Feature Venue Reviews By Jason Herman / May 6, 2018 Are you planning a trip out to Colorado to see a show at Red Rocks or Dick's Sporting Goods Park? We at DC Music Review have all the key information and travel trips for your journey to Denver and the surrounding area. Quick Links (Table of Contents) Getting There:TrafficPublic TransportationDenver's Regional Transportation DistrictBike ShareClimate Tips:Exploring DenverFoodie HighlightsEntertainment HighlightsAdditional Resources / Reading:Additional Attractions around Denver:Attractions Close to Dick’s Sporting GoodsPlaces to Go / Day Trips:Hotel RecommendationsAdditional Resources Getting There:Denver’s International Airport (https://www.flydenver.com/) is located approximately 25 miles to the East of Downtown Denver. This is a significant air hub, and most national airlines travel to Denver.If you do not want to rent a car, or do not want to use a shuttle or taxi to your hotel, the Denver Light Rail System has a train that runs from the airport to downtown Denver and connects with other light rail lines.Light Rail from from Airport to Union Station can be found here. Denver’s International Airport (https://www.flydenver.com/) is located approximately 25 miles to the East of Downtown Denver. This is a major air hub and most national airlines travel to Denver.If you do not want to rent a car, or do not want to us a shuttle or taxi to your hotel, the Denver Light Rail System has a train that runs from the airport to downtown Denver and connects with other light rail lines.Route from Airport to Union Station: TrafficYou would not normally associate the word traffic with Denver, however, Denver is now ranked 21st worst traffic in America. With approximately 1000 new people moving to Denver each week, traffic is becoming a big reality in and around Denver. Please make sure to check traffic resources before heading out.Beside your smartphone map applications you can use the following resources:http://www.9news.com/traffichttp://www.thedenverchannel.com/traffic/http://kdvr.com/traffic/http://www.cotrip.org/home.htmPublic TransportationDenver has nine light rail lines which service 53 stations throughout Denver’s Metropolitan area. The light rail line is a great way to get around downtown Denver and even get to and from the airport.Denver's Regional Transportation DistrictDenver has a public transport system that can be found here.Denver's Light Rail System.Denver has nine rail lines which service 53 stations throughout Denver’s Metropolitan area. You can use the Denver RTD Rail's interactive system to help you figure out how to get to where you need to be.Bike ShareIf you are staying in downtown Denver one of the easiest ways to get around is to utilize the Denver’s Bike Share . This bike share is very affordable and convenient. Please check their interactive map to see of all the available stations.Climate Tips:Colorado has very low humidity. If you are coming from somewhere with higher humidity (like the swamp like weather of the Washington,D.C. region) you should remember to pack the following items just in case.Lip Balm:Make sure to bring along some lip balm. After several days of hiking, walking, dancing, you might notice your lips getting particularly dry. Make sure to bring some lip balm to prevent chapped lips.Water Bottles:Be sure to bring a water bottle for your days and nights. Water may be hard to come by in National Parks and hikes. Staying hydrated is critical and beer does not count as optimal hydration.AltitudeDenver is "The Mile High City," and there are a few things that you should realize when going to altitude. First and foremost your alcohol tolerance does go down at altitude. If you decide to go further north into the mountains, do try to pace yourself and understand that despite whatever physical shape you are in, pace yourself and listen to your body especially if you exercise and exert yourself (like deciding to run up that 14er.)Exploring Denver Denver is undergoing a huge population explosion. In addition to new developments and neighborhoods being created, Denver has seen urban renewal with old aircraft hangars and brick factories being converted into food halls and arts centers. As former structures are transformed and redeveloped, the food scene continues to explode. In order to keep up with Denver's foodie scene we highly recommend Eater Denver which tries to highlight the latest food related news including new openings, closings, and reviews.We fell in love with the Five Points neighborhood of Denver. Five Points is one of Denver’s largest neighborhoods which is shaped like a triangle. The area got its name in 1881 courtesy of the streetcar line that served the neighborhood: All the names of the final stop, Welton, 27th, Washington Streets, and 26th Avenue wouldn’t fit on the car’s sign. So the streetcar line simply called it “Five Points.”All your best coffee, food, art, etc. Took many old warehouses and reconditioned them.River North Art District (RiNo)Within Five Points is one particular neighborhood that is exploding, River North (RiNo) Arts District. You will find craft coffee, delicious beer, fantastic