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15 Reasons Why Australians Will Love Colorado

Currently, I am visiting the wonderful country of Australia. I have a number of Australian friends who have visited Colorado a number of times and I had the opportunity to visit them this year so I jumped at the opportunity.

As I traveled specifically between Sydney and Melbourne I took every opportunity to speak with people to find out more about their country and to see if they had ever visited America.

Nine times out of ten people would say to me the following when I asked them if they had visited the U.S.  “Yes, I’ve been to L.A. and New York City.”

Now, I don’t know about you but the U.S. is a HUGE country with so many amazing places that it stunned me to consider how much of  the rest of the country was being missed.

As I continued to travel around Australia I came up with the following:

15 Reasons Why Australians Will Love Colorado

Sorry California, you’re great…but, all of you are moving to Colorado. Which tells me that maybe we have more to offer with the exception of cold beaches. Australians aren’t you bored going to L.A. and San Francisco? While Denver isn’t super cheap by U.S. standards , you will still receive good value for your dollar while you’re here.

  • Micro Breweries-If you like beer this is your place. We are second behind Portland, Oregon for the number of micro breweries. In fact, we love beer so much we hold The Great Beer Festival every September. This event is so popular that it sells out the day the tickets go on sale.
  • Brunch-We love a good brunch! There are tons of fantastic places to go eat brunch and if it’s warm enough you can also eat outside on the patio or rooftop if your restaurant has one. Try a Bloody Mary or bottomless mimosa while you’re at it!
  • We Love A Good Party-We love any reason to party: St. Patrick’s Day, Frozen Dead Guy Days, Comic Con Denver, Zombie Crawls, Tour de Fat, and the list goes on.
  • We’re Sporty-We love being active.  You will always see people: running, riding their bikes, going to gyms, going to yoga, skiing, walking, or rock climbing.
  • Mountains-The mountains are gorgeous to look at and fun to explore. No visit to Colorado would be complete without a few days hanging out in a mountain town. Two of my favorite mountain towns are: Crested Butte and Breckenridge
  • Good Local Coffee-Yes, we have a ton of Starbucks-but, we also have a ton of local coffee shops that pour great coffee. Ignore Starbucks and head to Ink! or Dazbog coffee shops (Ink! is my favorite)
  • Sports Galore-If there is a professional sports team to be had-we have it! We have professional teams for: Basketball, Baseball, Hockey, Soccer, Football, and U.S. Rugby is headquartered in Boulder, Colorado. We also host a number of world class athletic events from the U.S. Pro Cycling Challenge, to the Major League Soccer All Stars Game and the National Hockey League Classic (huge outdoor professional hockey game)
  • Denver is Friendlier Than L.A.-We are a lot more chilled out than Los Angelenos. We still have crappy traffic, but as a tourist you won’t be commuting to work and can avoid dealing with that! We also have fewer people, and  no one will ask you if you’re in the film “business”
  • Good Food-Yes, we have really good food! Nope, not talking about burgers. I’m talking about restaurants that are ranked in the top rankings among American restaurants. It did take us a long time to get to this place but I promise you-you will eat well while you’re here. Make sure to check out in Denver Work and Class, Uncle, Sushi Den, Bones, Vesper, and Comida (located  at the Source) To name a few. In Boulder: Bramble and Hare, Basta, The Mediterranean (specifically the tapas), and Salt to name a few.
  • Live Music-While I have to concede that Austin, Texas is the “Live Music Capitol of the U.S.” Denver and other Colorado towns have a pretty nice live music scene. Usually these shows are pretty cheap too!
  • Kid Friendly-There are a lot of great activities for kids and I find Colorado to be a great place for kids in general. You shouldn’t have a hard time finding a lot to entertain your kiddos
  • Excellent Transportation-If you’re in the city center you will probably walk everywhere but we now have a well connected system of public transportation. You can take: bus, light rail, cabs, Uber, or Lyft anywhere you would like to go. And, obviously, you can rent a car as you need it pretty inexpensively.
  • Theater-Apparently we  have the 2nd largest theater complex in the United States and I believe this! I have had the opportunity to see some of the biggest shows on Broadway-in Denver (for less!) The Book of Mormon, Wicked, and Warhorse to name a few.
  • The People-We are a pretty chilled out state and the people are very welcoming. We would be super excited to meet you and you will find us typically very helpful and friendly if you ask us questions. We are pretty quick to chit chat with new people and are pretty easy going.

