Each batch of Syntax Spirits Distillery’s vodka, whisky, and rum is made by hand using stainless-and-copper fractionating stills, Colorado Weld County wheat or American Molasses, and Cache La Poudre River whitewater. The result of these curated elements are incredibly smooth, complex spirits versatile enough to be sipped or mixed.
At the distillery, visitors are filled in on the process that brings these drinks to life and can taste the fruits of the facility’s labor. Along with its signature spirits, the distillery boasts housemade infusions that range from bourbon vanilla to citrus flavors. Guests can sample the different infusions as chilled shots or in a signature cocktail at the cocktail bar in the industrial-style tasting room where neon signs and antique light fixtures illuminate each sip. When guests aren’t mid-pinball game or sampling drinks at the 40-foot-long concrete bar, the staff leads complimentary tours of the distillery’s manufacturing area, where Laverne & Shirley imitations are prohibited.
Greeley Museums bring history alive?sometimes quite literally. The best example is Centennial Village, a living, breathing town square from 100 years ago. Over seven acres of immaculately restored land, time-swept citizens go about their lives as they would have in the last century: they toil at the blacksmith, file grievances at the courthouse, and a lucky few put up their feet at grand homes.
But though the seasonal city is the antique jewel in this historical tiara, it's hardly the only chance to learn about the past. The History Museum dips its toes into other eras, visiting the bicycle craze of the 1800s, the challenges of the homefront in the 1940s, and the grudge match between the town's namesake Congressman Horace Greeley and political cartoonist Thomas Nast. At the Colorado Model Railroad Museum, a 5,500-square-foot model railroad feels at home among 600 railroad artifacts and a full-size caboose. And the Meeker Home offers a look inside the lives of the Meeker family, who founded Greeley with a vision of a utopian future.
Great minds think alike, and this was definitely true for Kyle Baxter—a professional tree climber—and Bridget Baxter—an accomplished high-school and college cross-country and track runner. Each certified instructor owned or worked at a local Bikram studio, but it wasn’t until they met at a Bikram yoga convention in 2006 that they discovered each other. Now the married couple oversees two Bikram yoga locations, which offer classes for students of any level seven days a week. Each studio is kept at a toasty 105 degrees, and sessions are led by a certified Bikram instructor who guides patrons through muscle-building and stretching poses that promote healthy, lean bodies. A large towel, yoga mat, and water bottle are recommended for each class, so the studios offer rental towels and mats for those whose dog ate their yoga mat along with their homework.
David "Red" Cohen knows it is an odd combination, but Red's Dogs & Donuts is all about serving his favorite two foods. Hebrew National hot dogs crackle warmly alongside andouille sausages and brats crafted from smoked elk, pheasant, bison, alligator, and other meats. Mole sauce, chili, jalapeños, pickled red onions, and other toppings turn the hot dogs into a feast for patrons or a nightmare for an actuary calculating napkin-insurance premiums. A frosted, sprinkled, filled, and powdered array of more than 60 donuts make use of Red's secret batter recipe, which substitutes in potato flour to add extra fluff and crunch to the house-made treats. The donuts don fixings including maple glaze and bacon, and belgian waffles sport cherries and whipped cream or a sausage-and-egg scramble drizzled in syrup.
The certified staff at Tortuga Bay lives and breathes all things scuba, offering everything from training and equipment to planned trips to exotic underwater destinations. The shop's greatest claim to fame is a state-of-the-art indoor, heated saltwater pool the website claims is the deepest in captivity.
Owner Ron Bland and his team of experienced instructors introduce beginners to diving with a three-step certification system that begins with online or classroom academic training and progresses to pool lessons and open-water evaluations. The scuba center also offers advanced courses and excursions for more experienced divers.
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.