Frommer's Denver, Boulder & Colorado Springs

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  • Our author, a longtime resident of Denver, hits all the highlights, from the U.S. Mint in Denver to Boulder's Pearl Street pedestrian mall. He's checked out all the city's best hotels and restaurants in person, and offers authoritative, candid reviews that will help you find the choices that suit your tastes and budget.
  • You'll also get up-to-the-minute coverage of shopping and nightlife; in-depth coverage of nearby ski resorts; detailed walking tours; accurate city maps; advice...
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Overview

  • Our author, a longtime resident of Denver, hits all the highlights, from the U.S. Mint in Denver to Boulder's Pearl Street pedestrian mall. He's checked out all the city's best hotels and restaurants in person, and offers authoritative, candid reviews that will help you find the choices that suit your tastes and budget.
  • You'll also get up-to-the-minute coverage of shopping and nightlife; in-depth coverage of nearby ski resorts; detailed walking tours; accurate city maps; advice on planning a successful family vacation; and side trips to Rocky Mountain National Park, Royal Gorge, Pueblo, and Colorado's Gold Circle Towns.
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Editorial Reviews

From Barnes & Noble
Frommer's guidebooks are packed with the essentials: maps, expert advice, and recommendations for the top places to eat, sleep, shop, and simply relax. Frommer's guides offer more hotel listings than most other series and also include an excellent opening chapter that highlights the best of each destination -- those absolute don't-miss experiences that will make your trip something special. Art, music, fine dining, and much more are covered in detail, with all costs, directions, and other vital information included.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780470887677
  • Publisher: Wiley
  • Publication date: 1/4/2011
  • Series: Frommer's Complete Series , #906
  • Edition number: 11
  • Pages: 256
  • Product dimensions: 5.20 (w) x 8.00 (h) x 0.58 (d)

Meet the Author

A Denver-based writer, Eric Peterson has contributed to numerous Frommer's guides covering the American West and has authored Frommer's Montana & Wyoming, Frommer's Yellowstone & Grand Teton National Parks, and Ramble California (www.fulcrum-books.com). He also writes about travel and other topics for such publications as ColoradoBiz, United Hemispheres, Delta Sky, and the New York Daily News.
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Read an Excerpt

Frommer's Denver, Boulder & Colorado Springs


By Eric Peterson

John Wiley & Sons

ISBN: 0-7645-7430-2


Chapter One

The Best of Denver, Boulder & Colorado Springs

The old and the new, the rustic and the sophisticated, the urban and the rural-you'll find all these elements practically side by side in and immediately adjacent to the cities of Denver, Boulder, and Colorado Springs.

Founded in the mid-19th century by both East Coast gold-seekers and European and Asian immigrants in search of a better life, these cities on the Front Range of the majestic Rocky Mountains weren't as wild as Colorado's mountain towns (such as Telluride and Creede), but they did have their day. According to historian Thomas Noel, in 1890 Denver had more saloons per capita than Kansas City, St. Louis, New Orleans, or Philadelphia. But these Colorado cities soon became home to a more sophisticated westerner-the mine owner instead of the prospector, the business owner rather than the gambler.

Today, the thoroughly modern cities have virtually all the amenities you'd expect to find in New York or Los Angeles: opera, theater, modern dance, art, excellent restaurants, and sophisticated hotels and convention centers. You'll also find historic Victorian mansions, working steam trains, and old gold mines. You can go horseback riding, hiking, skiing, or shopping; do the Texas two-step to a live country band; or spend hours browsing through a huge four-story bookstore, a gigantic model-train shop, orthe world's largest hardware store. You might also join the locals at what many of them enjoy most: being outdoors under the warm Colorado sun-so don't forget your hiking boots, mountain bike, skis, sunscreen, and sunglasses.

Although Denver is certainly a city, bustling and growing, it's still comfortable and fairly easy to explore. Boulder and Colorado Springs call themselves cities, but we like to think of them more as big Western towns, where the buildings aren't very tall and there's lots of open space. In all three, the residents are friendly, relaxed, and casual.

In this book, we'll be putting Denver, Boulder, and Colorado Springs under a magnifying glass, but that's not all. We'll also look at some of the nearby attractions where the locals spend their weekends, including the state's premier natural wonder, Rocky Mountain National Park.

1 Frommer's Favorite Denver, Boulder & Colorado Springs Experiences

Lower Downtown and Larimer Square (Denver): Once neglected and even a bit dangerous, Lower Downtown (LoDo) and Larimer Square are now well-preserved historic gems, heavy with redbricks and activity of all kinds. LoDo is home to Coors Field (home of baseball's Colorado Rockies), plus galleries, nightspots, restaurants, and Mayor John Hickenlooper's longstanding microbrewery, the Wynkoop Brewing Company, right across from Union Station. Larimer Square is abuzz with commercial activity and has more good restaurants than any other block in Denver. See p. 92.

