Cool places to visit in Colorado- Royal Gorge

As we walked across the bridge the breeze hit us in the face and made the solid steal and wood supports sway.  The magnificent height is like the scenes of a movie.  With tall walls of rock embracing the white water Arkansa river below; it is an very beautiful place.  Every angle is offers a photographic master piece.  It is hard to believe that here was a fire that destroyed the area around the Royal Gorge Bridge.  They have done an amazing job of restoring some of the services.cool-places-to-visit-in-colorado (2)

The ticket price for an adult costs $16.00USD. cool-places-to-visit-colorado And when you get in

On the way to Royal Gorge, there are shops that offer all kinds of activities you and your family can do such as river rafting, zipline, kid’s train rides, small restaurants and souvenir shops.  You will see very unique merchandise such as giant amethyst rocks.  Unfortunately, these shops are not open on Sundays.cool-places-to-visit-in-colorado

In 2013, the facilities and rides of Royal Gorge were destroyed by a wildfire.

Ninety percent of the park was gone with 48 out of 52 buildings and world class attractions destroyed on each side of the bridge. During this time, the Royal Gorge Bridge stood majestically above the rubble and was relatively unscathed except for approximately 100 boards that were scorched on the south side of the Bridge. — royalgorgebridge.com

IMG_0082

As of 2015, they are still in the process of rebuilding some of the facilities.  The new building includes a big cafe with huge deck over looking the gorge.  The building also has a souvenir shop selling shirts, mugs, necklaces, stuffed toys and a few types of rocks.  At the back of the building are benches where you can sit to relax.cool-places-to-visit-in-colorado (4)

Royal Gorge is Open at 10 o’clock in the morning and closes at 4pm, 5pm or 6pm. It changes according to month.  Please see the guide.http://www.royalgorgebridge.com/index.php/ct-menu-item-62/ct-menu-item-64

Note: As you are driving towards Royal Gorge and while you are there, you may lose cell phone reception.

cool-places-to-visit-in-colorado (7) cool-places-to-visit-in-colorado (8)

cool places to visit in colorado: Manitou Springs

Manitou Springs is one of the coolest places to visit in Colorado.  The unique shops and restored old town look give it a comforting small town feel that you and your family will love.

My family loves this place and keep asking to go back.  What is it about this place that keeps the streets flowing with local tourists from all over Colorado?

I think it is the spirit of the place.  It has a certain feeling of calm, openness to it that is hard to explain.  It’s peaceful.  It has an old town, quaint feel to it where it seems like most people there are content.  The shops are very unique selling product connected directly to real people not giant corporations selling things mass produced and stamped with “made in China”.  It’s nice to feel that connection.  The feeling that when you buy something it is helping the person that opened the store.

“Manitou”, a Native American word for “ great spirit”, describes this beautiful mountain community. Eight naturally carbonated mineral spring fountains, located throughout this historic town, run free for all who wish to enjoy the healing benefits. The Ute, Cheyenne and other Native Americans considered this area sacred for the healing springs and clean mountain air.

The Naturally-Occurring mineral springs have a rich history in giving and restoring health to people who traveled thousands of miles to be healed by the magical waters. Today, health and wellness continues to be a draw for residents and visitors who come to the area for its unparalleled quality of life and holistic, spiritually uplifting personality.

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manitou cool places colorado

manitou cool places colorado

denver museum free days

Denver museum free days

Here at DimeTravel we talk a lot about traveling for cheap.  But nothing beats free!!  If you happen to be in Colorado visiting you should know that Denver Museum of Nature and Science has free days!? Yes.

We have talked about The Denver Museum of Nature and Science on a few different articles about travel to Denver, Colorado.

