Denver Memorial Day 2016

Memorial Day Weekend provides the perfect opportunity to spend time with friends and family, enjoy the outdoors, and remember those that have fought tirelessly for our country. This upcoming holiday weekend, we’re geared up for some serious Colorado fun, take a look at the Wishlist Memorial Day Weekend agenda:

Denver Day of Rock

Spend Memorial Day Weekend outdoors, listening to great music with Denver’s Day of Rock. This free event on the 16th street mall features 5 stages, with 25 artists who will perform all day Saturday, May 28th. The concert is organized to benefit Amp the Cause, which supports a collection of Colorado non-profits. For more information check out their website here.

 

Museum Tours

This time of year it’s impossible to count on warm weather. For an indoor option that offers a family-friendly way to spend Memorial Day, we’ve rounded up a list of our favorite Denver Museums. Check it out:

 

Clyfford Stills Museum: One of Denver’s newest additions to the museum circuit is a nearly complete collection of the late, great Clyfford Still’s work. Housed in a stunning, modern building on the backside of the Denver Art Museum, the collection features 90% of Stills’ work. Another bonus? It’s free on Friday’s after five, so grab the family for a fun evening outing.

 

Denver Art Museum: The Denver Art Museum provides a multitude of exquisite pieces for viewing. This Memorial Day, explore the samurai exhibition which features full suits of samurai armor, on loan from the Ann and Gabriel Barbier-Mueller collection. View a list of current and upcoming exhibitions here.

 

The History Colorado Museum: For Colorado enthusiasts, take a step back in time with a visit to the History Colorado Museum. With interactive exhibits, stories of the early frontier days, and a look at Denver’s early years, this museum is a fun and family-friendly activity.
Brewery Biking Tour

Memorial Day is best spent outdoors and amongst friends. This holiday weekend, cruise the streets of Fort Collins stopping at some of the city’s best breweries with Wishlist’s brewery biking tour. Guides will lead you to the best beers and the best views during this two-person adventure. For more info, check out our Urban Living Wishlist.

 

Boulder Creek Festival

Memorial Day functions as the unofficial start of the summer. This year, start your summer the right way with the Boulder Creek Festival. The festival is free to the public and features 9 separate event areas with 500 vendors showcasing everything from community arts and crafts to healthier alternatives, technology, and an array of music and dance performances. The festival also features carnival rides, food and beverage vendors, and a rubber duck race down the creek.

 

ArtStir Denver

Explore the works of Colorado’s top local artists during ArtStir Denver 2016. Located in the heart of Downtown Denver at the Pavilions, ArtStir features over 100 local and regional Colorado artists and crafters in a myriad of mediums. In addition to artist booths, the festival will feature a variety of food and drink vendors including Hard Rock Café Denver, Maggiano’s Little Italy, and Grimaldi’s Pizzeria. Local craft beers will also be on tap, provided by Budweiser.

What are your plans for Memorial Day 2016? Let us know by commenting below or on our Facebook page. As always, stay up to date with all Wishlist news by following us here or on any of the social media networks.

A Colorado Summer In One Week

Sadly our beloved summer days are dwindling, and as the long days of sunshine, slurpees and swim parties fade you’ll find yourself asking where did the time go? Did you climb enough mountains this summer, see enough sights, swim through rough currents, and camp fireside? Did you do everything this summer you set out to do? If not, don’t worry quite yet, we’ve compiled an easy-to-follow guide to successfully enjoy a Colorado summer in one week. So cash in on those vacation days, pack your car games and layers, and get ready to complete your summertime bucket list.

Day 1 :: Road Trip to The Great Sand Dunes National Park

Image Courtesy of NPS.Gov
Image Courtesy of NPS.Gov

No summer is complete without a road trip, and this year should be no different. Pack your bags and get an early start for your journey to the San Dunes. Travel along Interstate 285 so you can stop through Colorado Springs on the way. There you can take a mid-afternoon break, and enjoy a packed lunch at the Garden of the Gods, one of Colorado’s most iconic land formations.

Continue towards the Sand Dunes via I-285, one of the prettiest drives in the state. The drive from Denver is just over four hours, so be sure to pack some snacks and games to play in the car. Once there, you will enjoy memorable views and numerous nearby day hikes and campgrounds. At the Sand Dunes there are several options for camping, our favorite though is camping right on the sand. Permits go quickly, so be sure to reserve your space ahead of time. Have fun walking, sledding, or just laying out on the 30-square miles of soft, hot sand.

