Looking for a winter getaway that doesn’t involve sitting in traffic on Interstate 70? Check out all the fun to be had in Estes Park.
Where to Stay
Check into the Stanley Hotel in Estes Park, one of Colorado’s grand dame hotels. Listed on the National Register of Historic Places, the Stanley was completed in 1909 as a private mountain getaway for F.O. Stanley, inventor of the Stanley Steamer.
Food & Libations
After you’ve gotten settled, head over to Snowy Peaks Winery to kick off the weekend with a toast and a tasting. The family-owned winery is just a short walk from Estes Park’s main drag. Its offerings are made entirely from Colorado-grown grapes, primarily brought in from the state’s Western Slope vineyards.
Grab a bite at Ed’s Cantina & Grill, a favorite among locals that serves a mix of Mexican and American comfort food.
What to See & Do
And just because the sun’s gone down, doesn’t mean there’s nothing to do. The Estes Park Memorial Observatory offers a chanced to check out the moon, the planets and stars with a powerful 16-inch Ritchey-Chretien telescope, which is housed in a 16-foot dome. Visit the website for open houses or schedule a private viewing.
In the morning, get up early for a journey into Rocky Mountain National Park where you’ll see mist roll off the snow-capped peaks and herds of antlered elk enjoying the colder temperatures.
Pick up some Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner
You’ll have worked up an appetite after your adventure, so check out Claire’s On The Park for eggs Benedict and coffee in a cozy ski lodge-style setting.
There plenty of locally owned shops to pop in and out of along Elkhorn Drive, the town’s main drag. Stop for lunch at Pepper’s Mexican Grill before making your way over to Elkins Distilling for happy hour, where the whiskey is made with 80 percent Colorado corn from the twon of Nunn and 20 percent fossil-free malted barley.
Have an old school Italian dinner at the Dunraven Inn before heading over stopping by the Rock Inn, a favorite locals’ watering hole with live music.