Denver’s Winter Wonders | Denver, Colorado

Denver Colorado skyline at sunrise, day after snow storm in winter, from City Park and Denver Museum of Science and Nature

Colorado may experience 300 days of sunshine a year, but that still leaves just about two months of winter wonder to enjoy. With over 300 breweries statewide, 49 ski terrain parks and fine dining to spare, there’s plenty to explore both indoors and out. Here are some of the winter wonders the Mile High City has to offer.

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The Art Hotel

An art connoisseur’s paradise, The Art Hotel offers a blend of refined comfort and intimate service. Throughout your stay, you’ll be surrounded by art pieces from Ed Ruscha, Nancy Rubins, Deborah Butterfield and Kiki Smith. Guests may also wander through the Portico Gallery with curated pieces from Denver Art Museum curator Dianne Vanderlip. Immerse yourself in Denver’s cultural scene with the Downtown Denver Cultural Package that includes 2 tickets to the Denver Art, History of Colorado and Clyfford Still Museums, and breakfast for two in FIRE Restaurant and Lounge.

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Wynkoop Brewing Company Tours

Wynkoop was Colorado’s first brewpub when it started in 1988, and, since then, their thirst for the highest quality beers has led them to hand craft porters, meads and cask-conditioned beers. Get a behind-the-scenes look at how it’s all done with a public brewery tour. As you walk through the historic J.S. Brown Mercantile building you’ll sample Wynkoop’s best beers. Tours are available Tuesday through Saturday at 3:00 p.m. and 4:00 p.m.

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Restaurant Week

Satisfy your taste buds, Feb. 23 to March 4, as Denver’s Restaurant Week returns for its 14th year showcasing the Mile High City’s culinary delights. Hundreds of Denver’s top restaurants will offer multi-course dinners for $25, $35 or $45. Restaurant Week organizers recommend participants browse the menus and make reservations before attending their favorite locations.

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Weekend Amtrak Winter Park Ski Train

Although Denver itself isn’t the ideal city for shredding the slopes, Amtrak has made it easier than ever for residents and visitors to get to slopes. Every Saturday and Sunday through March 25, catch the 7 a.m. Weekend Amtrak Ski Train to the base of Winter Park Resort and dive into the powdered slopes of your dreams. From day trips to weekend getaways, the Winter Park Express is your ticket to a winter wonderland. Tickets range from $29 to $59, depending on availability and seats, so book early.

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Downtown Denver Rink at Skyline Park

Located just steps away from 16th Street Mall, the Downtown Denver Rink at Skyline Park is a great place to treat the entire family to ice skating in the heart of the city. Open through Feb. 14, the rink offers skate rentals for $6 to $8, Monday through Saturday, and free rentals on Sundays. Admission is always free for visitors with their own skates. First time on the ice? Don’t fret. Skate lessons are available Saturdays from 9 to 10 a.m.

Dining and Drinking Through San Diego

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San Diego has some of the world’s best beaches and ranks among the top destinations for outdoor adventurers and sun seekers. America’s Finest City is experiencing a renaissance in fine food, wine, and craft beer culture. Be sure to sample all the flavors of this culturally vibrant coastal California city on the border of Mexico. Traveling to San Diego in January is the most economical time to visit, even when the climate still hovers around 70 degrees Fahrenheit and the coast is blessed with plenty of sunshine. If you plan your vacation after the holidays, hotels and restaurants offer specials and packages not seen in other times of the year.

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Pendry Hotel

Pendry Hotel strikes a balance between modern luxury and classic Southern California style. This home away from home is simple and stunning in design and hosts San Diego’s finest spots for fine food and spirits. Enjoy the Suite Life with a one-night stay, champagne and chocolate amenity, $200 credit to relax at Spa Pendry or enjoy one of the hotel’s six restaurants and bars, late checkout (on availability), and complimentary valet. Thursday through Saturday guests get a bonus front of line pass to Oxford Social Club.

