At the entrance to Rocky Mountain National Park, the historic village of Estes Park offers shopping and dining in a quaint, alpine resort-style setting. The town is also home to the Stanley Hotel, which inspired Stephen King's "The Shining." Every September, Estes Park hosts the Longs Peak Scottish-Irish Highland Festival, one of the largest Celtic festivals in the nation.
Stay in 1 of our 5 renovated riverfront cabins for a romantic atmosphere away from daily routine. With a private hot tub overlooking Fall River & a jetted spa tub for 2 in the living area, fireplace, full kitchen & gas grill on the deck, you can rest & reconnect. Nestled among tall Ponderosa pines just 1 mi. west of downtown, with easy access to RMNP. Fall River Cabins Details
Maroon Bells-Snowmass Wilderness showcases some of Colorado's most spectacular Rocky Mountain scenery and offers a chance to get out of your car and into nature. This area has six mountains over 14,000 feet, along with forests, alpine lakes, meadows, and 175 miles of trails to help you explore the terrain. Alternatively, you can enjoy the views on some of the scenic drives.
Enos Mills, the main figure behind the creation of Rocky Mountain National Park, enjoyed walking to Lily Lake from his nearby cabin. Wildflowers are common in the spring and early summer. In the winter, the trail around the lake is often suitable for walking in boots, or as a short snowshoe or ski. Other lakes in the Wild Basin include Chasm Lake, Snowbank Lake, Lion Lakes 1 and 2, Thunder Lake, Ouzel Lake, Finch Lake, Bluebird Lake, Pear Lake, and Sandbeach Lake. Many of the lakes have backcountry campsites. Waterfalls include Ouzel Falls, Trio Falls, Copeland Falls, and Calypso Cascades.
You can get maps and info at the Estes Park Visitors Center and catch a free shuttle bus to most main attractions. Intrepid adventurers will find an almost endless list of outdoor activities to try, including mountaineering on Longs Peak, thrilling white water rafting, hiking, biking, backpacking, skiing and snowshoeing. Less daring visitors can enjoy the River Walk, take a scenic drive, play a round of golf, or do some wildlife watching. Things to Do in Estes Park
It may be summertime but Snowmass has returned to the Ice Age with the Snowmass Ice Age Discovery Center that features the most significant Ice Age ecosystem find in Colorado history (and it’s free). Touch a mastodon tooth, marvel at a half-sized 6-foot Wooden Mammoth Skeleton, do a dig of your own or a daily Ice Age Discovery Hike by Environment Studies. Visit the Snowmass Rodeo on Wednesday nights (June 12- August 28) and sign up your kids for the Calf Scramble and Mutton Busting. Ride the Elk Camp Gondola up Snowmass Mountain where the Elk Camp Restaurant will open for activities including downhill biking, dinner, campfires, live music, movies, Stryder Park and Kid’s Playground on Friday evenings. Try your hand at some slopeside bowling at the new bowling alley below Venga Venga Cantina featuring eight full-sized lanes, a lounge area with full bar, wood-fired oven pizzas, upscale bar food and more. Then, get inspired at the Anderson Ranch Arts Center, a stellar place for kids of all ages to take workshops that include sculpture, photography, painting, beading, and mask-making.
Breckenridge is one of the top names in Colorado getaways, but you have to see the quaint downtown surrounded by towering peaks to truly understand what makes this destination so great. Known for its premiere skiing and beautiful hiking—picture rocky trails and alpine lakes—it’s a Colorado weekend getaway that makes you want to get outside and explore. For those who are interested in cozying up while on vacation, a spa package or winery visit could do the trick.
More than 3,000 elk, 800 bighorn sheep and herds of mule deer and moose live in the park. For the best photography lighting and opportunities to spot massive bugling elk, head to Moraine Park just after sunrise. View bighorn sheep at Sheep Lakes May through mid-August and catch a glimpse of RMNP’s ever-elusive moose population along the Colorado River in the Kawuneeche Valley on the park's west side.
Another annual event in Estes Park is the Longs Peak Scottish Irish Highland Festival, which takes place the weekend after Labor Day in September. Like the Midsummer Festival, the Longs Peak festival features all sorts of traditional food, crafts, clothes, and activities, this time of Celtic heritage. There is also a parade through town, live music from bands around the world, and even a "Dogs of the British Isles" attraction that includes dog agility courses.
A comfortable reading and DVD library serves as the perfect place to relax with a book and a glass of wine, and there is free high-speed Internet throughout the property. The Wild Horse Inn is surrounded by incredible natural landscapes that offer an array of activities to partake in, from hiking, mountain biking, and climbing to boating, rafting and fishing, and various snow sports in the winter. The inn is located 1 hour and 30 minutes from Denver.
In winter you can try cross-country skiing and snowmobile trails and after an energetic day out there is nothing better than a soak in one of the natural thermal springs. You can visit the Buena Vista Heritage Museum or go on a Ghost Town adventure, visit several working art studios and galleries, or quench your thirst at a local brewery. Things to Do in Buena Vista
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.
There is a reason why this luxury resort is called Garden of the Gods: if the Gods lived in the resort, they would never want to leave because of its breathtaking beauty! This resort features a golf course and full spa. Spend a romantic day getting pampered or walking in the gardens. Later, you can treat yourselves to fine dining at Kissing Camels Grille, where you can enjoy fresh local ingredients used to prepare the superb meals.
You won’t believe the powdery slopes, 14,000-foot peaks, and stunning scenery of Telluride until you see the town for yourself. This Colorado destination screams weekend getaway—there are dozens of hikes and even more things to do. For example, you could give paragliding a chance, or bring the whole group along for a food tour featuring Telluride’s best bites.
Colorado Springs stands out from its mountainous counterparts because it's not a ski destination. But what the city lacks in slopes it more than makes up for in incredible hiking opportunities. Mix that in with a good helping of small-town charm and a diverse array of attractions (including the U.S. Olympic Training Center) and Colorado Springs has all the makings of a great vacation. Read More »
A romantic weekend at the Castle Marne Bed and Breakfast on Capitol Hill in Denver will transport you to more elegant and romantic times with its nine magnificent rooms accented by antique Victorian furniture, fine décor, canopy beds, and fluttering curtains. Of course, they all have modern bathrooms with whirlpool or claw foot bathtubs and other contemporary amenities you simply cannot do without.
Summer nights are long in Colorado, and after dinner Brian and I still had time for a shoreline walk around the Barker Reservoir, rimmed by mountains and fed by a cool and clear river. I took photos of the baby Canada Geese near shore, a speck of black in the middle of the water that turned out to be a cormorant, a hummingbird settled against a tree branch, while Brian cast a line. But I really didn’t want to move.
From 9,000 ft (2,700 m) to 11,000 ft (3,400 m), the montane forests give way to subalpine forests. Forests of fir and Engelmann spruce cover the mountainsides in subalpine areas. Trees grow straight and tall in the lower subalpine forests, but become shorter and more deformed the nearer they are to the tree line. At the tree line, seedlings may germinate on the lee side of rocks and grow only as high as the rock provides wind protection, with any further growth being more horizontal than vertical. The low growth of dense trees is called krummholz, which may become well-established and live for several hundred to a thousand years old.