Colo-Road Trippin’ Without a Car

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Low emissions. High equity. Zero worry. Ditch the wheels but not the adventure. Travel through Colorado’s cityscapes and mountains, while supporting local communities and minimizing your carbon footprint. Header Image: VISIT DENVER/Denver International Airport

Sustainability Activity
Volunteer with Groundwork Denver

Groundwork's mission is to bring about sustained improvement of the physical environment and promote health and well-being through community-based partnerships and action.

Day
1
Activity
Explore RiNo

Explore RiNo’s street art via a Lime electric scooter, which is charged with 100 percent renewable energy and supercharged with 100 percent fun. Scooters are accessible once you download the Lime app on your mobile device.

Lunch
Dine at Comal Heritage Food Incubator

Comal Heritage Food Incubator is a restaurant that serves up some of the most delicious Mexican, Syrian and Ethiopian food and drinks in the city. One of the best things on the menu? Equity. The Incubator’s mission is to help immigrants and refugees learn about entrepreneurship and professional food services while celebrating their own culinary traditions.

Activity
See Altius Farms

Check out this urban farm with one of the largest rooftop aeroponic gardens in the country. Altius uses about 10 percent of the land and 10 percent of the water other farms use, yet it delivers 10 times the yield — all within one harvest. They then sell to local restaurants and residents.

Dinner
Feast on Sushi

Have dinner at Uchi, a Japanese restaurant that places emphasis on sustainably sourced seafood and its close relationships with local Colorado farmers, including its upstairs neighbor, Altius Farms.

Activity
Sip a Craft Beer

Our Mutual Friend (OMF) Brewery is a local spot that brews craft beers with a sense of place. The brewery has strong ties with local hop and barley growers, which has led the company to offer a wide selection of 100 percent Colorado-grown beers — shrinking its carbon footprint.

Lodging
Stay at The Source Hotel

A modern-industrial hotel built in the heart of RiNo from mostly recycled, regionally sourced materials, The Source is situated next to a repurposed iron foundry turned market hall with 25 independent food and retail vendors.

Sustainability Activity
Ride a Train

Ride the A Line RTD train from Denver International Airport toward downtown and get off at the 38th and Blake Street Station — right in the heart of RiNo, one of Denver’s creative hubs. 

Day
2
Breakfast
Grab a Hearty Breakfast

A 100 percent organic kitchen, Lacuna Juice and Yoga is committed to using local and seasonal produce to serve up delightful plant-based dishes. The concept has also pledged to be plastic-free by using only glass and compostable goods.

Activity
Hike the Morning Away

Go for a hike at Roosevelt National Forest, which surrounds Estes Park and neighbors Rocky Mountain National Park, but is far less crowded.

Lunch
Enjoy a Spot of Lunch

Bird & Jim is defining Colorado cuisine with ever-evolving seasonal and ingredient-driven menus. Heavily influenced by an artisan approach to cooking, the restaurant proudly sources from local farms and ranchers in Estes Park, Drake, Longmont, Hygiene and Boulder.

Activity
Paddleboard Under the Blue Sky

Relax and unwind lakeside by renting paddleboards at Lake Estes. They are 100 percent human-powered with zero emissions.

Dinner
Indulge in Some Comfort Food

Savor a hearty meal with a planet-conscious twist at the Rock Inn Mountain Tavern. The restaurant offers a woodsy gathering place with live music and serves up Colorado-sourced protein and produce along with sustainably made wines.

Activity
Volunteer at a Telescope

Why stare at the stars, when you can help operate the telescope at the Estes Park Memorial Observatory? Dive into voluntourism and help support the foundation that runs the dome. It’ll make for a great story when you get back home.

Lodging
Do Overnight at the Queen Ann Inn

Each room is decorated by a local artist, and no eco-detail is spared. From its recycling and composting program to the sustainable green tea insulation foam used in your mattress, this bed-and-breakfast provides everything for a comfortable, sustainable stay.

Sustainability Activity
Take the Bustang

Ride the RTD A Line one stop westbound to Denver's Union Station where you'll catch the Bustang to Estes Park. The route is set to begin right before Memorial Day.

Insider's Tip
Stay Off The Beaten Path

Roosevelt National Forest offers spectacular sights of Rocky Mountain National Park! So, soak up all the views and lighten your impact by taking the road less traveled.

Sustainability Activity
Make Your Way Back to Denver

Take the Bustang back to Denver, then take the free mall ride from Union Station to Civic Station. 

Day
3
Breakfast
Brunch at Root Down

When you eat at Root Down, you very well may be eating something grown in their own backyard — literally. The restaurant’s commitment to sustainability is built right into its foundation, with the building entirely constructed from upcycled and recycled materials and energy sourced by wind technologies powered by Excel.

Activity
Tour the National Renewable Energy Laboratory

The nation’s primary lab for research and the development of renewable energy is open for viewing. As you walk the halls, you’ll catch engineers and scientists in action and learn about the green-energy technologies of tomorrow. Plug in at the EV charging stations to juice up your ride while you tour.

Lunch
Consume an Ethical Lunch

Part of the Good Food 100 list, ND streetBAR creates approachable yet sustainable dishes, which are all locally sourced. The restaurant takes its commitment to food even further by donating to its sister nonprofit, Big Green. The goal? Build a healthier future for kids by connecting them to real food through a nationwide network of learning gardens and food literacy programs.

Activity
Check Out a Speakeasy

Behind a bookshelf is where you’ll find Williams & Graham, a speakeasy known for its craft cocktails, small bites and ambiance. Here, even the desserts are made out of seasonal and local ingredients, so rest easy knowing your sweets are also sustainable.

Dinner
Treat Yourself at Duo

Duo Restaurant is a concept that strongly believes that it is only as strong as its community. That’s why they invests in more than 90 nonprofit organizations each year — in addition to serving up some of the best contemporary and locally sourced food in the city. The restaurant also is committed to livable wages for its staff and charges a small fee to make compensation more equitable.

Activity
Rock Out

Catch a show at Red Rocks Amphitheatre, the world’s only naturally occurring and acoustically perfect venue. It also supports the City and County of Denver’s 2020 sustainability goals. Red Rocks has started composting and recycling initiatives, in addition to optimizing its energy and water usage as efficient technology becomes available.

Lodging
Lay Your Head Down

Stay at Kimpton Hotel Born; a LEED Silver-certified property. It’s also conveniently connected to Denver’s Union Station, so you’re able to easily hop back on the RTD rail and get to the airport — or enjoy the area’s 91-point Walk Score.

Sustainability Activity
Rent a Car

Ride the waves of the future and rent an electric vehicle through the Turo app!

Sustainability Activity
Carpool to Red Rocks

Take CID Colorado’s shuttle, and you can bring your favorite local brew to tailgate with once you arrive!