Hey everyone! Thank you for tuning in for this episode of Colorado.FM – the Colorado podcast. In this episode, I recap some things that made having guests in town a true success.
When you live in a place like Colorado, people are bound to start showing up.
In addition to some of the things I had already figured out after a few years of living here, I was also able to apply recommendations from previous guests. This new local knowledge has really made an impact on my quality of life, so I’m super excited to pass it on!
I hope you enjoy this episode. It’s a bit different. But be sure to let me know what you think, and be sure to pass on your can’t-miss strategies for entertaining guests when they show up!
Selected Links from the Episode
[1:15] Chautauqua cottages for the win
[3:45] Escaping the heat in Boulder Creek and Nederland
[6:35] Our family day hike: Sanitas – Red Rocks – Lunch at Kitchen Next Door
Hey everyone. Doug here from colorado.fm. Thanks for tuning in. I’ve been between guests here for a little while but I did want to just discuss something that I think we probably all have in common here in Colorado, especially in the summer, and that’s having guests. I just had some friends in town and of course you’re always under the gun to come up with really amazing things to do, so I wanted to touch base on a couple of things that really made for just a can’t-lose vacation both for you and your guests, since having guests isn’t always that easy. What I was able to draw on was even some of these recommendations from our prior guests on the podcast, new things that I’m learning about the area, and already just getting to know these people and picking their brain is starting to pay off in my life. Of course, I’m here to pass those recommendations on to you.
Let’s just start off with the first thing that really made this a success. In this case, my guests, they come to town every summer. What they have done for the last few years is rented a cottage at Chautauqua here in Bolder. The Chautauqua cottages are just amazing. You’re really stepping back in time. Of course, Chautauqua’s been there since the late 1800s. They started off with canvas tents and wooden floors. Those evolved into cabins and some of those cabins have been renovated into little cottages over time. They’re just amazing. They’ve stayed in a few different ones and each one is unique. What that allows us to do is, first of all, of course it’s hard to have guests in your house and sometimes it’s just impossible to have a whole another family in your house. This gives them a simple and affordable way to stay right here in Boulder. Second of all, the location, you just can’t beat it. If you’re coming in from out of town and you can stay right in Chautauqua, then you don’t even have to drive in the morning. You just hit the trails. You’ve got restaurants and the ice cream place. Music is playing every night. It’s just amazing. That’s just a total win as far as location.
What it also allows for is us to kind of have like a vacation, staycation, little home away from home. Since they have a place to kind of home base out of during the day, we would hang out over there, go for hikes, have a place to come back to. Again, the kids are just running around because there’s no cars driving through there. We even pulled off a nice sleepover, which led to a great day. Here’s the day, kids sleep over at the cabin in Chautauqua, get up in the morning and hit the trails, maybe head up to Royal Arch. Nice, long hike. Come back, grab some ice cream. That’s it. It’s a total win for both of the families involved. Lots of fun, lots of things to do, location right at the foot of the Flatirons just can’t be beat. If you have some guests, if you’re in Boulder and you have guests coming to town or even if you’re just in the area, you might want to check it out and head up, get everybody to stay over at Chautauqua for a few nights. It’s just really super fun and lends something unique to your trip.
The next thing we did that was an absolute win was escaping the heat. Pretty hot in Boulder when they first arrived, so we headed up canyon towards Nederland. Just getting up there, you drive in half an hour but it [inaudible 00:04:08] feet of elevation, dropped the temperature 20 degrees. Of course, everyone around here knows that, if you just head into the hills. But sometimes you forget just how easy it is. You don’t have to head two hours to Breckenridge or something like that. We just head right up into Nederland, stop at one of those pull-offs along the way and jump in the river, pull out some chairs and have a couple of Colorado’s finest beers. It’s just really a great way to spend the day.
What I was able to add to the Nederland trip … Nederland is, if you haven’t been there, there’s a funky little town well-known for having the outdoor ski resort in the winter, of course. But it’s really a great town in the summer as well. When I interviewed Fanny Tornburg earlier in the podcast, she recommended and just enlightened me to a place in Nederland that I had never heard of. It’s this great combination, the Salto Coffee Works and Tin Shed Sports, which is owned by a family and it’s got the coffee shop and the bike shop right next door. But I finally had a chance to check it out and I couldn’t believe that I hadn’t been going there for the last few years. It’s amazing, patio, shade, everybody’s hanging out. They’ve got amazing Mexican food in this place, which totally blew me away, a real authentic Mexican menu, great coffee, and again, we were able to escape the heat from up there. Already, my interviews with some locals paying off with that.
One of the reasons why I was missing their location was that it’s just kind of off the drag just enough that you can’t really see it, so even if I stopped in Nederland on the way home from Eldora, grabbed a pizza or a bite to eat, I wasn’t seeing this place. Definitely worth checking out if you’re up that way. That was kind of day two of a total win, hitting the river, getting some elevation, and cruising around Nederland. Of course, there’s great, eclectic, fun shops up there, but my new favorite place up there is definitely Salto Coffee Works.
As you know, I like to ask my guests where some of their favorite things to do, what’s their perfect day if they have the kids, if they have nothing to do, if they have a day around town. Here’s mine, and we were able to pull this off with our guests. It’s just a hike and walk to town that we love to do and it really creates a win for the day. I live on the north side of Boulder, so what we’re doing is heading into Sanitas, but via the Goat Trail that starts up on Third Street and Forest. That’s not always a convenient place to start for everybody, but if you’re on this side of town, you probably know about that. And if you’re looking to switch up your hike, it might be worth parking up by North Boulder Park and starting from up there, just to mix it up.
You head up the Goat Trails, super fun way to start the hike, nice and steep. Some nice little places to scramble up for the kids. Once we get up to the top of the Goat Trail, we tend to just head down the Dakota Ridge, because I’ve still got kids with little legs so I’m not heading up to the peak at this point. Obviously, there’s plenty of people in town who are dragging their little kids up there but that’s just the way we like to do it. We’ll head down Dakota Ridge towards Napleton and then head up Red Rocks, go climbing around on the Red Rocks for a little while, head back to Pearl Street, and hike it right on into town and grab something great to eat on Pearl Street. That’s really the thing that is amazing about living in Boulder and a lot of places in Colorado is that you can take a hike like that and end up right in town and grab a good lunch and a cold beer. It just makes for a really enjoyable day. One of our favorite places is Kitchen Next Door. You start throwing some kale chips and garlic smashers at people and everyone seems to be pretty happy. We’ll loop around and just hike right home and that kind of completes the loop.
Having guests in town, like I said, is always a challenge. It’s fun to have some of these things that you can just kind of have in your hip pocket. If you’re heading to the Boulder area and you’re not really from around here, there’s three ideas I think that can really help make your trip, whether it’s and overnighter or even just a day trip, a total success. Part of it’s drawing on my experience and part of it’s just drawing on some of the recommendations from guests. Little bit different episode today. I hope this is informative and I look forward to bringing you some new guests soon.