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Cheap Right Now gives a snapshot of a cheap weekend getaway each month.

July is the perfect month to channel your inner Jack Kerouac and head for Denver. The city is known for its 300 days of sunshine each year, which essentially means that it lacks any sort of humidity. Which, in turn, means good hair days. Plus, Denver is spilling over with culture, good food and great beer. And best of all, the Rocky Mountains are just a hop, skip and a jump away. Here’s what to do in Denver in July.

Denver International Airport

Denver International Airport. Photo: Timothy Vollmer – Flickr.

Plane, train or automobile

Unless you’re down for a cross-countryroad trip (which is almost always the best choice), flying into Denver International Airport is the most efficient way to get here — plus the airport has won awards for it’s design, so it’s worth seeing. From there, catch the SkyRide bus, or the University of Colorado A Line of the RTD (Regional Transportation District) downtown for just $9.

RTD light rail

An RTD light rail train rides through Denver. Photo: Nan Palmero – Flickr.

Cheap local transit

The RTD runs a light rail service around and through most of the city, and can take you out into the neighborhoods for some localized exploration. A one-day pass is $5.20, and that’ll get you on the buses too. Otherwise, the Denver B-cycle bike-share program has 88 stations throughout the city and is $7 for a half hour of use.

Denver Civic Center

Food trucks gather at Denver Civic Center three times a week. Photo: Rex Brown – Flickr.

Forage the food trucks

Denver seemed to jump on board the food truck train before the rest of the country, and its robust offering of delicacies just keeps getting better. Follow popular mainstays like Quiero Arepas, Manna from Heaven and Waffle Up on social media to track them down, or go to the gathering at Civic Center Park Tuesday throughThursday from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Denver Biscuit Co’s biscuits and gravy, while incredibly messy, are particularly notable —it’ll be hours before you’re hungry again, and they’re just $9.50 when served with a protein-filled egg. 

Flatirons

The Flatirons near Boulder, Colorado. Photo: Cara Jo – Flickr.

Hit the trails

Your first priority upon arrival should be finding a place to either eat or hike. And since we just covered the former, here’s what to do for the latter: You’ll have to drive a ways outside of Denver, but it’ll be well worth it. There are dozens of hikes you could choose, but all offer a heavy dose of that fresh, cool mountain air. Try the Flatirons around Boulder, about a 40-minute drive from Denver.

Denver farmers' market

The Cherry Creek Fresh Market. Photo: Paul Swansen – Flickr.

Frequent a farmers’ market

There are farmers’ markets all over the city, but try the one on Old South Pearl Street between Florida and Iowa avenues. There’s fresh produce, savory spices and plenty of delectable treats, and some food trucks usually show up as well. The South Pearl neighborhood is incredibly cute, so stop at one of the coffee shops, like Steam Espresso Bar, on your way to the market. Afterwards, if you saved room for dessert, wander over to Duffeyroll Cafe for some dreamy cinnamon rolls.

Wynkoop beer

A flight of beer at Wynkoop Brewing Company. Photo: Bill Selak – Flickr.

Wind down at Wynkoop

Wynkoop Brewing Company was Denver’s first brewpub, opened in 1988. Gov. John Hickenlooper, who many call the father of craft beer, was one of the guys who started it. Back then, the neighborhood wasn’t nearly as hip as it is now, but Wynkoop helped revitalize the LoDo neighborhood, which has since built up around it. So swing in, grab a bite to eat and try some delicious beer (and toast to old Hickenlooper while you’re at it).

ice cream

Bonnie Brae Ice Cream. Photo: stokes 91 – Flickr.

 

Scream for ice cream

Bonnie Brae Ice Cream near Washington Park is not to be missed. The delicious flavors are homemade right on site, and they change throughout the summer, but the menu usually includes such gems as pineapple cheesecake, malted milkball and lemon ginger. The line usually stretches out the door—it gets pretty hot in Denver in July, meaning plenty of people are eager to cool off with a sweet treat. But worry not, there are plenty of benches to sit on while enjoying your just rewards and fitting in somechoice people-watching.

