Happy 303 Day! Newcomers to Colorado (and I know there are a lot of you!) you may not know that today is a celebration of living in Denver and the awesome state of Colorado! U.S. News and World Report ranked Denver as the Number 1 place to live in the country. Of course it’s number one! We’ve got a fantastic music scene, hiking trails everywhere, really good food, a bazillion miles of bike path all through the city, museums, a wonderful zoo, four major sports teams, great schools, colleges, Red Rocks, legal weed, breweries galore, sunshine almost every day, and friendly dogs everywhere you go.
How can I celebrate 303 Day, you’re asking? Well! You can tune your radio right now to 93.3 KTCL or tune in on iHeart and listen to Colorado music all day long! You can head to any of Illegal Pete’s many Colorado locations in your Colorado gear and enjoy food and drink specials, along with local music and comedy! Learn more right here: 303 Day Lineup 2016 – Illegal Pete’s.
Here are some of my favorite Colorado things! First up: BEER. Colorado has over 100 microbreweries churning out amazing beer! We have some great ones right here in our neighborhood, too. Our absolute favorite small brewery is Comrade Brewing Company, where you can find my husband Paul almost every Friday. And what’s not to love? It’s located in an old auto repair shop with enormous overhead doors which raise up to let the Colorado sunshine and fresh air pour right in. Paul is obsessed with their Koffee Kream stout, made with real coffee and milk sugar. This is astounding to me, as Paul is neither a fan of dark beer or coffee, but he LOVES this beer. I DO love coffee, and I think this beer is one of the best I’ve ever had! I love it when Paul comes home with a surprise growler full of Koffee Kream for us to share over the weekend! Look how pretty it is…..mmmm, beer….
My hubby brought me a growler of my favorite #koffee beer home from @comradebrewing and it is GLORIOUS. I’m pretty sure my opening this is responsible for the clouds parting and the sun coming out, so… You’re welcome, #Denver! #welkometotheparty #comradebrewing #craftbeer #craftbeerporn #coffeebeer #beerisforgirls #imjustsohappy
A photo posted by Laura Neiman (@housewife_hellraiser) on
Let me share with you why I really love Comrade, though – obviously it’s my husband’s favorite spot, and they know him well. They already have his beer poured when he walks through the door. Me, though – I am not as well known. I only get out of my bubble of Girl Scouts and homework and piano lessons and haircuts every once in a blue moon. Happy Hour isn’t my usual gig these days. But the folks at Comrade treat everyone like a regular! The staff is amazing, and I always feel like I’m visiting friends when I belly up to the bar. Here’s an example! I took my mom grocery shopping for Thanksgiving Dinner while she was recovering from knee replacement surgery. So me, my mom in a motorized scooter, and my FOUR LITTLE KIDS, all at Sam’s Club, for HOURS. I had to fill up our growlers for pre-Thanksgiving dinner beer tasting, so I stopped into Comrade and shared my tale of shopping with two sets of twins and my elderly mom. The guy filling my growler immediately bought me a beer to quickly enjoy while Grandma and kids waited in the car. THAT IS LOVE, PEOPLE. Love for your customers. Compassion for your fellow man. Beer for your homie!
Next up: food! Our buddy Steve owns and operates the food truck that appears at Comrade every Friday night. If you like wings and rib tips, his are SUPERB! Steve was the manager at Hooters for 20 years before his location on Colorado Blvd closed about, what, three years ago now? He ended up starting his own food truck, the WING WAGON GRILL.
His Daytona Wings are bomb! But if you don’t like wings, not to worry, he will grill you up a great burger and fries, too. And that’s the wonderful thing about Comrade and most other breweries – you’re welcome to come on in with whatever food you like!
Now I’m sure you can find lots and lots about Denver’s fantastic restaurants, but since I’m a busy mom who hardly ever leaves my house, I’m going to leave that to the true foodies. With four picky kids and a tight budget, we honestly don’t eat out that often! But here’s something I can tell you a lot about – grocery shopping and cooking for your family at home. One of our favorite places to shop is Natural Grocers, which also originated in Colorado in 1955 and has locations all over. Natural Grocers founding principles focus on nutrition education, quality products that are affordable, and taking care of their employees! All their food is organic, and you can go and take nutrition education and cooking classes FOR FREE. Natural Grocers is truly committed to promoting good health to the community and we love shopping there!
And here is my favorite family-friendly place to go. FAVE. And, by some strange cosmic slight, I didn’t even KNOW about this place until just like a year or two ago, and I have lived in Colorado my entire life! All the wasted years! This magical place is….CASTLEWOOD CANYON! This is a Colorado state park with amazing views, tons of hiking, picnic areas, birds and critters everywhere…this is the place to bring your kids, your dogs, and your cooler full of sandwiches, and just spend the day gloriously surrounded by nature.
“Not just a canyon, this Colorado State Park features ruins, a waterfall, and unusual geological formations. The park is riddled with 15 trails, ranging from 1/4 mile to 4 miles, so you have a lot of options. The Canyon View Nature Trail (1.2 miles) is a great example of a handicap accessible trail in Colorado. The East Parking (see map below) offers the most hiking options, while the West Parking area leads to shorter hikes to the parks climbing areas and the longest (4 mile) East Canyon Trail.” – Day Hikes Near Denver
Day Hikes Near Denver has great information about the waterfall, wildlife, hiking trails, along with maps and directions. Check them out: Day Hikes Near Denver
Here are some photos of Paul and I with the kids last time we hit Castlewood Canyon. It’s about time for another visit!
These are just a few of my favorite Colorado things! Here are more resources for you: a huge List of Denver & Colorado Music Blogs, all the Colorado Craft Breweries, and if you’re planning your calendar, check out Spring Break 2016 – 50 Things to Do in Denver with Your Kids!
Happy 303 Day!