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.
The montane ecosystem is at the lowest elevations in the park, between 5,600 to 9,500 feet (1,700 to 2,900 m), where the slopes and large meadow valleys support the widest range of plant and animal life, including montane forests, grasslands, and shrublands. The area has meandering rivers and during the summer, wildflowers grow in the open meadows. Ponderosa pine trees, grass, shrubs and herbs live on dry, south-facing slopes. North-facing slopes retain moisture better than those that face south. The soil better supports dense populations of trees, like Douglas fir, lodgepole pine, and ponderosa pine. There are also occasional Engelmann spruce and blue spruce trees. Quaking aspens thrive in high-moisture montane soils. Other water-loving small trees like willows, grey alder, and water birch may be found along streams or lakeshores. Water-logged soil in flat montane valleys may be unable to support growth of evergreen forests. The following areas are part of the montane ecosystem: Moraine Park, Horseshoe Park, Kawuneeche Valley, and Upper Beaver Meadows.
Most visitors to the park drive over the famous Trail Ridge Road, but other roads include Fall River Road and Bear Lake Road. The park is open every day of the year, weather permitting. Due to the extended winter season in higher elevations, Trail Ridge Road between Many Parks Curve and the Colorado River Trailhead is closed much of the year. The road is usually open again by Memorial Day and closes in mid-October, generally after Columbus Day. Fall River Road does not open until about July 4 and closes by, or in, October for vehicular traffic. Snow may also fall in sufficient quantities in higher elevations to require temporary closure of the roads into July, which is reported on the road status site.
In the winter, try the “Ski-In/Ski-Out” Treatment—the only one of its kind at a ski resort. In 30 minutes, professionals submerge your feet in a warm, exfoliating bath and go to work to increase circulation. They relieve the tension with a hot stone massage to get you back into action. This treatment is designed perfectly to soothe you after a day of adrenaline and activity, and vamp you back up for more.
You can explore eight other designated Historic Neighborhoods before swapping history for nature as you hike or cycle the numerous scenic trails. Families can have fun at the Splash Water Park while adults can taste their way around small craft breweries and visit the largest American brewery on the Coors Tour. Keep reading for more Colorado points of interest. Things to Do in Golden
A geographical anomaly is found along the slopes of the Never Summer Mountains where the Continental Divide forms a horseshoe–shaped bend for about 6 miles (9.7 km), heading from south–to–north but then curving sharply southward and westward out of the park. The sharp bend results in streams on the eastern slopes of the range joining the headwaters of the Colorado River that flow south and west, eventually reaching the Pacific. Meanwhile, streams on the western slopes join rivers that flow north and then east and south, eventually reaching the Atlantic.
The outdoor adventurer remains busy throughout the year in Rocky Mountain National Park. Open 365 days a year, there are activities and sports throughout the summer/fall and winter/spring seasons. Whether looking for a new route to an adrenaline rush, or simply enjoying a favorite pastime, Rocky Mountain National Park's unique and varied landscapes offer something fun.
The saloon serves all meals using organically grown local ingredients, including lamb, fruit and vegetables. Local and international wines complement the meals. Throughout the year, Dunton offers special programs, such as Fly Fishing School, Yoga Retreats and Equestrian Adventure. Ask about special programs and packages when booking. The resort is located one hour from Telluride and Cortez, two hours from Durango, 7 hours from Denver, and 5 hours from Santa Fe, New Mexico. Rates start from $1,100 per night for a cabin, including all meals, non-alcoholic beverages and unlimited use of hot springs. The entire town and its facilities can be rented exclusively for $10,000 per day and can accommodate 34 people. All meals, non alcoholic beverages and unlimited use of the library, screening room, and hot springs are included.
Georgia peach, coffee addict, and Bananagrams champ (in no particular order), Olivia is a travel writer and designer based in Central America. She has a particular affinity for road trips to warm Southern cities and down the California coast, with frequent pit stops for local fare at roadside stands. Follow her on Instagram @olivia.ashra for lots of nature pics and keep up with her travels at therecouldbeblackberries.com.
If you are planning a romantic trip, ask for one of the Mediterranean suites which have two-person whirlpool tubs. For the basketball players in the family, Tall Rooms with extra-long beds and heightened showerheads are also available. Panzano is a 210-seat Italian restaurant serving a selection of gourmet dishes. The hotel is located in the heart of Denver's central business district and is within easy walking distance of 16th Street Mall, lower downtown and Larimer Square. Rates start at around $115 per night.
Situated on Vail Square, The Arrabelle sets the standard for luxurious lodging, while its jaw-dropping setting reflects the romantic heritage and ambiance of the European Alps. Here you’ll find architectural touches of Salzburg, Innsbruck and Prague, along with high-end amenities such as personal butler service, ski valet and even grocery delivery. Look forward to heading to the rooftop for laps in the pool and soaking in the whirlpool together while taking in magnificent Rocky Mountain views. You can also relax and unwind together while indulging in treatments at the property’s RockResorts Spa, which offers even more stunning Rockies vistas. Each one of the spacious suites host impressive features like a living room area with a fireplace, ideal for toasting to your new life together while cuddling up next to its warmth.