Travel Boulder Winter 2023 - Spring 2024

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ULTIMATE SPAS Relax and Unwind


Longmont's Cheese Importers

BUILDINGS THAT BELONG Renée del Gaudio Architecture

ADVENTURE DINING More Than Just a Meal

HOT & COLD GETAWAYS Where to Travel This Winter


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As the days have become darker and colder, I look forward to the end of winter solstice and the longer days. My New Year’s resolution is to do something out of the ordinary, explore different things to do and create new adventures. In this issue, Travel Boulder provides lots of ideas. The issue starts with our favorite bucket list. Some highlights are night skiing at Keystone, ice climbing, snowshoeing to a yurt and searching for the ultimate hot cocoa. After all this, treat yourself and visit one of the luxurious spas on our list. Cheese, glorious cheese: Longmont's Cheese Importers has more than 700 different cheeses and unique gifts. We explored this wonderful family business and you should, too. We chatted with Renée del Gaudio Architecture about her building philosophies and her creativity in design. We also suggest a few options for adventure dining in Colorado. The Boulder International Film Festival celebrates its 20th anniversary. This beloved annual event has been a winner since the beginning. Ever wonder what you can do in national parks in the winter and spring? We take you along for amazing experiences on our nation’s public lands. Whether you want to go somewhere with a lot of snow or somewhere warm and toasty, we also created a list of some of the best hot and cold winter getaways. Christina’s Luxuries, a locally owned business in Boulder, is well known for meeting women's fashion needs. From intimate apparel to a night on the town, Christina’s is the place to shop. And be sure to dine at The Buff, which is a Boulder institution. Speaking from experience, their Bloody Marys are quite tasty. We also explored cocktail bars for your next romantic date night. One more experience for you, visit The New Local, a Boulder nonprofit supporting female-identifying artists. I appreciate you and the time you spent reading this issue of Travel Boulder magazine. I hope you felt inspired.

— John R. Brice Publisher and Co-Founder of Travel Boulder







DREW BARON On the cover: Photo courtesy of Reuben Krabbe/SkiBig3

Copyright 2023 by Go Visit Media Co. & Travel Boulder LLC. All rights reserved. Any reproduction of the material in this magazine or Travel Boulder website is strictly prohibited without publisher’s permission, including original editorial, graphics, design, photography, advertising and sponsored content. and Travel Boulder magazine are published by Go Visit Media Co., 2535 Meadow Ave, Boulder CO 80304 | Phone: 720-708-6803 Email: Sales:

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TOP: Courtesy of NPS/Victoria Stauffenberg; BOTTOM: Courtesy of Bridget Dorr/The New Local






20 YEA

20 YE

Thanks to all the sponsors, donors, volunteers and attendees who have helped sustain and grow the festival over the past two decades.

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Glide into Cross-Country Skiing


You’ve gone downhill, you’ve tried uphill, but how about skiing cross-country? The Nordic Center at the YMCA of the Rockies’ Snow Mountain Ranch in Granby can send you swishing on your way, with 82.5 kilometers (51 miles) of forest and meadow terrain groomed for both classic and skate-skiing styles. Private and small group lessons are available, along with gear rentals, including skis and even child carriers. Got a pooch who loves to gallop through the snow? Leashed dogs are welcome on specially designated trails. And be sure to bookmark the Snow Mountain Ranch website for special events and races. New for this year: guided ski and snowshoe tours by moonlight.




9 Cool Ideas for your Colorado Winter Bucket List By Laura Beausire

Courtesy of Snow Mountain Ranch

The world looks to Colorado as a quintessential winter getaway. With our stellar ski resorts and fabulous mountain scenery, it’s easy to be dazzled by the charm of snow season. And while big-time, famous-name adventures may shine brightly, you might also consider some off-beat and unexpected winter destinations and activities this time around. Here are nine cool ideas, in Boulder and beyond, that’ll add a little frosty fun to your Colorado winter bucket list.

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LEFT TOP: Courtesy of Denver Botanic Gardens/Scott Dressel-Martin; MIDDLE: Courtesy of World Arena Ice Hall; BOTTOM: Courtesy of Lula Faye Fiber/Benjamin Buren; RIGHT: Courtesy of C Lazy U Ranch

Explore the Tropics Any winter blues will melt away the minute you enter the Denver Botanic Gardens’ Boettcher Memorial Tropical Conservatory. Wander through a magical landscape bursting with vibrant color, including hundreds of fragrant and flowering plants from subtropical and tropical zones around the world. There’s a rich diversity of life growing in the humid warmth of this glass-enclosed environment, from coffee plants to palms, ferns, bromeliads and beyond. The Orchid Showcase opens in January, Tropical Trails tours are available throughout the winter and Love Potions from the Vine tours focus on plants known for their aphrodisiac qualities. york-street


Learn to Knit

Boulder’s Lula Faye Fiber is a cozy, crafty shop just off Pearl Street that’s a friendly place for newbies and avid needle workers alike. You can purchase supplies (including a gorgeous range of Colorado wool and hand-dyed yarns), and then sign up for a class to help you get the hang of knitting, crocheting, embroidery, weaving and more. The shop’s hosts cultivate a community of makers with monthly Craft Lounge gatherings where you can chat while you create something warm and wooly.


Skate like a champion

Don’t be surprised if you glimpse an aspiring Olympic athlete swirling around the Broadmoor’s World Arena Ice Hall in Colorado Springs. The complex is a U.S. Olympic and Paralympic training site, boasting both Olympic- and National Hockey League-sized rinks. But it’s not only the home of medalists—beginners are welcome here, too. The facility hosts a lively schedule of learn-to-skate classes, private lessons, public skating hours and pick-up hockey sessions, so everyone can dream of greatness.





Enjoy Some Western Fun on a Guest Ranch Embark on a Quest for the Ultimate Hot Cocoa

Take a slurp of the Hot Sipping Chocolate at Piece, Love & Chocolate on Boulder’s Pearl Street. It’s thick, it’s Europeaninspired and it just might change your life. With flavors including Maya Spice, Salted Caramel, Raspberry, Blood Orange, Honey Lavender, and Original 85% Dark, it’s truly meant for small-sip savoring. Need options? PL&C has you covered, with variations including an intense, three-ounce Hot Chocolate Shot, espresso-blended Molten Jolt, White Chocolate Chai and a not-so-simple cup of Hot Cocoa topped by a house-made marshmallow or a dollop of vanilla bean whipped cream.

A little snow doesn’t stop the year-round cowboy fun at C Lazy U Ranch. Here, guests can partake in winter activities including indoor and outdoor horseback riding (a herd of 200-plus horses roam onsite), cross-country skiing, snowmobiling, snowshoeing, tubing, sledding, trapshooting, skating or hockey on the pond and horse-drawn sleigh rides. The ranch even collaborates with nearby ski resorts, Winter Park and Granby Ranch, to offer special downhill ski packages.

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Check out Ice Climbing

Snowshoe to Backcountry Yurt For a tasty backcountry adventure, strap on some snowshoes (or grab a pair of cross-country skis) and hit the trail for a mile-long journey to Crested Butte Nordic’s Magic Meadows Yurt. Chef Tim Egelhoff prepares Colorado-inspired, five-course Saturday evening meals for hungry guests who trek through the snow to the welcoming warmth of the spacious yurt. Work up a thirst? The cocktail list showcases rum from local Montanya Distillers. Dinner reservations fill up quickly, but the Yurt’s casual Sunday Backcountry Bistro brunch doesn’t require reservations, and you can pick up a breakfast burrito or a pastry and a coffee to warm a shivery day. things-to-do/magic-meadows-yurt




Make your way to Ouray, the self-proclaimed ice climbing capital of the world, and check out the intrepid adventurers scaling the towering, frozen walls of Uncompahgre Gorge at the Ouray Ice Park. It’s exciting to watch, with over 200 different climbing routes and, since it’s a public park, entrance is free. Want to give ice climbing a try yourself? Check the Ouray Ice Park’s website for an extensive list of rules and links to local guide services and shops that offer gear rentals and lessons. For a real treat, visit during the threeday Ouray Ice Festival, which challenges top competitors each January.



