Loews Denver Hotel
Dog may be man's best friend, but not necessarily yours. If you have vistors bringing along their four-legged companions, put them up at the Loews Denver Hotel. Like the city of Denver, Loews touts itself as "pet friendly" -- and then some. The hotel offers pet room service, with vet-approved food (vegetarian entrees are available for picky pets); special bedding to ensure the animal gets a good night's sleep; a personalized note from hotel management welcoming the critter and listing local vets, groomers and pet stores; pet-walking and -sitting services; and, of course, treats and toys. Loews doesn't discriminate, either: Along with the usual dogs and cats, past guests have included lizards and monkeys.

As any canine-conscious apartment hunter knows, finding a landlord who's willing to rent to a dog owner can be a challenge. But even if your cramped Capitol Hill walkup isn't suited for a full-time pooch, your innate need to bond with man's best friend needn't go wholly unsatisfied. Maxfund welcomes enthusiastic animal-loving volunteers who like to spend time with masterless pets. Whether you just want to hang around and play in the Galapago Street shelter or prefer to grab a leash and venture into the wider world of parks and fire hydrants, Maxfund is happy to appoint you as a temporary doggie guardian. Woof!

She's cute, she's cuddly, she's friendly -- and she's everywhere. Ever since the Japanese toy company Sanrio unveiled Hello Kitty in the '70s, little girls the universe over have been snapping up pens, packs, umbrellas and underwear bearing her image. And although Miss Kitty is now available in major retail outlets, fans will worship Min Min Chinese Restaurant's small shrine to the feline. The selection is exhaustive, so block some time to look around after your meal. Fortune cookie says: If you have a young daughter, or just like Japanese kitsch, Hello Kitty World is in your future.

Owning a motorcycle in this state doesn't have to be a two-season experience: Many people ride with pride all year long. But on those brisk February days, it's nice to have something warming your face as you speed along. Hoodlums Gear, manufactured in Colorado, was created for just that purpose. There's the Helmet Hoodlum or the Headless Hoodlum, face masks made of soft, warm fleece and neoprene to keep you toasty. Hoodlums usually come in black, but are available in other colors upon request. Non-cyclists, take note: Hoodlums are great for skiing and snowboarding, too.

Best Place to Rent a Car That Goes 160 MPH

Rent-A-Vette

Sure, they rent 'Vettes -- for $299 a day. They also offer Porsche Boxsters and Mercedes CLK roadsters for the same price. Dodge Vipers and 911s are $100 more; new Ford Thunderbirds are $249 per day; and BMW Z3 convertibles are a bargain at $199. Note: Mileage is limited to 100 miles per day. Call to check on the frequent weekday specials, and always mention BreezeNet (www.bnm.com) for a 10 percent discount, which is, conveniently, about the same price as full-coverage insurance. Go ahead and get the insurance, then snatch up the keys, lean over the rental counter, and with a frenzied look in your eyes, exclaim, "I feel the need, the need for speed !" They like that.

Best Place to Go If Your Daddy Took Your T-Bird Away

Oldies But Goodies

Oldies But Goodies should be the first stop for any classic-car aficionado. Despite its small lot, this South Broadway dealership has an impressive collection of vintage automobiles, ranging from those without engines to those that have been lovingly restored to their previous grandeur. From the 1949 Buick Super to the 1984 Ford Thunderbird, this place has something for everyone. There's the 1964 Mercury Montclair with rear windows that roll up and down; the 1965 lavender-colored Chevy SS, complete with fuzzy dice dangling from the rearview mirror; the 1957 Lincoln Premier with red-and-white leather seats that bring back soda-shop memories; and the 1977 Ford Maverick in that shade of olive green that didn't last beyond the decade. But the real honey, on one particular visit, was the cherry-red 1950 Ford convertible with whitewall tires and pristine red-and-black leather seats. Ladies and gents, start your engines.

While America is fighting a new kind of war, with Russia as an ally, it's important not to forget the past. Now you can actually own a piece of the past, thanks to Cold War Remarketing, a local auto dealership that sells Unimogs, Pinzgauers and other vehicles from the Red Scare days. The Littleton business also encourages "Pinzie" enthusiasts to accessorize with custom hub steps to help them get into their trucks. True Cold War buffs can even buy tanks, which are "shown by appointment to serious purchasers only," according to the company's Web site, www.coldwarremarketing.com. Still, this is a great way to travel back in time to the Cold War era of the 1950s. Who knows? Maybe the Unimog will replace the stars and stripes as the next symbol of patriotism. Ike likes this!
Speed is relative, the universe is expanding, so why does your vintage '57 Chevy's speedometer say you're traveling at 5 mph? Better chug on over to the dean of those devices, Russell Rullo, at Deluxe Speedometer & Radio Service. With more than fifty years of experience, Rullo (along with his son, John) will bring a truckload of experience to bear on whatever ails your ride. Number, please!

When queried, most boat-shop owners said they sent their broken propellers to Jim's Prop Shop, and who are we to swim against the tide? Owner Jim McCune charges between $45 and $150 to fix maimed props, depending on what sort of sea damage you've done. And although Jim's specialty is fixing them, you can buy new and used propellers here, too. Sail on, sailors.

So you begged for a window seat, but now you're just staring aimlessly down on windswept plains, unknown deserts or the canyons below. What could possibly make your long flight more interesting? A little help from the Durango-based Spin Map company, which manufactures passenger flight maps for journeys stretching between Denver and several major cities, including L.A., Las Vegas, Dallas, San Francisco, Phoenix and Chicago. The maps, which are available at many local bookstores, are laminated and "spinable," so no matter which side of the plane you're seated on, your handy map will provide a detailed geographic tour of the topography unfolding below. Now buckle your seat belt, grab your Spin Map, and get ready to learn geography from way up high. Happy landings.

Best Of Denver®

Best Of