Busy downtown worker bees who still have a jones for hauling in lunkers could be forgiven for thinking that northwest Denver's Lake Carol Anne is the best thing since climbing walls went indoors. Located ten minutes from downtown, this fourteen-acre catch-and-release private lake is open between March and December. Early season, Carol Anne (named for co-owner Carol Anne Bohn, who, with her husband, Punch, bought the place in 1991) is stocked with several varieties of trout. As the temperature rises, largemouth bass becomes the fish of choice. One thing the swimmers all have in common, though, is size: The trout can weigh as much as fifteen pounds; the bass can tip the scales at eight. "And we have two-pound bluegill," the real-life Carol Anne says. "Your chances of catching a huge fish here are wonderful." Of course, great fishing within casting distance of LoDo isn't free. The Bohns, who limit membership at their pond to 100, charge $500 per year to cast 'n' commute.

Ahoy, mateys! When the season fer swimmin' the briny deep's upon us, get ye down to Englewood, where the Jolly Roger flies o'er Pirates Cove. The City of Englewood water park, replete with three pools, debuted last summer to rave reviews by just about everyone, from the tots in swim diapers to swimmers with serious agendas, and no wonder: There are six lanes for lap swimmers, a lazy-river feature and a leisure pool with play islands, a super-soaking 750-gallon dump bucket (look out below, me buckos!), smoke-belching cannons, a spray park, slides and sound effects. Load up your towels, beach toys, sunscreen, flip-flops, peg legs and eye patches, and head for the pool. Opening day is May 28.


Pirates Cove Family Aquatic Park
Ahoy, mateys! When the season fer swimmin' the briny deep's upon us, get ye down to Englewood, where the Jolly Roger flies o'er Pirates Cove. The City of Englewood water park, replete with three pools, debuted last summer to rave reviews by just about everyone, from the tots in swim diapers to swimmers with serious agendas, and no wonder: There are six lanes for lap swimmers, a lazy-river feature and a leisure pool with play islands, a super-soaking 750-gallon dump bucket (look out below, me buckos!), smoke-belching cannons, a spray park, slides and sound effects. Load up your towels, beach toys, sunscreen, flip-flops, peg legs and eye patches, and head for the pool. Opening day is May 28.

You don't have to drive hours to get a whitewater thrill. Confluence Kayaking makes a spur-of-the-moment immersion easy. The business rents inflatable kayaks and gear and hosts weekly instructional classes in the University of Denver's Ritchie Center pool, allowing urban adventurers to test the basics before they shoot the rapids. Once you're ready, hit the short course along the South Platte River through Confluence Park; from there, it's just a splash to bigger water elsewhere.


Gamma Gallery
You don't have to drive hours to get a whitewater thrill. Confluence Kayaking makes a spur-of-the-moment immersion easy. The business rents inflatable kayaks and gear and hosts weekly instructional classes in the University of Denver's Ritchie Center pool, allowing urban adventurers to test the basics before they shoot the rapids. Once you're ready, hit the short course along the South Platte River through Confluence Park; from there, it's just a splash to bigger water elsewhere.

The golden years never looked more righteous than at the Starbucks inside the flagship REI store, which acts as a hub for cyclists who have all day to ride -- and the looks to prove it. Converging in droves from the Platte River, Clear Creek and Cherry Creek bike paths, senior cyclists stop here for their mid-morning beverage break. Bike racks are placed conveniently next to a paved pathway leading to a scenic patio where java junkies can check out the aging action; about 10 a.m. on summer weekdays is peak time. You'll be counting the minutes until you're eligible for that AARP discount.


The golden years never looked more righteous than at the Starbucks inside the flagship REI store, which acts as a hub for cyclists who have all day to ride -- and the looks to prove it. Converging in droves from the Platte River, Clear Creek and Cherry Creek bike paths, senior cyclists stop here for their mid-morning beverage break. Bike racks are placed conveniently next to a paved pathway leading to a scenic patio where java junkies can check out the aging action; about 10 a.m. on summer weekdays is peak time. You'll be counting the minutes until you're eligible for that AARP discount.

Longtime Colorado mountain dweller, avid third-generation skier and keeper of a vintage ski museum Richard Allen is more than a collector. He wears his love for dated clothing and equipment -- wooden skis, bindings, lace-up boots -- on his sleeve and everywhere else, and he's known for dressing like he just stepped out of a 1950s ski-town snow globe, all reindeer sweaters and low-tech woolen stirrup pants. Now he's found a way to share his zeal: Vintage Ski World is lined with antique skis, boots and poles, classic posters and other memorabilia, just when old-style is suddenly good style on the slopes.


Longtime Colorado mountain dweller, avid third-generation skier and keeper of a vintage ski museum Richard Allen is more than a collector. He wears his love for dated clothing and equipment -- wooden skis, bindings, lace-up boots -- on his sleeve and everywhere else, and he's known for dressing like he just stepped out of a 1950s ski-town snow globe, all reindeer sweaters and low-tech woolen stirrup pants. Now he's found a way to share his zeal: Vintage Ski World is lined with antique skis, boots and poles, classic posters and other memorabilia, just when old-style is suddenly good style on the slopes.

At a time when it seems that every ski area is turning into a real-estate venture with a faux Ye Olde Alpine Village at its base, Loveland is a welcome throwback. The runs may be shorter than those at nearby mega-resorts, but what you get in return is priceless. There are no condos or ski-in, ski-out chalets slopeside, no golf course to pull in guests when the snow is gone. In other words, the only reason to come here is the riding. Parking is free, and even if you're on the far edges of the lot, you're never more than a three-minute walk to the lift. Unlike the resorts on the far side of the Divide, there is also no atmosphere of privilege suffocating the place. The food is reasonably priced -- ask the french-fry guy to pile your plate high; he will -- and the people who work at Loveland all seem to love what they do. Families come here year after year for the short drive, the homey feel and the prices: A kid's full-day lesson costs about 40 percent less than it does at a resort just up the road.

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