A few pointers.
1) Drink A Lot!!! you are at a much higher altitude than your body is used to and there is usually 0% humidity, this means you can easily dehydrate! and visitors often do!
2) Use sunscreen! being that you are that much closer to the sun, you get sunburnt that much faster, and 0% humidity means that it feels cooler than it actually is out.
3) when going to/up the mountains bring sweatshirts and other warm clothes, even on a scorcher of a summer day it can be freezing and windy on top of a mountain.
There are three jewish areas
which are part of denver they form a rough triangle roughly 20 minute drive from one another so they kind of feel like three seperate cities.West side
: is the yeshivish neighborhood, home to the Yeshiva, the Bais Yaakov, the Kollel, 60-80 families, the oldest shul in denver
(over 120 years old and only one currently on the west side) the Bronco's stadium, and quite a few homeless people.Not much else noteworthy for the vacationer. There are no jewish stores there and the bulk of stores that do exist there are pawn shops and used car lots, Oh yeah and retail marijuana shops! Sloans lake
is a beautiful lake half a block from most of the jewish neighborhood, roughly 3 miles around you can get some nice views of the mountains over the lake, but it isn't inside the eruv and certainly not worthy of a special trip.SouthEast/Greenwood village
: Is a relatively new part of Denver, something like 10-20 years old the community is largely a kiruv community in all stages of growth centered around the only shul Aish. There is also a decent group of Bnai Torah who live there as well. The SouthEast is an upscale waspy suburbia and the stores and citizens are generally more upscale as well.
They have a pretty good frozen Yogurt shop called Yogurt Yuphoria
which is certified by the scroll k (the local and very reputable hechsher) but is mostly cholov stam. They do have some sorbet and sometimes pareve frozen yogurts that are labeled "dairy equipment" and are surprisingly good, you can also get some parve razzles and the like. They close at 930PM.
A new dairy place called Gathering Grounds opened up recently selling breakfast items, pastries, sandwiches and paninis. They also have a lot of games that you can chill out with (no longer kosher)
. Also the King Soopers
nearby(a grocery chain which is part of the whole ralph's/kroger thing) has a small kosher meat section, kosher product section and almost entirely kosher fresh bakery (note most things are cholov stam!).They are open either to 12PM or are 24hrs.East Side
: is currently the largest and fastest growing part of Denver, here is where you will find almost all of the jewish/kosher amenities. The East side is a diverse crowd but the bulk of it is modern orthodox.
The shuls are:EDOS
(east denver orthodox synogogue)is made up of an older crowd, very few young people, and is modern orthodox.DAT
(denver acadaemy of Torah) is a shul inside a school. Here is where the vast majority of the 20 and 30 somethings daven, it is a modern orthodox shul and is strongly zionist.BMH-BJ
(bais medrash hagodol-beth joseph) is technically an orthodox shul as it is part of the OU, but they don't have a mechitza and most of it's mispallelim drive to shul on shabbos. They do have a smaller minyan in a side room known as sharai simcha
or "the mechitza minyan" which does have mechitza and it's mispallelim are local.Bais Yisroel/Beit Uriel/TRI
are three shuls housed in one building, Beit Uriel is the local Sephardic Shul, TRI is an old minyan for russian jews and Bais Yisroel is the yeshivish shul on the East side, they recently renovated and is gorgeous and spacious,with almost a intown feel.The Restaurants:ESKD
(east side kosher deli) is the only fleishig restaurant in town. It is located in the back of the only kosher store in town. In the store they have very nice meat and dairy departments. (although if you are just looking for a steak to grill you might to better off going to trader joes
and getting one of their luscious teva's black angus kosher rib steaks). They also carry a full line of heimish products and wines, they are both a bit overpriced, but not crazy for this far out of town. They also have a full delicatessen/bakery in the store, their coldcuts are usually excellent. They close at 9PM.
Back to the restaurant (literally). They have a lunch menu which is significantly cheaper for many of the same things. Certain nights of the week they sell sushi which i haven't tried but hear is all right. The ambiance is not to great but the food is very good for the price (18-35 a main). I would suggest the sesame chicken, steak fajita's, cowboy burger, and onion ring brick, they are all delicious. They have some wierd things that you may like or hate for instance a burger with pastrami jammed between two greasy Latkes etc. Read the menu carefully. Also their shwarma is not up to par.Wine by the glass is surprisingly cheap for upscale restaurant standards, but ask when it was opened. They don't get a lot of wine orders.Brooklyn Pizza
is a pretty new place (about 2 years old) and things are still changing frequently. They have some really good pizza and some really out-of-the box toppings like fake pepperoni (which supposedly tastes legit), smoked lox and capers, mac and cheese, and chocolate and riccotto cheese, if you are into that type of thing.All the above are made to order so give yourself some extra time. Their fries are good and the calzones are beyond enormous (enough for two). At peak times there will be a wait and a dearth of seats.They close at 8PM and are open late on Motzoi Shabbos.