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Matthildur • MxM Go Silk • Porto Johnny Was • AG Daniella Lehavi Velvet • Brodie


LEFT AND TOP: Courtesy of Crested Butte Nordic/Xavi Fane; BOTTOM: Courtesy of Keystone Resort

Try Night Skiing Savor the sunset, and then ski down after dark at Keystone Resort. Guests can buy special tickets for night skiing and riding from the River Run base area on winter weekends and holidays, beginning at Thanksgiving and continuing through March 30. The nighttime fun starts at 4:00 p.m., when Keystone opens lit terrain for all ability levels, from family-friendly Schoolmarm’s 3.5-mile beginner slope to the steep, black-diamond thrills of the Upper Frenchman trail. Lifts close at 7:00 p.m., so the last run of the night leads straight to dinner.

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LEFT: Courtesy of The Spa at Four Seasons Vail; BOTTOM: Courtesy of Oakwell Beer Spa; TOP: Courtesy of Exhale Space at Park Hyatt Beaver Creek




The Ultimate Guide to Destination Spas in Colorado By Brittany Anas A spa visit is a good idea anytime of the year. But a day of pampering is extra special in the winter when you can let hot stones melt away knots, slink into steamy, mineral-rich waters, or simply enjoy heat settings on a massage table that warm you to the core while you get a deep-tissue treatment. Plus, many relaxation rooms come with fireplaces and hot tea to sip while you wait. In addition to a number of posh spas in luxury hotels, Colorado has several unique offerings including treatments offered in hot springs pools and a Denver spot that combines two of Coloradans’ favorite things: wellness and beer. Ready to make a day out of relaxing? Here are six outstanding spas in Colorado that are worth a visit this winter.

The Spa at Four Seasons Vail Need to break up your next ski trip with some R&R? Click out of your ski boots and head to The Spa at Four Seasons Vail, which pampers powderhounds with treatments like warm stone massages targeting achy feet and tired legs or an Oxygen Rejuvenation Facial to soothe wind-whipped, sun-kissed skin. If you’re traveling with friends or family members who are from sea level, sign them up for a High Altitude Adjustment Massage that addresses headaches and fatigue with pressure point techniques. One of the most decadent treatments is inspired by a classic summertime treat: The S’mores Facial incorporates coco enzymes from Hershey’s chocolate, plus a marshmallow whip hydrating mask. Get to your appointment early or linger afterwards to enjoy all of the amenities, like a cozy relaxation area with a fireplace and an indoor hot tub with a soothing waterfall feature. 1 Vail Road, Vail; fourseasons. com/vail/spa/ Spa & Salon at St Julien in Boulder If you’re ever in need of a mid-winter pick-me-up, a spa day close to home at St Julien will do just the trick. Start with brunch, like an acai bowl or croissant beignets served

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LEFT: Both photos courtesy of The Springs Resort; RIGHT: Courtesy of The Spa and Salon at St Julien

at Jill’s Restaurant and Bistro, before making your way to the spa. One-of-a-kind services include the Gemstone Chakra Balancing Treatment that incorporates gemstones like agate, believed to open the third eye, and red jasper, used for grounding through the root chakra. To really go all out, book the Day of Decadence, which is five hours of spa bliss that includes a scrub, full-body massage, facial, pedicure and a shampoo and style. The over-the-top spa package also comes with a charcuterie board and champagne. St Julien spa guests have access to a sun-lit heated indoor pool and a spacious hot tub. 900 Walnut St., Boulder; Oakwell Beer Spa in Denver You may have had a “shower beer” before. But have you ever had a bath beer in a beer bath? Make this riddle a reality at Oakwell Beer Spa in Denver (formerly The Beer Spa), where you can pour yourself a local craft beer from the tap wall. The brew will stay icy cold in an insulated mug when you slip away into your private beer therapy room that’s outfitted with an infrared sauna, rainfall shower and, of course, the beer bath. The warm tub bubbles and a tea bag inside it contains hops, malted barley and an antioxidant-rich herbal blend that changes each month. The Oakwell spa team recommends starting your Beer Therapy Circuit with a 20-minute infrared sauna session to help you sweat out toxins and open up your pores before slinking into the beer bath for a relaxing soak. After the 90-minute experience in the beer therapy room, you can add on a head-to-toe massage in a zero-gravity chair and shop for beer bath products like an IPA soap bar or an herbal beer bath tea that you can drop into your tub at home. 3004 N. Downing St., Denver;

The Springs Resort, Pagosa Springs Double down on relaxation at The Springs Resort, Pagosa Springs, where the most unique massage takes place in one of the resort’s mineral pools. During the 50-minute Aqua Massage, you’ll strap on leg floats to help keep you buoyant while you bliss out in the healing waters. A massage therapist is in the water with you, moving you through the 98 degree water while simultaneously giving you a gentle massage. Other treatments at the resort’s spa include a Pagosa Stone massage with warmed stones that have been smoothed over by the San Juan River. The Magnesium Muscle Melt is all about magnesium, one of the 13 minerals in Pagosa’s geothermal waters. Spend the night and enjoy 24/7 access to the two dozen pools (how’s a midnight soak sound?) plus you’ll have access to wellness programs like in-water yoga and gratitude meditations. 323 Hot Springs Blvd, Pagosa Springs;

The Spa at The Broadmoor in Colorado Springs The Spa at The Broadmoor has everything you need for a winter warm-up, including a eucalyptus-infused Exhale Spa at Park Hyatt Beaver Creek No passport needed; no time machine required. The steam room, a Himalayan salt dry sauna and a Fireplace 30,000-square foot, two-story Exhale Spa at Park Hyatt Lounge that has a comfy-cozy cabin feel. In addition to massages and facials, the Broadmoor Beaver Creek features an Aqua Sanitas Water Sanctuary offers some splurge-worthy packages. The Queen Bee that’s modeled after ancient Roman bath houses. comes with a honey wrap and an agave nectar massage, Popular treatments include a ginger peach scrub and complete with the aroma of cinnamon and sweet cloves, massage, foot and calf massages for skiers, and brighteand also includes a manicure and pedicure. ning facials. Before or after your treatment, enjoy the Worth noting: Spa appointments are only avaifive-step ritual that alternates between warm and cold lable to overnight guests and Golf Club members. experiences, and includes magnesium soaking pools. 1 Lake Ave, Colorado Springs; absolute best place to take a nap is on the relaxavities/spa tion chairs that contour with your body and are heated. The spa’s private couple’s suite comes with a fireplace. Read More Online: 136 E. Thomas Place, Beaver Creek; co/beaver-creek

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Photos by Sarah Kuta

Longmont’s Cheese Importers is a Local Treasure

SAY CHEESE By Brittany Anas


y culinary-obsessed friend group has themed get-togethers every month or so. There’s pesto parties and soup parties; cocktail nights and boozy brunches. But there’s always an award component to these gatherings—and I think I’ve found the ultimate cheat code to building the first-place charcuterie board for our next night in. Enter: Cheese Importers in Longmont, where there’s a fromage cave stocked with 400 to 600 cheeses from around the state, country and world, complete with staff picks and descriptions to help you narrow down your finds. Cheese Importers got its start in 1976 when Lyman and Linda White sourced a half-dozen cheese varieties from Wisconsin that they drove around in a VW bus, delivering to local stores and restaurants. Linda White’s uncle was the first cheese importer in the U.S. That connection, plus a love for healthy food, inspired the Boulder County couple to bring great finds to Colorado at a time when most cheeses in this region were processed and pasteurized, says Clara Natasha White, the daughter of the founders and the current owner of Cheese Importers.



