Located just a few miles to the northwest of Denver, Boulder is a college town nestled against the foothills of the Rocky Mountains. Boulder’s inhabitants are best known for their healthy lifestyles, and outdoor activities are plentiful in and around the city. Boulder Creek cuts straight through the town and is lined with walking and biking trails. The four-block pedestrian-friendly Pearl Street Mall features outdoor performers in all but the most inclement weather. A drive up Baseline Road on Flagstaff Mountains rewards visitors with spectacular views, and there are picnic areas and hiking trails to enjoy at the summit as well.
Only a few miles from downtown Denver, Littleton is a historic suburb of Denver with its own charm and history. Its turn-of-the-century houses are witnesses of the rich history while cozy restaurants and bars are inviting and popular. The Main Street has a lineup of independently owned galleries and shops. The Littleton Museum tells the story of the town’s past with its 19th century farm. Town Hall Arts Center presents community-run theater and music events. Littleton has more than 59 parks and two light rail stations with access to Downtown Denver. For outdoor enthusiasts, the Rockies are only half hour away. South Platte Park and Carson Nature Center offer hiking trails and fishing lakes. Pirates Cove Water Park has lap pools, a 35-foot slide, and a tubing river.
Ouray is one of the many historic Colorado mining towns that have re-invented themselves as outdoor playgrounds for adventure sport fanatics. The town is steeped in history, which you can explore at the Ouray County Historical Museum, the Ouray Alchemist Pharmaceutical Museum or on a tour of the Old Hundred Mine, before visiting one of the natural thermal pools that have been attracting visitors for over 100 years.
Ideally located within a few miles of the Loveland ski area, the Georgetown Mountain Inn offers a cozy alpine atmosphere with spectacular mountain views. Situated within walking distance of Georgetown’s historic downtown area and its eclectic mix of shops, restaurants, bars, and nightclubs, the inn features 33 comfortably furnished guest rooms with private bathrooms and modern amenities.
Located at the eastern foot of the Rocky Mountains, Colorado Springs has multiple attractions, ranging from museums and parks to trains and a zoo. It is within close proximity to Pikes Peak, a landmark in the Pike National Forest. The Garden of the Gods park is also located in Colorado Springs and features red sandstone formations and stunning mountain views.
Overlooking the scenic Beaver Creek Mountain, Park Hyatt Beaver Creek is a luxury Colorado resort and spa where guests can experience the vacation of their dreams. From breathtaking mountain views to championship golf courses to exquisite cuisine, Hyatt’s Beaver Creek ski resort offers the perfect year-round Vail Valley mountain escape with premium amenities, such as ski in and ski out access, a year-round heated outdoor pool, and an outdoor fire pit for roasting s’mores.
The best time to visit Rocky Mountain National Park is from June to September when the snow is (mostly) melted and the hiking trails and attractions are accessible. Still, these four months are also the most popular times to visit, so if you'd rather experience RMNP in relative isolation and while wearing snowshoes or cross-country skis, visit between the months of October and May. Whether snow or sunshine, the park is open to the public 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, though some parts may be inaccessible.
19th-century ghost town, and hosts its own fabulous mineral hot springs. The five-star property enjoys a backdrop of aspens and the dramatic San Juan Mountain Range, situated about 30 miles southwest of Telluride. It’s the perfect place to disconnect from the chaos of the modern world and connect with the one you love. Nearby you can go heli-skiing, rock climbing or hike miles and miles of scenic trails. It hosts a ring of historic log cabins that now serve as luxurious retreats as well as other historic buildings that house a lavish spa, a well-stocked library and a saloon with wagon-wheel chandeliers.
“This isn’t a furlough for us,” Oropeza said. “There are definitely folks who, if this continues into next week, they’ll have to forfeit their commitment. Some are exploring applying for other jobs. They have student loans, they have car payments and other bills. …There are ripple effects this is having down the road. Our seasonal contracts, we have to have our contracts for summer seasonal work signed soon. All these things are getting backlogged.”
Louisville is conveniently situated between Denver and Boulder, offering visitors an attractive weekend getaway destination with a distinctive American small-town feel. You can stroll through the historic Old Town, where several historic buildings now house modern shops, restaurants and businesses. Downtown is also home to the Louisville Art District, which is packed with galleries, studios and hosts a monthly First Friday Art Walk. Live music and theater is popular and you can catch a concert at the Center Stage Theatre Company or the Coal Creek Community Theater. Outdoor activities include walking, hiking, biking and ice skating, while nearby Boulder offers many additional cultural and outdoor attractions.
This three-story, immaculately furnished lodge can sleep up to 30 people and is located mere minutes from the entrance of Rocky Mountain National Park. It can be divided into two different suites for smaller groups. Overlooking the tranquil Trout Pond, the lodge has everything you need for a perfect family reunion, wedding, retreat or any large gathering.
