Thursday, September 9, 2010

Hot Springs in Glenwood and Colorado Springs

Hot springs are natural occurrences of surface water heated from geothermal activity far below. Few places are lucky enough for the water to form natural basins, so often the physical structure of hot springs are man made. Because the water has so much mineral activity, it is often full of natural salts.

Mineral water is considered to be good for the body. People have been using natural mineral springs as healing therapy for thousands of years. Of course doctors cant profit of promoting anything free and natural, but supposedly salty hot springs increase the metabolism, relieve muscles, and improve circulation. The minerals are supposed to pass through your skin through osmosis to be used by the lymphatic system and other cells.

Outside of the therapeutic effects, the real reason people like to bathe in hot springs is because they just make you feel good. The heat has a relaxing and enjoyable sensation. These are great hiking destinations. After a long drudging hike the relaxation is exquisitely perfect destination for Colorado trips.

Some hot springs are made into giant pools that swimmers can use. Others are small grottoes ideal for romantic Colorado trips. Many are clothing optional, or are in national parks. This makes them free from rules. Smaller pools are more for relaxation and therapy than vigorous exercise. The smaller pools are usually hotter, and exercise is not recommended at extreme temperatures. You may not even want to stay in these pools for an extended period of time.

The best springs are those high up in the mountains in a natural setting. There is nothing better than diving into a hot spring after walking naked through the snow. The hot cold change is exquisite, and the views upon the mountain tops cannot be beat. Just be careful to bring a towel to dry off before hiking in the cold. The water steams upon contact with the cold air.

When hiking, be careful of apparent hot springs you have never heard of. Not all hot springs are safe for humans. Whether that be because of toxic chemicals or scalding water, do not jump into an unknown pool of hot water. The Glenwood Springs hot springs is one of the largest in the world, with an amazing flow rate of 120 degree water. These springs are obviously safe, as well as the ones you may find in the national park guide book.

Hot Air Balloon Rides in Colorado

Colorado offers a unique experience when it comes to hot air ballooning. The high altitude, clear air and mountain vistas offer ballooners an unmatched experience on their Colorado vacations. One popular location or thermal ballooning is the South Park Valley. No not because of the famous TV show, but because of the glorious views. This area is near the center of Colorado, so it is close by many other activities popular on Colorado trips.

This is right near the golden ski area that includes Vail, Breckenridge, Keystone and more. The most convenient place to stay outside South Park would probably be Colorado Springs. Most air balloons do not go that high up. However the launch point at South Park is one of the highest in the world. You will leave the ground already around nine thousand feet above sea level. From up top you can see mountains over 100 miles away through the clear air. Some popular sights are viewing both sides of the continental divide, Mt. Elbert and Pike's Peak. The balloons have the ability to go high for views and lower to monitor native wildlife.

After the balloon ride there is a special ceremony for first time travelers. I can't give you the full story now for fear of ruining it. After the ascent is over, many Rocky Mountain travelers opt to finish their Colorado trips with a full fledged adventure. There is kayaking, river rafting, horseback riding, fishing, biking and all kinds of outdoor adventures. Colorado is not short on culture as well. There are many wine, music and beer festivals, as well as historical sites. Some people like to descend into the old gold mines for a peek. The mining and ghost towns preserve the gold rush culture well.

Afterwards you can return to stay at Colorado Springs, where a morning adventure might include a trip up Pike's Peak on the cog railway, or a visit to the Garden of the Gods or US Olympic complex.

Another popular ballooning launch point is Boulder. Boulder has plenty to offer for Colorado trips, but while in the balloon the primary attractions are Estes Park and the front range mountains. Boulder is famous for its Pearl Street mall. Nearby is the Coors Brewery, Red Rocks Amphitheater and many more. Consider visiting a Colorado welcome center for more ideas for Colorado trips after your balloon ride.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Mesa Verde Pueblo Indians

The Mesa Verde National Park was established by Teddy Roosevelt in 1906. It was the first park established more to preserve cultural heritage than to showcase natural resources. The pueblo at Mesa Verde is one of the best preserved pueblos, although the Indians stopped inhabiting the site around 200 years before Columbus first saw the West Indies.

Probably for protection, the pueblo people moved from the cliff tops to inside the cliffs around 1200. They built cities in amazing places. However it is not known if they moved because the protection was no longer necessary, if the ardors of living in a cliff were too much, or they were just following their food supply. The mesa tops were used for farming, while the people lived below. What we do know is that they left Colorado for Arizona and New Mexico, but left behind amazing natural wonders that are a must see for Colorado Vacations.

There are actually several pueblos in the area. The largest is the Cliff Palace, which had over 150 rooms. The area was first found by American settlers in 1888, far after the surrounding areas had been colonized. Cowboys looking for their cattle found the archaeological spot. The cliff dwelling alcove was made out of a natural geologic actions over thousands of years. The cliff is made primarily of sandstone, which water seeps through easily. However there are deposits of shale that trap water. When the water freezes in winter it expands and cracks the rock forming holes or natural caves in the cliff walls. The rocks are fragile and the area is labeled under the strictest standing by the clean air act. This is a higher standard than most cities.

In addition to the large number of rooms, the Cliff Palace at Mesa Verde has 23 ceremonial kivas. Although the society that lived in the cliffs changed or died out, we do know something about their ceremonies. It is possible that more than one community lived in the cliff and that the kivas were like diplomatic areas. The descendants of the cliff dwellers probably became the pueblo peoples of New Mexico.

