In the summer, the Durango & Silverton Narrow Gage Railway is one of the town's main tourist attractions. This historic train runs day trips up the valley from Durango to the old mining town of Silverton, high in the mountains. Durango is also the terminus of the Colorado Trail, a 500-mile-long backcountry trail that runs from Denver to Durango. You can do a day hike or mountain bike along the trail, going out and back the same way. The trail follows the scenic Junction Creek and then climbs up to Gudy's Rest, where many people enjoy lunch and then turn around. In the town of Durango and in the surrounding mountains are numerous hiking and mountain biking trails.
The city of Vail was built to accommodate the Vail Ski Resort, which is the largest single-mountain ski resort in the country. With 193 marked skiing trails, Vail is one of the nation’s most popular ski resorts as well. The Tyrolean-style village is nearly as well visited during the summer. Nearby streams and lakes stocked with fish make Vail an angler’s dream, and opportunities for river rafting abound. Horseback riding, mountain biking, golf and hiking are other popular warm-weather activities.
Located in in southwestern Colorado, Mesa Verde is home to the famous cliff dwellings of the ancient Anasazi people. It is one of the most significant archeological preserve of Native American culture in the US. In the 12th century, the Anasazi start building houses in shallow caves and under rock overhangs along the canyon walls. The most famous of these is Cliff Palace. The Ancient Puebloans constructed it from sandstone bricks, and mortar made from ash, clay and water. It encompassed 150 rooms and 76 open areas. Climatic change and increased population placed the communities under stress and by the late 1270s, the Ancestral Puebloan population began migrating to what is now New Mexico and Arizona.
Buena Vista is an historic mining and railroad town that resoundingly lives up to its Spanish name meaning “good views” – you are surrounded by towering mountain peaks that provide a wonderful year-round playground for adventure seekers. The area boasts some of the best river rafting adventures in the country and you can also go hiking, biking, horseback riding, fishing and zip-lining.
Fishing was a popular pastime for early visitors to the park, and it remains so today, with anglers catching several types of trout, including brown, brook, rainbow and cutthroat. Note: A valid Colorado fishing license is required for all persons 16 years of age or older to fish in Rocky Mountain National Park. For current Colorado fishing license fees visit the Colorado Division of Wildlife website.
Golden is less than an hour drive from Denver and you’ll love escaping to its stunning views and small-town feel. There are lots of amazing restaurants to check out, some fantastic theater to enjoy and a long street filled with tons of quaint shops, perfect for browsing. Book your room at the Dove Inn Bed and Breakfast and you’ll also have a romantic getaway retreat that is very affordable. You can even add in a special romance package which includes a dozen roses, a box of premium chocolates and sparkling cider for an additional $50. If you want to splurge a little, opt for the Serenity Suite, with an over-sized jet tub for two, cathedral ceilings and, of course, a delicious home-cooked breakfast.
If you’re planning to visit Breckenridge this summer, plan plenty of time to fit it all in. Local fan favorites include fishing or biking the paved trail along the Blue River, a scenic drive over Boreas Pass road accessing 1,000 miles of mountain biking across Summit County, hiking countless miles of trails or climbing a nearby “14er.” The entire family will love the Breckenridge Peak 8 Fun Park’s Gold Runner Coaster, 4X4 off-road tours, climbing wall, Alpine Superslide, hiking tours, Superputt Mini Golf and free scenic gondola rides with spectacular views of Cucumber Gulch. The 2013 Kingdom Days/Outhouse Races June 14-16, 2013 are a must. It’s not every day Outhouse Races, old-fashioned games like potato sack races, magicians, blacksmithing demos, gold panning and historic hikes are the star attractions. http://www.gobreck.com/events/kingdom-days. If you want a date night, drop the kids (ages 5-12) off at the Recreation Center Parents’ Night Out. As your kids, climb, swim and play, they won’t even notice you’re gone.
The Experience: Located in a Western ghost town in the Rockies, Dunton Hot Springs is the rustic escape for families that want to experience the great outdoors without compromising luxury or comfort. Dunton offers perma-tents, tepees, and cabins for lodging. This remote destination hotel will get you off the beaten path and out of your comfort zone in the best, most luxurious way possible.
There’s plenty to do south of Denver on your Colorado vacation. Whether you’re into mountain biking, hiking, history, sight-seeing, or soaking in a hot springs pool, you can find a destination in Southern Colorado (especially near Colorado Springs) that will help you relax, recharge, and reinvigorate. Cañon City and Colorado Springs make the perfect jumping-off points for many of these beautiful, historic western locations. Before or after your rafting trip, try some of these great destinations to enhance your Colorado vacation!
Greeley is conveniently located just 50 miles from Denver in one of the top agricultural areas of America, which is great news for foodies. You can visit various breweries, buy farm-fresh produce at the farmers’ market and dine farm-to-fork style at many restaurants in the bustling Greeley Creative District, which includes several historic buildings that now house galleries, museums and entertainment venues.
