Hashtag Colorado Life

Ryan Nicholson and Carrie Smith Nicholson

The #ColoradoLife travel podcast is for natives and newcomers who want to explore this beautiful state like a local. Ryan, born and raised in CO, and Carrie, a Texas transplant, are a husband and wife team who have fun in the Centennial State! Together, they’ve lived in all three major cities along the Rocky Mountains -- from Denver to Boulder, they now reside in The Springs. Their goal with the Hashtag Colorado Life podcast is to inspire you to get outside, connect with local business owners, discover local food, and enjoy accessible adventures. You’ll discover the best destinations, things to do, places to eat, and all around living for this great square state, as told from the perspective of both a local and a newbie. Whether you're just visiting, or a long-time resident, you can create an amazing bucket list of what to do and where to go in Colorado.

All Episodes

#60: A park built on top of a cemetery. Spirits that haunt one of the most historic hotels in Colorado. A ghostly apparition that plays slots at a casino even when it's closed. These are all unexplained reports of Colorado’s most haunted places. With a history steeped in gold rushes and ghost towns, it’s no wonder that Colorado has some great paranormal activity. Ghostly sightings and haunted stories are reported at numerous locations across the state, both indoors and out!Listen in as Ryan and Carrie dive into the supernatural side of Colorado and discover some of the most haunted places in the state. These places range from century-old mining towns and casinos, to spooky mansions. For more information and resources from this episode, visit our website HashtagColoradoLife.com or follow us on @HashtagColoradoLife on Instagram.

Oct 29

6 min 44 sec

#59: Colorado boasts some of the best natural hot springs in the country. And Denver is within close proximity to many of them. These naturally-occurring hot springs are full of minerals that have been used to soak away stress for decades. They were even prescribed for ailments and digestive issues back in the early 1900s. Today, you can experience these “healing waters” for yourself and come away refreshed and relaxed. So, whether you’re looking for relaxing indoor pools, a private mineral soak, or a way to unwind after a day of skiing, these hot spring resorts near Denver don’t disappoint.And the best part is that these mineral-rich hot springs are just a few hours west of the city so you can visit them anytime of year. Listen in as Ryan and Carrie share the 5 closest hot springs near Denver that are within just 2-3 hours drive.For more information and resources from this episode, visit our website HashtagColoradoLife.com or follow us on @HashtagColoradoLife on Instagram. 

Oct 22

6 min 1 sec

#58: Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park sits atop Iron Mountain perched at 7,100 feet in elevation. As “America's only mountain-top theme park!” this is a truly unique venue for an amusement park, and one you will probably never experience again. It truly is worth the hype! Listen in as Ryan and Carrie tour the park and talk about their favorite things to do. In addition to main attractions, like the Cave Tours and the Gondola, there are tons of other things to do at the Glenwood Springs Adventure Park. Kids and adults alike will love the Discovery Rock Gemstone Panning, Climbing Wall, Apline Coaster, Canyon Swing, Cliffhanger Roller Coaster, and the Soaring Eagle Zip Ride. Plus, Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park has two different caves that are open to the public: King’s Row & The Fairy Caves.Join Ryan and Carrie as they explore this epic adventure park near Glenwood Springs and discover all that the colorful state of Colorado has to offer.For more information and resources about exploring Colorado, visit the website at HashtagColoradoLife.com or @HashtagColoradoLife on Instagram.

Oct 15

8 min 3 sec

#57: Estes Park, Colorado might be best known as the gateway to Rocky Mountain National Park. But this small mountain town still has endless things to do! From mountaineering adventures to water sports and (abundant) wildlife watching to ghost hunting, Estes Park delivers as an easy-to-access destination.In this episode, Ryan and Carrie dive into their favorite things to do in Estes Park, many of which are free or cheap. ElkFest, that happens every early autumn, draws people from all over the country to witness the elk that call the area home.If exploring the Rocky Mountains is your thing, then look no further than the 300 miles of hiking trails and open spaces. Or stroll along the Riverwalk with endless shops and unique restaurants to choose from. Nearly anytime of year you can expect to see an abundance of wildlife with elk wandering the streets of downtown. Estes Park truly does not disappoint as a mountain town resort area, no matter what time of year you choose to visit.For more information and resources about exploring Colorado, visit the website at HashtagColoradoLife.com or @HashtagColoradoLife on Instagram.

Oct 8

8 min 10 sec

#56: Just west of Colorado Springs, at the foot of Pikes Peak, is the quirky mountain town of Manitou Springs. It’s known for its natural mineral springs, mountain landscapes, quaint shops, and beautiful parks. From the Cliff House to the Penny Arcade and the Manitou Incline trail, there are endless things to do in this small town. In this episode, Ryan and Carrie share the top things to do and their favorite places to see in Manitou Springs, Colorado.Many of the old 1900s buildings and homes in Manitou Springs are still standing, which gives the town an old, historic feel. If you’re looking for a unique walking tour with a laid-back vibe, then Manitou Springs is the town for you.For more information and resources about exploring Colorado, visit the website at HashtagColoradoLife.com or @HashtagColoradoLife on Instagram.

Sep 24

10 min 28 sec

#55: From vintage pinball machines to shooting galleries, the Penny Arcade in Manitou Springs is a magical walk back in time for everyone. This indoor/outdoor arcade features over 400 vintage games and outdoor rides. And there is something for all ages with dozens of classic pinball machines that are a throwback to their generation. Some games even date back to the 1930’s with at least one game that is over 100 years old!If you’re looking for a long-lost arcade game you haven’t played in years, or a unique vintage outdoor ride, you will love the Penny Arcade in Manitou Springs. Listen in as Ryan explains how to make the most out of your trip back in time.For more information and resources about exploring Colorado, visit the website at HashtagColoradoLife.com or @HashtagColoradoLife on Instagram.

