Colorado: From Boulder to Denver
We left Salt Lake City, or “Little Denver” as it’s often referred to by locals, and took a quick plane ride to Denver. The team was sad to say goodbye to Utah, but excited for our first day of exploring Colorado. The view of the Rocky Mountains from the plane was absolutely stunning. We arrived in Denver and then drove to Boulder, about an hour outside the city.
We got picked up from our hotel, the Hotel Boulderado, for a riding tour by Banjo Billy’s Bus Tours—imagine a school bus mixed with a log cabin. This quirky ride was filled with a colorful collection of comfy reclining couches inside. The owner, Banjo Billy, took us on an unforgettable and fact-filled tour of Boulder as we made our way to the Flatiron rock formations.
Afterwards, our guide, Kim, led the way up the Chautauqua Meadow Trailhead towards the Flatirons, one of the most visited and iconic destinations in the USA. As we climbed up, we stopped to take pictures of the striking flat mountain formations. Kim explained that the tallest point is as high as the Empire State building and can be seen for miles. The busy trail was full of locals and travelers admiring the breathtaking views. Our guide surprised us with a break at the Bluebell Shelter, a charming picnic stop along the trail. It featured a healthy Boulder-inspired spread with grilled chicken salad, quinoa, local fruit and refreshing carbonated waters. After lunch, we made our way down a different route, passing by the University of Colorado as well as many of the Chautauqua-style wooden houses typical of Boulder.
Craft Beer Spotlight
Boulder Beer Company
We got back into the bus for our next destination: Boulder Beer Company, the first microbrewery in the state. “Chicken Dan” greeted us with a charming story about the origin of the state’s first microbrewery started back in 1979 by two college professors in a goat shed. He gave us a beer tasting followed by a brewery tour. We tried the Sweaty Betty Blonde and the Hazed & Infused, and they were the perfect accompaniments for our tour!
Rockies vs. Rangers, Coors Field
Upon arrival in Denver, we checked into the city’s largest hotel, the modern Sheraton Denver Downtown Hotel. We strolled down 16th Street Mall and jumped on the free bus to Coors Field, home of the Colorado Rockies. Fans were pouring into the baseball stadium and it was turning out to be the perfect weather for an evening baseball game. We had a tour of Coors Field and made our way to the new Mile High Deck. The views were spectacular and we sampled our first locally brewed Blue Moon, complete with a fresh orange slice, to wash down our roasted peanuts, hot dogs and pretzels. We also went down to check out the Blue Moon Brewery at the SandLot, inside Coors Field.
At dusk, we made our way from the field to Euclid Hall through the historic Larimer Square, a great shopping and dining district. We strolled past the many chef-owned restaurants in the neighborhood against a backdrop of pretty little lights strung above the streets. We dined at the renowned gastropub, where we ordered a selection of their most famous dishes: chicken nuggets, chicken and waffles, duck poutine, pad thai, pig ears and sausages. We got a little taste of everything, and it was all delicious!
It was a perfect end to our first day in Colorado. Tomorrow we’ll explore some live music, even more amazing food, and – of course—craft beer in Colorado!