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View Full Version : Life Rafting / Hotels / Must Eat At Restaurants / Attractions in Denver?


pr_capone
05-12-2009, 10:21 PM
We are going to Denver in early June and wanted to go rafting.

Beginner stuff really as I've never been rafting before. Do they take trips on say... a Thursday?

Can anyone recommend a good rafting company and any knowledge of particular rivers that are the most fun or scenic would be appreciated.

What are the hotels to go to in Denver and the ones to stay away from?

Any good eats there?

What should we go see? The Downtown Aquarium is on our mind at the moment but I am open to being dissuaded on that.

Thanks!

Baconeater
05-12-2009, 10:34 PM
Stay the **** away from the Super 8 by Commerce City. I remember seeing people rafting in the Royal Gorge, but that's quite a drive from Denver. The ESPN Zone downtown is pretty cool.

Halfcan
05-12-2009, 10:37 PM
check out the Capitol building-it is free and pretty cool-they give you a free tour to boot.

Halfcan
05-12-2009, 10:38 PM
dont forget to buy a car from Elway motors-lol

Rain Man
05-12-2009, 11:19 PM
A few tips for you:

First, rafting in the Colorado mountains is not like rafting in Missouri. The water is screaming down out of the mountains as the snow melts and it's not beginner stuff. It's moving really fast. Be sure to ask the class of rapids to know what you're getting into. It'd be really cool to raft the Royal Gorge, but at the same time I vaguely recall that it's relatively fast water. It's three or four hours from Denver, more or less.

My wife did a raft trip in the Grand Junction area many years ago, and said it was gorgeous. I think you want to be south of Grand Junction where it's more level and not east, or you'll have the fast mountain water again. Her route ran alongside the Amtrak route, but I don't remember the river. It's about four hours away from Denver.

That's all I know about rafting, but www.colorado.com is the official state tourism website, and they probably have some good information there. You can also order their vacation guide, which is nice.

Oh, and there's a river that runs through the Black Canyon of the Gunnison, which is gorgeous. I think you have to do a lottery or sign up years in advance or something, though. I know it's got very limited access, which is part of it's appeal. It's about five hours from Denver.

If you want to go to the most beautiful town in Colorado, go to Telluride. It's an 8-hour drive from Denver, but it's worth it. Jaw-dropping scenery. (You can fly there, but you might as well drive if you're interested in natural beauty.) It's very outdoorsy, so they may have rafting there, or at the very least you'll find a place along the way.

The aquarium in Denver went out of business, but was bought by a restaurant. Now you eat at the restaurant and the walls are enormous fish tanks. It's still worth doing, but it's not really a public aquarium any more.

In Denver, you should stay downtown if you want a nice tourist experience. You can walk to a lot of good restaurants and stuff, and it's convenient to other things. It's only a five-minute drive to the aquarium and the Children's Museum (if you have kids), and you can walk to the baseball stadium, the art museum, the Colorado History museum, and other stuff. The Museum of Nature and Science is nice and it's only about 15 minutes away by car. You can also check out some cool mansions in about a ten-minute radius from downtown.

The Brown Palace is the most famous downtown hotel, where the Beatles and various presidents and other celebrities have stayed. It's very nice but very expensive. Same with the Monaco and the Teatro, other historic hotels. I think the Hotel Magnolia is the best value downtown in that you can get a suite for reasonable money, and they used to have a nice deal where you could get a hotel room and a meal at Morton's (VERY top-end restaurant) for a good price. It's got a good location, too.

There are lots of other downtown hotels that are more modern standard hotels, too. Downtown hotels aren't cheap in any way, shape, or form, but you'll have a much better visitor experience there than staying out in the burbs and driving to Applebee's and fighting traffic to get to the touristy stuff that's downtown anyway.

Another option is to stay in the Cherry Creek area at the JW Marriott. Nice new hotel in an upscale small shopping district. Only stay here if you want to wander around high-end stores as your main activity, though.

MagicHef
05-13-2009, 12:16 AM
Buena Vista, a 2 1/2 hour drive from Denver, has quite a few rafting companies. I went rafting once there, about 10 years ago, and I think I remember it being a lot of fun. Trail Ridge Road in Rocky Mountain National Park is estimated to open May 22nd, and it is pretty spectacular. My favorite restaurants in Denver are Jack-n-Grill and Sushi Den.

zachary
05-13-2009, 06:44 AM
you can also find best restaurants in Denver on opentable.com

Sure-Oz
05-13-2009, 07:42 AM
ESPN ZONE downtown is very nice. when we went to the chiefs game a few years ago that place was rocking.

DaKCMan AP
05-13-2009, 07:42 AM
Stay the **** away from the Super 8 by Commerce City. I remember seeing people rafting in the Royal Gorge, but that's quite a drive from Denver. The ESPN Zone downtown is pretty cool.

ESPN ZONE downtown is very nice. when we went to the chiefs game a few years ago that place was rocking.

Sports Column > ESPN Zone

58-4ever
05-13-2009, 08:13 AM
If you get a chance, see a show at the Red Rocks amphitheater in Morrison. It's a phenomenal experience!

patteeu
05-13-2009, 08:20 AM
One of the US Mints is in Denver. You can probably go see them creating money at a record pace right about now. Bank bailouts take a lot of coin.

