Archive for the ‘colorado travel’ Category

Sweet Summertime Festivals in Keystone, Colorado

Keystone, Colorado

Keystone, Colorado

Want an outdoor summertime experience not to be missed? Want some bacon sprinkled caramel apples to go with your wine and jazz too? Then check out the high-country of Keystone, Colorado as they roll out the red carpet for visitors and locals with some of the coolest events yet.  From the Blue Ribbon Bacon Tour (snort, snort!), to the country chic Wine and Jazz Festival, you can even get your bluegrass on with the Bluegrass and Beer Festival this season. Not only will you be able to sample great food and drink and enjoy live music and mountain entertainment, but you’ll also enjoy it all in Keystone’s cool mountain climate, a great way to beat the heat and enjoy plenty of friend or family fun this summer.

Bacon Caramel Apples? That's right!

Bacon Caramel Apples? That’s right!

Blue Ribbon Bacon Tour, 1pm-6pm, June 23-24, River Run Village
For the second year in a row Keystone Resort will play host to the Blue Ribbon Bacon Tour, June 23-24 in River Run Village. This pork-tastic event will feature over 2,000 lbs of bacon, including fried, salted, dried and smoked verities. Bacon-inspired dishes and beverages (bacon bloody mary, anyone?) will be served by Keystone’s excellent restaurants and participating bacon purveyors, many from the local Colorado area, will include well-known names such as Tender Belly, Eden Farms and Daly’s. Chefs will dream up wild bacon-infused treats while competing in both savory and sweet cook-off competition. If the plethora of available outdoor activities including hiking and biking are more than your bacon-filled belly can handle, you can still work on lowering that cholesterol with some foot stomping in the Keystone Village. Live musical guests will include Better than Bacon, Hells Belle’s, Universally Famous Rocket Surgeons and more. All concerts are FREE throughout the weekend, and for those wishing to partake in the bacon extravaganza, festival admittance is affordable with one-day tickets from $30 and weekend packages beginning at $50. For those bringing little ones, children’s programming will be available throughout the village, including a children’s craft arena. Lodging and festival packages start as low as $80 and are available online.

Keystone Wine and Jazz Festival, 1pm-5pm, July 13-15, River Run Village
The Keystone Wine and Jazz Festival, July 13-15 in River Run Village, caters to every palette with a weekend-long event featuring unique mountain offerings including a VIP mountaintop wine tasting, educational wine seminars, live jazz performances at the base of the mountain, and of course,  remarkable food and over 300 wines to sample. The Festival kicks off Friday, July 13 with the NEW VIP Mountain Top Reserve Wine Tasting taking place atop Dercum Mountain at the picturesque Keytop Deck. Priced at $100 per person, which includes a gondola ticket, this event will allow you to sample some of the best wines available; all priced at over $100 a bottle.Early bird pricing, available through June 4, offers discounted event passes providing unlimited Saturday and Sunday sampling for $55 for a one-day wine pass and $95 for a weekend wine pass, including unique souvenir sampling glass. But food and wine aren’t complete without music accompaniment, and Keystone will offer plenty of that with live concerns from the Village stage. Admission is FREE to all concerts, no sampling ticket necessary, and the line-up will include big names such as Salsa Con Jazz, Elan Trotman & Lin Rountree, Dotsero and Hazel Miller. For those wishing to delve deeper into the world of wines, specialty seminars will be held at Warren Station Center for the Arts, conveniently located in River Run Village. Each seminar is $20 per person and comprises of fun topics such as “Bubbles Everyday on Any Budget” and “Jelly Belly Wine Bar Experience.” For those looking for a casual weekend with the family, children’s activities, including a KidZone, will be available throughout the weekend. Lodging packages are available and tickets may be purchased online.

The Bluegrass and Beer Festival

The Bluegrass and Beer Festival

Keystone Bluegrass and Beer Festival, 12pm-5pm, August 4-5, River Run Village
The spirit of Colorado and summertime come together during Keystone’s 16th Annual Bluegrass and Beer Festival. This summer staple, which will offer tasty sampling from up to 30 breweries, is one of the largest Beer Festivals in the state. The River Run Village will come alive, August 4-5, and attendees will not only be able to enjoy world-class Bluegrass performers, they can learn how to become one. Unique to Keystone’s Bluegrass and Beer Festival, special bluegrass seminars will be offered at Warren Station Center for the Arts, including banjo instruction from Jesse Langlais (Town Mountain), fiddle instruction with Casey Driessen, singing instruction with Tim O’Brien and songwriting instruction with Darrell Scott. Seminars are only $10 or FREE to Keystone lodging guests. This year’s music line-up will be presented across three stages with performances by Darrell Scott, Tim O’Brien, Head for the Hills and Jeff Scroggins & Colorado. Admission to all concerts is FREE and a kid’s craft area will be available for children. Unlimited beer sampling is available with early bird pricing from $35 for a one-day pass and $70 for a weekend pass, including keepsake sampling glass. Lodging packages and event tickets may be purchased online.

