Tag Archives: Rocky Mountains

Denver airfare sales

Las Vegas Sign
Las Vegas Welcome Sign

Frontier Airlines and Southwest Airlines are having airfare sales for travel from Denver through the winter months.

On Frontier, travel to Las Vegas and Phoenix for as little at $58 one-way, travel to Dallas starting at $78 one-way. Check out the rest of the sale at Frontier Airlines.

Southwest Airlines is offering sale fares to numerous U.S. destinations. For example, fly Denver to Albuquerque for as little as $104 one way and and to Burbank starting at $94 one way. Find out about the other great deals at Southwest Airlines.

Getting around Denver, Colorado

Denver16thStreetMallAre you planning a trip to Denver? I’m going to a conference here in the city later this month. For folks not familiar with how to get around this area, here are some tips.

  • You don’t hail cabs in Denver. You call them and wait for them to come to you. The hotel may have a taxis at the stand – or not. Uber and Lyft are very popular here. You can also use a car sharing service such as ZipCar.

    Bike Rental

  • Denver was also one of the first cities to have bikes to rent – B cycle . You can rent a bike for $9 for 24 hours at any B Cycle station – but you must have a credit card. These stations are all over the city – you can rent at one and return at another.
  • In downtown, use the 16th Street Mall Shuttle to get around. It’s free and goes from 16th and Broadway all the way to the Union Station Transit Center. There’s also the light rail and traditional buses. During the week, there are plenty of trains and buses. However, on the weekends, there are often fewer buses and so time between buses is much longer. Light rail is the same, fewer trains on the weekends.

    Light Rail

  • At this time, light rail does not go to the airport. You can get around downtown, and get to some outlying areas, like the Federal Center. Light Rail is mostly used by locals to get to and from downtown for work and special events. In 2016, there will be light rail from the airport. We’re all looking forward to it! Check out RTD for routes and costs.
Denver, Colorado
Union Station, Denver, Colorado
  • Pedi-cabs are also available downtown. You can flag these down on the street and talk to each operator about the cost. These are particularly nice in the evening on the way to or from a nice dinner and show.


  • Due to the a building boom here, many parking lots and garages have been replaced by new hotels and office buildings, so parking can be scarce during the week, not to mention expensive. Check out the Park Smart Denver lots first for the best rates. There are also garages and lots just outside the main downtown that can be much cheaper if you’re willing to walk a few blocks either to your destination or to the 16th Street Mall Shuttle.
  • Most of the garages and lots take credit and debit cards. You might check at the outlying lots just to make sure.
  • And finally, parking meters. These are all over the downtown area. They take credit and debit cards as well as Smart Cards (visitors probably don’t have these) and change. Each meter has different costs and time limits so you must read the meter! You don’t want your souvenir from Denver to be a parking ticket.

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Enjoy Rome and Florence, visit Palm Springs, getaway in Steamboat Springs

IMG_9427This week’s deals include a deal on a great hotel in Palm Springs, a getaway in Steamboat Springs, and an adventure in Rome, Florence, and Venice.

Palm Springs

A great getaway from the Front Range in the fall is Palm Springs, California. Travelzoo.com has partnered with The Renaissance Palm Springs hotel and resort to offer weekday stays for $99 per night and weekends for $139. The Renaissance Palm Springs is located right downtown, near the popular restaurants and clubs. It has the largest pool in Palm Springs, if hanging at the pool is the most active you want to be. Get out and play by hiking, riding bikes, or playing golf at one of the many golf courses in the area. Dates are available through December and there are some blackout dates around holidays. A two-night minimum stay may be required on some Saturdays, so a phone call to the resort would be advised. Visit Travelzoo.com soon for more information and to buy your voucher.

Steamboat Springs

A bit closer to home, the Hotel Bristol in Steamboat Springs is also discounting rooms from now through October 2015 starting at $89 per night for two. The Hotel Bristol is in downtown Steamboat Springs, and amenities include rainfall showerheads, LCD TVs, pillow-top beds and Pendleton wool blankets. Mazzola’s Italian Diner is in the hotel or walk to one of the other great restaurants downtown. The ski resort is about a 10 minute drive down the road. There’s lots to do in and around Steamboat Springs including hiking, mountain biking, horseback riding, and a trip to the hot springs. Visit Groupon.com by August 17 for more information and to book your weekend getaway.