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Experience San Diego’s finest food and wine destinations during Restaurant Week, January 21-28, with more than 180 of San Diego’s finest restaurants, showcased over 8 days. Participating chefs also share their favorite recipes after each event. Check out this list of recipes from past events and keep your eyes peeled for this year’s highlights.

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Liberty Public Market

Open 7-days a week, San Diego’s Liberty Public Market and event venue offers an incredible variety of prepared foods, wine, beer, specialty cocktails, fish, produce, pastries and desserts, pastas, arts and crafts, pop up dinners, a test kitchen, and educational events. Check out happy hour, Monday – Friday, 3-6 pm, and live music every Sunday, 1 – 4 pm.

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2018 San Diego Beer Fest

Stop by Liberty Station noon to 4 pm, January 13, for the 7th Annual San Diego Beer Fest. Thousands of craft brew fans will gather to sample dozens of local and international beers as well as San Diego’s most popular food trucks. Tickets: General admission is $45 with access 1 – 4 pm. $55 VIP tickets get you in the gate an hour early at noon. Food sold separately.

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Farmers Markets

California is the world’s 5th largest supplier of food and other agricultural commodities. Farms big and small can be found throughout the region and nearly every community in San Diego County hosts year-round farmers markets. Select from dozens of farmers markets every week, featuring locally grown fruits, vegetables, dairy, meats, and local-caught seafood. Most markets also feature prepared food booths and trucks, local artists, and live music.

 

 

Holidays in the Big Apple | New York, New York

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There’s no better place to celebrate the holidays than the city that never sleeps. From snowy streets to sparking city lights, New York City is an urban winter wonderland. There’s the famous tree in Rockefeller center, extravagant holiday displays on 5th avenue, and lavish decorations wherever you go. It’s also a culinary hotspot with everything from Michelin star restaurants to hole-in-the-wall favorites. Whether you’re traveling alone or with the whole family, there’s something for everyone to enjoy.

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Westhouse Hotel New York

Relax in luxury at the Westhouse Hotel New York, a timeless property that strives to be your home away from home. It’s beautifully designed with touches of 1920’s glamour and classic New York flair. Located in the heart of Midtown Manhattan, it’s just steps away from the famous tree in Rockefeller Center! Book the Celebratory Package and toast to the holidays with a bottle of champagne and chocolate-covered treats upon arrival. You’ll also receive a complimentary 2:00 pm late checkout.

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Bryant Park Winter Village

Bryant Park’s Winter Village is the quintessential place to experience the holiday season in New York City. Residents and visitors alike flock to the city block packed with seasonal shops, food, performers, decorations, an ice rink, and plenty of holiday cheer. There are countless events every day, so browse the online calendar to plan your trip. Bundle up and take in the sights and sounds of the most wonderful time of the year!

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Rolf’s restaurant is a New York City staple located in Gramercy Park. The neighborhood favorite serves up traditional German fare that’s especially comforting in the chilly winter months. Every year, the restaurant literally decks the halls with dazzling holiday décor. Lights, ornaments, tinsel, and vibrant colors line the walls and ceilings, creating a dining experience unlike any other. It can get pretty packed, so try stopping by on a weeknight before the dinner rush. And no matter what you order, be sure to pair it with their signature spiced eggnog.

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New York Botanical Garden

The New York Botanical Garden is truly a living museum, home to some of the most diverse and expansive gardens in the world. Wintertime at the NYBG is especially remarkable, with seasonal events and exhibitions that the whole family can enjoy. Children will love the Holiday Train Show, featuring enchanting model trains that travel through intricate landmarks. This year’s exhibition showcases Midtown Manhattan, with its famous skyscrapers, under the glow of the Enid A. Haupt Conservatory. Grownups will love the Bar Car Nights series. The gardens are open for extended nighttime hours and guests can enjoy a drink from one of many seasonal bars, relax by the fire pit, and enjoy an after-dark viewing of the Holiday Train Show.

