Archive for the ‘Family Road Adventures’ Category

Denver to Salt Lake City Road Trip

Posted on: July 31st, 2018 by Webolutions Hostmaster No Comments

Denver Salt Lake Road TripWe’re nearing the end of summer, but there’s still plenty of time to get in those weekend trips and explore more of the country with your family, friends, or riding solo before fall hits and the temperatures start to drop. One of the best things about living in Colorado is the abundance of gorgeous spots in and around the state, and the stunning states we get to call our neighbors. One of those in particular that offers breathtaking views and a hiker’s paradise is Utah. If you’ve ever been to Moab, you know just how true that is, but if you keep on trucking to Salt Lake City, you’ll find plenty of hidden gems there, too.

Quick Weekend

The bright side of being so close to Utah and Salt Lake is that you can pack up and make a quick weekend trip of it without feeling like you have no time to explore while you’re at it. You could head out Friday morning, be in Salt Lake City by Friday night, and head back Sunday afternoon without feeling jipped with too much travel, and in a world where extracurricular and summertime activities fill up schedules quickly, that kind of maximization of time is priceless.

Scenic Routes

You can easily take I-80 on over and call it a day, but the beauty of the Wild West is that there are a number of other routes you can take as well, some that offer much more impressive scenery with the addition of just a couple of hours onto your drive time. You can also take I-70 up through the mountains, a twistier, turnier option but with much prettier views and only about an extra hour of drive time.

The Great Salt Lake

Of course, there is plenty to do in Salt Lake City itself, but one of the main attractions, we’re sure you won’t be surprised to find, is indeed, the lake after which the city is named. As the largest saltwater lake in the Western hemisphere, it’s about the closest thing you’ll get to the ocean without actually heading to a coast and dipping your toes in the real deal. There are plenty of activities to take part in on and around the lake, even if that’s the only destination you hit for a fun family weekend, you’ll be anything but bored.

Outdoor Fix

And of course, we’d be remiss if we didn’t mention the many, many miles of hiking available around the area? Moab isn’t the only outdoorsperson hot spot in the great state of Utah. There are places like Willow and White Pine Lake that are stunning mountain lakes to rival even some of what you’re used to if you explore in Colorado frequently. There are canyons and waterfalls and high-elevation trails that overlook that Great Salt Lake. In short, there’s something for everyone, water or trail or peak lover alike.

No matter what it is about Utah that piques your interest, there are plenty of things to soak up in Salt Lake City. Got plans this weekend? What are you waiting for? Pack up the family and head out, make some memories in the great outdoors and check another state off your list of places to travel.

Best Burgers in Colorado

Posted on: July 6th, 2018 by Webolutions Hostmaster No Comments

best burgers in coloradoWhat’s summer without goodies fresh off the grill? The search for an amazing burger is a staple to many road trips and city explorations all year round, but there’s something extra special about discovering a particularly delicious patty after a long hike in the Rocky Mountains or simply sitting under the summer sun and getting your indulge on. There are so many good burger places to choose from around the Front Range, and each offers its own take on a true classic, so where do you go? While we encourage trying your hand at as many spots as possible to form your own opinions, here are some of our all-time favorites in Colorado.

The Cherry Cricket

A Denver staple, and for very, very good reason, The Cherry Cricket is the epitome of delicious, greasy bar food. All of their burgers are excellent and are fairly customizable to suit your individual tastes. If you’re looking for a pro tip, splurging for the bison burger is a next level move here – your tastebuds can thank us later.

Skirted Heifer

Right smack-dab in the middle of downtown Colorado Springs, the Skirted Heifer is second to none. What makes this burger so delicious, you ask? Well, they pile on the cheese and cook the burger in such a way that it literally melts down and creates a toasted-cheese “skirt” around the bottom of the burger. It’s simple, it’s freaking amazing, and it will change the way you view cheeseburgers forever. Their classic custard is pretty good, too. Chow down here after tackling the intense Manitou Incline and you’ll swear a burger has never tasted so good.

