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Old 09-20-2010, 06:27 PM
 
92 posts, read 148,713 times
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My wife and I are headed to Denver next weekend (Thursday-Sunday) for some R&R and to watch our Georgia Bulldogs play in Boulder. We're staying at the Ritz downtown and are trying to figure out the best way to spend out Thursday Afternoon and Friday.

We should arrive in Denver around 11:30 and planned to head directly to Rocky Mountain National Park/Estes Park to explore Thursday afternoon. However, the more I thought about it, the more I thought that maybe we should do that on Friday and spend all day in that area as opposed to an afternoon. Red Rocks has been suggested to us as another area to spend some time in and maybe that makes sense for Thursday afternoon. We plan to spend our evenings in downtown Denver.

Any thoughts on the above? We had considered Pikes Peak, but seems like too far of a drive. Is Fort Collins a good destination? Thought about touring New Belgium.

Also, any thoughts on Sushi Den and Vesta Dipping Grill?

Many thanks in advance!

fk
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Old 09-20-2010, 06:37 PM
 
Location: The North
5,065 posts, read 9,041,199 times
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Fort Collins is nice, but more of an evening destination with the restaurants and brewpubs. You really could do that after going to RMNP. As for the park, you'll get there around 1 if your plane lands on time. At this time of year that is enough to get a pretty good feel for it driving around. Main thing is are you going to do some hiking? If so then you need the day, but for just driving around, short walks for taking pictures and going up to the top of the road, you'll only need 3-4 hours and it gets dark around 7. Estes Park is ok, but kind of kitschy tourism more than anything, you probably will like Fort Collins more.

Red Rocks is a good choice anytime you have a couple free hours, just avoid rush hours as getting to or from downtown to there will be rough in traffic. As for the Ritz, its a nice hotel of course, but kind of sketchy neighbors actually with Greyhound across the street. Don't expect too much of it.
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Old 09-20-2010, 06:46 PM
 
92 posts, read 148,713 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Willy702 View Post
Fort Collins is nice, but more of an evening destination with the restaurants and brewpubs. You really could do that after going to RMNP. As for the park, you'll get there around 1 if your plane lands on time. At this time of year that is enough to get a pretty good feel for it driving around. Main thing is are you going to do some hiking? If so then you need the day, but for just driving around, short walks for taking pictures and going up to the top of the road, you'll only need 3-4 hours and it gets dark around 7. Estes Park is ok, but kind of kitschy tourism more than anything, you probably will like Fort Collins more.

Red Rocks is a good choice anytime you have a couple free hours, just avoid rush hours as getting to or from downtown to there will be rough in traffic. As for the Ritz, its a nice hotel of course, but kind of sketchy neighbors actually with Greyhound across the street. Don't expect too much of it.
Thanks for the reply! Perhaps a Friday combination of RMNP and Fort Collins to tour New Belgium?

What is there to do at Red Rocks, other than check out the Amphitheater? Probably an ignorant question, but I honestly have no idea.

Thanks very much!

fk
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Old 09-20-2010, 08:24 PM
 
Location: Omaha Ne
64 posts, read 195,641 times
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well with red rocks you can eat at the restaurant and go on one the of the hiking trails, visit the gift shop, and climb to the top of Red Rocks. FYI park at the top and save your self the walk up lol
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Old 09-21-2010, 09:34 AM
 
Location: Governor's Park/Capitol Hill, Denver, CO
1,536 posts, read 5,504,331 times
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Absolutely go to RMNP on Friday as you will need an early start, mid day is not going to afford you the time to get up there, look around and get back. Red Rocks is really just the ampitheater and will take you about an hour or two to check out, do that on Friday and then take a drive over Lookout Mountain and maybe Central City or Black Hawk for gambling. Or Echo Lake and Mount Evans. Excellent time of year as this weekend and next the Aspen trees are all turning colors!

I highly recommend taking I-70 west to Berthoud Pass into Winter Park. Then Fraizer to Gramby/Grand Lake into RMNP on the west side. Park entrance fee is like $15.00 per car. Go over Trail Ridge Road, the highest high way on the continent and it crosses over the Continetal Divide. Stay on the road and you will end up in Estes Park. From there you can either go east to Loveland and then Fort Collins, or south to Boulder then Denver. I highly recommend the Loveland route to I-25. Fort Collins is a small but pleasant town but wouldn't say it is a tourist destination. This is an all day excursion but one you won't regret doing.

You should also consider a drive to Vail, about 1.5 hours from Denver west up I-70. Colorado Springs is another good day drive to see the Garden of the Gods, Air Force Academy, Cave of the Winds, Seven Falls and Pike's Peak.

Sushi Den has their fish flown in daily and is highly recommended, but it is pricy, which sushi usually is.

