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Colorado Scottish Festival

58th Annual Colorado Scottish Festival

Experience Scotland at the Denver Polo Club, August 5-6, 2023!Visit the spirit of Scotland in Colorado’s own backyard at this special event. The St. Andrew Society of Colorado is proud to announce the 59th Annual Colorado Scottish Festival will be held at its new location at the Denver Polo Club, August 5-6, 2023. Coupled with the warm hospitality and sophistication of the Denver Polo Club, this event provides an excellent opportunity to explore several interesting aspects of Scottish culture, traditions and history, while nourishing the community with a variety of engaging experiences.The festival is a family-oriented, family-friendly event, and although the flavor is Scottish, there’s something for all cultures and every age group. We invite you to get away from the everyday and experience our new home at this high-class oasis, just 30 minutes from downtown Denver. The Denver Polo Club is known for its beautiful grounds on 30 acres, friendly atmosphere and cordial members who help make this the best international club in the area. The club has created many traditions for players and fans alike, and now they will share in helping to foster fond memories for a new summer tradition – hosting the Colorado Scottish Festival.For the best experience, join the festival’s Thistle Club and get an exclusive VIP Package to enjoy during the entire weekend. The Thistle Club provides a friendly atmosphere featuring Scottish music in the background, complimentary Scottish food and adult beverages, including single malt whisky. Members are treated to a special welcome reception on Saturday morning, private access to a late afternoon reception featuring a performance by our own Rocky Mountain Highland Dancers and close-in, private seating at the outdoor concert Saturday night with the exciting local Celtic rock group, Angus Mohr. In addition, members will receive a commemorative gift, a Tartan Badge, free whisky tastings and a great place to relax and enjoy a pleasurable respite during the festival. Greasaibh oirbh (hurry up), Thistle Club tickets are limited – when they’re gone, they’re gone!Throughout the weekend, enjoy Scottish athletics, piping and drumming band contests, solo bagpipe and dance competitions/performances, whisky tastings, clans/genealogy, living history, re-enactments, Scottish and Irish music, Celtic merchandise, beer and food vendors, children’s activities, dogs, cars and more. Also, our new location provides an opportunity for the festival to include novel, additional events such as polo and rugby matches. As a special treat, you’ll be able to watch one of the most coveted tournaments in the Denver area, The United States Polo Association Governor’s Cup, where teams compete with passion, grit and intensity. More information will become available on the club’s website as the date draws nearer ( with room to grow, the Colorado Scottish Festival hopes to offer even more events and attractions for their 60th anniversary celebration in August of 2024.The festival’s Scottish Games allow spectators to watch professional and amateur athletes, both women and men, compete for top honors in unique sporting events. Many of the games involve throwing and lifting; collectively known as heavy events, they include the caber toss, weight for height and hammer throw. A plethora of pipers will transport you to Scotland while you take in the sight of dancers flinging and jigging to the enjoyment of everyone. Besides traditional Scottish Highland dance competitions, visitors can observe demonstrations of traditional Irish Step Dancing by the Heritage Irish Stepdancers. After the Parade of Clans, stop by one of the many Clan Tents, where you’ll find plaid-clad docents eager to share their respective history. They will help attendees piece together the twigs and branches of a family tree, trace lineages back to ancient Scottish roots and locate your clan’s unique tartan.There will be vendors selling all manner of Scottish and Celtic merchandise and crafts. In addition to food vendors, you’ll have an opportunity to savor the famous Scottish dish of haggis, grab yourself a “bellywasher” at the beer tent, or for a bit of great craic, sample a wee dram at one of our Whisky Tastings. Yes, “whisky” is how the Scots spell it, and it’s single-malt Scotch. Purchase your tickets in advance online to reserve your spot for our always-popular whisky tastings, as there is limited availability. The tasting is more of a classroom-like setting where participants sit for about an hour while our whisky concierge and tasting leader (or is that, “litre”?), Buz Dabkowski, will instruct you how to taste, judge flavor profiles, identify aromas and gain a better understanding of “the water of life”. Educate your mind and your palate while having fun. The instructions are fairly simple: “See, Swirl, Sniff, Sip, Savor, Repeat”. Our long-time partner and sponsor for the tastings is Edrington Brands, an international spirits company. Edrington’s acclaimed banner of brands include Highland Park, Macallan, Glenrothes Scotch and American Noble Oak Rye.Observe Highland life from the time of William Wallace through the Jacobite uprising in 1745 through the village setting of the Renaissance Scots Living History Association. The RenScots have been delighting Celtic festival guests with their re-enactments for 23 years. Besides sharing Scottish history, you’ll find demonstrations on heritage crafts such as weaving, leather working, basketmaking, blacksmithing, traditional culinary dishes and traditional Celtic folk music. And for a little more excitement, check out the fighting element of the RenScots, the Wolves of Dunvegan, a skilled display of ancient combat and swordsmanship. They’ll educate the public on their arsenal of broadswords, claymores and other assorted, historic weaponry ( of the first day will wrap up with a Highland Rock & Roll concert Saturday night featuring Colorado’s own, Angus Mohr (7-9 p.m., included with admission). Angus Mohr revitalizes traditional Celtic music’s brogue with an American blues accent while rejuvenating rock ’n roll’s broad spectrum with bagpipes and pennywhistles. But their set list is also peppered with songs penned by Dylan, Pink Floyd, Johnny Cash and the Ramones. Angus Mohr crosses musical boundaries to pull in a diverse audience where fans steeped in blue collar classic rock, hippies old and young, and grown-up metal heads dance to timeless music about timeless ideas ( Besides the concert, there will be plenty of traditional Scottish and Irish folk music throughout the weekend provided by local musicians such as Avourneen, Nerea the Fiddler, Wolf Loescher, Skean Dubh, Down the Back Lane, Gobs O’Phun and more.Other events include a Bonnie Knees Contest (Saturday), the Parade of British Dogs (10am both days), and of course, there’s plenty of children’s activities, field events and historical information to keep your wee bairns excited and engaged. And dinnae forget to haste ye back on Sunday morning for the Kirkin’ of the Tartan and Blessing of the Dogs. Afterwards, car enthusiasts can get revved up by our display of British cars on Sunday as well.Tickets are available at the gate or through the website ( and parking is available at a nominal fee. Join the Colorado Scottish Festival for a fun-filled weekend and a bonnie good time for the entire family!We can use your help. As a non-profit organization, volunteers are crucial to the success of the Festival. Without this wonderful group of people, it just wouldn’t happen. If you would like to volunteer your time on the committee or at the Festival, let us know your interests and we’ll find the best fit for you. Please visit our website and click on the “Volunteer” button, or email Denver Polo Club, Renaissance Scots, Edrington Brands, Scottish Kings Gin, Belhaven Scotch Ale, SCFD, Men in Kilts and Renewal by Anderson, with more to be announced as the festival draws nearer.FESTIVAL DATES & TIMES: August 5-6, 2023; 9 am to 9 pm, Saturday, 9 am to 5 pm, SundayLOCATION: Denver Polo Club, 6359 Airport Road, Sedalia, CO 80135ADMISSION FEES AND PARKING:
For information regarding ticket costs, parking, or to order advance tickets online, please visit