They took with them the knowledge of adobe building, but built their structures on the flat earth. Both people were primarily farmers who stayed in the same place. They built the structures to house their grains and to protect themselves, unlike the plains Indians of the movies who were nomadic. People coming on Colorado Vacations may expect to see Indians on the site, but all these Indians moved away. The only remaining Indians are the Ute, who operate casinos in southwestern Colorado.

Pike's Peak and the Cog Railway

Pike's Peak is a famous mountain in the Colorado Rockies. Although not the highest peak in Colorado, this mountain is famous because its namesake, explorer Zebulon Pike, claimed that the mountain could never be scaled. After trying to climb the peak in November 1806, he turned back about 2/3 up because of the snow. Even today, the 14ers association does not recommend anyone on Colorado vacations to attempt to scale Pike's Peak without ample mountaineering knowledge and heavy equipment.

By 1820, the mountain had been climbed, however the mystique was etched into Americana. It is completely possible that the Ute Indians had already scaled the mountain because they had a tradition of putting eagle traps on the peaks of high mountains. The area was popular with Indians and trappers for its abundant natural resources. Although not the highest peak, because it is so close to the great plains, Pike's Peak was often the first part of the Rocky Mountains seen by settlers moving west. After the discovery of gold in the Rockies, the popular phrase "Pike's Peak or Bust" was coined.

The mountain became a popular tourist attraction. The creator of the Pike's Peak cog railway was a telegraph inventor. A weather station had been established on the top of Pike's Peak, and Zalmon Simmons took a trip to the top to inspect his materials at the weather station. He loved the views, but was so tired out by the trip he had to relax in one of the local hot springs. These are still popular locations for Colorado Vacations. Supposedly while shooting the breeze in the hot springs someone talked about a railroad to the top and Zalmon loved the idea.

The cog railroad replaced a carriage road that used horses and mules to haul tourists to the top. The railroad was the only avenue for getting to the top until 1915 when the road was improved to allow cars. To encourage auto travel, the Pike's Peak Hill Climb was established, one of the oldest car races in the United States.

The view from Pike's Peak is legendary. Supposedly the "purple mountain majesties" part of America the Beautiful was inspired up top Pike's Peak. There are several different ecologies as one goes up the summit. Each 1000 foot of elevation lowers the average temperatures 3-4 degrees. At the top is tundra, made of hardy grasses an lichens. Few animals can live at these altitudes beyond the yellow bellied marmot and similar adapted mammals.

Red Rocks Amphitheater

The Red Rocks Amphitheater is a unique natural rock theater owned by the city of Denver, Colorado. The red rock is formed by sandstone monoliths over 250 million years old. These giant structures frame the amphitheater and create great acoustics. These are just two of thousands of giant rock structures in the "Garden of Angels."

Used by the Colorado settlers for religious gatherings, and by American Indians for the same purpose before, the natural power of Red Rocks, from a beauty and acoustic standpoint is what sets it apart. In the early 1900's there was a temporary platform for concerts in the area. Although the amphitheater is close to Denver, before cars were common it was quite a hike through the steep rocks.

The actual man-made portion of the theater was constructed during the depression by the CCC and WPA. The project was designed from the outset to not just incorporate natural elements, but emphasize them. Today the two monoliths on the side and one behind the stage still steal the show.

Locals come to exercise on the unique challenge red rocks presents. Try running up the steps a few times and see what the altitude does to you. There is also a Colorado welcome center inside the visitor's center where volunteers will help you plan any trips in the Rockies.

The rock monoliths used to be part of the ocean floor. The park is full of natural history, with fossils of dinosaurs throughout the ages. With heights higher than Niagara falls, this is a truly majestic destination for Colorado trips. Inside the park there are trails where you can wonder along the rock formations. Hiking is not allowed on most rocks to prevent erosion. There is a visitors center however, which tells of the history of Red Rocks, with memorabilia from famous artists who have played there.

This makes Red Rocks a great Colorado trips destination for historical purposes. Nearby the rocks is the gateway to the rockies, with hiking, fishing and skiing. Denver is one of the largest cities in the rockies and has plenty to do with all kinds of relaxing amenities you may want on your Colorado Vacations as well. Common suggestions include visiting the Coors brewery, the Buffalo Bill Museum, or Bandimere speedway.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Colorado Mountain Climbing

Colorado Mountain climbing can be a very dangerous undertaking. There are ways for almost anyone to climb a fourteener. On the other hand people have died from dehydration, altitude sickness, exposure and other problems at lower elevations.

The most important consideration is safety. This may sound like a broken record, but no recreational activity is worth dying over. The weather and conditions on top of a peak can change quickly, so every climber needs to be prepared to turn back if possible. Not scaling a peak does not ruin a Colorado vacation. Getting frostbite does. No serious mountain climber would attempt a summit in stormy weather. The best cure for altitude sickness is to get to lower elevations.

Colorado is a skiing mecca because of the numerous rocky mountain skiing areas. However back country skiing poses numerous dangers. Just like hiking, before going skiing always notify someone of where you will be and at what time you plan on returning. Colorado has more avalanche deaths than any other state, and experience does not make you invincible.

Some new hikers should take mountaineering classes. The Colorado Mountain Club offers such classes. At high altitudes physical conditioning is very important. Just because you think you are fit in Florida does not necessarily mean that your Colorado vacations to 14,000 feet will leave you in the same condition. Most climbs require several hours of climbing up.

Other safety precautions all new climbers on Colorado vacations should take include traveling with experienced climber with maps. Always plan out your day, with and early start and emergency contacts. Long hikes should start before sunrise. Most thunderstorms roll in in the afternoon, so if you can plan your decent before noon you will miss most of the weather.

