Playing “I Spy” at the Colorado State Capitol

Visiting about a state’s history is one of our favorite activities and whenever we’re in a capital city, we make time to tour the state Capitol complex. The buildings are architecturally beautiful and the guides are usually enthusiastic, knowledgeable, and engaging. To date, we have toured capitol buildings in Massachusetts, Rhode Island (#5), New York, Pennsylvania, Virginia, and Arkansas (#6). On our summer 2021 road trip, we spent the day in Denver (we were in town primarily to see the Rockies) and made time for a tour of the Capitol.

At one time, Denver was the second largest city in the West (behind San Francisco) and was part of the Gold Rush of the 1860s. Originally, what is now considered the state of Colorado was part of the Kansas, Nebraska, Utah, and New Mexico territories. In 1861 Colorado was declared a territory and became the 38th state in America. At first, Colorado City and then Golden were declared state capitals until 1867 when Denver became the permanent state capital. Construction on the Capitol building started in 1886, was completed enough for the building to be occupied in 1893, and then fully operational in the early 1900s. The building was designed on an axis in the form of a Corinthian Cross and closely resembles the design of the Capitol in Washington, D.C.

10 Ways to Explore the Betty Ford Alpine Gardens in Vail, CO

On a recent visit to Vail, Colorado, we spent a wonderful morning at the Betty Ford Alpine Gardens and enjoyed our visit so much, we decided to devote a full post to the gardens. The Betty Ford Alpine Gardens is considered the highest (8,200 feet above sea level!) botanical garden in the world. The word alpine means “above treeline” and the gardens are organized by regions, including the Eastern Himalayas, Patagonia, and Scottish Highlands. Vail’s higher evaluation and cool, dry climate make it possible to grow alpine plants from around the world. The complex, located inside the Ford Park, includes 19 gardens with well marked walking paths and plenty of signage to explain the name and origin of each plant, flowers, bush, and tree. Betty Ford, wife of US President Gerald Ford (who is the namesake of the adjacent amphitheater and park) “gave her name” to the center in 1988. Today, the gardens are one of the most popular attractions in Vail Valley and for good reason.

8 Family Friendly Activities in Vail, Colorado with the Westin Riverfront Resort and Spa

The town of Avon, Colorado is located at the base of Beaver Creek Village and Beaker Creek Ski Resort, 2.3 miles up the hill. Vail Village and adjacent Lionshead Village are located 10 miles east of Avon, less than 15 aways from Avon. Both Beaker Creek and Vail are known for their world class skiing in the winter and plenty of outdoor fun throughout the entire year.

After researching places to stop between our visits to Utah and South Dakota (we’re on a massive National Parks tour this summer), we decided to spend a few days exploring the beauty of the Vail area. When crowd sourcing places to stay the overwhelming choice of both friends and acquaintances was the Westin Riverfront Resort and Spa, at the base of Beaver Creek Mountain in Avon.

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