Day 2 :: Next stop, Buena Vista

Image Courtesy of Tripadvisor.com
Image Courtesy of Tripadvisor.com

No Colorado summer is complete without a day on the water. Head north on US-285 past the San Isabel mountain range, home of the Collegiate Peaks. There you can view some of Colorado’s highest Fourteeners, and stop for an afternoon break amidst the breathtaking view of lush pastures and teetering mountain peaks. Just past the San Isabel National Forest is Buena Vista. There you can enjoy a half-day of guided rafting down Browns Canyon. Enjoy class action rapids, killer views, and another check on your bucket list. Take a break in Buena Vista at a hidden luxury resort, nestled deep in the Colorado wilderness. Enjoy top-tier amenities, warm food, hot showers, and a cozy place to spend the night.

Day 3 :: Camping At Twin Lakes

Image Courtesy of Twinlakesco.com
Image Courtesy of Twinlakesco.com

After a day of fishing and hiking, bundle up for the night at a campground at Twin Lakes. Surrounded by jagged peaks, the Twin Lakes offer an unbeatable place to spend the night. Nearby restaurants make it an easy stop after a long day on the water. If all you want after a long day of hiking and fishing, is a warm shower and a comfortable bed, take a load of at the Windspirit Cottage and Cabins, where you can still enjoy the one-of-a-kind view, but have time to recuperate from your journey so far.

Prepare for an early start, so you can do what every Coloradan must do at some point, and climb a Fourteener. Nearby Mount Elbert, is rated the easiest Fourteener in Colorado, but don’t get too confident. Even if you don’t make it to the summit, the experience of climbing is worth the time. Fourteeners, require their climbers to be prepared, so be sure to pack extra water, supportive footwear, extra socks, food and layers so you wont be caught off guard. As is the case with any hike in Colorado, dark clouds mean it’s time to head home, lightning is always a threat on a mountain peak, which means start before the sun is up, so you can be off the mountain by noon.

Day 4 :: Snowmass Village

Image Courtesy of Destinationsnowmass.com
Image Courtesy of Destinationsnowmass.com

Your drive from Twin Lakes will lead you through Aspen, Colorado. Stop for the day to enjoy delicious food from local restaurants like Mezzaluna, or Boogies Diner. Spend the day walking around one of Colorado’s most famous towns, and enjoy a quick gondola ride up Aspen Mountain where you will get a breathtaking view of the surrounding mountain peaks. A day in Aspen is not complete without a stop at Paradise Bakery for a taste of their slow-churned ice cream. Sit and enjoy live music from the nearby classical music students, in the warm summer air.

Load up the troops again, for a brief trip to Snowmass where you can spend the night camping or in one of the many hotels. Enjoy dinner at any of their restaurants and spend the evening leisurely walking around town and people watching for a relaxed, but lovely summer evening.

Day 5 :: Breckenridge Colorado

Image Courtesy of blog.breckenridge.com
Image Courtesy of blog.breckenridge.com

Every summer needs a little R&R and after the trip you’ve already had you’ll be ready for a spa day in Breckenridge. Less than two hours outside of Snowmass, on your way back to Denver, stop for the afternoon in the small ski town of Breckenridge. Treat yourself to a day at the spa with a healing massage thanks to the Relaxation Wishlist. Enjoy world-class burgers, fries and cold beers on an outdoor patio on Main Street. With sweeping views, a laid back atmosphere, and a newly relaxed you, you’ll find Breckenridge to be the perfect break after your Colorado adventures.

Red Rocks Amphitheater

Image Courtesy of theredrocksamphitheater.com
Image Courtesy of theredrocksamphitheater.com

It’s an unspoken requirement of every Coloradan to go to at least one concert at Red Rocks a year. Thankfully, there are still quite a few concerts on the calendar. Plan ahead and grab tickets soon to see great music at the best concert venue in the Country (and yes, we’re sure). Red Rocks is just a couple of hours outside of Breckenridge so you’ll have no trouble making it in time after your day of massages and burgers.

Day Six :: A Day In Denver

Image Courtesy of Denvergov.org
Image Courtesy of Denvergov.org

Spend the day in the mile high city enjoying good food, great company, and afternoon strolls through galleries. Begin your day at the Clifford Still Museum where you can view the only collection of the famed artist’s work. Then, walk across the street to the Denver Art Museum where you can view a mix of contemporary and collected art. In Denver, the hardest thing about eating is picking a restaurant. For lunch, we recommend something light and easy like The Market on Larimer Square, which has something for everyone. For dinner dress up a bit for food and drinks at Linger (although be sure to call at the start of the week for reservations), which has one of the best rooftop bars in town. Spend the end of your night in line at Little Man Ice Cream, where waiting for dessert is part of the fun. With a line that stretches around the block you’ll have plenty of time to chat with friends and listen to live music.

