A dating app for dog people plus 10 other tools to help you live your most Colorado life

A dating app for dog people plus 10 other tools to help you live your most Colorado life

As Coloradans, we’re a diverse bunch. But there are some things that many of us have in common — our affinity for the outdoors, craft beer and dogs, just to name a few.

But with so much to do and see in this great state, it can be overwhelming trying to make camping plans, find a romantic partner, pick a new hiking route or figure out where to eat dinner (yet again).

With that in mind, we’ve rounded up some of our favorite apps and tools that can help you lead your best life as a Coloradan. You’re welcome.

PupPass

Cost: $25
More info: puppass.com

If you’re like me and you hate leaving your dog behind while you go out, you’re probably always on the hunt for dog-friendly places to meet friends or just spend an afternoon. Enter PupPass, which gets you freebies and deals at dog-friendly Colorado breweries, bars, restaurants and stores. The pass, which is in its first year, is $25 and gets you 18 free beers, 10 BOGO beer deals and six other deals at dog-friendly spots throughout the Front Range. Plus, you can feel good knowing that 10 percent of proceeds go to the Humane Society of Boulder Valley.

“PupPass was inspired by the simple idea that dogs and humans belong together — and also pair well with beer,” said PupPass founder Scott Wells. “We realized that not every dog owner had a good sense of what venues were dog-friendly, and if their dogs were allowed inside or just on the patio. Originally, we set out to solve this problem by providing a dog-friendly directory, which morphed into the idea of creating a pass with venues that were especially dog-friendly.”

COTREX

Cost: Free
More info: cpw.state.co.us/CTS

If you love exploring Colorado’s vast wilderness, you’ll want to download this new app from the state of Colorado ASAP. COTREX, aka the Colorado Trails Explorer, offers maps and information for more than 39,000 miles of public trails throughout the state. The app will even tell you which trails to check out based on your preferred activity: hiking, biking, horseback riding, motorcycle riding, ATV riding and off-highway vehicle riding. You can also filter for trails that are wheelchair-friendly or that allow dogs. Plus, if you’re planning to go off the beaten path a bit, you can download the maps for offline use. Not only is this app incredibly useful, but it’s also pioneering: Colorado is the first state in the country to map all public trails within its boundaries and put them into a free mobile app.

FreeCampsites.net

Cost: Free
More info: freecampsites.net

This website is seriously a game-changer if you love to camp (or you’re doing the van-life thing!) but don’t love the idea of making reservations for a paid site months in advance. You can use it wherever you’re traveling, but there are hundreds of sites listed in Colorado alone, which makes it perfect for last-minute camping getaways. In addition to providing you with the actual GPS coordinates of the free (or low-cost) sites, the website often has reviews and photos from other users that really help paint a picture of where you’ll be camping. This website has helped me out in a pinch while looking for a campsite more times than I can count.

Eat Cheap

Cost: Free
More info: eatcheap.app

Want to learn about food and drink deals around Denver? Of course you do. There’s a new app/website called Eat Cheap that lets you find deals at restaurants and bars around the city. You can even filter by the day of the week and the meal you’re most interested in — breakfast, lunch, happy hour, dinner and late-night eats.

Mindbody

Cost: Free
More info: mindbodyonline.com

If you love to get your sweat on, you may already use the Mindbody app, which lets you book fitness classes around Colorado (and elsewhere). But did you know that it can help you save money, too? You can search for last-minute deals on everything from yoga to pilates to group fitness. The app also lets you find and book special intro rates for gyms, massage therapy sessions, beauty services and other beauty- and wellness-related treatments.

The Passport Program

Cost: $25
More info: thepassportprogram.com

If you want to expand your pool of go-to bars, restaurants, coffee shops, distilleries and breweries, The Passport Program can help you out. For $25, you receive a pocket-sized passport that gets you two-for-one beverages at dozens of spots. Choose a passport for the region you want to explore — Denver, Boulder, Fort Collins, Colorado Springs or the Rocky Mountains — or pay $60 for a special “Colorado Pack” that includes all of those passports. The best part is that each passport is seasonal — consider getting a winter passport for apres ski exploration or a summer version so you can patio hop.

PictureThis

Cost: Free, with in-app purchases
More info: picturethisai.com

If you’ve ever been out hiking (or just wandering around town) and found yourself wondering, “What kind of plant is that?” we’ve got a handy tool for you. All you have to do is take a picture of the plant or flower and then watch as PictureThis provides information on the closest potential matches. I moved into a new house recently and used it to identify several shrubs and berry trees in my new yard — it works!

Dig

Cost: Free
More info: digdates.com

It finally happened: Someone launched a dating app for people who have dogs (or just love them). The app is available nationwide, but let’s be honest, it’s perfect for single, dog-loving Coloradans. You can filter your matches by people with or without a dog, as well as by dog size. There are also daily deals and dog-friendly date ideas. If you’ve ever been dumped because of your dog or been duped by a potential match who borrowed a friend’s dog just for the photo, you’ll want to check out Dig.

“To dog people, it doesn’t matter who starts the conversation, what mutual hobbies they have or who they know in common,” according to the app’s developers. “If the people aren’t on the same page about the dog(s), they just aren’t compatible.”

Untappd

Cost: Free
More info: untappd.com

We get it — you live in Colorado, therefore, you love craft beer. But wouldn’t it be handy if you had a tool for tracking all the delicious local brews you’ve sipped over the years, sort of like a beer diary? With Untappd, you can “check in” beers you’ve tried, give them a rating and make comments. As you try more beers, the app rewards you with achievement badges along the way. If you’re looking for inspiration for your next happy hour, Untappd can provide recommendations, tell you about local events and show you popular spots nearby, too.

Merlin Bird ID

Cost: Free
More info: merlin.allaboutbirds.org

You can really enhance your outdoor experience (even if you’re just hanging out at a city park) and even practice a bit of mindfulness when you start to take notice of the little details around you, including birds. When you spot a bird you don’t know much about, you can use Merlin Bird ID to help narrow down what species it might be, then learn a bit about the bird’s characteristics and behavior. You can also ask the app to formulate a list of birds you’re most likely to see based on your location, which makes any outing feel a bit like a scavenger hunt.

OverDrive

Cost: Free
More info: overdrive.com

OverDrive — and its sister app, Libby — can help you read tens of thousands of books for free. No, really. All you have to do is march over to your local Colorado library and sign up for a library card, which usually costs a dollar or two (or nothing at all!). Once you download the app, search for your library branch and sign in using your card number. Then, you can search for ebooks and downloadable audiobooks within the library’s system. I regularly use OverDrive to download library audiobooks to my phone for long Colorado road trips and to add ebooks to my Kindle for my book club at BookBar. Make it even more Coloradan by posting up in a hammock with a view of the foothills while you read.

OpenSnow

Cost: Free
More info: opensnow.com

If your regular weather app just isn’t cutting it during ski season, you’ve got to check out OpenSnow. Created by a team of weather forecasters who also love to ski and ride, this website and mobile app will help you stay in the know about which resorts have the freshest powder to shred at the moment. OpenSnow provides five-day forecasts, as well as 24-hour snow reports to help you find the best snow conditions. You can sort the forecasts by mountains, regions and even by season pass. There are even “snow stake cams” to let you see that fluffy white stuff falling from the sky, before you make the trip up.

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