Keystone Resort Event Lodging Deals
So, we say… enjoy great festival entertainment, mountain activities, a variety of shopping and dining activities and plenty of fun for the whole family. Spend the weekend in Keystone’s cool mountain atmosphere with great Festival Lodging Packages below!

www.kesytonefestivals.com

keystoneresort.com

 

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Escape to Colorado

Biking Mount Evans

Air conditioners are being set on high and residents are locking themselves indoors as the U.S. experiences one of the hottest summers on record. So, we think August is the perfect time for an escape to Colorado where virtually no humidity, mild temperatures and Rocky Mountain breezes offer a way to beat the heat. Below is a sampling of the many ways to cool off naturally in the great outdoors. You can thank us later for this Colorado Cheat Sheet highlighting all the best eco-adventure activities for those who love green vacations and the perfect family or active couple retreats.

Cool Off With Activities

  • Zippity Breeze. Create your own breeze as you sail through the Aspen groves and over the Animas River on the largest zipline in North America. Soaring Tree Top Adventures offers over 34 eco-friendly platforms, with 27 spans ranging from 56-1400 feet and several unique elements to get into and out of the trees. www.SoaringColorado.com

Soaring at Tall Timber Resort

  • Riding Mountains. Experience a refreshing drop in temperature while the wind rushes past you biking down 14,115-foot Pikes Peak. The Summit is 40 degrees cooler than the city of Colorado Springs on a given day. Riders will pass through five different life zones, each zone having a different climate, different vegetation and wildlife.www.BikitHikit.com
  • Sail Away. Sail Western Colorado offers sunset sails, sailing adventures, instruction and certification on Blue Mesa Lake, Colorado’s largest body of water located in Curecanti National Recreation Area. Consistent southwesterly winds that begin building in the morning provide ideal sailing conditions on this picturesque mountain lake. www.SailWesternColorado.com, 970.901.5360
  • Alpine Adventure. Hike to “The Peak” at Crested Butte Mountain Resort (CBMR). The Summit Trail is part lift ride, part one-mile hike. The rewards are breathtaking and the cool mountain air may warrant the need to pull on a fleece. www.SkiCB.com
  • Cave Dwellers. Tour Glenwood Caverns & Historic Fairy Caves, where it’s always 52 degrees. Choose the 70-minute walking tour or the three-hour Wild Tour; either way you’ll enjoy some of Mother Nature’s finest handiwork and escape the summer heat (check out the beautiful photo below if you need some convincing) www.GlenwoodCaverns.com, 800.530.1635
  • Rocky Mountain High. At an elevation of 10,152-feet, Leadville is the highest incorporated city in North America. Average temperatures in July and August range from lows in the 40s to highs in the 70s. Surrounded by more than 35,000 acres of Wilderness Area, the state’s two highest Fourteeners and hiking and biking trails galore. www.VisitLeadvilleColorado.com, 888.532.3845
  • Float-On. Tubing and floating are popular pastimes when the water levels drop below 400 cubic feet per second (CFS) in the late summer on the San Juan River.  It’s a scenic, fun and affordable way to spend the day in Pagosa Springs. Rent tubes, boogie boards and more to float down the river. www.VisitPagosa.com

Rafters and Train Riders meet in the Royal Gorge

  • “Gorge”ous. Just downstream from the Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park, lies the Gunnison Gorge. This 64,000-acre recreation area offering Gold Medal trout fishing, hiking, and a 14-mile whitewater rafting adventure, with rapids ranging from class II to IV. www.VisitMontrose.com, 970.240.5300
  • Heat quenching. Grand Lake, the largest natural body of water in Colorado offers summer boating, swimming, sailing and shoreline camping with 360-degree views of majestic mountains. The lake is framed by the quaint town of Grand Lake, and sits at the west entrance to Rocky Mountain National Park. www.Grand-County.com