The Denver Museum of Nature and Science is a great place for the whole family.  The prices are reasonable for a pretty fulfilling time: 15USD for non-members and 12USD for members of the museum.denver-museum-free-days

SCFD COMMUNITY FREE DAYS

The Scientific & Cultural Facilities District is a voter-approved special district in the seven-county metro area that provides a stable source of supplemental funding to more than 300 scientific and cultural organizations inside the district’s boundaries. The SCFD collects a one-tenth of 1 percent sales-and-use tax (or one penny on every $10 spent), providing approximately $40 million each year to area cultural attractions both small and large.

denver museum free days

denver museum free days

A fee still applies to IMAX films, Planetarium shows, and temporary exhibitions. Reservations and amenities (lunchroom, coat and lunch storage, bus drop off, etc.) for school groups are not available on SCFD Community Free Days.

2015 SCFD Community Free Days

  • Monday, January 5

  • Sunday, January 25

  • Monday, March 2

  • Sunday, April 12 (Earth Day)

  • Saturday, April 25 (Día del Niño)

  • Sunday, May 31

  • Monday, June 29

  • Sunday, July 26

  • Monday, August 17

  • Sunday, September 27

  • Monday, October 19

  • Monday, November 9

denver colorado things to do

I have lived in Colorado for 10 years and I can tell you from personal experience that there are many Denver Colorado attractions and LOTS of things to do.  Denver is Colorado’s capital and most populated city so there are are COUNTLESS activities here.

If you are in Denver and cannot find things to do, then you just have not looked!  There are amusement parks, sporting events, concerts, museums, parks, resorts and world class restaurants.  If you like clubs, then you will love the night life in Denver!

denver colorado things to do

denver colorado things to do

The Denver Museum of Nature and Science is my favorite place to take my kids.  The price is reasonable for an amazing learning journey for the whole family.  It’s 15USD for non-members and 12USD for members of the museum.

There is a planetarium, a great dinosaur exhibit and lots about the species of North America and the world.  There is an incredible exhibit that explores the human body.

Elitch Gardens Theme and Waterpark is a decent amusement park in Denver.  This place

denver colorado things to do elitch gardens

denver colorado things to do elitch gardens

alone has LOTS and LOTS to do.  There are constant concerts, shows and special events hosted at Elitch Gardens.  The prices vary based on your age:  Adults – 34.99, Children – 31.99, Seniors (62+) – 29.99 (children under age 3 – FREE).  Parking will cost you 15USD.  So, all this stuff adds up but its worth doing at least once or twice.

During hot Denver summer’s check out the Elitch Garden’s Water park.  Definitely check the schedule of Elitch Garden because sometimes they are closed or have huge special events that you may not want to miss.

childrens museum

childrens museum

If you have children under 10 you may want to take them to the Children’s Museum.  Kids LOVE this place.  And the smaller they are the MORE they will enjoy it.  People don’t talk about it much, but its one of those hidden gems that kids really get a kick out of.  The children’s Art museum is great if you have small kids

 

Dave and Busters is like an adult version of Chucky Cheese, its like a play ground for adults.  With sports bars, birthday party areas, restaurants, video games for all ages.

At night Denver comes alive.  On the weekends there are so many clubs and people of all ages going out to dance and drink that its VERY hard to find parking.  If you can, it’s best to just get a hotel and walk or get a taxi around town.  It’s not impossible to find parking, but it’s going to cost you anywhere from 6-15USD for only a few hours.  You can park from night until day there for 6USD though.

 http://www.denver.org/restaurants/denver-bars-clubs/

Here are some great resources of Denver Colorado activities:

Denver Colorado things To Do

Denver OutdoorRec Hiking

Parks And Recreation – If you are into outdoor activities, here is Denver’s official site for parks and recreation.  You can browse by category (Fitness, Health, Wellness, sports) and by season:

Skiing is a BIG deal in Denver!  I must admit I have never been.  These days when I tell people I live in Colorado, they either asking me about the legalized marijuana or skiing and I don’t have any experience with either one.. seriously.. I did not inhale..

If you love to ski then you must look into checking it out if you are in the city:

http://www.winterparkresort.com/

http://www.coloradoski.com/

 

north korea dmz

Lately, there has been a lot of talk about North Korea.  There was the movie “The Interview” that sparked a little bit of international tension.  North Korea was then blamed for responding with a huge infiltration of Sony and responded with the usual mass destruction threats.  They recently gotta a firm talking to from China for a maniac from NK  that got into the country and killed four Chinese citizens.  ANDDDD Kim Jong Un’s sister just got married!!  Congrats Kim Yo Jong.