Rome, Florence, and Venice

If you can get away in the next few months, Tour Crafters has a great package to Rome, Florence, and Venice, land-only, starting at $479.00 per person, double-occupancy, for nine nights. The package includes nine breakfasts, three nights each in Rome, Florence, and Venice, high speed train tickets – tourist class with an extra-large seat – between Rome and Florence and Florence and Venice, pizza at La Strenga, gelato at Gelateria Santa Maria Maggiore, and a Murano tour. You’ll cover your airfare to Rome, hotel city tax, excursions, tips, weekend supplements, and travel insurance. The dates are off-season, November 1 to December 20, 2015. This is a great price – if you’ve wanted to visit Italy, this may be the time! Visit Tourcrafters.it for more information and to buy your package.

Like this article? Click the subscribe link at the top of the page to get the latest information by email when it’s published. For more fun deals and information, go to www.debtalkstravel.com and follow Deb on Twitter at debtalkstravel.

These deals are subject to change or cancellation at any time, and restrictions may apply. Book early for the best deals.


Castlewood Canyon: Discover Cherry Creek

Pikes Peak
Pikes Peak

The late afternoon is warm, with the requisite clouds over Pikes Peak providing that late day storm to the top of the mountain. The pine scent is heavy – it seems much richer than any fragrance you can buy. The hummingbirds are providing their buzz, sounding like a slightly off-key piper making a weak attempt at musical scales. The path to the overlook is busy, but not with people.

Castlewood Canyon State Park is a small slice of wilderness an easy drive from the big city.  It’s just a bit over an hour’s drive south of Denver, Time stops here for the deer, fox, coyote, birds and other creatures that can handle close proximity to people. It’s a popular location for day hikers, cyclists, and rock climbers as well as families enjoying picnics overlooking the creek.

Resident of the Canyon
Resident of the Canyon

This State Park was born of disaster. In 1890, the Castlewood Canyon Dam was completed by the Denver Water Storage Company, holding back Cherry Creek. The dam leaked from the day it opened.

Once the dam was in place, homesteaders started populating the area. In 1901, the Lucas family’s application for land was approved. The family lived in an area inside what is now the park for many years. Visitors to the park can visit the original homestead and see the walls of the house near the West entry to the park.

Homestead in Castlewood Canyon
Homestead in Castlewood Canyon

In 1933, during a heavy rain the dam gave way. A wall of water 15 feet high flowed down through the Canyon and towards the town of Denver. Luckily, the dam operator made it the 12 miles to reach the nearest phone operator, who could then warn the residents downstream. The wall of water pushed into Denver down Cherry Creek, flooding streets, demolishing bridges and  causing havoc in the city.  It took months to dig out from the mud and debris, and begin repairs to roads and bridges.

The ruins of the dam.
The ruins of the dam.

The dam was never replaced. Visitors to the park today can see the remnants of the structure in the center of the park. The Creek Bottom hiking trail along Cherry Creek is where visitors can retrace the path of the flood and sit on the rocks near the waterfall. For those not so ambitious, there is a road that goes through the park, passing the top of the dam. There is a parking area for access to the Westside Trail area, picnic area and restrooms.

Castlewood Canyon State Park
Castlewood Canyon State Park

The main entrance to the park is on the East side, off Highway 83. Day passes are $7. Holders of a State of Colorado parks pass get in free. The Visitor’s Center provides an overview of the area and a short video that describes the history of the area. The rangers are very knowledgeable about the park, and can point you to the latest birding spots or trails to suit your abilities.

The Canyon Overlook trail is one of the most popular. It’s a short easy hike that ends in a gazebo and overlook. The layers of rock across the canyon are home to birds and small animals. At the bottom of the Canyon, you may see hikers following the creek around to the remains of the dam. The hummingbirds provide the background soundtrack, along with the raptors that nest in the park.

