Thai Paradise: Ridgway, Colorado

I stumbled across Thai Paradise in Ridgway, Colorado while en route to the Grand Junction airport after an amazing weekend spent at Telluride Blues and Brews 2010. Ridgway is tiny with just a handful of businesses, among them being an incredibly authentic Thai kitchen and a liquor store. Good enough for me. It’s an incredibly local roadside gem with an old Thai couple cooking typical Thai dishes behind the beautiful counter adorned with chopsticks and seashells and pillow-covered seating areas in the back. Colorful and friendly and delicious.

I had a traditional spicy green curried chicken dish and a lemongrass and coconut soup that they kindly and graciously served even though they’d closed just minutes before I parked under an approaching storm. Being a lover of Thai, I can make claim that this was one of the best Thai meals I’ve ever had- all tucked away off of a quiet Colorado highway. There is no website for this magical little place, but if driving between Telluride and Grand Junction, make time to stop into this charming and promising hole-in-the wall just off of Colorado Highway 62. You won’t be disappointed.


By: Ashley Halligan

13 Summer Travel Ideas: USA

It’s too early for me to be awake. I was watching my nephew shoot off bottle rockets next to a raging bonfire in BackWoods, USA last night (Greensboro, Pennsylvania). To nobody’s surprise, that lasted all night. But I’m up and I’m happy it’s July 4th. I’m in Morgantown, West Virginia for it, getting ready to embark on an afternoon of one of the most American things out there: a BBQ. I’m either feeling groggy or generous or both, but I want to help you plan your travels this summer across the USA if you haven’t already done some planning. Here are some summer travel ideas, straight to you from The Anti Tourist.

1. Spokane, Washington

Go biking, kayaking, wine-tasting, live-music-watching, or out to eat in this city that surprised me last summer. I had a blast in the blazing heat and you will, too. The Davenport is the main hotel downtown and I swear on my life that it’s haunted.

2. California (Santa Cruz and farther north)

SoCal is gorgeous in its own right, but during the summer, head north–preferably on a road trip up the 101. Between Santa Cruz, The Redwoods, and all that is offered in San Francisco and San Mateo County, you’ll keep yourself busy and wonder why you hadn’t explored more thoroughly before now.

3. Maine

Maine makes for a great summer getaway. You’ll hit a lot of cities on the east coast, but once you hit Maine, you’ll get some much-needed peace and quiet. Try out The Cliffhouse for top-of-the-line oceanside rooms and a rockin’ spa. HINT: you can also bring your dog(s).

Need more ideas? OK. Here you go. 10 more USA summer travel ideas:

4. Pamper yourself at NYC Spas.

5. Visit Asheville. Stay in a B&B in Asheville.

6. Go ghost hunting in Texas, stay here, eat at the Mighty Cone (serious about that last one–FRIED FOOD in ICE CREAM cones, what??).

7. Speaking of ghosts, go to Dudleytown in Connecticut.

8. Colorado is good for more than its slopes. Check out the state in the summertime. Stay at the Boulder Canyon Inn, check out the Bat Cave!

9. Hit the streets of DC. From cool clubs with caves for basements to bed and breakfasts that will give you way too much wine, DC is a sweet city that comes alive in a way we like during the summer. Worship both Jehovah and the Gods of Rock and Roll at the Sixth & I Historic Synagogue/Music venue!

10. Go zip-lining in Hocking Hills, Ohio. While you’re there, go Hot-Air Ballooning too, because, why the hell not? How about a Lunchbox Museum? How about flying lessons from a crazy (crazy AWESOME) man?

11. Hike, ride horses, and do other country thaaangs while staying at a B&B in Pennsylvania.

12. Turn off your phone and check into a cottage in Oregon.

13. Go caving. Anywhere. The caves will keep you cool during the hot summer months. Tennesee and Kentucky are full of ’em, but check out a full list of USA Caves to map out your underground route.

Now quit talkin’ about getting away this summer and just do it.

By: Elizabeth Seward

All The Cool Kids Go To Vail In September. And By Cool, I Mean Me.

Going to Vail, Colorado for the very first time in September is definitely something I would do–and I did.