We talked a little about some Americans that have visited North Korea in the past and received a long stay in prison.  All of the recent talk about North Korea has inspired me to talk about my own personal visit to the border of Hermit Kingdom.

dmz north korea

dmz north korea

My visit to the DMZ was very educational.   I was on the South Korean side of course.  If you happen to be in Korean, I HIGHLY recommend it.  You are escorted through a military base to get there.  Once you are at the staging area you are given a military briefing on how ridiculously dangerous it is and why.  Then you have to read and sign a release form that states something like “the US Army is not responsible for your death or bodily harm while you at the actual DMZ”.  This is necessary since every now and then someone is shot.  They want you to know the danger is REAL.

My trip to the DMZ showed me how petty and completely irrational nations can be.  They actually had a “flagpole” war.  The south built a flag next to the boarder that the North saw, so they responded be building The Panmunjom flagpole, a 160 meter tower which is the fourth largest flag pole in the world as of 2015.

dmz north korea

dmz north korea

They built this flagpole in a town they built called Kijŏngdong.  Kijŏngdong can clear fit 200 plus families but is clearly empty and has been for many years.

Aside from all of the horrible deaths from boarder skirmishes that have happened over the decades, the most alarming thing that I saw and the DMZ was the disparity between North and South.  You don’t need binoculars to see that the North has very little infrastructure. From looking, the North does not even look like a developing country.  It is like a baron waste land with the decrepit, vacant town Kijŏngdong (and it huge flag) in the middle of nowhere while the South looks like New York or Tokyo.  If you look at the North and South at night you see that North has very little lighting in Pyongyang with the South is lit up like a galaxy.

courtesy http://matthewniederhauser.com courtesy
http://matthewniederhauser.com/caption

As of 2015, there are about 25 million people living in the DPRK.  So there are are 25 million sides of North Korea and it is not all bad.

Unfortunately, the politics there have made an unprecedented level of suffering.

Gay Travel Destinations

People act like “being gay” just started 10 years ago.  As persecution for being open and comfortable with your same sex partner dies down, gay travel destinations have gone UP!  Once upon a time, there were only a few places that a same sex couple could steal away to for a romantic vacation.  But now things are different.  Realistically, this should not be an article, the WORLD should be your travel destination without boundaries and restrictions on sexual orientation.  We are not there yet but there are many locations that are great!

1. Canada.  Canada is one of the most open countries to LGBT.   From Vancouver to Montreal to Toronto, Canada is WAY more open than the U.S. and way more advance for LGBT rights.

gay travel canada

image: canada.pordescubrir.com

2. Thailand.  Thailand is very open with LGBT.  In fact, transgenders are considered more beautiful than straight women.  Walking Street in Pattaya has a huge following for gay men and transgender entertainers. There are many gay prostitute out on the streets and the Pattaya beach roads. Thai people are very polite and not judgemental when it comes to sexuality. Gender is not a big issue there as long as the tourist are nice and respect Thai culture. Thailand also has a bunch of clinics for sex change surgeries.

http://www.theinvestigativefund.org/blog/1852/global_medical_tourism_and_sex_reassignment_surgery/

gay travel thailand

3. Portugal.  It is one of the countries that has allowed same sex marriage.  It began in 2010. It is open and accepts LGBT relationships. However, gay couples are not allowed to adopt children.

gay travel portugal

image: tourist-destinations.com

4. Spain.  The country has a lot to offer for shopping, nightlife and attractions. It is also one of the top list of countries that had legalized same sex marriage. Gran Canaria island and Sitges are two of the hottest destinations.

gay travel

image: spain.info

5. France.  Whenever I heard of France before I automatically thought it was untra-conservative and close minded but the truth is they are pretty open.  In fact, their openness toward LGBT has made the same sex marriage possible.  