CTIXblog CTA _ cheap of the week

Tagged: Cheap of the Month, City, Food & drink, Off-season

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Dads totally luck out—Father’s Day falls in June, when the weather is warm and the outdoor activities are plentiful. And not only does dear old Dad deserves nothing but the best for Father’s Day, but experiential gifts trump traditional presents any day. So treat your dad to the best gift you can give him, without bankrupting yourself in the process. We’ve got some cheap Father’s Day suggestions right here:

Red River Gorge

Red River Gorge at Natural Bridge. Photo: hspauldi – Flickr.

Hit the trails

Take dad for a hike. This is an easy one no matter where you live — if you’re in the city, it’s a great opportunity to get out into nature and blow off some steam, and if you’re in the country, well, that just makes it even easier. If you’re willing to travel for the privilege, Red River Gorge in Kentucky is one for the books. There are more than 500 miles of trails that vary in difficulty, and there’s no entrance fee to the park.

MillerCoors brewery tour - a cheap Father's Day delight

A sign at the MillerCoors brewery in Milwaukee. Photo: Adam Sonnett – Flickr.

Imbibe in a brew

Head to Milwaukee for a beer with dad. The industrial city is known for its plethora of breweries, but before hitting the craft beer scene, head to the MillerCoors factory for a tour of a Midwestern mainstay. German immigrant Frederick Miller founded the brewery in the 1850s, and besides a brief pause during Prohibition, it’s been quenching the country’s thirst ever since. Tours are free, last about an hour and end with three free samples in the beer garden. How’s that for a cheap Father’s Day excursion?

Wright-Pat

The National Museum of the United States Air Force at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base near Dayton, Ohio. Photo: Jennifer Morrow – Flickr.

Visit Wright-Pat

There’s no better fatherly activity than diving into the fascinating history of aviation. The National Museum of the United States Air Force—located on Wright-Patterson Air Force Base near Dayton, Ohio—has one of the Wright Brothers’ planes, modern models and everything in between. The museum just opened its fourth building on June 8, which has more than 70 aircraft in its Presidential, Research and Development, Space and Global Reach galleries. Visitors can board space shuttles and walk through Air Force One. The free museum is open 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily.

Paul McCartney

Paul McCartney performs on his Out There Tour at Centenario Stadium in Montevideo, Uruguay in April 2014. Photo: Jimmy Baikovicius – Flickr.

See an outdoor concert

Moms may sing us lullabies as children, but dads play their favorite rock songs for us, making surewe’re way cooler than our age. Sting and Peter Gabriel are touring together this summer in what’ll surely be an epic, dad-approved blowout. If your pops wasn’t into either of them, try Paul McCartney, Guns N’ Roses or Black Sabbath, all of whom are also on the road. There’s a concert for every taste this summer, so find an outdoor venue near you, take your dad, and—this last part’s really important—buy him a beer. After all, he changed your diapers and fed you for years and whatnot. But at least you can tease him about getting too old for the lawn seats.

Car show

The 47th Annual Twin Cities Collectors Car Show & Swap Meet in Blaine, Minnesota.
August 2014. Photo: Greg Gjerdingen – Flickr.

Stroll through a car show

Most dads love a good car show. But which kind you take him to are up to you: You’ve got your new, unattainable cars for wishful thinking, and your classic hot rods for reminiscing. The Tahoe City Solstice Festival has a car show the evening of June 17, or try Thunder on the River Car Show June 18 near Scranton, Pennsylvania. If cross-country road trippin’ is more your dad’s thing, try a boat and RV show, which usually costs about $10–$15 at the door.

Hit the back nine

A game of golf is always cause for father/kid bonding. Florida is known for its golfcourses, and it’s a smart escape from the beaches, which get crowded this time of year with summer breakers. Try Bay Hill Club in Orlando or Hammock Dunes Club Link Course in Palm Coast. A word to the wise: Pick a tee time on any weekend except Father’s Day, as the greens will likely get about as crowded as the beaches.

CTIXblog CTA _ cheap of the week

Tagged: Cheap Tips, Family, Florida, Food & drink, FREE!, Holidays, Seasonal, Tips & advice