For both lovers of old-time acoustic music and lovers of the outdoors in general (which covers just about everyone), RockyGrass is an absolute gem of a festival. The four-day get-together takes place on the beautiful twenty-acre Planet Bluegrass, home base of the Telluride Bluegrass and Rocky Mountain Folks festivals, and the magnificent wooden stage here has seen the likes of Earl Scruggs, Doc Watson, Alison Krauss, Steve Earle and hometown heroes Hot Rize, among others. The vibe is fun and family-friendly, and most fans camp out and bring instruments for jam sessions that stretch into the night. The St. Vrain River runs through the property, so you can hang out in the water all day, right next to the stage.

bluegrass.com/rockygrass

Readers' Choice: Underground Music Showcase

Best New Festival
Colorado Unicorn Festival

Leave it to event-meister Dana Cain to discover the next big thing: Her first Unicorn Festival turned Littleton's Clement Park into an enchanted world last summer, one where princesses, wizards and mermaids frolicked and unicorn rides seemed required for all ages. The even bigger, better 2018 Unicorn Fest will return on June 23, with two special guests: Morgan and Me author Stephen Cosgrove and his magical companion and favorite book character, Morgan the Unicorn.

Readers' Choice: Truck Stop

SUPERNOVA Outdoor Festival of Digital Animation and Art is one of the few Denver film festivals exclusively programming short films at the cutting edge of technology. This free festival, held in and around the Denver Theatre District, democratizes the movie-going experience, giving audiences a look into the future of the medium. Running an entire weekend, SUPERNOVA includes a juried competition, educational opportunities, presentations by filmmakers, and outdoor screenings of artist-made movies from around the world. This year, the festival's third, promises to be as forward-thinking and fun as ever.

supernovadenver.com

Best Instagram Devoted to a Denver Gone By

@OldDenver

Just beneath the thin, glossy veneer of a new Denver that has emerged over the past decade lies the real city — and the @OldDenver Instagram account is making sure it isn't forgotten. A loose-knit collective of regular contributors share stories of the people, places and neighborhoods that define old-school Denver: a black-and-white photo of cooks working the flat-top at 20th Street Cafe comes with the simple caption "in operation since 1946"; images of paleteros hustling popsicles in Civic Center show up alongside snapshots of Federal Boulevard on a Sunday that include classic cars with shiny rims showing off in the parking lot of Grandpa's Burger Haven. The @OldDenver account is an equal-opportunity Instagram: Use the hashtag #OldDenver on an image and your documentation of a Denver gone by could be featured in the feed.

@OldDenver

The ever-evolving alley between the 2500 and 2900 blocks of Walnut and Larimer streets provides endless inspiration for Instagrammers. Long before this place became a canvas for the annual CRUSH festival, the ancient warehouse walls on both sides attracted graffiti artists as well as fans of urban grit. As big, shiny buildings pop up all over River North, this stretch remains an unexpected oasis of Colorado cool, layered with ever-changing art that's both official and definitely unofficial. As a result, you're not likely to take the same photo twice while shooting these colorful walls. Just be sure to credit the artists!

Readers' Choice: RiNo District

The unassuming Ramada Inn at the corner of Speer Boulevard and I-25 is just the right spot to capture sunrise in Denver. From its perch overlooking downtown, you see an urban landscape stretching from Coors Field to Mile High Stadium, with everything in between, including Elitch Gardens, Confluence Park and the downtown cityscape, with bonus points for Pikes Peak off in the distance. Get a coffee on your way, look for the glowing "Hotel" lettering, grab your camera...and turn east to start your morning right.

Readers' Choice: Red Rocks Amphitheatre

Best Place to Photograph the Sunset in Denver

Washington Park

Best Place to Photograph the Sunset in Denver
Westword Archives

Denver is blessed with many parks with stunning views, and it's no secret that both Cheesman and City parks offer some phenomenal sunset photo ops. But for the best, head over to the east side of Washington Park, near Arizona Avenue and Franklin Street. Through your viewfinder, not only will you catch the sun going down behind the mountains, but Grasmere Lake provides stunning reflections of the west for your photos. Just watch out for the geese and their nemesis, the Goosinator.

Readers' Choice: Red Rocks Amphitheatre

The Rocky Mountain Land Library has added a Denver outpost to the original in South Park, where the organization devoted to a growing collection of books on natural history is turning an old ranch into a very special world devoted to words. But it has one project that you can participate in no matter where you happen to be in Colorado. The first and only requirement of the Cloud Atlas Project is that you look up — and, if you can, record what you see, as weather changes and sunsets occur and cloud after cloud rolls by in the Colorado sky. Whatever you capture, you can share it, helping to build an archive of imagery destined for a book. Other goals include related public programming, a gallery show, the building of cloud-spotting stations in prime locations and more. Things are definitely looking up!

cloudatlasproject.org

If you know a little something about architecture and read Denver's skyline like a book, it tells a story: that most of this city's downtown is anchored and defined by large and extremely tall buildings from the oil boom of the late 1970s and early 1980s, with only a few newer elements. But that story is now turning a page, as the current development boom has finally inspired new skyscrapers. With its theatrical shape, the standout is definitely 1144 Fifteenth Street, by Pickard Chilton architects and developed by Hines. Rising forty stories, the building has distinctively faceted elevations, with an outrageously sculptural skyline that's split into parts by complex naturalistic curves. The building's departure from rectilinearity is pronounced by the all-over geometric grids of the curtain walls, which introduce true horizontal and vertical orientations. Nearing completion, the striking new building will be occupied by the offices of Chipotle, Optiv and Gates, among other tenants.

Kirkland Museum of Fine & Decorative Art
From the moment the drawings by architects Olson Kundig were unveiled in 2014, it was apparent that the new Kirkland Museum would be one of the most distinctive landmarks in the Civic Center Cultural Complex — and that’s saying something, since the area was already crammed with landmarks. When it opened in March 2018, the exquisitely detailed structure, with its incredible terra cotta and glass-clad central pavilion, proved the perfect home for the Kirkland and its three areas of specialty: the work of museum namesake Vance Kirkland, whose historic studio was moved to a site immediately north of the new building; other artists associated with Colorado in some way; and international design and decorative art.

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