Traveling out West from Denver to Salt Lake Days 1+2

Including some of our highlights of our bus tour out west to Colorado, Utah, Idaho, Montana and South Dakota. We had a great time:)

Freedom Cab-Good Driver in Denver

Member Rating 0 out of 5 by lashr1999 on August 2, 2009

Charlie Collett
Cab#024 Driver 756
Pretty good and knowledgeable driver. He gives you a mini tour while driving. For repeat customers, he gives you a discount if your ride is over $25. That is good if you ride into town from the airport with him and then catch a return trip to the airport with him. Shuttle service into town from the airport does not make sense if you have 3 people, so this is a good alternative.


Member Rating 3 out of 5 by lashr1999 on August 2, 2009

This restaurant serves interpretations of Mexican foods based on recipes from Richard Sandoval who owns Maya restaurant in New York City. The place has amber wall and different Mexican artwork such as Mayan masks around. There is a bar area towards the side downstairs if you want to sit and drink and listen to the entertainment or wait here for a table. There is an outside area upstairs which we were not able to get to. When we were there we caught the tail end of a song by a Mexican band. You might want to call ahead to see when the entertainment plays. The food is nicely presented. Guacamole is served in volcanic rock bowls. The food is tasty and if you request spicy expect it to be so. One thing, be aware that the portion size is small since this is not tex mex.
1400 Larimer St
Denver, Colorado, 80202
+1 720 946 1433

Hotel VQ

Member Rating 3 out of 5 by lashr1999 on August 2, 2009

The Staff were very helpful and friendly. The proximity to Invesco field right across the street is a top reason for staying here. In addition, Elitch Gardens Amusement Park, Coors Field, the Pepsi Center, and the Downtown Aquarium are all close to the hotel. They offer a shuttle to downtown Denver which we used. One negative for someone else staying was that their heat was not working but they were given a heater in room. The 14th floor Skybox Grill and Sports Bar gives a nice view of the Denver skyline and Rocky Mountains. It is a nice place to relax and have a drink. Rooms have in room wi-fi and there is an outdoor heated pool.
Hotel VQ
1975 Mile High Stadium Circle
Denver, Colorado, 80402

Coors Brewery Tour

Member Rating 4 out of 5 by lashr1999 on August 2, 2009

Over a quarter million people visit this free tour each year. There are no reservations for the tour however if there are over a certain number of people the tour manager needs to call ahead to avoid problems. There were a few grumbles when our group showed up unannounced but we were let in.

While inside you are given headsets which give you an audio tour by punching various numbers you see on the displays. I was actually skipping some numbers and forging ahead to get to the beer. During the tour you can pose with beer signs which Coors makes. We learn that Coors was the first company to use aluminum cans. Prior to this steel was used which gave the beer an aftertaste. Coors is also packaged and distributed cold. I guess this is done to preserve the flavor, I was skipping ahead at this point;) Through a glass window you can see how the beer is bottled and packaged. During the tour you are given one small glass of Coors or Coors light in the middle of the tour to start off with. At the end of the tour you are then given a choice of 2 larger glasses of beer that Coors produces. Among the beer offered are blue moon, Killian red, Coors, Coors light, and some Canadian beer. The servers check that you do not drink to excess by punching your band and once you reach 3 you are done. You can bring a non drinking friend and enjoy their drinks if you want. Yeah, my sister ended up giving me hers;)
You may browse the gift shop to sober up before you drive. Better yet have a designated non drinking driver so you can enjoy their drinks and get chaffered home.
Coors Brewery
12th St & Ford St
Boulder, Colorado
(866) 812-2337