The forest service offers information on all trail heads. Some are not accessible by car or during certain parts of the year. You need some sort of navigation equipment like a compass or GPS. Then know your route on a map and tell a friend. You should know your Colorado hiking route so well that on the first trip you recognize many landmarks. The forest service should also have information on avalanche dangers in the area.

Some of the gear you will need on a hiking trip include lots of water. A hat to block the sun. Gloves in case you have to climb up cold rocks. Read a hiking guide to see other important survival gear.

Mountain Biking in Summit County

Posted by: Colorado Vacation Blog

If you like thrills and outdoors mountain biking just might be your new favorite hobby. If you have not yet felt the rush of high speeds, fresh mountain air and the blur of trees in your peripherals it is something you can't explain. Summit County, known for its ski resorts and high peaks offers some of the best mountain biking in the whole state of Colorado.

There are two types of mountain biking; single track and downhill. Single track biking involves a dirty "single" path that weaves up and down, back and forth, between amazing scenery usually on a wooded plot of land. Riders usually ride a lighter bike which helps with climbs. Downhill is exactly as it sounds, down hill usually at a ski resort. Riders ride a chair lift or gondola up the ski runs and bike down. Riders usually wear full equipment, a full faced helmet and ride a heavier bike made to take steep slopes and crashes.

A great thing about mountain biking is it can be as difficult or as easy as the rider wants to make it. If you want to go faster you have the ability to choose quicker trails and control your bike to do so. If you want to go slow you can choose an easier route down as well as ride your brakes and ease down the mountain.

There are so many trails to choose from in Summit County all offering spectacular views, new challenges and one hell of a workout. Summit County is so perfect for all riders because of all of the trail systems it offers.

If you are planning Colorado trips and your family enjoys the outdoors and sports, mountain biking is a must! Summers in Colorado bring great weather and beautiful landscapes. Enjoy it all with your family on a bike!

Here are a few places to rent mountain bikes in Summit Count: Alpine Sports (Breckenridge) Pioneer Sports (Frisco) Rebel Sports (Frisco)

Helpful Pointers for Family Vacation Planning

Posted by: Vacation Colorado

One of the most exciting seasons of the year is back to make holiday clubs and beaches jam-packed. Family members, close friends, and couples start off to hunt for airline or cruise tickets the minute the bell rings, the superior to savor the moments of their summer holiday break.

Confident sufficient, this year, a lot more of us are expected to open up our doors, grab our towels and head more than to our favorite or soon-to-be-favored family vacation destinations. But prior to you call your family members and pals and hop on to that SUV or plane, make sure you've got the entire duration of your holidays all organized out.

But don't worry, here are five uncomplicated and valuable suggestions that you can use to program your pressure-free of charge wonderful holiday getaway.

Think of The Amount - Regardless of whether we like it or not, dollars is a big portion of holiday getaway preparing. You'll require dollars for transportation, for accommodations, food and for the actions you wish to engage oneself in. So prior to anything else, believe of the quantity that you would like to devote on your family Colorado vacation. The last thing you want is to overspend on your holiday and drive yourself mad worrying about how to pay for your added debts later. Test to establish a price range that you believe you can work your way close to on.

Further more, try to devote time researching to get some discounts and packages that can make you save excess pennies. A 10% or 20% discount would actually count a lot, and be utilised for those more mojitos or a room upgrade.

Find the Right DESTINATION: After establishing how very much you can commit for your next getaway, you need to know very first in which you want to go. Ask your trip companions what they want to do, and from there select the suitable destination for your holiday getaway. Does everybody want to get a tan and sand in their toes, or instead pay a visit to museums that bring you back to ancient times? Choose the position wherever most of your companions will appreciate, or maybe you can come across a location where everybody's requires are met. Study ahead of time on your chosen holiday spot and take down notes on the things you can do in the area.

Hope for the very best, anticipate the worst- This is the component wherever you truly begin to program your vacation such as activities, food and shopping spree and trips close to the locality. Research on the factors you can do approximately the region beforehand. Out of your total budget, allocate particular amounts for every activity. It is wise to set tiny-added quantities for each activity just in case you may well will need them.

Take a Vacation Insurance policy: You don't know when take a trip insurance coverage may possibly come handy. As a lot as we wanted to relax and have a getaway, at times circumstances occur wherein we have to have to cancel our trip. And in such instances, journey insurance policy will be really efficient. Holiday insurance provides travelers a reimbursement for canceled airline tickets that were booked online, the protection of your luggage in circumstance it gets lost or damaged, and medical assistance whilst traveling far from your domicile. Note: Make guaranteed you deal with reputable journey insurance policy businesses to prevent having scammed, and write down the hotline numbers to effortlessly get in touch with them in circumstance of emergencies.

What to bring: This is the final and possibly the most non-complicated component of your Colorado vacation planning. Just think about the spot in which you're going and the points you'll be doing there and using that as you're basis prepare your should-haves. Be witty though and make confident you don't over pack. Airline costs for excess baggage could possibly trigger you a lot, not to mention the stress that dragging all-around a big trunk brings.

For more Vacation Articles: Planning Your Family Vacation | Colorado Family Vacation Help

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

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Mining and Gambling: Black Hawk Colorado

Black Hawk is a tiny town in the Colorado Rockies. It is one of Colorado's oldest towns, but the reason it is famous today is because it is one of the few places in Colorado that allow gambling. Nestled in a canyon, the first settlers came after a prospector found gold in the canyon in 1859. The population swelled, but few found gold, and the settlement was more like a string of camps.

First called mountain city, Black Hawk's history make it a prime destination for a Colorado vacation. The boom quickly subsided and the town turned to laboring in the mines. Black hawk became known as the city of mills because of the stream running through town that was used to drive water wheels and sift gold ore. Many mines sent their ore to Black Hawk to be milled.

