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Tour Denver

Travel Tips


Guarded by Giants
A Whirlwind Tour of Mile High Magic


Bump skiing at Winter Park Resort outside of Denver
Bump skiing at Winter Park Resort

DENVER TOUR: DAY 3

Begin your last day in the Mile High City with eggs benedict topped with prosciutto, spinach, tomato, pesto and Champagne hollandaise at the Italian-inspired Panzano before driving to the mountains to revel in the landscape that has made Colorado an outdoor recreational utopia.

Roxborough State Park is located near Denver
Roxborough State Park

If it's winter, skiers and snowboarders will want to take advantage of the nearby slopes at Winter Park Resort. Located just 67 miles northwest of Denver, Winter Park (open November through April) trumpets a peak elevation of 10,700 feet and boasts five large mountains with trails available for hiking and mountain biking in the summer. The lodges and Balcony House sell food, and there is also the Snoasis Mid-Mountain Restaurant to refuel in between runs.

If you're not a skier, but still want to take advantage of Colorado's great outdoors, spend the day in Rocky Mountain National Park, located 65 miles northwest of Denver. This breathtaking beautiful natural wonder welcomes more than 3 million annual visitors and lays claim to Trail Ridge Road, the highest continuous highway in North America, which reaches heights of 12,183 feet. Note, however, that the road closes to traffic in November and doesn't reopen until May. Spend the day exploring massive peaks, rugged canyons, flowery meadows, lakes and waterfalls. There are myriad hiking trails of varying difficulties and more than 75 peaks that tower above 12,000 feet. The highest peak in the park is Longs Peak, at 14,255 feet. Other activities include fishing, camping, and superb wildlife viewing, including elk, deer, bighorn sheep, bears and mountain goats. If you didn't bring lunch, two nearby resort villages tout many restaurants to satisfy your hunger: Estes Park to the east or Grand Lake to the west.

Another option is to play 18 holes at Arrowhead Golf Club, located in rugged Roxborough State Park. The course, surrounded by towering red rock formations, is one of the most photographed golf courses in American, but if you still haven't had your fill of postcard-perfect vistas after swinging your way through the beautiful monoliths, stop in for a beer in the clubhouse for a final fix of unparalleled views. By the way, this is wildlife territory, and golfers often share the terrain with deer, foxes, and even bears, adding to the natural wonder of the park.

Head back to Denver for dinner at Fruition or ChoLon, two of the city's top culinary destinations for serious foodniks, or Marco's Coal-Fired Pizzeria, a fantastic Neapolitan-style pie palace that also happens to turn out the city's best chicken wings. Cap off the night with a flute of Champagne at Corridor 44, a swanky bubbles bar.

For more information, visit the Denver Metro Convention & Visitors Bureau.

MORE DENVER INFORMATION

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* Winter Park Resort image courtesy of www.winterparkresort.com.

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(Updated: 05/12/11 NW)

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