Bus to the slopes -- and back again in a day? What a novel idea! You won't be hitting the powder at Aspen or Vail, but funky Eldora still offers plenty of great snow for skiing and boarding, and a nordic center maintaining a plethora of marked cross-country trails. And you can take the bus: RTD's Route N makes frequent trips from Boulder to Eldora during ski season for only three bucks each way; you can also use a transfer if you're traveling to Boulder from Denver (take route B from Market Street Station to Boulder Station) or other surrounding communities. Even if you were driving, you'd avoid the kind of traffic that slows down I-70 and other routes into ski country -- but this way, you don't even have to think about it. It's schuss the thing.
The name says it all. Much of Telluride's ski mountain is dauntingly "steep and deep," but its signature run -- ominously named the Plunge -- transports lionhearted experts from 12,000-foot heights almost straight down to the picturesque village below -- and very quickly, too. Take your pick, hotshots: Half of this harrowing run is carefully groomed, the other half infested with knee-twisting moguls. For the daring, this matchless winter challenge is well worth an eight-hour drive from downtown Denver. Why? Because it's there.
The name says it all. Much of Telluride's ski mountain is dauntingly "steep and deep," but its signature run -- ominously named the Plunge -- transports lionhearted experts from 12,000-foot heights almost straight down to the picturesque village below -- and very quickly, too. Take your pick, hotshots: Half of this harrowing run is carefully groomed, the other half infested with knee-twisting moguls. For the daring, this matchless winter challenge is well worth an eight-hour drive from downtown Denver. Why? Because it's there.
You may get distracted stroking your three-footer for par, so spectacular are the red-rock vistas at Arrowhead Golf Club. But that's the price you pay for playing this gorgeous and challenging Littleton layout designed in 1972 by the estimable Robert Trent Jones Jr. The wildlife at large among the traps and lakes includes foxes, bear and deer, and unless you're pretty accurate with the sticks, a high percentage of your shots may go wild, too. One of the finest, most beautiful public golf courses in the nation -- with hefty greens fees to match.
Arrowhead Golf Club
You may get distracted stroking your three-footer for par, so spectacular are the red-rock vistas at Arrowhead Golf Club. But that's the price you pay for playing this gorgeous and challenging Littleton layout designed in 1972 by the estimable Robert Trent Jones Jr. The wildlife at large among the traps and lakes includes foxes, bear and deer, and unless you're pretty accurate with the sticks, a high percentage of your shots may go wild, too. One of the finest, most beautiful public golf courses in the nation -- with hefty greens fees to match.
Shreveport, Louisiana's David Toms, one of the best-kept secrets on the PGA Tour, led last summer's Sprint International at Castle Pines the entire way -- until the sixteenth hole of the final round. There, Toms scored an egregious triple bogey and gave up the lead to hard-charging David Duval. But Toms wasn't done. On seventeen, the long-hitting pro pulled himself together, rolled a delicate chip shot down a nerve-shattering greenside hill and left his ball within a few feet of the cup. Toms coolly sank his birdie putt and put the tournament in his pocket right there, joining such better-known international winners as Greg Norman, Davis Love III, Phil Mickelson and Vijay Singh.
Shreveport, Louisiana's David Toms, one of the best-kept secrets on the PGA Tour, led last summer's Sprint International at Castle Pines the entire way -- until the sixteenth hole of the final round. There, Toms scored an egregious triple bogey and gave up the lead to hard-charging David Duval. But Toms wasn't done. On seventeen, the long-hitting pro pulled himself together, rolled a delicate chip shot down a nerve-shattering greenside hill and left his ball within a few feet of the cup. Toms coolly sank his birdie putt and put the tournament in his pocket right there, joining such better-known international winners as Greg Norman, Davis Love III, Phil Mickelson and Vijay Singh.
The city of Denver owns dozens of park tennis courts that you can play on for free, but if you have a couple bucks burning a hole in your pocket it's more than worth the price of admission to stop by the Gates Tennis Center in the Cherry Creek neighborhood. For $4 an hour per court (that's $1.25 each for a doubles match), you get your choice of twenty hard-surface courts (resurfaced this year), seven of which are well-lit for night play. Gates's center court, sunken for better viewing, is one of the best venues in the city, public or private. The tennis center also has six teaching pros on staff, and can string rackets on site.
Gates Tennis Center
The city of Denver owns dozens of park tennis courts that you can play on for free, but if you have a couple bucks burning a hole in your pocket it's more than worth the price of admission to stop by the Gates Tennis Center in the Cherry Creek neighborhood. For $4 an hour per court (that's $1.25 each for a doubles match), you get your choice of twenty hard-surface courts (resurfaced this year), seven of which are well-lit for night play. Gates's center court, sunken for better viewing, is one of the best venues in the city, public or private. The tennis center also has six teaching pros on staff, and can string rackets on site.
This well-appointed club south of Denver has five outdoor courts that are open year-round, but the real draw is the seven scrupulously maintained indoor clay courts. Naturally, such luxury doesn't come cheap; initiation is $300 ($350 for a couple), with additional monthly dues of $107 ($161). That's more than $1,500 per year to swat around a tennis ball, but if you love the high bounces and sliding style of clay, it's well worth the cost.

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