“From there, the shop developed organically based on customer requests to find products they had enjoyed in other parts of the country and world and wanted to bring to Colorado,” White says. “So many products just weren’t in this part of the world yet.” Colorado Cheese Connections The Colorado cheese scene has come a long way in the past 40 years. In addition to cheese from around the world, Cheese Importers stocks lots of local products. Currently, there’s about 20 Colorado cheeses. On the local roster is Colorado Farmhouse Cheese Company, which is making alpine cheeses similar to gruyere, as well as gouda, sharp cheddar and Garrotxa, which is made from goat’s milk that gives it a nutty, fruitful flavor. Moon Hill Dairy in Steamboat Springs, which makes a camembert-style Alpenbert and alpine-style feta, is another Cheese Importer supplier. The Longmont cheese shop also stocks other Colorado products to help build out the cheese board of your dreams, like sourdough crackers from Full Stop. Bakery in

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REFUEL CHEESE IMPORTERS Boulder, Primo preserves like peach and chimayo, Mountain Girl pickles and more. Over at Cheese Importer’s wholesale warehouse, there’s roughly 700 cheeses at all times, and the company supplies restaurants and stores throughout Colorado with cheese. Cheese Importers also works with Spade & Spoon, a local Front Range meal delivery service, supplying cheeses for recipes. There’s a production room in the warehouse where the team can cut and wrap cheeses with any portion sizes for the meal kits, says Looking to pair some wine and cheese at your next gathering? Here are some go-to combos, according to Cheese Importers. Champagne Try a triple crème, such as brillat savarin or deluxe de bourgogne. Sauvignon Blanc Pair with a rich, nutty ossau-Iraty or abbey de belloc, a sheep’s milk from France’s Basque region. Rioja This Spanish variety is a very cheese-friendly wine. Serve it with Spanish sheep cheeses such as manchego, zamorano and ibores or garrotxa (goats’ milk) and Mahón (cow). Cabernet Sauvignon Farmhouse-style cheddars and fully mature cheddars are a perfect match. Opt for something such as cabot or a challerhocker from Switzerland.



like pizza) that I popped in the air fryer, transforming it to a melty cheese stick. I also got my hands on a triangle of parmesan, using the rind to give a nutty oomph to my homemade minestrone soup, and some European butter (it’s très bien) to slather on a warm, chewy loaf of French bread. Several of the Cheese Importers team members are well-educated cheesemongers who can help you find the just-right cheese. But for winter, White says, favorites include aged gouda styles, as well as bubbling hot fondue and raclette, a Swiss cheese that’s heated and scraped onto accouterments like potatoes or bread. The shop has fondue pots and sets, too. “Food is one of life’s greatest pleasures, and to have time to enjoy wonderful foods and products with those you love is simply solid nourishment for the heart and soul,” White says. Robby Rosenberg, sales manager at Beyond the Cheese Cheese Importers Gourmet Warehouse. Located in Longmont’s first elecThe warehouse provides cheeses from trical power plant building, Cheese James Ranch in Durango as well as Importers is a spacious shop and a great Colorado Farmhouse Cheese Company. spot to shop for unique gifts. The shop Nibble on Cheeses from Around the curates items from all around the world, including pottery, books, art, glassware, World On my most recent visit (swaddled in cookware and authentic linens from a sweatshirt because the cave is chilly!) Provence, France, as well as European I perused asadero cheese from Mexico, soaps and perfumes. There’s crepe mixes and escargot Noord Hallander cheese with tiny salt croquilles (French pastry bites), as well crystals from the Netherlands and smoked pepperjack from Wisconsin. as cocktail books inspired by the “Great Some of the most unique cheeses Gatsby” and absinthe fountains. On the second floor, there’s a cute in the cave, White says, include the shop with children’s gifts as well as OG Kristal, a Belgium-aged gouda, and mahón, a cow’s milk cheese that unique wrapping papers. In 2024, Cheese Importers is looking is native to Menorca, a small Balearic to integrate more classes on cheese, island east of mainland Spain. There’s as well as olive oil and chocolate, also negroni blue from Italy, which is bathed in the spirit Negroni and has says White. You can also find books throughout the store to help you get candied oranges on top. I brought home a beautiful Alp started with a cheesemaking hobby. Blossom cheese covered in petal blosRead More Online: soms and a rectangular slab ofä, which is slightly sweet and longmont nicknamed “bread cheese” (it looks a bit

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Renée del Gaudio Builds Architecture That Belongs By Laura Beausire


ove can inspire beautiful architecture. Just ask Renée del Gaudio. When the Boulder architect first arrived in Colorado in her early 20s, she fell head over heels. “I was so in awe,” she says. “I grew up in Michigan, and I just couldn’t believe all of this existed.” The drama of the mountains resonated with del Gaudio. After a few years in Seattle completing her graduate studies at the University of Washington, she returned to Colorado intent on practicing the sort of place-based architecture she had come to appreciate in the Pacific Northwest. Since founding her own firm, Renée del Gaudio Architecture, in 2011, she’s developed a multi-award-winning reputation for designing homes that forge strong connections with their natural surroundings. From her Sunshine Canyon studio, Renée del Gaudio shared a few insights on the deep relationship between architecture and place.

winds. So, you connect to that sun by using it to heat a home. You connect to the wind by using it to cool a home. Connecting to the topography means a house that’s integrated into a site in a way that could not be anywhere else because it connects so deeply to the shape of the land. Connecting to the history means understanding what vernacular architec- All photos courtesy of David How did you decide to become an architect? ture was in a certain place before architects Lauer Photography Growing up outside of Detroit, maybe not consciously at the time, I was bothered by the came along. Responding to a culture means architecture that I was seeing in the suburbs. you know what the tradespeople are good When I traveled, I noticed architecture that at here. Like, in Mexico, you build typically had a connection to place that I wasn’t seeing. with brick because culturally that’s what I think I picked up on that and I felt that archi- all the tradespeople are really talented at tecture could be a creative career that I could doing. Connecting specifically to place—in all of those terms: climate, history, culture, really make a difference in. landscape topography—just means you’re What does place-based architecture mean? building architecture that belongs. Architecture that connects to the landscape, the climate, the culture, the geography and the Does that tie in with sustainability? It does, directly. When you’re connecting history of a place. Let’s say in your microclimate you have intense sun and you have high to your specific microclimate, you’re building

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LIVING ARCHITECTURE architecture that works with the climate, not against it. In Colorado, we have intense, direct sun—especially at a lot of the high altitudes that I build at—and capturing that sun in the winter, or using it for renewable energy with photovoltaic panels, or capturing winds with cross ventilation, with floor to ceiling windows on opposing sides of a structure, can often be enough to cool a house and not need air conditioning. Designing overhangs at certain lengths to keep out the sun in the summer, but let it in in the winter, can naturally heat a home and not have to use mechanical heating. What I’m doing currently, with all my projects, is geothermal heating. I removed all gas. Everything’s electric-run, sourced with geothermal heat pumps.

really the only way to do it. You can’t design a house when you haven’t seen what it’s like at every time of the day.

How do you hope people feel when they walk into a home you’ve designed? I hope they feel like they’re a positive part of the landscape, and—if you can even say this is possible—that their house is making the landscape a better experience. At its best, architecture can heighten an experience of a landscape and even be like a device through which you better understand the landscape, in a way that maybe you didn’t before that house existed. There may be part of a piece of architecture that focuses on a forest and you see it in a way that you’ve never seen it before, or a part of a home You’ve said that you “create a that connects you with a massive, maximum experience with a granite rock outcropping in a minimum footprint.” Can you way you never really felt that explain? experience before. Or part of the Scale is very important to me, home could focus to really far, and I work really hard to use as distant views and make you feel few resources as possible. With like you are a small person in a a lot of hard work, you can make huge universe. Architecture has a 1,500-square-foot house feel the power to make you feel very huge. If you thoughtfully connect small in a landscape or it also has to the views, if you thoughtfully the power to make you feel very design a floor plan that flows, sheltered in a big landscape. if you design floor-to-ceiling windows that engage people with What kind of feedback have you the outdoors—there are ways to gotten from people who live in make small spaces feel bigger. I try your homes? More often than not, they are to build as efficiently as possible. surprised by how calm the house Do you go through any process makes them feel. I think that’s a to learn about a piece of land connection to the landscape that before you design a house that people don’t expect. Even if you’re will be built on it? capturing a really dramatic view, I camp there. On most projects, it’s not that you feel this drama it’s just raw land, so I’ll camp for all the time. It’s simply that you’re at least a night. And that’s crit- connected to your landscape and ical—you’ve got to understand that makes people feel calm and sunrise, and sunset, and wind grounded.; direction, and views, and that’s 303-619-1375

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ADVENTURE DINING in Colorado Forget dinner and a show. How about dinner and an adventure instead? By Sarah Kuta