Seriously, they have tours of the Mint if you're interested in that kind of thing. It's not necessarily a must see, but it's definitely something you can't see in very many places.

Brock
05-13-2009, 09:01 AM
The museum of natural history is really fantastic.

Rain Man
05-13-2009, 09:07 AM
ESPN ZONE downtown is very nice. when we went to the chiefs game a few years ago that place was rocking.


Located downtown.

Rain Man
05-13-2009, 09:07 AM
One of the US Mints is in Denver. You can probably go see them creating money at a record pace right about now. Bank bailouts take a lot of coin.

Seriously, they have tours of the Mint if you're interested in that kind of thing. It's not necessarily a must see, but it's definitely something you can't see in very many places.


Located downtown.

Rain Man
05-13-2009, 09:08 AM
If you get a chance, see a show at the Red Rocks amphitheater in Morrison. It's a phenomenal experience!

Not located downtown, but you can see downtown from it off in the distance near the horizon.

Gonzo
05-13-2009, 09:21 AM
Bubba Gump Shrimp ftw.

DaKCMan AP
05-13-2009, 09:23 AM
Bubba Gump Shrimp ftw.

Crappy chain.

patteeu
05-13-2009, 09:24 AM
Speaking of Morrison, there is a restaurant called The Fort (http://www.thefort.com/) up in the foothills overlooking Denver that specializes in exotic meats which is different. If you get the right table, you've got a great view of Denver, iirc, particularly at night. The menu includes various cuts of Buffalo (ribs, steaks, etc.), elk, lamb, quail, duck, beef, chicken, shrimp, etc. And if you're into them, you can even get Rocky Mountain Oysters. It's a pretty cool place.

http://www.thefort.com/FortMainHdr_09.jpg

Gonzo
05-13-2009, 09:26 AM
Crappy chain.

Dirty Commie Bastard.

DaKCMan AP
05-13-2009, 09:32 AM
Dirty Commie Bastard.

The irony.

DenverChief
05-13-2009, 09:37 AM
Speaking of Morrison, gotta go visit Heritage Square, kind of a poor mans Worlds of Fun without the big rides....fun little mom and pop shops and rides for the kids

Of course you have to visit Blackhawk and Central city for your gambling pleasure, about an hour west of Denver

Boulder if you want to head up to the flatirons on a hiking trip

http://www.clearcreekrafting.com/

I think that website will answer some of your questions about rafting and I highly recommend them

Rain Man
05-13-2009, 09:41 AM
Bubba Gump Shrimp ftw.


Located downtown.

Rain Man
05-13-2009, 09:42 AM
Dirty Commie Bastard.


Not located downtown, but Boulder is only about 30 minutes away.

patteeu
05-13-2009, 09:46 AM
Speaking of Morrison, ...

Hey, maybe you should just go to Morrison and skip Denver.

Donger
05-13-2009, 09:49 AM
If you are looking a hike near town, I highly recommend Devil's Head. It's only about an hour away from Denver (20 minutes for me) and is pretty easy on the lungs.

DaFace
05-13-2009, 09:51 AM
If you are looking a hike near town, I highly recommend Devil's Head. It's only about an hour away from Denver (20 minutes for me) and is pretty easy on the lungs.

Na, just be a man and go for a 14er.

DenverChief
05-13-2009, 09:51 AM
Hey, maybe you should just go to Morrison and skip Denver.

:LOL:

Donger
05-13-2009, 09:53 AM
Na, just be a man and go for a 14er.

LMAO I actually saw this Rambo-type pass out while on a stroll up near Loveland Pass. He went by me like a rocket and then, well...

lostcause
05-13-2009, 11:44 AM
Buena Vista is probably one of the best places you can go for rafting - though it is a little bit of a drive from Denver. Depending on what you are looking for, the Arkansas river can be pretty serious, especially in spring.

A little closer to Denver would be heading up to Grand County near Winter Park. There are several good rafting companies located in Kremling that float the Colorado. If you chose this route I would recommend MAD adventures.

Stewie
05-13-2009, 11:47 AM
I've done quite a bit of rafting in Colorado. Not sure there's anything close to Denver, but I've never really looked for anything there.

For a beginner there's the Poudre River up by Ft. Collins. There are several companies that raft there. Another option is rafting the headwaters of the Colorado near Granby/Grand Lake. Both of these places are a decent drive from Denver but I think you're going to have to drive no matter where you decide to go.

btlook1
05-13-2009, 11:56 AM
Stay the **** away from the Super 8 by Commerce City. I remember seeing people rafting in the Royal Gorge, but that's quite a drive from Denver. The ESPN Zone downtown is pretty cool.

Yes you can raft right down the royal gorge. That has got to be something going down that canyon. We did a trip right above the Gorge last year. The water was so high the gorge was closed to people that do the trips. They said it was way to dangerous. Our trip was supposed to last like 3 hrs but the river was so fast it was over in less than 2. It was wild and crazy. You are not in control when you go rafting. This was in late June...the water was 38* or something like that. I highly recommend a trip down a fast river, just keep your mouth closed when you hit the troughs! And take a little $ with you it always ends up costing more than you think.