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Old 05-12-2009, 09:21 PM  
pr_capone pr_capone is offline
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Rafting / Hotels / Must Eat At Restaurants / Attractions in Denver?

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!
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Old 05-12-2009, 09:34 PM   #2
BeaverEater BeaverEater is offline
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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.
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Old 05-12-2009, 09:37 PM   #3
Halfcan Halfcan is offline
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Old 05-12-2009, 09:38 PM   #4
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Old 05-12-2009, 10:19 PM   #5
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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.
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Last edited by Rain Man; 05-12-2009 at 10:27 PM..
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Old 05-12-2009, 11:16 PM   #6
MagicHef MagicHef is offline
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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.
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Old 05-13-2009, 05:44 AM   #7
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you can also find best restaurants in Denver on opentable.com
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Old 05-13-2009, 06:42 AM   #8
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ESPN ZONE downtown is very nice. when we went to the chiefs game a few years ago that place was rocking.
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Old 05-13-2009, 06:42 AM   #9
DaKCMan AP DaKCMan AP is offline
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Originally Posted by Bugeater View Post
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.
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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
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Old 05-13-2009, 07:13 AM   #10
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If you get a chance, see a show at the Red Rocks amphitheater in Morrison. It's a phenomenal experience!
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Old 05-13-2009, 07:20 AM   #11
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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.
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Old 05-13-2009, 08:01 AM   #12
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Old 05-13-2009, 08:07 AM   #13
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Originally Posted by Sure-Oz View Post
ESPN ZONE downtown is very nice. when we went to the chiefs game a few years ago that place was rocking.

Located downtown.
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Old 05-13-2009, 08:07 AM   #14
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Originally Posted by patteeu View Post
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.
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Old 05-13-2009, 08:08 AM   #15
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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.
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