OPPOSITE LEFT: Courtesy of Tennessee Pass Cookhouse/ Emily Sierra; TOP LEFT: Courtesy of Pine Creek Cookhouse; TOP RIGHT: Courtesy of Tennessee Pass Cookhouse/Emily Sierra


ather than simply hopping in the car and driving to dinner, you could amp up your winter dining experience by cross-country skiing, snowshoeing, hiking, riding a gondola or taking a horsedrawn sleigh to the restaurant. It’s not just the meal that matters, but also how much fun you have on your way there. Below, a few of our favorite cozy eateries around the state that have a little extra adventure built in. Beano’s Cabin, Allie’s Cabin and Zach’s Cabin Ski resorts typically use snowcats for snow-making and other heavy duty mountain operations. But the team at Beaver Creek Resort decided to get creative and use these rugged utility vehicles to pull sleighs filled with hungry guests to three luxurious on-mountain restaurants: Beano’s Cabin, Allie’s Cabin and Zach’s Cabin. These high-end eateries are the ultimate cozy setting for a romantic meal. The only difficult choice you’ll have to make is which one to visit (better yet, make reservations for all three!). Allie’s serves up delicious Northern Italian fare, while Zach’s specializes in Alsatian cuisine. Beano’s, meanwhile, emphasizes dishes inspired by the surrounding Rockies, like elk short loin, bison tartare and duck confit. On the mountain at Beaver Creek Resort, Beano’s, 970-754-3463; Allie’s, 970-754-5545; and Zach’s, 970-754-6575 Alpino Vino Perched at 11,966 feet above sea level, Telluride’s Alpino Vino is one of the highest elevation restaurants in North America. If you come for lunch, you can reach the eatery on skis. But, at night, you’ll need to ride the gondola up, then climb inside a custom-built, heated snowcoach for the rest of the journey. When you arrive, you’ll be treated to tasty Italian Alpine cuisine and a robust wine list. And don’t forget to soak up all the European-inspired

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decor, like rustic furniture, hand-hewn wood beams, stone floors, sheepskin throws and a wood-burning fireplace. You might just forget you’re in Colorado and think you’ve been transported to the Dolomites instead! See Forever Ski Run, Mountain Village,, 970-728-7560 Pine Creek Cookhouse Strap on a pair of snowshoes or cross-country skis and make your way across the sparkling snow to Pine Creek Cookhouse. Or, for a more relaxed journey, climb aboard a horse-drawn sleigh and let a team of Belgian or Percheron draft horses whisk you through the forested landscape of the Castle Creek Valley while you snuggle under a blanket. In the winter, these are the only ways to reach this beloved restaurant, which is located roughly 14 miles south of Aspen. Whether you visit for lunch or dinner, you can expect warm hospitality and delicious food, all while gazing out at stunning views of the craggy, snow-dusted Elk Mountains. You can also join a guided cross-country ski or snowshoe tour, rent gear and take a private lesson if your skinny ski skills are a bit rusty. 12500 Castle Creek Road, Aspen,, 970-925-1044 Tennessee Pass Cookhouse Located high, high in the Rockies near Leadville—at 10,800 feet above sea level, to be exact—Tennessee Pass Cookhouse offers a unique Colorado dining experience. You can enjoy a tasty lunch or dinner at the cookhouse. But, to get there, first you’ll need to cross-country ski, hike or snowshoe about a mile—and roughly 300 feet of elevation gain—through the beautiful San Isabel forest. (If you’re not able to get there on your own two feet, the staff will gladly give you a ride on a snowmobile!) The cookhouse is rustic and intimate, with seating for only 40 guests at a time. It’s heated by a woodstove and illuminated by propane lanterns and candles. For dinner, chefs prepare five decadent courses, which you



TOP LEFT: Courtesy of Beaver Creek Resort; TOP RIGHT: Courtesy of Pine Creek Cookhouse; OPPOSITE RIGHT: Courtesy of Beaver Creek Resort

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can pair with delicious biodynamic and organic wines. Lunch is a more casual affair, but no less delicious. You can extend your experience at Tennessee Pass by booking one of the off-grid “sleep yurts,” which feature log beds, wood stoves and everything you need to be comfortable for a night of glamping. E. Tennessee Rd., Leadville,, 719-486-8114 Haymaker Clubhouse Pack your cowboy hat for a winter road trip to Steamboat Springs. Here, you can ski or snowboard all day at Steamboat Ski Resort, then freshen up for a romantic sleigh ride dinner at the nearby Haymaker Golf Course. Before you sit down to eat, you’ll climb into a sleigh pulled by two draft horses. As you snuggle under blankets and marvel at the starry sky, these gentle giants will take you on a magical journey across the snowy landscape before depositing you back at the clubhouse. (During the summer, Haymaker is a golf course and, during the winter, it gets groomed for cross-country skiing.) Once inside, you’ll feast on hearty, stick-to-your-ribs dishes like craft beer cheese fondue, bone-in pork chops and butternut squash soup. 34855 US-40, Steamboat Springs,, 970-871-5150

OPPOSITE LEFT AND TOP LEFT: Courtesy of Beaver Creek Resort; TOP RIGHT: Courtesy of Steamboat Ski Resort

2 Below Zero Take your Summit County ski vacation up a notch by reserving one of 2 Below Zero’s lively sleigh ride dinners. You’ll go dashing through the snow on a sleigh, then indulge in a multi-course meal that ends with a slice of warm apple pie and hot cocoa (and, for Mom and Dad, there’s the opportunity to add a shot of peppermint schnapps!). You’ll also get to enjoy live music during this entertaining evening, which is super family friendly (kids under the age of 3 are even free). If your little ones aren’t up for such a long outing, you can also book a shorter, 50-minute hot cocoa sleigh ride instead. 616 Recreation Way, Frisco,, 970-453-1520 Read More Online:

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20 Y E A R S

Boulder International Film Festival By Aimee Heckel

They weren’t sure anybody would show up, but it seemed like a fun idea: to organize a film festival in Boulder. All photos ourtesy of Randy Malone/BIFF




he year was 2003, and Robin and Kathy Beeck had made some short films – funny shorts, like one about the “Frozen Dead Guy” in Nederland (that’s a grandpa who asked to be put on ice in a shed after he died, where he remains to this day). They’d attended some film festivals and had a blast. “We thought, ‘Somebody should start a festival in Boulder; it’s the perfect place for that,’” says Robin Beeck. “So we decided, ‘What the heck.’” They would organize one themselves. “We didn’t know what to expect or what was going to happen,” Robin Beeck says. “We didn’t know if anyone would come. It could just be that nobody cares.” But people cared. In fact, that first year, 5,000 people showed up. That’s how the Beecks knew they were onto something. Twenty years later, the Boulder International Film Festival has grown into one of the biggest events in Boulder, drawing filmmakers and producers from around the world. This year’s event, Feb. 29-March 3, is expected to draw more than 20,000 people. BIFF is four days of local, national and international films shown at various locations in downtown Boulder. The festival has a reputation for bringing in big stars, such as Alec Baldwin, James Franco and Martin Sheen, to name a few. BIFF is much more than film screen-

ings; it’s a whole celebration of film, with panel discussions, happy hours and parties, live music and food prepared by some of the region’s top chefs at the annual CineChef event. This event challenges area chefs to create film-inspired dishes. In honor of the big 2-0 anniversary, this year’s celebrations are extra big. Details are still being sorted out, but there’s talk about showing some of the most popular films from the past years for free, as a way to give back to the community. (BIFF always has ample free activities to make it inclusive. That may include free cake on the Pearl Street Mall this year.) The Beecks are also considering putting together a short film featuring BIFF highlights from the past 20 years, honoring those special moments. Like when the whole Boulder Theater sang happy birthday to former U.S. Rep. John Lewis. The time the theater broke into a massive air guitar party after a film about air guitars. The Beecks remember a local animator commenting on that event, “If you have BIFF for another 50 years, you will never top this night.” “I like to think he was wrong about that,” Kathy Beeck says. Maybe this year will rise to the occasion. A lot has changed over the past two decades. Back then, BIFF only spanned two venues (in 2024 it will have six), didn’t have a call-to-action program,