food, vibrant street art, and independent retailers. This area is being revitalized so fast that at the time of this article (Editor Note: Summer 2017), new buildings were going up, streets were being restored & repaved. The two main arteries of RiNo are Larimer Street & Walnut Streets. You will want to explore these streets!Getting There:You have many options to get RiNo. You can very easily drive to RiNo and street parking is plentiful, although at the time of this writing, streets have been closed temporarily due to construction but there are many detours available. If you are staying in downtown Denver, you can also rent a bike share. Another alternative is you can take the to the Light Rail - D Line 38th / Blake Station. Foodie HighlightsDenver Central MarketPick up some fresh food, coffee, prepare for a pre-game on the lot. We saw some delicious looking Italian sausage stuffed jalepeno’s that would look amazing on a grill at your next concert tail-gate.The Source This large building was a former brick foundry built in the 1880. It hosts a wide array of restaurants, bars, and food vendors and can easily accommodate most food needs.Cream Coffee HouseSome of the best coffee you will try in RiNo. Two locations, one in the Denver Central Market, and one independent store.ComidaSome of the tastiest and affordable Mexican street food you will find. We loved it so much we ate there twice!Entertainment HighlightsCervante's MasterpieceThis venue hosts an amazing variety of shows on it's calendar. Most importantly, this venue will host many pre and post-show events. Additional Resources / Reading:Denver's Five Points Neighborhood: 5 Things You Don't Know About 'The Harlem of the West'Additional Attractions around Denver:Union Station Food HallYou will be able to find many delicious food options in this historic and still active train station (Think of the food options in this station similar to Washington DC's Union Station or New York City's Grand Central Station) You can also pick up a wide variety of tail-gate supplies at the Union Station Farmer's Market held each Saturday from June to October in the plaza outside the station.16th Street Pedestrian MallWe explored the 16th Street Mall & Promenade. Despite the multiple recommendations, we found this part of Denver littered with big chain stores and restaurants. We would highly recommend other attractions over this one unless you prefer chain restaurants and stores. Attractions Close to Dick’s Sporting GoodsStanley MarketplaceJust a few miles down the road from Dick’s Sporting Goods Field, you will find Stanley Marketplace tucked behind a small residential neighborhood. The neighborhood is new, mostly because it lies on the former Denver Stapleton Airport and Stanley Aviation sits where Denver’s original airport main runway was. Now, more than 50 independently owned Colorado owned businesses operate out of this former airplane hangar right off of Runway 26. Come to Stanely for some coffee, refreshments or food before your concert or pick up some food for your tailgate party here.Places to Go / Day Trips: TO The South POINTS WEST DENVER POINTS NORTH POST SHOW Garden of the GodsColorado Springs COIn August 1859, two surveyors who helped to set up Colorado City explored the site. One of the surveyors, M. S. Beach, suggested that it would be a "capital place for a beer garden." His companion, the young Rufus Cable, awestruck by the impressive rock formations, exclaimed, "Beer Garden! Why it is a fit place for the gods to assemble. We will call it the Garden of the Gods.”About 40 miles south of Denver in Colorado Springs, lies Garden of the Gods. Words cannot express the beauty of this park. You can easily explore the park all day visiting the many sights in the park including Balanced Rock. If you are rushed for time you can drive the loop around the centerpiece rock formations. However, if you have more time to explore we highly recommend you parking your car and walking around the garden.Note: We experienced heavy traffic on our way back from Garden of the Gods to Downtown Denver on Labor Day Friday. Please factor in traffic when planning your return to Denver. Red Rocks Amphitheatre18300 W Alameda ParkwayMorrison, CO 80465Red Rocks AmphitheatreLocated just 10 miles west of Denver, this venue is probably amongst the most historic, beautiful, unique, and storied venues in the United States. Most, if not each member of DC Music Review staff, dreamed from a very early age about making the pilgrimage to this venue.Be sure to visit Red Rocks on your trip to Denver as there is so much to do at this picturesque venue and park and available to the public. If there is no show planned for that evening, be sure to explore the amphitheater and sit in the stands and take in the picturesque view that so many others have experienced.What to doShowMaybe you are coming to Colorado to see a show at Red Rocks. If you are not coming to see a show at this venue, then you should look at the Red Rocks calendar (http://redrocksonline.com/concerts-events/listing) and see if there might be a concert you want to see, unless you are coming for a concert.YogaIf you want a very