Offering visitors a glimpse into Colorado’s rich history, Georgetown is a charming Victorian mining town nestled just west of Denver. Once the third-largest city in the state, Georgetown was built in 1884 to service the silver mines. Visitors can take a ride on the famous Georgetown Loop Railroad to Silver Plume and back, or visit the well-preserved Hotel de Paris to browse artifacts from the era. Learn how the wealthy locals used to live at the Hamill House Museum or simply browse the charming streets lined with Victorian-era homes and shops. Those who want to explore the area by car should drive along the Guanella Pass, a long stretch of road with picturesque views, before taking rest in one of the area’s many Victorian bed and breakfast inns.
For ice cream and milkshakes, try Flavors of the Rockies, Hayley's or Laura's – all on Elkhorn Avenue and all recommended by recent travelers. To get your caffeine fix, check out Elkhorn Avenue's Kind Coffee and Inkwell & Brew, or Coffee on the Rocks on Moraine Avenue. And to sample a major Colorado food group, travelers can head to Lumpy Ridge Brewing Co. or Estes Park Brewery for a craft beer.
Colorado has one of the most diverse plant and animal environments of the United States, partially due to the dramatic temperature differences arising from varying elevation levels and topography. In dry climates, the average temperature drops 5.4 degrees Fahrenheit with every 1,000 foot increase in elevation (9.8 degrees Celsius per 1,000 meters). Most of Colorado is semi-arid with the mountains receiving the greatest amount of precipitation in the state.
If you're looking to splurge during ski season, Aspen is the place to be. This small town is conveniently tucked between four renowned ski spots that offer quality slopes for all levels of skiers. Not only that, but the town features the crème de la crème of luxury resorts that whip up an après-ski scene so appealing it'll be pretty tough to leave. Read More »
Northern New MexicoRed River, New Mexico! A place where fresh powder winters meet refreshing summer days. Red River offers something for everyone with its convenient scenic location in the heart of Northern New Mexico’s Enchanted Circle. Red River is the place that awakens us each day by the soothing sound of a rushing river and then again each evening as the sun sets over main street. The mountain town of Red River is New Mexico True.
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.
^ 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.
The Experience: Like Crested Butte, Telluride is a place that anyone will fall in love with no matter the season. Plus, it's a bit more down-to-earth than Aspen and Vail for anyone looking for a Colorado ski town that has a more casual energy. Surrounded by the San Juan Mountains, the charming town is lined with authentic saloon-like bars, boutique gourmet eateries, and old-school chop houses. If you visit during the winter, hit the slopes or go helicopter skiing and dog sledding. And in the summer, you can do anything from riding around the backcountry in an old Jeep to river rafting, fly-fishing, and hiking to the many striking mountain springs, including Blue Lakes, Hope Lake, and Navajo Lake. Book a room at the Dunton Town House for an intimate stay.
Garden of the Gods, a registered National Natural Landmark, is a unique landscape of jagged stone towers and fins jutting up 300 feet from the earth, and giant balanced boulders and rock piles dotting the landscape, with distant mountains completing the scene. Fifteen miles of trails, most of which are short and easy, allow you to get up close to the dramatic rock formations and wander through the surreal scenery. The park is a popular area for rock climbing, but other activities in the park include road biking in designated biking lanes, mountain biking, horseback riding, and Jeep and Segway tours.
Rocky Mountain National Park, established in 1915, is a living showcase of the grandeur of the Rocky Mountains. Located outside Estes Park, Colorado, Rocky Mountain is a great family vacation destination, offering outdoor experiences for all—from easy nature hikes around crystal clear mountain lakes to daring rock scrambles up waterfalls and mountains.
Manor Vail Lodge - ideal for both winter and summer romantic getaways in Vail. The spacious condo-style studio & 1 bedroom suites are roomy (700+ sq ft) and have private balconies with creek or Mountain views, cozy fireplace, full kitchens and Queen or King beds. Outside are 2 pools, hot tubs, fitness and spa facilities, local free shuttle (short walk) and Golden Peak Chair 6 & Gondola 1 (5 minute walk away). 2017 ERV Rating* for Couples - Romantic Lodging in Vail, CO: 91% - Excellent. (595 E. Vail Valley Dr, Vail, CO 800-950-8245)
The Experience: If Aspen isn't quite your mountain town scene, head to Vail instead. It's equally as idyllic (it was modeled after European mountain resorts), pedestrian-friendly, and lovely, but the town itself is more of a square in a village with a small collection of boutiques and restaurants for visitors. Ride up and down the gondolas for mountain views in every direction and ski the unique back bowls. It's also closer to Denver, making it easier to get to and, therefore, a little more crowded during peak seasons.