no CineChef, no singer-songwriter events or educational outreach programs. But BIFF has always had pretty fantastic parties, the Beecks say. “We’ll never forget those early years – learning opportunities,” says Kathy Beeck. Like the time they were waiting for their first big celebrity, actor Chevy Chase, with the red carpet all rolled out – and they realized they forgot to set up his ride to the theater. Kathy Beeck had to quickly call her boyfriend to get the guest of honor. Today, she just laughs about it. “We have a lot of good, fun memories,” she says. “And we have gotten a lot more organized over the years.” One reason BIFF was so successful, Robin Beeck says, was because they compiled their favorite elements from the other festivals they had attended and put them all together into one mother-of-them-all extravaganza. For example, they centered the festival around one area of town to make it easy to get from event to event on foot; they have always recruited volunteers to pick up filmmakers at the airport and show them around; they capped the festival at four days, no longer; and they made sure to incorporate food, drink and talks into the activities to help elevate the experience. BIFF has also worked with more than 150 nonprofits over the years and offers a special youth program. BIFF hasn’t missed a year, not even during the Covid-19 restrictions. During that time, BIFF offered 16 weeks of Saturday night drive-in movies for people to enjoy in their own cars. They sold out nearly every screening. “Filmmakers come back year after year because they’re treated so well and our audiences are some of the most enthusiastic on the planet. Our gigantic venues are often filled, and people eat it up; they’re dying to see an incredible film with a great story, and we’re lucky to have so many incredible volunteers and folks who support us,” Kathy Beeck says. “A lot of the industry comes out for BIFF. It’s how they’re treated and how they feel welcome here.” Today, BIFF offers a year-round outreach program for senior citizens. It has expanded to the Longmont Museum. “People come over and over again, and they trust us to screen the greatest stories. We feel like that is one of our strongest points: an outstanding program,” Kathy Beeck says. “Film has the power to change the world. The best films are the ones you never forget.” Stay in the Know For more details about film selections, free programs and announcements about the 20th anniversary of BIFF, bookmark and keep an eye on BIFF’s social media pages. Read More Online:

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5 National Parks and Monuments to Visit This Winter By Shauna Farnell




While most travelers think of summer as national park season, several of Colorado’s most popular landscapes are just as good—if not better—during the winter months. They’re not only blissfully uncrowded in winter, but they’re also arguably more beautiful under a fresh blanket of snow. A winter visit to these nationally recognized wonders will mean donning more layers, wearing thicker socks and perhaps packing a pair of microspikes, snowshoes or even cross-country skis. But, as you’ll soon discover, national park season lasts all year and offers fresh potential for adventure in winter. If you’re looking for inspiration for your next winter getaway,

Photo courtesy of NPS/Victoria Stauffenberg

consider these five Colorado national parks and monuments. Rocky Mountain National Park Anyone familiar with the gridlock that often comes with a trip to Rocky Mountain National Park in the summer or fall will be pleasantly surprised by the easy access (no timed entry), relatively empty roads and overall dearth of crowds in winter. Nearly all of the park’s hiking trails are still fair game, but will most likely require waterproof boots with either microspikes or snowshoes, as well as ski poles for making your way up and down the steeper sections. A couple of moderate (about two hours roundtrip) winter hikes are Emerald Lake and Bear Lake, both of which are spectacularly beautiful when covered in snow, especially if the surrounding white peaks are magnified by a blue sky. For solo travelers or girls’ trips, a guided snowshoe hike with the newly launched, woman-owned Femme Trek is a great way to learn the lay of the land, while KMAC Guides provide a safe and educational gateway to backcountry skiing, snowboarding, cross-country skiing and ice climbing. It’s important to note that the two main thoroughfares that run through Rocky Mountain National Park—Fall River Road and Trail Ridge Road—are closed in the winter, as are the Alpine and Moraine Park visitor centers. Bear Lake Road is open all year, but shuttle services do not operate in winter. In the absence of cars, cross-country and backcountry skiers revel in the miles of peaceful gliding available on Trail Ridge Road and snowshoers looking for flatter terrain will enjoy the serenity of Fall River Road. Hidden Valley, a defunct ski area that no longer has chairlifts, is a favorite sledding spot for anyone willing to hike up the bunny hill. It’s also a backcountry wonderland for skiers and snowboarders earning their turns. In Estes Park, grab lunch or dinner at the historic but recently relocated Dunraven or Bird & Jim, named after famed pioneer traveler Isabella Bird and local “desperado” Rocky Mountain Jim.

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TOP LEFT: Courtesy of NPS/Mackenzie Reed; RIGHT: Courtesy of NPS; BOTTOM: Courtesy of NPS/P. Gaines

Colorado National Monument Arguably the most unsung national gem of the American West, Colorado National Monument is worth the drive for its striking otherworldly rock formations, but also because it sometimes offers a bit of a respite from winter. Stretching between Grand Junction and Fruita with entrances on both ends, the park sits above the Colorado River’s Grand Valley and is home to more than 60 miles of hiking trails. Most routes meander through towering sandstone monoliths and end with a jaw-dropping view or natural masterpiece of some shape or other. The most aptly named formations and accompanying trails include Coke Ovens, Pipe Organ, Kissing Couple and Devils Kitchen. While it’s not guaranteed that the trails won’t be covered in ice or a couple of inches of snow in winter, snowshoes are not required, but microspikes are not a bad idea as even a thin layer of snow or ice can make for slippery footing. (Daytime temperatures in this part of the state can dip into the 30s in December and January but can easily hit 60, too.)




With sweeping panoramas from several viewpoints of the rock formations and canyons below, as well as the Book Cliffs and Grand Mesa in the distance, experiencing the monument on two wheels is a true thrill. Rim Rock Drive, the two-way paved road that winds through Colorado National Monument, is light on vehicular traffic in winter, opening a fantastic opportunity for road cyclists. The road measures 23 miles one way with just over 2,000 feet of climbing, thrilling hairpin turns and a short tunnel where lights are required and cyclists should beware of black ice. Cap your adventure with a slice at Hot Tomato Pizza in Fruita or a beer at Ramblebine in Grand Junction. Great Sand Dunes National Park Resembling more of a white Arctic tundra with pristine rounded slopes than a hilly desert, Great Sand Dunes National Park is possibly more of a marvel in winter than any other time of year. Although situated down south, about a 4-hour drive from Boulder, the dunes are cold and snowy in December and January especially. Open year-round (the visitor center is only closed on holidays), the park is known for housing the highest sand dunes in North America. The tallest, Star Dune, measures 750 feet. In contrast, the lower areas of the park feature aspen glades and pine trees. Here, the Mosca Pass Trail and Montville Nature Trail make for great snowshoe options, while accessing the dunes is easiest from Dunes Parking Lot, about a half-mile from the visitor center. From here, snowshoes are

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likely needed to trek up the dunes and many visitors will bring sleds or even skis and snowboards for a more adventurous downhill journey. Entire herds of elk can be spotted trotting down the snowy dunes. And, in February and March, keep an eye out for the migrating red-headed sandhill cranes. It can get quite windy during these months, so dress warmly. Also be aware that Medano Pass Road is only partially open (best for four-wheel drive vehicles) from December through April. Black Canyon of the Gunnison One of the country’s least-visited national parks, Black Canyon of the Gunnison is alluring in every season. But winter is an especially stunning time to experience it, when its charcoal-colored walls and craggy spires are flecked with white snow and ice. Sculpted over two million years by the Gunnison River, the canyon is a vertical wonder. Snowshoes or burly microspikes are most certainly necessary for hiking. Oak Flat Loop is an ideal trail for taking in the full panorama and



glimpsing the river—likely caked in ice—below. Nordic skiers are in for a treat, as rangers actually groom South Rim Drive, which is closed to vehicular traffic in winter, along with East Portal Road and North Rim Road. About a five-hour drive from Boulder, stop in Paonia for a breakfast burrito before or a pizza after at the family-owned Berg Harvest Farm and Mercantile. Camp Hale-Continental Divide National Monument Camp Hale-Continental Divide National Monument is Colorado’s newest national monument, having received the prestigious designation in October 2022. No time of year provides a more truthful glimpse of Camp Hale’s essence—and its history—than winter. After all, the area was used for preparing the skiing soldiers of the U.S. Army’s 10th Mountain Division in the winter of 1944 for battle in the European Alps. Camp Hale-Continental Divide covers 53,000 acres of land, including the remains of the camp. Situated in a

LEFT: Photo by Shauna Farnell; RIGHT: Courtesy of Femme Trek

broad, flat basin about three miles long and one mile wide, the former training grounds are surrounded by majestic high peaks. Although the many buildings and structures that housed the soldiers are now gone, remains of the barracks and foundations remain. Channeling the spirit of the place, cross-country skis are the best means for exploring this area in winter, although snowshoes are an option, too. After parking near the main entrance (off Highway 24, about 17 miles beyond Minturn), there is a selfguided loop with 10 educational stops around Camp Hale. Snowmobiling is also popular, with Nova Guides offering several tours of the area. camp-hale-continental-divide-national-monument Read More Online:





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Christina's Luxuries Style from Head to Toe By Aimee Heckel



All photos courtesy of Christina's Luxuries


eautiful clothing and lingerie is more than a style statement for Barbara Wilson. It’s a part of her DNA. She grew up in this world. And over the past 40 years, she has shared it with Boulder. Wilson is the owner of Christina’s Luxuries, 2425 Canyon Blvd., unit 100, in Boulder. Christina’s – named after Wilson’s only daughter – is best known as a high-end lingerie store. But it’s much more than that. It’s also a women-led, local business and third-generation family legacy. And it carries much more than bras and underwear. Some of Wilson’s earliest memories revolve around clothing. Her grandma ran a clothing store back in New Jersey, before sharing the passion with Wilson’s mother and her aunts. Wilson remembers the women in her family pulling her out of school to go on buying trips in New York. She remembers sitting next to her mom and grandma on the train – the excitement growing as they got ready to go select the shop’s inventory for the upcoming season. “I had the most fabulous childhood ever,” Wilson remembers. “It’s the greatest job a girl can have and still call it work. Who gets to go to LA and New York and shop for a living? And then working with a bunch of women is superb.” Wilson worked with her family until her husband’s job relocated them to Colorado in the ‘70s. She decided to open her own store, an extension of and inspired by her grandma’s legacy. The goal: “Timeless, effortless fashion that encompasses quality and comfort to enhance and support women in their everyday life,” Wilson says.

As she sees it, her job is to help people look and feel amazing so they can go on to accomplish great things. “It’s all about polished ease,” she says. What that looks like today? The opportunity to work with a personal shopper and expert who can fit you perfectly in clothes. That’s a far cry from the impersonal, often cheap experiences of fast fashion online. Indeed, Wilson says she has tried to preserve as much of that original family legacy – of impeccable customer service, quality and finely curated apparel and also authentic camaraderie – in Christina’s Luxuries. In addition to lingerie, you can also find luxurious pajamas, denim, swimwear, jackets, body care, and all kinds of clothing, from cashmere sweaters to dresses for special occasions. Cozy flannel PJs and warm socks. Comforting body oil and candles. A stunning bra and panty set. Maternity clothes. Even a bridal registry option. The list of brands carried is extensive, too, spanning the likes of Velvet, Ugg, Spanx, Nicole Miller, Heidi Klum, Frank & Eileen, Calvin Klein, American Vintage, 360 Cashmere, Bella Dahl, Christopher Fisher and many more.

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"We pride ourselves in exceptional customer service and working with people individually, which is really special after impersonal online shopping."

People are often surprised by how much variety they can find in Christina’s, Wilson says. “We’ve been carrying clothes for more than 30 years, but people still walk in and say, ‘Oh, I thought you only sold bras, and I don’t need lingerie.’” That being said, Christina’s does specialize in bra-fitting. And it does carry a vast selection of lingerie brands and sizes. Wilson can think of clients who shopped Christina’s for their wedding and years later bought their daughters in to be fitted for their first bra. “Today, people buy everything online, but as they get tired of trying to figure out their size – there’s not a whole lot of standardization in sizing and every brand and style is different – they come to us for the correct fit,” she says. “We pride ourselves in exceptional customer service and working with people individually, which is really special after impersonal online shopping.” Of course, you can still shop Christina’s online, too; displays all inventory available in the store, so in that, you can have the best of both worlds: personalization and/or ease of one-click shopping. A few things have changed over the decades. Lingerie has evolved. Christina’s now carries what Wilson calls the world’s most comfortable undergarments for men. But ultimately, the heart remains the same, Wilson says. “Women are still the same. We love lingerie and the perfect fit, regardless of the styling possibilities,” she says. “You have women who want no construction or women who want a super lift. There’s products for everybody. Everybody’s idea of beauty is something different.” Hot for Winter Wondering what’s new for winter 2023? Look for lingerie and clothing in jewel tones, like purples, cognac, emerald, sapphire. Read More Online:



Top brands for the Colorado outdoors


2525 ARAPAHOE AVENUE, UNIT D-1 BOULDER, CO 80302 (303) 443-1822 • McGUCKIN.COM

--Proud to be locally owned & operated

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By Sarah Kuta




During Colorado's winters, we all face the same dilemma: Embrace the snow and ice, or get away from it all for a sunny warm-weather vacation?


ut you really don’t have to choose. Winter is long, after all, and there’s plenty of time to take several trips — some hot, some cold and some that are somewhere in the middle. If you’re in the mood for a getaway, consider these destinations.

Courtesy of Highway 1 Road Trip

California’s Central Coast California’s Central Coast is like a choose-your-ownadventure game. Love wildlife? You’ll find tons of it here, including elephant seals, sea otters, birds and even monarch butterflies. Want to sip a glass of wine while overlooking a picturesque vineyard? You can do that, too, at dozens of sunny wineries like Biddle Ranch Vineyard and Talley Vineyards. Want to get your blood pumping? Hit the hiking trails at Montaña de Oro State Park, many of which overlook the Pacific Ocean. The best part of visiting this area, located halfway between San Francisco and Los Angeles, is that you won’t find any crowds. So hop on a nonstop flight from Denver to San Luis Obispo, rent a car and cruise up and down Highway 1. There are tons of small towns to explore, from San Simeon and Cambria to Avila Beach. Puerta Vallarta Who’s up for a “fly and flop” vacation? If you’re not familiar with the term, it means a quick flight, followed by a few stress-free days on the beach. Puerta Vallarta, Mexico, is perfect for this type of trip, since it’s just a quick nonstop flight from DIA. Make Grand Velas Riviera Nayarit your home base for a getaway filled with incredible food, relaxing spa treatments and plenty of time on the beach. Choose from 267 ocean-view suites, including some that have their own private plunge pools. No matter which accommodation you choose, you’ll be surrounded by lush flowering gardens and have views of the Sierra Madre mountains in the distance. Indulge at the resort’s six restaurants, including four

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For a quick weekend getaway that combines both hot and cold, make the drive up I-70 to Iron Mountain Hot Springs in Glenwood Springs. The resort recently opened a new adultsonly section called Upriver that's reserved exclusively for those ages 21 and up. This tranquil area includes 10 pebblebottom mineral pools, a cold plunge pool, two freshwater pools and a café. Soak to your hearts content while taking in views of Iron Mountain, Red Mountain and Mt. Sopris.



that have received prestigious AAA Four Diamond awards. (The resort, as a whole, is a AAA Five Diamond hotel.) You’ll also want to book a treatment (or several) at SE Spa, which is widely regarded as one of the most luxurious spas in the world. During your vacation, also enjoy the tennis courts, oversized pool, fitness center, 24/7 room service, water sports and other amenities. Tahiti Sparkling turquoise waters, lush green scenery, picturesque beaches, fun in the sun—what could be better amid the doldrums of winter? You can have it all when you visit Tahiti and the surrounding islands of French Polynesia this winter. Set sail aboard the 312-passenger luxury yacht, the Star Breeze, on Windstar Cruises’ “Tahiti & The Tuamotu Islands” itinerary. You’ll get to explore gorgeous lagoons, see colorful fish and birds, and enjoy a slice of island life—all while traveling on what amounts to a floating boutique hotel. During the day, participate in engaging excursions like

TOP: Courtesy of SkiBig3/Reuben Krabbe; TOP LEFT: Courtesy of Highway 1 Road Trip; MIDDLE LEFT: Courtesy of Windstar Cruises; BOTTOM LEFT: Courtesy of Avalon Waterways

snorkeling, swimming, tours in glass-bottom boats and other tropical adventures. Then, at night, retreat to the comfort of the yacht and dine on world-class food— because Windstar has a partnership with the James Beard Foundation. The 11-day trip provides plenty of time to rest and recharge at the on-board spa or in the pool and whirlpool on the top deck. And since all of the guest accommodations on the Star Breeze are suites, you and your traveling companion will have plenty of room to spread out. Boise, Idaho You probably know Idaho for its potatoes—which are indeed very tasty. But there’s so much more to the Gem State than just tubers. To get a taste of what Idaho is all about, put Boise at the top of your list. The capital city is a quick nonstop flight from Denver and it’s the perfect size for a long weekend getaway—not too big, not too small.

