Boating Lakes in Colorado

There’s nothing quite like spending the day on a boat out on a lake. Whether you’re planning on fishing, exploring, or relaxing you can find what you’re looking in Colorado’s beautiful lakes. The state is home to more than 4,000 lakes that cover almost 250,000 acres, so lake lovers in Colorado have plenty of options to choose from. But to save you time we’ve looked the best lakes in Colorado for boating. These six lakes have something for every boating enthusiast, from beginners looking to rent a boat to boat owners who practically live on the lake. Read on, and you’ll find a lake that suits your needs.

Chatfield Reservoir

Chatfield Reservoir Colorado Boating

  • Surface Area: 1,500 acres
  • Lowest Depth: 154 feet
  • Miles from Denver: 20 miles

While Colorado is home to plenty of natural lakes, you’ll find that some of the best places to go boating are the state’s human-made reservoir. The Chatfield Reservoir, also known as Chatfield lake, was created by the Army Corps in 1966 to help control flooding in the area. But a happy side effect of this decision was the creation of one of the state’s best boating destinations. Anyone who wants to go out on the lake or bring their own boat or rent boats on site. The Chatfield Marina handles motorized boats while Colorado Water Sports rents smaller, human-powered boats. The area is currently being updated to expand the size of the lake and bring its facilities into the 21st century. The changes will add 500 more acres to its surface area and 12 feet to its depth. In summation, the Chatfield Reservoir is a great place to visit now and it looks like it’s going to keep getting better as it grows in the coming years.

Grand Lake

Grand Lake Colorado Boating

  • Surface Area: 507 acres
  • Lowest Depth: 265 feet
  • Miles from Denver: 100 miles

If you’re looking for a large and yet completely natural lake, then Grand Lake is the place to be in Colorado. This glacial lake is the largest natural lake in Colorado in terms of surface area, depth, and total water volume. The lake itself is gorgeous, but the scenery surrounding the lake is just as beautiful. The lake is situated in Rocky Mountain National Park, and so you can always look out over the waters and see gorgeous mountains rising up above the blue depths of Grand Lake. Anyone who doesn’t have their own boat can rent or charter a boat at the Grand Lake Marina. So whether you’re an experienced boat owner or looking to go out for the first time, Grand Lake is a fantastic boating destination.

Cherry Creek Reservoir

Cherry Creek Reservoir Boating in Colorado

  • Surface Area: 850 acres
  • Lowest Depth: 46 feet
  • Miles from Denver: 10 miles

Anyone looking for boating excitement close to Denver should seriously consider a trip to Cherry Creek Reservoir. This lake combines size and convenience. It can take less than 20 minutes to get from downtown Denver to this 3.25-mile long lake. Cherry Creek Reservoir as we know it today was created when the Cherry Creek Dam was created in 1950. Rental pontoons are available at The Marina at Cherry Creek, alongside non-motorized options for people who want to take things a little slower.

Granby Lake

Lake Granby Colorado Boating

  • Surface Area: 7,250 acres
  • Lowest Depth: 221 feet
  • Miles from Denver: 90 miles

With a shore that stretches on for 40 miles and a total surface area of more than 7,000 acres, Lake Granby is truly a sight to behold. The modern Lake Granby was created along with the Granby Dam in 1950, but the lake had a boating presence even before it grew with the dam’s creation. Since 1902 the lake has been home to the Lake Granby Yacht club. The club is home to Colorado’s most committed sailboat racers. If you’re not looking to join a yacht club, you can rent or charter a boat at the Indian Peaks Marina, Beacon Landing Marina, or Highland Marina. With a lake the size of Lake Granby, there are plenty of options to choose from!

Sloan’s Lake

Sloans Lake Colorado Boating

  • Surface Area: 177 acres
  • Lowest Depth: 8 feet
  • Miles from Denver: 0 miles

Most of the time you have to leave the big city to experience true boating, but Denver is one of the few major landlocked cities where you can have some serious boating fun. Sloan’s lake is one of the only options for boating in Denver where boating enthusiasts can head out on both motorized and non-motorized boats. The boating season usually lasts from the first of April until the first of November, but anyone interested in boating on Sloan lake should check in advance because these dates are subject to change depending on the circumstances. The lake is relatively small and shallow, reaching only 8 feet of depth! Still, boating may be possible as long as proper arrangements are made with the Sloan’s Lake Boating office.

Shadow Mountain Lake

Shadow Mountain Lake Colorado Boating

  • Surface Area: 1,345 acres
  • Lowest Depth: 24 feet
  • Miles from Denver: 100 miles

The lake is named after the mountain that overlooks it, Shadow Mountain. There’s something magical about boating under the watchful eye of that majestic mountain. It’s the sister lake of Grand Lake, and the two bodies of water are continuous, with nothing but a few gates separating the two. Still, the Shadow Mountain Lake has a character all its own. It’s much larger than Grand Lake, though the water is more shallow. Its spaciousness means there’s plenty of room to stretch out and explore even in the busy season. Anyone who wants to rent a boat on Shadow Mountain Lake can do so at the Trail Ridge Marina since boats rented on the Grand Lake side cannot be taken over into the Shadow Mountain Area.

Hotels Near Grizzly Rose

Hotels Near Grizzly Rose

Think you might need a hotel room to hibernate in after dancing the night away at the Grizzly Rose? Not to worry, we’ve got you covered. There are several hotel options nearby to suit any budget or preference. Each one offers a host of amenities to be your home away from home. If you’re coming into town for one of our boot-stompin’ concerts or wild nights, we’ve got a list of hotels near the Grizzly Rose. Make sure to take an Uber back to your room and stay safe!

Super 8 by Wyndham Denver Central

This Super 8 consistently gets great reviews on friendliness of staff, cleanliness and functionality. While it’s nothing fancy, it’ll get the job done for $61 a night on average, including breakfast. The 1-mile journey will average around $11 for an Uber, which is not too shabby.