Located one mile from the main entrance of Rocky Mountain National Park and two miles from Estes Park, Rams Horn Village Resort offers 46 luxury cabins, a heated outdoor swimming pool in the summer, three outdoor, year-round hot tubs, a fitness center and a playground on over seven acres of landscaped grounds. Every amenity at Rams Horn is free to use with your reservation and every cabin will turn into a second home.
During the winter most of Trail Ridge Road is closed due to heavy snow, limiting motorized access to the edges of the park. Winter activities include snowshoeing and cross-country skiing which are possible from either the Estes Park or Grand Lake entrances. On the east side near Estes Park, skiing and snowshoeing trails are available off Bear Lake Road, such as the Bear Lake, Bierstadt Lake, and Sprague Lake trails and at Hidden Valley. Slopes for sledding are also available at Hidden Valley. The west side of the park near Grand Lake also has viable snowshoeing trails. Backcountry skiing and snowboarding can be enjoyed after climbing up one of the higher slopes, especially late in the snow season after avalanche danger has subsided, and technical climbing remains also a possibility, although typically differing in style from the summer months.
Surrounded by over 100,000 acres of the Pike National Forest, the Ranch at Emerald Valley is an unmatched, all-inclusive retreat that combines the rustic charm of a wilderness enclave with The Broadmoor’s incomparable luxury and service. Honeymooners can indulge in one of 10 beautifully appointed cabins, featuring gas fireplaces, rich furnishings, and modern amenities. Couples can spend their days fly fishing in pristine mountain lakes, hiking and biking along scenic trails or exploring the mountains on horseback. Afterward, unwind by soaking in an outdoor hot tub and sipping fine wine on a panoramic terrace while enjoying the beauty of a Rocky Mountain sunset. All meals and ranch activities are included as part of the stay, making it an ideal setting for intimate getaways where every detail is thoughtfully handled.
Depending on when you choose to stay in an Estes Park vacation rental, you may be able to catch family-friendly events like the annual Teddy Bear Picnic or Longs Peak Scottish-Irish Highland Festival. If you aren't able to make it to those events, don't worry: you can always pick up some local history at the Lula W. Dorsey Museum or Stanley Steam Car Museum. Visit the local shops and galleries like the Wild Spirits Gallery or Alpenglow Images & Accents to see some local photography, woodworking, jewelry, and other crafts or pick up a souvenir or two for friends and family back home.
Dial (970) 586-1222 for a recorded message on the status of Trail Ridge Road. You may not know that our mountain makes its own weather, so it is not uncommon to have snow in July or August at the top of Trail Ridge Road. Such weather will only last for a few hours to a day, but if you are planning to cross over Trail Ridge Road, weather may hamper your travel. You also may find the road closed due to weather in early June and September/October.
While sightseeing in Denver, be sure to note your elevation: One of the steps in front of the Colorado State Capitol building is marked with a plaque signifying that it is exactly 5,280 feet, or one mile, above sea level. A perfect opportunity to snag a memorable smooch in the Mile High City — “mile-high club” jokes totally optional. More things to do in Denver >>
Our last (but definitely not least!) romantic hotel in Colorado is the Leroux Creek Inn & Vineyards. This secluded B&B is surrounded by vineyards and the valleys and mesas of the Grand Mesa located on 54 acres. Sip their wine while gazing from the Leroux Creek Inn’s flower-bedecked patio onto their vineyards. Near the small town of Hotchkiss, the acreage also includes a creek, dry arroyos, grass pastures, sagebrush, and trees.
About 300 million years ago, the land was uplifted creating the ancestral Rocky Mountains. Fountain Formation was deposited during the Pennsylvanian period of the Paleozoic era, 290–296 million years ago. Over the next 150 million years, the mountains uplifted, continued to erode, and covered themselves in their own sediment. Wind, gravity, rainwater, snow, and glacial ice eroded the granite mountains over geologic time scales. The Ancestral Rockies were eventually buried under subsequent strata.
The sun made us lazy, and after following Brian as he made his way upstream I found a wider expanse of sand and gravel, promptly plopping down on a pair of flip flops I had brought in my backpack as a make-shift seat. After identifying the northern harrier hawk over my head, and the savannas sparrows and red-winged blackbirds perched precariously on reeds across the water, I took out my knitting project. I didn’t have to worry about losing Brian; in the valley I could see for miles in both directions.
Regardless of whether or not you have seen cliff dwellings before, you will be blown away by Mesa Verde and the amount of access to the actual ruins that the park allows visitors. The park's centerpiece, Cliff Palace is one of the most impressive dwellings in the entire Southwest, with a dramatic setting and incredibly preserved ruins. Ranger-led tours, which run regularly during the summer high season, allow you to climb ladders right up into the heart of the dwelling. If you aren't up for that level of activity, you can get a full view of the site from a nearby overlook.