When visiting mines be careful. Never visit an abandoned mine. These mine shafts do not go horizontally into the mountain. Gold is forced up through natural processes which means that mine shafts go straight down, often more than a thousand feet. There are also thousands of mining claims. Most have been capped but not all.

As the mining petered out and new mining techniques no longer needed water power, Black Hawk's population and relevance decayed. Historical district laws were passed, but without employment many Black Hawk natives moved away after the automobile made travel easier. As the city moved away from mining, tourist activities like hiking and skiing took over.

The town continued to decay until the early 90's, when the state legislature legalized gambling in Black Hawk and Central City. Now the town is a popular location for Colorado trips. The casinos are popular because they are smaller and more intimate than the ones in Las Vegas.

For those looking to plan a Colorado vacation in the casino towns you should call ahead for lodging reservations. The towns are in a narrow gulch with little room. Most of the room is taken by casinos, although there are a few hotels and bed and breakfasts. Over the years, the mining town turned to gambling and tourism between a brief dry spell that left the city almost abandoned. Some ghost towns are excellent for Colorado trips however. The other legalized gambling spots in Colorado are Central City and Cripple Creek, both a few hours from Colorado Springs.

Monday, August 23, 2010

Hike to Sky Pond in Rocky Mountain National Park

Posted by: Colorado Trips

Most places in the Colorado mountains offer great sites to see for hiking. Trails range in difficulty and elevation. The challenge of hiking a "13er" or "14er" can be accomplished all across the state of Colorado. Here is a link to Rocky Mountain National Park for hiking guides.

Friday, August 13, 2010

Visit The Stanley Hotel in Estes Park

Posted by: Colorado Vacations

The Stanley Hotel is a 138-room Georgian hotel in Estes Park, Colorado. Located within sight of the Rocky Mountain National Park, the Stanley offers panoramic views of the Rockies. It was built by Freelan O. Stanley of Stanley Steamer fame and opened on July 4, 1909, catering to the rich and famous, including the Titanic survivor Margaret Brown, John Philip Sousa, Theodore Roosevelt, the Emperor and Empress of Japan, and a variety of Hollywood personalities.[2]

The Stanley Hotel also hosted Stephen King, inspiring him to write The Shining. Contrary to information sometimes published, King was living in Boulder at the time and did not actually write the novel at the hotel. Parts of the mini-series version of The Shining were filmed there, although it was not used for Stanley Kubrick's cinematic version. The hotel and its surrounding lands are listed on the National Register of Historic Places. [ Read more about The Stanley Hotel ]

View more Colorado things to do

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Colorado Mining History and Historical Mines

In the summer of 1849 a party of seven Georgians were taking a herd of thoroughbred horses across the continent to California. Reaching the mountains too late in the fall to effect a safe crossing with their stock, they established a winter camp at the junction of Cherry Creek and Platte River, on the present site of the city of Denver, and during the fall occupied themselves in prospecting the gravels along Cherry Creek, but they did not penetrate into the mountain canyons for fear of the Indians. Gold in quantities sufficient to awaken their hopes was found at several places, particularly at a point 16 miles upstream.

With the arrival of spring they proceeded to California, where for several years they engaged in mining, but in 1857 they sold out their interests in California and returned to Georgia. Before separating it was agreed among several of them that in the near future they would form a prospecting party to go to the Rocky Mountains and search for gold. In May, 1858, the original seven and four others met in St. Louis, and in August they reached the present site of Denver, where they established a camp and began prospecting. According to Rickard, one of these parties followed Boulder Creek up to the forks, finding small amounts of gold. Another party proceeded across the ridges to Fall River and Spring Gulch. They did not descend into the valley of North Clear Creek at that time but crossed Quartz Hill and found rich gravel at Russell Gulch, named after its discoverer, W. Green Russell. As it was too near winter to begin mining, the prospectors returned to their camp at Cherry Creek. Six of the party went east to obtain provisions, returning in the spring of 1859.

By the fall of 1858 rumors of the gold discoveries had reached eastern Kansas. The East and especially the Middle West was still suffering from the effects of the financial panic of 1857, and this fact undoubtedly accounted in a measure for the enthusiasm with which any plan that promised to revive fallen fortunes was received. Prospectors in large numbers traveled to the new gold field, which became generally known as the Pikes Peak field. The town at the mouth of Cherry Creek, on the present site of Denver, was named Auralia, and there in 1858 wintered a considerable number of people disappointed at the small findings of gold in that vicinity and ready to stampede to any field of new discovery. At the foot of the mountains, where now stands the town of Golden, three prospectors camped for the winter.

One of these men, George A. Jackson, a native of Missouri, penetrated into the mountains during the winter of 1858 and discovered the hot soda springs near the present site of the town of Idaho Springs, and shortly afterward, on January 7, 1859, he washed fine gold from the gravels bordering Chicago Creek near its mouth. A monument now marks the site of his discovery. The news of Jackson's find and the display of his gold at Auralia, where he offered it in payment for tools and supplies, precipitated a rush of prospectors to the mountains and resulted in the spring of 1859 in the discovery of gold at many other places.

Once word spread, people came all over the Rockies in droves. Many of these locations are now popular destinations for Colorado trips. People were willing to brave harsh alpine conditions for gold.

Among those who joined in this rush was John Hamilton Grergory, a native of Georgia, who followed up North Clear Creek. On May 6 Gregory made the first lode discovery in the Rockies, on the lode that bears his name (on Gregory No. 5 claim), between the present sites of Blackhawk and Central City. Other prospectors coming up North Clear Creek soon learned of his discovery, and the news spread and occasioned another rush, many hastening across the hills from Cherry Creek and from the Jackson "diggings," on South Clear Creek. Gregory sold his two claims for $21,000 in the summer of 1859 and soon afterward left the district.

