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Sun May 02, 2010 8:32 pmFood.com Groupie
We will be traveling from Denver to Mt. Rushmore in a few months. We will be staying in Denver for two days and then onto Cheyenne and Mt. Rushmore and back to Denver.
Can you recommend must see sites (or places to avoid) in the Denver or Cheyenne areas?
My boys are pre-teen but are interested in various things.
Mon May 03, 2010 8:41 pmNewbie "Fry Cook" Poster
I used to live in the Cheyenne area and loved it. We also loved visiting Denver...
Catching a Rockies game is so much fun if you are into baseball. The zoo in Denver is beautiful. My kids loved Elitch Gardens and Water World... Casa Bonita was a fun place for dinner. It is a Mexican Restaurant which is more an experience than a meal.
If you are going to be in town in late July the rodeo is awesome. There are some great museums in town: The Cheyenne Frontier Days Museum and the State Museum are interesting. The downtown trolley tour is cool. The walking tour of the Cemetery is really interesting too - so much history...
Have a great time! I miss it!
Mon May 03, 2010 9:17 pmRegular "Line Cook" Poster
You might like driving an hour in the mountains to visit Georgetown. It still looks like the 1870s, plus there is the Georgetown Loop Railroad your children might enjoy.
You also might like going up to Vail, which is a little less than 2 hours away. It's a ski resort town that is a fun place to walk around, shop, hike, or ride bikes in the summer. Winter Park is fun, too.
Roxborough State Park is a beautiful place to hike that is just south of Denver.
Red Rocks Amphitheater is a cool place to explore during the day, and there might be a concert you'd want to catch in the evening.
The Denver Art Museum is great, plus just walking on the 16th Street Mall downtown and Larimar Street.
Next to the zoo is the Museum of Nature and Science, which is good.
You also might like the Downtown Aquarium, which is close to Elitch Gardens (amusement park that has water slides).
Here's a site that might be helpful:
Good luck, and have a nice trip!
P.S. Casa Bonita is fun for the kids, but the food is not very good.
Tue May 04, 2010 12:46 amNewbie "Fry Cook" Poster
We lived in Cheyenne for three years and had a lot of fun traveling to all the sights near by. Our favorite town to visit was Fort Collins, it's a college town about an hour north of Denver and very family friendly. They have a large park there called Horsetooth Reservoir where we went hiking and biking, there are usually festivals going on, and some really good restaurants like Taj Mahal, Jeju Sushi, and Gelazzi Gelato. Estes Park is about a half Southwest of Fort Collins and is a beautiful town adjacent to Rocky Mountain National Park (gorgeous views). We also enjoyed visiting Boulder, CO for hiking and strolling down Pearl Street for shopping and people watching . Denver itself is filled with plenty of things to do as you would expect in a large city, but some of our favorite restaurants include Zengo (www.modernmexican.com) and Lola (www.loladenver.com). Both of these restaurants are really cool fusion-style places, although they aren't as family friendly as some. Cheyenne is a very close-knit place and has a charm of it's own. There isn't a ton of restaurants in Cheyenne, but I enjoyed Pizzeria Venti (awesome service) and Luxury Diner (it's a cool cafe in an old train car!). Vedauwoo National Park is very pretty and a nice drive connecting I-25 to I-80 (near Laramie) down Happy Jack Rd. Laramie is also a nice place full of history and of course UW. I hope this helps and I hope you and your family have a wonderful vacation.
Places to avoid: Any commercialized restaurants, you gotta get into the culture!
PS. Rapid City, SD is a really cool town. I highly recommend Bear Country USA, Cosmos Cabin, and Crazy Horse. These were all very interesting to visit and there is even a winery in town that was actually pretty good!
Tue May 04, 2010 8:01 amForum Host
The Prairie Berry winery IS good, but I think it's been relocated to Hill City (near Mt. Rushmore).
Tue May 04, 2010 8:08 amNewbie "Fry Cook" Poster
My favorite breakfast place in Denver is Snooze. There are several locations. It's a pretty fun, kind of chic retro restaurant that serves breakfast. Only they spice up breakfast. you can get cherry chocolate chip pancakes, pineapple upsidedown pancakes, etc. They have all sorts of crazy flavors that are all amazing. The eggs and everything are all really good too.