gay travel 2

6. Philippines.  The Philippines is also another country that is pretty accepting of LGBT lifestyle. You may get looks out of curiosity but people won’t really point out or criticize you for being gay.  A transgender man is treated like woman.  Cross-dressing is common to see. Gays are respected in the Philippines as they are very talented, smart and very skillful.  There is definitely no beauty salon in the Philippines without a gay employee. Gays are accepted in the society.

gay travel destinations

image: telegraph.co.uk

7. Japan.  Japan is another country that are open to different sexual orientations.  Gender is not an issue but public affection like kissing, hugging and intimate actions may be strange at some more conservative places in the Japan.  In the 90’s many filipino LGBT would fly to Japan to achieve that physical beauty of a ‘Woman’.

http://www.japan-guide.com/forum/quereadisplay.html?0+71126

gay travel japan.-007

image: theguardian.com

8. Israel.  It is know as is known as the one of the world’s most friendly and most open country for gay travelers. They also celebrate an annual gay and lesbian film festival and LGBT Pride Festival.

                                                http://www.gaytlvguide.com/

gay travel

9. Greece.  Greece offers an island especially for gay travel with its own restaurants, spa, hotels  and clubs. An island called Mykonos is the top gay destination in Greece.

                                          http://www.nighttours.com/mykonos/

gay travel greece

image: epictextfail.com

10. Peru.  It was one of the 54 states to support the UN resolution against sexual orientation discrimination in 2006.  Peru’s openness allows things like tours especially for LGBT such as  Out Adventures and Gay Peru Tours.

http://gayperutours.com/

gay travel peru

 

Countries that have Legalized Gay Marriage:

  • Netherlands -has legalized same sex marriage on year  2001
  • Canada  -2005
  • Norway – 2009
  • Belgium  – 2003
  • Spain – 2005
  • South Africa  -2006
  • Stockholm Sweden -2009  will feel like home as they are very fine with gay/lesbian society and is like its own city. Being gay is not a big deal. People are very open minded about it. They also have ‘Pride festival’ held every july.
  • Argentina – 2010
  • Iceland – 2010
  • France – 2013
  • Denmark- 2012
  • Portugal -2010
  • Brazil – 2013

References:

wikipedia.org

http://www.chron.com/news/us/article/AP-PHOTOS-Gay-pride-celebrations-around-the-world-5588151.php#photo-6532379

 

denver places to visit

 Here are a few Denver places to visit (that are worth your time)

During our trip to denver, my husband and I visited some beautiful places.  Colorado Springs and Boulder are great, but Denver is the main hub of business in the state of Colorado with more restaurant options of things to do for tourists and locals alike.  We have listed some tourist attractions that you might like.

  •  Denver Museum of Nature and Sciencedenver-places-to-visit-3Denver has a world class museum exhibiting some of the best that the natural sciences have to offer.  From sea life to the solar system and going back billions of years to the formation of the Earth, you will not be disappointed.  I was blown away by the 3D planet projection in the planetarium.  The interactive exhibits about Mar geology and space exploration stole the show for most of the kids that walked in the building.  If you are traveling to Denver with kids, the Denver Museum of Nature and Science is a MUST.  The museum also has REAL Egyptian mummies, an exhaustive dinosaur wing and a stunning display of precious metals, gems and mineral deposits.  It was an amazing experience overall and it is so worth it. You see a lot more than what you paid for. denver-nature-and-science-museumAdmission fee is $12 per person. http://www.dmns.org/ 
  • Denver Botanic Gardens.denver-places-to-visit-10Denver Botanic Gardens has a variety of plants and a spectacular glass exhibit by the famous American sculptor, Dale Chihully (that ended last November 30, 2014). The botanic garden has plenty of species of plants but it is not so lively if you go during cold season.  Some of the plants are dead or dormant in winter. It is best to go during summer. The garden is a popular attraction in Denver so expect a crowd on the weekends. The parking lot is tight so it will take time to get a parking spot. They also conduct special events such as weddings. Denver Botanic Gardens website prices of tickets is not updated as it says $12.50 (adults). Maybe it changes by season or if there are exhibits.denver-places-to-visit-5Admission fee is $15.00 for adults. http://www.botanicgardens.org/
  •  Downtown Aquarium. 
    image:zoochat.com