Red Rocks Amphitheater

Member Rating 4 out of 5 by lashr1999 on August 2, 2009

Red Rocks is an open air Amphitheatre located 15 miles west of Denver near Morrison.
John Brisben Walker in the early 1900’s had the idea of having performances here on a temporary stage. In 1927, the Manager of Denver Parks (George Cranmer) convinced the city of Denver to buy the area from Walker. His plans for the amphitheater on this area took over 12 years to complete. In 1947, an Easter service was held here. Since then numerous well known performers played here. There is a museum area where you can go which tells a more in depth history of the area. In addition, you can see the names of various performers who have played here. Some of the names who have performed here are Fleetwood Mack, REM, Coldplay, the Killers, Dave Mathews, Insane Clown Posse, U2 and many others. There is also an area where you can play a few instruments like drums, which everyone thought was fun.
You can enjoy the area when there was no performance, which was what we did. When it is hot and bright you can picnic here. One thing to note is there is not much food sold here or it is overpriced when there is no performance. Bring your own food and sodas if you are going to picnic. Even if it is not so bright the geology is something to see. Red rocks was created from two, 300 foot monolithic rock formations, which as the museum states provide great acoustics. The south facing monolith was named ‘ship rock’ since it resembles a ship. Opposite the amphitheater is a monolith called creation rock. Both of these monoliths are larger than Niagara falls. There are rock formations that have as much as a 90 degree slope and others that tilt backwards. There is a panoramic view of Denver from the amphitheater which must be a great sight to see this during a concert.
Red Rocks Amphitheater
12700 West Alameda Parkway
Denver, Colorado

State Capital Building Denver

Member Rating 3 out of 5 by lashr1999 on August 1, 2009

The capital building itself was built in the 1890’s with Colorado white granite. Large pillars at each entrance support a large ceramic styled domed roof which is plated in 24 karat gold. The gold in the roof commemorates Colorado’s gold rush days, and the miner and pioneers who helped build the state. The gold rush here began in 1859 when John Gregory discovered gold. People came here in search of fortune and within 2 months the population grew to 10000.
We were not able to go inside. However our cab driver had told us there is a plaque on one of the staircases that reads one mile high. That is how Denver got its nickname of The Mile High State.
When walking the grounds you can view several memorials. There are memorials dedicated to the Civil War Veterans, the men who served aboard the U.S.S. Colorado & Gettysburg and other Coloradoans who have died on foreign soil.
When here there were a couple of street performers who were playing and sing. Everyone passing by enjoyed their music.
Colorado State Capitol Building
200 East Colfax
Denver, Colorado, 80203
+1 303 866 2604

The Church

Member Rating 5 out of 5 by lashr1999 on July 31, 2009

When researching Denver, I wanted to find a unique club to go to. The Church nightclub seemed to fit the bill since it is a club inside a decommissioned church. I know there was a similar one in New York but I never got to go.

Inside the church there is gothic architecture and stained glass windows combined with several bars, three dance areas, a couple of lounges and even a sushi bar. We sat in the Vip area for a few minutes snapped a few pictures and walked off. There is a coolness factor in ordering a drink and dancing the night away in a former church. The drinks themselves vary the bartender made mine well however, my friend said hers were watered down

The club attracts crowds of goths, mods and club kids depending on the room and night. Sound bounces off the stone walls and cavernous high-arched ceilings creating some less-than-stellar acoustics. The club features techno music and hip-hop. Upstairs there were club kids with glow sticks and those glow gloves and later that night there were dancers on stage. The downstairs/basement is a bit crowded and gets pretty hot and it where hip-hop is played. In another area downstairs, they played music I would listen to. I didn’t know they were danceable until I saw the weird dancing going on downstairs. They played She Wants Revenge, Placebo and Jem. After a few drinks, we joined in the mayhem. We missed the rooftop since we couldn’t find out how to get to it. It would have been nice to get a breath of fresh air after all the heat.
1160 Lincoln St
Denver, Colorado, 80203
(303) 832-3528

The Tavern

Member Rating 3 out of 5 by lashr1999 on July 31, 2009

We have to thank our hotel staff for the recommendation of this place. The tavern Uptown is located on Denver’s uptown on the Hill. Many of the structures here were done in the Queen Anne style during Denver’s boom period from 1880-1893. Inside the tavern is housed in an historic century-old building.