It’s getting ready to rain atop Vail Mountain. I’ve just taken the Gondola up the steep mountainside. I shared it with a couple who were clearly visiting their twenty-something son who clearly just opened a Burton store in Vail. Or something like that. They shifted their eyes back and forth between him and the village below, as if to say they weren’t sure which was more frightening: the ascending ride or his “I Really Do Have My Shit Together, Guys” act.

The storm clouds are rolling in, painted in deep purples and grays. No one else up here seems to be as inconvenienced by the pending doom as I am, but I appear to be the only person wearing short sleeves. I quickly take the Gondola back down the mountain, making a point to get my own car (or however you refer to the seating on these things).

When I fell asleep in my hotel room that night, I took some time to think about how my day had gone. I’d woken up that morning to a sprawling much-more-than-continental breakfast at AtWater, a restaurant in Vail Cascade. I followed that with one of the deepest deep tissue massages I’ve ever received. I followed that with time in the hot tub. After my time in the hot tub, I took the Gondola up to the top of Vail Mountain and grabbed some breathtaking shots. I then went downtown to greet some old friends of mine who decided to drive out from Boulder and meet me in Vail for dinner and drinks. It just so happened to be Oktoberfest in Vail that evening. We dined at a great little bar/restaurant where we ordered bean burgers that, for once, did not suck and we drank beer out of steins in the city square while watching a toddler dance in circles to the live band. It hadn’t been a bad day at all.

Vail in the summertime is a vacation spot not yet announced to travelers at large. What would be $700 hotel rooms in December are $100 in August. What would be streets flooded with overzealous skiers in January are quaint and quiet outdoor cafes where you can grab a glass of wine in peace in June. What would be snow covered aspens in February are a palette of fall colors in October. See my point? You’re fooling yourself if you think Vail is only worth it in the winter.

By: Elizabeth Seward

Alps Boulder Canyon Inn

Nestled a few miles above Boulder, Colorado on Boulder Canyon Drive rests the most amazing, quintessentially perfect inn I have ever stayed. The inn was built before Colorado became a state and under different ownership served as a multitude of stage and resting stops for those traveling to and from nearby mines.

In 1905, it became the Alps Hotel and Resort and served as a luxurious restaurant and inn to those traveling the “World Famous Switzerland Trail Railroad,” once thought to be the “most beautiful in the world” (

Not only is the surrounding scenery breathtaking, but the inn itself is filled with many delightful and quirky surprises to appeal to and enhance your satisfaction (and most likely out-do your expectations as well). Continue reading

Return to the Bat Cave: Boulder, Colorado

In Boulder , Colorado, there is a prominent building in the south flatirons on which your wandering eye will often focus whilst moving past it in the distance. This is a famous building due to it’s architecture. It’s also famous because of the sort of activity that takes place inside… It’s NCAR~ The national center for atmospheric research~where scientists are gathering evidence that proves global warming effects at an alarming rate.

There are some really amazing hikes here , in which the view of the flatirons, also known as dinosaur mountain (aka the front range of the Rocky mountains), will leave you speechless ~ and breathless (if you’re not used to the altitude, it’s above 6500 feet!) So take table mesa towards the mountains and you will end up at NCAR where there are a myriad of trails to choose from. The mesa trail is the main trail which goes along the front range, and the trail we are now interested in will branch off an intersection of the Mesa and NCAR trail uphill towards the destination of Mallory Caves. Continue reading

Skydiving in the Rockies

Like many, I’ve always said I want to skydive, but subconsciously never really had the intent to. As social creatures, I feel we often make generic statements without any true intent- statements we feel will intrigue others, enhance their curiosity, and, perhaps, spark some kind of human connection. Sure I would’ve loved to say I had done so and would love to be able to replay the experience in my head- and to tell tales of adventure and over comings of fear and truly living.

I decided I didn’t want to be one to make generic and empty proclamations of my need for adventuresome fulfillment. So, one random day in February, I decided I was going skydiving, (without, of course, really thinking about what it was I was about to do). I decided I’d go on an upcoming trip to Colorado- a surprise trip, in fact, that I had planned for my boyfriend and I. After all, I was taking his Colorado virginity- what a great adventure and story to also throw in the towel for both of our jumping-12,500-feet-out-of-a-mother-fucking-plane virginities too. Continue reading