12 years of life in Colorado and I am still discovering and re-discovering its best corners. Here are some of them. Check out Best Things to Do in Denver #7 or #6 or #5 or #4 or #2 or #1 for more CO love.
Best Cookie on Earth
You know the Girl Scout Samoas you wait for all year? Watercourse and City o’ City make their own (way better) version of them and name them – appropriately – the Scout Cookie. Although one scout cookies costs more ($4.50 last time I checked) than an entire box of Samoas they are 1000% better and surprisingly to many, vegan. Also deserving honorable mention – the chocolate chips cookies at the Victory Love + Cookies inside Denver Bread Company, the sugar cookies from City o’ City and Safeway’s (yes, Safeway, don’t judge) M & M cookies.
Best Colorado Small Town with a Population of 65
Montezuma, Colorado. The town’s dirt road and two stop signs regulate the “traffic” which doesn’t seem to be very much given the loal dogs sleeping in the middle of the road. Between Keystone and Montezuma there are loads of dispersed camping sites – some right along the river. Keep driving through Montezuma as far as your car will allow you and then get out and walk the road. Old mining remains and a good trail for kids and grandma await you.
Best Places to Escape the Inferno of Denver Summers
Why did it take me 12 years to discover the Congress Park pool? $3.50 is all it takes to escape the blazing inferno. Another notable mentions includes the pop-up fountain in City Park behind the Denver Museum of Nature and Science (although I do believe the unspoken age limit for such things is about 9), Clear Creek where it runs through Golden, and the rooftop pool at the Warwick. (Although you do need to be a guest to use it but desperate times desperate….)
Best Lakefront View + Hike + Wine + Canyon Drive Combo 40 min. from Denver
Determined to find a work around Mother Nature’s afternoon precipitation plans David and I opted for a hike close to Denver – Evergreen. First stop? Everbean for a cappucino and a lakefront view (a massive rarity and enormous joy in Colorado). Then, headed to Ponderosa and Sisters trailhead. According to the book we used to find this hike, Best Easy Day Hikes Denver, it is a 4 mile loop trail. It proved to be the perfect douse of outside, views, quiet and getting back before the rain started to fall.
Next stop? Creekside Cellars, an Evergreen winery for their $5 wine tasting (5 different wines for 5 bucks) and then made it to their deck overlooking the river below for a flight** of wine. The menu featuring numerous Mediterranean inspired options looked divine and will be something we definitely try next time. I particularly liked Viogneir and Gewurztraminer.
To finish it off we took 74 East to 470 back to Denver. I think the route is about the same time as I-70 but with gorgeous canyon views, small towns to pass through and even more hiking along the way at Corwina Park, Lair of the Bear Park and Red Rocks, should you be interested.
Best $18 Campground with a Million Dollar View
Prospector Campground at Lake Dillon (space #49) with nearby bathrooms and million dollar views.
Best Sushi on Earth
Every out of towner looks at me like this, “Sushi? Denver? Yeah right.” Then we go to Sushi Den and it is the first place they want to go to when they return. Don’t miss the black cod, green mussels or lemon drop martinis. There is almost a guaranteed wait of at least 45 minutes unless you go for lunch.
Best Sushi When You Don’t Feel Like Waiting for Sushi Den
Can’t wait to get your sushi on? Try Japon. A very solid sushi experience without the Sushi Den wait (typically). Plus the music of choice is 80s flashback. Devour sashimi with Stevie Nicks? Yes, please.
Best Places to Pay 95% Less
Friends don’t let friends pay 95% more. This is why you need to know about Mile High Thrift (think TJMaxx but twice as big and 95% cheaper), Act II Consignment on Colfax (for quality and designer women’s clothing) and Thrift Mart our go to place for anything for the house or camping.
Best $5 Dinner
Taco Tuesday at Odelay Tacos. Munch on $1 tacos till you just can’t munch no more. Not only are they buck each but according to David the best tacos in town. And he is a man who knows his tacos.
Colorado State Park that Deserves to Be a National Park?
Mueller State Park. Again we showed up with no plans or reservations but managed to get a site, even though the sign said “Campground Full.” Yes, it pays to ask. Our Colorado Campground bible gives the Mueller State Park campground a 10 and we would certainly agree. For billion dollar views try to reserve campsite 40 or 41. We stayed in 36 which was v. nice as well. To see what we mean about it being a National Park take the loop trail 17 to 33. It is an easy to moderate trail and magnifico!
*We didn’t stay here but thought its prettiness was most definitely worth sharing.
**Call us backcountry but we had zero idea what this meant. Now we know – a pre-defined collection (i.e. white flight, red flight, etc) of 3 to 5 different 2 oz. glasses of wine brought to your table for your tasting pleasure.
The Books I Use to Find Places to Go & Things to Do in Denver & Colorado