Chilled Packages

  • Paddle, Saddle & Bridge in the Royal Gorge combines a Bighorn Sheep Canyon half-day rafting trip with a riverside lunch, a one-hour mule ride on the rim of the Royal Gorge and tickets to the Royal Gorge Bridge. www.RaftEcho.com, 800.755.ECHO
  • Keep Your Cool in Breckenridge. Feel the breeze as you coast along Breck’s paved recreation path; let the snowmelt rivers cool your skin on a whitewater rafting trip; head inside the cool tunnels at a real gold mine; and saddle up for a sunset horseback ride. Groups of four can stay in a two-bedroom condo and each get four activities included for just $74 per person, per night. www.BreckCenRes.com, 800.462.7325

The Glenwood Caverns in Glenwood Springs

  • Hit the Road Package at The Westin Riverfront. Escape the heat in Colorado’s Vail Valley with accommodations in a spacious Studio Suite, two 2-hour bike rentals, one 4-hour off-road Jeep Tour for two, a $50 dining credit to Restaurant Avondale, a $100 Spa Anjali gift card and complimentary valet parking. Rates start at $249 per night. www.WestinRiverfrontBeaverCreek.com, 866.716.8137
  • Stand-Up Paddle in Aspen. The Little Nell in Aspen offers Little Nell Adventures to its guests including stand-up paddle boarding. This fast-growing sport is an amazing thrill and an incredible workout. Private lessons and group classes are available in the morning and afternoon, as well as full-day trips. A gourmet picnic will accompany you on your journey. www.TheLittleNell.com

Check out Colorado’s Facebook page, as well:

www.facebook.com/visitcolorado and www.colorado.com

Fall Foliage: North America’s Best B&B’s

Cool, crisp, clean air brings out the leaf peeper in all of us, so it’s never too soon to pull out a foliage map and ponder where you want to be when the leaves start to turn. Of course, catching the prime peaks and intensity of colors depends on what part of the country you are in, temperature, precipitation, wind, and leaf genetics.

Across North America there are hundreds of inns and B&Bs located near forests, national parks, and vineyards that present thousands of leaf-seekers and eco-adventurer’s with myriad choices for getaways come fall. Explore a regional wine trail, get up in the colorful canopies with the birds via a zip-line adventure, or take an extreme off-road truck ride up a wild mountain. Here are some top suggestions ranging from tame to extreme culled from around North America.

To enjoy fall foliage at its peak, Mary White, founder of www.BnBFinder.com, a leading online B&B directory listing hundreds of getaway specials, says, “The character of foliage season is unique to each region; Texas has its golden forests of ‘Lost Maples,’ Arkansas has dogwoods that turn brilliant ruby red. Put your finger anywhere on a map, and there’s good chance spectacular foliage and a welcoming bed and breakfast hosted by innkeepers who know the best routes and secret spots for superb leaf-peeping awaits you.”

She suggests:

  • Check the National Forest Service Foliage Alerts to view maps and foliage reports.
  • Book your B&B early: fall foliage is prime time for visitors so it’s wise to pick your destination and lock in your lodging. Look for deals and better availability if you can getaway mid-week.

Here are some BnBFinder.com bed and breakfast offerings to elevate foliage viewing to new heights:

Extreme Peeping – Who said leaf peeping has to be tame? It doesn’t have to be during your stay at the lovely Rabbit Hill Inn, inLower Waterford , Vermont . Nestled in the Northeast Kingdom , famous for outdoor sports and covered bridges, the inn offers concierge services for a full range of activities including guided treks, hot air balloon rides, glider rides, golf, and tennis and even finding your way out of a corn maze. The off-road, action-packed Truck Safari up the wild trails of Barron Mountain delivers lion-hearted passengers to a breathtaking vantage point where Franconia Notch, awash in jewel-toned foliage glory, will leave thrill-seeking leaf peepers breathless. Romantic guest rooms with fireplace and whirlpool and candlelit country breakfasts are included, and two Mud Puddle cocktails at the local pub. For extreme thrill seekers zip-lines are also available.

Crush on You Foliage season in Napa , California coincides with grape crushing so visitors can enjoy the bonus of wine tasting and other grape-centric events hosted by local wine producers during this colorful time of year. The historic Beazley House offers a Wine Train package that capitalizes on the beauty of the region in foliage season and the gourmet cuisine and wines for which Napa is so famous. Passengers are treated to first-class service as they sup and sip on board this luxuriously-appointed train as it wends through the countryside and vineyards. The grape vines turn shades of brilliant gold, red, and mahogany in September and October, and the views are breathtaking. Request the Wine Train package when reserving one of the elegant guest rooms with private bath and garden views, and prepare yourself to be further enchanted by the delicious breakfast served each morning.