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Mace Cocktail Bar

End your evening with a delicious concoction from Mace Cocktail Bar in New York’s East Village. The talented mixologists created the menu with inspiration from their travels around the world. The carefully crafted cocktails let you enjoy diverse flavors without ever leaving the city. Each of the 12 signature drinks is named after a spice, and they all carry distinct flavor combinations that make them truly unique. Try the bar’s namesake cocktail, Mace, made with Aperol, aquavit, beet juice, orange acid, young Thai coconut cordial, and mace mist.

Holidays in the Windy City | Chicago, Illinois

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As one of the most populous cities in America, Chicago is a bustling destination that’s full of charm. While many travelers flock to warmer climates in the winter, the holiday season is one of the best times to visit the famous windy city. Explore the sights, soak in the culture, and marvel at the stunning architecture. 

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Kinzie Hotel – Explore Chicago Package

The Kinzie Hotel is a stylish boutique property that puts you in the heart of Chicago’s downtown hub. Situated along the iconic city skyline, you’re just minutes away from incredible dining, world-class museums, and popular attractions. Unwind in your chic guestroom and take in sweeping views of the city. The hotel offers a free continental breakfast each morning and a cocktail reception in the evenings. Discover the city’s unique culture and flavor with the Explore Chicago Package. It includes a CityPASS to Chicago’s famous museums, local Fannie May Chocolate and Garrett Popcorn, and free Wi-Fi for unlimited devices.

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Art Institute of Chicago

Founded in 1978, the Art Institute of Chicago is one of the largest and oldest art museums in the country. Its permanent collection spans nearly 300,000 works and they host over 30 special exhibitions a year. The museum is open year-round, but the holidays are even more spectacular. The famous lion statues out front are decorated with festive wreaths, and special holiday exhibitions are on display. See the elaborately decorated Holiday Thorne Rooms in Gallery 11. The miniature displays are decked out with beautifully detailed seasonal decorations.

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Millennium Park/Ice Rink

No visit to Chicago is complete without a trip to the renowned Millennium Park. The modern park is full of state-of-the-art architecture and stunning outdoor art. During the holidays, the park transforms into a winter wonderland complete with decorations, caroling, a lavish tree, and a free ice-skating rink! Stroll around the park and spend your afternoon people watching, then pick up a snack and quench your thirst at the Goose Island Beer Garden.

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Revival Food Hall

Revival Food Hall is a lively, all-local dining concept that highlights the best of Chicago’s culinary scene. Find the 24,000 square foot marketplace on the ground floor of The National in the center of Chicago’s business district. Eat your way through 15 fast-casual stalls featuring some of the city’s favorite neighborhood eateries. Don’t miss the “All Hall Happy Hour” every afternoon, where select vendors offer discounted specials. Warm up with Mindy’s famous hot chocolate at HotChocolate Bakery, the perfect treat for the holiday season.

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360 Chicago and the Signature Lounge

Make your way to the top of the John Hancock Building to experience the 360 Chicago Observation Deck. The observatory is located on the 94th floor and offers unmatched views of the city and Lake Michigan. While you’re up there, visit The Signature Lounge on the 96th floor and unwind with a drink as you gaze over Chicago. They serve a variety of specialty cocktails, wine, craft beer, and small bites.

 

Scenic Wine Country | Palisade, Colorado

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Colorado’s scenic wine country is one of the most beautiful destinations in America. The Grand Valley is surrounded by red rock cliffs and is home to over 20 wineries and vineyards. It’s the perfect place to escape from the bustle of the city and appreciate the simple beauty of nature. Walk, bike, or drive through the Grand Junction and see it for yourself!

