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9 Amazing Things to Do in Colorado That You Won't Find in a Guidebook

Colorado Insider Guides
by Annabelle Needles May 17, 2017

Eat dinner at a mortuary.

Grab a Thai Collins or a 5 Spice Old Fashioned at Linger, on the rooftop deck of what was Olinger Mortuary. This restaurant serves vegan and gluten-free global street food, with Happy Hour from 4 to 6:30 pm, Monday through Friday. If you’re not into mortuaries, check out one of Chef Justin Cucchi’s other concepts around Denver, including Ophelia’s Electric Soapbox, an adult book store-turned-music venue and restaurant.

Clear your sinuses in Celestial Seasoning’s Mint Room.

Take a free tour of the Celestial Seasonings factory in Boulder: the factory floor and a visit to the Mint Room, then a tasting room where each of the 105 varieties of Celestial Seasonings tea is available as a free sample. Tours are on the hour from 10 am to 4 pm Monday through Saturday, and from 11 am to 3 pm on Sunday. If you want to see all the machinery in the factory up and running, choose a weekday tour.

Get the best skyline views for cheap.

Get your great mountain views at Coors Field during a Rockies baseball game. Bleachers tickets are as little as $5 for a 360-degree view of the cityscape and the Rocky Mountains. Once you’re inside, head straight to Rio on the Rocks for one of their potent and delicious margaritas. Rio will only sell you 3 per ID during the game.

Cozy up to big horn sheep.

The Colorado Trail runs 486 miles, but you can get a hit of the hike (plus hobnob with bighorn sheep in the area) by heading out from the Waterton Canyon trailhead. The trail follows a river through a canyon, gaining 700 feet of elevation over its 6-mile length. Depending on when you decide to turn back on this out-and-back trail, it will take 2 to 6 hours to hike. Please note: Thanks to the resident sheep, no dogs.

Cruise downtown for bikes and brews.

If there is anything Coloradans love more than beer, it is costumed bike rides. Just ask New Belgium brewery and their annual Tour de Fat celebrations. If you’re visiting Denver in the summertime, find yourself a costume at Goodwill and rent a cruiser from B-Cycle to join up with Denver Cruiser Ride, who’ve done 243 night rides since they launched in 2005. Denver Cruisers are switching from weekly rides to 5 monthly rides. Meet downtown at the Ginn Mill on Wednesdays at 6 pm for drink specials before the 8:15 pm ride.

Jump in glacier water at St. Mary’s.

St. Mary’s Glacier is a perennial snowfield about an hour west of Denver. A three-quarter mile hike uphill takes you to a beautiful mountain lake created by runoff from the glacier. Cool off with a polar plunge at this popular cliff-jumping spot. St. Mary’s Glacier is on private property, so be respectful of the community by parking in the designated paid lots. Five dollars is a small price to pay to help ensure this hike is accessible to your fellow travelers. Enjoy the whistle pigs (marmots), but leave them alone.

Eat peaches in Palisade.

John Harlow first planted peach trees in Palisade in 1882, and the Museum of Western Colorado estimates that the peach has been honored with a festival in the area since the late 1880s. Today, Coloradans will drive hundreds of miles to get their hands on juicy Palisade peaches. Festivities of the annual Palisade Peach Festival in August include orchard tours, a parade, and a peach-eating contest.

Dance with wolves in Divide.

The Colorado Wolf and Wildlife Center — one of the few certified wolf sanctuaries in the United States – lies thirty minutes west of Colorado Springs. They’ve been rescuing wolves since the 1990s, and give one-hour educational walking tours through the sanctuary. After your tour, visit nearby Paradox Brewing Company’s tasting room for a wood-fired pizza and a sour beer.

Race coffins through the streets of Manitou Springs.

In the 1800s, Emma Crawford, a young tuberculosis patient came to Manitou Springs for a cure in the mineral springs found there. She died in 1890, and her family buried her on top of nearby Red Mountain. Twenty years later, the city reburied her coffin on the southern slope. After several years of the harsh mountain weather, the coffin dislodged and Emma’s remains slid down into the town below. There is an annual race in October to celebrate this local history. Teams of four runners escort their coffins (hypothetically containing Emma) through the streets of Manitou Springs to win prizes for both fastest time and costume creativity.

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