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Colorado Vacation Ideas

Vacation Planning Ideas

Colorado Vacation Ideas

You're ready to do some vacation planning. You could really use a break, and you've seen pictures of Colorado's majestic landscapes reaching 2 miles into the American sky. This is someplace you'd like to see and experience. It would take a few lifetimes to see, enjoy, experience, feel, and reach all of what Colorado offers. So, we're here to help you with your Colorado vacation planning and the best way to maximize your time while in Colorado.

Create Your Vacation Plan

With so much going on in Colorado it’s best to identify your vacation passion and the passions of the group or other person you are traveling with. Here is a list of considerations to help you get the best Colorado vacation experience.

Summer Vacation Planning vacation planning scenic train

What summer Colorado activities are a priority for you and your group? Start by identifying the primary activity and prioritizing from there.

    • Perhaps your bucket list includes visiting an adventure park, a scenic train ride, a hot springs visit, zip lining, getting a hike or two in, and rafting.  Wow, that’s ambitious but it can be done. Once again, staying in a region like the Royal Gorge area can serve this up. If you look closely, you will find companies that even sell combinations of experiences in one day.

    • If you're planning a backpacking trip. You will want to select a region, such as the Rocky Moutain National Park, and just stay there.

    • If day hiking is more your thing. You will get the most hiking in by exploring a region versus trying to travel all over the state, but some travel is realistic.

Are you planning to tour the state? Will you need lodging or will you be camping along the way?

