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New Things to Do in Breckenridge, Colorado

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 Things to do in Breckenridge, Colorado. free bus in Breckenridge. HeidiTown.com

When we weren’t biking or walking, we got our Breckenridge via the free bus service. It goes everywhere you want to be!

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.

New Things to Do in Breckenridge, Colorado. Residence Inn by Marriot wall art. HeidiTown.com

Fun wall art at Residence Inn by Marriott, Breckenridge.

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. Continue reading

Top 10 Memories from the Mayor of HeidiTown, Colorado for 2012

It has been an AMAZING year here in HeidiTown…

and 2013 is going to be even better.

I have so many great memories from this past year, like emceeing a freezing/cold/snowy  Berthoud Oktoberfest, attending the Great American Beer Festival for the first time and speaking multiple times at Metropolitan State University. There were some real standout moments however, so without further ado, here are my Top 10 Memories from the Mayor of HeidiTown, Colorado for 2012 (in pictures):

March – MyHandleBar HeidiTown ride in Fort Collins, Colorado

 My Handle Bar Ride March 2012 HeidiTown.com

May – The HeidiTown banners are revealed

 HeidiTown Banners May 2012

June – Champagne in the gondola & dining at the top of Keystone Resort during TBEX

 Champagne on the gondola in Keystone for TBEX June 2012 HeidiTown.com

June – Being a judge at the kick-off of Loveland Loves BBQ , Bands & Brews

 Haivng a laugh with Lauren Hoff at kick off for Loveland Loves BBQ Brews & Bands June 2012 HeidiTown.com

July – Gorging ourselves on food cart delights & wine at Unwined Denver

 Cupcakes from Denver Cupcake Truck at Unwined Denver 2012

July – Enjoying a really big pretzel and German dancing with my main squeeze at the Biergarten Festival

 Biergarten festival big pretzel July 2012 HeidiTown.com

August – My first hot air balloon ride at Sweetheart Balloon Rally in Loveland

 Sweetheart Balloon Rally August 2012 HeidiTown.com

August – Ziplining at Copper Mountain & riding the chairlift with beers

 zip lining at Copper Mountain HeidiTown August 2012

October – Staying at  One Steamboat Place for the Governor’s Tourism Conference in Steamboat Springs (via Moving Mountains Chalet)

One Steamboat Place Diamond Peak

December – Laughing our butts off at the Cripple Creek Jail Museum & winning on Elvis at The Rush Casino

 The Rush Casino Cripple Creek December 2012 HeidiTown.com

   Thank you to everyone who has helped make this year so special & now? Bring on 2013!

P.S. A special thank you to my husband, Ryan, the person I most enjoy taking adventures with – now and always!

Featured Festival: Emma Crawford Coffin Races in Manitou Springs, Colorado

Coffin Race in Manitou Springs

All photos courtesy of ManitouSprings.org.

Let’s be frank, Manitou Springs is quirky, and sometimes downright weird, but that’s a big part of why I like it. We’ve done several weekend trips to Manitou over the years, and it’s always a memorable experience. In fact, if you follow me on Twitter, the blue-haired lady I use as an avatar is from a photo I took in Manitou of a pinball machine.

Located just 15 minutes west of Colorado Springs, Manitou is an easy weekend trip for anyone living in the Denver metro area. It has some delightful B&Bs, the Cliff House, lots of yummy restaurants, art galleries and the Miramont Castle Museum, one of the best “house” museum tours I’ve taken in Colorado.

But I’m not writing about any of that today; today’s it’s all about Emma Crawford. She died on December 4, 1891, at the age of 19 of complications from tuberculosis. She was a rather unconventional gal who believed she was spiritually connected to Red Mountain and had asked her fiancé to bury her there should she die from her disease.

coffin races Manitou Springs Colorado

Scary scene from the Parade of Coffins.

