Welcome to Denver
Tour begins: The Brown Palace Hotel & Spa, Autograph Collection, 5:30 PM. Welcome to the ultimate in extraordinary Colorado vacations! A transfer is included from Denver International Airport or Denver Union Station to The Brown Palace Hotel & Spa, Autograph Collection, ideally located in the heart of the Mile High City. Opened in 1892, this triangular-shaped landmark hotel is steeped in the legacy of Colorado's gold rush days when the only way to get to Denver was by horse, wagon or train. Settle in for a two-night stay and join us for a welcome reception and dinner.
Denver city sights & brewery tasting
Explore Denver on a driving tour this morning that includes a guided visit to the Victorian-styled Molly Brown House. This 3-story landmark was once the home of American philanthropist, socialite and activist Margaret Brown, known as "The Unsinkable Molly Brown" for surviving the sinking of the ill-fated Titanic. Drive to Larimer Square for free time and lunch as you wish, followed by a Blue Moon brewery tour and tasting. Spend the remainder of the day and evening as you wish.
Pike's Peak, Garden of the Gods & Colorado Springs
En route from Denver to Colorado Springs, enjoy a morning jeep tour to the summit of famous Pike's Peak. After lunch, visit the Garden of the Gods, designated a National Natural Landmark in 1971. Picture a giant 1,300-acre rock garden, composed of towering red sandstone formations sculpted by rain and wind over millions of years, against a backdrop of snow-capped Pikes Peak, and you'll have an idea of the wonders you'll discover here. Late afternoon, continue on to Colorado Springs where tonight you'll dine at The Famous Steakhouse restaurant.
Legends of Leadville & On to Vail
Drive into the mountains, traversing beautiful Wilkerson Pass to the two-mile-high city of Leadville. Isolated ghost towns like Leadville are tucked into the mountains all over Colorado, whispering tales of fortunes won and lost during the heyday of the gold rush days. The discovery of gold in 1859, and later silver and lead, turned Leadville into one of the wealthiest cities in the nation for a time, attracting the rich, the hopeful and the infamous to its streets, show houses, saloons and theatres by the thousands. As one of America's last remaining authentic mining towns, Leadville has a wealth of historical attractions, including the federally chartered National Mining Hall of Fame Museum, the Healy House & Dexter Cabin State Museum, and the Tabor Opera House. Enjoy free time to explore the town's 7-block National Historic Landmark District before continuing through breathtaking alpine passes to the chic resort town of Vail for a two-night stay.
A taste of Vail & Resort Pleasures
The largest single-mountain ski resort in the US, Vail boasts 5,500 acres of wide-open and forested terrain. Whet your appetite for a taste of the local culinary scene during a luncheon demonstration. The remainder of the day is free for you to explore as you wish. Popular all year round, in summer Vail tempts with music and dance festivals, mountain biking, hiking, river rafting, horseback riding and myriad culinary diversions.
Rocky Mountain National Park
En route to Boulder, drive into Rocky Mountain National Park along the Trail Ridge Road, a designated national scenic byway and the highest continuous paved highway in America, on a head-turning journey through a beautiful alpine wonderland. Look for sightings of the majestic elk that forage in grassy meadows before a picnic lunch. Arrive late afternoon in Boulder, nestled along the foothills of the Flatirons of the Rocky Mountains, and spend the evening as you wish.
Ballooning in Boulder & Tea Time
Rise early for a hot air balloon ride* and a champagne toast as you soar over the Rockies during the dawning of a new day, followed by breakfast back at your hotel. After some free time, enjoy an afternoon tour and a tasting at Celestial Seasonings, the nation's leading producer of herbal teas. Spend the rest of the afternoon as you please in Boulder, and join us for a farewell reception and dinner tonight.
Tour ends: Boulder. Fly home anytime. Transfers are included from the St. Julien Hotel in Boulder to Denver International Airport or Denver's Union Station. Allow two hours for flight check-in.