The tavern has a bar area and many large screen plasma tv’s with different sporting events playing. There is a stone fireplace area with a leather couch that gives that area a living room feel. In the back there is a smoking area that was very smoky. The place is packed. We were almost going to sit here but were saved when my friend spied empty seats in the non smoking areas. There are 2 game rooms with pool mini bowling and foosball tables. There is an outdoor area which we would have enjoyed if the weather was better.

The service was adequate. The waitress did suggest some good food. Since the place was busy it was hard to call her when we needed her and we had to wait to get the check. As for the food I had the chicken nachos and my sister had the Asian chops which were pretty decent. By far there best dish were the chicken tenders which my friend ordered. They had real chicken inside, were hot and crunchy on the outside and soft inside. If I ever go back I want a whole plate of those.
Tavern Uptown
538 East 17th Avenue
Denver, Colorado, 80203
(303) 830-9210

Bump and Grind Cafe

Member Rating 3 out of 5 by lashr1999 on July 31, 2009

I decided to go here based on a friends recommendation for unique things in the city to check out. I told my sister and friend to get prepared for a crazy time The main attraction of the place is the male waiters who are dressed in drag who serve you. . Unfortunately we got there at 9PM, so the entertainment we came for was not there. We did get to see a picture of the waiter which would have been cool if we did get to see him. The décor of the place was crazy. There were decapitated barbies, magnetic plastic letters and toys were around the place. I tried the carrot cake while there and my sister and my friend enjoyed their hot chocolate. It is a good place to go but call their number to see if the waiters are there. My mistake was that I called to see when the place closes which I was told was at 11PM. It seems if the place is not busy the staff does leave early.
Bump and Grind
439 East 17th Ave
Denver, Colorado, 80202
(303) 861-4841

The Burnsley All Suite Hotel

Member Rating 4 out of 5 by lashr1999 on July 31, 2009

The Burnsley is a 17-story landmark hotel in downtown Denver. The hotel enjoys rich history it was originally constructed as an apartment house in 1963. It gained popularity when it was made into a hotel and jazz club. Ella Fitzgerald and actor Kirk Douglas were part of a group that invested in the hotel. The European décor comes from its remodeling in 1983. Since 2005 there have been renovations.
The rooms offer private balcony that you can step onto. There is a separate living, bedroom, dining, and kitchen. The kitchen has a stove, refrigerator, plates and utensils. There is free in room wi-fi which I took advantage of
The hotel is a few blocks southeast of the capital. The Colorado Convention Center, Denver Art Museum and State Capitol are all close by. They offer complimentary shuttle service which we used. The hotel staff was excellent. We used the shuttle to go to the Bump and Grind café. The place was just about closing. The hotel staff Wyatt suggested nearby places to go to if it was dead. Those were great suggestions. We went to the tavern he suggested and had a good time there before going to the Church. In the morning the staff took us to the pharmacy to pick up some essentials. I can’t stress enough how helpful the front desk staff who are also the drivers are.
The restaurant serves breakfast, lunch, and dinner. There is a cool lounge area is a hich we enjoyed. There is live piano Tuesday to Saturday and jazz on Friday and Saturday nights. When we were at the lounge we were entertained by a jazz singer who was really good. At times she sounded like a man to us. There is a 2 for 1 happy hour special from 4-7 PM. We enjoyed their $2 tapas while drinking. Another thing I have to mention is that they serve absinthe here. The bartender did not do the absinthe ritual properly by any of the standards. He poured the absinthe in the glass placed a sugar cube in and forgot it for awhile. He picked it up the sugar cube with an absinthe spoon and lit it on fire. He left it to burn then when it extinguished itself he put the spoon in and poured ice water in the absinthe mixture. While it was not done correctly it did taste good and formed a lute. This is one of the few places I’ve seen with absinthe so I think it is worth a mention.
The Burnsley All-Suite Hotel
1000 Grant Street
Denver, Colorado, 80203

© LP 2000-2009