Blackbelly

In true Boulder fashion, this market and the burger you’ll get inside is all about local. From a Real Dill pickle on the side to the infamous thick-cut bacon from their very own butcher shop (if you’ve lived here for awhile and like to sample the culinary offerings the Denver/Boulder area is brimming with, you’ve likely seen this brand on menus around the city before – yeah, it’s THAT bacon, fresher than anywhere else). It’s hard to beat the commitment to local, sustainable, and fresh food that you’ll get at this burger joint, so if that kind of community awareness and support is your shtick, we highly recommend giving this spot a shot.

Grind

Along the same lines as Blackbelly, Grind in Glenwood Springs offers a local, sustainable approach to the classic burger. They go so far as to say that they grind each burger they serve themselves (hence the name!) to ensure your health and quality flavor is at the forefront of your dining experience. They also offer a delicious vegetarian option in their “Mayan” burger, a house-made black bean patty that packs a flavorful punch without any of the, you know, meat. Grind aims to be the kind of place you can hang around for hours with your friends, so if you’re looking to try them out, make sure to book out some time to get the full experience.

We know, we know, we’ve barely grazed (excuse the pun) the surface when it comes to the burger offerings available in Colorado and the front range, but armed with these hot spots, you can build a solid burger foundation from which you can go, expand, and make your own decisions. Look, we’d have mentioned Shake Shack, but the East Coast staple isn’t quite as Coloradan, and honestly, we’re just waiting for In N Out to make it’s proper debut before we even touch that particular burger battle. Happy burger exploring, everyone!

Classic Ballparks: Plan Your Trip

Posted on: April 27th, 2018 by Webolutions Hostmaster No Comments

classic ballparks

Baseball season has arrived and you know what that means – it’s time to start planning your dream list of fields and stadiums to visit before the season ends. There’s nothing quite as summery as enjoying a hot dog and nachos while sitting in the sun and watching a good, old-fashioned baseball game. It’s a historic pastime in America and along with the classic game comes countless (ok, you can count them – there are 30) gorgeous stadiums in beautiful cities around the nation to check out. As your Denver auto body repair team, we put together a line up below – with some gorgeous destination cities and some stunning stadiums with impressive history to check out.

Wrigley Field

I mean, come on – is it even possible to write a piece about classic ballparks without including this gem? One look at the ivy-covered walls and one step inside is all it takes to feel like you’re really, truly at a baseball game. There’s a lot of history in this field, and a lot of energy to go along with it. Whether or not you’re a Cubbie fan, this one is worth the trip – it’s a one-of-a-kind experience.

Petco Park

Ok, so maybe we mostly put this one on the list because San Diego is essentially heaven on earth, but can you blame us? It’s also a gorgeous park, and since San Diego has had a bit of a rough go what with the Chargers leaving and heading up to Los Angeles, it’s extra-important to get out there and support the city’s sports teams. Plus, similar to Denver, the craft beer selection is top notch.

Kauffman Stadium

Kansas City is a doable day-drive at just 8 hours from the Denver metro area, so we had to include this stadium on our list for those weekend warriors out there. And, hey, the stadium has a waterfall – that’s pretty cool, right? The home team may not be living up to the world-championship title they garnered a few years back, but it’s hard to pass up some classic midwest baseball and arguably the best barbecue you’ll ever taste.

Safeco Field

Look, we know, we know. The Mariners haven’t exactly been the most exciting team to watch in recent years, but isn’t a trip to Seattle worth it? Plus, the stadium itself is gorgeous and where else can you find a ballpark that offers sushi (fresh, edible sushi) to go along with your viewing experience? It’s a must-see (and a must-eat) regardless of how well the team itself may (or may not) be doing.

AT&T Park (Giants)

It’s almost annoying, really, how good San Francisco is at so many things. We tried not to bring AT&T park into this, really, we did, but we couldn’t help ourselves. It’s a classic, through and through. From the iconic Coca-Cola bottle feature to the unforgettable McCovey Cove in right field, all the way to stunning view of the bay, it’s hard to compete with this one.

Coors Field

Once you get home, why not take a trip to every Denverite’s favorite – Coors Field right here in downtown Denver. It doesn’t exactly call for a roadtrip, but it sure makes a good cherry on top moment to finish off your epic classic ballpark tour of 2018. What are your favorite fields and must-sees this baseball season?