Quality Inn Denver Central

If basic but clean lodgings are what you’re on the hunt for, the Quality Inn Denver Central has you covered. The property features a restaurant, WiFi, free parking and breakfast, all for about $91 a night. The rooms are clean, the staff is friendly and it’s under a mile away from the venue, which means your Uber will average about $9. Score!

Comfort Inn Central

While a Comfort Inn generally isn’t going to be a 5-star Ritz Carlton resort, it’ll get you through the night and next morning in…you guessed it, comfort! This Comfort Inn is pet friendly, has a small outdoor pool and a free hot breakfast in the morning. A bonus? The bedding is super comfortable. A room here on the weekends will average you about $107. You can easily Uber to the Grizzly Rose from the hotel, for a ride that’ll average around $11. Just a mile north of the venue, this is the closest hotel you’ll find in the immediate area.

Radisson Hotel Denver Central

This Radisson Hotel offers free breakfast, a pool, gym and comfy bed for an average of $102 a night. They also have a restaurant and bar onsite, which means you can pregame before heading down to the Rose. This hotel is a little over a mile away to the southeast. The 5-minute Uber ride will put you out approximately $9-13.

La Quinta Inn & Suites Denver Central

This laidback hotel boasts an easy-access perch in Denver’s famous RiNo, or River North District. Several cool craft bars and clubs can be found in this eclectic art region. The La Quinta also offers a free continental breakfast, Wi-Fi and parking. An Uber ride to the Grizzly Rose will cost about $9-15 for the 2-mile journey. You can usually find a room at this hotel for an average of $95.

More Upmarket Options


Hotel Indigo Denver Downtown

The Hotel Indigo line is a new offering from parent company IHG, which means anywhere you find one its’ guaranteed to be gleaming and state of the art. The Hotel Indigo Denver Downtown is based on a minimalist modern approach to the woodsy atmosphere of Denver. You’ll find a lot of clean lines, stainless steel and wood accents in this modernist space. With a bar, restaurant, gym and elegant room furnishings, Hotel Indigo Denver is a comfortable and chic place to stay for your Grizzly Rose excursion. An Uber from the Hotel Indigo will run you about $11-20 for the 3-mile trek. You can expect to shell out a lot more for the cost of the room, however. It’s not uncommon for a room here to be just over $200.

Four Seasons Hotel Denver

If ritzy is what you’re after, the Four Seasons Hotel Denver should do the trick. Rooms run up to $400 here easily. The hotel offers high-rise rooms and chic suites alongside a fully furnished gym, luxurious pool, fine dining options and its’ own spa. This is a great spot to spoil yourself for a night or two on the town with five-star accommodations. The hotel is approximately 6 miles from the Grizzly Rose. The journey will cost you about $14-22 in an Uber ride, but if you’ve decided to splurge on the Four Seasons you may just want a limo after all.

Famous Country Music Venues

12 Famous Country Music Venues

Listening to recordings of your favorite country songs is all well and good, but to truly get the country experience you need to hear it live. Country music was born in bars, and on front porches, anywhere you could find space for a singer and a guitar. If you’re looking for live country, then you need to seek out some of the best venues this great country has to offer. Since hundreds of venues have helped make country music what it is today it can be hard to decide to choose between them all. To help you we’ve gone through them and picked out the twelve best, so you know where to go to get the best experience possible.

1. Grizzly Rose, Denver, CO

Skinny Dennis Country Venue

In the heart of the Rocky Mountains, you’ll find a country venue unlike any other, which of course we think is the most famous country venue you can find! Since 1989 the Grizzly Rose has brought artists like Garth Brooks, Willie Nelson, Waylon Jennings, and Toby Keith to come tear it up in the heart of Denver. Beyond the world-class music, the Rose also comes equipped with a dining room, dance floor, smoke shop, pool room, and mechanical bulls. Add in weekly specials running from Tuesday to Sunday there’s always a reason to come on down to the Grizzly Rose.

2. Gruene Hall, New Braunfels, TX

Gruene Hall Famous Country Music Venue

If you want to really touch Country music history, then the Gruene Hall is a must visit. It’s been around since 1878, and it is still going strong after almost a century and a half. The best thing is that while other historic venues have changed with the times, the Gruene Hall’s owners have sought to preserve its unique character.

3. Skinny Dennis, New York City, NY

Skinny Dennis Country Venue

When you see the horseshoe on the door and step in to find a painting of Woodie Nelson looking down at you you’ll know that you’re not in Williamsburg anymore. This little slice of the South in Brooklyn is proof positive that Northerners know how to play country music with the best of them. All week long you’ll find live music on the stage and affordable beers behind the counter.

4. Grand Ole Opry House, Nashville, TN

Grand Ole Opry House Venue

No list of country music venues would be complete without mentioning the Grand Ole Opry. The Grand Ole Opry radio show has been broadcasting some of the best music around into homes across America since 1925. The show started out in a small venue and eventually demanded its own space, which lead to the construction of the Grand Ole Opry House in 1974. In the over forty years since it was built this venue has seen just about all of the legends of country music. Every country music fan should try and visit it at least once in their life.

5. Dusty Armadillo, Rootstown, OH

Dusty Armadillo Country Venue

Anyone looking for a night of peace and quiet should avoid the Dusty Armadillo. This is a place where the music is loud and the patrons are even louder. Even if you aren’t outgoing chances are you’ll get swept up in the spirit as the alcohol flows and the dancers tear it up on the floor all into the wee hours of the morning.

6. The Stage on Broadway, Nashville, TX

Stage on Broadway Famous Country Venue

If you want to see tomorrow’s country music stars today, then The Stage on Broadway is the place to be. It’s famous as the spot where musicians with dreams of stardom go to pay their dues as they make their way in Nashville. But the stage isn’t just about country music’s cutting edge; you’ll also find memorabilia owned by country music legends like Waylon Jennings decorating the walls.