Ms. Crawford was buried on top of Red Mountain per her wishes, but in 1912 her body was removed by a railroad company and reburied on the other side of the mountain. Unfortunately, poor Emma’s remains were washed down the mountainside during a rain storm in 1929. She is now buried in Crystal Valley Cemetery in Manitou Springs, but her soul is not at rest. It is said that she will haunt the town until her body is returned to the top of Red Mountain.

The WAKE of Emma Crawford

Today, Emma Crawford is celebrated annually during the Coffin Races held in her honor. This nutty event has been on my radar for quite a while, and unfortunately, I still haven’t been to it. The festivities start on Friday, October 26, 2012 with a Wake for Emma at Miramont Castle. For information and tickets to the wake, go here.

coffin races 3

The weird & wacky are on full display at this event.

The PARADE & RACES

On Saturday, October 27, the Parade of Coffins starts at noon, followed by the Coffins Race. Fifty teams compete in what has become a spectacle of the spooky and the bizarre. Immediately following the races, stay in downtown Manitou Springs for the Emma Crawford Estes Sidewalk Sale.

For more information on Manitou Springs go to ManitouSprings.org, like them on Facebook,  or follow them on Twitter @Visit_Manitou and @ILoveManitou.

***

The historic information regarding Ms. Emma Crawford was discovered at MyteriousColorado.com. If you like ghosts and other things that go bump in the night, check them out!

Top 5 things I love about Colorado

Between freelance writing and blogging I bounce between fun topics like Colorado travel, and not so fun topics like cancer. Sometimes I get severe writer’s block, and this week I found my writing brain seriously obstructed.

So I opted to write a top 5 list and share the reasons I love Colorado – this blog post nearly wrote itself.

Please feel free to comment & let me know why YOU love Colorado.

1.  Sunshine

I grew up in the Pacific Northwest, which means I never take for granted Colorado’s 300 plus days of sunshine every year.   The brightness of the sun makes Coloradans happy and active.

Sunset in the Rockies

Sunset in the Colorado Rockies. Photo by H.M. Kerr-Schlaefer, all rights reserved.

2.  Mountains

The Rocky Mountains are the biggest gems in Colorado’s crown. They provide a never ending list of recreational activities, offer up towns full of character and history, and provide a beautiful backdrop to the Front Range.

Bronco game

Photo by H.M. Kerr-Schlaefer, all rights reserved

3.  Sports

Colorado is a sports-lovers dream. From professional teams in every major sport to kayaking, rock climbing and cycling, this state is full of enthusiastic fans of sports, as well as athletes of every kind. The best part, in my opinion, is that no matter where you travel in Colorado, you can always find a place to watch the Broncos with fellow supporters.

Great Sand Dunes

Great Sand Dunes National Park. Photo by H.M. Kerr-Schlaefer, all rights reserved.

4.  State & National Park System

Colorado has 42 state parks with 4,376 campsites. The state is also home to four national parks, including Rocky Mountain, Mesa Verde, Great Sand Dunes and Black Canyon of the Gunnison. What I love about our national parks is that each is unique and offers different landscapes and activities.

Xena hiding from the rain

Our dog hiding from the rain on a hike in the Comanche Wilderness. Photo by H.M. Kerr-Schlaefer, all rights reserved.

5.  Dogs

I haven’t done any scientific research on this topic, but I think Colorado is one of the most dog-friendly states in the union. It’s not unusual for Coloradans to own several dogs, and they take them everywhere – from the sidewalks of Denver to the Rocky Mountain backcountry. As a lifelong dog person, I appreciate living in a dog-loving state.

So there you have it, the top five reasons I love Colorado.

Why do you love Colorado?

Loveland, Colorado ~ everything you love

Ten years ago, if you asked a Coloradan where Loveland was they’d point to the mountains. This is because, for many years, Loveland Ski Area was better known than the city with the same name, but that has changed.