 Now, You Need To Visit Us And Discover All of the Other Amazing Things That We Have That I Didn’t Mention In This Post!

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Must Have Water

Must Have Water

Upon your arrival in Colorado you will notice many things: people running everywhere (can’t they just walk?),  people carrying all types of athletic gear, and the ever present water bottle.

Now, I’m not talking boring bottles of water that you get from the grocery store, though you will see those everywhere. I’m talking bottles purchased with the specific purpose of housing our water.

Nalgene bottles, SIGG, steel bottles, glass ones, and of course earth friendly ones.

You will be reminded often by your Colorado friends to “make sure you drink water!” But, if you’re here long enough you really won’t need that reminder. As you walk around the increasing feeling of dry mouth will begin to alert you to the fact that you are in a very dry place and the urge for a cool, refreshing drink of water will overcome you in a moment so fast it will make your head spin.

Must Have Water!

So, we carry our water to and fro, ever mindful of the importance of staying hydrated as we go about our daily business.

And even though most Americans have grown up with the reminder of drinking at least 8 cups of water a day-Coloradans seem to take this advice SERIOUSLY.

All joking aside, it really is important that you drink a lot of water when you are in Colorado. In fact, one of my friends made a point of asking me if I would be including this piece of advice in a blog post.

She was quite adamant about it!

If you intend to do anything active while you’re visiting our beautiful state, make sure you are carrying enough water with you-especially in the backcountry.

Your body will thank you for it!

 

BCycle Station

B-Cycle Your Way Around Town

I am an avid bicyclist. Every since I started learning how to ride a bike when I was four, I’ve always enjoyed seeing life from two wheels. Colorado has a great competitive bike racing culture and a strong bike riding culture in general.

If you decide to visit Denver (or Boulder) during the warmer months  and enjoy riding your bike, you can take advantage of the B-Cycle bike sharing (rental) program. Throughout those two cities you will find a series of stations where you can pick up or return a bike that you rent and ride around town.

I would say that if you don’t know how to ride a bike have a friend work with you for awhile before unleashing yourself on our streets!

Here’s a B-Cycle Station

BCycle Station

There are a couple of things to keep in mind when riding your bike around town.

Denver specifically, seems to have a very high rate of hit and run accidents. It seems like every week there is a report of someone being hit crossing the street and subsequently killed by a driver that we can’t find.

Be Cautious!

Just exercise extreme caution when riding your bikes especially if you’re riding in the streets-even in the designated bike lanes.

Bring water, it is very, very dry in Colorado you risk dehydrating pretty quickly especially during summer. Keep a bottle of water with you and there is a cute little basket on your bike so you don’t have to worry about holding it while riding.

There are designated bike lanes on the roads, while my understanding is that other cities are a bit more bike friendly, I think that the biking culture is improving in Denver.

Tour De B-Cycle

I just learned about this when researching B-cycle for this post. You basically ride to all of the B-Cycle stations throughout the City and check into each one. You do win  a prize if you complete it and basically are pretty hardcore if you manage this. There are a ton of stations, so I’m pretty impressed by anyone who manages to do this. If you do, email and let me know!!

Biking your way around town is a fantastic way to see a city from a totally different angle. Whenever I’m riding my bike I discover: new coffee shops, new book stores, markets, and once I saw an eagle eating  a squirrel-really!

It just changes the pace of your trip and slows it down so that you can take in more than just the typical touristy things that you would normally seek out.

Seeing a city by bike allows you discover the hidden gems known about by residents, and not covered in tourist guides.

