Best of the West 2014 — Critics’ Choices

Published on: February 25th, 2014

ENTERTAINMENT

BEST MURDER MYSTERY: GOLD HILL INN

The hill-y, dirt drive up to the hotel built back in 1872 is scary enough. But once you get in for the real-life, game of Clue with theatre actors sitting at your table, you’ll feel suspense from all the victims that begin dropping. 401 Main St, Gold Hill

BIGGEST SPLURGE OF IDEAS: IGNITE BOULDER

Down with pontification! Ignite Boulder encourages us to make our point in 5 minutes flat. Teach. Enlighten. Inspire. Share your genius…just make it snappy! Ignite 23 is in the planning stages now. Are you up for the challenge?

COOLEST BOCO TOWN: LYONS

Quaint yet current, Lyons is the kind of town that locals hope no one else discovers. Sports enthusiasts revel in nature’s mountainous playground, and the creatures outnumber the creature comforts. Right now, Rockygrass music fest organizers are busy planning this summer’s festivities. Booyah.

BEST YS CELEBRITY: ROB RYZIN

YS’s senior account executive Rob Kimball leads a double life as local wrestling god Rob Ryzin. The “straight-edge,” WWE hopeful has been doing Spanish Flys on opponents for 10 years, winning the hearts of kids and ladies with equal measure.

BEST BURLESQUE: THE SPEAKEASY

The purple basement door at the historic Hotel Imperial is your portal to the ‘20s. Along with plenty of ‘giggle juice’ and nightly entertainment, their saucy Burlesque shows will make you blush. (Note: If you’re nice, the bartender or owner may show you the tunnels reportedly used during prohibition!) 301 Main St, Longmont

BEST GEEK STOPS: TIME WARP & KARLIQUIN’S GAME KNIGHT

There’s a vortex of geek haven located within blocks of each other. Whether you seek the latest graphic literature, aka comic book, to win an Eisner award, or the current winner of the Spiel des Jahres (the game board designer’s equivalent to the Oscars), this is the Boulder area to get sucked into. 3105 28th St & 2085 30th St

AUDIOPHILE HAVEN: ABSOLUTE VINYL

Doug and Annie Gaddy left the east coast for Colorado in 1997 with aspirations to turn their music collection and passion into a business. Today, Absolute Vinyl is home sweet home for discriminating music lovers. From Beatles to Beethoven, you’ll find 12,000-plus clean records here.  Treasure hunt the circulating amps, turntables and speakers. 5360 Arapahoe Ave, Boulder

SLEEKEST SHOOTING RANGE: SHOOT INDOORS

Nothing says “Date Night” like a shiny Glock. This place was built by an aerospace engineer who got tired of having to go to Lefthand Canyon for target practice. Free firearm safety class, rentals, and some whimsical game targets to choose from… Battleship anyone? 1 Park St, Broomfield

BEST TOUR: BANJO BILLY’S

You haven’t experienced Boulder until you’ve learned about it cruising through town on a sofa in a renovated school bus decked out like a redneck shack. Climb aboard Banjo Billy’s tour bus and get the lowdown on Boulder’s juicy past, folklore—even its ghostly haunts.

BEST RAINFOREST YOGA: BUTTERFLY PAVILLION

Why pay thousands to experience yoga in the jungles of South America when you can do it in Westminster for $10? Every other Wednesday, the tropical butterfly sanctuary becomes yoga central. Strengthen your core among 1,600 butterflies and emerge from your chrysalis renewed and recharged! 6252 W 104th Ave, Westminster

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