    • Summer tourist season in Colorado is popular. If you’re planning on camping, tent camping or RV camping, you will need to plan ahead. Reservations at public campgrounds are necessary, especially during “peak season”.

Identify what “other” activities are important.

Winter Vacation Planning

Will your winter vacation be at a ski resort?snowboarder vacation planning

    • There are 25 ski areas in Colorado, not including cross-country ski touring centers.  First, understand the abilities and expectations of your group. Then investigate your options for what they offer, type of terrain, expense, apres ski activities, and more.

    • There are other resort options besides ski resort towns. Many guest ranches stay open in the winter and offer a variety of winter activities. This is true for out-of-the-way cabin rentals and some of the natural hot spring resorts.

Are all members of your group skiers, or are there snowboarders too?

    • If you’re vacationing with a mix of skiers and snowboarders, as well as ability level. It’s best to closely examine the resorts with terrain parks and a mix of blue and expert-level ski runs. The larger resorts will have the most options.

Does your group want to travel to different resort destinations or stay at a specific resort?

    • If touring different resorts is what you have in mind. Staying in the Central part of Colorado is by far the most efficient. As all these resorts can be traveled to by car in a few hours. Or, skip the winter driving around, stay at a designated resort, and focus on your fun there.

Is vacationing on a budget a concern?

    • If being budget-minded is part of your vacation. Try planning your trip during the “off-season” or not “peak-season” times. Check out lesser-known resorts. In either case, you should be able to find deals on lift tickets and lodging.

Are off-slope activities appealing, such as shopping, dining, spas, events, or alternative activities?

    • If your group needs alternative activities. The bigger resorts will have the most varied selection of activities to choose from. However, popular attractions like winter scenic train ridesnatural hot springs, and guided tours such as snowmobiling or sleigh rides are not necessarily at the resort. Check out “other attractions” first and then decided on the resort to stay at.

Colorado's Endless List of Vacation Options

Colorado offers an almost endless list of vacation options. The first step is to understand if you want to tour around or stay in one place. Either has much to offer. However, touring the state will require more vacation planning. Please use our free vacation planning itinerary tool. This will help you keep track of the sights and experiences you don’t want to miss. Plus, organize your lodging and travel routes along the way.

Staying put at that special place in Colorado is also a good way to spend your vacation. With so much to explore in any given region of the State, it might make more sense for you just to find lodging in a favorite place and base all your activities on that location. In either case, feel free to request some of our free visitor guides, and use our free itinerary tool to help organize all the activities, keep the dates and times handy, and make your vacation more relaxing.
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Lodging & Accommodations

Lodging & Accommodations

Colorado Lodging & Accommodations

Big blue skies, wide open spaces, and majestic mountains - Colorado has it all. With these many attractions and activities comes a variety of lodging options. Understanding where best to stay depends on your expectations for your Colorado vacation. Camping is for those who want to get close to nature versus staying at an Inn in one of Colorado’s popular resort towns. You can find the highest luxury appointments in Colorado and have just about everything catered, or discover more out-of-the-way cabins and motels that provide location access to various attractions. Colorado has developed as an expert in accommodating tourists of all types. With a little looking around, you will certainly find the lodging and vacation experience that will meet your expectations and budget.

At you’ll find everything from the Frisco Lodge and Frisco Inn B&B’s to the Royal Gorge RV Resort to Estes Park’s Aspen Winds Condos to Dillon’s BW Ptarmigan Inn to Aspen’s St. Moritz Lodge to the Vail Mountain Haus Condominiums

Know where you want to stay? Skip to the info.

Resort Town Lodging

Staying at one of Colorado’s resort towns is commonly associated with ski vacations. Thankfully for that popular activity, Colorado’s resort towns have various lodging choices that are available year-round. Local resort management companies will book lodging or seek out an online booking website. Resort town lodging often has “deals” on lodging during off-seasons or between peak seasons. Staying in a resort town is perfect for those who want to experience the liveliness of mountain town life and access mountain attractions, outdoor activities, or events.

