Sunday, February 12, 2012


I’ve been to Colorado a few times with friends and for work.  I visited Colorado Springs and Denver and really enjoyed my time there.
Welcome to Colorado sign on the Colorado/New Mexico border.
If you’re into hiking, camping, or skiing, Colorado is for you.  It’s perfect for the adventurous outdoor person.  However, I’m none of those and still had a great time in Colorado so if you’re like me – you’re still in luck.

I attempted to become an outdoor person.  A friend who lived there took me on a hike and despite being in okay shape at the time, I was winded and dizzy within a mile of walking.  An important thing I learned is ALTITUDE is EVERYTHING especially in Denver.  Those of us that live at sea level have a hard time adjusting to the mile high city.  Take it slow!

When I was there for work for a few days, I worked on 16th street in downtown Denver - http://www.denver.org/what-to-do/shopping/detail?memid=2435&k=16th&wc=Shop.  I loved that the street was a pedestrian mall with a free bus shuttle that drove up and down the street stopping at various points along the mile long road.  There were a lot of restaurants to choose from for lunch.

I toured the Boulder area and the Celestial Seasonings Tea Company Headquarters - http://www.celestialseasonings.com/tours. 

Found Picture Online
It was AWESOME!  You can try various teas for free while waiting for your tour to begin.  During the tour, they’ll take you into the room where they keep all the peppermint – it will CLEAN YOUR SINUS!! WOW!  It was really neat seeing all the ingredients for my favorite tea being mixed.  After the tour, they gave us samples to take home and we could purchase any kind of tea or tea brewing tool in their gift shop.  While I was at the tea company, one of my friends checked out the Budweiser Brewery Tour - http://www.budweisertours.com/z01/index.php/fort-collins/overview.  He said it was really informative and of course he liked the free sample at the end.

If I was to go back to Denver, I’d really like to check out the Hammonds Candy Factory - http://www.hammondscandies.com/factory-tours-parties.  I’ve heard it’s a fun traditional hard candy factory, but recently I saw that it made it on the Travel Channel’s list of top 10 fun food factories.  Cool!

Picture From Their Website
I stopped by the state capitol, however, I’d also like to check out the state capitol tour to see inside - http://www.colorado.gov/dpa/doit/archives/cap/first.htm, and the US Mint there - http://www.usmint.gov/mint_tours/?action=startReservation.  Both are free tours and on many lists of top attractions in the Denver area.
Colorado Capital Building
I’d like to visit the Red Rocks Park and Amphitheater - http://www.redrocksonline.com/ as well.  The amphitheater hosts concerts and plays through out the year.  It’s a pretty cool view too.
Picture Found Online
If I handled the altitude better, I’d like to check out the Mount Evans Scenic Byway that climbs up to 14,000 ft above sea level.  The pictures look breathtaking - http://byways.org/explore/byways/2112.  It’s the highest paved highway in North America!

Colorado Springs
I visited the Focus on the Family Headquarters - http://www.focusonthefamily.com/about_us/welcome-center.aspx.  Focus on the Family is a global Christian ministry dedicated to helping families thrive.  That being said, their headquarters is geared toward the family and has tons of activities for them for example, an ice cream shop.  They also have a great gift shop as well.

My friends and I took the Pike’s Peak Cog Railway to the top of Pike’s Peak- http://www.cograilway.com/.  Its 8.9 miles to the peak and a round trip lasts 3 hours and 10 minutes.  In that time, the train takes you from 6,000 ft to 14,000 ft above sea level.  It’s probably helpful if you sit facing the direction the train is going and just take it easy as the train gets higher.  This is especially true when you eventually reach the top.  Again, altitude is everything.  You can also drive up the mountain, but I wouldn't suggest it because of the altitude.

Friends and I at the Pike's Peak! Picture taken by fellow tourist.
The view from the peak.
Cars that drove up to the peak
Our train and the view from the peak.
 I visited the Garden of the Gods - http://www.gardenofgods.com/home/index.cfm.  It was amazing how these rock formations just jut out of the earth.  One of my friends was proposed to there a week prior to my visit and once I visited it, I totally understood why her husband had proposed there – so beautiful and majestic.  By the way, you can see Pike’s Peak from there.
Garden of the Gods from the Visitor Center.
Photo taken by a friend while I "held" part of the Garden of the Gods.
Lastly, I also went spelunking in the Cave of the Winds - http://caveofthewinds.com/.  It’s probably the most outdoorsy I’ve ever been.  I thought it was fun, neat, and informative, but I’d never do it again.  I don’t like caves, bugs, or darkness.  I believe we took the Lantern Tour, which is a 1.5 hour trek through the caverns.
These are just some of the many things to do in Colorado.  If you know of anywhere else in Colorado we should check out, please leave a comment below.  It’s amazing what you’ll find just round the corner.

Next week: Connecticut.

**Pictures taken by me if not other wise noted **

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