Sunday, May 27, 2012

Beer Enthusiasts will Enjoy Colorado Brewing Culture

With over 100 active breweries in the state, Colorado holds the 2011 distinction of holding the fourth most breweries in America, the fourth most brewpubs and craft breweries in the country, the home of 4 of the top-50 brewing companies in the US, and the fourth in the nation in per capita beer production at 3.6 million barrels.  That's a lot of fours - and a lot of reasons why beer-lovers make Colorado such a popular vacation destination each year!  The Bed and Breakfast Innkeepers of Colorado invite you to plan a responsible, Colorado beer-related getaway!

No matter what time of year you visit, there are opportunities to taste and experience Colorado's brewing heritage.  This is simply an overview of what is available in most areas of the state.  Your host innkeepers are, of course, the best resource for local event and activity information!  Many even offer specials related to local beer-related activities and events.

Tastings:  Most Colorado brewery restaurants, and sometimes independent eateries, offer sample-platters and tasting opportunities of on-tap craft beers.  This is a great way to try a variety of beer without committing to an entire glass!

Brewery Tours:  Breweries, both large and small, offer tours of their beer-making facilities throughout the state.  Take the opportunity to learn about beer production on either a large or small scale, and taste the fruits of their labors afterward!

Events:  Where there is a Colorado inn, there are usually beer-related events.  From local events throughout the year, state-wide German Festivals, to OktoberFests in the fall, there are event-based sources of suds and fun throughout the state.  Your Colorado innkeepers will certainly know about the smaller, local events.  However, if you want to plan your trip during a larger event, check out the following schedule:

May 26-27, 2012:  Beaver Creek Blues, Brews & BBQ Festival in Beaver Creek Village.  Fun in the mountains complete with blues music, great beer, and tasty BBQ!  Although this event is now practically over as of this posting, it is an Annual event, so plan to visit next year!

June 8-9, 2012:  The Snowmass Chili Pepper & Brew Fest in Snowmass Village.  Chili cook-offs and tastings, beer samplings from over 40 microbrews from all over the US, and great music.

June 23-24, 2012:  Colorado Brewers Festival in Fort Collins.  Music and beer with two performance stages and nearly 60 Colorado beers from 30 breweries.

July 14, 2012:  Colorado Brewers Rendezvous in Salida.  Colorado brewers offer over 50 unique beers for your tasting pleasure!

July 21, 2012:  Breckenridge Beer Festival in Breckenridge.  Currently in it's 7th year, this annual event offers beer sampling and live music.

August 4-5, 2012:  Annual Bluegrass and Beer Festival in Keystone.  It only SOUNDS like you're in Kentucky!  Food, beer, and music come together in this family-friendly event.  Kids activities and bounce houses are available all day.

September 14-16, 2012:  Blues and Brews Festival in Telluride.  Three days of live music, 50 microbreweries represented, kids activities, a variety of Blues performances, and the Telluride Acoustic Blues Camp make this event popular for beer lovers and musicians alike.

October 11-13, 2012:  Great American Beer Festival in Denver.  Over 2,000 beers and tons of activities!  Find your new favorite brew, find out about homebrewing, learn to judge beer, discover how to pair beer and food, and much more!   Don't miss the Silent Disco at the back of the Convention Center!

A great resource for finding beer-related activities and information is the Beer Drinker's Guide to Colorado.  This comprehensive site contains interactive maps, a calendar of better-known beer-related events, a full list of Colorado Breweries that offer tours, and more information that will help you plan your ideal Colorado beer getaway!  For information about specific areas of Colorado, feel free to contact the inn of your choice for detailed, local information.

As always, the BBIC reminds you to be responsible about alcohol intake.  Do not drink and drive - designate a driver or take advantage of area taxi services and public transportation to travel to and from your Colorado inn!

Monday, May 14, 2012

Auto-lovers will enjoy Colorado Car Shows!

Looking to invest in a vintage car?  Appreciate the classics?  Curious about the coming year's new car models?  Between now and the end of September, there are numerous car shows all over Colorado.  So when you stay at a Colorado B&B, you can bet that there is at least a small gathering of automobiles nearby!

You've seen the weekend shows pop up in towns all over America - if not, you've probably encountered small fleets of classic cars driving down the road.  Car shows come in all shapes and sizes, and your innkeeper can certainly let you know the local spots for more-casual classic automobile gatherings.

However, you may choose to coordinate your Colorado getaway during the same dates as some of the better-known and more interesting shows in the state (listed below), and maybe bring one of your own beauties and participate in the shows yourself!  Sites for more information on all shows throughout Colorado can be found after the show listings.

June 10, 2012:  Exotic Sports Car Show and Concours D'Elegance.  In Littleton (Denver area) for its 29th year, this show features many exotic cars from the 1920's and 1930's.  Proceeds benefit Cerebral Palsy of Colorado.  A full range of children's activities make this event ideal for the entire family.  Admission is $10 for adults, Children 12 and under are free.

June 14-17, 2012:  Rocky Mountain Mustang Roundup.  THE Mustang event in Colorado, where over 400 owners come together in our beautiful town to socialize, friendly competition, and to show their cars to each other and the public.  Registration fees apply, no admission charged to the public.

July 18, 2012:  Street Heat.  Colorado Springs hosts this event to benefit the Fort Carson Officer's Spouses Club Santa's Workshop.  Come to the Citadel Mall to enjoy the cars, vendor booths, and more!