Some of these historical towns are still thriving up in the rockies. Idaho Springs for example is more than just a pit stop up in the mountains. But many towns are now ghost towns. Visiting historical towns is a great way to preserve history during a Colorado vacation.
Source for mining history:

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Mountain Biking in Colorado

Posted by: Colorado Vacations

If you enjoy to go mountain biking, you need to go in beautiful Colorado. There are hundreds of thousands of moutain bike trails spreading through Colorado. Whether you are a beginner or an expert you will be sure to find a challenging trail in Colorado. Check out for a list of trails.

Her is another great site for mountain bike trails in Colorado: (MORE Colorado Vacation ideas)

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Planing A Family Vacation

posted by: Colorado Trips

Everyone loves the thought of a family vacation. At least it starts out that way! If you're thinking back to a bad experience you have had on a family vacation, we've all been there. I'm guessing the trip went wrong because it was either poorly planned, too long or the trip was full of arguments. I can't help with the last one; however here are a few tips to help you plan a great family trip in the future:

1.) Plan accordingly! There is more to planning a family vacation than just picking a destination, hotel and flight. You should really think about the time of year you are traveling. What is the climate like in this area during that time of year? Will the climate prevent you from doing some of the things your family will want to do? You should also think about the cost of everything in the area you are traveling. Even if you are going to a nice place, if you cannot afford to go to a few restaurants, buy any souvenirs or take part in the amenities in the area, your vacation might be a little boring.

Have you thought about events for the whole family? If you have children more than a few years apart, do you have a few events planned that everyone will enjoy? Will your 17 year old like going to the petting Zoo like your 5 year old will?

2.) Check out reviews before you leave. It's easy to get to a destination and ask someone where a good place to eat is or what a fun activity to do is but they might be a little bias depending on who you ask. It's a good idea to read reviews of places you are thinking about going before you leave so you can get a good idea of what to expect. Sometimes you can find out way more about a place from reviews than just how good the food was.

3.) How long are you going for? Sometimes family trips can be too long or too short. Time should be considered in all planning. If you are driving, think about the amount of time spent in the car. Will you remember how awful the drive was or the great things you saw or did on the way to break up the drive? If you are going to a place far away, are you staying enough days to enjoy the destination or are you spending more days traveling?

If you are going to a destination with little to do, make sure not to stay too long. You and your family could get bored if you are there too long without anything to do.

4.) Pack accordingly! "What's the boy scout motto" my dad would always ask whenever we were packing for a trip. The answer of course "Always be prepared" we would mutter. The fact is its true... you would not want to spend a week somewhere without the appropriate clothing. It would be a shame to miss out on something for this reason. Buying clothing on a trip because you have to and not because you want to isn't fun either.

For more helpful tips on planning a family vacation, Google "Family Vacation Planning" and you will find a ton of helpful resources. If you are thinking about taking a Colorado Vacation, check out Colorado Things to Do

Article Source:

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Colorado Casinos

Colorado had indian gaming long before it passed a limited stakes gambling bill in 1991 that allowed limited stakes gaming ($5 maximum bet limit) in the historic gold mining towns of Blackhawk, Central City and Cripple Creek.

In the beginning everything seemed good natured about preserving the historic districts and bringing in an economy. Well there certainly is an economy there now but many will question how much history has been preserved within.

olorado casino gambling is growing by leaps and bounds. There is fresh news about Colorado gambling everyday. There is always expansion in one of the gaming towns someway or another.

Already in 2004 we have seen the opening of two casinos in Cripple Creek – the Gold Creek Casino and the Wild Horse Casino.

There are now rumors of a new Indian Casino, first dubbed "The Cheyenne Apache Homecoming Project," moving it sights to Central City as that town begins to finish up their direct exit off of Interstate 70.

Harveys Wagon Wheel Hotel & Casino has long since become Fortune Valley Hotel & Casino.

The Isle of Capri Hotel & Casino has now purchased Colorado Central Station and is currently building a new hotel and parking garage between the two which current rumor has including a pedestrian bridge to link everything together.

Black Hawk and Central City are right next to each other. Cripple creek is the other state-licensed gambling area. The other two casinos in Colorado are on Ute Reservations. Colorado gambling is a completely different experience than Las Vegas. The casinos are usually smaller, more intimate and in historic buildings. Visiting one of these casino areas can be a great place to start a Colorado Vacation.

Black Hawk, "The City of Mills," is one of Colorado’s oldest cities, one of a number of towns that grew up in "Gregory’s Gulch," the narrow ravine where Georgia prospector John H. Gregory first discovered lode gold in the western part of Kansas territory in 1859. Within months, thousands of would-be miners poured into the gulch, hoping for more big strikes like Gregory’s. A few found bonanzas, many found paying claims, but the great majority either moved elsewhere to try their luck or, proclaiming the whole "Pike’s Peak Gold Rush" a hoax, went back to their settled lives in the States.

Mountain City was the first name given to the ragged string of camp-like settlements, but as the boom subsided and the hard work of extracting the gold began, the remaining population began to coalesce into more organized townsites. Lying up the gulch to the west was Nevada – also known as Nevadaville or bald Mountain. Below it was Central City, and further down, where the gulch flowed into the North branch of Clear Creek, was established Black Hawk Point. Most accounts insist the name came from an early "stamp" mill brought in from Rock Island, IL and named for the famous Indian chief.