Spring Getaways

Posted on: April 5th, 2018 by Webolutions Hostmaster No Comments

spring getawaysSpring is upon us, and though the weather may sometimes say otherwise, that means it’s time to start planning some fun seasonal getaways to welcome in the greener scenery and warmer temps. Not sure what to do this season before summer vacation time hits? We’ve got a few ideas that might be worth looking into!

Head South

The Denver metro area might still be facing a little bit of back and forth on the spring temperatures versus winter weather right now, but if you head south to Arizona, New Mexico, or even just Southern Colorado, you might be pleased to find warmer temps and more consistent sunshine without the potential of impending snow. Sure, there are plenty of people who subscribe to the “head south for winter” ideology, but why not spend a little time Southbound for the spring?

Baseball Season

One of the best parts of spring? Baseball season returns! Whether you’re a die hard opening day-er or just like to enjoy some of the first games of America’s greatest pastime, now’s the time to get your tickets and get ready to see your favorite team hit a few out of the park (hopefully!). Baseball season started a little early this year, with the official opening day being March 29, and our own Colorado Rockies having their first game on April 6, but if you missed the first couple of milestones, there’s nothing saying you can’t hop in now and get your swing, batter, batter on for the rest of the spring! Might we recommend rock pile tickets if you want to enjoy our hometown team without breaking the bank?

Get Your Hike On

It’s finally getting warmer out – and that means the snow and ice on the trails in the front range are starting to melt. There may even be trails on the Western slope or in southern Colorado that are completely dry and even a little warm, ready for you to lace up those hiking boots and explore a little more. Look, we get it, when winter rears its head, it’s often easier to bundle up at home than get out there and explore in the frigid mountain temperatures, but now that everything’s starting to thaw and warm up, the time to put some miles on your vehicle and your favorite pair of hiking shoes is now! Plan a quick weekend trip or take a couple of days off and do some serious trailblazing.

Spring is always a little strange in the Front Range, what with the indecisive weather and sometimes-beautiful, sometimes-freezing temperatures, but as the flowers start blooming and the trees begin budding once again, it can be one of the most beautiful times to explore, check out some sports, or just soak up those rays of sunlight you missed out on in the drearier parts of the winter months.

Colorado Must-Ski Places Before the Season Ends

Posted on: March 7th, 2018 by Webolutions Hostmaster No Comments

colorado must ski placesWe’re inching our way closer to spring here in the Front Range, but the ski season in the mountains is far from over. If you’ve been contemplating hitting the slopes but aren’t sure where to go, let us help out. Here are some of our favorite ski spots in the state.

Copper Mountain

There’s a reason this one’s a classic, Copper Mountain employs tons of snowmaking, allowing you to stay out there longer, regardless of weather conditions. This is an awesome spot for intermediate skiiers and boarders, with a pretty even mix of beginner and intermediate runs – with over half of the runs being labeled as advanced/expert, beginners may want to take it slow or start elsewhere.

Steamboat

Steamboat is a great destination year round, but especially during ski season. The quaint mountain town offers plenty of activities (and the hot springs just outside of town!) for your post-slope entertainment, but it’s hard to beat the views and atmosphere in Steamboat.

Vail

When you think “skiing” you think Vail (okay, and Aspen and Breckenridge, but still…), and for good reason. It’s a gorgeous spot that’s extremely popular from the day the slopes open to the day they close up shop until next year. Vail and Aspen are hot spots for not only locals but celebrities who vacation in the mountains, too. If you’re cool with crowds, you could be skiing with the stars. And even if you don’t manage to spot Kate Hudson or Chelsea Handler on the slopes, there’s still plenty of reasons to love Vail, from the expertly groomed runs to the true mountain resort atmosphere.

Aspen

Another iconic ski hot spot, and for good reason. Aspen Highlands is reputed as Colorado’s best steep-mountain, in bounds skiing. The scenic summit offers gorgeous views while the runs themselves offer something for the whole family, though with over 50% expert and advanced trails, it certainly caters to the thrill seeker in us all.

Telluride

It’s a jaunt to get there from the Denver Metro area, but it’s oh-so-worth-it. The tiny town is adorable and the main street running through it looks up into the mountains in an awe-inspiring kind of way – and that’s just on the ground. The views of the San Juans from the top are second to none. Telluride is another spot where you can find movie stars hanging out in their massive mountainside mansions and hitting the slopes for their big vacations. It’s hard not to love Telluride year-round, but it shines extra bright in the winter for all you ski and snowboarders out there.