August 4-5, 2012:  Angel of Shavano in Salida.  In it's 21st year, this Classic car show is a popular, intimate show held at Riverside Park in downtown Salida, along the banks of the Arkansas River.  Proceeds benefit the Chaffee County Search and Rescue South Group.  No general admission, and a small fee to enter your car in the show.

August 11-12, 2012:  Scrapin' The Rockies.  This mini-truck show is held in Firestone, CO to benefit 'Stop The Burn' for the research and treatment of Reflex Sympathitic Dystrophy/Complex Regional Pain Syndrome (RSD/CRPS).

August 17-19, 2012:  Gunnison Car Show.  The 25th Annual show will be held at Jorgensen Park.  Festivities include the open car show, a 50's-style cruise-in, a free street dance, and a breakfast cruise to Crested Butte.  Admission is free, and a registration fee applies for entered automobiles.

September 14-16, 2012:  The Fall harvest Car Show.  Fort Morgan, CO welcomes you to enjoy the classic cars, hot rods, trucks, antique cars, and muscle cars that take over the City Park and downtown streets!  Activities include a scavenger hunt, poker run, burnout contest, vendors, live music, and more!  Free to the public, fee for car registrants.

March 20-24, 2013:  Denver Auto Show.  See all the new models offered by current auto makers.  Tickets are $10 for adults, $5 for youth ages 6-12, and free for children under 6.  Tickets can be purchased online.

However, there are many more options for car shows throughout Colorado!  For information on additional shows not listed here, see the following sites:

All Over:  Car Show News can give you a good idea of car shows in whatever area of Colorado you'll be visiting!
All Over:  Festivals and Shows dot com lists additional show choices.
Denver:  Cruisin' Productions lists area shows happening throughout the summer.

Car lovers can rejoice... and enjoy their getaway to their favorite Colorado inns.  The Bed and Breakfast Innkeepers of Colorado welcome you to enjoy their inns, check out our car show-related specials, and take part in all the automotive activities our state has to offer!

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Kayaking and Rafting: Great Choices For CO Outdoor Activities

Those who are familiar with Colorado's history, and even many of those who are not, are very aware that the state's name came from the Colorado river.  Spanish explorers named the river for the silt that colored the river red (colorado means red-colored in Spanish).  The fact that the Colorado river was the one feature that was noticed besides the mountains speaks volumes, and goes to show how important Colorado's waterways were to early settlers, and continues to be important to this very day. Colorado's river activities are a huge draw for both residents and visitors alike, and you too can take advantage of what these natural features have to offer during your visit to Colorado B&Bs. In the last post, we outlined fly-fishing (link to blog post) opportunities in Colorado's rivers and streams. But why not consider more physically-involved activities: River rafting and kayaking!

The most well-known rivers in Colorado are the Arkansas River and the Colorado River.   But Colorado's numerous waterways span the length and breadth of the state, making waterway fun accessible to every area you may visit!  Whether you're a novice on the water, or an experienced kayaking or rafting daredevil, Colorado rivers offer something for every level of paddler, Class II through Class V.

For those who are unfamiliar with whitewater classifications, let's review:

Class I waters are very gently-moving waters with few surface disturbances and only a few small waves. Danger to paddlers is minimal.   This water classification is usually reserved for lakes and ponds.

Class II waters are faster-moving with some minor obstacles that are easily-avoided or easily-navigated. Danger is slightly more than minimal.   This is the 'beginner' paddling class.

Class III waters are fast-moving with obstacles which require some maneuvering skills. If paddlers exit the craft, they may require help if they are not strong swimmers.   This is the 'intermediate' level for rafting.

Class IV waters are thrill-rides for most paddlers.   Strong waters and currents and dangerous obstructions require skill coordination to maneuver.   Paddlers outside the craft are in imminent danger.   This is the 'advanced' skill-level for rafting.   Advanced paddling skills are recommended.

Class V waters are Class IVs on steroids: longer durations of continuous obstacles require some serious paddling skills.   Paddlers outside the craft are at serious risk.   Experts only, please - this is NOT the place to learn!

Class VI waters are near unrunnable for most paddlers, and are not offered by outfitters to the general public.

Seasonal water flows will influence the water class rating - dependent primarily on snow melt in the high country which feeds the Colorado rivers in late spring and early summer, as well as rainfall.  While no one river or stream continuously offers a single water classification, trips can be planned around a central waterway classification, and most Colorado outfitters offer trips of all paddling levels which last from a few hours to an entire day or more.  Not sure which outfitter to contact?   When you stay at one of the BBIC member bed and breakfast inns, ask your host to make a suggestion or two of the river guides that operate in their town or area.  You might even find that your chosen bed and and breakfast has a rafting package available!

If you prefer to watch the action on the river, the Arkansas River is home to FIBArk (First in Boating on the Arkansas).  Known as "America's Oldest and Boldest Whitewater Festival," the event has run rafting and kayaking competitions annually going back to 1949!   Salida, Colorado is home to this event, and 2012 will mark the event's 64th Anniversary.   FIBArk is rich in history, excitement, and fun for the participant and spectator alike - don't miss the Hooligan Race on Saturday June 16th - this is is a huge crowd-pleaser!

So if you are looking for a bit of outdoor fun during your stay at one of our Bed and Breakfast Innkeepers of Colorado member inns, why not spend some time on the nearest Colorado waterway? You'll enjoy the ride!