Denver Art Museum (Denver): In the midst of a major expansion slated for completion in 2006, the Denver Art Museum has one of the country's top collections of Western art, ranging from 19th century to contemporary, as well as an excellent American Indian collection. The in-progress expansion features jagged, avant-garde by renowned architect Daniel Libeskind.

Shopping for Duds at Rockmount Ranch Wear (Denver): The inventors of the Western snap shirt have gone into the retail business after sticking strictly to manufacturing and wholesale since 1946. Their downtown store is a three-generation family operation and browsing the racks is something of an education on the history of Western wear. Rock stars regularly stop by while in Denver; Bob Dylan wears Rockmount's dusters onstage. See p. 113.

People-Watching on Pearl Street Mall (Boulder): This 4-block-long tree-lined pedestrian mall marks Boulder's downtown core and its center for dining, shopping, strolling, and loafing in the sun. It's also the best spot in Colorado for observing your fellow humans. Here you'll see students, local businesspeople, and tourists as they watch the musicians, mimes, jugglers, and other street entertainers who hold court on the landscaped mall day and night, year-round. See p. 150.

Celestial Seasonings Tour (Boulder): The nation's leading producer of herbal teas offers a tour that excites the senses as it takes you behind the scenes into the world of tea. The company, which began in a Boulder garage in the 1970s, now produces more than 50 varieties of tea from more than 75 different herbs and spices, imported from 35 countries. Guided tours move from a consumer taste test in the lobby to marketing displays, and finally into the production plant, where the overpowering "Mint Room" is a highlight. See p. 151.

Colorado Shakespeare Festival (Boulder): Among the top Shakespearean festivals in the United States, this 2-month event offers more than a dozen performances of each of four Shakespearean plays each summer. Actors, directors, designers, and everyone associated with the productions are fully schooled Shakespearean professionals. During the festival, company members conduct 1-hour backstage tours before each show. See p. 163.

Hiking the Mills Lake Trail in Rocky Mountain National Park: Although it's packed at first, this moderately rated trail usually becomes much less crowded after you've logged a few miles. At trail's end (elevation 10,000 ft.), towering peaks surround a gorgeous mountain lake. The lake is an excellent spot for photographing dramatic Longs Peak, especially in late afternoon or early evening, and it's the perfect place for a picnic. See chapter 6.

Garden of the Gods (Colorado Springs): There's nothing like sunrise at Garden of the Gods, with its fantastic and sometimes fanciful red-sandstone formations sculpted by wind and water over hundreds of thousands of years. Although you can see a great deal from the marked view points, it's worth spending some time and energy to get away from the crowds on one of the park's many trails, to listen to the wind, and to imagine the gods cavorting among the formations. See p. 198.

Pikes Peak Cog Railway (Colorado Springs): Perhaps no view in Colorado equals the 360-degree panorama from the summit of Pikes Peak. For those who enjoy rail travel, spectacular scenery, and the thrill of mountain climbing without all the work, this is the trip to take. The 9-mile route, with grades of up to 25%, takes 75 minutes to reach the top of 14,110-foot Pikes Peak. The journey is exciting from the start, but passengers really begin to ooh and aah when the track leaves the forest, creeping above timberline at about 11,500 feet. See p. 199.

2 Best Hotel Bets

Best Historic Hotels: From its spacious, well-appointed lobby to the richly polished wood of its elegant Victorian and almost whimsical Art Deco rooms, the Brown Palace Hotel, 321 17th St., Denver (800/228-2917 or 303/ 297-3111), has an air of sophistication, refinement, and class. The Brown has operated continuously since August 1892. See p. 66.

A handsome downtown establishment, the Hotel Boulderado, 2115 13th St., Boulder (800/ 433-4344 or 303/442-4344), has been skillfully renovated and restored. It retains its original Otis elevator, lovely leaded-glass ceiling, and spectacular cherrywood staircase, which caused quite a stir when the hotel opened in 1909. See p. 139.

Designed by New York City architects in the Italian Renaissance style, The Broadmoor, Lake Circle, at Lake Avenue, Colorado Springs (800/634-7711 or 719/634-7711), opened in 1918. Colorado's most elegant and best-preserved hotel of the era, it's filled with objets d'art from around the world, including Oriental art from the Ming and Tsin dynasties and a huge carved wooden bar from an 1800s British pub. See p. 184.

Best for Business Travelers: All rooms at Loews Denver Hotel, 4150 E. Mississippi Ave., Denver (800/345-9172 or 303/782- 9300), are spacious and provide at least three phones. Furthermore, two floors are designed for business travelers: All rooms have modem hookups and in-room fax and receive complimentary newspapers. See p. 72.

Best for a Romantic Getaway: Housed in a magnificent historic stone mansion, the Castle Marne Bed & Breakfast, 1572 Race St., Denver (800/92-MARNE or 303/331-0621), is furnished with antiques and reproductions. Three suites feature whirlpool tubs for two, and three rooms offer private balconies equipped with delightful outdoor hot tubs for two. See p. 71.

