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)

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/

 

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!

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.

 

 

 

How to Get a visa for USA

How to Get a visa for USA

1/5 of all the worlds Immigrants come to the USA annually according to US census study. immigroup.com listed the US as the 5th most immigration friendly places in the world behind Canada, Germany, Singapore and Australia.  I would disagree and say that its number one! Immigrants and the children of immigrants are the most successful in the USA.  The US is a nation of immigrants.  The USA is FAR from perfect but the “American dream” is still alive and well for those willing to work hard, dream big and never give up.

how to get a visa for USA

courtesy of footage.shutterstock.com

There are two categories of Visas for the US:

  1. Immigrant Visa
  2. Non-immigrant Visa

The Non-Immigrant US Visas refer to people who just want to visit the US but have no intention of becoming a citizen.  So categories would include:

Tourism & Visit B “Visa Waiver Program” ESTA Application

Business B Visa Waiver ProgramESTA Application

Employment EHLOPITN/TDJ

Study & Exchange FMJB

Immigrant US Visas are for those who have a plan to stay and become a citizen.

Immigrate “Family” “Intercountry Adoptions” “Employment Diversity Visa”

US Immigrant Visas

The chart below contains different purposes for immigrating to the United States, and the related immigrant visa categories for which information is available on this website. Select a visa category below to learn more:

Immediate Relative & Family Sponsored

Visa Category

Spouse of a U.S. Citizen

IR1, CR1

Spouse of a U.S. Citizen awaiting approval of an I-130 immigrant petition

K-3 *

Fiancé(e) to marry U.S. Citizen & live in U.S.

K-1 *

Intercountry Adoption of Orphan Children by U.S. Citizens

IR3, IH3, IR4, IH4

Certain Family Members of U.S. Citizens

IR2, CR2, IR5, F1, F3, F4

Certain Family Members of Lawful Permanent Residents

F2A, F2B

Employer Sponsored – Employment

Employment-Based Immigrants, including  (preference group):

  • Priority workers [First]
  • Professionals Holding Advanced Degrees and Persons of Exceptional Ability [Second]
  • Professionals and Other Workers [Third]
  • Employment Creation/Investors [Fifth]
  • Certain Special Immigrants: [Fourth]
E1
E2E3, EW3C5, T5, R5, I5S (many**)

Religious Workers

SD, SR

Iraqi and Afghan Translators/Interpreters

SI

Iraqis Who Worked for/on Behalf of the U.S. Government

SQ

Afghans Who Worked for/on Behalf of the U.S. Government

SQ

Other Immigrants

Diversity Immigrant Visa

DV

Returning Resident

SB

Important Notes:

*K Visas – Listed with immigrant visas because they are for immigration related purposes.

About this chart – This chart is a list of many immigrant visa categories, but not every immigrant visa category.

**Refer to the Foreign Affairs Manual, 9 FAM 42.11 for a listing of all immigrant visa categories.

US Non-Immigrant Visas

The chart below contains many different purposes of temporary travel and the related nonimmigrant visa categories available on this website. Select a visa category below to learn more:

Purpose of Travel

Visa Category

Required: Before applying for visa*

Athlete, amateur or professional (competing for prize money only)

B-1

(NA)

Au pair (exchange visitor)

J

SEVIS

Australian professional specialty

E-3

DOL

Border Crossing Card: Mexico

BCC

(NA)

Business visitor

B-1

(NA)

CNMI-only transitional worker

CW-1

(USCIS)

Crewmember

D

(NA)

Diplomat or foreign government official

A

(NA)

Domestic employee or nanny – must be accompanying a foreign national employer

B-1

(NA)

Employee of a designated international organization or NATO

  G1-G5, NATO

(NA)

Exchange visitor

J

SEVIS

Foreign military personnel stationed in the United States

A-2
NATO1-6

(NA)

Foreign national with extraordinary ability in Sciences, Arts, Education, Business or Athletics

O

USCIS

Free Trade Agreement (FTA) Professional: Chile, Singapore

H-1B1 – Chile
H-1B1 – Singapore

DOL

International cultural exchange visitor

Q

USCIS

Intra-company transferee

L

USCIS

Medical treatment, visitor for

B-2

(NA)

Media, journalist

I

(NA)

NAFTA professional worker: Mexico, Canada

TN/TD

(NA)

Performing athlete, artist, entertainer

P

USCIS

Physician

J , H-1B

SEVIS

Professor, scholar, teacher (exchange visitor)

J

SEVIS

Religious worker

R

USCIS

Specialty occupations in fields requiring highly specialized knowledge

H-1B

DOL then USCIS

Student: academic, vocational

F, M

SEVIS

Temporary agricultural worker

H-2A

DOL then USCIS

Temporary worker performing other services or labor of a temporary or seasonal nature.