The Overlook
The Overlook

There is no overnight camping in the park, and rock climbing is reserved for a few areas in the park. The rangers can point you to the climb sites. For great views of Pikes Peak, follow Castlewood Canyon road out of the park. Dogs are welcome in the park, as long as they are kept on six-foot leashes and keep to the established trails.

The falls at Castlewood Canyon
The falls at Castlewood Canyon

The East Canyon Preservation area welcomes hikers on the established trails, but no dogs or other pets are allowed. This area is fragile.

For more information on Castlewood Canyon State Park, visit State of Colorado. For more information on the history of the dam, visit CherryCreekBasin.org for personal accounts of the night the dam failed.


Ride Rio Grande rails, cruise the Inside Passage, enjoy Lake Las Vegas

This week’s deals include a train ride and concert, an Alaskan cruise, and a great deal at a resort in Las Vegas.

It’s summer in the Rockies, and the Rio Grande Scenic Railroad is offering half-price tickets for their Mountain Rails Live Summer Concert Series. The package includes two economy class adult tickets for $19, the train ride and concert tickets with the train departing Alamosa at 10:30 a.m. and Fort Garland at 11:15 a.m. Standard class tickets are available for $39 for two. Standard class features more comfortable seating with chairs that can be reversed to make a four-person seating area. Children’s tickets are also available. There are eight shows during the summer included in this promotion. Visit Travelzoo.com soon for the dates and to buy your voucher.

For those who can travel at the last minute, Cruise.com has partnered with Celebrity Cruises to offer sailings to Alaska in mid-July 2015. Sail July 15 on the Celebrity Millennium starting at $749 per person for an inside cabin. The package includes prepaid gratuities, and up to $300 extra onboard c

Las Vegas Sign
Las Vegas Welcome Sign

redit, discounts on Vancouver hotel and shore excursions, and a value booklet with up to $350 in savings. The itinerary is Vancouver, thorough the Inside Passage to Seward, with stops in Ketchikan, Juneau, Skagway, and the Hubbard Glacier. Visit Cruise.com for more information and other dates and to book your Alaskan cruise.

The Westin Lake Las Vegas Resort in Henderson, Nevada is offering a great deal on room rates through September starting at $69 per night for two people. Breakfast is included with an upgraded, Premium King Lake-View room for $89 per night for two. Up to two kids 17 or younger stay free in double rooms. This resort has a private beach on the lake and watersports such as stand-up paddle boarding. Play some golf at the Reflection Bay Golf Club and the Southshore Golf Club or just hang by the giant pool. In Henderson, visitors escape the congestion and 24-hour hassle of the traffic on the Strip. Visit the Hoover Dam or nearby Lake Mead for hiking, biking, or fishing. Visit Groupon.com soon for more information and to book your Las Vegas getaway.

Like this article? Click the subscribe link at the top of the page to get the latest information by email when it’s published. For more fun deals and information, go to www.debtalkstravel.com and follow Deb on Twitter at debtalkstravel.

These deals are subject to change or cancellation at any time, and restrictions may apply. Book early for the best deals.


A Patagonian trek, getaway to Glenwood Springs, sun in the Riviera Maya

Caribbean beach

This week’s deals include adventure in Patagonia, a hotel deal in Glenwood Springs, and a getaway to the Riviera Maya.