Sep 10

5 min 15 sec

#54: Buena Vista, Colorado is located in Chaffee County, which is often considered a public land paradise. In less than 2.5 hours from Denver you can enjoy epic mountain views on the famous Colorado Trail, whitewater rafting on the Arkansas River, drive on the Collegiate Peaks Scenic Byway, hike along the Continental Divide, and camp in the San Isabel National Forest.The activities available in Buena Vista make this destination an amazing spot for couples seeking a romantic weekend or a fun family vacation.If you’re looking for an escape from the hustle-and-bustle of city life, Ryan and Carrie share their top recommendations for things to do in Buena Vista no matter what time of year.Plus, find out how you can get access to over $800 in savings towards local food, drinks, shopping, lodging and more -- all for free!For more information and resources about exploring Colorado, visit the website at HashtagColoradoLife.com or @HashtagColoradoLife on Instagram.

Aug 27

14 min 52 sec

#53: Breckenridge is a ski resort town in the Summit County of Colorado providing year round activities. It is one of most well-known ski towns in the country. And you can visit in the summer or fall without spending any money.  Yep, in this episode Ryan and Carrie talk about spending a day in Breckenridge for FREE. During their trips to Breck they found some free activities that are big  favorites. From visiting the small historic downtown with lots of shops and good food to enjoying year round rides up and down the mountainside on the Breckenridge Gondola there are endless things to do.They talk about seeing wildlife at the Cucumber Gulch Preserve, visiting Peak 7 and Peak 8 at the Breckenridge Ski Resort, and taking a photo with the 15ft tall Breckenridge Troll, Isak Heartstone. Listen in as Ryan and Carrie share all of the FREE things you can do in Breckenridge right now. Whether you're a newcomer or a native, you'll love this episode. For more information and resources about exploring Colorado, visit the website at HashtagColoradoLife.com or @HashtagColoradoLife on Instagram.

Aug 13

6 min 42 sec

#52: Breckenridge has a troll problem! But thankfully he’s a lovable 15-foot sculpture named Isak Heartstone. In this episode, Ryan shares where to find the Breckenridge Troll and how to visit him. From his location in Breck, to the best place to park, Ryan will give the rundown on what to expect.You can hike to visit the Troll all year round, anytime of day. But please know that this sculpture is Breckenridge’s most popular outdoor art exhibit. In fact, due to the sheer popularity in previous years, the Breckenridge Troll did not survive his first location. Still, he still resides in Breckenridge, Colorado with a more secluded and wooded home. The hike to see him is very easy and great for all skill levels. This free outdoor activity is fun for the whole family.As a bonus, you can also watch their latest video about the Breck Troll by following them on YouTube. Just search for Hashtag Colorado Life. For more information and resources about exploring Colorado, visit the website at HashtagColoradoLife.com or @HashtagColoradoLife on Instagram.

Jul 16

4 min 35 sec

#51: There are seemingly endless hiking spots and trails in Colorado Springs and the surrounding area. From beginner level hikes with relatively flat trails, to intense climbs that require expert hiking, and everything in between. The best part about hiking in the Springs is that most trails are seldom crowded with tourists, and are loved by Colorado locals. All of the hikes listed are free to visit, offer something unique, and have a wide degree of difficulty. If you’re looking for an escape from the hustle-and-bustle of the city, Ryan and Carrie are sharing their top 5 favorite hiking spots in Colorado Springs!And in this extra special episode, Ryan and Carrie are celebrating two years of the Hashtag Colorado Life blog and podcast! As a bonus, you can also watch their latest video by following them on YouTube. Just search for Hashtag Colorado Life.For more information and resources about exploring Colorado, visit the website at HashtagColoradoLife.com or @HashtagColoradoLife on Instagram.

Apr 9

7 min 12 sec

#50: What’s so great about living in Colorado Springs? Well, Ryan & Carrie have found 50 things they love most about living here. In this extra special episode join them as they celebrate the 50th episode of the Hashtag Colorado Life podcast! From loving the weather, to being snow bunnies, to the budding food scene and breweries, Colorado Springs has so much to offer. Listen in as they discuss their favorite things about living in the awesome square state. As both a native of Colorado and a newcomer to the state, Ryan & Carrie share exactly what it’s like to live in Colorado Springs. Learn more about the cost of living here, what the pot culture is really like, the small business scene, and how everyone balances work and life. If you have been thinking of moving to Colorado, then listen in! This Front Range Colorado city has so much to offer, whether you’re a young professional or family looking to expand, this could be the perfect place to put down roots.And thank you to everyone who has listened and supported the podcast over the past 50 episodes! Ryan & Carrie are excited to continue on this journey with you. For more information and resources about exploring Colorado, visit our website at HashtagColoradoLife.com or @HashtagColoradoLife on Instagram.

Feb 26

26 min 3 sec

#49: There's nothing quite like relaxing in a pool of natural hot springs water. In this episode, Ryan and Carrie talk about their top 5 picks for the best hot springs destinations in Colorado. They discuss their favorites and what makes each one so unique. From the more as-nature-intended style of Strawberry Park to the sheer scale of Glenwood Hot Springs, you’ll love these natural healing waters. So sit back, relax and let all your aches, pains and stress dissolve.The state of Colorado offers some memorable experiences whether you are enjoying the natural hot springs in the summer or winter months. Learn exactly how to get to each hot springs destination, as well as the amazing features that set each one apart. Ryan and Carrie also share some money-saving tips for when visiting each hot springs location, and the free upgrades that are included. These tips will help you get the most bang for your buck. Plus, they share some of the amazing history and stories that each resort has to offer.For more information and resources about exploring Colorado, visit our website at HashtagColoradoLife.com or @HashtagColoradoLife on Instagram.

Feb 12

11 min 46 sec

#48: What’s on your Colorado bucket list in 2021? This week Ryan and Carrie talk about what’s on their Colorado bucket list this year and their recommendations for memorable destinations. This list also includes places and sights they have already visited. Many of the ideas include iconic Colorado destinations and local favorites as well as lesser-known but still epic experiences. Ryan and Carrie share their updated list of activities and adventures for 2021. So, if you are looking for the best things to do in Colorado without busting your budget, then check out this episode.Listen in to the top 11 things Ryan and Carrie recommend that you add to your bucket list, too. Also, be sure to check out episode #23 if you want to listen to what was on their bucket list from 2020, and add any other destinations you may want to add to your list.For more information and resources about exploring Colorado, visit our website at HashtagColoradoLife.com or @HashtagColoradoLife on Instagram.