The Alps, 38619 Boulder Canyon Dr., Boulder (800/ 414-2577 or 303/444-5445), nestles among trees on a hillside outside of town; you won't find a TV in your room, but you will have a cozy fireplace, and there might be a whirlpool tub for two or a private porch. See p. 138.

The Two Sisters Inn, 10 Otoe Place, Manitou Springs, outside Colorado Springs (800/ 2SISINN or 719/685-9684), offers a cozy honeymoon cottage complete with fresh flowers, a big feather bed, a gas log fireplace, and lots of privacy. What more could you ask for? See p. 187.

Best Hotel Lobby for Pretending You're Rich: The lobby of the Brown Palace Hotel (Denver; see address and telephone above) features walls of Mexican onyx and a floor of white marble. The elaborate cast-iron grillwork surrounding the six tiers of balconies draws your eye to the stained-glass ceiling. Luncheon and afternoon tea are served in the lobby nearly every day.

The first guests at The Broadmoor (Colorado Springs; see address and telephone above) when it opened in 1918 were millionaire John D. Rockefeller, Jr., and his party. It's easy to imagine yourself here, surrounded by priceless 17th-century art, mingling with the wealthy, reading the financial news, and sipping a cognac by the hotel's elegant marble staircase.

Best Moderately Priced Hotels: The colorful Boulder Outlook, 800 28th St. (800/542-0304 or 303/443-3322), is fun, fresh, and definitively Boulder, with such unique perks as two bouldering rocks (one is 11 ft. high, the other 4 ft.) and a fenced, 4,000 square foot dog run. Best of all, the rates are typically cheaper than its chain counterparts. See p. 140.

You can enjoy the best of two worlds at the Hearthstone Inn, 506 N. Cascade Ave., Colorado Springs (800/521-1885 or 719/ 473-4413): the intimacy and personal attention of a bed-and-breakfast plus the privacy and services of a small hotel. See p. 190.

Best Inexpensive Lodging: For those who appreciate small mom-and-pop establishments, the Cameron Motel, 4500 E. Evans Ave., Denver (303/757-2100), offers a quiet alternative to budget chains. See p. 73.

In a converted sorority near the University of Colorado campus, Boulder International Hostel, 1107 12th St. (888/442-0522 or 303/442-0522), is well kept, reputable, and perfect for those traveling on a budget. See p. 141.

Best Service: Dedicated to providing guests with the best possible service, the Brown Palace Hotel (Denver; see address and telephone above) succeeds extremely well, and without pretension. Among other things, it offers 24-hour room service, concierge, and in-room massage.

Taking good care of its guests is a point of pride for The Broadmoor (Colorado Springs; see address and telephone above): It offers 24-hour room service, a concierge, in-room massage, valet laundry, a shuttle bus between buildings, and a multitude of recreational activities, as well as almost anything else you might ask for.

Best Bed-and-Breakfast: A great location and oodles of historic ambience are only two reasons to stay at the Queen Anne Bed & Breakfast Inn, 2147-51 Tremont Place, Denver (800/432-4667 or 303/296-6666), a pair of Victorian homes on the edge of downtown. The inn is furnished mostly with antiques, and fresh flowers and piped-in music enhance the rooms. See p. 71.

At Old Town GuestHouse, 115 S. 26th St., Colorado Springs (888/375-4210 or 719/632- 9194), each room is delightfully decorated around a theme, ranging from Saharan to Victorian. This B&B also has just enough in the way of modern convenience. See p. 185.

Best Views: The gorgeous new St. Julien, 900 Walnut St., Boulder (877/303-0900 or 720/406- 9696), is the nearest hotel to Boulder's even more gorgeous foothills. Rooms don't come cheap, but the views rival those from the windows of Colorado's ritziest mountain resorts. See p. 138.

The JW Marriott, 150 Clayton Lane, Denver (303/316-2700), the first and only hotel in the tony Cherry Creek shopping district, looks out over the treed Denver Country Club and the creek itself. See p. 72.

Best for Families: Two swimming pools, water slides, and a fabulous summer kids' program at The Broadmoor (Colorado Springs; see address and telephone above) will help keep youngsters busy while parents enjoy the golf courses, spa, and seemingly countless other facilities.

(Continues...)



Excerpted from Frommer's Denver, Boulder & Colorado Springs by Eric Peterson Excerpted by permission.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

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Table of Contents

List of Maps.

1 THE BEST OF DENVER, BOULDER & COLORADO SPRINGS.

2 DENVER, BOULDER & COLORADO SPRINGS IN DEPTH.

3 PLANNING YOUR TRIP TO DENVER, BOULDER & COLORADO SPRINGS.

4 SUGGESTED ITINERARIES IN DENVER, BOULDER & COLORADO SPRINGS.

5 SETTLING INTO DENVER.

6 WHAT TO SEE & DO IN DENVER.

7 BOULDER.

8 COLORADO SPRINGS.

9 FAST FACTS.

Index.

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