You have a friend visiting for the weekend...oh snap! Where do I go? What do we see first? What does one come to Colorado to see...mountains? Weed? AH!!!
No worries. I have already gone through this mental process and done the hard work for you. With a Friday afternoon, Saturday and Sunday to show off Colorado's best sides, I went through where I should take my Florida tourist...
Friday - Morrison/ Red Rocks Amphitheater and downtown Denver
Saturday - Garden of the Gods and Manitou Springs
Sunday - Native Roots dispensary in Frisco, Breckenridge and Belmar
Friday. Let me start by saying, if you are new to Colorado, each season brings completely different activities. Whenever someone visits, I tell them to come back in another season so we can try a whole new set of outings. Since he came to visit in late fall I knew I wanted to show off the snow capped mountains and a dispensary (per his request) at the very least. We started the weekend off with lunch in Morrison. We checked out Mill Street Eats where I ordered a veggie sub and Devin got a philly cheese steak- both were surprisingly delicious! Added a side of sweet potatoes and found ourselves outside on their creek side deck. Mill street Eats is half bar and half restaurant. When you first walk in, its a dimly lit bar, turn to your right and you find the small kitchen and menu boasting burgers, sandwiches and salads. They also offer an array of Blue Bell Ice Cream. Yum! The staff was very kind, the food came out hot and our taste buds were happy. What more can you ask for? After lunch we headed up the road to Red Rocks Amphitheater. If you have guests coming from low altitude, this is the time to warn them about how the altitude may effect them. Ensure they drink plenty of water as soon as they get off the plane! Devin loved climbing the steps inside the theater and seeing the view. It was his first taste of the magic offered by Colorado. Lucky him, Friday night was also the first night of the Parade of Lights so we hopped on the light rail and headed downtown. The light rail is a great way to get downtown with guests. Tickets were just over $5.00 each for a round trip ticket (all day pass). Tyler and I love the light rail because we get to avoid the downtown traffic, not worry about parking and snuggle on the way there. Heads up, if you are going to the parade of lights, get there at least on time. We were about 15-20 minutes behind and the crowds were huge! Ty, Dev and I walked 16th Street Mall after the parade and went to 5280 Ice Cream for a night cap and took the light rail home.
Saturday. I had work in the morning and he had a UCF game to watch so by the time both , with half the day left, I thought visiting Garden of the Gods would be a great adventure for day two! If your guest is wowed by the greatness of Red Rocks Amphitheater then they will love Garden of the Gods. Climb the rocks, take photos and appreciate all the nature made awesomeness. After walking around Garden of the Gods we made our way to Manitou Springs. Tyler and I personally love Manitou Springs because of the mom and pop feeling of the entire area. We checked out a hemp store, bought a new beanie in a local Native American boutique and checked out the arcade. If you have not checked out the arcade in Manitou, you are missing out! There is skeeball, a shoot-the-clown game (don't actually know what it was called), pinball machines and even old school penny games! Yes, literally a penny. Most games are 25 cents...including skeeball! We ended the night with pizza at Marilyn's and made our way home.
Sunday. Mountain day! We got up and got on the road at 10 am. Along the way, we stopped in Frisco at Native Roots where Devin experienced his first dispensary. The staff was incredibly friendly and helpful! It can sometimes be overwhelming going to a dispensary for the first time and they made him feel comfortable. Got the goods and headed to Breck! Never having rode the gondola, that was our first stop. We parked in Breck and paid for parking ($5 got us just over 4 hours of park time) and walked to the gondolas. If you park in the gondola parking, it was $12! Park in Breck and walk instead! The gondola ride was fun. It took us up the mountain to where the skiers were getting on the lifts. Best part? The gondola ride is completely free! After our ride we walked Main Street, popping into some of my favorite shops, and made our way down to Empire Burger for lunch. We LOVE Empire Burger. The burgers are always delicious (they better be- "burger" is in the name!), the french fries are bomb and the dipping sauces are so deliciously creative. We always go with the mango chutney. Of course, we could not leave without dessert. We stopped at the Crepes A La Carte! They serve fantastic crepes- both savory and sweet! I tried the Blue Lagoon which had nutella, brown sugar, blueberries and Bailey's Irish creme. I was a little nervous about all those flavors, but something told me it would be grand...so glad I listened, because it was! Dev and I both knocked out in the car as Ty drove. After settling in at home and having dinner, we walked Belmar, grabbed some gelato at Paciugo and showed him the local ice skating rink. Bam! Colorado in a weekend.