Off the Eaten Path

By Kendall Kostelic and Thomas Ilalaole

You’ve done food festivals, restaurant openings and cooking classes. Foodies, now it’s time to get a little adventurous. Explore Colorado cuisine with a food excursion, where great meals are enjoyed in tandem with an outdoor activity, from a leisurely walk to a rafting trip. Here are seven fun ideas.


INTO THE WOODS Epitourean leads a seven-day, six-night getaway in the Roaring Fork Valley. Courtesy Epitourean

Where: Downtown Denver, 4 p.m. Thursday through Saturday
On the menu: Sip your way through your own backyard with this new Taste of Denver walking tour. The three-hour lineup includes cocktails, one beer and apps at Stoic & Genuine, Poka Lola, Wynkoop Brewing Company, The Cruise Room and The Crimson Room, where you’ll also get a hands-on cocktail demonstration. Hey, bartender!
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Where: Downtown Colorado Springs, Saturdays at 2 p.m. and Sundays at 1 p.m.
On the menu: Five eateries, more than 10 food and drink choices and a half-mile jaunt—that’s about 1,000 steps—await with this Tejon Street day trip. At each stop, you’ll get a generous helping of a favorite nosh to sample, along with non-alcoholic beverages (boozy sips are an extra $5). Possible destinations: Jack Quinn’s, Bingo Burger, Spice Island Grill and more.
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A stop on the Magic Bus Tours’ farm-to-table trip. Courtesy Magic Bus Tours

Where: Fort Collins, 10 a.m. every Sunday through October
On the menu: The family will love jumping on this bandwagon. The three-hour bus tour goes behind the scenes of Fort Collins’ agricultural roots, with visits to local growers, ranchers and artisans—think mushroom growers, cheese makers and fish farmers— who give you a tour, tell tales of a day in their life and offer tasty bites. Plenty of fun farm jokes and trivia also included.
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Where: Telluride, August 1-31
On the menu: Heading to Telluride for the annual mushroom festival (August 17-20)? Plan a longer stay and taste even more with this Hotel Telluride package, which includes a three-night stay in an elite room; daily breakfast for two; a mushroom collection basket, cutting knife and book on San Juan-area mushrooms; private transfer to and from Lizard Head Pass and Dunton; a private guided mushroom foray with the hotel’s general manager; and a private three-course meal featuring harvested mushrooms and wine pairings.
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Where: Snowmass, Aspen, Carbondale and Ashcroft, weeks of August 20, September 24
On the menu: Welcome to the holy grail of food adventures. This seven-day, six-night getaway takes a long, delicious look at the food and drink scene that’s been brewing in Colorado’s Roaring Fork Valley. Some of what’s on the agenda: a visit to a cider mill, a sunset barbecue dinner and bonfire and a private cooking class at Aspen Cooking School. The best part: Every destination is accessed by hike, bike ride or Jeep ride—all skill levels welcome.
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Where: Palisade, September 16
On the menu: Exploring miles of trails through lush Colorado vineyards: That’s what you have to look forward to on this leisurely bike ride. The 23-mile and 58mile non-competitive treks end with a brunch downtown that features live entertainment, peaches, grape stomping and more. Your after-party (for an extra $50): the Colorado Mountain Winefest, where you can sample vineyards you just saw on wheels. Go VIP and you’ll sip Colterries wines, local craft beer and bites and tour the award-winning winery at a pre-ride party September 15.
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Float and Dine. Courtesy Garlic Mike’s

Where: Gunnison, available every night of the week (four person minimum)
On the menu: Grab a life jacket and your GoPro. To get to this meal, you raft down 10 miles of the Gunnison River. The three-hour scenic float ends at Garlic Mike’s, where a full Italian dinner—complete with a surprise—will be waiting.
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