Best. Visual. Adrenaline. On. Earth.
No one does adrenaline like Warren Miller, and it is that time of year again for him to show us the footage of some of the most talented skiers and snowboarders in the world, doing what they do best – defying gravity, human limitations and let’s face it, logic. His 64th film, a Ticket to Ride highlights Iceland, Greenland, Kazakhstan, Alaska, Montana and yes, even Aspen, CO. A Ticket to Ride is the final must-do to get yourself properly stoked for the season that Colorado loves most – the snowy one. Ticket to Ride is showing in various locations throughout Colorado 11/8 – 12/7.
Best Free Music (or Voice) Lesson in Denver
Stephan Hume is a guy that knows where his heart is and never, and I mean never, forgets it. Besides being pure superness, Stephan loves music, and built his entire career around it.
His business model is unique. Instead of teaching the dreadful music lessons so many suffered through, Stephan teaches kids and adults what they want to learn, when they want to learn it. Never picked up a guitar before in your life but want to learn your favorite Nine Inch Nails or Dylan song? That is where you start – day one – with Stephan at Band Dynamics.
Stephan digs music so much; he gives away 1-hour music or voice lessons for free. Gratis. Zero cost. No dinero. Interested? Start Here.
Best and Most Impeccably Restored Indoor Market
The Source, located inside an old iron foundry in the RiNo district was impeccably restored and is now Denver’s only indoor market and food emporium. It features vendors such as Comida (and their to die for tacos), a cheese shop, a bakery, a distillery (that serves nothing but fantastic booze!), a brewery, a butcher, a wine store and more – all leaving you with the feeling that you are not in a gentrifying area of Denver but have serendipitously stumbled upon a little corner of Europe in the Mile High City.
Best Place to Let Your Farts on Fire
How do you get kids to love science? Let them set their farts on fire.
The Denver Museum of Nature and Science is currently featuring a Mythbuster exhibit allowing visitors to discover for themselves if urban myths are fact or salacious fiction. Myths you can dissect include: Can you really huff and puff and blow your house down? Does toast *really* always land butter-side down? Can you make a viable canoe entirely of duct tape and of course, can you let your farts on fire? The Mythbuster exhibit runs through January 5, 2014.
Best Place to Chill with Dudes like Monet, Renoir, Cezanne and Such
Seeing in person the art I have viewed on countless in books, postcards, posters and in movies – in real life – feels about the same as seeing a major movie star – in real life. If you agree, the Denver Art Museum’s current Passport to Paris exhibit, is similar to having front row seats at the Kodak Theatre on Oscar Night.
Passport to Paris is a who’s who of art – with work from the likes of Monet, Renoir, Degas, Picasso, Van Gogh, Cezanne, Pissarro, Toulouse-Lautrec, Morisot, Sisley and more. (Really, there are even more.) Runs through February 9, 2014.
Best Place to Travel the World 5 Miles from Your House
Gas prices are going up and causing airplane tickets to get pricey. Good thing the Denver Film Society allows you to travel and meet the world all for the price of going a few miles and buying a movie ticket. Thru November 17th, the 36th Stars Denver Film Festival features films from faraway lands like Russia, Poland, the Netherlands, Bolivia, Spain, Denmark, the UK, South Africa, Chile and Finland. It also has loads of films from the U.S, our neighbor to the north, Canada and the biggest showing yet from and about our own backyard – Colorado.
Best Place to Purchase Kick Ass Art that Won’t Kick Your Wallet’s Ass
Confession: I almost never actually enter art galleries. I only look at them through their windows, and typically when someone on the inside sees me looking in from the outside, I scamper away or pretend like I was looking for my lost husband, fixing my hair via their window reflection or something similar.
I am not sure if it is the general quiet and consummate emptiness of these galleries, the way the woman sitting behind the desk looks down her nose at me or the fact that one piece of art, the size of a legal pad, is the equivalent of 14 months living expenses. BUT- whatever it is – I am almost never inside the four walls of art galleries.