Heading into the mountains and getting your skis dug into a fresh powder day is like nothing else, but remember to drive safely on your way up and down the mountain! If you find yourself in an accident and need auto body repair work done, we’ve got your back, just give us a call.

Winter Road Trip Fun in Gunnison, CO

Posted on: January 31st, 2018 by Webolutions Hostmaster No Comments

things to do in gunnisonThings to do in Gunnison

Winter equals hibernation for some, but in Colorado there’s still plenty to keep your attention no matter how cold or snowy it gets. If you’re a year-round explorer and are looking for some new winter adventures in this great state of ours, give Gunnison a shot. In the summer it’s well known for the reservoir and the Gunnison River, but the city and surrounding areas shine in the winter, too. As your Denver auto body repair shop, here are a few of our favorite things to do in Gunnison and the surrounding area if you’re itching for a winter wonderland kind of road trip.

Gunnison Nordic Center

When looking for things to do in Gunnison, the Nordic Center is one of the greatest winter attractions in the state if you’re looking for some cold-weather fun but hitting the slopes isn’t exactly your kind of adrenaline rush. With fun for the whole family, and miles of groomed trails just ready for all your wildest snow-shoeing and cross country skiing dreams.

Ohio City and Pitkin

Nearby Ohio City and Pitkin are well known ghost towns that have an extra chill in the air and an extra dose of spooky in the winter. Because the areas are less-trafficked during the winter, it’s a great time to go get your haunt on in a slightly more personal way. These two in particular are extremely well-preserved ghost towns, contributing even more to the eerie feeling that someone ought to be there even though they aren’t.

Crested Butte Mountain Resort

Only 30 miles from the resort, Gunnison is a great place to settle in for the nights when you’re done with the slopes. After all, just because you’re skiing or shredding at the Crested Butte Mountain Resort doesn’t mean you can’t get your fill of more of what Colorado has to offer by hanging out in Gunnison afterward.

Monarch Mountain

Just 45 miles outside of Gunnison is Monarch Mountain, another gorgeous sight offering plenty of outdoor recreational opportunities year-round. Of course, if you’re hiking around here in the dead of winter, you might want to make sure you’ve got your Yak Trax on hand, or are otherwise fully prepared to fight an uphill battle (literally) with ice. Still, if a little borderline-harrowing adventure doesn’t freak you out, Monarch’s views are certainly worth the work.

So there’s snow on the ground and a chill in the air – that doesn’t mean you have to stop exploring. If you’ve ever been to Gunnison in the winter, what are your favorite parts of the charming Colorado town?

Hidden Corners: Colorado Holiday Gems

Posted on: December 22nd, 2017 by Webolutions Hostmaster No Comments

Colorado Holiday GemsThe holiday season is upon us (and barreling by at impressive speed) but just because we’re fast approaching Christmas and New Year’s doesn’t mean you’re out of time to spend time with some Colorado holiday gems, some which are hidden! Looking for a great place to take a day off with family or visitors from out of town? Check out these hot spots and make this holiday season an extra magical one for you and yours.

The Broadmoor Gingerbread Chapel

Is there anything cooler than seeing something edible (albeit at 3.7 million calories, it’s probably not something you’d really want to indulge in) that towers over you? The Broadmoor in Colorado Springs features a 12-foot tall, 150 square foot gingerbread and candy confection masterpiece that will be up in the lobby until January 2. Since this year’s creation is their biggest yet, you definitely don’t want to miss out.

Downtown Denver New Year’s Eve Fireworks

If you’re looking for a classic New Year’s Eve experience, look no further than downtown Denver. The fireworks display on the 16th street mall is the picturesque NYE experience and quite an impressive display, we might add. Sure, the crowds are wild, but the electricity of being surrounded by a massive crowd of people ringing in the new year and shouting out that countdown together is hard to beat. We can’t wait to see what impressive stops they pull out this year to wow us as we head into 2018

Polar Express Train Ride

You’ve seen the movie (probably over 100 times if you have kids) now experience the real thing. In Durango, you’ll find the Polar Express just waiting for you to hop on and have your own magical train ride. Though there are only single tickets left for this years’ rides, and only a few rides left in the year, tickets for 2018 go on sale next August so mark your calendars (or just head down to take a look and take it in, it’s truly an exceptional sight.)