H-2B

DOL then USCIS

Tourism, vacation, pleasure visitor

B-2

(NA)

Training in a program not primarily for employment

H-3

USCIS

Treaty trader/treaty investor

E

(NA)

Transiting the United States

C

(NA)

Victim of Criminal Activity

U

USCIS

Victim of Human Trafficking

T

USCIS

Nonimmigrant (V) Visa for Spouse and Children of a Lawful Permanent Resident (LPR) V (NA)

Renewals in the U.S. – A, G, and NATO Visas

(NA)

 

Best Romantic Getaways in U.S.

Best Romantic Getaways in U.S.

There are thousands of places all over the US that couples can go for a romantic vacation.  But it really depends on what the couple is into.  It depends on what the couple considers “the best romance getaway in U.S.”.  What are you getting away from?  Are you getting away from the city?  Are you getting away from country life?  What ever the case, there are so many States to choose from with lots of romantic locations to enjoy.

Some couples enjoy the outdoors, being away from crowds and in touch with nature while others want to be in the middle the lights and sounds of city life.  So we will cover each of these types.

 Here is a list of Best Romantic Getaways in U.S.

Niagara Falls – One of the most beautiful falls in the world lies between Buffalo, New York and Ontario, Canada.  Before the majestic beauty of the falls are restaurants and shops that loving couples can enjoying.  Getaway and escape on a boat rides that drifts right in the mists of the falls where lovers can embrace… Niagra Falls will become VIAGRA Falls!

At Niagara Falls, take a tour of the American or Canadian side of the spectacular falls.

  • 4 to 5 hour Niagara Falls tour

  • Ride on the Maid of the Mist boat

  • Visit famous Niagara Falls attractions including Horseshoe Falls, American Falls and Bridal Veil Falls

  • View the Falls atop the American Observation Tower

  • Explore the adventurous Cave of the Winds

Cost: $89USD

You can also take a helicopter ride over the falls: Cost: 150USD

There are also Jet boat tours for those wanting to getaway from the monotony:

  • Open jet boat ride on the Niagara River

  • Niagara Whirlpool

  • Scenic views of the beautiful Niagara surrounds

  • Entertaining guide with comprehensive narration

Cost: 65USD

More info a romantic getaway in the US Niagara falls

Napa Best Romantic Getaways in US

Napa Valley – Unless you are a wine lover you may not have heard of one of the most romantic outdoor vacations in Northern California, Napa Valley.  It is considered “Wine Country”.  They take you on a wine tasting tour that will leave you tipsy.  What can two lovers do with so much wine?

 

What is a romantic getaway without getting crazy drunk on the world’s best wine?!  Napa Valley has more than just wine.

Napa Valley also has MUSTARD!  Thats right, MUSTARD!  I know you are thinking, “DimeTravel, who the fuck cares about mustard?!”

YOU SILLY, SILLY foolz.. I am talking about the NAPA VALLEY MUSTARD FESTIVAL.  There has not been one in a few years but as famous Governator said it will “be back”.  Beyond the Mustard and Wine, you have fine dining at places like le “French Laundry”.

There are lots of tours of the Napa Valley country side.  Its very classy and not all of them are cheap for the average American:

Wine Train: 115 – 200USD per person

Napa Valley Balloon Rides: 169 – 200USD per person

For a much more affordable tour you could try the bike tours:

http://www.napavalleybiketours.com/

 

Fisherman Wharf - Best Romantic Getaways in US

Fishermans Wharf – Peir 39 is probably the most visited part of California’s bay area.  San Francisco offers a very beautiful coast coastline.  Its a great scenic place for a romantic getaway and I doubt you will get better pictures anywhere else in California short of a National Forest.  Fisherman’s Wharf is the highlight of the city second to only the Golden Gate bridge (a must see if you are in the bay area).  There are amazing, strange and unique shops along the pier, there are street performers and artist that make a living on their talent alone.  What I loved most about Fisherman’s Wharf was the food!  If you and your loved one are into sea food, you will fall in love with some of the freshest and most abundant catches on the West Coast of the US.

