When you think of destinations, you likely don’t think of Windsor, Colorado’s oft-ignored suburban shire. But Windsor is on the verge of a foodie revolution. Head north on I-25 and swing into downtown Windsor for lunch. At Okole Maluna, owner and chef Andy Higa crafts beautiful Island-inspired dishes—like smoked Hawaiian lau lau, which is rich and succulent yet oh-so simple. Take a tour of Windsor Dairy, which produces exceptional organic raw milk, and visit the lambs at Hi Ho Sheep Farm. Head back into town for a glass of wine and dinner at Chimney Park Bistro. Chef Jason Shaeffer has composed an accessible yet stunning locally inspired menu of heartfelt, heady creations. His mushroom soup alone is worth the drive.
Celestial Seasonings tour and tea at the Dushanbe Tea House.
Denver’s Unique Dining:
Blake Street Vault for happy hour (get a tour of the vault and maybe come face to face with a ghost), Beatrice and Woodsley for dinner and Mario’s Double Daughters Salotto for drinks.
You spend your weekends drinking beer, so why not make a vacation of it? On Friday, head to Boulder Beer Company for an after-work drink and then to Oskar Blues in Lyons for some live music, dinner and—yep, that’s right—beer; we suggest Mama’s Little Yella Pils. You’ll spend Saturday in Fort Collins: Rent a bike in Old Town and ride to Odell Brewing Co. to drink in small-batch heaven. Head over to cult-favorite Fort Collins Brewery for round two, and if you feel brave, take a ride out to Anheuser-Busch. Head back and visit the pride of the Fort, New Belgium Brewing Company, to try the ever-changing Lips of Faith. Grab some food and more beer at CooperSmith’s. On Sunday, head back down and hit up Longmont’s Pumphouse for lunch and then to Lefthand Brewing for a Sawtooth Ale. Mosey into Boulder to visit Avery Brewing and then on to the Pearl Street area, where you can sip more at Walnut Brewery, Boulder Draft House, BJ’s and Mountain Sun. Leave one day for recuperation. beerdrinkersguidetocolorado.com
Aspen Food & Wine Classic:
June 12-21. Known around the world as the annual foodie salon for the culturati. Hey, is that Bobby Flay? foodandwine.com.
Colorado’s Brewers’ Festival:
June 27-28. By late afternoon, this beer-centric festival can seem a little like a frat party, but if you go early and beat the crowds, Brewfest can be a real good time…with more beers and breweries than you’ll be able to count. downtownfortcollins.com.
Though it’s an infant compared to the seasoned wine regions of the world, Colorado’s wine country is still legit. And while Bordeaux may call your name, Palisade is not a bad alternative. The West Slope’s Grand Valley is an amazing destination filled with plush fields of vineyards and various fruit crops. The elevation and aridness give way to an array of popular varietals as well as Gewurztraminer and Riesling, which are traditionally German. For this trip, we suggest you put the pedal to the Merlot: A bike tour is a perfect way to winery hop. Make Palisade your base camp and spend a few days soaking in the art, culture and wine of this beautiful area. You’ll want to visit Carlson Vineyards—with its award winning Prairie Gewurztraminer—and nearby Colorado Cellars Winery; you’ll also find High Country Orchards right near these two wineries, so drop in and learn what real peaches taste like. Just east of Palisade, stop by Canyon Wind Cellars, Debeque Canyon Winery and Amber Ridge Vineyards. For something a little different, the Meadery of the Rockies provides a good introduction to honey wine. Hit up Plum Creek Cellars while you are in the neighborhood. Head over the Paonia and Hotchkiss and explore their vineyards as well. You’ll find some great Pinots here…Don’t miss Terror Creek Winery, Black Canyon Vineyards and Stone Cottage Vineyard. coloradowine.com
Mountain Culinary Trip: Fine dining in the mountains, including The Little Nell in Aspen, Sweet Basil in Vail, Splendido in Beaver Creek and Woody Creek Tavern in Woody Creek (if it’s good enough for Hunter S. Thompson, it’s good enough for you).
Vacation from the Kitchen:
Give your stove a break and do some dining out. Check out YS’s dining guide.
Warning, don’t forget the sober driver… recruit a pregnant friend or your 18-year-old neighbor.
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