A good lunch spot in the city is Spices Cafe. It's a little hole in the wall place behind a pub. I think the address is 1510 Humboldt St. It's just up Colfax Ave from the state capitol building. They have all your traditional deli foods. My favorite is the Tuna Salad Sandwich. I have never had a tuna sandwich like that before. I don't know what they put in it, but it is awesome. However, I would not go here at night, it gets rather sketchy. Another good place to eat for lunch or dinner is B.D.'s Mongolian BBQ. It's at the end of the 16th Street Mall, which is a must visit if you like shopping. B.D.'s is at the end that the Union Station is at. It's on Wazee st. It's a really good place to take kids too. You go in and pick out whatever kind of noodles, vegetables, sauces, meats, etc you want in you dish, then you walk over to a giant round flat top grill and hand it to one of the grillers. They throw your food on and in about 30 seconds it's done. They also usually give you a little show with tossing the food. It's not only fun to watch, but it's delicious to eat. Another really, really good place close to the 16th Street Mall is The Market. It's on Market Street, towards Speer. It's a coffee shop, deli and patisserie. It's a little more pricey, but it's totally worth it. The food is amazing.
My favorite place for dinner is Pasquini's. It's a family owned Italian restaurant. They make all the noodles and doughs from scratch. It's got amazing pizzas and pastas. You get breadsticks before your meal, and if you have small kids, the waiter usually brings out a ball of pizza dough for them to play with. And they have really delicious desserts. My favorite dessert is the Chocolate Candle. It's got a kahlua mousse center, surrounded by a white then dark, then milk chocolate mousses and all that is wrapped in a chocolate shell. It's really rich, but it is delicious. If you like sushi, my favorite Sushi place is in Lakewood, but not that far out of Denver. All you do is get on 6th Ave W and exit on Wadsworth. Take Wads. South to Alameda and take a left on Alameda. Pretty much immediately there's a shopping area. Turn in there and right across from the movie theater is Wasabi. It's some of the best sushi I've had outside of California.
A couple of fun attractions around the area are Elitches, which is an amusement park, the aquarium, the zoo, the museum of nature and science, and the art museum. All are relatively inexpensive, with the exception of elitches. I would recommend that you go up to the mountains as well. The mountains are gorgeous in Colorado. My favorite park is Estes Park, however it's quite a drive out of Denver.
Some places to avoid: I wouldn't go to Waterworld. Frankly, it's not cleaned very well. Every time I have gone there there has been at least one dirty diaper floating in the water. Gross. I also would avoid Casabonita. While the show is fun and everything, the food is not good. I also happen to know that they have a cockroach problem, which only happens in CO when somewhere is not cleaned well. I don't know about you, but I'm kind of a germaphobe, so that stuff grosses me out really bad. If you do want a good mexian restaurant, I'd go to Los Arcos. I wouldn't hang around the capitol building area at night. There's a lot of homeless people around the 16th street mall at night, but that's because there's a shelter not far from there.
I hope this helps. Feel free to email me with any questions about places in Denver. I've lived in Denver for over 15 years, so I know it quite well. I hope you have fun on your trip!
Tue May 04, 2010 10:36 amFood.com Groupie
As far as food for out-of-towners, if you're adventurous, try the Buckhorn Exchange. They have buffalo burgers that are huge (and yummy). They also have other things on the menu, but every time I go, there's tourists taking photographs outside.
The food at Casa Bonita is horrible. You HAVE to purchase food to get inside, you can't just go for the entertainment.
Some FREE things I like: visiting the REI in Denver. They have an indoor climbing wall and it's near the river. Dinosaur Ridge is also free and near Red Rocks. Boulder is a neat town to walk through Pearl St. Mall. You can visit Buffalo Bill's grave just up the hill from Golden. The walk up to the best viewpoint of the front range is free, the museum is not. You can visit the grave without paying admission to the museum.
Once in Chyenne, get gas because there's not much from there to Rushmore. Yes, there are a few towns, but the gas is more expensive.
