110 N. Nevada Ave., 578-7771
Need a break? Play some pool or enjoy live music at this popular downtown hangout.
8 E. Bijou St., 634-1748
Help stave off those dreaded freshmen 15 by eating a healthy pita filled with fresh ingredients. If you really want to keep off the pounds, indulge in a vegetarian pita. Open late. Oh, and if you're heading west, hit up Pita Pit at 773 W. Garden of the Gods Road.
The Thirsty Parrot Bar and Grill
32 S. Tejon St., 884-1094
Enjoy food, assorted tropical drinks and live music at this downtown hot spot. On lazy Sunday afternoons, you can play Texas Hold 'em when you really should be studying.
7585 N. Academy Blvd., 532-0032
Don't let the name deter you; the menu is elephant meat-free. This theme bar and restaurant features exotic dishes like Kona BBQ pork ribs and macadamia nut-crusted fish and chips.
Maggie Moo's Ice Cream and Treatery
1605 Briargate Pkwy., #107, 268-1844
Maggie Moo's has an extensive and I'm not using the term lightly list of desserts to choose from for an after-dinner sugar fix. New flavor: Carrot Cake Fresh Escape.
1710 Briargate Blvd., 593-2925
After dinner and dessert, work off some calories with a round or two of mini-golf. The best part: Your friends can't cheat, because the balls glow in the dark.
2070 S. Academy Blvd., 380-8455
The name says it all. Get Southern comfort food like loaded baked sweet potatoes with cinnamon and sugar, fried catfish and, of course, steaks. And if it happens to be someone's birthday, don't forget to make them wear the ridiculous 10-gallon hat while the wait staff sings an off-tune rendition of something that resembles "Happy Birthday."
Black Bear Coffee and Tea Lodge
6550 S. Academy Blvd., 226-BEAR (2327)
A large covered patio juts out the side of this locally owned and operated shop, complete with twinkle lights and wrought iron furniture. Perk up legally with a "Red Eye," a drink made with drip coffee and espresso shots.
Synergy Dance Academy
3661 Star Ranch Road, 579-6657
After all that caffeine, get rid of the jitters in a dance or yoga class before heading back to campus.
Old Colorado City
Wild Ginger Thai Restaurant
3020 W. Colorado Ave., 634-5025
A unique place to relax with friends and enjoy the wide-ranging tastes of Thai cuisine.
Michael Garman Gallery
2418 W. Colorado Ave., 471-9391
A gallery featuring awe-inspiring sculptures; worth at least one visit when in Old Colorado City. Make sure to tour the Magic Town installation to make your visit complete.
The Egg and I
5838 Barnes Road, 574-5700
When you need to absorb some stomach acid after a night of partying, go here for brunch or even a late lunch. And if you happen to be up north, there's a second Egg and I at 7816 N. Academy Blvd.
Indigo Joe's Sports Pub and Restaurant
6120 Barnes Road, 302-0969
With 20 beers on tap and an array of plasma TVs, this is the place to be during football season. Raiders fans: Enter at your own risk.
Climbing wall at Dick's Sporting Goods
3133 Cinema Point, 638-3400
In the winter, it can be tough getting motivated to do physical activity. Stay warm and still burn calories while traversing three different climbing paths.
Heart of Jerusalem Caf
906 Manitou Ave., 685-9554
This sidewalk caf offers various delicious wraps, sandwiches and combo plates. Perfect for students on a budget.
Kinfolks Mountain Outfitters
950 Manitou Ave., 685-4433
This camping and clothing store is a bar, too. With live music and darts for entertainment, Kinfolks serves a number of microbrews on tap, including the unrivaled Arrogant Bastard.
The Mat Factor
966 Manitou Ave., 685-3235
Mat Factor serves up an energizing herb tea made from the Yerba Mat plant. Full of antioxidants and vitamins, this organic drink recharges even the most worn-out of students. The vibe, though friendly, is a bit, er, cult-ural. Bring a friend when you go.
As a volunteer Coach and Mentor in my third year at The First Tee of…