The mountain cities requested that gambling be legalized in their areas to help preserve their historic towns from today. Now the Colorado casino areas are restored and are great for Colorado trips. This information came from

Friday, July 23, 2010

Skiing in Aspen, CO

Posted by: Colorado Trips

We found this great video about downhill skiing in the Aspen - Snowmass area:

If you are thinking about taking a Colorado vacation, skiing in Aspen, CO is a very fun activity or the whole family.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Farmer's Markets and Local Colorado Produce

Colorado Farmers' Markets take pride in bringing you locally grown vegetables, meats, fruits, flowers, plants, gourmet cheeses and wines sold by the farmers that produce them. While you're purchasing your fresh vegetables and fruits (many of them organically grown) enjoy a tasty pastry from a local bakery or a meal created by local chefs.

Visitors to both of our Farmers' Markets will find a wide variety of fresh Colorado-grown produce suited to their personal choices. We have farmers who use conventional methods of growing, and those who are certified organic growers. All items marketed as ``organic" have been grown on farms that are certified by the State of Colorado. In addition to the traditional vegetables that you might expect to find at the Market, many unique items are also offered, such as golden beets, white eggplant, purple beans, seedless yellow watermelon, and European lettuces. Farmers from Western Slope orchards make the trip each week to share their beautiful tree-ripened fruits.

In addition to high-quality produce, customers can also find fresh and dried flowers, bedding plants, corn stalks and Indian corn for fall decorating, homemade scented soaps, pot-pourri, wreaths, and other farm-oriented crafts. Rounding out the ``earthy" selections are farm-fresh eggs, honey, roasted chilies, and prepared food and drinks.

The idea of a Farmer's Market is as old as time. In times past, markets were the centers of towns and villages, the place people gathered to buy or barter goods and services and to catch up on village news. Today, Farmer's Markets are thriving throughout the country, providing quality produce fresh from the field, preserving local farms, revitalizing downtown areas and creating a social opportunity for city and country folks to come together.

The Boulder and Longmont Farmers' Markets have followed suit and are a vital part of our community. Visiting a farmer's market is also a great things to do in Colorado Springs. Shopping at the market is an enjoyable activity that brings the community together for food and friendship. It is an educational opportunity for many, in that young and old alike can learn directly from farmers and other experts about growing practices, crop seasons, and cooking tips. And finally, it is a statement that consumers make with their dollars that local agriculture and family farms are an important part of our past, present, and future.

Farmers' Markets are not only Meccas of fresh produce, with all the vendors and entertainment, they are a great place to bring the family too. You can pick from something to eat there and relax in the sunshine. This is a must see for any Colorado Vacation. My source for this market information is

Monday, July 19, 2010

Colorado Mountains: Skiing or Snowboarding?

In the days of rope-tows and T-bars, there was little in the way of choice. You had skis, you went downhill. Nowadays, choices abound—not only among resorts and terrain, but among the very thing you stand on to go downhill. Should you ski, or should you snowboard? Both have their own benefits. Ask anybody on the slopes and they’ll say it comes down to a matter of style. In fact, the whole debate has caused a bit of a friendly rivalry between to the two sets. So which is right for you? We tracked down a skier and snowboarder, and asked them to describe the benefits of each sport. In the end, we found that they did agree about one thing: no matter how you do it, nothing beats carving powder.

We had a brief conversation with both a snowboarder and a skier to get their views on what is the perfect way to enjoy a
Colorado Vacation. The styles may be different but both love the slopes.

Why do you ski? What’s the draw?
Just getting outside, hanging out with friends and the adrenaline of it—it’s still fun after all this time.

So why is snowboarding not your style?
I grew up skiing and I like the speed of skiing. You can go a little faster I think. That’s the biggest reason for me. It’s just being able to go fast. Plus I grew up doing it so there’s no learning curve with something new.

Have you ever tried snowboarding?

Did you like it?
It’s OK, it’s a different feeling you know. I used to run a snowboarding shop and I got into it a little bit then, but it just wasn’t my cup of tea.

What’s more your speed: moguls, bowls, corduroy? What do you like?
Probably bowls the most.

And why is skiing not your style?
Because it’s nothing like surfing (laughs). I like how snowboarding allows you to float on the, there’s no risk of getting carried away by a shark (laughs).

Did you used to ski? What made you switch over?
A couple times to meet boys in high school. I’ve been snowboarding for 15 years.

What’s more your speed: carving through powder or playing around at a terrain park?
Oh, powder. Again, its the whole surfing feeling. I like to fly off jumps, but at this point in my life, nothing’s more enjoyable than that feeling in powder.

What mountains do you like to ride on?
The Rockies. No specific resorts, they all offer something spectacular and something different. I love variety and I love the different types of people at each one. And I love the different kinds of terrain. Variety is good.

Either way you choose, the Rockies are an amazing destination for skiing and snowboarding. Some ski slopes even have half-pipes, snow tubing and bobsleds. Research which ski or snowboard style you prefer when choosing a slope for your Colorado Vacation.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Awesome Music Venues in Denver

Posted by: Colorado Vacations

Do you like going to see your favorite artists perform live at venues all over the country? If you are anything like me, seeing a band live makes or breaks my experience and passion for a band. I have a huge respect for bands that sound great when they perform live, entertain the crowd and make me want to see them again. The problem is when I see a band that I like their music and they do not sound good, they are not entertaining, I end up not liking them anymore. I also think the venue makes a big difference as to how the bands perform. If you see a show at a fun venue, chances are the bands you see there will perform at the top of their game. All this being said, here are a few of my favorite venues in Colorado that are worth making a trip to check out your favorite bands:

1.) Red Rocks Amphitheatre - Morrison, CO
One of the top places to watch a show in Colorado is definitely Red Rocks. This killer venue has brought such acts as The Beatles, the Rolling Stones, the Grateful Dead, Dave Matthews Band, Phish, the Eagles and Rush. Many bands use this unique venue to record their shows for CD's or DVD's. Red Rocks has also been noted as a top venue in the United States. Pollstar magazine has awarded Red Rocks the best small outdoor venue a record 12 times. The unique rock formations, beautiful views of Denver and small venue atmosphere makes this venue a must see for any vacation! []

2.) Folsom Field - Boulder, CO
Can you think of a better place to see a show than Boulder, CO? With the mountains in the horizon, this football stadium attracts some great talent to the University of Colorado campus regularly. Some of Folsom's biggest attractions includes The Who, Paul McCartney, The Beach Boys & the Rolling Stones. Although the seating in the venue makes you feel close to the entertainment, the stadium can seat over 50,000 people for a great show. If you are looking at traveling to see your favorite band, make sure you check the lineup at Folsom Field.

3.) The Ogden Theatre
Located on Colfax Avenue, the Ogden Theatre sits in the heart of Denver. A great feature about this small venue is the seating is all general admission. This keeps tickets at an affordable price and allows you to get as close to the band as desired; if you show up early you can be in the front row. With its rich history and great acoustics, bands enjoy booking shows at the Ogden. []

4.) The Fillmore Auditorium
Another great venue in Denver and one you won't forget! Originally converted in 1969, The Fillmore offers great seating for top performers to private parties and serves as Denver's largest indoor venues. A unique aspect of the venue is the drop down seating; as you walk into the main level the stage is a few stories below. []

If you are planning Colorado trips, make sure to visit one of these top music venues in the Denver area!

Saturday, July 10, 2010

How To Taste Colorado Wine

Not a wine connoisseur just yet? Here’s all you need to know to get started.

The equipment:Clear, stemmed wineglasses, preferably ones that slant inward at the rim.
  • Pitcher of water for rinsing.
  • Bucket for spitting (not considered impolite at a tasting) or for dumping excess wine.

  • Cubes of bread to clear the palate between wines.

  • Notebook and pen for recording impressions as you taste.

  • The steps:

    • Starting with the lightest wine, pour no more than an inch into each glass.

    • Hold it up to the light to look at the opacity and color. (Hint: White wines gain color as they age; red wines lose color.)

    • Holding the stem, not the bowl, gently swirl the wine. With your nose right over the opening of the glass, inhale lightly to get an initial impression of the aroma, then stick your nose right into the glass and inhale deeply. Try to relate the aroma with a fruit, plant or spice.

    • Take a small sip and let the wine flow over your tongue. Open your lips slightly and draw in a bit more air and “chew" the wine so that it touches all taste buds.

    • Swallow the wine and consider how long its taste lingers (this is called the wine’s “finish").

    • Dump out the remainder, rinse your glass and proceed to the next heaviest wine.

    • Make notes not just of the color, aroma and finish but how well you actually like the wine.
    Wine tasting need not be a haughty venture. The most important fact is how much you liked the wine. Some wines go better with food. Ask the people at the winery what parings they recommend. Often the winery will have some cheeses to try with the wines. Some wines go best with heavy meats or something exotic. Remember which ones you like! There are so many wines to choose from and different wineries, it is a good idea to keep your notes so you will be able to order your favorites later, or buy a few to bring with you on your Colorado Vacation.

    According to the Colorado Wine Industry Development Board, 85 percent of Colorado’s vineyard acreage is planted in premium vitis vinifera varietals, with merlot accounting for nearly one-fifth of that amount. Here is what Colorado vineyards are planting:

    • Merlot, 19.3%

    • Cabernet Sauvignon, 18.6%

    • Syrah, 15.4%

    • Chardonnay, 11.3%

    • Riesling, 8.5%

    • Cabernet Franc, 7.1%

    • Viognier, 2.9%

    • Gew├╝rtztraminer, 2.4%

    • Sauvignon Blanc, 2.4%

    • Pinot Noir, 2.3%

    • Other, 10%
    As you can see, there is a great range of creative wines being produced in Colorado. Going on a wine tasting or Colorado winery tour can be great additions to Colorado Trips. To find out more on wines, visit my source

    Friday, July 9, 2010

    Colorado Brewpubs and other Exciting Culinary Expeditions

    If you like beer, you’ll love Colorado. Colorado has more breweries per capita than any other state in the U.S. And, we’ve been brewing beer since the 1800s. In addition to major breweries, Colorado also has one of the largest concentrations of microbreweries (producing specialty beers in smaller quantities) in the nation, with more than 100 located throughout the state. Most of the breweries offer tours of their facilities as well as beer tastings. The Great American Beer Festival, the largest domestic beer festival in the United States is held each year in Denver.Pair your beer with some of Colorado's best food. Many breweries in Colorado are brewpubs as well. They often have unique creations made just for (or sometimes out of) their beers. A brewery with food is a good place to start Colorado trips. You can enjoy Colorado's history, artistry and tastes at the same time at these breweries. Edible artistry crafted from the ovens and minds of award-winning chefs, malt vinegar stains on wax paper in a basket of beer-battered fries and melt-in-your-mouth sirloin completely encompasses your plate — these are the many sides of Colorado cuisine. From euro-styled fare, to a dipping sauce for every fry, Colorado’s culinary prowess knows no palate it can’t please. Whether it’s a hotdog at a baseball game or a seven-course meal in a five-star resort, your stomach will thank you.