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Wine Country Inn

The Wine Country Inn sits in the middle of 21 acres of lush vineyards. Stroll through the grounds and experience the romance of Colorado’s wine country. The Inn is adjacent to two wineries and just minutes away from orchards, shops, galleries, and restaurants. Planning a weekend vacation with friends? Book the Girlfriends’ Getwaway to make it extra special. The package includes a buffet breakfast, daily wine reception, spa gift basket, a bottle of private label wine, and 2 logo wine glasses.

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Redlands Mesa Golf Club

Redlands Mesa Golf Club offers an extraordinary course surrounded by some Colorado’s most scenic vistas. The world-class course features 11 elevated tees and 41 bunkers with unique hole shaping to challenge all skill levels. Golf Digest describes Redlands Mesa Golf Club, “like playing golf along the bottom of the Grand Canyon, with a couple of sojounrs to the Garden of the Gods thrown in.” The club offers multiple practice facilities and professional instructors. Work on your swing at the practice range, then perfect your stroke at the putting green.

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Bin 707

End your day with dinner at Bin 707 Foodbar, a modern eatery in the heart of Grand Junction’s Main Street. They serve seasonal, locally sourced cuisine made almost entirely from scratch. Every item on the menu is crafted to present a unique combination of flavors and ingredients, so your dining experience will include a bit of adventure. Looking for something a little more familiar? Try the classic Bin Burger served with beehive white cheddar and twice cooked skinny fries.

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Fruit & Wine Byway

The Palisade Fruit & Wine Byway is a popular destination for travelers from around the world. The road is divided into three routes and comprises beautiful orchards, gardens, vineyards, wineries, and market fruit stands. Drive along the Colorado River, explore historic downtown Palisade, and marvel at some of the best views of the Grand Valley. The Fruit & Wine Byway is a perfect route to see all of Colorado’s natural beauty.

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Colorado National Monument

The Colorado National Monument is situated between Fruita and Grand Junction. The 32 square mile area features giant boulders, stone tunnels, and red rock canyons. The expansive views and distinctly quiet atmosphere make it feel like a world of its own. Drive along and stop at any one of 19 overlooks, but be sure not to miss Independence Monument. At 450 feet, it’s the canyon’s tallest freestanding rock formation and one of the most recognizable landmarks. You can drive to Rim Rock’s Independence Monument View area and take a short walk up Otto’s Trail to reach the overlook.

Fall Colors in Telluride, Colorado

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The fall season in Colorado is truly a one-of-a-kind experience. As the leaves change color, the expansive hillsides transform into stunning shades of orange, gold, and red. The colors of the Southern mountains reach their peak in October. Visit Telluride, Colorado and surround yourself with gorgeous scenery. The small town maintains an Old-West charm and a quiet sophistication that you won’t find anywhere else.

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Element 52 – Family Playground

Element 52 is located in historic Telluride, nestled at the base of the San Juan mountains on the San Miguel River. The property offers a unique collection of luxury vacation homes for year-round vacations. Visit during the fall to see the natural beauty of the area. Bring the family out for a fun filled vacation with the Family Playground package. It includes accommodations in a spacious two-bedroom residence, welcome beverages upon arrival, complimentary parking, and no resort fee.

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Telluride Gondola

Climb aboard the famous Telluride Gondola for a scenic adventure up to Mountain Village. The 13-minute gondola ride is the first and only free public transportation system of its kind in the U.S. Marvel at the breathtaking views from an elevation of 10,500 feet. The gondola has three stations and runs daily from 6:30 am to midnight. Disembark at the mid-mountain Station St. Sophia stop for direct access to hiking, biking, and ski trails.

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Altezza at the peaks

Altezza translates to “height” in Italian, and the scenic restaurant truly lives up to its name. The restaurant serves Indo-European inspired cuisine in addition to some of the most incredible panoramic views of Telluride. Stop in for breakfast, lunch, dinner, or happy hour. Stop in from 2 pm – 6 pm and try the signature Peak Burger with a draft beer or glass of wine for just $14.

