A teahouse, a winery, a distillery and a castle all make this list of unique places to slake your thirst this summer in Colorado.
CHEROKEE RANCH & CASTLE FOUNDATION
6113 N. Daniels Park Road, Sedalia, 303-688-5555, cherokeeranch.org.
About 50 miles north of Colorado Springs on U.S. 85, Cherokee Ranch & Castle is impossible to miss. The replica of a 1450s Scottish-style castle is one of Colorado’s gems. It offers many programs, including afternoon teas and lunch on the terrace. The teas include scones with clotted cream and jam, finger sandwiches and pastries, followed by an hour-long castle tour. Lunch brings a gourmet buffet, also followed by a tour. Open by reservations or appointment only.
While you’re in Sedalia, check out the downtown’s antique shops and the historic Sedalia Museum. For a quick burger, head to Bud’s Cafe and Bar, or for a more classic sit-down meal, try Gabriel’s Restaurant and Tuscan Bar.
BOULDER DUSHANBE TEAHOUSE
1770 13th St., Boulder, 303-442-4993, boulderteahouse.com
A Colorado treasure, the Dushanbe (doo-shan-bay) Teahouse is nestled alongside Boulder Creek in Central Park. The restaurant is one of Boulder’s local favorite for great food, tea and atmosphere. The Dushanbe is an authentic Persian teahouse — the only one in the Western Hemisphere. It celebrates the establishment of sister city ties between Boulder and Dushanbe, the capital of Tajikistan. It’s an artistic wonder where you can enjoy international cuisine for breakfast, lunch, dinner and weekend brunch. Traditional afternoon tea features more than 80 premium teas.
Plan your visit to coincide with the Boulder County Farmers Markets in Central Park (13th Street and Canyon Boulevard) from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturdays and 4 to 8 p.m. Wednesdays. Visit bcfm.org.
312 S. Mill St., 970-710-7299, Aspen, bosqaspen.com
Aspen is rife with places to eat, with more than 70 restaurants and bars in the 30-square-block downtown. At Bosq, with owner and chef C. Barclay Dodge cooking, you’ll find a memorable meal worth every penny. Much of the produce is locally grown, and the wine list runs deep, with bottles starting at $44. Even with a spacious patio, the place fills quickly. Reservations are a must.
A couple of others for your Aspen bucket list: the Meat & Cheese Farm Shop, 319 E. Hopkins Ave., 970-710-7120, meatcheese.avalancheaspen.com and SO Café on the top floor of the Aspen Art Museum, 637 E. Hyman Ave., 970-925-8050, aspenartmuseum.org/visit/aam-café.
Many literature lovers also take the short drive to the Woody Creek Tavern, where the late gonzo journalist Hunter S. Thompson reigned for decades. Its Mexican food and blue agave margaritas are almost as legendary as Thompson.
THE SOURCE HOTEL + MARKET HALL
3350 Brighton Blvd., 720-443-1135, thesourcehotel.com
Denver’s original food hall, which started as a renovated 19th-century foundry, opened in 2013. You get wellness shots by day and classy cocktails by night at Isabel cocktail lounge, eclectic American at Acorn, coffee at Caffe Figurati or craft beers at Crooked Stave Brewing. The Source Hotel opened next door, featuring Alon Shaya’s modern Israeli cuisine at Safta, wood-fired food at Smok, the Woods bar and restaurant on the rooftop, and a New Belgium Brewery outpost.
ROCKY MOUNTAIN FOOD TOURS
If you’d like to explore Colorado Springs’ downtown eateries and bars, here’s your ticket to get the job done.
• The Pikes Peak Progressive Dinner: A four-course meal with an optional wine or craft beer pairing. Cost $84.99; 6 to 8:30 p.m. Tuesdays.
• The Springs Signature Cocktail Tour: Stops at four cocktail lounges. Cost $68.99; 4 to 6:30 p.m. Fridays.
• The Original Colorado Springs Food Tour: Stops at five restaurants. Cost $58.99; 2 to 5 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays.
4600 Sleepytime Drive, Boulder, 303-581-1202, celestialseasonings.com
Sometime around the Summer of Love, a group of entrepreneurial Boulder bohemians began regular hikes into the Rocky Mountains to forage for wild flora they could dry and sell, in local shops, as herbal infusions.
A half-century later, Celestial Seasonings is the nation’s largest herbal tea company, responsible for the slurping of some 1.6 billion cups of tea each year and a business philosophy that embraces eco-consciousness.
The company’s headquarters is also its sole global production facility, and free guided tours are offered throughout the day. Sign up and sip some complimentary coziness while you await your guide.
13th and Ford streets, Golden, millercoors.com/breweries, 800-642-6116
Colorado is a major player in the realm of small suds, but it’s also the motherland of Big Beer’s biggest: The world’s largest brewing facility was founded in Golden almost 150 years ago, after a 20-something former brewery apprentice named Adolph Coors emigrated from Germany to the U.S. with a prized Pilsner recipe.
Whether your bag’s beer or history, a tour of the Coors Brewery will satisfy; if you’re at least 21, it comes with tastes of the brewery’s famously familiar libations.
Tours are $5 for Colorado residents 21 and older; $10 for out-of-staters and free to active-duty military and veterans.
1647 S. Tejon St., Colorado Springs, 719-323-8010, distillery291.com
A former fashion photographer who shares a name with both a comedian and a 1980s slasher-franchise villain is a rising star in the distilling front, producing his creations inside a modest spot off South Tejon Street and consistently earning global kudos.
Michael Myers founded his small batch whiskey distillery in 2011, and his spirited libations since have earned some of the industry’s top nods, including World’s Best Rye at the 2018 World Whiskies Awards and a Double Gold Medal at last year’s New York World Wine & Spirits Competition.
The distillery’s flagship single-barrel rye Colorado Whiskey is aged for a year in American white oak barrels and finished with aspen staves.
SKA BREWING CO.
225 Girard St., Durango, 970-247-5792, skabrewing.com
The craft beer dance floor is choked with edgy dynamos these days, but it wasn’t so long ago that Ska moshed more or less alone. The punk-rock-inspired brewery was opened in 1995 by founding partners whose affection for suds long predated their ability to enjoy them legally.
The beers — including Rue B. Soho and Hoperation Ivy — are a shout-out to Bill Graham and Dave Thibodeau’s favorite musical genres, as well as an insider wink to those who get the references (in this case, the Rancid hit “Ruby Soho” and influential late-1980s punk outfit Operation Ivy, respectively).
Ska’s 100% wind-powered headquarters features a beer garden, outdoor bar and daily tours.
THE WINERY AT HOLY CROSS ABBEY
3011 U.S. 50, Cañon City, 719-276-5191, abbeywinery.com
“Beer is made by men, wine by God.” — Martin Luther
The Protestant reformer’s words on vino would have been sweet harmony to the Benedictine monks who once lived and worshiped at Holy Cross Abbey.
The abbey was founded in 1924 and by the 1970s was home to 240 members, a number that swiftly sank. The monks remaining in the early 2000s planted a vineyard that’s still home to award-winning wine. The Gothic Revival-style monastery is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.