Visiting Colorado (& My COVID-19 Airport Experience!)

In late May, I got the chance to visit my sister in Lone Tree, Colorado, (about 20 minutes south of Denver), as their Covid precautions were beginning to lift. However, as a precaution we decided to avoid Denver and mainly stayed in Lone Tree and Highlands Ranch.



COVID-19 Airport Experience:

I flew out of Albany International Airport in New York, with a layover in Charlotte as I headed to Denver, Colorado. When initially arriving to the Albany Airport, Lot E was closed, but if you're driving keep in mind that long-term parking is available for $6 and is closer to the building. If you plan on driving to any airport, consider calling ahead to check if the pandemic has adjusted their parking avaliability.


As many airports are now enforcing, Albany International requires mask wearing while in the airport, however, at the time there weren't many travelers going through the airport. Another slight disruption to my traveling was that many food options were closed in all the airports I traveled through (I flew at 6am & back at 10pm and only the news store was available).


At the time, masks were optional in both the Charlotte & Denver airports (about 50% of people work masks). In Charlotte and Denver, fast food was the only available option, so lines are extremely long! News stores are open with “cold” food options, yet again these were very minimal. If you're a conscious eater, I highly suggest bringing your own snacks/meals while flying, as not many healthy options were offered.



Airplane Experience:


I flew American Airlines from Albany to Colorado, and found that most airlines have the same precautions during the pandemic, while airports have precautions based on the state. Here are the precautions needed during my travel as well as some tips:


  • Your mask must be worn during the flight unless you are eating/drinking.

  • Food/beverage services stopped, but little goodie bags filled with hand sanitizer, graham crackers, and water were given to us while boarding the flight.

  • Once all passengers boarded the flight we were allowed to switch seats for social distancing. However, most of my flights were heavily packed so this wasn’t always possible.



Activities:

Mount Falcon Castle Trail

This is the perfect hike for dogs and children, being fairly easy to complete. This is also a great place to get a beautiful view of Red Rocks! This trail can be walked or mountain biked.



Run with a view through Bluff Regional Park

The mountains are everywhere for you to take in! BEWARE running in Colorado is difficult due to the higher elevation. Many athletes come to the state to train because of this!

When COVID-19 isn't occurring, some popular things to do here include:

- Summer Concert Series - Park Meadows Mall - Castle Rock Zip Line Tours



Eating:


While not many restaurants or shops were open due to COVID, here are a few places we were able to dine at:


Parry’s Pizza

A New York themed restaurant with great pizza, sandwiches and drinks! All with New York names.


Brewery Bar III

A great Mexican-style food stop in the area. Colorado loves green chili or “verde chile” and it's a must have while visiting. I highly recommend trying one of the many options they offer here!


Tokyo Joe’s (chain)

Build your own bowl with many options!


Due to COVID-19, all restaurants could only occupy 50% of seating (indoor and outdoor). Also, we needed to wear a mask when entering and leaving the restaurant, but could leave the mask off while dining.



Day Trips:


Due to the pandemic and riots, we decided to not take any day trips or visit Downtown Denver, however, Lone Tree is the perfect place to stay if you're looking to avoid the busy city and stay in a place more residential, being only a short 20 minutes away. Here are some great day trips if you're staying in the area:



Arkansas River Whitewater Rafting

In Cãnon City, a little over an hour and a half from Lone Tree, you can find some of the best whitewater rafting in the country on the Arkansas River.


North Sterling State Park

Two and a half hours from Lone Tree is North Sterling State Park, which draws in hikers, bikers, hunters, and boaters from all over the area. If you're considering staying overnight, check out the Elks Campground, which is open year-round.


Winter Sports in Vail or Breckinridge

In the winter, Colorado is a hotspot for skiers and snowboarders, drawing in crowds from all over the world to tackle their world renowned mountains and resorts. While these trips are just under two hours away from Lone Tree and Denver, Aspen is another are great option for those looking to enjoy winter activities. However, at four hours away, would be better off visiting Aspen as an overnight trip.


What are your favorite things to do in Colorado? Let us know in the comments below!

This article was written by Featured Wrighter, Danielle Wills.

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