7. Firehouse Saloon, Houston, TX

Firehouse Saloon Famous Venue

The name of this venue comes from the fact that it was founded by firefighters. More than that, after 20 years it’s still owned by a firefighter, so you can feel safe when you enter this honky tonk. With wooden floors and picnic tables to sit at this place is as authentic as you can get.

8. Bub City, Chicago, IL

Bub City Country Music Club

If you want to see how they get down country-style in Chicago then head on over to Bub City. All week long it’s a great little bar, but the place really lights up whenever there’s live music. Touring acts and locals alike take the stage on the weekends, while drinkers can get in on the action on Tuesdays for the best country karaoke night in Illinois.

9. Austin City Saloon, Lexington, KY

Austin City Saloon Country Saloon

Don’t let the name fool you, this venue is located in Kentucky. The name comes from the founders’ desire to bring a taste of Texas to Kentucky and that’s just what you’ll get when you visit the Austin City Saloon for drinks and dancing.

10. Coyote Joe’s, Charlotte, NC

Coyote Joes Country Venue

This venue is the place that country musicians hit up whenever they swing through North Carolina. It’s another venue that hosts line dancing lessons. Its atmosphere is very warm and inviting so if you’ve always wanted to try line dancing then Coyote Joe’s is the place to dive on in.

11. Bushwhackers Dance Hall & Saloon, Tualatin, OR

Bushwackers Country Dance Hall

This Oregon establishment is a small saloon with a big heart. It’s created a little community of country fans in the heart of Oregon by holding dance classes and bringing in some of the best country acts around for live shows every weekend. Just be warned, this venue’s size and popularity mean that by the end of the night it can get pretty crowded.

12. Billy Bob’s Texas, Fort Worth, TX

Billy Bobs Famous Texas Country Bar

In Texas, they like big steaks, big hats, and big honky tonks. Billy Bob’s Texas holds the title of the largest honky tonk in the world. The 100,000 square feet inside the building can hold up to six thousand country music fans at once! It was at Billy Bob’s that Merle Haggard earned the world record for biggest round ever purchased when he bought a crowd of over 5,000 fans a shot of whiskey. This venue has also been a star of TV and film, including George Strait’s 1992 classic Pure Country. Once you walk into Billy Bob’s, it’s clear why this honky-tonk is a star.

Country Music City

What is the Best Country Music City?

Every music genre has a handful of cities that have defined their history and evolution. Whether it’s because of their reputation as a prime concert destination or because of their connection to famous musicians, there is no denying these city’s importance to their genre. Country music is much the same. We’ve gone through and compiled a list of some of the most important and famous country music cities.

1. Nashville, Tennessee

Nashville Country Music City

The first place most people think of when it comes to country music destinations, Nashville time and time again has carved out a name for itself in country music history.

While it’s inclusion in this list at number one is almost a bit too obvious, there’s still no better choice for such a lofty position. Nashville contains the largest country music museum in the country, with anyone who was or is anyone in country music having a spot in its country music hall of fame.

2. Bakersfield, California

Bakersfield Country Music City

What many consider to be the “Nashville of the West Coast,” Bakersfield is known for its eponymous “Bakersfield Sound” which served as a precursor to the popular sub genre of outlaw country. It also houses a venue known as “The Crystal Palace,” a restaurant, dancehall, and concert stage founded by one of the legends in West Coast country music himself, Buck Owens.

The town has been known to have been a favorite haunt of such country music stars as Merle Haggard and Wynn Stewart.

3. Denver, Colorado

Country Music City Denver

Home to a thriving country music community, a great number of country-themed bars and social gatherings can be found here. The largest of which being the Grizzly Rose itself, a huge concert space, dance hall, memorabilia shop, and bar all rolled into one. Those looking to interact with other country music fans and listen to world renowned artists giving live performances need look no further than Denver.

One of the hallmark outposts in the days of the Wild West, the spirit of the West is still alive in well in Denver and is carried over to its country music.

4. Memphis, Tennessee

Memphis Country Music City

The resting place of “The King” himself, Elvis Presley. While he might have been known as the king of Rock’n’Roll, Elvis incorporated many country and blues elements into his songs. In fact, the entire rockabilly sub-genre which Elvis helped pioneer has its roots planted deeply in country music.

Memphis is a testament to how culturally important Country has been to other forms of popular music.

5. Dallas, Texas

Dallas Country Music City

Those visiting Dallas will find greasy food, shady saloons, and country music festivals galore awaiting them. This historic city resting right in the heart of the West has been inspiration for a great number of cowboy ballads across the years.

It doesn’t get any more authentic cowboy than in Dallas, the same goes for its country music.

6. Louisville, Kentucky

Louisville Country Music City

Known for their world class famous wooden baseball bat brand, the “Louisville Slugger,” Louisville is also home to famous country singer/songwriters, Bonnie Billy and Tim Krekel.

There are plenty of country music events regularly hosted in Louisville such as concerts and line dancing. Those looking to see what the East coast has to offer in terms of country will find plenty of it in spade here in Louisville.

7. Chicago, Illinois

Chicago Country Music City

While maybe not one of the largest music capitols, Chicago is definitely the most varied. From bluegrass, to jazz and even hiphop, Chicago has played an important role in the history of many music genres. Country is of course no exception to this rule, with Chicago being the home to a a country music sound heavily inspired by the blues background of the city.

Catch a show at one of Chicago’s many fine saloons and country music bars in order to check out the city’s unique take on country music!

8. Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Philadelphia Country Music City

The city of brotherly love is not only an important historical site to America’s heritage, but also the to heritage of country music.

