Denver International Airport went to the dogs (and cats) in December when the ultimate airport convenience — a luxury pet resort where you can drop off your pet on your way to check in for a flight — debuted at DIA's WorldPort facility. And luxurious it is: Amenities at the 24-hour pet hotel (sorry, dogs and cats only) include suites with flat-screen TVs (for Fido-friendly programming, of course!), play areas and a pool for dogs, and individual bungalows for kitties, complete with fish tanks and window ledges for keeping the felines frisky. Veterinary and massage services are also available. Now when you leave town, everyone gets a vacation!

Rocky Mountain Arsenal National Wildlife Refuge
Courtesy Rocky Mountain Arsenal National Wildlife Refuge Facebook page

Thirty years ago, the discovery of a roost of bald eagles on the grounds of this former weapons plant helped spur a massive cleanup, one that transformed one of the metro area's most polluted sites into a 15,000-acre refuge for wildlife — and the rest of us. The nine-mile, self-guided Wildlife Drive, open seven days a week, is the perfect way for the busy urbanite to get acquainted with the arsenal's grasslands, wetlands and woodlands while catching a glimpse of some of the 330 species of wildlife to be found here, including bison, raptors, deer and coyotes. Hiking, birding and a two-hour bus tour are also available, all ways to reconnect with nature without ever leaving the city of commerce.

Wildlife, like Reese Witherspoon, belongs in the wild — not in your basement or attic. AGD has a spectrum of non-lethal removal methods for snakes, skunks, squirrels, birds, bats and other varmints who have set up house without invitation. The company's reluctance to use poisonous chemicals is more humane not just for the unwelcome visitors, but for the human customers, too.

Bound By Design

The name Bound by Design conjures up different meanings, like a sense of quality and integrity, or a passion for art. But the root of the name actually goes back to the community that helped start the tattoo-and-piercing business. "Modern piercing started with the S&M community," says owner Patrick Scarano. "Bound by Design was kind of a throwback to that." The shop has been open since 1991 and has changed owners since then — but the vibe of the shop, and its name, remain the same. "We kept the name after the previous owner passed away because it was so ingrained in the community," Scarano adds.

Readers' choice: Th'ink Tank

When it comes to tattoos, most would agree that quality beats out a bargain. Luckily for ink collectors, Marion Street offers both with an all-day tattoo marathon every Friday the 13th. The day features a flash sheet of fun, silly tattoos that changes every year, and each tat costs just $13. "We see it as a great way to give back to our regular clients and the neighborhood we tattoo in," says artist Nate Stephens. "We feel that everyone should have the opportunity to be tattooed in a clean, reputable shop." Marion Street started the marathons in 2013 and now sees at least 150 people go through its doors every Friday the 13th — and while other shops may have the same tradition, this one has made its mark with its original designs (pizza slices, dinosaurs, sombreros) and welcoming atmosphere.

One of the first community-style acupuncture spots to hit Denver, Pin & Tonic delivers affordable alternative medicine to locals with health issues ranging from stress, fatigue and back pain to fertility and digestive problems. After an initial $40 visit, treatments are $20 to $25 per session, which is about half what you'd pay at a private clinic. Patients also have access to affordable Chinese herbs individually mixed into teas or tinctures, plus a massage therapist and a reflexologist. Appointments are encouraged, but walk-ins can usually be accommodated during normal business hours, which are listed online.

Fluff+is+ready+to+blow-dry+you+away.

Fluff Bar promises "a drink, a drink...a blast" — but not the kind of "fluff" that porn fans might be expecting. A blow-dry here is strictly a hair-raising experience, but it's not all dry: Fluff Bar also serves champagne and cocktails.

Readers' choice: Curl Up & Dye

When it comes to dab rigs, the sky's the limit: People spend thousands on technical glass pieces that filter cannabis residue and recalculate water ratios while delivering smoke to their lungs. Finding the best rig is tough — but finding the best accessory for your rig is simple: It's made right here in Colorado. Joel Halen's Honey Hole isn't just a domeless quartz nail piece, it's the domeless quartz nail piece. The quartz means cleaner hits and a longer life, and the cupped design is perfect for taking massive dabs without overloading the nail itself. Halen blows the Honey Hole for 10mm, 14mm and 18mm male and female pieces, as well as drop-ins for direct-inject bubblers. You can find it at many local dispensaries.

Cannabis-infused edibles are readily available in this state, of course, but if you have special dietary needs, it's not always easy to find something uplifting that won't wreck your digestive system. And anyone who's tried making edibles at home is well aware of what a pain in the neck it is to infuse your own oils or butters; between the Crock-Pots and cheesecloth, you're looking at hours of work and a big mess to clean up. So it's fair to call Brandon Shepherd, the local food scientist behind the Mota Pot, a bit of a hero. The Mota Pot drastically reduces the amount of time it takes to infuse the material of your choice, bringing it down to just minutes on the stovetop, and the no-mess straining method means you'll be ready to cook or bake that much sooner. Gluten-free vegan pot brownie, anyone?

L'Eagle
Lindsey Bartlett

If dispensaries are like restaurants, then Sour Diesel is the cheeseburger and fries of marijuana: Everyone grows it, but some people do it way better than others. It's a great barometer for a shop's quality, because if the store isn't doing Sour D right, it probably isn't getting much else correct, either. Thankfully, L'Eagle Services grows it proper. The buds are 100 percent organic-fed, slow-dried and cured for at least a month, giving L'Eagle's Sour D the full citrus/fuel smells and flavors you expect from this strain. The buds are a potent package that consistently put us into a euphoric, spacey mood after just two or three puffs. The shop offers both medical and recreational herb, meaning that anyone 21 and up can head in and walk out with a bag of this glowing-green ganja. And if it's available, we highly suggest the Sour Diesel bubble hash from L'Eagle, which is expertly made, dried and cured.

Readers' choice: Sweet Leaf

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