Colorado Adventure: The Highlights

This summer I was able to spend 9 great days in Colorado for vacation. I originally thought Summer 2015 would happen without a major trip outside MN/WI. Then Kendra mentioned she was traveling to Denver for a conference and wondered if I wanted to tag along. Umm, yes! With only about a month to figure out the details, we planned a 9 day trip that encompassed some of the great activities Colorado has to offer. For today, I thought I’d share some of the highlights from our trip. I amazingly was able to pick 5 photos from the 500+ I took. I hope to also share a few more posts to highlight each of our different adventures.

While Kendra conferenced for the first half of the trip, I enjoyed decompressing from the busy school year. September to May are always so hectic. That’s why I like to take a lengthy vacation during the summer…just to relax a little and not think about work for awhile. I mostly vegged, read in Sense & Sensibility, and ate good food at the restaurants at our resort. My friend Ashley, from grad school, had just moved to Colorado and she came into Denver to hangout one of the days. We wandered around downtown Denver in the heat (so hot…I missed my natural air conditioner of Lake Superior) and saw the state capitol area.

CO Capitol

Once Kendra was done with her conference, we got to go play in the mountains for a couple days. First stop, Red Rocks! We were told by several people that any future concerts we go to will pale in comparison to one we would see at Red Rocks. The acoustics were amazing! We saw the group Wilco and only got rained on a little bit. Seeing the Denver lights in the background was also beautiful.

Red Rocks

After the concert we traveled north to Estes Park for the next leg of our trip: Rocky Mountain National Park. Truly playing in the mountains. RMNP was my 9th National Park and was a splendid day and a half.

Ute Trail RMNP

Highlights from RMNP:

  • Hiked on 4 different trails (and also small spurs at various areas)
  • Visited the Alpine Visitor Center which is the highest elevation visitor center in the National Park Services system
  • Enjoyed wildflower season
  • Hiked on the Continental Divide
  • Had our breath taken away by the beauty of the alpine region…and actually because hiking at 12,000ft is no joke.


After RMNP, we ventured back into Denver for 1.5 days of beer tasting. On our way back into Denver we stopped at New Belgium Brewing (a favorite) in Fort Collins, Left Hand Brewing in Longmont, and Boulder Beer Co in Boulder. Our last full day in Denver involved a lot of walking, 6 breweries, and 1 cidery. We visited Denver Beer Co (a favorite), Wynkoop Brewing Co, Denver ChopHouse & Brewery, Blue Moon at the Sandlot (at the CO Rockies stadium & also a favorite), Great Divide Brewing Co, Epic Brewing, and Stem Ciders (a favorite). I know that sounds like a lot. We were strategic with our tasting and we shared tasters of 3-4 kinds at each place.

Denver Bridge

Such a fun place. I can’t wait to go back some day. And, just a side note, all the photos featured were taken with my phone.


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