The City of Loveland is working hard to make sure everyone knows that they are open for business, and last week I had the opportunity to attend the unveiling of Loveland’s new tourism branding and billboard on I25.

Loveland Colorado billboard on I25

Photo by H.M. Kerr-Schlaefer, all rights reserved

So why should you visit Loveland, Colorado?

Art Lovers

Loveland is located just 40 miles north of Denver, and has a renowned reputation as a sculpture community. On the second weekend of August in Loveland, there’s a huge, international celebration of the city’s most well-known commodity – sculpture. I’ve written a post about the festival here.

Benson Sculpture Garden, located near Lake Loveland, is a park where you can see many sculptures year round. Go here to see a photo gallery of pictures I took on a trip to the garden this past spring. The streets of downtown Loveland are also lined with sculptures.

Beer & Spirit Lovers

Northern Colorado is often referred to as the Napa Valley of Beer, but most people automatically think of Fort Collins when they plan a visit to the area’s breweries. Loveland, however, has its fair share of outstanding microbreweries, including Grimm Brothers Brewhouse, Big Beaver Brewing Company, Loveland Aleworks, and Verboten Brewing, set to open in about four months.

For more information read my post, A Beer Lovers Guide to Hidden Gems in Northern Colorado.

Loveland is also home to an award winning distillery, Dancing Pines, and one of Colorado’s only absinthe makers, Trinity Absinthe, made by Overland Distillery.

Festival Lovers

In addition to sculpture show weekend, Loveland has an impressive lineup of festivals throughout the year. Loveland Loves BBQ, Bands & Brews, previously blogged about here, has become a well-attended regional event.

On the first weekend in August, hot air balloons take to the sky during the Sweetheart Balloon Rally & Airstream Show at The Ranch, and at the end of August, Loveland throws the corniest event in Northern Colorado. While Loveland may not officially be a “small town” anymore, the Old Fashion Corn Roast Festival captures that small town, Americana-feel with a parade, corn shucking contest, family-friendly fun and more.

The Larimer County Fair is held in Loveland and features the Gnarly Barley Festival, a beer event being held this year on Saturday, August 4. In September, Loveland throws another festival embracing their beer and distillery culture with Spirits at Sunset.

During the winter months, Loveland hosts a wildly popular snow sculpture event that will be sanctioned for the first time this year. Stay tuned to HeidiTown for details on the 2012 event, and read a previous post about the 2011 event here.

So there you have it, just a few of many, many reasons to visit Loveland, Colorado. As the city’s new tagline states, “it’s everything you love.”

HeidiTown on KRFC 88.9 FM – St. Patrick’s Day weekend in Colorado

The following is the transcript from my weekly radio segment on KRFC 88.9 FM in Fort Collins, Colorado. If you’d like, listen to the AUDIO HERE.

***

Heidi & donkey

The Mayor of HeidiTown poses with Alma, an old lady donkey at Longhopes Donkey Shelter. Photo by Christine Forster, all rights reserved.

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

Before I tell you what’s happening this weekend, I want to tell you about this month’s HeidiTown.com Gives Back recipient. Every month, I personally select a Colorado-based nonprofit organization to introduce to the community and be featured on the blog all month long.

In my work as a freelance writer in Colorado, I’ve had the opportunity to write about many wonderful organizations and realized HeidiTown was an additional platform where I can give them support.

Last month’s featured nonprofit was Freedom Service Dogs, an organization that trains shelter dogs to help military vets returning with physical disabilities or mental trauma.

This month’s featured organization is Longhopes Donkey Shelter located in Bennett, Colorado. They are one of only a handful of donkey rescues in the country. I’ve had the opportunity to visit the facility and meeting a donkey will smash all the stereotypes you once held about these animals. For more information about Longhopes go to my blog and click on the HeidiTown.com Gives Back Campaign on the right hand side of the page.