Boise has a thriving culinary scene, with numerous restaurants earning nods from the James Beard Foundation in recent years—and one chef, Kris Komori, even won the award for Best Chef: Mountain Region in 2023. His restaurant, KIN, is worth making the trip for alone. The city, and Idaho more broadly, also has a great wine scene. Stop by Telaya Wine Co., located right on the Boise River Greenbelt, for an introduction. Learn about history, arts and culture at Boise’s many museums and get some fresh air with a trip up to Bogus Basin, a nonprofit ski resort located just a few minutes from downtown. Also be sure to check out the Basque Block, a small-but-mighty neighborhood dedicated to Boise’s thriving Basque community. The Danube River Picture this: You’re floating past castles, vineyards and historic buildings along the tranquil Danube River in Europe. At the next port, you get off the ship and stroll

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through a picturesque city center. Maybe you wander through a museum or take a guided walking tour. Maybe you stop for an espresso and a sweet treat while watching the world go by. You can make this dream a reality when you book a European river cruise with Avalon Waterways. You really can’t go wrong with cruising on any river, but the Danube is a particularly good choice because you can cover a lot of ground in a short period of time and get a good introduction to several new destinations. With many of Avalon’s Danube itineraries, you can visit four countries—Hungary, Slovakia, Austria and Germany—in less than a week, which can help you make the most of your PTO. And, depending on when you book, you might be able to visit some of Europe’s famed holiday markets, which are truly charming. And Avalon’s river cruise ships are uniquely comfortable because, inside each cabin, the beds face the windows. When the ship is sailing, you can snuggle up and relax while watching the scenery pass by outside. Equally innovative, instead of balconies, Avalon’s rooms have wall-to-wall, floor-to-ceiling panoramic windows that you can slide open. This turns your whole room into a balcony and gives you more space inside. And maybe the name Avalon is already familiar to you: Their parent company, Globus, is headquartered in Denver. Banff, Alberta, Canada You don’t have to travel far to take an international trip this winter. Our neighbors to the north really know how to do winter right, and perhaps nowhere is this more evidence than in Banff, Alberta. Visiting this charming town in the Canadian Rockies is like being inside a snow globe—if a snow globe also happened to have three world-class ski resorts right nearby. Make Banff your home base for exploring Mt. Norquay, Banff Sunshine Village and Lake Louise, three ski areas located inside the bounds of Banff National Park that are collectively known as SkiBig3. Off the slopes, enjoy a multi-course culinary masterpiece at Eden, the fine-dining restaurant nestled inside the Rimrock Resort Hotel. Learn about the Bow Valley’s history with a trip to the Whyte Museum of the Canadian Rockies. And for a truly magical winter adventure, take a guided evening “ice walk” through Johnston Canyon with Discover Banff Tours. You’ll put on microspikes and a headlamp, then crunch your way along the trail to see frozen waterfalls under the stars. Read More Online:



Photo courtesy of ???

TOP: Courtesy of Windstar Cruises; BOTTOM LEFT: Courtesy of Highway 1 Road Trip; BOTTOM MIDDLE: Courtesy of Visit Boise; BOTTOM RIGHT: Courtesy of Velas Resort

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A BOULDER ICON THE BUFF RESTAURANT BY ALLYSON REEDY Eating breakfast at The Buff is almost a Boulder rite of passage.


All photos courtesy of The Buff

ince 1995, when Jacquie and Chris Meyer opened what’s become the locals’ favorite breakfast restaurant, The Buff (2600 Canyon Blvd.) has been helping us rise and shine with pecan caramel quesadillas, loaded skillets and those 99 cent mimosas and Bloody Marys. We asked Jacquie how the 29-year-restaurant-owning ride has been, if she has any regrets and, yes, whether Deion Sanders is a customer. (We had to!) Why did you originally want to open The Buff? Chris was the manager at Le Peep across the street from the Best Western’s Golden Buff restaurant, and I was a server there. The restaurant was up for grabs. I was a mother of three living on $18,000 a year at the time, so we decided to put a game plan together and we did. We put a business plan together, they accepted it, and in 1995 we opened. How did you get the money together to open a restaurant? There was a hobby shop right down below Le Peep, and my little boys would always be so excited to go in. The hobby shop owner believed in us, and he said he’d put up some of the collateral. Has the food been the same since the beginning? We came up with all the recipes ourselves. A couple of the things are still the same—I think all the skillets have been there since day one, for the last 29 years. As time goes on, we filter through what works and doesn’t work. At one time we had a marinara sauce and panini machine; we’ve

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had sweet potatoes on our menu. Periodically we add something new or take something off if it’s not a winner. The restaurant industry is notoriously brutal. What challenges have you faced? The struggles were tough. There are endless stories over the years of what it took, but basically blood, sweat and literally tears, day in and day out. We worked every single solitary day, and that was really tough, especially having families. My oldest son is now 40—he started working at 13, bussing tables. We still have one son working there. All five kids have worked there at some point. Any regrets? For some reason, back when we opened, I decided we had to have cloth napkins. Something to set us apart and feel a little fancier. If the washing machine went out, I’d have to go over to use the hotel’s, and I’d still be there until seven at night rolling silverware thinking, ‘What have I done?’ One of the things people know you for are the 99-cent Bloody Marys and mimosas. You have to lose money on those, right? Oh yeah, totally. And it’s OK. It was a loss leader, and then it just became part of our DNA, so we couldn’t change it. Everyone knows at The Buff you get your 99-cent Bloody Marys. At one time we didn’t have a limit on it, and we learned quickly that you have to put a limit on it! (There’s now a limit of three per customer.) The Buff moved across Canyon in 2014. Why’d you decide to change locations? We didn’t have a choice. They sold the land. It ended up being great—from that time on, sales increased 40 percent. There’s better parking, better visibility. What’s it like to mean so much to this community? There are so many regulars; we know exactly what they want as soon as they walk in through the door. If you don’t change things too much, it gives people comfort. I had a note the other day from a sweet girl whose father passed away. She said she came into The

Buff because she needed something to feel like home, and she said, ‘That’s what you guys gave me.’ And I have to ask—has Coach Prime been in? Deion, all the time! The coaches’ wives come in all the time, too. It’s been that way from the get-go. A long time ago, I was [former CU football] Coach Bill McCartney’s secretary. We’ve been blessed by it. [For Deion] it’s tough on busy days—he pulled up not too long ago, but he didn’t come in because with so many people, he’s gonna get slammed. It’s better for him to come in in the middle of the week. Read More Online:

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COZY cocktail bars

DATE NIGHT for a Romantic

By Allyson Reedy

Tired of doing the same dinner-and-a-movie routine for date night? Change things up a little—and impress your date—by sipping tasty, creative craft cocktails this winter and spring. Boulder County’s cocktail bar scene is better than ever, from a new Louisville speakeasy to an anything but hush-hush Western chic lounge. So snag a table or pull up a stool at one of these romantic, date night-worthy cocktail bars just waiting to quench your thirst—and reignite your passion.

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Velvet Elk Lounge Maybe you’ve been together for decades and you’ve said everything there is to say. Maybe you just met, and conversation is still a little awkward. Either way, the Velvet Elk has got you covered for entertainment and a stiff drink. There’s almost always live music roaring at this cozy venue off the Pearl Street Mall, and the drinks, like the Smoked Old Fashioned and chocolatey Campfire Sling, are conversation fodder on their own. The vibe is all make-you-want-to-staya-while modern Western chic, and it’s a good thing they stay open late most nights because you’re going to want to order another round. 2037 13th St., Boulder; The Bitter Bar Longtime Boulderites may remember The Bitter Bar as the Mr. Hyde to Happy Noodle’s Dr. Jekyll—the friendly ramen and noodle bar-by-day transformed into the darkly cool Bitter Bar at night when it originally opened in 2009. Turns out, Mr. Hyde is a whole lot more fun, and the PM cocktail lounge eventually won out, shuttering Happy Noodle but setting the standard for Boulder cocktail bars. The drinks here aren’t just among the tastiest in Boulder; they’re among the tastiest along the entire Front Range, with the best time to try a sip being during the generous



ABOVE: Courtesy of the Bitter Bar; TOP RIGHT: Courtesy of Dry Land Distillers/Brittni Bell; MIDDLE AND BOTTOM: Courtesy of Jungle; FAR RIGHT: Courtesy of the Bitter Bar