The park is home to some 2,000 to 3,000 elk in summer, and between 800 and 1,000 elk spend the winter within its boundaries. Because of lack of predation, the National Park Service culls around 50 elk each winter. Overgrazing by elk has become a major problem in the park's riparian areas, so much so that the NPS fences them out of many critical wetland habitats to let willows and aspens grow. The program seems to be working, as the deciduous wetland plants thrive within the fencing. Many people think the elk herd is too large, but are reluctant to reintroduce predators because of its proximity to large human populations and ranches.
The town of Dolores may be small, but it’s well-worth spending some time in, tucked in a magnificent canyon with the picturesque Dolores River cutting along one side and rock cliffs on the other. The second largest reservoir, McPhee Reservoir, can be found here, and San Juan National Forest, just a mile from town, provides excellent opportunities for fly fishing, hiking, and biking. In addition to outdoor activities, the town boasts four parks, a brewpub and a unique mix of restaurants and shops.
Nothing is more quintessentially Colorado than the city of Golden, which is known for two things: outdoor activities and beer. Your travel plans practically write themselves—go to Lookout Mountain or White Ranch Park for hiking and biking, and then tour the Coors Brewery (the largest single-site brewery in the world) or grab craft beers along with the locals at Golden City Brewery.
Apart from elk, many other ungulates reside in the park, including bighorn sheep, moose, and mule deer. Bison were eliminated from the park in the 1800s, as were pronghorn and moose, the latter of which was restored to the area in 1978. Moose are now frequently seen in the park, especially on the park's west side. The park's bighorn sheep population has recovered and is estimated at 350 animals.
Michigan's apples, cherries, blueberries, and peaches are second-to-none, so make sure to sample those. Another specialty is the coney dog — a hot dog served with mustard, chili, and freshly-cut onions. Also sample the pasties found in the Upper Peninsula, made from potato, onion, meat, and rutabaga. Foodies adore the Cudighi sausage-patty hoagie topped with mozzarella cheese and tomato sauce. With all those Great Lakes, can freshwater fish preparations be far behind? Hot favorites include whitefish and lake perch served with salad and mash potato.
Nestled below Colorado's radiant mountaintops is beautiful Lazy R Cottages in Estes Park. Just one mile from Rocky Mountain National Park, we offer one-, two- and three-bedroom cabins perfect for romantic escapes and family vacations. Our cabins have kitchens or kitchenettes, fireplaces, decks with mountain views, and some with personal hot tubs … perfect for relaxing after a day enjoying Estes Park and the National Park. Dog-friendly units available ($15 per dog/per night). Free Wi-Fi. View more about our Estes Park cabins.
Plan a weekend of pampering and relaxation at St Julien Hotel in downtown Boulder. The hotel features a 10,000-square-foot spa with 12 treatment rooms, and a two-lane infinity pool with a whirlpool and outside terrace. Guests can get in shape at the fitness center with the latest cardiovascular and aerobic equipment. Choose from 201 rooms and suites with luxury bathrooms with soaking tubs and separate glass showers. Ask for a view of the Flatiron Mountains when you book your stay. All rooms offer complimentary Internet access, wired and wireless.
Known for both its hot springs and skiing opportunities, Steamboat Springs is popular throughout the year. Perfect for nature lovers, this quiet mountain town is one of Colorado’s most attractive areas to explore. Drive down a riverside canyon to soak in the Strawberry Hot Springs, hike to the scenic Fish Creek Falls or take a mountain-bike ride through the surrounding parks and forests. The ski area’s, Steamboat Ski Resort and Howelsen Hill, are the area’s biggest draws, along with three state parks nearby, Stagecoach State Park, Pearl Lake State Park and Steamboat Lake State Park. Those who want to take in a bit of culture can visit sthe Steamboat Symphony Orchestra or the Steamboat Art Museum, while a gondola takes visitors to the top of Mount Werner for a panoramic mountain views of the area.
The Royal Gorge Bridge & Park – Just a few minutes away from Echo Canyon River Expeditions office, you’ll find Colorado’s Natural Wonder – the Royal Gorge. In 1929, the Royal Gorge Bridge was built across the gorge and still stands as one of the world’s greatest engineering feats. Buy tickets online or as a rafting package to save a few dollars. The newly rebuilt attractions and visitor’s center enhance your experience of this amazing chasm and expansive view of the Wet Mountain range. There are also trails, located just before the gates of the park at the rest area, that allow visitors to walk or bike a few miles along the rim of the Gorge.
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.