Home to a bevy of folk musicians over the years, the music of Pennsylvania is American as it gets. This patriotism, history, and tradition has bled over into its country music scene, making the sound as authentically American as good old apple pie.

9. Muscle Shoals, Alabama

Muscle Shoals Country Music City

Home to famed country music recording labels, Muscle Shoals sound studio and FAME sound studios, this town has been an instrumental part of country music’s legacy. Both sound studios are still around and actively being used to produce records, keeping the town relevant even to today’s country music scene.

Because of the town’s connection to the recording industry, many modern up and coming country musicians can be found giving live performances in the bars around the town hoping to get their big break.

10. Branson, Missouri

Branson Country Music City

Once a sleepy town with not much to its name, Branson’s popularity began to explode in the 1980’s and 1990’s thanks to its country music scene. The city was home to live performances of both Waylon Jennings and Loretta Lynn, leading to its current reputation as a country music concert destination.

Currently, the city is home to Clay Cooper who hosts regular performances in the city.

11. Dyess, Arkansas

Dyess Country Music City

While not a terribly large town with very few country music venues, this spot nevertheless is worth visiting to fans of country music. Why you ask? It was where legendary country singer Johnny Cash grew up and is where his childhood home still stands to this day.

Those interested in visiting Johnny Cash’s boyhood home will be very pleased to know that it has been opened to the public as a museum and is one of many Johnny Cash related tourism opportunities to be found in the city.

12. Austin, Texas

Austin Country Music City

Austin has earned itself the moniker of “the live music capital.” While other cities might still trump Austin when it comes to their focus on country music, Austin is not without its fair share of designated honky tonks and country music bars.

Those looking for a good beer and some country tunes should be sure to check out the Broken Spoke, Ginny’s Little Longhorn, and Gruene Hall while down in Austin.

13. Jacksonville, Florida

Jacksonville Country City

The origin city of several southern rock musicians such as the Allman Brothers and Lynyrd Skynyrd, Jacksonville has had as much of an impact on rock as it has country. The musicians that have come from this town all embody an edgy blend of country and rock sounds.

Famous country musician Tim McGraw also got his start in Jacksonville before eventually moving to Nashville.

14. Athens, Georgia

Athens Country Music City

Known as the “Liverpool of the South,” Athen’s reputation is mainly of that as an indie rock and new wave capital. What many people do not know however, is that the city has also made several contributions to the country scene as well, mainly when it comes to experimenting with fusion music.

A sort of mad science laboratory, the musicians of Athens are known for blending country elements into other genres such as rock, grunge, and even hip-hop.

15. Knoxville, Tennessee

Knoxville Country Music City

Knoxville has at one point been an important place to many country music stars such as Hank Williams, Dolly Parton, and the Everly Brothers.

Those looking to learn more about Knoxville’s storied history and relationship with country music are in luck, as one can take a tour known as the “Cradle of Country Music” which goes through some of the most famous spots of downtown Knoxville.

A country road trip to some of the top country music cities across the country is a fantastic idea for any country music fan. Check out our list of country road trip essentials!

Road Trip Country

Country Road Trip Essentials

One of the great adventures of living in America the beautiful is a good old fashioned road trip. Whether you’re crossing state lines, exploring your home state, or spanning the entire length of our great nation, there’s something very American about the open road. If you’re based in Colorado like we are, the potential for epic road trips is seemingly endless in almost any direction. Whether your heading into the surreal landscapes of Utah or making your way south to the mountains and deserts of New Mexico, a road trip should be on everyone’s bucket list who lives in Colorado. At the Grizzly Rose we are huge fans of road trips and we’ve put together a list of country road trip essentials you will need to best enjoy your next one!

Country Road Trip Essentials

Driving Hoodie

The one sure thing about a road trip is that you are going to be spending a lot of time in the car. Whether you are driving, being the navigator up front, or lounging in the back, feeling comfortable is a crucial part of enjoying the open road. There’s no better article of clothing for comfort in the car than a quality hoodie. We never embark on a road trip without one! We think our Graphite Black Grizzly Rose Hoodie is the perfect road trip companion. It’s very soft and comfortable and why not rep your favorite country saloon while out on the road!

Catch Phrase

Depending on how far you go, entertainment in the car will become something you need. Once you’ve listened to all your music, told your best stories, and realize you still have 5 more hours to go, you will want something to do. Catch Phrase is the perfect car game that even the driver can play (only guessing of course) which has kept us entertained over lengthy road trips. If you’re going to invest in Catch Phrase we recommend splurging a bit and getting the 5,000 Word Catch Phrase Edition. The cheaper/smaller versions only have about 1,500 words, which can get repetitive very fast.

Trucker Hat

No road trip would be complete without your crew wearing matching trucker hats throughout the entirety of the journey. Now, unless you are all already sporting Grizzly Rose Hats, the next best thing would be a trucker hat that’s red, white, blue, and patriotic. We think these MURICA Trucker Hats would fit the bill nicely!

Road Trip Essentials


Sunglasses are a requirement during a road trip and regardless of what other styles you own, the aviator reigns supreme as the classic road trip eyewear. There’s a reason every highway patrolmen you meet rocks this certain type of shade, it just pairs well with the open road. These cheap, but good looking Duduma Aviator Mirrored Sunglasses should do the trick!


Another crucial part of a good road trip is having the right snacks. While there are hundreds of choices depending on what you like, there are two snacks that we always associate with a road trip.

Sunflower SeedsThey help you stay focused and awake while driving as they take a bit of effort to eat. They are delicious, salty, and we think are the ideal road trip snack. We’re fans of the Original David Jumbo Seeds which you can by for cheap on Amazon in a 12-pack to save you some money.

Beef JerkyThe other thing you will always find with us on a road trip is beef jerky. We like the Jack Links Variety Pack that comes in little packages of both original and teriyaki flavors.