Day Seven :: Back To Boulder

Image Courtesy of bouldercolorado.gov
Image Courtesy of bouldercolorado.gov

Whether you started your journey in Boulder or not, the college town is the perfect place to end a Colorado summer in one week. Walk down Pearl Street Mall where you can watch street performers and often listen to live music. Take a trip to the local’s farmers market to grab fresh vegetables and fruit to take home with you. For lunch we recommend somewhere with a patio where you can people watch, our favorites are Hapa or Riffs. Spend the last night of your week of summer around a campfire, with good friends, homemade food, and melted s’mores, for the ending to a perfect week. And there you have it, the perfect way to complete a Colorado summer in one week.

We know it’s hard to say goodbye to summer, but after this week you’ll truly feel you packed it full. What’s on your Colorado summer bucket list? Let us know by commenting below or on our Facebook page. As always, stay up to date with all Wishlist news by following us here or on any of the social media platforms.

 

Best Colorado Breweries

With summer drawing to a close, it’s time to get your last minute trips in. For this weekend away, we thought we’d tour you around Colorado based on some of the best local breweries. Visit Colorado from end-to-end while tasting the best Colorado craft brews, with our list of the best Colorado breweries below.

  1. Tommyknocker – Idaho Springs

Best Colorado Breweries The tiny town of Idaho Springs (and boy do we mean tiny, with just 1,800 full-time residents) is called the gateway to the mountains. If you’ve ever strapped your skis on to the top of your car and made a b-line for Vail, Copper, Keystone, or Breckenridge, you know why. Instead of passing through this summer, take a couple hours to sit back and enjoy some fresh brews at one of Colorado’s oldest breweries. Tommyknockers was up and running in 1859 and continues to serve some of the best beer (including root beer) and food.

What else should you do in Idaho Springs? While there, kick back for the afternoon at Mt. Evan’s Trout Fishing, where you can try your luck fishing in a stocked pond (a novice-fisherman friendly adventure). If fishing isn’t for you, head up to St. Mary’s Glacier, a short hike with arguably one of the best views in the state.

  1. Ska Brewing – Durango

Best Colorado Breweries This local brewery focuses predominantly on canned beers, offering well-executed small batch brews to appease your hankering for hops. Ska Brewing was founded in 1995 and started small. True to form, they’ve yet to break from tradition producing only 21,000 barrels a year.

What else should you do in Durango? As one of Colorado’s most southern cities Durango can be a bit of a trek to get to, but well worth it. Perched on the edge of the San Juan National Forest, Durango offers some of the best hiking, and best views in the entire state. If you’re not up for much of a hike after your afternoon beers, try instead a ride on the Durango narrow gauge railroad. This half-day trip will lead you along narrow cliff edges to spectacular sites.

  1. Left Hand Brewery – Longmont

Best Colorado Breweries Founded in 1993, and named after the chief of a local Native American tribe that spent the winter in the area, Left Hand Brewery is definitely a local’s favorite. Their emblem: a red left hand (not to be too on the nose) is easy to spot on most bumpers in Colorado. So why is it a local favorite? Mainly because of their risk-taking. In 2011 Left Hand Brewery introduced a Milk Stout Nitro, which uses nitrogen in the beer to create smaller bubbles. Aside from that, simply put: they just make good beer.

What else should you do in Longmont? If you have your pup in tow, take a break at Union Reservoir Park, one of the few parks in Colorado that allow dogs to swim. This scenic area, is perhaps the closest thing Coloradans have to a beach. Cool off with a walk around the water or even waist-deep wading.

  1. Avery Brewing Company – Boulder

Best Colorado Breweries Our list would be remiss if we didn’t include at least one Boulder brew house, and when it comes to beer few do it better than Avery Brewing. With hundreds of unique beers served year round, you can try drinks on either end of the craft brew spectrum. From light, citrusy brews, to deep browns you’ll find full-flavored beers that satisfy even the pickiest of drinkers.

What else should you do in Boulder? While in town stop by the Pearl Street Mall, where during the summer they have a range of street performers, sidewalk stalls, and often parades. If the day is hot, cool down at the Boulder Reservoir, or even take a scenic stroll through Chautauqua Park.