Jewel of the Ozarks – Eureka Springs is a vibrant Victorian village snuggled in the heart of the Ozark Mountains . With its pristine air, abundance of fall festivals, and many chef-owned eateries, this hamlet is a lovely place while you enjoy the scarlet dogwoods and golden maples. The Inn at Rose Hall is a magnificent recreation of an 1880’s Victorian manse with its period antiques, stained glass windows, and exquisite gardens. Fall gourmet breakfasts reap the bounties of harvest including such delights as pumpkin waffles with orange sauce, and chocolate zucchini bread.

Isle of Color – The spectacle of turning leaves against the backdrop of the deep blue sea, rolling farm land, and towering forests make Canadian Prince Edward Island a unique destination for leaf peepers. The Elmwood Heritage Inn, in Charlottetown , welcomes guests on foliage patrol from mid-September until late October. Century-old majestic elms with gold-crested boughs lining the hidden driveway greet you upon arrival. Cycling, golfing, walking on quiet beaches or taking scenic drives are some ways to enjoy the magnificent vistas. Or, take in the panorama of fall from the golf course, or during a bike ride around what is commonly called, this “gentle island.”

The Gold Standard – The Berkshires rank tops in fall foliage aficionado circles, and the Inn at Green River, in Hillsdale , New York , is the perfect spot for viewing foliage and partaking in the many cultural and gastronomic offerings that make this region so popular. The Inn ‘s1830 Federal-style farmhouse boasts seven romantic guest rooms with fireplaces, and ancient sugar maples and beautiful gardens adorn the grounds. Leaf peepers can begin the day with a leisurely walk down a quiet dirt road known to the locals as “the Dug way,” then progress to a hike at Batfish Falls in Taconic State Park , the Appalachian Trail , orBartholomew’s Cobble. Your innkeepers know the way, and can also direct you to Monument Mountain or Mt. Greylock , or even point you toward more adventurous pursuits such as viewing foliage from a bird’s eye perspective on the zip-line at the new aerial adventure park nearby.

Check out: www.BnBFinder.com for all of nature’s great hidden gems.

Colorado is Callin’: Don’t Fence Me In


Eyes like a morning star, cheeks like a rose… Tall, snowy peaks and outdoorsy men with good teeth. Okay, not exactly the lyrics of the Colorado Trail, but close. Yes, I hear the men are smokin’ (and I don’t mean Marlboro reds). Athletic, free-spirited, down-to-earth goodness. Nature at it’s best. Don’t worry, boys. The women are equally fresh-faced, fit, and full of fun. Imagine a place with clean air and enough outdoor activities, fine food, and shopping to keep you occupied for months. The people, and the place, will make you damn proud to be an American.

So ride your way to Rockies.

Jaunt picked some highlights which we thought were a good start. Remember, Colorado is broken up into the following seven regions:

Northwest: Aspen, Breckenridge, Keystone, Vail, Beaver Creek, Grand Junction
Noteable attractions: Skiing, of course, Dustin Hoffman’s Perry-Mansfield Performing Arts Camp, Fremont Indian rock art at Canyon Pintado, the hot springs of Glenwood Springs, rock formations and vistas of Colorado National Monument

Front Range: Boulder, Ft. Collins
Notable attractions: The summer long Colorado Music Festival, the gold and silver rushes evident in the small mountain towns, granite canyons of Poudre Canyon, the Peak-to-Peak highway with stunning sunsets, shopping Pearl Street Mall in Boulder

Denver
Once a frontier town, this young city is now home to a thriving arts scene full of restaurants, fine art, and museums.
Notable attractions: The Black American West Museum and the quaint Five Points Neighborhood

Northeast
Considered the Colorado outback, this area is full of wheat and grassland. Talk about frontier… from the early pioneers to Native Americans and soldiers, the Pony Express came through here.
Notable attractions: From April- October, there are over 150 fairs, rodeos, and tournaments where locals and guests revel in their mountain men gunfightin’ roots.

Southwest
Durango, Telluride… in this region, white rapids and grassy meadows are joined with ghost towns and the high flats of the Colorado Plateau.
Notable attractions: In Durango and Telluride, beauty meets culture. In the summertime, there’s the Jazz and Bluegrass Festivals of Telluride. For those who love a good remnant of the past, ancient Anasazi ruins speak to the mystique and centuries of American Indian culture while the skiing, rafting, and hiking can’t be beat.

