A-Basin (as it is known locally) rocks the rockies for so many reasons. It has one of the longest ski seasons in the USA (already open for winter 2012/13) and has some of the highest terrain in North America so gets dumped with snow when other resorts miss out. It has a new high speed quad, but also has some old school lifts that give the resort a more local and relaxed feel. And the terrain at the end of the lifts is some of the best around. At the end of the day when your legs are too tired to take anymore, head to 'the beach' for some beers, bbq and afternoon sun. And with all of this it still doesn't have the crowds that other Colorado resorts have. You can head there from Denver just for the day or use your Vail resorts ski pass (and free shuttle service) to get some turns in at one of the coolest resorts stateside.
The most welcoming, comfortable book shop on our round the world trip. Wooden floors, exposed rafters and beams; sofas to sink into; integral cafe actively encourages reading while eating wonderful organic and local food; personal hand written comments entice you to explore new authors; attractive wooden stairs with books piled alluringly on steps; small selection of book related presents to take home. I could live there!
If you ever find yourself in the life size game of SIMS which is downtown Denver, head straight down the main mall to the Tattered Cover Bookstore, located in a beautiful and spacious converted warehouse close to Union Station. As the name suggest it actively encourages you to take it slow and spend time there, as much time as you like, loving, enjoying, even fondling the books curled up on vintage leather sofas and enjoying a superb coffee from the espresso bar. A unique and wonderful place.
Hidden away among the high Rocky Mountains of southern Colorado, the sand dunes are amazing. Backed into a corner of a huge valley, surrounded by 4,000m snow-capped peaks is an enormous field of dunes, some 200m high.
The scenery is stunning, wildlife (bison, elk, bears) diverse and there's plenty of opportunity for hiking etc. in the surrounding wilderness area.
Although a bit of a backwater, it can be reached quite easily from Denver or Santa Fe. There's accommodation in nearby Alamosa, and camping on site, but the last time I visited on a fall weekend it was crowded with snowboarders getting some pre-season practice.
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