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Best Of 2014: Garden Supply/Nursery
No doubt Rick's impresses its fans by being a year-round, full-service lawn and garden emporium, offering Colorado-grown trees; lawn and garden equipment rentals; and tools, sprinklers, planters and a private-label fertilizer that folks swear by. ("It's one of those things that's made us unique all these years," says co-owner Mike Estes.) You can also find indoor gardening supplies, including hydroponic gear; seasonal flowers, annuals, perennials, vegetables, herbs ("it's crazy how many plants we carry here"); a vast seed collection, including non-GMO seeds; and a seasonal Christmas shop with fresh-cut as well as potted trees, plus wreaths and garland. — Robert Meyrowitz
Best Of 2012: Garden Supply/Nursery
They share the title for top garden go-to every year, despite the fact that the two places are disparate businesses, and have been since 1976. In a way it's fitting, since Rick's Garden and Rick's Nursery share a happy, symbiotic relationship. Set back-to-back on the west side, each shop sends customers to its neighbor, calling on complementary expertise. And given the recent boom in urban homesteading, or just growing your own veggies in the backyard, it only makes sense there's double the help on a local level. Because we're all in this together, right? Just see Rick's of 18th Street's "About Us" webpage: "Do not merely look out for your own personal interests, but also for the interests of others," Philippians 2:4. — Edie Adelstein
Best Of 2015: Easy Hiking Trail
It says something when the category is "Easy Hiking Trail" (singular) and the winner is an entire park. With over a dozen trails — many of which are actually "intermediate" or "advanced," according to the Colorado Springs Parks, Recreation and Cultural Services Department — Red Rock Canyon Open Space is arguably the most popular park for locals looking to hike, run or cycle close to home. With so many good trails, it's no wonder that Red Rocks enjoys such a following. Now we just need to figure out which trail is the best. — Hiking Bob Falcone
Best Of 2015: Non-Chain Book Store
Best Of 2015: Place to Buy a Thoughtful, Inexpensive Gift
Best Of 2015: LGBT-Friendly Business
How you see Poor Richard's probably depends on how long you've been in town. Founder and co-owner Richard Skorman notes that the store was a meeting place for LGBT groups in the wake of the statewide passage of anti-gay Amendment 2 in 1992. Skorman stuck his neck out at a time when doing so was actually dangerous, and he faced down death threats because of it. Skorman's wife and the current co-owner of the store, Patricia Seator, remembers being scared during those times, though she didn't get heavily involved in the business until more recently. Those who came to town after the mid-2000s are probably more familiar with the Poor Richard's that Seator helped create — the café, gift shop and new façade are based on her design input. So is the paring down of the used book store, and the addition of new books to the inventory. — J. Adrian Stanley
Best Of 2015: Bar Patio
Best Of 2015: Place to Shoot Pool
Phantom Canyon closed down earlier this year for main-floor restaurant updates and renovations. But it needed no help with its second-floor offerings. The rooftop patio opened in the summer of 2013 with a spectacular view of the Peak, high tables with cool fire pits, and full food and drink service in the open air. The 10-table pool hall also boasts great views of the mountains and city sports-bar atmosphere, with TVs often turned to the game du jour and specials Sunday through Wednesday — including free pool with any food purchase on Mondays. — Carrie Simison
Serving dinner only with a tremendous view over the city, this is a sister restaurant to Woodland Park's Swiss Chalet. Its "pride and joy" are the pepper steaks: filet cuts with mango chutney, flambéed in brandy ($34.95 to $49.95). All else is equally haute, from Colorado lamb to Maine lobster.
Sister restaurant to Woodland Park's Swiss Chalet, the Pepper Tree is a perennial contender in our Best Of poll's Fine Dining category. Open for dinner only and boasting a great view of the city skyline, it offers lavish seafood entrées, rich steak courses prepared or finished tableside, and classic flavors like Colorado rack of lamb with a mint rosemary demi-glace. Call this our favorite tree to climb.
Camp Guide 2011
Programs exist for infants to 18-year-olds, including a summer reading game and programming for younger readers, along with workshops and more games. "You Are Here" is the teen Summer Reading Program theme, and there will be summer movie nights at the East Teen Center, a skate night at Skate City and a bowling night at Brunswick Zone.
531-6333 ext. 1403 or 2403, teen programs ext. 1318
Best Of 2013: National Pizza Chain
Bites 2013: Green Chili Skillet
Of course they had us at the mere mention of our favorite green sauce, but since eating it by the spoonful can get hard on the gut, it's probably for the best that this dish buffers the spice with diced cheddar cheese potatoes, a couple huevos (I'd go over easy) and an English muffin for some semblance of propriety. ($6.99)