    Another great idea to pair food and fun is to take a old-time train ride. Each year, more than 100,000 guests take a leisurely ride aboard Colorado's first and most scenic streamliner - the Royal Gorge Route Railroad. This grand Colorado train takes guests on an epic and culinary adventure along the legendary Arkansas River deep within the granite cliffs of the Royal Gorge. Choose classic coach and vista dome seating with ala carte fare, or inspired, seasonal menus paired with sommelier-appointed wine lists on Royal Gorge Route’s award-winning lunch train, wine train, dinner train and murder mystery train.

    To learn more about Colorado Vacations you can go to my source
    They have listing for all kinds of Colorado eateries, as well as suggestions on things to do.

    Tuesday, July 6, 2010

    Kayaking in Colorado

    Posted by: Colorado Trips

    If you've wanted to feel the rush of whitewater, kayaking in Colorado is the way to do it. Dvorak's is a dedicated kayaking outfitter since 1969.

    Thousands of paddlers have come to Dvorak’s learning basic white water rafting and kayaking skills, taking on progressively greater challenges and achieving their own personal goals through our professional, personalized instruction. Our instructors have hundreds of hours of teaching and have run thousands of miles on our rivers and know what and how to communicate with those learning rafting, kayaking and canoeing. You can also choose the craft of your choice be that kayak, raft or canoe or all three! Our instructors are happy to share with you their knowledge about the most efficient techniques and important judgment calls you need to know to be a safe and proficient boater.

    For more information about Dvorak's kayaking, check out their website

    Friday, July 2, 2010

    Colorado Wine Tours

    Wine may not be the first thought that comes to mind when someone mentions Colorado, but the dedicated vintners in this region are working to change that.

    The climate is tough on the grapes and the soil can be unfriendly with plenty of clay to keep water from penetrating through to the deep grape vine roots. All this is incidental to the new breed of winemakers forging a name for their wines in the international wine world.

    During the past 25 years the number of Colorado wineries has grown from one to more than 50... and there's more where they came from. Along with the increase in numbers comes an increase in experience that makes for better grape harvests and higher quality wines.The premium grape and fruit wines produced by Colorado wineries have begun to bring home the acclaim and awards in national and international competitions that they've earned.

    While it’s been a longtime secret amongst connoisseurs, now everyone is learning that Colorado makes great wines. With its low humidity, warm days, cool nights and high elevation, Colorado has the perfect climate for producing premium wines. And with numerous national and international awards to its credit, everyone seems to be taking notice. There are more than 90 wineries located on the Colorado Wine Trail. From the Grand Valley (Palisade and Grand Junction) to the West Elks (Hotchkiss and Paonia) to the Front Range (Boulder, Denver, Loveland), Colorado’s wine country makes for a perfect escape. Most wineries, like the more than dozen located in Palisade, offer tours, tastings and scenic picnics in the vineyards throughout the year. Much like the rest of Colorado, you’ll find its wineries to be friendly, laid back and a great place to discover new things.

    Wineries are a great place to relax. Most wineries have a tasting room as well as snacks. Some pair with local cheese producers to have great gourmet cheeses to compliment their wines. Visiting a winery can be a great thing to do in Colorado, and some wineries even have restaurants so you can take the whole family for lunch or dinner.

    To find out more on Colorado Vacations you could visit the sites I got the source information from. They are and

    Colorado is not yet famous for wine, but its good weather and laid back people make visiting a vineyard a great stop for a Colorado Vacation.

    Thursday, July 1, 2010

    Planning A Colorado Family Vacation

    One of my fondest memories growing up was taking family vacations to Colorado. It wasn't the actual events of the trip that made the trips so much fun; it was all of the nonsense along the way. Sure I remember how amazed I was at the size of the mountains, how great the resorts were and I loved always getting souvenirs but that isn't what made the vacation so great. All of the time I spent with my family on the road is what I remember and the memories made along the way. Now sure everyone may not be like me and they remember the destinations they went, the sights they saw and the activities they did. Regardless of what you remember, everyone will be planning a vacation in the near future so I thought I would put together a few tips. Here are some things to remember when planning your next family vacation:

    Plan things to do in the Car
    One thing you have to remember when taking a road trip is the amount of time you will be spending in the car. Do you have fun places to stop along the way or do you need to plan activities to help pass the time? If you are spending hours on the road at a time, think of fun games you can play with the people you are traveling. Think about games that do not require a board or pieces. Card games work out quite well if you have a box or something you can play your cards into. One thing that always passed the time for us was telling stories. Have you tried a book on tape yet? You will be amazed at how into a book on tape your family will get. Regardless of what you do, remember to plan activities for the car ride!

    Study up on your Surroundings
    If you are going to take a trip with your family and spend hours in a car, you might as well make it educational right? There are plenty of ways you can do this without having it be awful for the kids. Study up on your surroundings whether it be the history of even the geology of the areas you are driving through. People seem to remember things when they can associate facts with something they can actually see. Not only will it help pass the time it will help your children learn too.

    Double check your Vehicle
    There is nothing worse than having car trouble on your road trip. Being stuck on the side of the road or at a mechanic's shop can delay or even make you miss planned activities. Make sure your car is in good shape, has a new oil change and is capable of handling the road on your trip whatever the conditions may be.

    Plan for your Pet
    Since they do not have the ability to plan themselves, make sure you plan for your pet. Where are you staying overnight? Are you staying in a hotel or campground? Do they accept pets? Also remember pets like familiar atmospheres so bring toys and a blanket from home so your pets have a something they are familiar with.

    If you would like more information on taking a road trip to Colorado, check out the vacation guide: Colorado Vacation. There are so many great things to do, you can't go wrong planning a Colorado Trip.

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