Jan 29

16 min 8 sec

#47: Ice Castles. Yes, you read that right! Ice. Castles. Is there anything more cool (literally) than that?! The Dillon Ice Castles are a popular winter destination that is quickly becoming Colorado’s most popular family adventure.Come the winter months, Dillon, Colorado (and several other places across the country) is home to magical, glowing Ice Castles. This unique experience only comes around once a year, typically opening in December and running through February or March (depending on the weather). It is like nothing you have ever experienced and is a truly awe-inspiring attraction!Just a short trip from Denver, the Ice Castles are a great outing for the whole family! In fact, Ryan and Carrie have visited the Ice Castles every year it has been available and it’s one of our favorite newest Colorado winter traditions to get some unique and truly awesome pictures day or night. Ryan and Carrie dive into the ins-and-outs of what to expect on your visit to Dillon's Ice Castles. From how to get there, where to park, what to expect, how much it costs, and the proper attire to wear. If you are thinking of visiting the Ice Castles in Dillon this year, here is everything you need to know to make the most of the experience this winter. For more information and resources about exploring Colorado, visit our website at HashtagColoradoLife.com or @HashtagColoradoLife on Instagram.

Jan 15

16 min 25 sec

#46: When it comes to Colorado in the winter there are some misconceptions floating around. The state gets a large amount of snow but also sees quite a few sunny days. In this episode you will learn what it’s like to live through a Colorado winter and what to expect -- as a native or a newcomer. Ryan and Carrie discuss the myths and truths about what a winter in Colorado is REALLY like.From the short fall and spring months to the worst snowstorms the state has ever seen, Colorado experiences all four seasons each year. And for the most part, the summers in Colorado are mild and winters are cold but not too extreme.Ryan and Carrie discuss the exact months that winter starts and ends, as well as how bad the winters really get. Plus, they share five of their best tips to prepare for Colorado winters and how you can make the most of them. For more information and resources about exploring Colorado, visit our website at HashtagColoradoLife.com or @HashtagColoradoLife on Instagram.

Jan 1

23 min 24 sec

#45: Whether you're coming from out of state or a local resident, packing and preparing for a ski trip to Colorado can be a headache to say the least! In this episode, Ryan and Carrie share their ski essential must-haves and easy-to-forget but equally important items to bring before hitting the Colorado slopes. Packing for a family (or solo) ski trip is a bit more involved than a normal vacation. With all of the winter gear, on top of the normal day-to-day items, packing for a Colorado ski trip can be overwhelming. But don't let the mountain of prep scare you!In this episode you can set your mind at ease by letting Ryan and Carrie to do the hard thinking for your next ski excursion. Make the most out of your trip and get as much relaxation in as possible! From the obvious ski necessities like quality, waterproof gloves to the less evident swimwear, this ski essentials list is a must-listen. They really speak to all the little things that fall into the "dang, I wish I woulda remembered that!" category that could take your trip from a good vacation to an unforgettable one. For more information and resources about exploring Colorado, visit our website at HashtagColoradoLife.com or @HashtagColoradoLife on Instagram.

Dec 2020

21 min 27 sec

#44: To celebrate Small Business Saturday we are highlighting popular companies that are based in or born in Colorado! There are quite a few companies that started in Colorado as well as some that might even surprise you. The state is well-known for supporting an entrepreneurial lifestyle along with delicious and seasonal food. In today’s episode Ryan and Carrie talk about the Colorado companies that keep our economy going and what makes each one great.From companies that started back in the 1800’s to small businesses that now employ more than 27,000 workers, these Colorado companies are staples in our local communities. Listen in as Ryan and Carrie discuss the history of each Colorado company and even share some honorable mentions of establishments that may surprise you. Plus, they share a special discount that’s exclusive to Hashtag Colorado Life listeners. For more information and resources about exploring Colorado, visit our website at HashtagColoradoLife.com or @HashtagColoradoLife on Instagram.

Nov 2020

17 min 55 sec

#43: Colorado has a long and storied history of hidden gold and silver in the mountains. The state has seen its share of boom towns and financial busts. And this makes for a colorful history as well as unique places to explore. Colorado is full of wild west stories, abandoned buildings, derelict mine shafts, and ghost towns. In today’s episode you will learn more about Colorado ghost towns you can actually visit and what makes each one unique. There are reportedly as many as 1,500 ghost towns around the state. But more conservative estimates put that number closer to 600. Due to incomplete records and legends that are now accepted as fact, no list will ever be complete.From abandoned ghost towns that are haunted, to historical buildings that still occupy residents, this list of eight ghost towns are the ones we feel like you just can’t miss. Listen in as Ryan and Carrie discuss the history of each ghost town, where they are located, and how to visit them for a fun and informative Colorado experience. For more information and resources about exploring Colorado, visit our website at HashtagColoradoLife.com or @HashtagColoradoLife on Instagram.

Nov 2020

14 min 44 sec

#42: This episode is a little spooky and scary because we are talking about Blucifer: Denver's spooky and demonic horse. This giant blue horse statue is what you see when driving in and out of the Denver International Airport. It has a creepy vibe with a demonic stance and glowing red eyes, not to mention the chilling history behind it. In this episode, Ryan and Carrie dive into the history of Blucifer and how it came to be one of the creepiest icons in Colorado.You will learn exactly what Blucifer is, the artist behind this creation and his death, as well as how much it is insured by the city of Denver. This sculpture has been the center of controversy since before it was even finished. From killing the artist who created it, to going through legal battles, Blue Mustang has a lot of history behind it. Listen in as Ryan and Carrie discuss Denver’s deadly horse and how it came to be one of the creepiest and most controversial pieces of art in Colorado.For more information and resources about exploring Colorado, visit our website at HashtagColoradoLife.com or @HashtagColoradoLife on Instagram.