Driving fatigue can be a serious problem when you have long distances to go. That’s why it’s always important to have a fresh, rested copilot who you can switch with if you ever feel sleepy. We also always have a case of energy drinks in the car to make sure we are awake and alert all the time! Our go to is the Original Monster Energy.

Road Trip Things You Need

Neck Pillow

It’s not always easy getting comfortable in a car. As long as you aren’t the driver then you will probably be sleeping at some point during your road trip. Rather than the pain of waking up with your chin to your chest and your neck muscles strained from your head bobbing around, we always recommend a good neck pillow for a road trip. We like this Cloudz Microbead Neck Pillow, it’s cheap and comfortable.


Besides the car itself, we believe the most important thing to bring with you on a road trip is good music. Nothing beats the feeling of blasting your favorite tunes while cruising down the freeway with some friends. Country music and road trips go together like peanut butter and jelly, but there’s so many good songs to choose from how do you pick what to listen to? We’ve made it easy for you by putting together a list of our favorite country road trip songs. These tunes range from classics to newer tracks, but all have the common theme of being travel oriented. Give er’ a listen!

Big Ranches

The Biggest Ranches in the World

Wouldn’t it have been great to live in the good old days of the Wild West? If you were feeling a bit claustrophobic in your city life, you’d have the choice to head off and become a rancher. Endless days of roaming through nature, and plenty of animals to keep you company.

The good news is that this fantasy can still be a reality! The Wild West may have been tamed, but there are still plenty of ranches around the globe. As a matter of fact, some of them are massive. Have a look below to see some of the biggest ranches in the world.

Biggest Ranches in the World

What Is a Ranch?

If you didn’t grow up roaming the open plains and sleeping under the stars, you might have trouble knowing exactly what a ranch is. Many people confuse them with farms, but there is a bit of a difference. Basically, ranches raise animals, and farms grow food. It can get tricky because they often overlap, but you’ll be safe if you stick with that definition.

Who Owns Them?

One interesting tidbit about these ranches is that they’re not all owned by cowboys. They’re big investments, and a lot of the people holding the deeds are rich folk who spend more time in boardrooms than on horses. The American who owns the most land is John Malone, a big shot in the cable business, and he’s followed by another media man, Ted Turner. These two seem to have a friendly competition on who can own more acres! Also among the top 10 is Stan Kroenke, the owner of the Denver Nuggets and Colorado Avalanche.

Vermejo Park Ranch

Vermejo Park Ranch

Location: Colorado and New Mexico, U.S.A.

It’s easiest to start this list off with something local, even though this one only has a small part in Colorado. It’s one of the spots owned by Ted Turner, and it’s so big that it can’t even stick to one state. It covers 590,823 acres, and it’s primarily used for conservation and recreational activities, but it does offer hunting, fishing, and natural gas collection.

Waggonner Ranch

Waggoner Ranch

Location: Texas, U.S.A.

Another massive ranch in the United States unsurprisingly sits in Texas. This one got its start back in 1852, and over time it grew to about 520,527 acres. It’s been in the news a lot over the past few years because it was sold back in 2012. Even with the asking price of $725 million, Stan Kroenke, the owner of two sports teams in Denver, bought it in 2012.

King Ranch

King Ranch

Location: Texas, U.S.A.

Those ranches are big, but they can get bigger. King Ranch comes in at about 825,000 acres, and this makes it the biggest ranch in Texas. Unfortunately, it’s not as amazing as you would first expect. Instead of one massive area full of cows roaming around, it’s split into four neighboring parts.

Anna Creek Ranch

Anna Creek Station

Location: Australia

Australians have a lot of different vocabulary words, and one of them is their word for ranch. Instead, they call it a station. And they’re allowed to do this because they host the world’s largest cattle station. It has 6,000,000 acres, so none of the ranches in the United States even come close!

Interestingly enough, it was first started as a place to raise sheep. Unfortunately, the dingoes were eating too many of them, so they switched to the much more durable cow.

Alexandra Station

Alexandria Station

Location: Australia

To put into perspective how large Australia is, this is another cattle station on their list. Not being as big, it only covers about 4,000,000 acres. If you truly want to be a modern-day cowboy or cowgirl, you might want to take a trip down under.

Chinese Dairy Farm

Mudanjiang City Dairy Farm

Location: China

Sometimes the amount of land becomes even less impressive than the number of cows. There’s a place being built in China that will be able to hold up to 100,000 cows. This is a dairy farm instead of a classical ranch, but it still is impressive because that capacity is far bigger than any ranch in North America.

Preserving the Land

These large ranches are big business, there’s no doubt about that. However, it’s inspiring to think that some of the biggest landowners buy up land in order to preserve it. This is a nice step towards making sure we always have those wide-open spaces we love so much.

Is It Time to Be a Rancher?

Now that you know there are such big tracts of land where cowboys and cowgirls are spending their days exploring with cattle, does it make you want to make a lifestyle change? You have plenty of options! If you don’t, you can always come by the Grizzly Rose when you want to get into the spirit of the Wild West!

Wild Western Towns in USA

Wild Western Towns in the USA

Maybe you’re a cowgirl or cowboy at heart, but you were born in a time when the Wild West has disappeared. You dream of roaming the plains on horseback, playing cards in a saloon, and waking up each morning ready for an adventure.

But wait, is the Wild West really gone?

It’s not the same as it was in the 1800s, but there are still plenty of towns left that feel just like the Wild West.

How We Chose Them

Before giving the list, let’s go over how we picked the towns. Looking for something with a Wild West feeling can lead you to a few different types of places, so we focused on three kinds. The first is the most obvious, and those are places that were famous in the Old West, and are preserved to look the same. The next is places which have modernized, but have the comfortable feeling of present-day cowboys and cowgirls. Third, we chose towns that have updated to modern standards, but kept some of the crazy nature of the Wild West.