St. Patrick's Day FCAnd now, on to the weekend. It’s already mid-March and that means St. Patrick’s Day. I am more than a little excited that the holiday falls on a Saturday this year. Here in Fort Collins don’t miss the big parade downtown and after party in Old Town Square. The parade runs from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. and the party starts immediately after. Get all the details at DowntownFortCollins.com.

Speaking of things Irish, the Rocky Mountain Irish Festival, which started as the Fort Collins Irish Festival in 2008, will be returning to Fort Collins Civic Center Park this year. So mark September 28 through the 30th on your calendar and join me in a jig at this very fun event.

Fort Collins isn’t the only place to celebrate being green this weekend. Denver has a huge parade and throws a big party too, and other towns up all around Colorado will be partying, especially since it’s a Saturday – so it’s very likely there’s a St. Patrick’s Day event near you.

In Boulder you can even witness the World’s Shortest St. Patrick’s Day Parade at Conor O’Neills, a great Irish pub on 13th Street. To keep up on all the stuff happening in Boulder, go to BoulderDowntown.com.

Celtic Tenors by Barry McCall

Celtic Tenors, photo by Barry McCall, all rights reserved.

If you’d like a classy St. Patrick’s Day event, check out the Celtic Tenors at Union Colony Civic Center in Greeley. This international sensation tours the world, and will bring you to tears with their amazing rendition of Irish Classics. Get more information about the Celtic Tenors at Celtic-Tenors.com, and find out more about their concert at greeleygov.com/UCCC.

While in Greeley, you should check out my favorite pub in all of Colorado, Patrick’s Irish Pub on 8th Avenue. My husband and I are fans of true pubs, and this place fits the bill. If you haven’t been to downtown Greeley lately, you’ve been missing out.

Here’s a nutty event happening at Powderhorn Mountain Resort in Mesa, Colorado. It’s the 3rd Annual Dummy Jump with a St. Patrick’s Day theme. I love these crazy mountain resort events, like the Cardboard Classic in Steamboat Springs. I participated in that one and will never forget sliding down the mountain in our cardboard shotski… that event coincides with the Steamboat Springalicious Festival in April. More at Steamboat.com.

But I digress, back to the event this weekend in Powderhorn. Teams build a dummy and then it is sent off a huge ski jump. The judging criteria for the dummy jump are the best! Your dummy jump is judged on amplitude, creativity, structure and destruction on impact. You gotta love that last one. To learn more go to Powderhorn.com.

That’s all the time I have this week. I invite you to join the town’s block party on Facebook at Facebook.com/HeidiTown.comonFB, or follow my shenanigans on Twitter @HeidiTown or join the town on Google Plus. Until next week, I will see you online!

Thanks for listening and Happy St. Patrick’s Day!

HeidiTown on KRFC 88.9 FM – What to do in Colorado this weekend

What’s going on in Colorado, November 18-20, 2011…

It’s time for another one of my segments on KRFC 88.9 FM. It’s the time of year for craft shows and Santa Claus… yep, that bearded man in the jolly red suit is showing up in a town near you.  Find out where…

Subscribers, you’ll need to link over to HeidiTown.com to view this video. It will be worth it… believe me!


HeidiTown.com on KRFC 88.9 FM – What to do in Colorado this weekend

There’s an eclectic weekend of Colorado fun in store for October 21-23, 2011.

Here’s my weekly radio segment for KRFC 88.9 FM.   This week highlights include a science-fiction/fantasy convention, doll expos, ghost tours and so much more.     Enjoy and share with your friends!

Note to Subscribers: Head over to HeidiTown.com to view this video.


HeidiTown.com on KRFC 88.9 – What to do this weekend in Colorado

Looking for something to do this weekend in Colorado?

From book fairs to science festivals, it’s a weekend filled with culture and fun from Colorado Springs to Fort Collins to Durango.   Here’s the line up for October 14-16, 2011.

Note to Subscribers: You will have to head over to HeidiTown.com to view this video.


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