The Mariner hosts a variety of musical acts, but the every-other-Sunday acid jazz jam remains the must-hear attraction. Led by Kim Stone — the former Spyro Gyra and the Rippingtons bassist whose current band, A New Brain for Arnie, released an impressive debut album last November — the improvisational musicianship can get positively transcendent.
Happy hour: Monday-Friday, 5-7 p.m.
The goods: 50 cents off all drinks
Best value: "Our microbrews."
IndyPick • Best Of 2010: Place for Unexpected Fun
Which country has an entire collection of coins dedicated to the adventures of Harry Potter? What does a nickel worth $4 million dollars look like? You can find out these answers and more at the American Numismatic Association's Money Museum. "We're the Springs' best-kept secret," says curator Douglas Mudd. "We're also the only money museum in the U.S." Kids can dig into a treasure chest to pick out the perfect coin to take home. Collectors can admire the only complete set of $3 gold pieces in the world. Interactive screens make it easy for anyone who wanders in to look up information on each piece. "Money gives a different perspective on history that most people don't know about," says Mudd. And money isn't all there is: You can check out Oliver Cromwell's death mask in an exhibit called "The Good, the Bad and the Ugly," while "Money of the Civil War" comes with a cannon. — Leah Barker
Best Of 2015: Patio Dining
Best Of 2015: Mexican
First things first: The North Academy location of Amanda's Fonda is actually now called Amanda's Cantina. Same owners, same recipes — manager Michael Martinez says the name was changed because a lot of his potential customers didn't know Amanda's Fonda served Mexican food. Something else specific to the north side is the Sunday brunch featuring an omelet station, a $3 Bloody Mary bar and a host of Mexican favorites like empanadas and tortilla soup. Across town, the west side patio, with its babbling brook, is one of the most popular seats in town. But even if you dine indoors, an oversized margarita can also make for some eye candy. — Amanda Lundgren
Best Of 2014: Restaurant for Herbivores
Best Of 2014: Neighborhood Restaurant: Manitou
"The biggest thing" to hit Adam's Mountain Café over the past year, according to owner Farley McDonough, is that the restaurant has gone full-bar. After 30 years without, that is a big deal. "We're not trying to do a big bar scene," McDonough says with a laugh, "but people can come in for a killer Bloody Mary at breakfast, or a Manhattan with dinner." Of course, in keeping with the rest of Adam's style, the bar leans local and Colorado when possible. And that Bloody Mary? It's extra special — with organic ingredients and vegan, house-made Worcestershire sauce. — Kirsten Akens
Best Of 2010: Bar for a Martini
Best Of 2010: Bar for a Fancy-Pants Cocktail
Best Of 2010: Upscale Bar
At the beginning of August, the blue porch light at 15C went dark, the result of an early-morning fire in the building that displaced the martini and cigar bar's customers and staff. Regardless, Springs drinkers and smokers know what they like — this is 15C's eighth win for Upscale (or Classy) Bar and ninth win for Bar for a Martini. And as martinis can be a little "fancy-pants," it's really no surprise 15C grabbed that first-year award, too. From the ashes: "I'm definitely reopening — there's no question of that," says owner Alan Pak, though he doesn't have a timeline yet. —Kirsten Akens
You can drink, you can smoke, and you can stare across a candle-lit table at your loved one. Or you can just drink and smoke. A multiple readers' poll winner in the Bar for a Martini and Upscale Bar categories (its seventh straight year in the latter), 15C is a den of hidden delights located down a back alley with a purple light next to an indistinguishable door. In addition to the cigar menu, martinis rule here, from the classic James Bond affectation to such trendy concoctions as the Sugar Daddy, French Kiss and Velvet Hammer.