The Denver Zoo Lights

For kids and adults alike, the Denver Zoo Lights are a must-see (just make sure you grab a hot cocoa while you’re there, too). The displays are spectacular and walking all around the zoo at night to soak it in is a fun way to create memories for the whole family. There’s no quicker way to feel like you’ve entered a winter wonderland (or maybe an elf’s fever dream) than the intricate, creative displays from the electric jungle to the sea of lights and more, the whole crew will love walking through over 60 acres of sensational lights.

Whether you’re traveling far or staying close to home this holiday season, there’s plenty of fun activities to get you in the spirit and ensure the whole family has new memories that will last for years to come. Colorado has fantastic hot spots to hit year-round and the most wonderful time of year is no exception! What are your favorite holiday must-dos in Colorado?

5 Must-See Santa Fe Destinations That Will Change Your Life

Posted on: October 27th, 2017 by Webolutions Hostmaster No Comments

Santa Fe RoadtripSanta Fe Road Trip – Must-Sees

Winter might be on its way for Colorado, but that doesn’t mean you can’t escape to someplace a little sunnier, even if it’s only for the weekend. As your Denver auto body shop, our favorite destinations within easy driving distance is Santa Fe, New Mexico. A buzzing hub of art and culture, the state’s capital city is a great place to go and experience a true taste of the Southwest. If it’s your first time in the city, here are a few must-sees to add to your agenda for your Santa Fer road trip.

Loretto Chapel

Religious or not, the helix staircase to heaven inside this stunning chapel is definitely worth seeing on your Santa Fe road trip. This may very well be the staircase that inspired all those dramatic staircase scenes in movies and television. Plus, who doesn’t love the princess-feel of a good spiral staircase? Even if you don’t get to walk down it in a stunning ball gown to your prince charming waiting at the bottom, it’s still worth taking in the awe-inspiring structure.

Meow Wolf

Santa Fe is nothing if not artsy, and if you need proof of that look no further than the art collective come to life in Meow Wolf. It’s an unbelievable experience that fully immerses visitors in fantastic realms and truly exemplifies the best parts of the artistic spirit Santa Fe oozes.

Museum of International Folk Art

Museum Hill in Santa Fe is home to so many places you need to check out, but the International Folk Art Museum is a world-class facility that you have to see at least once if you haven’t. Featuring, as you might guess, folk art from all over the world in beautifully curated exhibits, it’s a uniquely Santa Fe experience that resonates with visitors and locals alike.

Santa Fe Farmer’s Market

Just because farmer’s market season has wrapped up here in Colorado doesn’t mean you should go the rest of the year without the delicious freshness of farmer’s market food. Santa Fe has one that goes year-round and features all the fantastic New Mexico staples you’d expect like chiles. The largest farmer’s market in the state, it features more than 150 growers and has an astounding array of fresh produce you won’t find anywhere else.

Acoma Sky City

What would a trip to the wild Southwest be without a good nature hike? And what kind of Coloradan would you be if you didn’t find an outdoor space to explore while you’re there? Luckily, the Puye Cliff Dwellings offer stunning views and a surreal outdoor experience that will leave a lasting impression on you and your family.

Checking all these off your list would certainly offer a well-rounded trip to the city, but there are countless other places to explore, and going off-book is often the best way to get a real taste of a destination, so if you’re heading off to Santa Fe and find some hidden gems, don’t forget to let us know so we can add ’em to our list next time, too!

Fall Road Trip Destination: Steamboat Springs

Posted on: September 29th, 2017 by Webolutions Hostmaster No Comments

fall road tripThe summer has officially come to a close, but that doesn’t mean your vacation season has to be gone, too. Sure, the weather might not be as conducive to water parks as it was in June and July, but the beauty of Colorado is in the fun it offers year round. This time of year, one of the best things to do is pack your bags for the weekend and head to the mountains. As your auto body repair experts, we have learned a lot of about great destinations. One of our favorite fall road trip destinations is Steamboat Springs. The town has plenty to do in the summer, too, but there’s a special kind of mountain magic about the place come fall. If you’re looking for some places to head in Steamboat, try these must-hit spots.