Wild Western Towns in USA

Dodge City, Kansas

This famous town in Kansas got its start in 1847 when Fort Mann was built to protect people on the Santa Fe Trail. Times were hard, however, and it only survived about a year. But, it wasn’t long before a safer fort popped up in the same place, and this eventually led to a town next to it. Then the railroad came, and cows were shipped through on their way to other parts of the country. It may have modernized, but it still has a lot of bits of old Dodge spread around.

Dodge City Kansas

Tombstone, Arizona

This town deep in the Arizona desert was one of the big spots towards the end of the Wild West time period. It was a big mining town, and it had plenty of cultural activities (like an opera house) for the rich folk, and a great selection of saloons, gambling halls, and other less respectable place for the grittier types. It’s most famous for the Gunfight at the O.K. Corral, and you can still see recreations of this on a regular basis in its original setting, as much of the town is preserved how it was.

Tombstone Arizona

Oatman, Arizona

This town in Arizona isn’t as well-known as some of the others, but it has some pretty distinct characteristics. To start, the name comes from a pretty interesting story. It was chosen in honor of Olive Oatman, who was the daughter of settlers that had been kidnapped for slavery by a Native American tribe. She was sold to the Mohave tribe, and eventually set free.

Nowadays the town is a revived ghost town (still giving it that Wild West appearance), and is most famous for its wild burros that wander the streets and happily accept food.

Oatman Arizona

Cody, Wyoming

This town was named in honor of “Buffalo Bill” Cody, and it doesn’t get much more Western than that. Not only does it have a whole selection of museums from the good old days, but it also hosts enough rodeos to comfortably call itself the “Rodeo Capital of the World.”

Cody Wyoming

Virginia City, Nevada

This town struck it rich with silver, but the atmosphere was preserved long after the mine was empty. You can view some museums, take a trip into the mine, stroll down the main street at high noon, or just drink whiskey in a saloon.

Virginia City Nevada

Deadwood, South Dakota

You might immediately think of a TV series when you hear this name, but it’s far from fictional. Gold was found in the nearby Black Hills in the 1870s, so the town attracted plenty of ambitious people. However, it wasn’t in the safest area, so many of these were a little rough around the edges. Gambling and prostitution were big business, and many locals took the law into their own hands (you know, with their revolvers). Even the famous gunman Wild Bill Hickok was shot here!

Deadwood South Dakota

Durango/Silverton, Colorado

Both of these Colorado mountain towns have quite the cowboy character, but one of the best parts is the thing that links them. This narrow gauge railroad is pulled by a steam engine for 45 miles through a beautiful stretch of mountains. You won’t even need to use your imagination to feel like you’ve gone back in time.

Durango Colorado

Bandera, Texas

This town doesn’t shy away from calling itself the “Cowboy Capital of the World.” There are gunfight reenactments, dude ranches, chuck wagon dinners, plenty of rodeos, and enough saloons to sit in and feel like you’re still in the Old West.

Bandera Texas

Denver, Colorado

Just because it’s become one of the most popular cities in the country lately, most people would write off Denver as a Wild West Town, but that would be a mistake. It’s loaded with cowboy history, annually hosts the National Western Stock Show (one of the largest of its kind), and it’s home to the Grizzly Rose. What more could you really want?

Denver Colorado

Explore the Wild West!

If you know anything about the Wild West, you’d know there’s no way to list all of its best towns at once, so this is just a taste. Saddle up your horse, and let us know what other spots you find!

Top 10 Honky Tonks in USA

Top 10 Honky Tonks in the USA

The name honky tonk is definitely a strange one, but to good old country music fans, it’s just another synonym for a good time! The history of the honky tonk is an interesting story, but what is most important is where to find these legendary top 10 country music bars. America the beautiful is the birthplace of country music and there are a lot of fantastic honky tonks across our fine country to enjoy it. While there are many country bars that might make a claim to being a honky tonk, only some live up to the iconic name. For those country music fans who love to travel, we have put together a list of the top 10 country bars in the USA.  So, put on your dancin’ boots, saddle up your horse, and let’s get going!

Grizzly Rose – Denver, Colorado

We may be a little biased, but we think this is the best honky tonk in not only the Wild West, but the country as a whole. Just ask any country music lover from the state of Colorado about the Grizzly Rose and you will see for yourself. It’s a mixture of a bar, nightclub, and a dancehall, and we’re sitting in a convenient location in Denver. Aside from seeing some great live music where most of the country’s top country artists make an appearance, it’s also a good place to do some line dancing, ride a mechanical bull, enjoy an authentic smokehouse grill, and socialize with other country music lovers. It’s such a great destination that people come from all over the country just to pay us a visit.

A photo posted by Joseph Ortega (@josortegaa) on

Tootsie’s Orchid Lounge – Nashville, TN

A walk down Broadway in Nashville and it’s hard to miss Tootsie’s Orchid Lounge. The bright purple building sticks out for all to see and like much of Nashville this place is a big piece of country music history. The rumor is that after Willie Nelson played his first show here, he landed his first songwriting gig! It’s known as the most historic country bars in Nashville and many of the big names in country make their way through this great place each year.

The Bowery – Myrtle Beach, South Carolina

The Bowery proclaims itself to be the “8th Wonder of the World.” Normally beaches and honky tonks don’t mix, but for this place we’ve made an exception. The famous group Alabama used to be this bar’s house-band for 7 years and it is where they got their start. It’s only 50 yards from the beach and if that’s not enough, one of their bartenders broke the Guinness Book of World Records for caring the most mugs of beer without a tray. (It was 34 mugs if you were curious.) It’s a great place to enjoy country music in a unique setting on the coast of South Carolina.