The St. Regis Resort offers castle-like grandeur and a staff that will treat you like royalty. It also has a menu of romantic vacation packages that are perfect for honeymooners, and all can be customized just for you and your new spouse. You can choose things like in-room dining, spa gift certificates for its decadent Remede Spa, as well as having flowers, chocolate-covered strawberries and sparkling wine delivered and waiting in your room upon your arrival. The property sits at the base of Aspen Mountain, just steps away to many of Aspen’s top restaurants and shops. The resort has its own eatery onsite too, which serves breakfast, lunch and dinner as well as hosting live music at night.
Easily accessible from Estes Park is Rocky Mountain National Park, which boasts over 100 mountain peaks that tower over 11,000 feet above the ground. In this gorgeous park, you will find over 300 hiking trails as well as paths to traverse by car or on horseback. Exploring the park will also bring you into close contact with a variety of wildlife, from striped chipmunks to large elk.
An alpine village peppered with an array of modern resorts, Beaver Creek is the perfect weekend getaway destination. A laid-back ambiance of unhurried travelers, here visitors can get away from it all with the area’s world-class skiing and resort amenities. With gorgeous Rocky Mountain views, Beaver Creek is located in the Vail Valley and offers plenty of activities to fill a weekend itinerary. Many people come to try their hand at the 1,815 acres of skiable slopes, catering to both novice and experts alike. The area has plenty of other things to do, however, as visitors can take in a show at the Vilar Performing Arts Center, or indulge in anything from golf courses to pampering spas, shops and restaurants, with the city even home to a large outdoor ice rink in its city center.
Located in Lions Gate Drive in Winter Park, Winter Park Chateau is a boutique Victorian-style bed and breakfast ideally placed, as it allows visitors to easily explore the surrounding area. The Chateau offers well appointed, comfortable accommodation in the form of eight guest rooms, which feature king, queen, or double beds, designer décor, private bathrooms, and amenities such as flat-screen televisions and wireless Internet. Some of the rooms have fireplaces, jetted spa baths and private balconies with stunning views.
With two bedrooms, a fully-equipped kitchen (complete with a coffee bean grinder, toaster, and crockpot) and one and a half updated bathrooms, the remote cabin provide luxury accommodations within walking distance of three picturesque mountain lakes. Guests enjoy a range of activities, including hiking, mountain biking, paddle boarding, fly fishing, or exploring the Alta Lakes Ghost Town, or sledding, tubing, ice skating, and more in the winter months.
Another benefit of staying in an Estes Park lodging is the proximity to a number of diverse restaurants. Everyone on your vacation will be sure to find something appealing. Try Himalayan Curry & Kebob, which offers authentic Indian food, or Nepal's Cafe for Nepalese food. Pasta lovers should pay a visit to Mama Rose's, with all manner of Italian dishes accompanied by an extensive offering of wine, beer, and spirits. Mama Rose's is also great for diners with food allergies or those who are vegetarian, vegan, or gluten-free.
Cow Creek Trail follows Cow Creek, with its many beaver ponds, extending past the Bridal Falls turnoff as the Dark Mountain trail, then joining the Black Canyon trail to intersect the Lawn Lake trail shortly below the lake. North Boundary Trail connects to the Lost Lake trail system. North Fork Trail begins outside of the park in the Comanche Peak Wilderness before reaching the park boundary and ending at Lost Lake. Stormy Peaks Trail connects Colorado State University's Pingree Park campus in the Comanche Peak Wilderness and the North Fork Trail inside the park.
A spectacular scenic drive stretches from the old mining town of Silverton, to the town of Ouray, along what is called the Million Dollar Highway. This is a 46-kilometer two-lane highway that hugs the mountainside in places and looks out over jaw-dropping cliffs and across valleys to inspiring mountain peaks. It is one of the most spectacular mountain drives in Colorado. If you have time, you can extend this into a longer route and drive the San Juan Skyway Scenic Byway. The Skyway is a full-day trip that you will want to do in good weather, but can be done in winter or summer.
With its reputation for attracting celebrities and well-heeled travelers, Aspen is one of the world’s most famous ski resorts and one of the best places to visit in Colorado. There’s good reason for the all the hype. Four resorts offer great skiing for every level of skier, from the gentle slopes of Buttermilk Mountain to the ungroomed terrain on Aspen Mountain. During warm weather, visitors can fish for trout from the Roaring Fork River or take shuttles to the nearby 14,000-foot (4,300 meter) peaks of the Maroon Bells to enjoy leisurely hikes around Colorado’s most photographed mountains.
With majestic mountains, tundra wildflowers, abundant wildlife, Trail Ridge Road (the highest paved road in the US), and over 350 miles of trails, Rocky Mountain National Park is spectacular! From flat easy hikes around a mountain lake to challenging multiday backpack trips and climbs, Rocky Mountain National Park offers trails for hikers of every level - let us help you plan your adventure! Find the best ways to take in the majesty and serenity of the park. It's YOUR Rocky - explore it!
