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August 10, 2010 8:35 AM   Subscribe

I'm doing Denver-Utah-Vegas later this week. Suggestions on food/sights/activities?

I'm going on a trip out West to Colorado/Utah/Nevada later this week. The basic itinerary is planned.

Day 1 - Denver
Day 2 - driving
Day 3 - Bryce Canyon
Day 4 - driving
Day 5 - Vegas

Any suggestions on cool places to eat, quick side trips or things to do while we're in X location? We're women in our late 20s, urban and vaguely hipster type - food and craft beer is good, nerdiness like history or science is good, cool outdoors stuff at the intermediate level is good. This is the first time I've been west of the Mississippi. I'm accompanying a friend on part of a drive to San Diego and my return plane ticket is already bought, so we can't deviate too much on route. Also, she's seen Utah before, but not been to Denver or Vegas before.

I've read through the archives on this topic, but since the most recent thing was over a year ago, I thought I would ask again. Thanks!
posted by unannihilated to Travel & Transportation around Las Vegas, NV (6 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
Definitely take Utah 24 down from I70, and from there Utah 12. Utah 12 is the most awesome (and variated) road anywhere. I believe there's a pretty cool hippie/vegan restaurant in Boulder, UT.
posted by notsnot at 8:50 AM on August 10, 2010

If you are into good beer, check out dry dock brewing in denver- FANTASTIC BEER!!!

I don't know which way you are planning on going, but I would definitely recommend taking 50 and maybe going through the black canyon (it's pretty insanely beautiful).

Take a stop in telluride, if you have time as it is amazingly beautiful, and drive through moab.

I would say that this is going to be a pretty huge push.

Can you spread it out a little more? I would drive to telluride the first night, as it's going to be 6 or 7 hours there from denver. Hang out and spend the night. Then on to Bryce, another 7 hours or so. Vegas from there is another 7 or 8 hours.

Just make sure that if you stay in telluride to see if there are any festivals going on and to book a room early if there are. You may end up having to camp. If it is the bluegrass festival, then you might want to stop in town and head on out to moab to spend the night as it will be INSANE!

That is one of the most beautiful parts of the country, IMO, have fun!
posted by TheBones at 8:55 AM on August 10, 2010

70's a big highway, and it's gonna be crowded since it's the height of tourist season. Everything's gonna be crowded. I'd stay off 70 and get through colorado on some of the smaller highways if I were you. I used to live in colorado springs and in telluride- just my suggestion.
posted by TheBones at 8:58 AM on August 10, 2010

Get off I-70 at UT-24 just past Green River. Stop for gas in Hanksville if you're running low. This road will take you through Capitol Reef National Park. The place to eat in Torrey is Cafe Diablo.

Now head south on UT-12. Stop in Boulder at Hell's Backbone Grill if the timing is right. They're open for breakfast and dinner but not lunch. Anazasi State Park is also in Boulder.

The stretch of UT-12 from Boulder to Escalante is my favorite scenic drive in the world. There's another state park in Escalante if you're into petrified forests. From Escalante, it's not much farther to Bryce Canyon.

Just east of Bryce is yet another state park--Kodachrome Basin. The scenery is not as spectacular as Bryce Canyon, but it is beautiful and it won't be jammed up with tourists.

My advice: don't be in such a hurry to get to Bryce Canyon that you miss all the amazing stuff on the way there.
posted by baho at 10:09 AM on August 10, 2010 [2 favorites]

I'm super curious about this taking the family to Colorado in September. and am looking for good ideas. I second the Telluride suggestion. Beautiful!
posted by ms.jones at 11:24 AM on August 10, 2010

The Greater Denver area is an embarrassment of riches in terms of craft beer. I really like Falling Rock Tap House as a place to check out a huge selection of adult beverages.
posted by mmascolino at 2:26 PM on August 10, 2010

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