It's patio season again, and Denver has a bevy of beauties. So whether you're whiling away a morning, noon or night, grab a book or just your best people-watching goggles and set up camp. Just remember to order often — and tip your waitstaff.
Gaia Bistro on Old South Pearl is only open until 2 p.m., so you'll want to hit this patio while the cool of the night still hangs over the block. Grab some of the French-press coffee, savory crepes, pastries or egg in brioche, and rejoice in our gorgeous weather, sans humidity. (Gaia Bistro, 1551 South Pearl Street, 303-777-5699.)
East Colfax Avenue near the Bluebird Theater has any number of patios. Mezcal, Atomic Cowboy, Goosetown — take your pick. But the real treat is the little aisle of tables tucked alongside Cafe Star. Grab a glass of wine (the list is excellent) and a pot de crème (with chile, if you like a kick), and celebrate the marriage of old and new Colfax passing before you. (Cafe Star, 3201 East Colfax Avenue, 303-320-8635.) — Amy Haimerl
Mezcal is known to have the best margarita in town, but its mojito is a tasty alternative. Owner Jesse Morreale gives us a lesson in concocting the Cuban cocktail. — Amy Haimerl
Start with a 10 oz. glass (highball).
Cut a lime into wedges and place half of them in the bottom of the glass.
Add two tablespoons of sugar and five to eight mint leaves, then muddle.
Fill glass with ice and a shot (or two) of white rum. Shake well.
Top off with soda water.
Top Tools for the High Country
Product:REI Half Dome 2 HC Tent, $169, REI.
Key Facts: Two-person, two-pole, two-door, two-vestibule tent that's too good to be true.
Features: This tent is rugged enough to weather any storm, with enough ventilation to prevent those internal condensation showers. Plus, all the space means that you and your other have plenty of room for whatever you do in a tent for two.
Product: Petzl Myo XP LED Headlamp, $77.95, REI.
Key Facts: The Petzyl Myo XP is the Swiss Army knife of headlamps, boasting three lighting levels, a strobe mode and a BOOST mode (which delivers over 300 feet of candlepower).
Features: The tiltable lamp body and the battery-life indicator make this lamp functionally irresistible.
Product: Jetboil Personal Cooking System, $89, REI.
Key Facts: Jetboil is not a camp stove; it's a wonder of modern science. The adjustable-flame burner and the anodized aluminum one-liter cooking cup are a single unit.
Features: The burner is protected by a windscreen, and the cup is surrounded by a sleek neoprene cozy that somehow doesn't melt during the cooking process. And at 15.25 ounces total weight, Jetboil is NASA for the masses.
Product: Hiking Colorado's Roadless Trails, $12.95, Colorado Mountain Club Press.
Key Facts: A trail guide to Colorado's roadless areas — with photos, topographic maps, trail highlights and wildlife viewing tips — and an invaluable resource for those seeking solace from the beaten, paved and congested paths.
Features: It came out this May, so not everyone knows its secrets — yet. — Rick White