South Central
Valleys, wildflowers, peaks and a town that boasts itself as the highest city in America. Leadville is literally tucked amid clouds. South Central includes Colorado Springs, a quaint hippie town that still calls almost 1/2 million among its’ residents.
Notable attractions: Rafters, kayakers and fishermen flock to Royal Gorge and the Arkansas River to try their hands and paddles at the river. High art meets mining in a place where the plains meet the Rockies.

Southeast
You’ve read about Native American gems and beautiful scenery, this area is known for it’s wide open spaces.
Notable Attractions: The Hot Air Balloon Festival takes place in the lower Arkansas Valley every November. There’s also Bent’s Old Fort and the Santa Fe Trail or Comanche National Grasslands, over 400,000 acres of sprawling land where you can bring your own horses and ride (but Jaunt recommends going City Slicker and visiting a Dude Ranch where they do it all for you – see below).

Boulder, CO

St Julien Hotel & Spa http://www.stjulien.com – this super swanky property on Walnut Street is the first hotel to be built in downtown Boulder in 100 years. Their spa, and attention to detail and service, is some of the best in the city.

The Boulderado – http://www.boulderado.com – With a view of the snow capped mountains, this property calls itself ‘The first luxury hotel.’ A member of the Historic Hotels of America, it’s Victorian design and happening Corner Bar, is a place to rest, have a mango barbeque shrimp salad, and chill. 4-6pm Happy Hour or 12-2pm weekend brunch anyone??

Restaurants:
Jill’s Restaurant – http://www.jillsdining.com – a modern bistro offering Metro American fare with Mediterranean influences by award-winning Executive Chef Jason Rogers. The menu at Jill’s is light and full of flavor, utilizing a wide variety of locally grown, organic, and free-range ingredients

The Kitchen Café – http://www.thekitchencafe.com – a laid back local spot for fresh, affordable fare

Activities:
Shopping on Pearl Street Mall – just 1 short block from St Julien Hotel & Spa, this pedestrian mall is loaded with amazing boutiques. Highlights include: Chelsea Boutique – started by a group of sorority sisters from Colorado University, this shop is loaded with unique gems and favorites from Marc Jacobs, Theory, Tory Burch, and more – http://www.chelseabella.com/ or http://www.boulderdowntown.com/guide/shopping/apparel/womens-clothing

Rocky Mountain National Park
Boulder Beer Company Brewery & Pub
Boulder Creek Path – walk, bike, or in-line skate along this local, scenic path running parallel to Boulder Creek
2 hour Love Olive Me! Treatment at the Spa at St Julien

Vail, CO
Hotels:
Sonnenalp Resort – http://www.sonnenalp.com – this sprawling resort property is nestled right in the center of Vail


Vail Mountain Lodge and Spa – http://www.vailmountainlodge.com

FYI…Vail is undergoing a “billion dollar renewal” and renovation over the course of 9-10 years or so with a new Ritz-Carlton residences opening in Vail village just steps from Vail Mountain Lodge & Spa

Restaurants:
Restaurant Kelly Liken – http://www.kellyliken.com – Innovative seasonal American cuisine, inspired by local ingredients indigenous to the Rocky Mountain region. The menu changes frequently to showcase the market-driven produce and organic ingredients available with each season.

La Bottega – a local favorite for affordable Italian fare. http://www.denver.citysearch.com/profile/1975722/?brand=smx_restaurant-nc

Activities:
From snow skiing, mountain biking, fly-fishing, hiking, river rafting and, of course, private cooking classes by celebrated local Chef Kelly Liken, activities abound.

Taste of Vail is coming in early April which is a huge draw for epicureans and surrounding areas interested in the culinary offerings of Vail.

Colorado Springs

Hotels:
The Broadmoor
http://www.broadmoor.com

Restaurants:
Summit Restaurant, American Brasserie – http://www.summitatbroadmoor.com/default.html
Penrose Room – Colorado’s ONLY AAA 5-Diamond restaurant – http://www.broadmoor.com/penrose-room.php

Activities:
For fun – try the authentic 1920’s Penny Arcade, the US’ steepest and oldest Cog Railway up Pike’s Peak
Shopping- BEST SHOES, Yardis – http://www.broadmoor.com/broadmoor-shopping.php
New Colorado Springs Fine Art Center – http://csfineartscenter.org

For all the horse lovers out there, might we recommend a good Dude Ranch?

http://www.colorado.com/listing.php?listing_id=5

For general info and good way to decide where you want to begin your trip try: http://www.colorado.com

Sing along…
Give me land lots of land and the starry skies above…

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