10 of the best patios near your next Colorado adventure
There’s no setting that allows you to soak up the magic of summer like a sunny patio, especially sipping a drink or refueling with a snack after a morning or afternoon of adventure. Pick one that’s within easy pedaling or walking distance of your hike, ride, run, skate or paddle and it doesn’t get any better. Here are a few of Colorado’s best patios in close proximity of outdoor adventure.
New Terrain Brewery
Nearby adventure: North Table Mountain hiking, riding, running
Not only is New Terrain situated within easy access of numerous trails, but it sits at the base of North Table Mountain with a trail leading to the backside of the mountain and the Golden Bike Park next door. Although the beer garden and patio are spacious the place gets poppin’ on the weekends especially, so claiming a table or corner to call your own amid the kids and dogs can sometimes require patience. The outdoor stage features live music most Thursday afternoons and there’s always at least one food truck on hand. New Terrain brews up some of the best suds in the state, as well as kombucha and nitro coffee.
The Eddy Taproom
Nearby adventure: Peaks to Plains and Clear Creek trails, Clear Creek whitewater park
Sitting almost within splashing distance of Clear Creek and its famed whitewater park and directly off the Peaks to Plains trail (the paved path that eventually will span 65 miles from Denver to Loveland Pass), The Eddy is an obvious detour or end point for numerous adventures. Its herb- and fruit-infused cocktails are a multisensory experience and its eats – whether soup, salad or burger from the Taproom or barbecue and shake from the food truck — are tasty and colorful. The patio becomes its own community on the weekends, with live music and cornhole games galore
Nearby adventure: Red Rocks Park, Bear Creek Lake Park, The Lobby rock climbing
Often overlooked as concertgoers are bee-lining to Red Rocks Amphitheatre or cyclists and motorists are heading off on the Lariat Loop, the Rooftop Tavern is unquestionably Morrison’s most scenic patio. With views of the surrounding foothills, the elevated deck is also a great vantage point for people-watching. Connected to downstairs’ Italian haunt Tony Rigatoni’s, the Rooftop’s menu is small, but satisfying, offering a quality selection of snacks (charcuterie, mussels, Italian nachos) and beer, wine and cocktails. There’s no better place to end a hike or ride through Bear Creek Lake Park or Red Rocks Park or a rock climbing excursion on the neighboring cliffs
Nearby adventure: Hiking and biking the Barney Flow, Juniata, Sallie Barber trails
Breckenridge Main Street can resemble a parade with all of the crowds that roll through on a summer weekend. And if that’s your scene, have at it! A short ride away, there’s one sprawling patio that delivers not only a peaceful respite, but arguably the best views of the Ten Mile Range. Located above town at The Lodge at Breckenridge, Traverse’s patio looks directly out upon Breckenridge Ski Resort and beyond, offering a sweeping panorama of Quandary Peak and the entire Ten Mile Range. The simple menu features upscale pub fare — fried brussels sprouts and chicken wings for starters, gourmet burgers and elk tenderloin for entrees, craft cocktails and decent wine and beer selections, including a couple of local brews. The most rewarding way to soak up this patio is by hiking or biking from Carter Park in town. It’s all uphill to get here, but all downhill on the way back
Handlebar Tap House
Nearby adventure: Hiking and biking Colorado National Monument, the Lunch Loops
There’s no shortage of great patios in downtown Grand Junction (TacoParty, Rockslide Brewery, etc.), but given its location at the mouth of Colorado National Monument and less than a mile from GJ’s famed (but technical and rocky) Lunch Loops mountain bike trails, Handlebar wins. Openly inviting you to start and end your ride (or hike) here (complete with loaner bike locks), the rooftop patio is your ultimate finish line. Kick back with a craft pint from 24 rotating taps (including local brews, of course) and take your pick from a short list of creative burgers, salads and poutines
House Rock Kitchen
Nearby adventure: Running or riding the Whipple and Midland trail systems, boating the Arkansas River and BV Whitewater Park
You can pretty much just follow the locals to House Rock Kitchen in the heart of Buena Vista, a few blocks from the bustling paddling scene on The Ark as well as the main trailhead for the Midland hike and mountain bike trails. House Rock’s patio is spacious, with a couple of shaded tables and the seasonally fresh, relatively healthy food is outstanding (burgers, sandwiches, burritos and an assortment of creative bowls). The beer and wine selections are on point and the kombucha mixed drinks are refreshing, tasty and oddly nourishing
The Farmhouse at Jessup Farm
Nearby adventure: Biking the Poudre Trail recreation path
Located a few miles north of Old Town, Colorado State University and FoCO’s epicenter of action, Jessup Farm is a bit of a hidden gem — as hidden as a vast collection of historic (converted) farm buildings can be, anyway. While the place no longer operates as a farm, its beautiful patio is surrounded by the vegetables and herbs that go directly into just about every brunch, lunch or dinner dish, rendering it about as farm-to-table as you can get. It’s also not unheard of to find fresh herbs in the tasty and potent cocktails. Although Jessup does not sit precisely along the Poudre Trail, the 21-mile rec path is less than a mile away, offering a peaceful pedal through nearby green and pond-strewn natural areas and throughout town
Mountain Tap Brewery
Nearby trails: Running and biking the Emerald Mountain trail system and Yampa River rec path, boating the Yampa
There are several nice patios on Yampa Street, directly across from Emerald Mountain (a.k.a. Howelsen Hill) and adjacent to the Yampa River, but Mountain Tap, open for lunch and dinner, is a perennial favorite. Whether you’re stringing together a daylong bike ride on Emerald’s vast network of singletrack or knocking out a quick hike, trail run or stroll on the expansive rec path — or paddling or tubing the river — a wood-fired pizza and cold beer hits the spot every time
Manitou Brewing Co.
Nearby adventure: hiking the Manitou Incline or Pikes Peak, or biking or climbing nearby
The outside dining at Manitou Brewing, though compact, is peaceful, tucked off the main drag and under an umbrella of trees. It’s especially refreshing after a haul up the Manitou Include – located about a mile up the road – or a trek up Pikes Peak or along the extensive trail system winding through the foothills. Especially for being a small operation, Manitou’s brews are among the best in region and its selection of burgers and sandwiches is equally fresh and flavorful. There’s a full bar for the non-beer drinkers, too. And it’s only a mile from hiking, biking and climbing in Garden of the Gods and Red Rock Canyon Open Space
Vail Brewing Co.
Nearby adventure: Hiking and biking Vail Mountain and Meadow Mountain
There are two locations for Eagle County’s top brewery – the flagship spot tucked amid warehouses in Eagle-Vail (but an easy pedal away from Meadow Mountain and its web of singletrack) and the taproom with a smaller but much more scenic patio overlooking bustling Vail Village. The Eagle-Vail location does have the Rocky Mountain Taco food truck going for it. Although the Vail location does not offer food, you’re allowed to bring food in. Take-out from the upscale Deca or the affordable and decadent La Cantina are solid options
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