The Pines Lodge is tucked comfortably into the snow bed that is Colorado ski country. Guests can enjoy nearby access to superior slopes, as well as eclectic dining, shopping, entertainment, and recreation options. Each room offers rustic charm and modern conveniences, putting guests squarely into the middle of a Venn diagram of comfort. Skiers can suit up for a full day in the cold outdoors by using the in-room boot warmer and iPod charging dock. Those preferring to stay indoors can snuggle into a fuzzy robe and strap on cyber skis to slalom through a high-speed Internet connection. For a happy medium, guests can enjoy the great outdoors without risking frost-nipped fingers in the resort's heated outdoor pool and Jacuzzi.
Owner, author, and paranormal history buff Stephanie Waters helms Colorado Ghost Tours, leading visitors and locals through the haunted town of Manitou Springs. The area—which is known as a spiritual sanctuary for Native Americans and the former site of a tuberculosis sanitarium—is believed to be both cursed by angered Native Americans and haunted by tuberculosis victims. Waters tells these tales, among others, on a variety of tours and events, which include walking tours, carriage rides, hearse tours, ghost hunts, cemetery crawls, and the annual Spirits of Colorado Convention.
Flesh-eating zombies, cannibalistic clowns, nightmarish ghouls, and haunting ghosts prowl The Frightmare Compound, ready to snatch those foolish enough to venture through its fear-infested grounds. Known as one of Colorado's oldest and largest haunted attractions, the compound houses two terrifying attractions on more than 100,000 square feet of swampland. Horrors unseen wait for new victims inside the first compound, where a haunted barn filled with terrors is the least of visitors' worries. The second attraction, the House of Darkness, was the site of a terrible massacre and lay abandoned for some time until the Frightmare staff brought it to their site. Soon after, the ghosts of those slain began roaming its halls, and clowns with a taste for human flesh found their way inside its corridors.
Surrounded by lush alpine scenery and rushing rivers banked by boulders, brush, and thicket, rafters ride the rapids during Performance Tours' half-day, full-day, and multi-day trips. The company requires their guides to complete training beyond the state's requirements, ensuring a crew with exceptional rafting prowess in addition to a special affinity for the Arkansas, Clear Creek, Blue, and Colorado Rivers. During tours, groups take in the scenery, spotting wildlife including bighorn sheep, while navigating river regions with names such as "Devil's Punchbowl". Now with more than 25 years' experience taming the bucking local waterways, the team can craft experiences ideal for families and rookie rafters, as well as the seasoned boater looking for a challenge and an impressive story to tell their salmon buddies.
The largest and most populous of the Greek islands, Crete is composed of mountains, valleys, rivers, and lakes adrift in the Aegean Sea, 100 miles south of the mainland. The island was once as the seat of the Minoan civilization, and traditional Cretan cuisine reflects their rich, proud heritage. Here, the locals dine on fresh seafood, smoked eggplant, free-range lamb tsigariasto, homemade grape-peel raki, and much more. Master the art of crafting these dishes while exploring the island on a seven-day cooking and cultural tour of Crete from CookingVacations.com.Click here to see a full trip itinerary.An English-speaking guide will greet you upon arrival at Nikos Kazantzakis International Airport (HER) in Crete’s administrative capital, Heraklion. Indulge in a Greek coffee—which is brewed stronger than American coffee—and a traditional Cretan meal before heading west to the Aoritis Villas in the tiny village of Lampini, which has a population of about 200. Aortitis’s five villas combine stone, marble, and antique furniture for a traditional Greek feel, enhanced by kitchenettes, WiFi, and televisions. Take in breathtaking views of the surrounding countryside. Each day, you’ll explore Crete’s history and present culture. One trip ventures to Phaestos, the first Minoan palace, which overlooks the island from the top of a hill. Nearby, the manmade caves of Matala were likely carved by Romans or early Christians about 2,000 years ago. Hippies most recently inhabited them in the 1960s. At the fishing village of Kokkinos Pyrgos, you’ll dine on just-caught seafood for lunch. Tours also hit the Palace of Knossos, the largest Bronze Age archaeological site on Crete, with a post-palace stop at a natural bee pasture to sample honey straight from the honeycomb. Each night, you’ll learn to cook up to 10 classic Cretan dishes during a hands-on lesson. Lessons range from beginner’s course in stuffed tomatoes, peppers, and vine-leaf wrapped dolmadakia to an evening spent making kakavia, a hearty provincial fish soup. Ingredients for lessons are picked up at local markets throughout the day, with less than 12 hours having passed between the food’s harvest and its place on the table. You’ll also visit the region of Chania, where more than 65 stores sell everything from fruits cultivated on the island to fresh bread. To end the tour in style, groups enjoy a farewell dinner of Cretan specialties prepared by the lady of the house and her mother. Consult CookingVacations.com’s FAQ page for additional information.Read the Fine Print for important info on travel dates and other restrictions.
Minutes from downtown Denver, City of the Dead Haunted House immerses tour-goers in a spooky story that takes place across a zombie city comprising 30 scare rooms. Bloodied interiors and half-devoured corpses hand crafted by Haunted Concepts artists speckle the undead city, where visitors gaze upon Dolly’s Donut café, Gory Rory's gas station, the dentist shop, and the asylum while dodging the advances of ghoulish creatures and awkward waiters. Judge Graves rules the city of the dead with a firm hand, seeking the most frightened visitors to keep the city fed. VIP ticket holders get to skip the line, leading to wait times that run approximately 80% shorter than the general admission line.
SeptaCycles converts a traditionally solitary endeavor into a group activity with seven-seater bikes that glide at up to 10 miles per hour. Designed by artist and inventor Eric Staller, the Conference Bike fans a circle of seats around the central hub where pedalers' kinetic energy and fear of advancing tricycle gangs propels the rear wheels via a motorcycle chain. This people power sends groups gliding through Old Town or toward sunny City Park. Independent free wheels allow riders to exercise feverishly or take a breather without delaying excursions, and a steering system designed by Porsche helps drivers stay on target. Hourly rentals let groups control their own course, or trained drivers can take the helm, cruising toward pit stops at local breweries such as Equinox and New Belgium or CSU’s verdant lagoon.
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