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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