    image:zoochat.com

    Denver downtown aquarium features an impressive array of sea creatures and habitats that will be pretty hard to find anywhere else in the Rocky Mountains. They also offer a dining experience where you eat a delicious meal while watching a mermaid show. Its fun and exciting to see! Food is expensive with very little options.  Like the museums, the aquarium also gives military and senior discounts as well as free parking after 6 pm when you dine in the restaurant. Ticket price for adults (12-64) is $ 17.99, didn’t know a 12 yrs old is already an adult. lol!

    http://www.aquariumrestaurants.com/downtownaquariumdenver/exhibits.asp

  •  Elitch Gardens Theme Park.
    image:bravetracks.org

    image:bravetracks.org

    If you are looking for thrills, then Elitch Gardens is the place to go.  It’s great for families. It consists of 70 acres of land with all kinds of rides for small kids, teens and adults.  Tickets ranges from $31.99/per person and above and can also be purchased online before the day of your adventure. Within the theme park you can expect to have decent dining, expensive shopping, concerts and special events.                   http://www.elitchgardens.com/plan-a-visit/tickets/

  •  Downtown bars.
    denver-places-to-visit-9

    image:nightclub.com

    Looking for a cool place to chill out and have a Colorado brewed beer?  Go to downtown Denver at night.  What was surprising to me is that there are marijuana stores around the area.  Colorado has legalized weed so it is okay to sell it openly (with some controlled substance restrictions, of course).  Its very common to see stores that look like pharmacies except with a green cross logo and bars on the windows.  The most important thing I have learned is that my ID must be carried everywhere.  We could not go inside the bar because I forgot my ID. Too bad but better luck next time :-)

  •  Sports Authority Field at Mile High.denver-places-to-visit-97686 If you are into sports then you might want to check out a football game.. American Football.  Its huge in Denver.  Sports Authority Field is home of the Denver Broncos.  It is a giant stadium that can accommodate thousands of people for the event.  Even if you are not into sports, its an amazing sight to see!

Denver is beautiful and there are many things to do.  Whether you are visiting just to sight see, ride roller coasters, or go to a game and drink beer, there is really something for everyone.  There are so many things we did not mention!

haneda airport map

Here are some Haneda Airport maps.  I have been through Haneda a few times as I have traveled in and out of asia.  Its one of the best, simplest and easy airports to navigate.  Its modernized with PLENTY of outlets.

Normally, if I am flying withing Japan or short trips in Asia, I go through Haneda airport.  If its very long International flights, I am going through Narita.

haneda airport map 2011-1

haneda airport map 2011 – Cross section Map of Handed’s Security Check A/B

haneda map 2011

haneda map 2011 JR East Travel Service Center, Monorail, Terminal 1 and direction to International Terminal 2

 

haneda map 2011

haneda map 2011

Terminal 1 & 2 Map: https://www.tokyo-airport-bldg.co.jp/en/map/

Ohayuni71 Tour of Haneda Airport

Sharla in HANEDA!! OMG, BECKY!!!

Cebu Nightlife

Cebu Nightlife over Manila Nightlife

Cebu nightlife offers a very fun variety of activities for whatever you are into.  From night clubs, to gentlemen’s clubs to bars and malls that stay open until 11pm, Cebu nightlife is great.

You can really have a great time in both Manila and Cebu.  Since Manila is way bigger and more populated you can find much more to do there at night.  But there are a few reasons you might prefer Cebu nightlife over Manila nightlife.

image: forumserver.twoplustwo.com

image: forumserver.twoplustwo.com

Cebu Nightlife has less people.  Cebu nightlife is not as crowded and congested as Manila nightlife.  Manila is one of the most populated metropolitan cities in the world.  It is actually one of the 12 most populous metropolitan areas in the world (2010).  Its extremely tight for most of the night.

image:juice.ph

image:juice.ph

Writer of this blog http://www.juice.ph/outoftown/features/how-i-barely-survived-sinulog had also shared his/her experience with the kindness of people in Cebu when they got lost, asked for help and was sent back to the place where they were staying. In manila, not sure if that kind of act of kindness still happens.