Billy Bob’s – Fort Worth, Texas

No list of the best honky tonks would be complete without mentioning the state of Texas, and no list of Texas country bars would be complete without mentioning Billy Bob’s. They are a massive establishment located in the Fort Worth area where many great country bands make an appearance. They also boast an indoor rodeo arena, a mechanical bull, and a number of bars. Texas will always be synonymous with country music and for Texans this is a great place to enjoy it.

Una foto publicada por TYLER LAIN (@tylerlain) el

Ponderosa Lounge – Portland, Oregon

This top country bar is located at a truck stop in Portland. While that may not seem like the ideal place to enjoy live country music, this place has become famous for hosting some of the best talent ever to grace the country music scene. Even Texans like, former president George Bush Senior have visited this place and it’s a great and unique honky tonk to enjoy.

Una foto publicada por Jones & Fischer (@jonesandfischer) el

Gruene Hall – New Braunfels, Texas

Another great and iconic honky tonk is Gruene Hall. This place boasts itself as the ‘Oldest Dance Hall’ in Texas and is located between San Antonio and Austin in a classic Texas country setting. Not much has changed since it was built back in 1878 and many famous country artists make their way through this venue. It’s a piece of country music history and a great place to dance!

Una foto publicada por Thomas Gelo (@tomgelo) el

Robert’s Western World – Nashville, TN

This place is full of history, from being part of the area serving as hospitals in the Civil War, to being an iconic steel guitar shop in the heyday of country music where many famous stars used to hang out. Now it’s home to a cowboy boot shop, a honky tonk grill, and a great bar/venue to enjoy country music. Nashville should be on any country music fan’s list of travel destinations and if you make the trip make sure to check out Robert’s Western World.

Una foto publicada por elise davis ?? (@_elisedavis_) el

Broken Spoke – Austin, Texas

From Willie Nelson, to George Straight, to Ernest Tubb, many country icons have been regulars at this famous country bar establishment. Located in the capital of Texas, the Broken Spoke looks more like an old, side of the road convenience store than a legendary country music and dance venue. It’s another place that’s ingrained in the history of country music in Texas and worth of a visit for country music fans who visit or are living in Austin.

Una foto publicada por Texas Tourism (@texastourism) el

The Texas Club – Baton Rouge, Lousiana

George Straight, Toby Keith, Garth Brooks, the list goes on of artists who played at this venue early in their career before they hit the big time. It’s been open since 1981 and millions of country music fans have paid a visit to the Texas Club to enjoy country music. This large venue is famous for it’s live music and if you find yourself in Louisiana it’s the country bar to visit.

Una foto publicada por Cody Johnson (@codyjohnsonband) el

Cowboys – Dothan, Alabama

Cowboys claims to be the ‘Largest Honky Tonk this side of the Mississippi.’ While Alabama might not the first place that comes to your mind when you think about country music, they host lots of great country artists each year. In addition to live country music and dancing, it’s also a popular place for locals and travelers to enjoy pool, poker, and cheap drinks.

Una foto publicada por Sarah Holley (@sholley6484) el

Colorado Leaves Color Change

Colorado’s Best Spots to Watch the Leaves Change

Country music was born out of the love that Americans had for roaming the great outdoors in search of freedom and beauty. That’s why it makes such a great soundtrack for any exploring we may do – even though most of us have replaced our horses with cars.

Colorado has more beauty than most of the world, and one of the best times to take advantage of this is when the leaves brighten up in the fall. You don’t necessarily have to make a big trek to see some pretty trees, but there are some extra special places – some near, others far – that are worth visiting this time of year.

So put your favorite country tunes on the radio, grab your camera, and go build some memories!

Buffalo Pass

Distance from the Grizzly Rose: 3 ½ hours, 172 milesLeaves Changing in Colorado

This pass is located near Steamboat Springs, and it’s a great trip for anyone wanting plenty of

hiking options. You’ll have the opportunity to wander through multiple of aspen groves, see some lakes,

and lounge in high-altitude meadows. After the seeing the leaves, why not take off your boots and rest

your sore feet in the hot springs?

Castle Creek Road

Distance from the Grizzly Rose: 3 ½ hours, 166 miles

This is another good opportunity to see some aspen groves when their tiny, round leaves turn into various shades of orange and yellow. Also, it’s a pretty appropriate place to view them since it’s right next to Aspen – you know, the old mining town which turned into a hangout for the rich and famous. But, if you want to skip the glamor of the 21st century, you could stop by the nearby ghost town of Ashcroft. Only a handful of its old buildings are still standing, but it’s enough to take you back to the good old days.

Cottonwood Pass

Distance from the Grizzly Rose: 2 ¾ hours, 144 miles

This pass sits between Buena Vista and Crested Butte, and it makes a pretty impressive crossing of the Continental Divide. It also allows you to drive (or do some walking) through some intense valleys full of Aspens.

Fall Leaves Change Color ColoradoDallas Divide

Distance from the Grizzly Rose: 5 ½ hours, 335 miles

This one is a bit of a drive to get to, but it’s worth it. It’s down on the San Juan Range near Telluride, and you’ll have a lot of scenery to enjoy before you get there. Also, the 14,158 foot Mount Sneffels sits off in the distance, so you might even be lucky to see some snow shimmering on the peak.

Grand Mesa

Distance from the Grizzly Rose: 4 ½ hours, 252 miles

This is another that’s a bit of a trek to get to, but you’ll mosey far out of the touristy areas, so you’re much more likely to have it all to yourself. Plus, you’ll get to follow the Colorado River for some of the drive.

Kebler Pass

Distance from the Grizzly Rose: 4 ½ hours, 200 miles

Kebler Pass is pretty close to Gunnison, CO, and heading all that way is rewarded by seeing one of the largest aspen groves in the world. These trees grow so close together because they’re all connected by a common root system, so it’s truly a spectacular site to see a large group of them changing color.

