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USATourist News Magazine by Elizabeth Blair
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USATourist News Magazine

October 2008 - Denver, Colorado

In this issue:

Colorado is one of the USA's most colorful states. It is home to a high elevation stretch of the Rocky Mountains and boasts four gorgeous seasons. The mountains are filled with quaint towns, large and small ski resorts, breathtaking scenery and unlimited possibilities: skiing, hiking, biking and camping. The state's largest city (and capital) is Denver, a sophisticated metropolis filled with shopping, restaurants, sports, nightlife, and concerts. There is always something to do in Denver.

Denver Hotspots

Big Blue Bear

The giant sculpture of a Big Blue Bear peaks into the window at the Convention Center.

Downtown is where the action is. The mile-long 16th Street Mall is open to pedestrian traffic and lined with outdoor cafes, shops and street vendors. The Denver Convention & Visitors Bureau Visitor Information Center, located at the cross streets of 16th and California. The Mall is within walking distance of the newly expanded Colorado Convention Center.

Tip: The free MallRide shuttle buses provide transportation along the 16th Street Mall every 90 seconds.

Lower Downtown, referred to as LoDo, is a historic section of over 23 square blocks of restaurants, bars and shops. The area dates back to 1858 when General William Larimer (hence, LoDo's Larimer Square) established a community named Denver City after gold was found in nearby Cherry Creek. Close by, the scenic Riverfront offers more dining options, bike paths and the terrific Denver Skate Park. Some other highlights in the area include the Children's Museum (my kids had a great time there), Elitch Gardens (formerly a Six Flags amusement park), and Downtown Aquarium.

Today Cherry Creek, located in south-central Denver, is a shopping mecca known for its elegant shops and restaurants. Cherry Creek North is 16 blocks filled with 320 boutiques, restaurants, galleries, spas and salons.

Mile-High Sports Teams

Denver takes pride in its professional sports teams: The Colorado Avalanche (hockey), Colorado Rapids (soccer), Colorado Rockies (baseball), Denver Broncos (football) and Denver Nuggets (basketball). In fact, within the last thirteen years the Rockies, Broncos and Rapids have each had new stadiums/playing fields built, while the Nuggets and Avalanche share the relatively new Pepsi Center (which hosted the Democratic National Convention this last summer). The Rockies' Coors Stadium offers tours to the public.

Tip: Visitors are prone to altitude sickness - the thinner air does not give your body the amount of oxygen you need. Some common symptoms include dizziness or light-headedness, lack of appetite, nausea, vomiting, fatigue and weakness. Drink a lot of water and limit exertion until you become acclimated.

A Hot Museum

The Denver Firefighters Museum is in 100-year-old Fire Station No. 1. Actively used until 1974, it was one of the city's largest fire houses. The building has been transformed into a museum offering hands-on activities, exhibits, historic information and, of course, a learning platform for fire safely. The building has been designated a Local Landmark and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

Brown Palace Atrium

The stunning Atrium Lobby in the Brown Palace is where guests stop to relax and enjoy afternoon tea.

The Historic Brown Palace

Denver has an array of accommodations from budget to luxury hotels. Some lodging places have a rich history, while B&Bs are also numerous.

The Brown Palace is one of Denver's most elegant hotels as well as one the most historic. Open since 1892, The Brown sits in the heart of downtown on a triangle-shaped piece of land and thus is similarly triangular. The hotel uses natural spring water from its own artesian well, has a day spa, and several restaurants. Three presidential suites honor Presidents Dwight Eisenhower, Theodore Roosevelt, and Ronald Reagan. Each suite is decorated with the president's personality and tastes in mind.

In the eight-story Atrium Lobby, afternoon tea and evening cocktails are served daily. The Churchill Bar is one of the last remaining cigar bars open in Denver (all restaurants are non-smoking indoors unless the venue can meet a certain level in tobacco sales). The Palace Arms is the hotel's fine dining restaurant. Ship Tavern is open for lunch and dinner with a casual ambience. Ellyngton's provides breakfast and lunch and reportedly a delectable Sunday brunch.

Tip: The Brown is under the same ownership as the affordable Comfort Inn located across the street; both share an accessible second-floor skybridge. This is a great way to enjoy The Brown Palace ambience at a lower price.

The Big Blue Bear

Colorado is home to many famous bears. Yogi Bear at Jellystone Park Campgrounds has always been a favorite on and off screen. There are two campgrounds in Colorado, one in Estes Park (1.5 hours from Denver) and the other in Canon City (2.5 hours from Denver).

Smokey the Bear is the face of fire prevention and is the United States' longest running public service campaign in the National Forests of Colorado and other states.

The Yearling

The Yearling is one of Denver's unique displays of public art.

The newest Colorado bear is the Big Blue Bear "peeking" into the Denver Convention Center's front windows (14th Street). The bear's official title is "I See What You Mean" and is actually one of many over-sized art displays in Denver. You can purchase scale models of "I See" at several downtown shops.

More Over-Sized Art

Not far from the Big Blue Bear is The Yearling, a 6-foot horse standing on a giant 21-foot-high red chair, outside Denver Central Library. Other sizeable artwork is sprinkled throughout the city, especially outside of the Performance Arts Complex along Speer Boulevard.

The sculpture of a 32-foot blue mustang with glowing red eyes, sitting between the in- and out- bound lanes of Pena Boulevard, greets air travelers on their way to and from Denver International Airport while, Bucky the Bronco, a 27-foot-high rearing white steed sits atop the south scoreboard at Invesco Field at Mile High. He has been around since 1976, previously "stabled" at the old Mile High Stadium.

For more on the Mile High City, stop by our Denver page.

Mail List Contest Winner

Congratulations to our latest Mail List Contest Winner! Kohsaku Ohkawa of Japan has won a certificate for 2 adult and 2 child passes to the attractions at Niagara Falls. These passes are provided by the Niagara Parks Commission and include special discounts and free entry to the top attractions including the Fury, a new "4-D' attraction recreating the sights and sounds of the Creation of The Falls. Thank you to everyone who entered our contest. If you would like purchase a Niagara Falls Pass, visit https://secure.ticket-ops.com/Niagara_Falls_Great_Gorge_Adventure_Pass/usatourist07.

Special Travel Deals and Discounts

Mountains of Savings: Hotel Deals to Ski Destinations!

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Enjoy a Complimentary 3rd Night in Colorado from Sheraton Hotels!

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Check out Southwest Airlines Vacations' destinations. Find affordable air/hotel packages to exciting destinations from coast to coast.

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Find the perfect ski destination and stay with Choice Hotels.

Thank you for reading USATourist News Magazine. See you next month!

Written by: Elizabeth L. Blair

All photos by Elizabeth Blair ©USATourist.com

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