Oct 2020

9 min 1 sec

#41: From wild west stories to gold rush ghost towns, Colorado is known for its colorful history. And Doc Holliday’s story is no different. Doc Holliday is well-known for being a dentist, gambler and gunfighter in the late 1800’s. Visiting his grave is one of the top attractions in Glenwood Springs. In this episode, you will learn more about Colorado and the iconic story of Doc Holliday, how he died, and how to visit his tombstone. Ryan and Carrie share details of Doc’s life and death, as well as where he is buried. The hike up to Doc Holliday’s grave is no easy feat. However, this fun and free walk ends with a beautiful view overlooking Glenwood Springs below, as well as tons of historical stories seen throughout Linwood Cemetery.While in the city, you can learn more about Doc Holliday’s life thanks to the Doc Holliday Museum. This is a standalone museum dedicated to the life and artifacts of Doc Holliday, right in the heart of downtown Glenwood Springs.For more information and resources about exploring Colorado, visit our website at HashtagColoradoLife.com or @HashtagColoradoLife on Instagram.

Oct 2020

9 min 38 sec

#40: Colorado Springs has a number of unique and tasty coffee shops and tea houses. In this episode, Ryan and Carrie take a dive into 10 of their favorite spots around the city to get a hot cup of brew or hot leaf juice. They talk about how each place serves up a one-of-a-kind steaming mug and what makes the shops themselves noteworthy. Whether you’re looking for unique ambiance or stellar views, the coffee and tea offered throughout Colorado Springs is a must-try. You'll learn about some real coffee house gems dotted across the city to grab a quick pick-me-up or nestle in with a good book and enjoy the atmosphere. Not only that, but you’ll find some insight on the other goodies offered by these venues. From handmade steamed dumplings at a traditional Chinese tea house, to decadent French pastries at a hole in the wall java spot, you'll discover some new and delightful places to get some refreshments around the Springs.For more information and resources about exploring Colorado, visit our website at HashtagColoradoLife.com or @HashtagColoradoLife on Instagram.

Oct 2020

13 min 26 sec

#39: Garden of the Gods is a popular tourist destination in Colorado Springs. And for good reason! This magnificent natural wonder is a National Natural Landmark and is most well-known as one of Colorado’s most photographed views. Plus, the park is completely free to explore nearly all year round. In this episode, Ryan and Carrie share the history of Garden of the Gods and 10 epic things to do and to see when visiting this iconic destination.You will learn exactly where Garden of the Gods is located, how to get there from Denver, and how the Park got its name. Plus, Ryan and Carrie share their favorite things to do, best hiking trails, and epic formations that are a must-see. From finding the best places to stop for food, the top jeep and trolley tours, and exploring a free museum that’s for all ages, use these local tips to plan your next trip to Garden of the Gods. For more information and resources about exploring Colorado, visit our website at HashtagColoradoLife.com or @HashtagColoradoLife on Instagram.

Sep 2020

17 min 36 sec

#38. Fall in Colorado is a magical time of year when the leaves start changing and the weather cools down! Ryan and Carrie share their favorite fall festivals and autumn adventures from across the state. Whether it’s pumpkin picking or taking a stunning mountain drive, there’s so much to explore during Colorado in the fall.Learn about the best fall activities along the Front Range, including where to find the largest pumpkin patch in the state, what festivals are happening at the local zoos and botanic gardens, and where to watch people shoot pumpkins out of canons. (Yes, really!)They also share their favorite fall drives (Glenwood Canyon is stunning this time of year!), great fall-feeling small mountain towns, like the Estes Park, and some small mountain town festivals you may not be familiar with, like the Telluride Festival of Cars and Color. There’s also plenty of food-based autumn activities, like fall farmers markets (pumpkin pie, anyone?) and the famous chile festival in Pueblo.For more information and resources about exploring Colorado, visit our website at HashtagColoradoLife.com or @HashtagColoradoLife on Instagram.

Sep 2020

25 min 44 sec

#37: Food trucks are a great way to try unique and flavorful food from local vendors. And Colorado Springs has a wide variety of delicious food trucks to choose from. Listen in as Ryan and Carrie share their favorite food trucks from local chefs, their menu recommendations, and how to find one near you.If you are looking for new food to try, or are entertaining friends or family from out of town, food trucks are a fun experience. And there are a surprising amount of chef-owned and operated food trucks in Colorado Springs. Learn more about where these food trucks hang out in Colorado Springs, some of the most popular events and festivals, as well as what to order from their menus. Eat some authentic local produce and support Colorado’s food truck scene! For more information and resources about exploring Colorado, visit our website at HashtagColoradoLife.com or @HashtagColoradoLife on Instagram.

Aug 2020

18 min 27 sec

#36: Ever wanted to be immersed in the history of Colorado’s gold rush? Cripple Creek, Colorado has a past that’s steeped in gold and gambling, which makes it a perfect day trip getaway. Whether you are visiting from out of town, or out of state, Cripple Creek is a small town that locals love visiting. And there are a surprisingly amount of kid-friendly things to do here. Listen in as Ryan and Carrie share their top recommendations for activities, things to see, and places to eat.Learn about the history of Cripple Creek, how the town got its name, and how to drive there from Denver or Colorado Springs. You can even visit and explore a working gold mine in the area.There is so much to do and to see from outdoor activities, local festivals, museums, hiking trails, local restaurants, small shops, and even a vintage candy store! For more information and resources about exploring Colorado, visit our website at HashtagColoradoLife.com or @HashtagColoradoLife on Instagram.

Aug 2020

23 min 57 sec

#35: The Paint Mines Interpretive Park is a unique and colorful experience like nothing else in Colorado! It is one of the few hiking spots that is not located in the mountains and is instead out east on the plains. If you are looking for a short, day trip adventure outdoors, that doesn’t cost any money, you will enjoy exploring the Paint Mines Park.In this episode, Ryan and Carrie dive into the history of the Paint Mines, how they received their name, how the formations were formed, and the unique geological features you don’t want to miss. You will learn exactly what to expect when visiting the Park, where it is located, and how to get there if you live in Denver or Colorado Springs. Ryan and Carrie also share tips for what to bring on your day trip, and a trail guide for hiking the most popular trail to see the Paint Mines Interpretive Park to the fullest.  There is so much nature to explore and wildlife to see in the area, they hope this episode inspires you to get outside and explore a fun attraction by going out east for a day! For more information and resources about exploring Colorado, visit our website at HashtagColoradoLife.com or @HashtagColoradoLife on Instagram.

