Greater Denver, within 30-40 minutes
Red Rocks Amphitheatre, Visitors Center
A natural wonder improvised into a spectacular amphitheatre for concerts in which the audience looks down upon the Denver valley and the Great plains. This area was eons ago a sea bed – yes,an ocean in Colorado. Dinosaurs roamed the area next and left their footprints in the soft sandstone. Then over 100,000,000 years ago large sandstone ledges were geologically lifted in sharp angles and left as prominent towers above ground. This was the striking setting in which the amphitheatre was built during the depression with help from the federal jobs program(CCC).Since the 1940’s it has served as an acoustically perfect setting for 9000 fans to listen to famous groups like The Beatles, U2, Peter, Paul and Mary, etc. while enjoying the view of Denver below at night. Nothing like it. Its visitor center is open daily year round and the hiking/biking trails in the area showcase this unique meeting of the plains and the mountain foothills. Located in Golden, a suburb of Denver.
Located in Golden at the base of the foothills sits the largest brewery in the country – the Coors Brewery. It still uses the same clean crisp Rocky Mountain spring water that Adolph Coors discovered in the 1800’s. Wander casually through a free tour of the entire process – malting, brewing, packaging – and then taste a free sample before you leave(if 21 or older).
William F. Cody – “Buffalo Bill” – spent his life exploring all that the Old West had to offer. He herded cattle and worked on wagon trains as a teen, then participated in the Gold Rush in Colorado and elsewhere. He was a Pony Express rider and then an Army scout and famous buffalo hunter. Soon he realized the public’s hunger for a show about the west and organized the “Buffalo Bill’s Wild West Show” with cowboys, Indians, and plenty of staged excitement. This show toured the country from 1882 -1916 and made him extraordinarily famous. Many times the show played in Denver and when he died here in 1917 while visiting his sister he was buried as he wanted on Lookout Mountain above Golden in the foothills. The museum celebrates his many accomplishments; his grave and a herd of buffalo are nearby. Great views of Denver are part of the experience.
Located in Golden this museum celebrates the history of powerful locomotives and their trains in the west. Their yard contains over a hundred locomotives of various designs(both narrow and standard gauge) plus cabooses and coach cars. Their working roundhouse is used for restoring and maintaining the rolling stock. Skilled craftsmen put in 1200 hours a month there. On Saturdays you can ride a full-sized train on a closed loop. The museum’s many exhibits highlight the history of railroads. Models of trains and photographs are on display as is a replica of a dept telegraph office.
Located 15-20 minutes north of Denver this huge water ride park has more tube rides than any other water park in America. It has 49 attractions to choose from and is a favorite place to get away from the heat in the summer. When you need a meal break there are several picnic areas available and a dozen cafes and food stands to fit your needs. Open Memorial Day to Labor Day.
Clyfford Still Museum
Believed to one of the pioneers in the Abstract Expressionism movement, Clyfford Still is considered one of the most important painters of the 20th century. Since his death in 1980, his life work has been hidden from public view. In the ultimate exercise of control, Still stipulated in his will that the entire collection be bequeathed to the “American city that will agree to build or assign and maintain permanent quarters exclusively for these works of art . . . with the explicit requirement that none . . . will be sold, given, or exchanged.”
Opening November 2011, Denver became home to the Clyfford Still collection of over 2400 artworks…representing 94% of his lifetime output. Experience it!