Mariposa Grove of Giant Sequoia – If you like the outdoors then one of the best places to visit is Mariposa Grove in Yosemite National Park.  You can take a romantic vacation and be blown away by a natural wonder and all have very cheap:  between 26 and 30 USD for the average tour.  

Learn more here:  http://triggerpit.com/2012/01/25/sequoia-the-ancient-giants/

Lake Tahoe Reno - Best Romantic Getaways in US

Lake Tahoe & Reno – When people think of places to go in Nevada, the first thing they consider are the bright lights of Las Vegas.  And if you have not been to Las Vegas then its definitely a must see and can be ver, very romantic indeed.  But what you may not know is that the North part of Nevada is a place with a different kind of romance.  You have nature, skiing, and kayaking.  You can still get the casinos up north.  If you are into gambling, bright lights and city than Reno has everything you cherish.  If your idea of escape is nature and being away from crowded streets then try Lake Tahoe.  Between California and Nevada you have about 6 ski resorts in Lake Tahoe.  You have spectacular shows, hiking, casinos, and MUCH MORE

http://www.visitinglaketahoe.com/

Disneyland (LA)

California Adventure Cars

images form LA California Adventure Radiator Springs

Its expensive. Its crowded. BUT its something you MUST do once before you die. Here are some of the pros and cons of Disneyland LA.  *note: Disney is actually in Anaheim, CA which is close to LA. 

Pros:

Brilliance of the imagineers.  The level of detail and design in every attraction is something you have to experience to appreciate. StarTours for example has about 10 mini shows in the line to the actual ride. Each mini story line integrates into the actual ride. Its hard to find that kind of detail at any other theme park. Each attraction attempts to emerse you into the theme with music, sound, site and even smell.

Ferris Wheel Disneyland

Disneyland Wheel Disneyland

Its legendary. No matter what age you are, you will more than likely a fan of at least one of the Disney movies. With all the classics like Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, Mickey Mouse, and now the entire Star Wars franchise, they have something for everyone to enjoy.

Its great for kids! If you take kids to Disneyland its something they will never forget. Its a memory that they will cherish because something in that total experience will resonate with them. Its just magical to kids.

Its convenient in L.A.  Disneyland in L.A. is extremely convenient. With great weather year round and fairly cheap hotels and stores in the surrounding park area, its a great choice if you want to keep prices low and happen to already live in North or South America.

Disney California Adventure Pro and Cons

California Adventure vacation

Disney California Adventure.  Another bonus of being at Disney LA is California Adventure. Its a completely different theme park equal to or greater than Disneyland. If you have two days, its worth spending once day in Disneyland and one day in California Adventure. If you are there one day, you can get a Park Hopper ticket to go to both for the day ($200).

 

 

 

CONS:

Lines, Lines, Lines! At the peak of the day, the lines are waaaaaay too long. You can wait as long as 3 hours in a line for a ride that lasts 5 minutes.  If you are with kids, they may get restless.. its very brutal for kids.  But you can avoid this by getting FastPass. It will schedule you for a ride.

$$$$$! The food, the swag, souvenirs, services, parking, hotels (in Disneyland) will cost you up to 4 times more than what you might pay at a normal store in Calfornia. Now keep in mind that California is notoriously among the most expensive of all states. If you spend 9.99USD for a hat in a convenient store in L.A. that same hat will cost 20 – 30 dollars in Disneyland. If you spend 9.99USD for a hoody at Walmart, that same hat can cost 30 – 60 USD in Disneyland. The food is even more ridiculous! A lousy hotdog, bun, small bag of chips and NO DRINK will cost 7 – 8 USD. If you have a large group, this price can quickly turn into 100 USD.

Even with all the lines and prices, its worth going to see in your lifetime. The level of detail and quality of theme park is unmatched. If you want to save money, don’t spend as much INSIDE the park, bring lunches, stay outside the park, bring extra batteries and plan on spending as little as possible inside Disneyland. Once you are in, all rides are free but the lines will make you have to budget your time because its only open from 9am to 10pm. So make sure you get a FastPass.

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