Jul 2020

12 min 10 sec

#34: Colorado is known for having many famous peaks and popular mountain ranges. But what makes each one special? Some mountains are ski resorts while others make up the second largest mountain range in the United States.In this episode, Ryan and Carrie share some fun facts about the Colorado mountains that are popular as well as how to visit and explore the massive grandeur of each one.You will learn exactly what constitutes a mountain, which peaks are most famous and why, how many fourteeners there are, and the total number of mountains in Colorado (this may surprise you!). Ryan and Carrie also talk about the location of each mountain and how you can climb, hike or drive to enjoy each one. There is so much nature to explore and gorgeous scenery to see, they hope this episode inspires you to take in the “purple mountain majesties” that Colorado offers. For more information and resources about exploring Colorado, visit our website at HashtagColoradoLife.com or @HashtagColoradoLife on Instagram.

Jul 2020

18 min 42 sec

#33: Enjoying Colorado is not complete without exploring a mountain town. Each town has a unique vibe, and offers a wide range of fun things to do all year long. Listen in as Ryan and Carrie share their list of the 7 best mountain towns, including ones they have visited and ones that are on their Colorado bucket list.These Colorado mountain towns allow you to do more than just skiing and snowboarding. So, if you are planning a ski trip, check out the episode all about the Best Ski Towns in Colorado.These mountain towns offer a wide array of things to do no matter what time of year. There is boating, fishing, snow tubing, snowshoeing, ice skating, shopping, and even outdoor Ice Castles to explore. Everyone in your family is sure to find something they enjoy, and you will never get bored of this list.For more information and resources about exploring Colorado, visit our website at HashtagColoradoLife.com or @HashtagColoradoLife on Instagram.

Jun 2020

13 min 22 sec

#32: Whether you are visiting from out of town, or out of state, Woodland Park, Colorado is a best-kept secret that locals love! Ryan and Carrie share their top recommendations for activities, things to do, places to eat, and where to stay in this mountain town. As both a native and newcomer to the state, they have visited Woodland Park dozens of times. You will be surprised that this town hosts some of the country's top museums and outdoor activities.You will learn about the history of Woodland Park, how the town got its name, and how to get there from Denver or Colorado Springs. And it is listed as a top 40 best places to retire in Colorado! There is so much to do and to see from outdoor activities, local festivals, museums, hiking trails, lakes, camping spots and much more.For more information and resources about exploring Colorado, visit our website at HashtagColoradoLife.com or @HashtagColoradoLife on Instagram.

Jun 2020

23 min 43 sec

#31: If you want to enjoy adventures as a family, you have to find smart ways to explore Colorado together. In this episode, Carrie is joined by Esther Davy of ColoradoWithKids.co to talk about fun things to do in Colorado when you have little ones. They discuss little-known tips and some recommendations for inexpensive entertainment as well as equipment for enjoying Colorado with kids.Esther shares the importance of having an adventure mindset not only as a parent but also as a kid. And that means always being ready for new opportunities but being prepared with the essentials. She also shares some of her favorite items for family-friendly hikes and places to eat, plus, what to include in your “Bug Out Bag” for adventures on the go. If you are looking for ways to enjoy the state of Colorado but aren’t sure how to do that effectively with kids, then this episode is a must-listen. We hope this inspires you to get outside and explore all of what Colorado has to offer for both kids and adults! You can find out more about Esther Davy at ColoradoWithKids.co. For more information and resources about exploring Colorado, visit our website at HashtagColoradoLife.com or @HashtagColoradoLife on Instagram.

May 2020

28 min 48 sec

#30: Now more than ever local businesses need our support, and a little can go a long way. In this episode Ryan and Carrie share some creative ways to support local businesses without spending a ton of money! As a small business in Colorado, they have first-hand experience with many of these tips. If you are looking for easy ways to shop small without spending a lot of money, you will love these ideas!Ryan and Carrie share 14 ways you can shop small and how doing this can positively affect your local community. Some of these tips are specific to supporting Colorado businesses, but many of them will work for supporting a local community no matter where you live. If you are interested in a holiday like Small Business Saturday, then this episode is a must-listen!For more information and resources about exploring Colorado, visit our website at HashtagColoradoLife.com or @HashtagColoradoLife on Instagram.

May 2020

12 min 3 sec

#29: Looking for a budget-friendly way to explore Colorado? Why not start by planning the perfect Colorado day trip? Day trips are fun to plan and typically do not cost a lot to enjoy. Taking time to plan a short trip will give you something to look forward to and give you ideas for your next adventure. It doesn’t matter what is happening right now, planning a Colorado day trip is a great way to spice up your life. In this episode Ryan and Carrie share 12 tips to help you plan an epic day trip, no matter what time of year. They share their personal tips and favorite experiences for traveling all over the state. Listen in as they discuss tips for finding the perfect destination, planning an epic trip, and finding deals and savings to stick to your budget. Plus, they share some of their favorite day trip getaways and recommendations for places that you can add to your bucket list this year. For more information and resources about exploring Colorado, visit our website at HashtagColoradoLife.com or @HashtagColoradoLife on Instagram.

Apr 2020

16 min 53 sec

#28: Right now the world is in crisis mode and there is uncertainty everywhere. With the spread of Coronavirus comes volatile changes in the economy and fear of the future as a whole. How do you find enjoyment during this time? Many Coloradans have lost their jobs or had to close their small businesses. And we have been instructed to enact strategies of self-quarantine and many of us can not leave the house. What can you do to remain positive until this crisis is over?That is what Ryan and Carrie are sharing in today’s podcast episode. There are still ways to enjoy Colorado safely during Coronavirus, while limiting possible exposure. Plus, they share a personal update on the future of the Colorado travel podcast.For more information and resources about exploring Colorado, visit our website at HashtagColoradoLife.com or @HashtagColoradoLife on Instagram.

