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How to Plan a Cannabis-Inspired Vacation to Colorado

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Wherever you stand on the laws, it’s no question that cannabis tourism is a big draw to Colorado.

And while you won’t find tourism boards here promoting cannabis as a reason to come visit Colorado, many travelers interested in the novelty of legal recreational marijuana come to Colorado to see a “pot shop” for themselves.

If that’s you, and you’re looking for a little Rocky Mountain high, here are 12 things to help you get the most out of your trip.

Visit a 420 Celebration

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A big one is the Denver 420 Fest with vendors, music, and entertainment.

There is also a weekly CannaBingo event at Studio A64 in Colorado Springs, various expos (including a cannabis wedding expo), a women’s grow leadership summit and more.

Sign up for a Tour

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Colorado Cannabis Tours is just one of many companies (and the offerings are always growing) that organizes free (safe) transportation to various pot-related activities. But be warned: These guided tours can get pricey, even if they offer discounts on purchases.

Check out an MJ-Friendly Hangout

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Just because a cannabis tour stops at a restaurant most definitely does not mean you can smoke freely there or anywhere else you want. In fact, bars (and all public places) are not cannabis-friendly. But there are a few places you can visit to openly imbibe, like private clubs and private events. In private membership clubs, like iBake Denver, members of legal age can buy and smoke marijuana on site. Because this is a private club, it does not fall under public consumption laws.

You have to buy a membership to join this club, but it’s super cheap. It’s worth noting, though, that private cannabis clubs are rare. (iBake claims to be the first members-only cannabis club in the Denver Metro area.) It’s best to take your cannabis and enjoy it in the privacy of your own home or one of the few cannabis-friendly hotels in Colorado.

Book an Experience

Some companies, like Cultivating Spirits, aim to offer educated and responsible experiences. Try three-course, three-strain cannabis pairing dinners or book a food, wine, and cannabis tour. Cultivating Spirits uses small-batch, craft cannabis.

You can also book a private cannabis tasting event at your private residence or for a private party.

Relax With a Cannabis Massage

Primal Therapeutics brings cannabis-infused massage therapy to your location in the Denver metro area. The company aims to educate people about plant medicine and holistic health as an alternative medicine. It offers a wide range of massage services, as well as guided meditation and full-body scrubs.

Cannabis spa treatments are a growing trend in Colorado. Find cannabis-inspired body wraps, scrubs, and facials. You can even find cannabis oil treatments at the big name, luxury spas, like at the Hilton Inverness hotel in south Denver.

Shop for Artistic Glassware

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Pipes can be a true work of art. Visit a glassblowing shop to see a demo, or swing by one of the reputable glass shops, like Illuzion Glass Galleries in Denver. Whatever you think you’ve seen before, expect to be surprised. Even if you don’t smoke, galleries like this can provide creative insight into this dimension of Colorado’s culture.

You can find high-end glass shops that feel like museums and art galleries in many cities, from Boulder to Dillon.

Stay in a 420-Friendly Place

Just because it’s legal doesn’t mean you can use it anywhere, not even in your own room. In fact, many hotels explicitly forbid smoking cannabis, including vaporizers, on grounds, and even on balconies. A balcony is considered a public space, like a sidewalk (and you definitely can’t smoke on the street).

It’s hard to find many cannabis-friendly places to stay around the ski resorts, but you can find some in the Denver-metro area and in southern Colorado. The Steam Train Hotel in Southern Colorado is a solid choice, with a dash of history, too.

B&Bs and vacation rental properties are a good place to start. You can even find homes whose owners will help you find the best shops. Some allow you to smoke in your room and anywhere on property and even offer distillery tours.

In Fort Collins, you can vape indoors and smoke outside at the Shangri-La Inn at Gaia’s Farm and Gardens. This old farmhouse also includes access to gardens, a petting zoo, a koi pond, flowers, fruit trees, and mountain views. But beware: Because not every hotel offers this “luxury,” many of the 420-friendly lodgings and private homes have steep rates, especially around mid-April.

Pair Yoga With Cannabis

Both aim to relax you, so fans of the combo say it’s a fitting match: cannabis-infused yoga. These are private yoga classes where participants are welcome to be high or get high during, before, or after class (depending on the structure of the class).

These kinds of classes pop up in cities all across Colorado. Ganjasana is one reputable cannabis-yoga company that also plans retreats, sacred gatherings, birthday parties, and more.

Take a Cannabis Cooking Class

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The Rosen Group

Learn how to make your own edibles during a cannabis cooking class. You can find these private classes throughout Colorado. Puff, Pass, and Paint is one place to go for a 420-friendly cooking class. During this 2.5-hour class, you’ll learn how to make everything from hard candies to entrees to ice cream, all infused with cannabis.

Study Marijuana

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The Cannabis Training University will help you earn your Masters of Marijuana Certification.

This school’s headquarters are in Denver, although you can study this topic online from wherever you may be. This school aims to teach students about medical marijuana to prepare them for a career in the cannabis field. You will learn from marijuana attorneys, insurance agents, business owners, dispensary managers, and even marijuana accountants, to name a few.

Puff and Paint

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Puff, Pass & Paint

You’ve heard of wine and paint get-togethers. In Colorado, there’s also puff and paint events. They’re just like wine and painting classes, except with marijuana instead of a glass of red.

Kush and Canvases in Denver calls its Sunday events Marijuana and Mimosas. These gatherings are great for people who want to tap into their artsy side. Of course, you don’t need to be an artist, and you don’t have to get high to participate. You can paint whatever you want.

