So established is Circle K that even brand-new vehicles recognize what its red-and-white logo stands for—fuel, snacks, and everything else a car might need to keep powering down the road with its driver. Circle K's story starts back in 1951, when Fred Hervey bought three Kay's Food Stores in El Paso, Texas. Under his guidance, these three little shops grew into the more than 3,000 convenience stores that crouch on our nation's street corners today.
After rolling up to a Circle K, drivers can pump their faithful roadsters full of high-octane fuel and send them skipping through a car wash to experience the cleansing touch of Blue Coral Beyond Green and Rain-X products. Then it's time to step inside the air-conditioned shop for a peek at the provisions. Rows of sodas hibernate behind glass doors, and snacks, candy, and their ATM guardians stand boldly out in the open. Some Circle Ks also offer the Take Away Café, which presents an appetizing lineup of healthy road fare including Ball Park hot dogs. Drivers can gear up for a long drive with Premium Coffees or enjoy a cold Polar Pop, whose specially formulated cup keeps drinks colder thanks to the family of tiny snowmen trapped in its foam walls.
As recently as 2011, the Gallup-Healthways Well-Being Index indicated Boulder, Colorado as the skinniest city in the United States. Since the pedestrian-friendly city rests in the cradle of the Rocky Mountain foothills, with plenty of nearby opportunities to hike, the ranking is perhaps no surprise to Boulder's 100,000 residents. It certainly comes as no surprise to guides at Boulder Walking Tours, who make their living showing off the city's footpaths through its downtown historic districts, and nearby wilderness.
On one of their signature tours, guides take up to eight guests to explore Boulder's still-operational Chautauqua campus, where an adult-educational movement has thrived since the late 19th century. The morning-long tour benefits from stunning views of the Flatirons, deftly told anecdotes of local Chautauquans, and historical photographs that show off how far picture-taking technology has come.
Putting trust in Satellite Board Shop is a no-brainer when you know that the University of Colorado snowboard team entrusts it with all their tune-ups. Satellite technicians show all their customers the same level of professionalism and care when waxing boards, tuning up skis, or explaining that a “snowboard” isn’t the legislative branch of winter presided over by Jack Frost.
Satellite also stocks plenty of new snowboards and skateboards including the Never Summer Cobra board, designed to handle any mountain terrain, and the Anti Hero skateboard deck emblazoned with a giant bee. In addition, Satellite can outfit customers with T-shirts, shoes, and sunglasses as well as fleece-lined jackets that keep them warm when they accidentally build themselves into an igloo.
Locally owned for almost 90 years, Art Cleaners uses eco-friendly methods to press and launder shirts, pants, dresses, bedding, drapes, rugs, and more. The shop's GreenEarth Cleaning System gently de-dirts even the most delicate fabrics with liquid silicone—a natural, odorless by-product of sand that keeps finery looking new longer than most conventional cleaning methods, such as pickling dresses in brine. With the help of Art Cleaners' services, Oxford shirts can retain crisp collars (starting at $2.60 per shirt) and seasonal pieces like Santa suits and Santa astronaut suits can ditch the mothball fetor for $9 to $10 a piece. If you're far too busy to either drop off or put on clothes, Art Cleaners can arrange for free pick-up and delivery.
Though it originally sold only two things—audio products and wireless phones—Car Toys has gradually expanded its repertoire. Today, with 50 locations spread across four states, electronics-certified technicians install everything from Alpine in-dash navigation units to phone-integration systems that sync iPhones, Androids, and tin cans to car stereos. Meanwhile, in the garage, detailing technicians meticulously spruce up cars inside and out, using deionized water, paint-friendly shampoos, and high-quality wash mitts to protect against scratches, swirls, and water spots. The team also sweeps through interiors with vacuums, hot-water extractors, and ozone deodorizing treatment, which kills airborne bacteria and nasty smells in one fell swoop.
At Boulder Furniture and Mattress, a yawn isn’t a sign of boredom but an indication of contentment as patrons hop between memory-foam mattresses nestled in sleek bed frames, and plush sofas filled with downy throw pillows. A host of Danish convertible sofas class up the evenings of overnight guests with their modern lines and innovative shapes, and child- and college-friendly bunk beds sport functional features such as desks, futons, and storage drawers. A broad selection of bedding caps off customers’ mattress choices, with bamboo sheets and organic-wool mattress toppers waiting to shrink owners’ carbon footprints down to ant size.