Cebu Nightlife is Safer than Manila.  There are more crimes reported in Manila than Cebu.  There are over twice as many people in Manila as Cebu (about 4+ million people in Cebu but over 11 million in Manila as of 2011).  So it makes sense that the crime rate is higher.

Cebu Provincial Police Office (CPPO) According to the comparative crime statistics report of the CPPO, the number of crimes fell to 3,999 from the 5,036 cases last year, or a drop by 31.20 percent (CPPO news).

National Capital Region Police Office (NCRPO) data showed that reported crimes went up from 18,671 from January to June 2011 to 29,231 in 2012 (ABS-CBN).

Comments on the web about Cebu vs. Mania:

Cebu City vs. Makati (Makati has the image of being relatively safe but in reality there are frequent news reports about violent crimes in the city.)
Cebu City vs. Malate (Personally, I avoid Malate unless I need to head to the Embassy.)

Cebu City vs. Pasay (Pasay is an extremely diverse area so it may be hard to compare. You have Mall of Asia, which is safe, but you also have Baclaran, which is shady at best.)
Cebu City vs. Taguig (This is the Fort Bonifacio area. I would say that the Fort and Ortigas, which is in Pasig City, are most likely the two safest areas in Metro Manila.)

DaFamilyGuy 

I have lived in Cebu only 3 months now, but my impressions so far are its reasonably safe and the people generally are friendly. Yes you need
to be aware of security issues and use some common sense but if you do that its reasonably safe. I have been to Manila and didn’t have any
problems there either, I think maybe Cebu City a little safer than Manila but outside of the city in the provinces I’m sure is safer.

I’m not sure which security issue posts you are referring to but if its the ones advocating that foreigners should be allowed to own and carry
handguns I can see why you would feel concerned for safety in Cebu. Do I think there is someone waiting round every corner here with
an illegal hand gun waiting to rob the next Kano that comes along? well no, its unlikely many can afford a gun and the ammunition for it.
Do I think every Kano here is in danger if they are not carrying a hand gun? Well no I think to attempt a shoot out is more likely to result in
you getting shot.

My thoughts are if you avoid carrying large sums of money around needlessly, and if in the unlikely even you are robbed at gun point you
just hand over something (dummy wallet with some cash in it is a good idea), I think its unlikely you will get shot. A gunfight at the OK Corral
situation as a flight of fancy as advocated by some on this forum is not the sensible solution (just the quick route to jail for a Kano) so don’t worry about it and have a nice day   Chaz

 

colorado vacation destinations

Colorado is internationally famous for the skiing/snowboarding, rock climbing, hiking and winter sports.  For this reason Colorado vacation destinations are not only in the two biggest cities: Denver and Colorado Springs but also Aspen and the rocky mountains.

colorado vacation destination aspen-mountain

colorado vacation destination aspen-mountain

Aspen - “With four world-class mountains within the area, Aspen boasts the most diverse selection of terrain and on-snow experiences in Colorado. The best part is: A ski pass is valid at all four of our mountains!” 

I remember being in Australia and receiving the obligatory question, “Where are you from in the US?”

My typical answer: “I am from California, but living in Colorado.”  To which the young Aussie replied, “Oh, I love Colorado.  I was on vacation there and lived in Aspen working at a sky resort.

colorado vacation destinations Rocky Mountains

Colorado vacation destinations Rocky Mountains

Rocky Mountains – Colorado has the MOST 14,000+ foot mountains in the United States.  It has a total of 53 mountains over 14,000 feet (4200 meter mountains)!  For this reason, Colorado is a mountain climber paradise.  Half the state is the “rockiest” part of the rocky mountains.  It has the highest average elevation of any state.

Rocky Mountain National Park is located in Colorado.  Rocky Mountain National Park is ALL mountains with inspiring skylines, beautiful wildflowers, abundant with multiday backpack trips and climbing adventurers for every level of hiker.

 

 

 

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