Kush and Canvases also offers more focused classes, like pet portrait painting, for example.

Do Just About Anything

In Colorado, people pair cannabis with just about every activity.

If you enjoy writing, sign up for the Get Lit on Lit gatherings. These 420-friendly writing classes are for people who feel inspired to write when they imbibe.

There are classes about cannabis skin care, pottery classes, pipe-making courses, and even a cannabis-friendly needlepoint gathering.

Discover where to stay, hang out, shop, party, and eat if you're traveling to Colorado for a 420 vacation.

Top 3 Marijuana-Friendly Mountain Towns in Colorado

Thursday July 9, 2015

C olorado is well-known for its luscious forests, world-class ski slopes and vast wilderness of outdoor recreation. If this is the first time you’re visiting our state, I ‘highly’ recommend you make a point to enjoy the many activities the mountains have to offer.

But narrowing down a list of marijuana-friendly mountain towns to just the top three is no easy task. Most towns provide some form of Cannabis-friendly lodging, whether private or public, with recreational dispensaries and other points of interest — especially if you enjoy mountain sports. With over 50 cities to choose from, I selected three towns from diverse locations where you can enjoy your cannabis along with the scenery, including Aspen, Crested Butte, and Durango.

Please remember that public consumption of marijuana is illegal in the state of Colorado and prohibited on land owned by the state or federal government.

Aspen

Aspen is one of the most popular mountain towns in Colorado and home to the rich and famous, so don’t be surprised if you encounter a celebrity during your visit. The city was founded in 1879 as a gold mining camp before becoming home to the ski resort in the 1930s. While the city is one of the most expensive places to purchase real estate in the United States, it’s a must-see for any visitor to the state. Many festivals are held in Aspen and the city is home to the international Aspen Music Festival and School.

Specifically, Aspen is booming with activity during the winter season thanks to the world-class Aspen Ski Resort which offers a multitude of slopes for skiers and snowboarders of all skill levels. Last summer I stayed in Aspen for a weekend to bike along its charming streets and mountain bike trails near Snowmass Village. The Roaring Fork River also offers some excellent trout fishing during the summer. Belly Up Aspen is a one of my favorite nightlife destinations since it often hosts special events and live music in a very intimate environment.

If you want to consume marijuana during your visit to Aspen, check out the directory of marijuana-friendly accommodations in the region. Currently, you can purchase recreational marijuana products from several different dispensaries in the city, including Alternative Medical Solutions, Green Dragon Colorado, LEAF Aspen, Native Roots, Silverpeak Apothecary and STASH.

Durango

Nestled in Southwestern Colorado with breathtaking scenery and crisp mountain air, Durango is a popular destination for skiing, snowboarding, mountain biking, river rafting, fishing and hiking. With a plethora of activities to do, regardless of the season, Durango is great stop during your exploration of the Rocky Mountains. Established as a mining town in 1880, Durango is rich with history, much of which is still around today.

Although it is a six hour drive from Denver, this is one mountain town that it worth the trip. With several dispensaries, there will never be any shortage of herb either. There are enough restaurants, bars, and microbreweries to keep even the most avid connoisseurs delighted and entertained. Want music? Countless musicians make the trek to play in this carefree and timeless mountain town, and in the summer many play for free. Check out Durango’s website for a detailed list of upcoming performances.

While Durango boasts excellent daytime activities and nightlife, Mesa Verde National Park and the San Juan National Forest are relatively close and well worth the day trip. Mesa Verde offers a spectacular look into the lives of the Ancestral Pueblo people who made it their home for over 700 years, from AD 600 to 1300. The San Juan National Forest covers 1.8 million acres and offers breathtaking camping, hiking, biking, fishing, and horseback riding.

Durango offers 420 friendly lodging and nearby is the world’s first adult-only cannabis summer camp. CannaCamp boasts a 170 acre property that gives guests an unprecedented opportunity to experience the outdoors and cannabis in a safe, comfortable, and social environment.

Whatever your looking to get out of a vacation, Durango is a mountain town that won’t disappoint.

Crested Butte

Self described as “authentic, friendly and free of crowds,” Crested Butte is a true Colorado Mountain town. Elk Avenue is the main drag of town and hosts a handful of delightful restaurants, bars, and shops. You won’t find any designer brands or fur coat shops here. That isn’t to say Crested Butte doesn’t have class, however. Named one of the Top 12 Small-Town Art Places in America in 2013, the town is host to the six-week Crested Butte Music Festival, free outdoor Alpenglow concerts, ArtWalk evenings, the Crested Butte Arts Festival and so much more. Center for the Arts Crested Butte offers a year-round schedule of performances, classes, and art exhibitions so check out their site out before you arrive.

Without a doubt, the biggest attraction is Crested Butte Mountain Resort which has something for everyone. In the winter, the mountain offers wide-open beginner and intermediate runs, great terrain parks and some of Colorado’s best in-bounds extreme terrain. In the summer, it’s time to break out the mountain bikes. Crested Butte, considered the origin of mountain biking, offers some of the best terrain in North America. For a town that lives and breathes the outdoors, the only limits are your own.

Need to relax after your adventure filled day? The town of only 1,500 boasts a few recreational marijuana stores and a handful of 420 friendly lodging options. Dubbed “the last great ski town,” the only thing left to do is is schedule your vacation — immediately!

Headed to Colorado? Here are 3 marijuana-friendly mountain towns full of activities, incredible views, dispensaries & 420 lodging. Happy travels!