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Bear Creek Falls

Bear Creek Falls is one of Telluride’s most popular and most picturesque hiking trails. It’s an easy to moderate path that takes you up to an elevation of 1,050 feet. The scenic 2.5-mile trail ends in a stunning set of waterfalls and sweeping views of Telluride. It’s a short drive away from town and offers one of the best vantage points to see Colorado’s autumn colors.

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Telluride Horror Show Film Festival

The annual Telluride Horror Show returns this weekend! It is Colorado’s first and longest-running horror film festival. The three-day event, now in its eighth year, brings together horror fans and films from around the globe. This year’s lineup includes 20 feature films and over 50 short films across multiple venues, including the Nugget Theatre, Palm Theatre, and Sheridan Opera house. You’ll experience an eclectic mix of suspense, thriller, dark fantasy, sci-fi, and more.

 

Luxurious Weekend Escape | Las Vegas, Nevada

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Las Vegas is known around the world for its extravagant resorts, vibrant casinos, and non-stop nightlife. It’s the perfect destination for a quick escape from everyday life. One of the best things about the city is that there are countless activities and attractions that are open all year round. Whether you’re celebrating a birthday, special occasion, or just need an indulgent weekend, you can always treat yourself to a lavish Las Vegas vacation.

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ARIA Las Vegas

Aria Las Vegas is the pinnacle of luxury casino resorts. You can appreciate the property’s award-winning design as soon as you walk into the lobby. The hotel’s countless amenities offer anything you can possibly need during your stay, including mobile check-in, spas, three pools, a fitness center, and an on-site salon. Elevate your experience with the Tower Suites VIP Package. The add-on includes round trip luxury airport transportation, two welcome cocktails at the lobby bar, an in-suite welcome amenity, and in-suite breakfast for two. 

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JEWEL at Aria

If you’re looking for Las Vegas’ hottest nightlife destination, look no further than JEWEL Nightclub at Aria. The upscale club is just over a year old and is the latest addition to the famous Hakkasan Group’s portfolio. It spans over 24,000 square feet of precisely designed space with multiple floors and the latest in sound and lighting technology. View the event calendar to see the rotating roster of world-class DJs and performers.

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Head over to the Forum Shops at Caesar’s Palace, known as “The Shopping Wonder of the World.” It’s Las Vegas’ definitive shopping destination, comprising over 160 retailers, restaurants, and attractions. Its high-end roster includes Louis Vuitton, Versace, Valentino, Gucci, and many more. Visit the giant 50,000 gallon aquarium, watch the Fall of Atlantis animatronic show, and gaze upon the ornate architecture as you walk from store to store.

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Qua Baths & Spa

After a long day of shopping, relax and rejuvenate at Qua Baths & Spa inside Caesar’s Palace. This elegant sanctuary has been ranked 28th among the top 100 resort spas in the world. The expansive 50,000 square foot paradise offers unmatched amenities and a holistic approach. There are three Roman baths that harness the ancient healing powers of water, and a snowing Arctic ice room that’s the only one of it’s kind in the world. Browse their wide range of services online.

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Alizé

Alizé is Michelin-starred, multiple award-winning contemporary French restaurant with one of the best views in Las Vegas. Located on the 56th floor of the Palms Casino & Resort, it offers remarkable cuisine, a world-renowned cognac collection, and a 2-story wine tower. Executive Chef Joshua Bianchi has literally and figuratively taken Las Vegas dining to new heights at Alizé. Order the 7-course tasting menu to get the full experience. They also offer a pre-theater prix fixe menu for early diners if you plan to watch one of Las Vegas’ famous shows.

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No Vegas trip is complete without a show! “O” is an aquatic masterpiece presented by the world-famous Cirque du Soleil. The performance weaves together artistry, surrealism, and theatrical romance inspired by the concepts of infinity and water. The talented acrobats, swimmers, and divers put on a truly one-of-a-kind experience, showing exclusively at the Bellagio.