Fish Creek Falls

Make sure to layer up if you’re heading for this fun just-on-the-outskirts hike in the fall. The drier parts of the trail may not be so chilly, but the closer you get to the falls, the more the temperature will drop! Still, if you’re properly outfitted, this is a gorgeous site to see, and something about the fall fog and grayer skies makes it a unique experience

Off the Beaten Path

Is there anything better than spending a cool fall day in the mountains curled up with a good book? We think not, and Off the Beaten Path is the adorable bookstore in Steamboat to make that dream a reality for you. It is a must for your fall road trip to Steamboat. Not only is it a cozy, book-lover’s haven, it has a great selection AND good coffee. When your fingers are too chilly from being outside, duck into Off the Beaten Path for a warm-up, but don’t be surprised if you end up spending the rest of the day there.

Scenic Gondola Rides

Of course, you can’t do mountain towns without the mountain views, and in Steamboat, the scenic gondola rides are where it’s at. The panoramic mountain views you get while going up, up, up in the gondola are truly hard to beat, and the cozy interior of the little gondola cart is just enough protection from the elements to keep you from getting too cold. Bonus points if you can catch the gondola while the aspens are still a stunning gold.

Strawberry Park Hot Springs

Perhaps the main Steamboat attraction is Strawberry Park Hot Springs, one of the few hot springs in the state that boasts a sulfur-smell-free experience. The natural hot springs have several pools and are a fantastic way to keep warm even on the chilliest days.

Pack up your sweaters and swimsuits and get ready to put some solid fall road trip miles on your car with a trip to Steamboat Springs this season.

Great Fall Colorado Road Trips

Posted on: September 11th, 2017 by Webolutions Hostmaster No Comments

fall colorado road tripsOne of the coolest things about living in Colorado is getting to see the stunning Fall colors. When the aspens go gold, there’s nothing better than wrapping up in a sweater, filling a thermos with some hot chocolate, and heading to the mountains to take it all in. It’s quintessentially Coloradan, and we’re already getting excited about it. If you’ve never checked it out before, or you’re just looking for some new locales to give you a new perspective on it all, here are some of the best Fall Colorado road trips and places to see.

Maroon Bells

A truly iconic spot in Aspen, the Maroon Bells are breathtaking (not just because of the altitude) when Fall colors hit their peak. Of course, because it’s so legendary, you might want to call the hotline to check the status of the scenic area before heading out. You can reach them at the Maroon Bells Hotline 970-945-3319. Even if it’s a little crowded, it’s worth the trip to see that mountain lake and 14,000-foot peak towering in a panorama that will leave you feeling like you’re living in a painting.

The San Juan Skyway

This particular stretch of the Colorado Scenic and Historic Byway System is especially remarkable when the leaves start changing making it one of the best fall Colorado road trips. It’s hard not to feel like you’re starring in your own personal romantic comedy when you’re driving down a winding mountain highway surrounded by gold, red, and oranges as the expansive Rockies rise up around you. The San Juan Skyway is a great way to milk that road trip for all its worth. After all, sometimes the destination is nothing compared to the journey.

Telluride Gondola Ride

Telluride is gorgeous any time of year, honestly, but it shines something special in the autumn, making it one of the must-dos when it comes to fall Colorado road trips. The tiny mountain town, about six hours from Denver, has a free gondola ride that is beyond worth taking when the leaves start changing colors. The views are simply dazzling as you climb up, up, up into the mountains.

Peak to Peak Scenic Highway

If you’re looking for a day trip that keeps you a little closer to the front range but still offers those magnificent colorful views, try the Peak to Peak Scenic Highway, another section of the Historic Byway System a little closer to home. It winds through Estes, Nederland, Black Hawk, and Clear Creek until it finally hooks back up with the I-70. It offers some unique views and interesting sites worth stopping off for a photo or two while you stretch those road trip legs.

How to Use This Information

Wherever you’re planning to soak in the mind-boggling Colorado Fall colors, please do be aware that some of the roads are windy and crowded. So, please stay alert at all times. And, if you do happen to get in a fender bender or find you need dent repair thank to scenic pull of parking lot (it happens),  give us a call at 303-344-2212 or check us out online.