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The 20 best restaurants in Denver

Denver locals have the work-hard-play-hard lifestyle nailed – and it's that philosophy which shines through in the explosion of restaurants, things to do, cafes and food hall collectives. Plus, the ongoing revitalization of downtown’s perimeter neighborhoods like Lower Highland (LoHi) and River North (RiNo) continues to attract ambitious new culinary projects, which in turn pushes longtime pioneers to strengthen their commitments to patrons.

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Conserving the Cline: A community effort to protect a historic ranch

On the horizon, barely visible through the falling snow, you can see them: elk, by the hundreds, silhouetted against the shadowy mountains beyond. Rolling meadows stretch in every direction, and Tarryall Creek, framed by the muted deep-gold of late-fall willows and shrubs, snakes its way through the land. Just off a rutted dirt road, an adobe-style pueblo-revival ranch house, built in 1928, stands hollowly, yet proudly over the landscape it anchors—a reminder of a bygone era, and a beacon of potential.

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The 13 best things to do in Boulder

Hugging the line between mountains and plains, Denver’s neighbor to the north is one part outdoor haven, one part college town, and one part posh dining and entertainment mecca. With unrivaled access to trails, canyons and foothills, there’s a hike or bike ride out the back door for every type of adventurer, and a cold microbrew or farm-to-table restaurant at the end of every trail. Though the town has ballooned in recent years with an influx of retail and tech (ahem, shiny new Google campus), the quirky “old Boulder” vibe is still alive and well if you know where to look.

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The 10 best things to do in Estes Park

Surrounded by some of Colorado’s most majestic peaks, Estes Park is a hamlet that stands apart from the typical mountain town. Perhaps it’s because there’s no mega ski resort here; just unfettered access to one of the most treasured national parks in the country and an outdoor culture that boasts a charm all its own. Just 1.5 hours northwest of Denver, the town is a hub for all things Rocky Mountain, from wilderness adventures to wildlife watching to artisan booze made with the alpine waters from the neighboring peaks. If you can, plan your trip for late September, when the aspens are in full golden bloom and the elk are out in droves during rutting season, filling the air with their haunting bugling. Whether you’re an adrenaline junky in search of your next thrill or more of a sit-back-and-take-it-all-in kind of traveler, Estes Park has plenty to keep you entertained.

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The 10 best brunch restaurants in Denver

If you’re not brunching in Denver, you’re doing the city wrong. In the past few years, the lingering weekend meal has been elevated to an art form in the Mile High City. With the recent residential and dining boom in Lower Highland (LoHi) and the revitalization of the River North (RiNo) warehouse-turned-art district, it’s no surprise that the brunch scene and options for things to do on that buzzy side of the city has followed in a big way. But the cool thing about Denver is that the longtime stalwarts in the quieter city ’hoods continue to thrive, even amid the sea of see-and-be-seen brunch spots across town. What the places on this list have in common is that they know what they do well—and they’re committed to their craft, whether it’s trendy small plates on a gritty-turned-glam block, a lavish champagne spread in a historic hotel or beignets and Bloody’s with mismatched napkins. So decide what you crave, then check out these Denver restaurants to get your brunch game on.

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The 10 best restaurants in Fort Collins

Colorado’s fourth-largest city and the northernmost hub of the Front Range, Fort Collins used to be considered one-part outdoorsy, one part college town, and one part agriculture. Today, it’s got another part: a growing foodie reputation. Buoyed by the exploding craft beer scene—it’s got nearly two dozen breweries that produce almost 70 percent of the state’s craft beer—Fort Collins is home to everything from wallet-friendly gourmet taco shops to historic farmhouses-turned-eateries that plate up the harvests from all those nearby farms and ranches.

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The 10 best restaurants in Boulder

If Boulder is best known for its out-the-back-door access to all things bike, hike, and mountain, a close second is its burgeoning upscale culinary scene. Chefs with the best pedigrees in the business gravitate toward the buzzing town flanked by the Rockies to the west and farms, pastures, and green space in, well, every other direction. It’s a veritable haven for locavores in search of inventive farm-to-table meals, whether served as a five-course artisan tasting menu or a juicy grass-fed burger and a microbrew. No longer a city where the food and drink come second to your list of adventurous things to do, Boulder’s dining scene is the adventure these days.

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The 10 best hotels in Colorado Springs

Outdoor access, striking mountain views, and historic character dominate the hotel scene in Colorado Springs. The Pikes Peak region in particular, anchored by Colorado Springs, is renowned for its majestic mountain views, western mining lore, and endless recreation opportunities. So it’s no surprise that the city and its neighboring hamlets offer a plethora of lodging options for the streams of outdoor enthusiasts and history buffs that flock to this picturesque gateway city on Colorado’s Front Range. And sure, you could stay in any hotel and find yourself a trail to hike or a historic building to ogle. But why not book a place where you’re immersed in the very essence of the rugged former mining region and its resident grande dame, Pikes Peak?

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The 20 best things to do in Colorado Springs

At the foot of the Rockies along the storied Front Range of Colorado, Colorado Springs is a treasure trove of outdoor pursuits suitable for everyone from Olympic athletes to the littlest explorers. The splendor of the scenery, from majestic red rock formations and mesmerizing waterfalls to picturesque alpine lakes, inspires an active way of life that draws visitors from around the globe. But that’s not to say the museums, restaurants, and hotels aren’t world-class in and of themselves. Rich with the history of a pioneering people, the region has no shortage of ways to get acquainted with the Wild West and the frontier spirit that shapes the city’s character and heritage. So rustle up your inner cowboy and start exploring.

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The Green Heart of Central Africa

If you’re like billions of people on the planet, you get up in the morning, go to work to provide for your family, and come home at night with something for dinner. Your picture might be framed a little differently, but the details boil down to the same thing: livelihood. A means of support or subsistence. Now imagine your livelihood just…ends. Imagine that someone with more power and more money than you yanks away your occupation, your property, your food sources, and your access to medicine without asking what you think. Your entire means of survival vanishes. For the indigenous people of central Africa, this scenario isn’t hypothetical.

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South Sudanese Women Find Salvation in Stoves

It sounds like a brutally disturbing nightmare: Alone in a forest miles from home, a teenage girl fights off a man as he tries to rape her. She flees home in terror, hours on foot, afraid for her life. The next day, the scene repeats itself as she is forced to collect firewood again. Facing her attacker in the forest again, as she must day after day. For Susan Ozene and countless women outside the city of Yei in battle-scarred South Sudan, this nightmare is more than a bad dream. It is reality.

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