I hope you check out B-Cycle and spend a couple of days riding around town discovering what we have to offer.

Random Denver Art-Graffiti (not tagging!)

For some reason I can’t explain, I love seeking out amazing graffiti in the different towns that I visit. And, no, I’m not talking about tagging, those annoying random squiggles that show up on people’s businesses and homes over night.

I’m talking about counter culture art that might be becoming a little mainstream…but still, I have this image of skater boarder dudes with hats turned backwards and saggy paints squinting with concentration trying to create something beautiful on a space that they have gotten permission to use.

These works of art come in various colors, usually huge in scope, and a surprise to the casual wanderer along a quiet street.

Close to the RINO (River North)are there is one such place that I found after a day of mindlessly riding my bike around town. I was with a friend who was about to leave town for a year and we couldn’t believe what we found. It was-amazing!

Music played from a nearby spin studio and the typical alley smells drifted up to greet us.

It Didn’t Matter

This shit was cool. What did it MEAN? Who knows I just thought about the time, the vision and the level of patience it took to create this type of art in an open space, free for all to see and judge.

Denver Art Is All Over The Place!

There are also portraits painted on garage doors, surprising pep talk on the sides of buildings, and just a thriving culture of random Denver street art to be found all around town.

Art, is suppose to create a conversation and to a certain degree, tap into an emotion: loathing, love, hate, or sadness. I find that I’m a little bit jealous of the talent that it takes to create some of these works of art.

There’s other art around Denver that I can’t wait to share.

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Visit, Love it, Miss it

Welcome to Colorado Luv Hub

Every time I travel outside of Colorado people are always surprised that I’m from here. Let’s just get the elephant out of the room-yes, there are black people in Colorado!

After that bit of surprise then I get the whole what do you do there? Does everyone smoke pot? No (I won’t be writing about pot-sorry peeps!) In fact, I remember during my growing up years that we always were a bit frustrated with the Cowtown identity that was so hard to shake off

The thing is we are a cowtown (state), and a tech state, green energy, Republican, Democrat, vegans, meat eaters, and adventurers.

It’s Not Just About The Mountains!

We have a diverse population that is growing all the time and an amazing spirit of innovation and a can-do attitude. There are a ton of amazing products that can trace their beginnings to Colorado-ever heard of the Denver Boot?
We are competitive but enjoy our lives. In regular conversations, you will hear about what races people are training for, the places they’ve traveled to, or the friendly bickering that happens during every sports season.

We have tons of adult’s leagues for: volleyball, bowling, kickball, and more. Coloradans really like to have fun.

If there is a reason to throw a party or have fun: We.Are.On.It! Zombies crawls, St. Patrick’s Day, the Rodeo, or even the Pueblo chile. We even like to have yoga festivals.

We Could Do Better

Colorado does have problems, though, and I will talk about them in this blog, these are issues that I feel we could be dealing with better.

Issues such as a chronic homeless problem that has become worse due to lack of affordable housing, we aren’t funding our children’s schools at rates that I’m comfortable with, we have people who feel outside of the growth and wealth that is sweeping across the state, and there are still areas that don’t have access to grocery stores.

The traffic on the highways is terrible right now as we are in a long-term expansion project.

If you don’t have a car it’s hell to get to the mountains and skiing/snowboarding is expensive to participate in if you don’t have the equipment.

I hope to be fair about how I view Colorado and encourage us to do better. I’ve had the amazing opportunity to travel all over the world, and to more than 40 of the United States. So, it’s fair to say that I’ve seen a lot of this wonderful country and for me, Colorado is the best!

My goal is to show a less slick version of the state that I live in, support small local businesses and non-profits, and get people to use, know, and love products made in Colorado, and beeline towards small local businesses.

As much as we love Colorado I’ve noticed that we have a serious lack of blogs with a general Colorado focus. There are a lot of food-focused blogs, fitness, but not general lifestyle so I hope I can help shed some light on what we are all about.

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Disclaimer: All opinions are my own!