Enjoy our city/state!
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Old 09-21-2010, 05:05 PM
 
92 posts, read 148,713 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DenverAztec View Post
Absolutely go to RMNP on Friday as you will need an early start, mid day is not going to afford you the time to get up there, look around and get back. Red Rocks is really just the ampitheater and will take you about an hour or two to check out, do that on Friday and then take a drive over Lookout Mountain and maybe Central City or Black Hawk for gambling. Or Echo Lake and Mount Evans. Excellent time of year as this weekend and next the Aspen trees are all turning colors!

I highly recommend taking I-70 west to Berthoud Pass into Winter Park. Then Fraizer to Gramby/Grand Lake into RMNP on the west side. Park entrance fee is like $15.00 per car. Go over Trail Ridge Road, the highest high way on the continent and it crosses over the Continetal Divide. Stay on the road and you will end up in Estes Park. From there you can either go east to Loveland and then Fort Collins, or south to Boulder then Denver. I highly recommend the Loveland route to I-25. Fort Collins is a small but pleasant town but wouldn't say it is a tourist destination. This is an all day excursion but one you won't regret doing.

You should also consider a drive to Vail, about 1.5 hours from Denver west up I-70. Colorado Springs is another good day drive to see the Garden of the Gods, Air Force Academy, Cave of the Winds, Seven Falls and Pike's Peak.

Sushi Den has their fish flown in daily and is highly recommended, but it is pricy, which sushi usually is.

Enjoy our city/state!
Great, informative reply. Thanks very much for taking the time. Our current plan (and I would love a critique) is as follows:

- Arrive in Denver @ Noon or so on Thursday
- Drive to Fort Collins and tour New Belgium Brewery/Check out Old Towne Fort Collins
- Back to Denver around 6/7pm or so to check into hotel and explore downtown Denver
- Friday leave early for RMNP and will take the route you suggested. Spend a good part of the day there and then maybe hit Red Rocks on the way back in to Denver.
- Friday night eat at Vesta and explore downtown again.
- Saturday leave early for Boulder and explore the Pearl Street area. Obviously Saturday afternoon/evening will be game time.
- Sunday, leave Colorado totally depressed and planning our next trip!

Thanks all!

fk
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Old 09-21-2010, 10:07 PM
 
Location: Governor's Park/Capitol Hill, Denver, CO
1,536 posts, read 5,504,331 times
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If you get the rental car at the airport, take E470 north to I-25 to Fort Collins. E470 is a toll road but they photograph the license plates and mail the bill, so not sure how that works with rental cars - ask the agent at the counter. It will be the fastest way to Fort Collins. Take I-25 back to Denver and use the Park Ave exit to get to your hotel. Call the hotel to let them know you will possibly need a late check-in, just in case there is a sporting event that night. Downtown Denver is very lively at all hours until midnight. Busy all hours on the weekends.

Earlier the better to head for RMNP, however, Red Rocks could be a stop on the way up verses back as you will pass right by it on I-70.

Vesta is a fondue type place, there are many great steakhouses downtown if you want substantial food. Do Snooze for breakfast if the wait is under 30 minutes, Dixon's is a basic American type food, tons of good places on 17th Ave (not 17th Street). The street will turn into the Ave at Broadway. 16th Street Mall is a pedestrian mall with free shuttles running up and down. Larimer Square is a neat place to shop or eat and see some great Victorian buildings. The Hyatt on 15th street has a fantastic view in their bar on the 27th floor, sunset is really cool to watch as it faces west toward the mountains. I like the Cruise Room in the Oxford for a touch of historic Art Deco, or drinks in the Brown Palace. You can easily walk to our State Capitol on Lincoln and Colfax and Civic Center Park is worth a walk through to the Denver Art, but during the day or early evening.

Pearl Street Mall is neat to walk and it is a good length. Tons of places to eat there.

Ask the concierges desk for all directions and maps.

Cheers!
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Old 09-22-2010, 06:31 PM
 
92 posts, read 148,713 times
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So, change of plans. We decided against more driving on Thursday and instead will do a pub/brewery crawl in Denver, hitting Great Divide, Breckenridge and a couple of brew pubs as well. Late dinner at Sushi Den (by taxi).

On Friday, I am going to follow Aztecs advice and take I-70 West of Denver, hitting Red Rocks on the way out of town. Maybe stop in and check out Idaho Springs/Georgetown and then up 40/34 through Granby and Grand Lake into the western entrance of RMNP. Come out the Eastern side and hit Oskar Blues Brewery in Lyons before heading back to Denver for a late dinner.

What do y'all think? We don't have time to do everything, but hopefully this will be hitting at least some of the highlights.

fk
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Old 09-22-2010, 06:50 PM
 
Location: Del Norte NM
529 posts, read 1,165,409 times
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The Fort out towards Morrison is pretty tasty. I suggest the buffalo bone marrow. Yum!
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Old 09-29-2010, 07:28 PM
 
Location: Chandler, AZ
5,802 posts, read 5,432,472 times
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I'm contemplating a visit to Denver over the weekend of October 15th-17th, and was wondering what the weather is typically like at that time of year--best case and worst case scenarios, and the possibility of snow?

Thanks!
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