Mar 2020

16 min 47 sec

#27: With housing prices continuing to rise in Colorado, is buying a home a good investment? Ryan and Carrie answer this important question and share their personal journey of buying a house in the square state. Whether you are a native or a transplant to Colorado, it can feel like you get very little square footage for the money. But there are lots of other pros and cons to consider.The Colorado housing market moves fast and you need a good real estate agent to help give you an edge. Ryan and Carrie also share some little-known home-buying secrets, from using an escalation clause to taking advantage of Colorado mortgage assistance programs.There is a lot of paperwork and the process can be a slow one. You may lose out on offers, or not get approved for the amount you were hoping for. This episode details an honest look at what it’s like to buy a home in Colorado and if the investment is worth it.For more information and resources about exploring Colorado, visit our website at HashtagColoradoLife.com or @HashtagColoradoLife on Instagram.

Mar 2020

33 min 32 sec

#26: Wanting to visit Colorado Springs? What are the top things to do and best places to eat? This 48-hour itinerary is expertly crafted by Colorado Springs residents, Ryan and Carrie. With gorgeous views of the Rocky Mountains and rapidly expanding amenities, Colorado Springs has an endless amount of culture, outdoor activities, and local food.If you had just two days to explore all that Colorado Springs has to offer, what are the top must-do things? Ryan and Carrie share their ideal 48-hour itinerary for exploring “The Springs” from a local’s perspective. You will discover their favorite indoor and outdoor activities, the best restaurants, and fun night-time spots.They also discuss the best places to stay while you are here, and how to explore all of the nature Colorado has to offer. Plus, Colorado Springs is home to Garden of the Gods, the Olympic Training Center, a zoo built into the mountains, and award-winning food. There’s always something to do no matter what time of day!If you only have 48 hours to explore, they hope this inspires you to enjoy everything that this bustling mountain city has to offer!For more information and resources about exploring Colorado, visit our website at HashtagColoradoLife.com or @HashtagColoradoLife on Instagram.

Feb 2020

40 min 5 sec

#25: During the winter, Colorado is known for epic skiing and snowboarding. And there are plenty of awesome ski towns to choose from. How can you ever decide? In this episode, Ryan and Carrie discuss their top recommendations for the best ski towns in Colorado and what makes each one great.You will discover the unique benefits, local features, and skiing options that each town has to offer. Plus, you will learn what’s nearby and what you can do both on and off the slopes.No matter how you plan to enjoy the powder, Colorado has the perfect destination! And the great news is, that most of the major ski resorts in Colorado are within a few hours’ drive of Denver.Ryan and Carrie share local information and insider tips for getting to the resorts, and the must-see attractions that each ski town offers. You won’t be disappointed with these best ski town recommendations!For more information and resources about exploring Colorado, visit our website at HashtagColoradoLife.com or @HashtagColoradoLife on Instagram.

Feb 2020

24 min 54 sec

#24: Feeling a bit of cabin fever? Ryan and Carrie discuss 10 fun and unique winter date ideas to help you escape the winter blues. These non-traditional date ideas are indoors so they are perfect for any special occasion, as well as being kid-friendly. Many of the tips and ideas for going out are inexpensive and budget-friendly, so you won’t break the bank while having a good time. Whether it comes to a romantic night out for two, a day trip for your whole family, or an afternoon out with friends, there really is something for everyone. You will have some fun, spend time with your loved ones, and enjoy the awesome entertainment and education that Colorado has to offer. We hope this inspires you to explore these unique and non-traditional winter date ideas for couples, families, and friends.For more information and resources about exploring Colorado, visit our website at HashtagColoradoLife.com or @HashtagColoradoLife on Instagram.

Feb 2020

21 min 36 sec

#23: What’s on your Colorado bucket list? In this bonus episode Ryan and Carrie talk about the must-see and must-do things to add to your Colorado bucket list. With the mountains in your backyard, an ever-growing food scene, and endless indoor and outdoor activities where do you start? There are so many things to do and cities to explore!Ryan and Carrie share the activities and adventures that are on their Colorado bucket list. They also discuss the places and sights they have already visited. Many of the ideas include iconic Colorado destinations and local favorites, as well as lesser-known but still epic experiences.If you are looking for the best things to do in Colorado without busting your budget, that’s what this episode is all about. Find out the top 16 things Ryan and Carrie recommend you add to your bucket list. Plus, these are great suggestions for discovering within your first year of living in the square state.For more information and resources about exploring Colorado, visit our website at HashtagColoradoLife.com or @HashtagColoradoLife on Instagram.

Jan 2020

24 min 56 sec

#22: All the world’s a stage, but Colorado has a special place in the land of theater. Carrie is joined by Alex Miller of OnStageColorado.com to talk about theater culture in Colorado. They discuss what makes the theater scene here so vibrant and unique, where to find both popular and tucked-away theaters in Colorado, and how to start attending shows if you’re new to the theater world.Alex shares a run down of some of the 13 professional theater companies across the state. This includes larger theater companies at the Denver Center and the Arvada Center, and smaller theater troupes like Backstage Theater in Breckenridge that’s still going strong after 40+ seasons. He also shares some of his favorite hidden gems, like Miners Alley Playhouse in Golden (a small theater with a saloon vibe) and the Lake Dillon Theatre Company in Silverthorne, which is housed in a beautiful new arts complex. Finally, Alex shares tips for how to look for and pick shows across the state, whether you’re newer to the theater scene or a seasoned theater-goer.We hope this inspires you to check out the Colorado theater scene. If you’re looking for a high-caliber touring Broadway show or a local production in a small mountain town, there’s a show for everyone!You can find out more about Alex Miller and the Colorado theater scene at OnStageColorado.com.For more information and resources about exploring Colorado, visit our website at HashtagColoradoLife.com or @HashtagColoradoLife on Instagram.