Trek in Patagonia

Trek in Torres del Paine National Park in Patagonia for 11 days, starting at $2,744 per person for the land-only package and $3,785 per person with round-trip flights between Los Angeles or Miami and Santiago. Santiago is the Chilean capital city and has a booming restaurant scene and trendy shopping centers, with the looming peaks of the Andes Mountains in the distance. South of Santiago more than 1,500 miles, Torres del Paine National Park is a treasure-trove of mountain peaks, huge glaciers, and icy mountain lakes. Spend six days trekking through this spectacular wilderness. The packages also include round-trip ground transportation per itinerary from the airports to the hotels and sightseeing destinations, double-occupancy accommodations’ for three nights at the Casa Bonita Bed and Breakfast in Santiago and six nights at the Refugios in the National Park, with one night at Hostel Amerinidia in Puerto Natalas.  Also included is 10 breakfasts, seven lunches, and seven dinners, domestic airline flights, taxes, fuel surcharges, hotel fees, entrance fees, trekking permits and medical and evacuation insurance. As a bonus, 10% of the trip cost goes to the OneSeed Microfinance Fund for investment in local entrepreneurs. Visit Livingsocial.com to learn more about OneSeed Expeditions and this Patagonian adventure by May 8.

Swim in Glenwood Springs

For those who prefer to stay in the mountains close to home, Glenwood Suites in Glenwood Springs is offering a great deal on a rooms, with dates into June. Stay in a King Room for as low as $59 per night and a Double-Queen Room starting at $79 per night. Glenwood Springs is a great weekend getaway from the Front Range, offering hiking and biking trails, whitewater rafting, and the Glenwood Hot Springs Pool to sooth away the aches and pains of the day. Visit Groupon.com soon for more information and to book your getaway.

Sun in Cancun

Sun and sand is only a short flight away from Denver, and Apple Vacations is offering a great vacation deal to Cancun, starting at $599, including airfare and taxes. This package includes three nights at an all-inclusive beachfront resort, the Barcelo Maya Beach & Caribe. This luxury resort features a dolphinarium, spa, miniature golf, live shows, and kids club and surf ride wave pool. This is part of a larger sale on three- to seven-night vacation packages and stays at other resorts. Cancun offers beautiful beaches, great restaurants, and nightlife. Visit Travelzoo.com by May 6 to book your summer vacation.

Like this article? Click the subscribe link at the top of the page to get the latest information by email when it’s published. For more fun deals and information, follow Deb on Twitter at debtalkstravel.

These deals are subject to change or cancellation at any time, and restrictions may apply. Book early for the best deals.

Roadtrip to Los Angeles

Utah mountains
Utah mountains
Utah vista
Utah vista

Packing the car to the roof, stashing the pretzels and the water, and putting the maps on the floor, my son and I were ready for a road trip to the Los Angeles area.

M was moving to Glendale, California. He had rented an apartment with a friend and didn’t yet have a job. He had been working for about a year, saving his money and spending mine. Finally it was time for the big move. We were driving from our home near Denver to California via I-70 and I-15.

We left early on a Wednesday, only getting stuck once in rush hour traffic. Our trip over the Continental Divide was uneventful – though we did see the half-pipe and cross-country ski course at Vail from the highway. I can’t imagine snowboarding on that crazy thing!

After lunch in Grand Junction, we headed out across Utah. As we headed south past the National Parks, it started getting warmer and the snow disappeared. About St. George, M said he was ready to go straight through to Las Vegas to spend the night.

Pulling out the trusty smartphone, I download Hotels.com and started searching for a place to stay the night. This was a Wednesday night which is less pricey than the weekend. Hotels.com doesn’t sponsor this blog, but I got a great deal on a nice hotel on Flamingo Road. We ended up paying 29.00 for the two of us to stay at the Tuscan Suites, just down the road from the Westin. The room was large and lovely. Thanks Hotels.com!

The beach at Santa Monica
The beach at Santa Monica.

The next day, we headed into the north Los Angeles area. Our four hour drive took us through the desert, past the San Bernadino Mountains and into the Hollywood Hills. Compared to Colorado, this place was green and shiny!
We found the apartment, and with the roomate’s help, moved him in. The attraction of Southern California over the Front Range of Colorado is evident in the beautiful and warm sunny days.  We did hit some of the tourist sites before I had to fly home and return to work – the Warner’s Studio Tour and the Santa Monica Pier. What a great feeling to walk on the beach in January.

On the
On the “Friends” sofa at the Warner Brothers Studio

Since he didn’t have any furniture, I rented with AirBnB – Mama don’t sleep on the floor any more. My host was very gracious and we had a great time during the few minutes we had in the mornings and in the evenings. Thanks to AirBnB and Grace for a comfortable stay.