Mt. Rushmore has a parking garage you have to pay for. It's not included in the parks pass. It was $8 when I went there a few years ago so I'm not sure how much it is today. So try to spend a bit of time to make it worth the money. They have trails and movies. They also have a cafe, but we didn't eat there so I can't tell you anything about it. The Crazy Horse monument is nearby so you can hit that too. I agree with pp, Bear Country USA in SD is neat. You can drive through and see all sorts of animals.
Tue May 04, 2010 1:09 pmForum Host
Tue May 04, 2010 1:30 pmNewbie "Fry Cook" Poster
Another thing I thought of--near Mount Rushmore is a small town called Custer, SD. There's a place there called Purple Pie Place. It's a purple house, hard to miss. Anyway, there's some really really good pie in there, you should try it. I don't know if it's still there, it's been a few years since I was in South Dakota.
Tue May 04, 2010 6:25 pmFood.com Groupie
Thank you so much for all of your responses. I'm going to print them out and show them to my family. We requested info from the different states and this will add to it. We can't wait to go.
Tue May 04, 2010 10:08 pmNewbie "Fry Cook" Poster
If you are in Cheyenne from July 23 to August 1, look up Cheyenne Frontier Days online. It is a very unique week. There are parades on Sat, Tues, Thurs, Sat. There are free pancake breakfasts on Mon, Wed, Fri hosted by Kiwannas and Boy Scouts, there is the carnival and daily rodeos and night shows. It is touted as the largest outdoor rodeo. There are also tons of things to do around town then as we put our best suit on this week each year. KISS is the opening night show and Brooks and Dunn are performing in their last year together.
Otherwise, there are many things to do in the area. As mentioned before there are the museums. The state one is free, as is the historic Governor's mansion. There is the Cheyenne botanical gardens which is nominal or free. I haven't been to it but there is also a Pioneer Museum, and it charges. Weekdays you can tour the capitol building, it is very pretty. The cemetery tour is great because of the amount of historical people buried there. The City/County building is the site of Tom Horn's trial and hanging. The county library is a national award winning one, it has only been open for 3 years. It has one of the largest young adult collections. There is Vedauwoo not far from town. If you camp there are numerous areas around there to do so.
The trolley tour is really good, comprehensive history of the area. If you have military access the base is historic as well. It has the brick officer housing that is beautiful and still in use.
Sanford's is a local chain with unique decoration and menu. Nothing healthy will be found there, but everything is YUMMY. Food is served on pizza pans with serving forks, I always ask for a regular one to replace the pitchfork. An amazing breakfast place is R&B cafe. They specialize in breakfast burritos. We also have a luncheon spot that has Greek/Indian, odd but it works. We have many good chinese restaurants, sushi, mongolian grill, and lots of mexican places that have a variety of types of food. My favorite green chile and tortillas are at the Tortilla Factory.
Terry Bison Ranch is a functioning bison ranch that has other animals, like camels. There are train rides and a restaurant and other stuff I have no clue about because I have only heard about it.
Historical hotel to stay at would be the Plains hotel. It is rumored to be haunted.
On the way from Ft. Collins you could stop at the Budweiser plant (and go to Golden to see Coors if you like seeing production). Estes Park would be a must for me.
On the way to SD you might want to route through Ft. Laramie. It is a historical park that is 150 years old. Boys would probably like that, it is as authentic as they can make it.
On a maudlin point, if anyone has breathing problems or heart problems even slight, make sure to get to the hospital. I work there and we have so many people coming from lower altitudes needing our services. Also make sure to hydrate constantly as it is so arid and high altitude people get dehydrated very easily.
Feel free to email me if you have other questions. I was raised here. Sometimes you know less when you are raised somewhere, LOL.
Thu Jul 29, 2010 8:32 amFood.com Groupie
My boyfriend and I did this roadtrip last summer. It was a great time! We didn't do a lot of sight seeing around Denver because that is where we were living at the time but the highlights for us were the devil's tower in Wyoming, and the Crazy Horse statue. To me that was more impressive than Mt. Rushmore. We did stop at the prairie berry winery as someone else mentioned. The place was kind of fun, free snacks and wine tastes but in our opinion the wine was pretty terrible. We also did a wildlife drive through tour that went through a bear park. That was really cool! Have a great trip!
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