Dec 2019

22 min 7 sec

#21. Nothing quite beats a Colorado winter wonderland during the holiday season. And there is plenty to do to celebrate this time of year! Ryan and Carrie share their favorite holiday events and celebrations from across the Front Range and beyond. Whether you’re embracing the cold with an outdoor parade, or soaking up the season with a Christmas concert, there are so many ways to enjoy the holidays in Colorado.Learn about some of Ryan and Carrie’s top ways to get into the Christmas spirit. Their favorites include holiday musicals and classic performances on the Front Range, like a symphonic rendition of Home Alone or a master violinist dancing on stage to Christmas classics. They discuss where to go for epic light displays, places with the best Santa meet-and-greet opportunities, and how to sneak a peek of the elves in Santa’s workshop. (Here’s a hint: the Denver Botanic Gardens has got you covered in multiple locations!). Finally, no episode of this podcast is complete without a little time spent chatting about Carrie’s love of trains. They talk about the unique holiday train rides that pop up around the state during this magical time of year.Hopefully your holiday season is made all the more merry and bright with these Colorado Christmastime celebrations!For more information and resources about exploring Colorado, visit our website at HashtagColoradoLife.com or @HashtagColoradoLife on Instagram.

Nov 2019

14 min 7 sec

#20: Whether you’re a local or an out-of-towner, there are plenty of ways to enjoy Colorado’s famous world-class skiing! Ryan and Carrie share secrets and tips for planning an epic Colorado ski trip. They talk about what ski resorts to check out, how to avoid the crowds, and tips for saving a ton of money while enjoying the Colorado slopes.They discuss the differences between the major ski resorts and what you can expect out of a trip to the mountains. Ryan and Carrie also break down the best times to head up into the mountains, including the timeframe that’s considered peak season (and peak prices), and how to take advantage of less crowds during “shoulder season.”Finally, they chat about ways to save money on lift tickets and ski gear, including spring sales at local ski gear shops, buying lift tickets through partnering grocery stores, and taking advantage of ski passes like the Ikon pass and Epic pass.So whether you’re a weekend warrior driving up to the mountains before the sun rises, or you’re planning a ski trip months in advance, hopefully you get to soak up some great Colorado powder -- and save some money, too!For more information and resources about exploring Colorado, visit our website at HashtagColoradoLife.com or @HashtagColoradoLife on Instagram.

Nov 2019

16 min 34 sec

#19: If you’re craving a mountain-town feel with resort-quality skiing and activities, Breckenridge is the town for you! Ryan and Carrie share recommendations for soaking up all the outdoor activities, world-class eateries, and stunning scenery that “Breck” has to offer. Whether it’s a winter ski trip or summer-time hiking, Breckenridge is a magical mountain town worth the visit.Ryan and Carrie share their top spots to stay in town (including a quality chain hotel that offers a lodge-like feel), and their favorite places for a fancy or casual apres ski meal. Learn about Breckenridge’s odd connection to the U.S. Vice President in the 1860s and how it differs from other ski resorts in the area.Finally, be sure to check out the year-round festivals in and around Main Street. Ryan and Carrie discuss the must-see events, including the Race of the Santas, and International Snow Sculpture Championships.So even if you don’t hit the slopes, Breckeridge has plenty to offer and is definitely worth the visit. Full moon snowshoeing, anyone?For more information and resources about exploring Colorado, visit our website at HashtagColoradoLife.com or @HashtagColoradoLife on Instagram.

Nov 2019

21 min 21 sec

#18: Got 15 minutes? Here are 15 delicious Colorado brunch recommendations. Ryan and Carrie share their top restaurants and cafes for weekend (and even weekday) breakfast fare, including their favorite spots for eggs benedict, biscuits and gravy, and out-of-this-world doughnuts.Ryan and Carrie pack all of the best brunch places in a 15-minute rundown. They share their favorite Square State chains, including Colorado-established favorites like Snooze and Lucile’s Creole. They also review their favorite menu items from different towns across the Front Range, like specialty New Mexican plates found in Boulder, or croissants the size of your face in Colorado Springs. They also share some of their favorite mountain town brunch spots, including where to get a “cronut” in Glenwood Springs, and a stellar crepe in Breckenridge. Finally, they discuss coveted spots on their brunch bucket lists and share some great brunch recommendations for the Hashtag Colorado Life audience.They hope this inspires you to explore new brunch spots around Colorado. Whether you’re Team Eggs Benedict or Team Biscuits and Gravy, there’s plenty of great breakfast spots to try in our great state.For more information and resources about exploring Colorado, visit our website at HashtagColoradoLife.com or @HashtagColoradoLife on Instagram.

Oct 2019

17 min 48 sec

#17: When the seasons start to change in the Square State, there’s nothing quite like a scenic drive into the Colorado mountains. From winding canyons to the highest mountain passes, Ryan and Carrie share their favorite colorful fall mountain drives for enjoying the changing foliage.Ryan and Carrie talk about the best times of year to soak up the fall colors and why Colorado’s fall foliage window changes every season. They also share their favorite routes into the mountains, including the stunning but winding Highway 6 route, the drive between Woodland Park and Hartsel, and Hosier pass. Finally, they share some of the Colorado fall drives on their bucket list, including Independence Pass, and the best route for seeing a ton of Colorado’s famous 14ers, i.e. mountains that peak at over 14,000 feet! Whether you’re a leaf-peeper or a wildlife seeker, this is a beautiful time of year to take a trip through Colorado’s epic mountain landscape. Nature won’t disappoint you if you do!For more information and resources about exploring Colorado, visit our website at HashtagColoradoLife.com or @HashtagColoradoLife on Instagram.

Oct 2019

17 min

#16: If you just had two days to explore Denver, what should you do and where should you eat? Ryan and Carrie share their ideal 48-hour itinerary for exploring Colorado’s capital. You’ll discover their favorite day-time activities, the best restaurants, and fun night-time spots for exploring the Square State’s largest metropolitan city.Ryan and Carrie share their favorite recommendations for a jam-packed but leisurely itinerary in Denver. They review their favorite Denver food spots -- including where to find seasonally-flavored pancakes, Denver’s most famous ramen spot, and sustainable chef-inspired sushi. When you’re not stuffing your face with food, they discuss activities from walking around one of Denver’s lakes to exploring Denver’s world-class museums. Finally, Ryan and Carrie also share their favorite things to do when the sun sets. Whether it’s catching a Rockies game or visiting Denver’s unique dessert bar, there’s always something to do no matter what time of day.Even if you only have 48 hours to explore, they hope this inspires you to soak up everything that this bustling metropolitan city has to offer!For more information and resources about exploring Colorado, visit our website at HashtagColoradoLife.com or @HashtagColoradoLife on Instagram.