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My happy place puts a huge smile on my face. It’s a place where I feel creative, adventurous and relaxed. It’s a spot where I make new memories and relive some of the best small moments of my life. Sounds kind of nice, right? Discover your own happy place in downtown Boulder!




happy hour from 5-7 p.m. when cocktails run just $8 (because The Bitter Bar loves us and knows that happy hour should begin at 5 p.m., not end then.) The space is decently large, but still feels intimate thanks to the moody, romantic lighting. 835 Walnut St., Boulder; Jungle When you need a break from Colorado winter, enter the tropical drink wonderland that is Jungle. Blizzard outside? Sip on a Mai Tai and your feet are in the sand. The thermometer just won’t hit positive digits? Order up the High Tide with Jamaican rum, pear brandy, toasted seaweed and ginger and, suddenly, you’re in the Caribbean. This Pearl Street rum bar is a staycation wrapped up in palm fronds, the ideal spot to get away for date night. Bonus: They’ve got burgers, fish tacos and plantain fritters to soak up all that rum so you can stay a little longer. 2018 10th St., Boulder; Nora’s Speakeasy If your dream cocktail bar wish list includes a welcoming vibe and a solid list of cocktails both classic and reimagined, then the new Nora’s Speakeasy is the place for you. Located in downtown Louisville, Nora’s art deco décor is spiffy enough for a fancy date night but still relaxed enough for an easy night out. Whether you opt to snuggle up in a booth or spread out on the massive velvet sofa, you can’t go wrong with a Black

ABOVE: Courtesy of Dry Land Distillers; TOP RIGHT: Courtesy of Jungle

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ABOVE: Courtesy of Nora's Speakeasy/Rogue Shutter Photography; TOP RIGHT: Courtesy of Jungle




Manhattan in your hand. This moody, underground spot is tucked beneath The Simon, a wedding and event venue on Main Street. 957 Main St., Louisville; Dry Land Distillers Distilleries can sometimes feel a little rough around the edges—they are, after all, production facilities, where all that good hooch gets made. But downtown Longmont’s Dry Land Distillers feels more like a carefully created mid-century modern lounge than an afterthought tasting room. And their cocktails and spirits are always polished, too. We like the Lilac Bush, made with their Native Colorado Gin and lilac simple syrup, as well as their Hot Buttered Rum, a mix of brown sugar, warm holiday spices and cane rum. But you really can’t go wrong no matter what you order. Afterward, stroll hand-in-hand and window shop on Main Street in Longmont. 519 Main St., Longmont;

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The Burns Pub For cozy charm, you can’t beat Broomfield’s tucked away The Burns Pub. The decidedly British spot is always bustling and space is tight, so yeah, you just might have to huddle up together a little closer. Even better if that huddling happens near the fireplace or in one of the pub’s nooks and crannies. The food here is great—they have the killer savory pie, fish and chips, and bangers and mash you’d expect— but what you’re really there for is their incredible library of whiskies. From 25-year single malt scotch to a laundry list of Irish whiskies, you’d be forgiven if you skipped the cocktails in favor of a straight sip. But don’t! The Barrel Aged Boulevardier, a bittersweet blend with Westland American single malt whiskey, is a drink you definitely need in your life. 9009 Metro Airport Ave., Broomfield; Read More Online:



ABOVE: Courtesy of Nora's Speakeasy/Rogue Shutter Photography; TOP LEFT: Courtesy of Jungle

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Female-Identifying Artists Thrive at

The New Local By Karyna Balch

Photo courtesy of Art Parts


ucked unassumingly on a shaded block just beyond Pearl’s West End—where brick retail shops give way to a quiet residential neighborhood—is the historic Montgomery House at 741 Pearl Street. On the sidewalk outside the tall, narrow Queen Anne Victorian home—which is painted in cheerful shades of butter yellow, dusty blue and forest green, with accents of bright plum—is a chalkboard sign beckoning passersby to come inside. Since October 2022, the 142-year-old abode has been filled with new life as The New Local, a gallery and art collective for artists, designers and makers. Those who heed the sign’s suggestion are bountifully rewarded, for within lies a thoughtfully curated treasure trove of fresh flowers, botanically-dyed silks, hand-woven fiber art, artisanal chocolates and more. A 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, The New Local (TNL) started as a pop-up exhibit in 2019, when founder and executive director Marie-Juliette Bird called on her community of women artists to form a collective, sharing the expenses of setting up a gallery space in a defunct janitorial supply shop. In just six weeks, the group collectively earned $48,000 and each artist retained 100 percent of her profits—a feat nearly unheard of in the art world. After the community responded positively to the pop-up, Bird spent two years incorporating the group as a nonprofit during the pandemic. TNL’s ethos is not to take money from creatives, Bird says—a radical idea in times like these, when artists must All photos courtesy of Bridget Dorr/The New Local

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often share a large chunk of their profits to display their work in a gallery. Her hope for the nonprofit is to create a different model that ensures makers are paid what they’re worth. Wearing a breezy, caramel and white polka-dot dress—and with her brunette tresses cascading in long curls—Bird proudly shows the work of TNL’s collective: lathe-turned wooden bowls, mixedmedia paintings, hand-bent brass wall sculptures and statement cowgirl boots. They’re all lovingly displayed throughout four rooms on the building’s main floor, which is part art gallery, part shop for one-of-a-kind and handmade artisan goods to wear, gift or adorn the home. Bird grew up in Boulder and has spent much of her life involving herself in creative endeavors, including a musical project called Blackbird and The Storm. Her fine jewelry business, Blackbird and the Snow—a line of exquisite, nature-inspired pieces she handcrafts using pre-industrial era artisanal techniques—has been featured in luxury fashion magazines like Vogue and Elle. Her lush spring line includes tourmaline and diamond beetle earrings set in f14-carat yellow gold, and a moon necklace that features a stunning rose-cut Ethiopian opal. Those interested can take a peek at her wares for themselves inside the warm and welcoming gallery space. Bird notes that opening the brick-and-mortar gallery space has helped to build a bridge between the creative community and the public. There’s




also something special about highlighting the types of work that pioneer women would have done—such as leatherwork and functional ceramics—thus carrying on pioneer-era traditions in a home built in 1880, she says. In addition, showcasing and validating such work helps to shatter historically misogynist views that “women’s crafts” cannot be considered high art, she says. “All creative work has value, regardless of the medium. All creative work deserves to be in an elevated space,” Bird says. TNL holds open calls for work, welcoming submissions from all female-identifying creators and focusing outreach to underserved and minority communities. A board of diverse experts from the University of Colorado Boulder vets artist submissions “with an eye toward quality and originality,” Bird says. She personally curates TNL’s featured collection for each six-month rotation. The inaugural exhibit featured all womenmade art from local artists—about 90 percent based in Boulder. In addition to the gallery and shop on the main floor of the Montgomery House, TNL offers affordable studio space for four artists. And in April, the collective opened an additional space called the Annex, located just a few doors down at 713 Pearl Street, in a painted concrete and brick building that once housed a small grocery store. Through the Annex Artist Program, TNL highlights the work of a single artist in a fine art exhibit that rotates every six weeks. “We also currently host elevated workshops and special events in the space,” Bird says. TNL plans to launch “Clay Club” in the Annex’s back room, known as “The Grotto,” where participants can work on pottery on a drop-in basis. Bird’s vision for the Annex is to “create a space where we can interface with the public,” she says.

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The group is working to be inclusive with its educational programs, says Bird. One such outreach initiative is the availability of sliding-scale mini-workshops on Saturdays throughout the summer, making participation accessible to more people in the community. As part of their membership agreement, TNL artists volunteer their time and skills to teach these community art programs. On International Women’s Day this past March, for example, TNL hosted school field trips. Bird’s goal is to “create something of value for the community,” she says. Bird also hopes to spearhead an extension of First Friday Art Walks, a monthly event held in artists’ studios and creative businesses in the NoBo Art District along Broadway. She thinks downtown Boulder could benefit from an elevated community experience, and envisions TNL hosting live music in addition to having the gallery space open for visitors during art walks. TNL would emphasize “an organic cross-pollination of mediums with an emphasis on art,” Bird says. “We want to cultivate a destination, to spread the word and let people know we’re here,” she says. Read More Online:







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