 

Culture and Cuisine in San Francisco, California

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San Francisco is West Coast icon and one of the most well known cities in the United States. The urban metropolis is brimming with people, art, and a personality all its own. It’s also one of the most renowned culinary destinations in the country – at any given time, there are more than 3,500 restaurants open in San Francisco! Here are a few places you won’t want to miss on your next trip to the Bay Area.

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Hotel Fusion

Stay at Hotel Fusion, an urban boutique hotel located right outside of Union Square. You’ll be in the heart of the city, just steps away from some of the best shopping and dining options in the area. The property blends classic Asian design with a contemporary San Franciscan flair. Hotel Fusion also includes upscale dining and drinking options. Taste on Ellis restaurant and bar offers Hawaiian and Hispanic fusion cuisine with a modern twist, while the stylish Infusion Lounge boasts a 6,500 square foot dance floor with VIP rooms and bottle service options. Book the Food & A Flick Package to make the most of your stay. It includes overnight accommodations for two, dinner for two at Taste on Ellis, and a $30 gift card to the ultra-modern Metreon movie complex.

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The San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (SFMOMA), is a short 10-minute walk from the Hotel Fusion. SFMOMA is a nonprofit organization that carries an internationally recognized collection of contemporary artworks. The current collection includes over 33,000 pieces in various mediums spanned across 170,000 square feet of exhibition space. Be sure to check out Noguchi’s Playscapes, on display now through November 26, 2017. Artist Isamu Noguchi explores themes of art, education, and humanity through playgrounds and play structures. The exhibit includes models, sketches, set designs, and archival images.

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Ferry Building Marketplace

San Francisco’s famous Ferry Building Marketplace is the perfect place to stop for a quick lunch. The expansive building comprises multiple eateries, vendors, restaurants, and a bustling farmers market that’s open 3 days a week. With so many choices it’s easy to get overwhelmed, so we recommend taking a few minutes to stroll through the marketplace and browse your options. Our favorite is Gott’s Roadside, a casual diner that’s been serving upscale classics since 1999. Order the California Burger, a 1/3 pound Niman Ranch beef patty piled high with Swiss cheese, bacon, arugula, balsamic onions, and a fried egg. Pair it with a hand-spun ice cream shake for the perfect meal.

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de Young Museum

The de Young Museum was founded in 1895 and is an integral part of San Francisco’s culture. Located in Golden Gate Park, the state-of-the-art facility brings together art, architecture, and nature from all over the world in one inspiring destination. Beyond the Surface: Worldwide Embroidery Traditions displays a unique collection of costumes and accessories from around the globe. The exhibition explores the distinguished craftsmanship and cultural traditions multiple countries.

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The Progress

The Progress is a new American restaurant that serves family-style dishes with seasonal ingredients and intriguing flavor combinations. The restaurant recently earned a Michelin star, and it’s no surprise why. Everything from the inviting staff to the artfully designed interior is truly remarkable. The building was originally a theatre built back in 1911 and the restaurant retains that same historic charm. The rotating menu changes frequently, so don’t hesitate to ask your server for recommendations. Reservations are accepted up to 30 days in advance. Be sure to book a table prior to your visit!

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The Forgery

End your night at The Forgery, a San Francisco staple known for “modern cocktails and classic craftsmanship.” What is now a 2,000 square foot bar was previously home to a printing press and glass blowing studio in a building that’s been a part of San Francisco’s history for many years. Today, the historical space features an open-air layout with floor-to-ceiling windows, exposed brick, and natural wood. It’s one of the cities best cocktail bars and carries over 300 different spirits along with beer, wine, and non-alcoholic selections. Ask your bartender about the featured Forgery Punch Bowl, a rotating recipe that serves 4 guests.