Oct 2019

30 min 41 sec

#15: Cheers to Colorado beer! Ryan is joined by friend and Colorado craft beer connoisseur Matt Giovanisci of BrewCabin.com to talk about beer in the Square State. They discuss their favorite independent breweries in Colorado, the best beer festivals across the state, and how to start getting into the Colorado beer scene if you’re new to the brew.Matt shares his top three favorite Colorado breweries, including a few up in the mountains, like a newer brewery up in Nederland, CO and Matt’s all-time favorite, Outer Range in Frisco. He also shares his favorite beer festivals from across the Front Range, like the Great American Beer Festival, and Weldwerks Invitational. Both Ryan and Matt talk about their favorite ways to discover and try new beer across the state. They also chat about their love-hate relationship with the Coors factory in Golden, CO. No matter how you feel about Big Beer, it’s still worth going on the tour -- and there’s a discount for Colorado residents!We hope this inspires you to check out the Colorado beer scene and try some new brews. Whether it’s a kolsch-style brew or a New England IPA, there’s a beer for everyone!You can find out more about Matt Giovanisci and his homebrewing website at www.BrewCabin.com For more information and resources about exploring Colorado, visit our website at HashtagColoradoLife.com or @HashtagColoradoLife on Instagram.

Oct 2019

28 min 45 sec

#14: Colorado was built on the back of the gold rush, and nothing epitomizes the Wild West like the town of Old Colorado City! Ryan and Carrie share their favorite activities and spots to see in historic Old Colorado City (aka OCC). Whether you’re taking in Territory Days or browsing quaint historical shops, this is the town for soaking in the old-timey western days of the Square State.While it’s technically a neighborhood of Colorado Springs, Old Colorado City has its own unique character. Learn about Old Colorado City’s historic legacy as a mining town and how it officially became a part of Colorado Springs.Ryan and Carrie also share about the best historical shops, cafes, restaurants and bars in this pioneer town (including an amazing German bakery). Be sure to check out the ghost tour through the underground tunnels, and learn about the seedy history of the town’s saloons and brothels. There’s also plenty of events to enjoy, like Territory Days, the farmer’s market, and the First Friday Art Walk. You can even take a self-guided walking tour with the Old Colorado City Walking Tour App!If you’re looking for some flavor of the Wild West and some turn-of-the-century charm, Old Colorado City is worth a visit!For more information and resources about exploring Colorado, visit our website at HashtagColoradoLife.com or @HashtagColoradoLife on Instagram.

Oct 2019

21 min 12 sec

#13: How exactly do you train for a hike that has more stairs than the Empire State Building? Carrie is joined by friend and Colorado resident Stephanie McGuirt to talk about climbing and training for the Manitou Incline. They discuss how they trained for this steep hike, what they packed, and what it felt like climbing up one of Colorado’s most extreme trails.Carrie and Stephanie talk about the steps they took (no pun intended!) to train for this 2,744-step climb with a 2,000-foot elevation gain. With an average incline of 41%, the Manitou Incline is one of the most challenging hikes in the Colorado Springs area, It attracts athletes and amateurs alike to this extreme trail.Both Carrie and Stephanie share their training routine, including their favorite training trails (like Pulpit Rock and the much harder Blodgett Peak) and how they used the AllTrails app to find the right hikes to practice. They also share how they prepared for the day-of, including what they packed -- and what they would’ve done differently, like bringing more electrolyte drinks or wearing sneakers instead of hiking boots. Finally, they offer tips for getting to the trail head (there’s a free shuttle!) and how to pace yourself when you’re on the incline.We hope this inspires you to tackle the Manitou Incline. Just remember to pack extra electrolytes and get a good night’s sleep before you do!You can find out more about Stephanie McGuirt and her work at Pinnacle Flow Bookkeeping, visit www.PinnacleFlowBooks.com.For more information and resources about exploring Colorado, visit our website at HashtagColoradoLife.com or @HashtagColoradoLife on Instagram.

Sep 2019

35 min 21 sec

BONUS #1: It’s road trip time! Whether it’s a drive within Colorado or a trip across state lines, there are tons of essentials and helpful hacks that can help make your road trip as smooth as possible.Ryan and Carrie share their favorite tips for making the most of a long drive, including how to prepare your vehicle for a road trip in Colorado and how to pass the time on the road (audio books are a must-have!). They also review their favorite phone apps to help you navigate longer drives. Whether you’re curious about local attractions, searching for the cleanest rest stop or looking for the cheapest gas, there’s an app for that! And they’ve got tips for saving money on hotel stays, too.Fill up the gas tank, pack some snacks and don’t forget to use the right wiper fluid if you’re expecting snow! They hope this helps you prepare for the best road trip possible and avoid any unexpected detours along the way.For more information and resources about exploring Colorado, visit our website at HashtagColoradoLife.com or @HashtagColoradoLife on Instagram.

Jul 2019

31 min 44 sec

#10: If there’s one thing Coloradans are known for, it’s enjoying life outside -- no matter what the weather is. And the square state has plenty of festivals and outdoor activities to enjoy with friends and family of all ages! Ryan and Carrie share the most popular festivals and outdoors attractions to explore on the Front Range and beyond. From hot air balloon festivals to rodeos, there’s plenty of activities to explore during the summer or winter months. Ryan reminiscences about going to the state fair as a kid growing up in Colorado -- and the time he almost met Michael Jackson at one of Denver’s famous amusement parks. And Carrie talks about some of her favorite outdoor traditions, like exploring the local zoos (can you guess which Colorado zoo was voted in the top 10 zoos by USA today?).Whether you’re looking for some Shakespeare in the park or a wooden roller coaster in Denver city limits, you’ll always find something to keep you entertained outdoors in Colorado.For more information and resources about exploring Colorado, visit our website at HashtagColoradoLife.com or @HashtagColoradoLife on Instagram.

Jun 2019

27 min 31 sec