First let me apologize for the gap between posts. Whether it was settling in back home, the holidays, getting caught up in the ski season, starting a new job, or just the hustle & bustle that comes with everyday life this blog got pushed to the back burner. But not to worry, Denver and Colorado still have plenty to offer and I have certainly been keeping busy. Speaking of keeping busy, here is just a sampling of some of the stories I’ve written for Vail Resort’s Snow Squad Blog.
- I got to interview a Mountain Ambassador from Breckenridge
- I tested out all sorts of new ski gear, including Helly Hansen outwear, Maui Jim sunglasses, and Smartwool ski socks.
- I enjoyed some wonderful festivities in the high country, celebrating St. Patrick’s Day, Fat Tuesday, MLK weekend, and New Year’s.
- I confessed that I’m a chairlift chatterbox and discussed why it’s a good thing.
- I discovered the joys of Beaver Creek Resort for the first time, and continued my love for Summit County ski areas Keystone, Breckenridge, and A-Basin.
- I handed out tips and pointers to deal with Spring skiing conditions, where to relax, and where to watch the sun set over the Rockies.
- I got to see some high-flying action at the Winter Dew Tour, as well as beautiful ice and snow structures at the Ice Castles in Silverthorne.
- I shared some of my favorite EpicMix Pins, as well 10 great outdoor activities perfect for winter.
Now as winter fades away, spring continues in full swing, and summer is coming up on our doorstep, make sure to stay tuned as I’ll have plenty of ideas for events to visit, places to eat, vistas to see, and things to do all around Denver and the surrounding areas. Cheers!
Autumn in the High Country. The aspens are beginning to change colors, the first snow of winter has dusted the mountain tops, and hundreds turned out to celebrate Oktoberfest in Breckenridge! That’s right for two days Breckenridge’s Main Street shut down to host one of Colorado’s best beer festivals. Breckenridge Brewery and Paulaner were on hand to provide several variations of ale and pilsners. Toasted Head Winery rounded out the drink menu by having samplings of some of their most popular bottles. But as much of a draw as well designed steins and enough kegs to criss-cross Colorado with, the biggest draw has to be the wonderful food and atmosphere.
Those Austrian Guys were on hand to get the crowds riled up with traditional Austrian & Bavarian tunes; from polkas to the chicken dance the band was in their element. And the food…don’t get me started, they had everything under the sun. Of course there was the traditional bratwursts, schnitzel, and pretzels. But there were also stands dedicated to turkey legs, funnel cakes, grilled corn and a whole host of other delicious festival food. Sure there was some rain and chilly weather on Saturday, but that didn’t dampen any spirits or keep the crowds away. The one element of Breckenridge’s Oktoberfest that is a bit of a bummer are the long lines to get beer. But, with friends by your side and a whole afternoon to enjoy the festival the lines really aren’t that bad. And you know what they say, “Good things come to those who wait”, Prost!
As Featured on the Downtown Denver Partnership’s Urban Eye Newsletter…
That crazy month of September has rolled around once again, which can only mean one thing: it’s Oktoberfest Season! I’ve come up with this guide to help keep your month long celebration of that golden elixir right on track. Enjoy!
New Belgium’s Tour de Fat
Jump on the bike-loving bandwagon and join fellow pedal-pushers for a ride through the Mile High City. This Saturday, September 10, at 10 a.m. two wheel enthusiasts from all over Colorado will descend on City Park for a celebration of everything Fat Tire! Stick around for live music and theatrics by Dovekins, Daredevil Chicken Club, Yo Yo Squared, and Los Amigos Invisibles. All proceeds from the event to benefit BikeDenver and the Denver Cruisers.
Denver’s Ballpark Neighborhood welcomes back one of the city’s longest running festivals and one of the largest of its kind in the nation! Oktoberfest Denver is ready to commemorate this world-famous and time-honored tradition of German heritage by combining dynamic performance of music and dance, bier-based activities, fireworks, a sausage eating contest and entertainment for all ages. Click here for a special Denver Daily Deal that gets you a commemorative 2011 beer stein and a free refill!
September 16 – 18; 23 – 25
Larimer St between 20th & 22nd
Denver Beer Festival
Heads up! The third annual Denver Beer Fest will be taking place September 23 – October 1, 2011. The nine-day festival presented by VISIT DENVER will include brewery tours, rare beer tastings, beer-paired dinners, “brewer vs. brewer” nights, tappings and a variety of entertaining beer events. For a sneak peek of this festival try to get into the Denver Zoo’s Brew at the Zoo, a sampling gala on September 9th.
September 23 – October 1
Great American Beer Festival
Once again the Great American Beer Festival is coming to Downtown Denver. Held at the Colorado Convention Center, this three day extravaganza of everything beer features hundreds of brewers competing to be the best in America. It also features beer pairings, interviews with brewers, beer tastings and much more!
September 29 – October 1
Breckenridge’s 17th Annual Oktoberfest
Includes a fun-filled weekend of fall foliage, great parties, Paulaner Bier, genuine German cuisine, collectable steins and special accommodation packages. Main Street shuts down for the long weekend as people come from all over to take part in this wonderful end of summer/kick off to fall event. Make sure to get you’re pretzel necklaces and lederhosen, you won’t want to miss the largest Oktoberfest in the Rocky Mountains.
On our final day of traveling we had nothing but time as the Mt. Princeton Hot Springs outside of Buena Vista are a mere two hours away from Dillon in Summit County. Since most of our shoes were still wet from rafting the day before, we decided to kick back and enjoy the hot springs in the warm Colorado sun. Yesterday, afternoon showers had rolled in and provided a cool rinse of light rain to complement the hot springs warm water. Today is much warmer and the Colorado sun is shining bright, so make sure to use that sunblock. After taking a few quick dips, I settled down on a lounge chair and enjoyed my book, “The Ripple Effect” by Alex Prud’homme, which analyzes freshwater usage and supplies in the 21st century. An enjoyable read, I highly recommend it.
Before we pack up and headed back home I took one last dip in the river to cool off. Between the heat of the sun and the heat of the pools, ne of the best way to beat the heat is too lay out in cool Chalk Creek itself. Shortly thereafter we packed up or belongings and enjoyed a picnic lunch before driving north.
Originally our plan was to drive through Fairplay and Alma, eventually reaching Breckenridge before heading over Swan Mountain Road to get home. However, this day was the second to last stage of the epic USA Pro Cycling Challenge, which ended right in the middle of Breckenridge. As much as we would have enjoyed seeing the racers finish in, with more than 50,000 people crammed onto Breckenridge’s streets it would have been a nightmare to drive in and out of the town. So instead we drove the way we came, passing Leadville, Copper, and Frisco along the way. After stocking up for dinner at the local City Market, we arrived home sweet home. Once we unpacked and certainly aired out a week’s worth of dirty laundry, we settled down to enjoy a fine chicken dinner and gaze out at some of the best views this trip. The evening was event topped off with a gorgeous sunset across the High Country Rockies.
Hope you enjoyed this trip as much as I had folks, and if you ever get the chance I highly encourage you to take a trip and explore all of what Colorado has to offer.