This is where Denver’s newest online gallery, Fifty Artists, comes in. Fifty Artists, in my opinion, provides the planet a few desperately needed things:
- They are not at all like the biggest cluster on the Internet i.e. Etsy. You know the place where you go looking for something to put on the wall behind your couch, and they provide you only 99,483 options to choose from. Instead Fifty Artists carefully curates artwork from only, you guessed it, 50 artists.
- Purchasing art from Fifty Artists does not require you to surrender your life and live in a van down by the river to afford it. Every piece is not only original but between $100 and $500 dollars.
Best Place to Buy Holiday Gifts Made in Colorado
The Denver Botanic Gardens is getting your holiday shopping done the best ways there are – early, locally AND in the most beautiful location in Denver to shop. The Botanic Gardens has gathered more than 40 vendors for its Annual Holiday Sale, Friday and Saturday, November 15 -16, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the Gardens’ York Street location. Fee to enter.
Best Place to Drink Whiskey and Have Your Weekly Status Meeting
It took 200,000 years of human history to create the perfect workplace – an office you actually want to be in WITH a full bar and restaurant. Many apologies to the 1000s of generations who missed out prior to Gather and Galvanize fusing in the historic Rocky Mountain Bank Note Building in Denver’s Golden Triangle, but for those of us lucky enough to be at the right place in the right time in history, Gather serves up food and drink while sharing space with Galvanize, “Denver’s fastest growing digital startup hub.” Free-wifi, couches, a bar and eating tables allow for both eating and meeting – literally.
Best New State Park
Want another reason to love Colorado? As the headlines of the world are filled with how open space is being exchanged for another housing complex with a name reflective of what used to live there prior to the concrete showing up (you know “Elk Meadows” or “Coyote Creek”) – what does Colorado do?
Open another state park. Located in Pine, Colorado, Staunton State Park features loads of trails and few roads – allowing us all to celebrate what nature is all about – the natural.
David’s Mexican Choice of the Week
I recently asked my husband, David the three foods he couldn’t live without. His response? “Tacos.” His favorite, as of late, are the tacos al pastor at Tacqueria Mi Pueblo on 23rd and Federal. David reports, “They are a must eat. They are cheap and authentic. If you are hungry you should also try the breakfast burritos – even if it is not breakfast.”
Best Coffee Shop in Downtown Denver that is Not Corporate (!)
Finding restaurants and coffee shops in downtown Denver not opened by a corporation is often not an easy task, but one where I feel an incredible amount of triumph when I do. Enter Little Owl Coffee on 15th and Blake. It is everything you would want from an independent coffee shop – quaint, in the middle of downtown with small terrace out front and not, to the best of my knowledge, on the New York Stock Exchange.
Best Denver Historic Landmark and Cemetery You Have Probably Never Visited
When what was Denver’s city cemetery (what is now Cheesman Park) started to cramp the style of a growing Denver, entrepreneurs decided to move the dead to what was, at the time, the countryside. This area on 52nd and Brighton was considered so remote that only Colorado’s most wealthy could afford burial there. Resting in this 130 year old Riverside Cemetery are Colorado pioneers such as, “Augusta Tabor, Barney and Julia Ford, Silas Soule, three territorial governors – John Evans, Samuel Elbert, and John Routt – and numerous mayors, entrepreneurs, and civic figures.” It is also the home of over 1000 veterans from the Civil War.
This once seemingly remote cemetery is a modern day paradox. As visitors enjoy the historic headstones and final resting place of people who built Colorado, they are also surrounded by what followed the cemetery here – a “gritscape” consisting of an oil refinery, an industrial park and railroad tracks – and to mix it up just a bit more – one of the best unobstructed sunset views I have found in Denver.
The Books I Use to Find Places to Go & Things to Do in Denver & Colorado