Would you like to stay in a historic red barn, a former milk room, or an original historic log cabin and get an idea of how the original Colorado settlers lived? Converted to the luxury Four Mile Creek Bed and Breakfast, this former 1885 homestead is a quaint reminder of the area’s adventurous past. With its main lodge building, old converted barn, and two log cabins, the Bed and Breakfast today offers rustic luxury and unparalleled comfort. The rooms are furnished with antique pieces and fireplaces, with luxurious bathrooms featuring claw foot tubs, conveying a sense of times gone by while providing entirely modern comfort and amenities.
Whether you like to ski, hike, or just take in the jaw-dropping mountain scenery with a craft beer in hand, you’ll find the perfect weekend getaway in Colorado. From lively cities like Denver and Boulder, to more laid-back locales like Golden and Pagosa Springs—and plenty of world-class ski resorts in between—we’ve compiled a list of 17 of the best weekend getaways in The Centennial State.
^ This article incorporates public domain material from the Library of Congress document: "Majestic view from the old, one-way, dirt Fall River Road in Rocky Mountain National Park in the Front Range of the spectacular and high Rockies in north-central Colorado". Library of Congress - Prints & Photographs Online Catalog. Retrieved October 28, 2016.
Owners Wendye Sykes and Shelley Powers came to Estes Park from San Francisco looking for an escape from the grind of everyday city life — and that’s exactly what they’ve created at River Spruce. Offering nine different cabins, you’ll find lodgings suitable for couples and families all nestled amidst the scenic Rocky Mountain wilderness and along the Big Thompson River.
Just a 5-minute stroll from downtown Estes Park, Fall River Village offers 66 luxury accommodations, including 60 two bedroom and two bathroom condos, a honeymoon suite, four three bedroom and four bathroom townhomes and a four bedroom townhome with panoramic views of the Continental Divide. Property amenities include a heated, outdoor pool, year-round, outdoor hot tubs, a community room, fire pit and grill areas as well as an outdoor recreation area with yard games and a hammock.
Estes Park is one of the most beautiful mountain retreats in all of Colorado — and we’re not just saying that because they’re our neighbors! OutThere Colorado named the village on their list of the 10 Most Beautiful Places to Spend a Weekend in Colorado. It was chosen for its proximity to Rocky Mountain National Park and the stunning views from Estes Park Aerial Tramway.
ItineraryThis is a typical itinerary for this productPass By: Fall River Visitor Center, Rocky Mountain National Park, ColoradoEnter into Rocky Mountain National Park for the day of adventureStop At: Alluvial Fan, Rocky Mountain National Park, ColoradoWalk down the trail and take in the fresh air withness the power of destruction along your walk to a waterfall and alluvial fan. See boulders the size of cars deposited onto the valley floorDuration: 35 minutesStop At: Horseshoe Park, Rocky Mountain National Park, ColoradoEnjoy a picnic lunch nestled into a picturesque mountain valley next to a streamDuration: 40 minutesStop At: Trail Ridge Road, Rocky Mountain National Park, ColoradoTravel 11 miles into the Alpine along this scenic drive on the highest paved road in North America stopping to take photos and walk down the overlooks and enjoy the majestic views and wildlife sightings.Duration: 2 hoursStop At: Alpine Visitor Center, Rocky Mountain National Park, ColoradoVisit the Ranger Station and Gift shop or enjoy a walk up to the highest point on Trail Ridge Road taking in the 360 degree breathtaking mountain viewsDuration: 40 minutesStop At: Many Parks Curve Overlook, Rocky Mountain National Park, ColoradoSee the many sides of the park on this short walk with views of Long's Peak and the mountain valleysDuration: 20 minutesPass By: Beaver Meadows Visitor Center, Rocky Mountain National Park, ColoradoExit the park through Beaver Meadows looking for wildlife along the way.Stop At: Downtown Estes Park, Estes Park, ColoradoStroll down Elkhorn Avenue grab a drink or ice-cream and pop into the local shops or visit the historic Stanley Hotel while in this quaint mountain town.Duration: 45 minutes
The romance of Highland Haven will embrace you the moment you cross the bridge over cool Bear Creek at the entrance to this fairytale lodging. Located on the foothills of the charming town of Evergreen just a half hour drive from Denver, Highland Haven offers almost decadent luxury, total privacy, and outstanding amenities. You can choose between Luxury Suites, Junior Suites, Cottages and Guest Rooms. All are exquisitely decorated with a mix of antiques, luxury textiles, and superbly crafted rustic wood.
Vail is one of the world’s most popular ski resort towns, but in the warmer months of the year, it draws visitors who come to mountain bike, hike, golf and ride whitewater rapids. Throughout the season, there are an abundance of music and dance festivals, including the Bravo! Vail Valley Music Festival which features orchestras like the New York Philharmonic that performs at the outdoor Gerald R. Ford Amphitheater, as well as the Vail International Dance Festival and the Vail Jazz Festival. Just a few of the other highlights include botanical tours through the Betty Ford Alpine Gardens, rock climbing excursions in Vail Valley and the wealth of shops, bars and eateries in the village of Vail itself.