Best place to cuddle an alpaca Denver 2000 - Switzer-Land Farm, Estes Park
Chris and Phil Switzer may be the state's foremost alpaca people -- they were the first in the region to raise the woolly creatures, and Chris -- who has a college degree in weaving -- has published a primer on how to spin llama and alpaca wool and runs workshops at the annual Estes Park Wool Market. Phil has credentials, too -- he helped form the Estes Park-based Alpaca Owners and Breeders Association, is a certified fleece judge and has run the alpaca tent at the wool market. And when they're not attending to all those duties, the couple raises and sells the fleecy beasts, keeping a herd of about fifty sweet and cuddly camelids (the babies are especially cute). Visitors should call ahead, and plan to peruse the Switzer's store for weaving supplies, fiber, books, tools and finished items. It's nothing to spit at.