Ahh, spring break. With the same enthusiasm reserved for summer vacation as little kids, college students around the country welcome the holy week of do-nothing sunbathing in the tropics.
But with strict budgets, work schedules and huge papers due the day you get back (we’ve all had that professor), planning any sort of getaway with friends can be a nightmare, resulting in a forced stay-cation in Colorado.
If you are already stockpiling ramen and filling your Netflix queue for the lonely week ahead at CU, don’t fret. In and around Boulder, there are plenty of fun opportunities to unwind and enjoy your week of bliss, without clearing your bank account for a $500 ticket to Mexico.
Your first stop (or stops) will have to be Boulder’s fine microbreweries, some of the few places in Boulder where you can day drink respectfully like your friends down in Miami. Boulder Beer, Avery Brewing and Redstone Meadery all have centrally located breweries offering free daily tours on the weekdays, so hop on one of those nifty rent-a-bikes and make your own tour-de-beer for the day.
Sampling unique sips such as the Killer Penguin Barleywine at Boulder Beer or the Boysenberry Nectar at Redstone Meadery, you will be able to outshine your keg-chugging friends down in Florida with your newly distinguished beer palate when class starts again. But please, ditch the bike after two drinks; Boulder is already full of crazy cyclists without your buzzy self peddling along on your quest for the best brew in town.
After day drinking, you might be looking for some more wholesome entertainment around Boulder. Consider a short voyage into Denver – via taxi or a designated driver, of course – for the Denver March Powwow at the Denver Coliseum, running March 23-25. Not your typical weekend experience, the powwow will feature singing, dancing, food and art from close to 100 Native American tribes from across the U.S. and Canada. After this, skip on over to the Colorado Convention Center for the Denver Auto Show, where the newest 2012 car models are on display.
Also in Denver are the permanent entertainments of the Denver Art Museum, U.S. Mint and the newly opened Clyfford Still Museum. If your budget allows, stay for the evening and splurge on a meal at one of the many amazing restaurants in Larimer Square.
After tours of both Boulder and Denver, you may be thinking that your entertainment bank for the week will be bone dry by Wednesday. But there’s no need to worry – to the mountains we go! A thirty-minute drive up Canyon Drive to the town of Nederland, Colorado offers plenty of quaint shops and restaurants to explore. Widely known for its resident “frozen dead guy” Bredo Morstoel, who remains frozen in a Tuff Shed until technology can revive him, Nederland is a quirky town full of great personalities that will entertain you all day.
If you are part of the lucky 21-and-up crowd staying in Boulder, it is only an hour drive to Black Hawk, a tiny little Las Vegas nestled in the mountains, home to 17 different casinos and a countless number of free all-you-can eat steak and crab buffets.
Also consider taking a mini roadtrip to Glenwood Springs and staying a few days to discover the many activities that the small town offers: Hot springs, caves and a fun amusement park located at the top of the mountain.
If all else fails, there is always happy hour at the Rio. After hitting up Buff Tans a few times and ordering a couple margaritas, you too can post pictures of yourself “partying in Cancun” on Facebook. Your friends will never know the difference.
Contact CU Independent Staff Writer Kelsey Anne Lindsey at Kelsey.firstname.lastname@example.org.