival – it’s a chance to experience a little German culture right here in Colorado. Our state is rich with German heritage, but we don’t always get a chance to see it, taste it and feel it in action. I applaud the German Chamber of Commerce – Colorado Chapter for keeping this culture alive and well.

Keep in mind that the market is a wonderful event for children – from entertainment to delicious pastries, make the Denver Christkindl Market a part of their childhood memories this Christmas.

chalet dancers at Denver Christkindl Market

Chalet Dancers from Castle Rock, Colorado.

Denver Christkindl Market

Skyline Park (16th & Arapaho)

November 23 to December 22, 2012

Sunday – Wednesday 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.

Thursday – Saturday 11 a.m. to 9 p.m.

Join the Denver Christkindl Market on Facebook

www.denverchristkindlmarket.com

Top 5 Gifts Made in Colorado

In the weeks leading up to Christmas I always put out a top 5 list of some sort, and this year I decided to share with you my picks for the top 5 made in Colorado gifts for 2012. The prerequisite for making my list was that the product made by each company had to be manufactured IN Colorado.

This list is in no particular order.

mou co cheese co

Photo by Heidi Kerr-Schlaefer, all rights reserved.

1. MouCo Cheese Co. I’ve had the pleasure of touring MouCo and writing about them for several other publications over the years. They just so happen to make my favorite cheese of all-time, Truffello, which is saying a lot because I’ve never met a cheese I didn’t like. Their website describes Truffello as a “mystical soft cheese to be savored and shared with reck-licious ease.” MouCo sells their cheese all over the world, but it’s all made in their small factory in Fort Collins, Colorado with milk from local cows.

Website: MouCo.com

Facebook Page

Twitter.com/mouchocheese

2. OZ Snowboards. I don’t ride, but if I did I’d ride an OZ board. I ran into these guys on Facebook and fell in love with their concept and the beauty of their boards. They make these works of art in Evergreen, Colorado.

Website: OZSnowboards.com

Facebook Page

Twitter.com/OZSnowboards

milk & honey handmade soap from Moonflower Essentials

Milk & honey handmade soap from Moonflower Essentials. Photo from www.MoonflowerEssentials.com.

3. Moonflower Essentials. This small company is located in Denver, and they make my favorite lotion, Forest Muse. I’ve known owner, Barb Donnelly, for a number of years, and she’s a creative lady with a talent for making body products that truly impress. Moonflower Essentials has a Holiday Open House planned for Sunday, December 9. Learn more here.

Website: MoonFlowerEssentials.com

4. NeedleForge.com. This company was brought to my attention by a HeidiTown citizen and I couldn’t resist putting them on this list. I don’t know exactly how to explain what it is they make, but my Facebook tipster put it like this: Geekery + yarn = win. Every yarn creation is made by hand in Denver, but if you want something by this Christmas you’d better get your order in real soon, because according to their Facebook page, orders are stacking up and they only have so many hands to do the knitting!

Website: NeedleForge.com

Facebook Page

Nova Monda Chocolates

Nova Monda Cacao & Chocolates. Photo from Nova Monda on Facebook.

5. Nova Monda Cacao & Chocolate. I have not had the pleasure of trying this chocolate yet, but it made my list because it’s made in Lafayette, Colorado and it was highly recommended to me by two people; the Chef at the Welsh Rabbit Cheese Shop and a trustworthy friend with good taste.

Website: NovaChocolate.com

Facebook Page

Twitter.com/NovaMonda

This could have easily been a top 50 list, as there are many wonderful Colorado companies and craftsmen I would have enjoyed highlighting in this piece. If you have a favorite please feel free to share it in the comment section.

Please Note: A lot of Facebook friends helped me with this list by sharing their favorite Colorado companies and I’ve compiled a list of all their suggestions in a NOTE on the HeidiTown Facebook page. Click HERE to see it!

***

I encourage you to shop local this year, as much as possible. Spending your hard earned money at a small Colorado-owned business will ensure that all boats rise.  

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