Hot date: Shopping and dinner in Morrison, then a starlit concert
Famous as the rainy setting of U2’s “Sunday Bloody Sunday” music video, the Red Rocks Amphitheatre near Morrison, Colorado, is arguably one of the most dramatic venues in the world.
The Rocks, as locals call it, ramps up its summer season with Big Head Todd and the Monsters on June 4. You can stretch an evening show into a day trip to nearby Morrison. The main drag of the old mining town (it’s on the National Register of Historic Places) may only be three blocks long, but it has fun shops and good restaurants. Eat early and take a hike before the concert.
Diana’s Gallery and Gifts.
What: Morrison’s newest and, in fact, only gallery with works by Colorado artists. When: Closed Wed. Where: 112 Stone St.; 303/697-8508.
Morrison Country Store.
What: Creaky floors are lined with country-style furniture and home accessories. Don’t miss the treats in the old-fashioned bulk candy bin. Where: 201 Bear Creek Ave.; 303/697-8916.
What: The town’s newest restaurant features central European cuisine in a setting more reminiscent of Manhattan. A beer garden serving bratwurst stays open through the afternoon. When: Lunch and dinner daily. How much: $$. Where: 209 Bear Creek Ave.; 303/697-9722.The Fort.
What: An adobe-walled replica of historic Bent’s Old Fort near La Junta, the Fort mixes frontier fare with contemporary dishes. The Rocky Mountain oysters will remind you of calamari ― sort of. When: Dinner daily. How much: $$$$. Where: 19192 State 8; 303/697-4771.
What: Red Rocks Amphitheatre, in Red Rocks Park, closes at 4 on show dates, but ticket holders can arrive early to park and meander among the jutting rocks on the moderate, 1.4-mile Trading Post Trail. Where: 18300 W. Alameda Pkwy.; www.redrocksonline.com or 303/697-4939.
Concerts at the Rocks.
What: The amphitheater’s bench seats are cradled between red sandstone monoliths beneath the stars; bring warm layers of clothing. When: Shows weekly through Sep. Where: See above.
Morrison is 17 miles (about a 20-minute drive) southwest of Denver. From I-70 take exit 259 and drive 1 1/2 miles south.