Colorado is one of the best summer road trip destinations. The majestic Rockies are breathtaking and there’s plenty of great free camping and recreation areas. Denver is exciting and offers plenty of places to check out like Meow Wolf and the murals in the river north arts district. Two hours away are some of my favorite camping areas in the Arkansas river recreation area. Colorado is a place that reeks of outdoor recreation. Every car you pass is some kind of 4×4 with either kayaks, mountain bikes, or snow skis attached to a rack.
Where to eat
- Saigon bowl – excellent Vietnamese cuisine, impeccable deep-fry skills! Super fresh ingredients! İn a Vietnamese shopping center with other great shops!
- Sputnik – i have not been here yet, but I’ve been referred to this place several times.
- Himchuli Indian + nepali – super friendly, like extra friendly, very Buddhist and delicious nepali food. Left this place smiling!
- St. Marks coffeehouse – late night hang out! 90’s style coffeehouse with luxurious front and back patios. Connected to thin man bar. Many interesting danish options. The kind of place your welcome to hang for hours. Go back and forth between the bar and coffee house like i do. Easy place to meet people. It’s my everyday spot when I’m kicking it in Denver. Couple minute walk to city park for even more chilling out options.
- the bardo – late night coffee at two locations. South Broadway and west 38th. The s. Broadway has a more traditional coffee shop feel and the w. 38th location seems more third wave style. But open late for us coffee addicts!
- Mutiny info cafe – zines, stickers, books, coffee, pinball machines + open late, on south Broadway near many other interesting places to check out. Across the street from Sputnik.
where to chill
- city park – nice large city park, with lakes, zoo, science museum. Lots of parking. Lots of green space to relax. Great place to find a spot to hang mid-day.
Where to camp
- Rampart range road / devil’s head – this is one of the closer areas to camp for free. Long stretch of dirt road with several campsites. Popular area for dirt bikes and ATVs. The area near devil’s head is reputed to have viens of smoky quartz and other minerals to dig up. It’s pretty up there, and cell reception in most spots.
Stuff to do!
- Meow wolf – if you can afford it, it’s an awesome experience. Could spend three hours here overloading your brain. It’s wild.
- Murals in rino – hundreds of large well done murals and back alley art installations, in this area to check out.
- Denver community fridges– drop off food to several locations, located on the sidewalk. Free food for the people!
- Lions lair – probably Denver’s oldest punk rock dive bar, i mean it seemed to have been there forever even when I was going to shows there in the early 90s. Has one of the best vintage facades ever. Loses its charm quickly upon entering. Cheap drinks!
- Thin man bar – good bar specializing in tequilas, and lots of crucifixes for some reason. Great front and back patios That connect to st. Marks coffeehouse. Both establishments very friendly and close to lions lair, city park, and tattered cover books.
- Tattered cover bookstore – just a giant bookstore. A really good one too. Buy a book, now you have something to do.
- femme fatale very nice lingerie store on south Broadway. Slip into something more comfortable. Only fans and sex worker discounts.
- Pacific ocean marketplace – giant Asian supermarket on Alameda near federal. There is also one in Aurora. Probably, my favorite grocery experience in Denver. Bonus: near Saigon bowl.
Buena vista, co
Where to camp
- Buena Vista – there is free camping at turtle rock campground and along forest roads 375 + 376 nearby. Only a couple miles from town. There’s so much free camping along from Leadville, co to pueblo, co along the Arkansas river, but Buena Vista is probably the overall nicest.
- Midland stop – espresso, gelato, + the best blueberry muffin I’ve ever had.
Where to hang
- Arkansas river – starts up in these parts and flows out through pueblo, co to the Mississippi river. There’s several access points near downtown Buena vista. Grab a coffee and blueberry muffin at Midland stop and walk a hundred yards and chill on the scenic river.
- Midland tunnels – a series of tunnels carved out of rock out croppings north of town near turtle rock and elephant head camping areas. Lots of rock climbing and jumping in the river to cool off.
What to do
- Honestly, not much but nature hikes, camping, river stuff and mountain biking. If your there in August you can harvest piñon nuts if it’s a good harvest year. Piñon grows all over chaffee county. Just a really beautiful area, and town is close for supplies.
Where to camp –