La Veta Pass

Distance from the Grizzly Rose: 3 hours, 200 miles

This drive goes up over 9,000 feet, and nature just engulfs you in an amazing way. There are groves of aspen trees mixed in with green pine trees, and the sharp contrast of colors makes them all seem more vivid.

Maroon Bells

Distance from the Grizzly Rose: 3 ½ hours, 167 miles

Once you get to these peaks surrounding a lake near Aspen, you’ll probably have a feeling of déjà vu. No you haven’t been here before, but these two fourteeners are arguably the most photographed mountains in North America – and for good reason. It’s breathtaking any time of year, but the changing leaves make the view even more perfect.

Peak to Peak Scenic and Historic Byway

Distance from the Grizzly Rose: 1 ½ hours, 70 miles

This historic road is the oldest scenic byway in Colorado dating back to the early 1900s. It starts in Estes Park, then it loops through some amazing scenery in the mountains for about 55 miles before hooking up with Interstate 70. It’s an easy trip from Denver, and a great loop to make in the autumn.

Colorado Leaves Color ChangeThe San Juan Skyway on the Million Dollar Highway

Distance from the Grizzly Rose: 6 hours, 340 miles

This 236-mile long byway is one of the prettiest roads on the planet. It loops through Telluride, Durango, Silverton, and a view other towns to give you a diverse set of amazing views. In short, this one takes quite the drive to get to, but it’s worth every second you’ll spend in the car.

Trail Ridge Road

Distance from the Grizzly Rose: 2 hours, 110 miles

This one is pretty close to home as the crow flies, and it just so happens to be the highest continuously paved road in North America. It peaks over 12,000 feet, so you’ll get to see trees and plant life at all levels of oxygen.

Time to Go!

There are quite a few options to choose from, but don’t procrastinate! These epic views only happen once a year, and they’re gone before you know it. It’s time to go hit the ol’ dusty trail!

Cross Country Horseback USA

Riding a Horse Across the USA

Have you ever ridden a horse? Did you feel like a true a cowboy roaming the Wild West? You should, but a few other modern rebels may have you beat. If you’re satisfied with your past experiences, then you should stop reading now, but if you want to open up a whole new world of possibilities, then you need to hear this!

Travel Horseback Across USA

Alex McNeill and Pepper

Alex McNeil is a man experienced in journeys that cover great distances, but he recently completed one that would make any old cowboy or cowgirl proud. He rode from Oregon to New Hampshire on the back of his trusty horse, Pepper. It was an adventure that covered about 4,000 miles through all types of landscapes, and although the challenges were major, the rewards were even greater.

Not an Experienced Rider

You probably assume that McNeil has been riding horses his whole life, and that’s what motivated him to do this. Well, that’s not the case. He had actually never ridden a horse before he decided on this track. But, that doesn’t mean he was making irresponsible or dangerous choices. He spent months learning everything he could about horses, and people who were much more knowledgeable about the animals took the time to work with him and Pepper to make sure they were prepared.

USA Cross Country Horse Travel

He’s Not the Only One

It may seem like long-distance trips on horseback went out of fashion when the Wild West was tamed, but there have been quite a few people recently who have made similar trips to the one McNeill and Pepper did. There have been plenty of pairs of human and horse who have successfully completed the journey, and there are sure to be more.

Allen Russel and King Hoppy Kono

This duo made their trek back in 1975, but they took a slightly different route. They started up at the Canadian border, and they traveled all the way down the Rocky Mountains until they got to Mexico. The total distance was a little bit shorter since it was only about 2,400 miles, but keeping to the mountains let them stay in remote areas most of the time. Plus, they didn’t have any of the handy tech gadgets we have today, so it required a lot of old-fashioned navigating. Time travel may be impossible, but a trip like this could make it seem like it’s not such a far-fetched idea.

Ride a Horse Across the USA

Bill Inman and Friends

Another more recent journey was made in 2008, and that’s when a man named Bill Inman set off with his wife and a few friends acting as a support group. Inman had become upset about how divided and full of controversy the country seemed on the news, so he wanted to do his part to bring the real spirit of America to the spotlight. Along the way, he met a ton of nice people, shared a lot of interesting stories, and successfully proved that our country is still full of amazing and happy people.

Safety of Riding a Horse so Far

Before you hop out the window and land on a horse, keep in mind that trips like this aren’t for everyone. They take a lot of planning. A lot. And there are quite a few risks involved.

Also, most importantly, you have to remember that it’s not just your life that will be impacted. You’re going to be responsible for an amazing animal, and the loyal horse will also be facing the dangerous risks.

Cross Country Horseback USA

Do the Proper Planning

If you’re thinking about grabbing your hat, boots, and horse to make a journey like this, make sure to do your homework before hopping in the saddle. You’ll be able to stop places for supplies part of the way, but you’ll have to be able to sustain yourself in the wilderness for much of the time. You’ll need food, water, clothing, shelter, medicine, and much more for both you and your horse.

Also, make sure you know how to navigate. Leading a horse through the wilds of America is pretty different from punching in an address on your car’s GPS. Plus, just knowing how to get somewhere doesn’t mean you can easily do it on a horse. And what about crossing major highways or large rivers? You need a bridge, but not all bridges are safe for horses to prance across.

But don’t let all of this scare you! Once you hit the trail, you’ll realize that you’re on the trip of a lifetime – just make sure you’re ready for it.

We’re Here, Horse or Not

We haven’t mentioned everyone who has made a similar journey on horseback, but you get the idea. It’s obvious that some of you are already dreaming of the wide-open spaces you’re going to spend your days in, but others are probably skeptical of making such a trip – and that’s just fine. Even if you don’t feel like going on such an intense journey, you’re still more than welcome to head down to Grizzly Rose. We’ll make you feel like a cowboy or cowgirl – no horse required.