Disclaimer: We have attempted to ensure this website is as accurate as possible. However, Excellent Romantic Vacations accepts no responsibility for any loss, injury or inconvenience sustained by anyone resulting from this information. You should verify important information regarding all travel documents, health and safety, customs, and transportation with the appropriate authorities and agents before you travel.
Estes Park vacation rentals are always worth considering, but be sure to check the calendar before you book and you could enjoy something even more special. Estes Park hosts a variety of events throughout the year, any of which would make a great addition to your vacation itinerary. For example, in early June, the Estes Park Jazz Fest takes place and features jazz musicians from across the country and beyond.
Known for its prominence in the movie ‘The Shining,’ the historic Stanley Hotel is the centerpiece of Estes Park. But for a more secluded, romantic stay, choose an intimate place like the Dunraven Inn, where a friendly and casual ambiance puts a soul at rest. If you’re looking for a place in the woods with fabulous mountain views and a warmly bubbling jetted tub that’s just a short walk to town, choose a Prospect cabin. Just outside the door of your vacation rental and along the scenic drives, you’ll catch wildlife frolicking in the fresh air.
Now part of the Estes Park Condos family, Black Canyon Inn offers privately owned condos and a stunning log cabin — all located off of the beaten path but still within Estes Park. Max occupancy options range from two guests in the secluded Columbine Cabin all the way up to ten guests in other lodges. See all of them here and enjoy jaw-dropping photos and views before you arrive!
We love Colorado Springs staples like the Garden of the Gods Park, The Pike’s Peak Cog Railway, U.S. Olympic Training Center and Manitou Cliff Dwellings but the big news this summer is Cheyenne Mountain Zoo’s new $13.5 million exhibit Encounter Africa. Highlights include an amphitheater that will allow guests to see elephant training, enrichment and husbandry, a new exhibit for the African lion pride and a “Skybridge” that will take guests from the exhibit to the barn, enabling them to see the elephants from above. www.cmzoo.org. For a thrill, check out the Cave of the Winds’ Wind Walker Challenge Ropes Course that is located on the rim of a 600-foot drop into Williams Canyon. Colorado Wolf Adventures have teamed up to host “Up Close with the Wolves” this summer. The new 4,400 square-foot Florissant Fossil Beds National Monument’s Visitor Center offers more fossils on display and interactive exhibits. If a train ride is on your bucket list, the South side of the Royal Gorge Bridge and Park takes on a new look with the addition of Pinon Ridge Play-Land, a 2,000-square foot playground built specifically to blend into the natural surroundings.
Precambrian metamorphic rock formed the core of the North American continent during the Precambrian eon 4.5–1 billion years ago. During the Paleozoic era, western North America was submerged beneath a shallow sea, with a seabed composed of limestone and dolomite deposits many kilometers thick. Pikes Peak granite formed during the late Precambrian eon, continuing well into the Paleozoic era, when mass quantities of molten rock flowed, amalgamated, and formed the continents about 1 billion–300 million years ago. Concurrently, in the period from 500–300 million years ago, the region began to sink while lime and mud sediments were deposited in the vacated space. Eroded granite produced sand particles that formed strata—layers of sediment—in the sinking basin.
Use filters to look for an accommodation matching your needs among all of the rentals in Estes Park. Estes Park is the ideal spot to look for a rental if you can't imagine a vacation without internet or you want to tune out with some TV time, as the most common features are "internet" and "TVs." Not as many vacation homes in Estes Park are available if you are looking for a pet-friendly rental or if you want a rental with a jacuzzi as "Jacuzzis" and "Pets Allowed" are not often available in Estes Park.
The Leland House and Rochester Hotel are family-owned historic hotels with an authentic Western theme. The 14 rooms at the Rochester Hotel are themed after Westerns that were filmed in the Durango area. Each of the 12 accommodations in the Leland House is named after a historic Durangoan and is decorated with that person’s memorabilia, biographies and photos. All rooms have Wi-Fi, cable, Aveda products, complimentary gourmet breakfast and free Cruiser bike rentals. Grab a drink at the Rochester Bar which serves the hotel’s signature Rochester wine.
Cheyenne Mountain Resort offers a honeymoon escape that includes breathtaking mountain views, outstanding dining and especially luxurious rooms. It has a good menu of special romance packages to choose from too, including having Champagne, locally-sourced gourmet cheeses and fresh fruit delivered to your room. You can look forward to indulging in a romantic dinner buffet for two, or even go all out by booking the boudoir portrait session, which includes complimentary Champagne. Activities abound too, with a 35-acre lake for water sports, five indoor and outdoor pools, a spa, 18-hole golf course, tennis courts and a fitness center.