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Photos: Ten weird Denver-area places -- an alternative tour

The TBEX North America conference, billed as the world's largest travel blogger convention, kicks off today at Keystone Resort, and VISIT DENVER's Rich Grant has a big role in showing off the area. But which local landmarks would he prefer the writers skip? We asked, and he (unwisely?) made a suggestion we've included on our own top ten list of places they should check out to get a sense of Denver's quirky side. Count them down below.

Number 10: One senator's favorite DIA bathroom

The artwork at

Denver International Airport has inspired plenty of conspiracy theories

-- but Idaho Senator Larry Craig got a different kind of inspiration a few years back, when he reportedly tried to arrange a

tryst in a DIA bathroom

. Sex marks the spot!

Number 9: The dankest corner in Denver

Last year,

Westword

contributor Sensei Skywalker set out to identify the

dankest-smelling street corners

in a city known for a certain skunky scent ever since the medical marijuana industry took off. The winner? West 6th Avene and North Kalamath Street, about which she wrote: "The smell of ganja overpowers every inch of this busy corner as a sea of cars continuously pours on and off Sixth Avenue. Pedestrians walking out front during a First Friday event at the Battery should take it slow and enjoy the wonderful smell of Mother Nature's goodness that envelops the air from the plethora of medical marijuana grow houses nearby."

Page down to read about more Denver places travel bloggers should visit -- but won't.Number 8: Bat Masterson pissed here

"Technically, the downstairs restrooms in the century-old Oxford Hotel are not intended for the public -- but they're just too lovely not to share with the world," notes a

2001 Best of Denver blurb

in a continuation of our lavatory theme. "The men's room can claim magnificent marble urinals -- the very vessels that Bat Masterson is rumored to have emptied his, er, weapon into." That's the kind of history that brings a sense of relief.

Number 7: Thrilled to Death

No slap at Elitch's, but there's something special about

Lakeside Amusement Park

, and particularly the Wild Chipmunk, which is memorable because while riding the rickety-looking contraption, most people are pretty damn sure they're going to die. And not in an "It's scary, but I know I'm going to arrive back safely" way.

Really

die.

Page down to read about more Denver places travel bloggers should visit -- but won't.Number 6: Whiling away the Hours

The Golden Hours is the Lakewood motel on West Colfax where John Hinckley Jr. stayed for sixteen days and nights (in room 29) while planning to

assassinate President Ronald Reagan

. It's said that if you listen closely, you can hear the wind cry Jodie Foster.

Number 5: Elvis has left the building

The

Nading-Presley Memorial Gym

, at 3555 Colorado Boulevard, was funded by none other than Elvis Presley as a gift to the Denver Police Department. It's currently scheduled to be turned into a Walgreens -- but if you hurry, you can still see the building the way the King intended it to stay.

Page down to read about more Denver places travel bloggers should visit -- but won't.Number 4: Get your glow on

Here's how we described the

Rocky Flats Lounge

, on Highway 93 between the metro area and Boulder, in our recent list of

Denver's best dive bars

: "This bar gives a whole new meaning to getting lit -- at one point, it was the payroll office for the Rocky Flats Nuclear Weapons Plant, the federal facility right across the highway that started producing plutonium triggers for nuclear bombs in the early '50s and operated up to 1989. But the Rocky Flats Lounge has a lot more going for it: gritty ambience, great drinks, a deck with expansive views of the Foothills (and future wildlife refuge going into Rocky Flats) and fish fries on Friday nights."

Number 3: Who let the dogs out?

Yes, certain corners of Denver have a dank aroma (see number 9). But the Purina Dog Chow factory makes an entire part of the city smell good enough to eat -- if you're a golden doodle.

Page down to read about more Denver places travel bloggers should visit -- but won't.Number 2: Baseball and bars go together!

In Kyle Garratt's list of

ten things you probably didn't know about Coors Field

, he wrote: "We've all probably sat next to or have been the person who has one or six too many beers and starts yelling at the shortstop to 'At least hustle down to third base since you're making all that damn money!' When that person decides to show the shortstop how to do it themselves and runs onto the field, they get thrown into holding cells hidden in the depths of the stadium. 'They're used from time to time for unruly fans,' says Rockies spokesman Jay Alves. They're not really jail cells, but are there to be used 'as seen fit by the Denver Police Department.'"

Number 1: Get your kink on! The Crypt

, at 8 South Broadway, is a place dedicated to servicing Denver's kink-set -- and it's the first place Grant thought of that he wouldn't want to take the travel bloggers. Bet that only makes them more eager to stop by!

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More from our Lists & Weirdness archive: "Ten weird movie references to Colorado."

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