  1. New Belgium Brewing Company – Fort Collins

Best Colorado Breweries A name practically synonymous with beers, you don’t have to be from Colorado to know about New Belgium Brewing. With their famous fat tires on tap, it’s almost a Mecca for true beer aficionados. With two locations in Fort Collins one has to ask what came first New Belgium Brewing, or the college town?

What else should you do in Fort Collins? Fort Collins has made multiple lists as one of the best places to live. Beer lovers could spend an entire day in Fort Collins and still not run out of places to go. With top breweries like Budweiser, Black Bottle Brewery, Funkwerks, Equinox, Fredom’s Edge, Fort Collins Brewery and Odell, you’d be hard-pressed to find a more beer-friendly city than Fort Collins.

      6. Great Divide – Denver

Best Colorado Breweries Denver may not hold the reputation of Fort Collins or Boulder, but the mile-high city can certainly hold their own when it comes to craft beer. The Great Divide is best known for it’s boozy beers. With an ABV over 7% and their heavy beer Old Ruffian, with an alcohol percentage of 10.2%, Great Divide does not make average beers. Combine easy drinkability with high ABV, the Great Divide will always make for a fun night out.

What else should you do in Denver? Colorado’s capital has more than a day’s worth of fun activities. If you’re in the mood for good food, and the best outdoor patios hike up to lower highlands for a great selection of mid-range restaurants. If you’re looking more for outdoor fun, pay a visit to Washington Park, which has paddle boats, and canoes for rent throughout the summer.

What gets your vote for one of the best Colorado breweries? Let us know by commenting below or on our facebook page. As always, stay up to date with all Wishlist news by following us here or on any of the social media outlets.

Our Top Spontaneous Adventures

Our Top Spontaneous AdventuresIn the past we’ve mentioned several times, the scientifically proven benefits of buying experiences over things. Where buying things can cause stress and anxiety, or buyer’s remorse, simply planning experiences can make you feel more motivated, excited, and overall just happier. If you’re interested in what else we said, check out one, two, three, previous posts we wrote on the subject.

So while the benefits of buying experiences over things might not be news to us (as an experience-based gifting company), it’s news to a lot of people. Just last week Fast Company penned an article titled: “The Science of Why You Should Spend Your Money On Experiences, Not Things”, in which they discussed a lot of what makes our most memorable experiences so valuable. So, in honor of the recent attention being paid towards experiential gifts, we’ve rounded up our top spontaneous adventures so you can make this weekend a memorable one.

Horseback Riding

This weekend skip the city with a scenic horseback ride through Idaho Springs. This is a great way to enjoy the outdoors, while trying something new. If you’re looking to saddle up this spring, take a look at our Adventure Wishlist, which includes two horseback riding adventures.

Fly Fishing

Even though nice weather isn’t necessarily a prerequisite for fly fishing, it certainly makes for an even sweeter time. Whether you’re new to fishing or an old pro, an afternoon on the water is a great way to spend your weekend. For this last minute adventure, check out our Adventure Wishlist for our three-hour introduction to fly fishing course in Loveland.

Farm Fresh Food

With spring here at last, many cities are welcoming back their local farmer’s market. In Boulder, we’ve already seen the arrival of our favorite stands from dumplings to fresh tomatoes. So what better way to spend the weekend than by heading to the farmer’s market to pick up the ingredients for a gourmet meal? Plan your dinner based on the foods they have available, and enjoy a spontaneous evening trying new recipes and foods.

Art Crawl

Every first Friday of the month in the Santa Fe art district in Denver they have an art crawl. There you can see handcrafted works, and various knick-knacks made by Colorado locals. Or if you’re feeling extra spontaneous, head to the real Santa Fe district, in New Mexico where you can view one of a kind art in a row of galleries. The ride is just under six hours, but the scenery on the way up is breathtaking, and you’ll have an unforgettable weekend.

Festival

Colorado is known for a lot of things, but seemingly more so than any other state, Colorado knows how to throw a festival. Weather it’s music, barbeque, or even cryogenically frozen mascots (Frozen Dead Guy Days in Nederland) there’s a festival for everything. So when Saturday morning rolls around, keep your eyes peeled for any upcoming festivals as a fun, spontaneous way to enjoy the weekend.

How are you going to spend this spring weekend? Let us know by commenting below or on our facebook page. As always stay up to date with all Wishlist news by following us here or on any of the social media platforms.