Now that I’m back home and cleaning out the room he left behind, I’m hoping to get back to a regular blogging schedule. Stay tuned for more tips on how to plan your vacations!

Getaway to the Antlers Hilton in Colorado Springs

Garden of the Gods
Garden of the Gods

Colorado Springs makes a great getaway from the metro Denver area. About 45 minutes drive south of Denver, Colorado Springs boasts the Garden of the Gods, Pikes Peak, and the Olympic Training Center. The Antlers Hilton downtown is offering a discount on stays through March 31. Two guests stay for $99 per night through January 31, 2015. Starting on February 1, the cost increases to $119 per room, double or king. Add $10 to the room rate for a mountain view. Breakfast and parking is included. There are a few black-out dates in January and February. Visit Travelzoo.com soon for more information and to buy your voucher. Call the hotel directly with the voucher number to reserve your travel dates.

Like this article? Click the subscribe link at the top of the page to get the latest information by email when it’s published. For more fun deals and information, follow Deb on Twitter at


These deals are subject to change or cancellation at any time, and restrictions may apply. Book early for the best deals.

Discover New Orleans, ski Crested Butte, enjoy the sun in Fiji

Caribbean beach

This week’s deals include a tour of New Orleans and a cruise in the Caribbean, a great deal at a Crested Butte resort, and an adventure in Fiji.

Gate1travel.com is offering a ten-night package that includes time in the city of New Orleans and a cruise in the Caribbean from $749. The travel date for this price is February 5, but there are promo prices November 2014 through April 2015. This package includes three nights’ hotel accommodations in New Orleans, a walking tour through the French Quarter and Jackson Square, and an additional day to enjoy the city. On day 3 board the Norwegian Dawn and set sail for Cozumel, Belize, Roatan, Honduras, and Costa Maya, Mexico. The package doesn’t include airfare to New Orleans. Visit Gate1travel.com soon for more information and to book your cruise.

Here in the Rocky Mountain West, ski season has just begun and it’s a good time to book a ski trip. The Elevation Hotel and Spa in Crested Butte is offering discounted room rates from October through April. Rooms start at $89 per night for a Courtyard King Room and $139 for a Deluxe One-Bedroom Suite with dining credit. Up to two kids 17 or younger stay free in the suites. The package includes two $30 spa credits per day. The property is located at the base of Crested Butte Mountain Resort, a short walk from the mountain and the village. There is an onsite restaurant, or you can enjoy the restaurants and galleries in the village. For an offbeat adventure, visit the downtown rum distillery that welcomes guests year-round. At the resort, there is a $20 per day resort fee collected at check-in. Visit Groupon.com by October 25 for more information and to book your ski trip.

Some prefer sun to snow, and Travelzoo.com is partnering with Fuji Airways to offer round-trip airfare to the South Pacific for $999 from Los Angeles. Visit Fiji between February 1 and June 10 and September 10-30. Dive or snorkel the Rainbow Reef, eat great food, and spend time on one the many beautiful beaches. Fiji is also a great wedding and honeymoon destination, with many resorts specializing in these big events. Visit Travelzoo.com soon for more information on booking your dream trip to Fiji.

Like this article? Click the subscribe link at the top of the page to get the latest information by email when it’s published. For more fun deals and information, follow Deb on Twitter at debtalkstravel.

These deals are subject to change or cancellation at any time, and restrictions may apply. Book early for the best deals

Luxury Beaver Creek resort discounts through October 2014

Entrance to Beaver Creek
Visit Beaver Creek!

The Beaver Creek Lodge is offering their King Room starting at $129.00 per night through October 19. The price is based on a two person stay. There are some dates blacked-out, including August 8-9, August 15-16, Sept 5-6, and Sept 9-13.

The Beaver Creek Lodge offers a great location for mountain biking, hiking, golf, and just enjoying the spa. Book by August 8. Visit Travelzoo.com for more information.