Types of resort town lodging

  • Ski chalet rental - These can be ski-in, ski-out, or located within close proximity to the lifts. Best for large groups or families. They come complete with kitchens, living spaces, game rooms, hot tubs, and more, depending on the chalet.
  • Bed & Breakfast Inns - most commonly located near or within resort communities. These small personable Inns are often historical and well-appointed. In addition to being within close proximity of the ski slopes, they are usually around the corner to downtown districts and provide access to venues, restaurants, shopping, and more. Often Inns include spa services, facilitate reservations, or help you find guided experiences.
  • Condominium Rentals - Condominium complexes are found at ski resorts, and condos can be rented for several days or weeks. Ski area condominiums can vary from older and dated in their appointments to economy-style construction or very high-end, fancy. Condos usually have kitchens, living space, and access to shared hot tubs or pool areas. The high-end condos might have hot tubs within the unit, or a common pool, hot tub, gym facilities, and access to other services. That could include spa services, concierge services, food services, and more. Renting a condominium is a good choice for groups and families.
  • Brand Name and Local Motels - Almost all popular brand name motels can be found near the ski slopes. The services they provide are typical of that brand. It’s not uncommon to find luxury brand-name motels slopeside of popular ski resorts.
resort lodging

Popular Destination Lodging

Colorado is full of popular destinations besides ski resort towns. Such as Estes Park, the Royal Gorge Region, Casinos, or any of the National Monuments, National Forests, and public lands. Due to Colorado’s diverse topography, rich western history, and a plethora of public lands and parks, there is a lot to see and do. Depending on what you want to do, lodging options change when looking beyond a resort town.
  • Campgrounds, RV parks, Cabins, and alternate lodging options - Common around water attractions such as whitewater rivers, mountain lakes, state parks, forest access, and BLM lands, is usually an assortment of campgrounds for both tent campers and RV travelers. Yurts, cabins, bunkhouses, RV parks, AirBnB, and other similar types of lodging are also found in these areas; however, they are usually associated with a private business such as a guest ranch, natural hot springs, or rafting outfits. State parks often offer cabin rentals, RV, and tent campsites as well.
  • Popular destinations such as the Royal Gorge region or towns like Silverthorne and Ouray have different attractions such as off-road touring, amusement parks, gambling, rafting, hiking, horseback riding, or even sailing. Lodging in these locations can be the most varied, from remote mom-and-pop motels, quaint Inns, guest ranches, and luxury hotels to campgrounds and RV parks. Essentially the traveler will choose from what’s available and their budget.
  • Colorado’s Luxury Hotels and Resorts - Many of Colorado’s luxury hotels grew out of the 1800s mining boom and the need to facilitate early business development and provide luxury experiences to Colorado’s early elite vacationers. Luxury hotels and resorts can be found in various places throughout Colorado and facilitate the traveler in many extraordinary ways, including guided outdoor mountain experiences and extensive spa services. Colorado’s luxury hotels and resorts are for those who prefer the red carpet treatment.

RV Parks & Camping

Colorado has 42 state parks that boast more than 4,000 campsites. Plus 830 RV Parks with campgrounds throughout the state. Most of these campgrounds and parks are in more out-of-the-way places. Often near National Parks, Forests, lakes or rivers, and public land access points. Touring Colorado by way of an RV is an excellent way to see the state and visit more remote locations. Both tent and RV camping are affordable ways to vacation short or long-term.  

Colorado Cabinscolorado cabins lodging

Vacationing in a Colorado cabin is popular for those who want to get away and relax in a laidback nature-infused environment. Most cabin rentals are provided by private landowners and guest ranches or can be found via state parks. Often commercial natural hot springs offer cabin rentals. Renting a cabin is a chance to stay in one place and experience the special natural features that surround the location. Cabins are nice for couples or small groups who want unique, memorable experiences.  

Guest ranches

Destination guest ranches or dude ranches date back to the mid-1800s and are the early pioneers of facilitating tourism. Ranching was the original way of doing business in Colorado and facilitated various endeavors, including developing ski areas. Colorado’s established guest ranches are rich with history and offer traditional western experiences such as horseback riding, hunting, and bar-b-que dinners. However, these outfits know all about staying current and offer various modern experiences such as mountain biking, sweat lodges, buggy rides, spa services, and event hosting. Staying at a guest ranch is for those who want to step back in time or experience modern accouterments in a traditional western style. Guest ranches will accommodate individuals, couples, and large groups.  


The growing popularity of Airbnb is catching on throughout the state. In Colorado, Airbnb locations are as diverse as the geography and provide lodging in secluded or unique locations not found via more conventional types of establishments. This is worth considering if you’re looking for something more off the beaten path.
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