special Yoga class, try to take in a Yoga On The Rocks class (http://yoga.redrocksonline.com/yotr)Hall of Fame / MuseumMake sure to visit the Colorado Music Hall of Fame located underneath the venue. Did you know The Beatles played Red Rocks during their 1964 America Tour (August 26th,1964 and was the only concert not sold out on their 1964 American tour?) Read about this performance and many many more in this fascinating tour.Group ToursAre you planning a trip out to Colorado with 10 or more friends? Make sure to schedule your own guided tour. BOULDER ROCKY MOUNTAIN park BoulderBoulder is a fantastic town nestled right up against the Front Range of the Rocky Mountains. There is something for everyone in this town. It is child-friendly, has wide streets, a pedestrian mall, a small stream rolling through it, and some of the most delicious food options and stores you will come upon.Markets:Boulder has it’s downtown outdoor market on both days of the weekend. However, try to come to their Saturday Farmers Market. You will be able to find locally sourced and lovingly made food from friendly vendors.FoodCured BoulderThis local shop was founded by former professional cyclist Will Frischkorn and his wife, Coral. Will spent years traveling and tasting his way through Europe. This shop has two locations in Boulder, and each is filled with the very best cheeses, meats, and wines you can find. Be sure to pick up some food here, and especially their sandwiches.OZO CoffeeYou will find an exceptional selection and tasting coffee here.WonderThis store not only has a fantastic selection of pre-made juices, made to order smoothies, but has one of the tastiest Avocado Toasts we have tasted (with sprouts, hand cut radishes, and an extra-tasty finish of lemon, oil, and sea salt).Full CycleThis bike shop has everything a cyclist or anyone else could want (Bikes, beer, and coffee, quite the trifecta). This bike shop has a fantastic coffee shop with delicious nitro-coffee, a tremendous selection of local craft beer, and a top-notch bike shop and bike rental service. This shop is an ideal location to grab a coffee, rent a bike, and come back for a beer. The staff cannot be friendlier or more helpful. This is the bike shop we all wish we had in our backyard.ExcursionsFlagstaff MountainTake a journey into the foothills of the Front Range of the Rocky Mountains by heading west from Boulder. Drive up to the top of Flagstaff Mountain where you can take in scenic vistas and take a hike from one of the many trailheads located on the mountain. Also make sure to offer an encouraging word to one of the many cyclists you will see ascending this mountain because if you think your car is working hard to get up this steep grade, you can only imagine what it is like for that cyclist.Boulder FallsWe are sad to report that at the time of this article, this excursion is closed indefinitely due to falling rocks, geological instability. We mentioned this natural wonder only so you knew it was closed and did not make the journey only to find it closed. Estes / Rocky Mountain National ParkRocky Mountain National Park is a beautiful full day adventure from Denver. It is possible to start off your experience early from Denver and return before your show (we did it, didn’t cut our adventure short, and still made it to our concert well before the show started).You will not be surprised if you see any animals wandering in and around the national park. In fact, we were amazed to see a group of Moose free-range grazing at a local mall behind a gas station in Estes Park.Tip: For a more scenic journey up to Estes National Park, stop go through Boulder and take Canyon Drive to Nederland, Colorado and then from Nederland to Estes. The scenery and roadside stops alone make this extended route well worth it. If you do take the road from Nederland to Estes, we highly recommend for a picnic and hike at Lilly Lake. Lilly Lake is genuinely stunning and serene.Note: You should take some picnic supplies for your trip. There are not too many food options along the way. Although Estes Park has many food options they are hit and miss. If you are driving through Boulder and you have not picked up your picnic supplies, there are many stores & markets you can stop in on your journey north. Indian Hot SpringsLocated 30 miles west of Denver. After some days of revelry and long nights, you may want to spend some time recovering. We cannot think of a better place to recuperate than Indian Hot Springs. You have your choice of one or more modestly priced options including mineral pools, geothermal caves, jacuzzis, and private baths. Hotel RecommendationsEmbassy Suites Denver Stapleton4444 North Havana StreetDenver, CO 80239Hytatt Regency Denver Convention Center650 15th StreetDenver CO 80202 Additional Resources We are big fans of Thrillist City Guides that points out some of the best that a city has to offer. Please check out their Denver Guide.For food enthusiasts, we really like Eater.com. This website focuses solely on the food scene in different cities around the globe. Please check out their Denver Guide. 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