 

Colorado City Life | Denver, Colorado

While Colorado has plenty of natural beauty (four national parks, 42 state parks, and eight national monuments to be exact), it also has its fair share of arts and culture. Enjoy an urban getaway in Denver, where there’s always something going on. Here are the best spots to check out in the Mile High City.

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The Crawford Hotel

Located inside trendy Union Station, The Crawford Hotel incorporates Denver’s rich history into newly renovated spaces. Each floor showcases a different era of Denver’s past, with styles ranging from Victorian to art deco. The unique hotel has views of the Denver skyline and the Rocky Mountains. Add even more excitement to your stay with the Stranahan’s Curated Special. In addition to a two night stay, the package includes a tour of local distillery Stranahan’s (with Tesla chauffeur service), a bottle of whiskey, and two tasting glasses.

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Union Station

First established as a train station over a century ago, Union Station was recently renovated and transformed into “Denver’s Living Room,” a collection of local restaurants, bars, and shops. Be sure to stop by Milkbox, where you can choose from 16 flavors of local ice cream and a selection of boozy milkshakes – we recommend The Dignitary, with Coconut Almond Fudge and rum. To learn more about Denver’s past, you can tour Union Station. Tours include information about the building’s art and history and culminate in your choice of beer or wine at the Terminal Bar.

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Denver Botanic Gardens

The Denver Botanic GardensYork Street location provides natural beauty in the midst of central Denver. Stroll through dozens of gardens featuring both local and international plants. Be sure to see (and smell) the Fragrance Garden, a collection of flowers and herbs that stimulate the senses, and the Victorian Secret Garden, inspired by the tropical gardens popular in the 1800s. Right now you can also see Calder: Monumental, a collection of sculptor Alexander Calder’s bold, geometric creations.

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Denver Art Museum

Famous for its variety of exhibitions and iconic architecture, the Denver Art Museum is one of the city’s best attractions. See everything from European paintings to bamboo carvings to interactive installations. La Musidora, on through October 29th, features colorful wicker rocking chairs that double as musical instruments – simply sit and rock in them to create your own music. Admission to the Denver Art Museum is free on the first Saturday of each month.

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Fiction Beer Company

Fiction Beer Company was created by a book lover and a beer lover that merged their interests and created “liquid literature.” Their brews are inspired by their favorite books, and categorized into “genres” including Classics, Adventure, and Fantasy. Try Old Bums and Beat Cowboys, a pale ale with citrus and tropical fruit flavors that was inspired by Kerouac’s On the Road, a novel that prominently features Denver.

Colorado’s National Parks | Part 2

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Mesa Verde National Park

Mesa Verde National Park is not just a national park; it’s also a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Located in Colorado’s southwestern corner, the park encompasses about 5,000 archeological sites and 600 cliff dwellings. The dwellings, built by Pueblo Indians and dating from 600 to 1300 AD, offer a fascinating glimpse into the past. You can tour four cliff dwellings on foot, or take the Mesa Top Loop Road, a six-mile route with multiple overlooks.

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Where to stay: Far View Lodge, located inside the park. Book the Cities of Sandstone Package to enhance your Mesa Verde visit. In addition to a two-night stay, you’ll get two tickets for the 700 Years tour, a 4-hour guided outing that explores archaeological sites and Cliff Palace.

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Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park

Travel north for the last stop on your national park tour, Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park. The canyon, which features steep, black cliffs upwards of 2,700 feet high, was formed over two million years by the Gunnison River. The park has hiking options that vary in length and difficulty – we like the Cedar Point Natural Trail, a short, easy route that has two overlooks of the river from 2,000 feet up and a view of the Painted Wall, Colorado’s tallest cliff.

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Where to stay: Stay Wise Inns Montrose, just a short drive from the park. In addition to comfortable rooms and complimentary breakfast, the hotel is hosting a “Warm Welcome” this summer with free create-your-own Italian sodas. Book their Mid-Week ‘Hookey’ Special for a special rate Monday through Thursday.