Next door is a King Soopers
with a pretty big kosher item section (3 small isles) a small fresh meat and dairy section and a fresh bakery that is kosher but mostly cholov stam. Across the side street is a liquor shop called the grapevine
which has a pretty large selection of kosher wine at a fair price, they are open very late.The Bagel Store
makes solid bagels and challah, they also make amazing doughnuts but only sell them on fridays, and for some odd reason they get stale very very quickly, so enjoy them right away.
has enough amazing sites for one to visit one a day for several years and not run out. I have spoken to avid hikers and natralists who live in Denver for 20-30 years and gathered that they havn't hit all the popular spots yet and are constantly finding new places. Below you will find a long but limited list of popular trips, anyone will have different favorites, enjoy!Children friendly short trips from Denver
- a little boring, but nice stop for little kids. They charge $5 for adults and $3 for kids above 2. This is about 25 minutes from Denver, it is a miniature kid sized city! All this houses and stores are built with great detail and there are about 10 of them the kids can climb into and peer out the windows and such. It also has a child sized railroad that drives around the town for an additional 2$ a pop. When it gets boring there is a nice playground and picnic area.The whole town is set in a scenic locale in the foothills and has small creek meandering through it. I'd say it would be a nice 1-2 hour trip (not including traveling for 1-6 year olds)St. Mary's Glacier(town of Alice)
: is about 50 minutes from Denver. It is a easy/moderate short hike (hour round trip) with a rewarding view on top. A great day trip idea for those who don't want to work too hard to see the views. The top has a really pretty clear lake fed from a glacier melt with a mountain view surrounding it. Really nice!!Red Rocks
: closest really scenic mountainy spot to denver. Beautiful red rock formation and kid friendly hiking trails, 25 minutes from Denver and nice for adults and slightly older kids as well (figure 3 years old and up)
Lariat Loop: scenic/historic 40 mile drive with stops all around golden and lakewood colorado. (most stops are western/cowboy themed)Falcon Ridge
short hike/amazing viewBuffalo Bill's Grave and museum
- see @Yehuda's TR belowCoors factory tour
-see @Yehuda's TR belowRoxbourough national park
: A short half hour drive from Denver, this park has huge striking dramatic red stones (couple hundred feet high) the park is set in the middle of wild country and warns that bears and rattle snakes are very often seen, while the scenery is some of the best this close to Denver, the trails are a somewhat distant from the rocks (50-500 feet) and i wouldn't feel comfortable going off trail with all the rattlesnake warnings. This kinda puts a damper on the feel.Lookout mountain
-see @Yehuda's TR belowBoulder
- 45 minutes north of Denver has quite a few family friendly trip optionsCelestial Seasons tea factory tour
: interesting and fun, with free tea sampling. Entering the "Mint room" is a highlight you won't soon forget, watching the fully automated factory whirl is remarkable and exciting. Avoid going on a Sunday because the factory floor is not on and you lose that experience. You can also purchase all their discontinued teas in their tea store.Eben g. fine park
: is a nice place to eat a lunch dip your feet in the river or just relax a bit, there is also another gorgeous park across the street but i can't remember the name.Pearl Street
: get a taste of the eccentric lifestyle of boulder, explore the stores and watch street performers. You are guaranteed to be amazed and amused by the eclectic locale!Breweries
: Colorado is home to dozens of microbreweries, of which quite a few are located in Boulder. Consider a short tour to see the less commercial side of beer brewing.One example is Avery brewery.Eldorado Canyon
: Is not in
boulder but right near it. It is a beautiful site with a supposedly "stroller friendly" hiking trail. I took my double citymini up there and about halfway up had to hide it in a bush and continue with both kids on my shoulders, that being said it is a fairly easy stunning short trail which you could take a jogging stroller on if you were so inclined. There are often people crock climbing hundreds of feet in the air which makes for a fascinating watch.Longer day trips from DenverMt. Evans
: about an hour west of Denver.Then you begin the long drive up to the top a 14er (one of America's highest paved roads) the trip up is exhilerating and the switchbacks are steep with huge drops on either side, you pass two incredibly beautiful lakes en route and usually some mountain goats and big horn sheep. As you get higher it gets colder and it is not unusual for there to be a hailstorm or even snow in the middle of a 100 degree day in Denver, so bring a sweatshirt. The view from the top is astounding (unless you are unlucky enough to arrive on a foggy day on top). Rocky Mountain National Park
: is an hour and half north. It is large enough to spend a few weeks exploring(more than 400 square miles!!), one can easily spend two days there, although there are no upscale hotels nearby. The view from trail ridge road is arguably the the most beautiful astounding sight in colorado and is not to be missed! Fall river road is currently closed for repairs from flooding that occurred last september, but when it reopens it is a harrowing winding one way dirt road that will constantly have you on the edge of your seat and affords you rawer less commercialized views of the park. If you're looking for a hike geared for Intermediate/Advanced hikers, Flattop mountain is a great trail ~3 hours hike up, ~1.5 to get back down.Estes Park
: is the city at the base of Rocky Mountain National park and is set by a large lake with great views and a plethora of local activities and interesting shops.Colorado Springs areaGarden of the G-ds
: Is a mind bogglingly beautiful park with the same redstone rocks found in red rocks and roxborough, the important difference is that you are allowed to and encouraged to climb on the rock in the Garden of the gods, this makes the view personal and significantly more fun, you can spend hours exploring and not get bored! (tip: don't spend much time in the first official parking area, it is all paved but not accessible or nearly as much fun as some of the other spots in this park, park in one of the pull offs later in the park or especially at the balancing rock at the end and explore! You won't be disappointed!Cave of the winds
:pikes peakroyal gorgemanitee springs:White water rafting on the Arkansas river (royal gorge or buena vista)Hanging LakeGlenwood/ glenwood cavernsbiking down from vail passbrainard lakepeak to peak scenic bywayKruner rock hike
To be continued...
If you have any questions or need any help please feel free to PM steeeveknowsbest and i'll get back to you ASAPTRs
@Yehuda Summer 2014
(trip divided up by day into several posts, so keep reading!)
@Yehuda's Trips to Denver
Something Fishy's TR of Rocky mountain national park:http://forums.dansdeals.com/index.php?topic=997.msg858474#msg858474