Marissa is a writer for 303 Magazine’s Travel, Lifestyle + Culture Desk. She grew up in Canada, but spent her adult life navigating South Carolina as a Canadian transplant. She secretly enjoys the cold weather in Colorado, but complains about it anyway. In her free time, you can find her bothering her friends to go out, watching comedy shows or driving long distances to see something cool she read about online. All wit and charm is 85% her parents and 15% something she learned in middle school from the 8th graders on her bus. Follow her on Twitter @marissajkozma
The farm-to-table movement isn't just about food anymore. Colorado is home to many microbreweries and small wineries. Known as the Napa Valley of beer, northern Colorado has an abundance of craft beer manufacturers. Just like the region’s fine dining establishments, these small operations use the freshest locally sourced ingredients to provide one-of-a-kind results. Best of all, most offer tours and tastings daily.
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.
Listed on the National Register of Historic Places, The Baldpate Inn has been enchanting Rocky Mountain travelers for more than 100 years. It’s nestled among the aspen and evergreen trees right beside Rocky Mountain National Park and began as a lodging destination almost right away when homesteaders Gordon and Ethel Mace moved in and built a handful of small cabins on their land. In addition to location and history, the inn boasts the world’s largest key collection and a photograph collection that includes signed portraits of presidents, celebrities, writers, inventors and more.
Features: This hike is a good drive away from the resort. You’ll spend about an hour and a half on highway 34 heading towards Grand Lake before you reenter the Park to check out Adams Falls. That said, the drive is gorgeous, and you’ll sweep over the Continental Divide. Once you’re at Adams Falls, you’ll have a short hike to view falls along the East Inlet of Grand Lake. The aptly named Adams Falls Trail features a 55-foot waterfall. You can continue along the East Inlet Trail to view more of the river, as well as Lone Pine Lake, Lake Verna, Spirit Lake, and other gorgeous sites.
Bear Lake is a high-elevation lake in a spruce and fir forest at the base of Hallett Peak and Flattop Mountain. Bierstadt Lake sits atop a lateral moraine named Bierstadt Moraine, and drains into Mill Creek. There are several trails that lead to Bierstadt Lake through groves of aspens and lodgepole pines. North of Bierstadt Moraine is Hollowell Park, a large and marshy meadow along Mill Creek. The Hollowell Park trail runs along Steep Mountain's south side. Ranches, lumber and sawmill enterprises operated in Hollowell Park into the early 1900s.
Biking – Always a popular activity in Estes Park, biking can be a great way to stay active during your honeymoon or our excuse to have an extra piece of cake during the reception! If you’re not up for a challenging trail, we recommend the Lake Estes Loop that winds 3.75 miles around the lake or head further out to Devil’s Gulch Loop that offers wonderful views during your ride.
There's nothing better than experiencing a new destination with your sweetheart, so consider taking time to discover all there is to see and do in Estes Park. If you and your love want to take in the area's natural beauty, you'll enjoy Estes Park for its mountain views, parks, and wildlife. A visit to Horseshoe Park, Upper Beaver Meadows Trailhead, or Fall River Entrance Station might be just the ticket when you're checking out the sights.
The Swiftcurrent Lodge is small in size but huge in personal attention. We have 12 units in the summer, 6 in the winter. The advantage of being small, bordering Rocky Mountain National Park and being on the river gives one the sense of seclusion and offers a quiet, peaceful atmosphere. With these attributes plus your own custom package, the Swiftcurrent Lodge is the ideal location for your Romantic Getaway.
Campgrounds in Rocky Mountain National Park offer unique, wilderness-meets-community experiences for couples, families and groups. Camping fees are $26 per site, per night in the summer, and $18 in the winter (when the water is off) - some park passes include discounts. Campers may check in after 1 p.m. and are requested to check out by noon; abide by posted quiet hours.
A cozy Hansel and Gretel style cabin with a separate bunkhouse. A dream come true for those who discover its peaceful and healing quality year round. Central to boundless amenities. Roomy 1,000 square foot cabin, with stone fireplace and a woodburning stove in the master bedroom with private half bath. The second bedroom adjoins a full bath. 1-10 people. Third virtual bedroom plus bunkhouse. Free Wireless WiFi.
The park has a total of five visitor centers with park headquarters located at the Beaver Meadows Visitor Center—a National Historic Landmark designed by the Frank Lloyd Wright School of Architecture at Taliesin West. National Forest lands surround the park including Roosevelt National Forest to the north and east, Routt National Forest to the north and west, and Arapaho National Forest to the west and south, with the Indian Peaks Wilderness area located directly south of the park.
The first stopping point as you come up Trail Ridge Road, you’ll find the main parking point for Many Parks Curve Overlook a little way past the curve itself (it’s well marked). Then you leave your car and walk a couple of minutes to the viewpoint. From here you get sweeping panoramic views across much of the south and eastern parts park, all the way back to Estes Park town and up to the mountains, including a view of Longs Peak.
Nature created a perfectly beautiful vacation spot right on Fall River, where you will find our lovely village of 20 cabin suites. They are sprinkled over 17 acres amid the Pine & Aspen with kitchens, fireplaces, decks, grills, Free Wi-Fi, & some private hot tubs overlooking the stocked fishing river. Streamside is perfect for your relaxing river-front getaway. Streamside on Fall River Details
Inside the park, the Rocky Mountain Conservancy offers year-round seminars, guided fly-fishing, naturalist tours, hiking and photography classes. Estes Park and surrounding Rocky Mountain National Park are also superior birding spots, with more than 315 species to be seen. Grab your binoculars for a self-guided exploration of Matthews-Reeser Bird Sanctuary, or opt for a ranger-led bird walk within the national park.
Alta Lakes is a pristine and secluded wilderness setting situated 30 minutes outside the charming mountain town of Telluride, Colorado. The Observatory is nestled underneath the 13,000-foot peaks of the San Juan Mountains – it is one of only a few homes in the United States at 11,000+ feet! The backcountry cabin with charming rugged details serves as the perfect romantic mountain getaway for couples.
Moraine Park: Campers, particularly hikers, favor this year-round campground, where several trails originate. It's easily accessed via Bear Lake Road, near the park's Beaver Meadows Entrance (southwest), and features 244 sites, all able to be reserved. It allows RVs up to 40 feet long and accommodates them further with a dump station and water hook-ups. Group sites also are available.
You can’t actually stay in the park though (unless you’re camping), so many travellers, us included, choose to stay in the nearby town of Estes Park. This is just a few miles from the Rocky Mountain National Park entrance, and has shops, hotels and restaurants, as well as a few attractions of it’s own, most notably the Stanley Hotel where we stayed.
Not only is the grand Stanley Hotel a member of the Historic Hotels of America, it's also listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Aside from its historic accolades, the property boasts another claim to fame. Fans of "The Shining" will recognize the hotel as the setting for the creepy Stephen King novel, but the hotel also touts a history of paranormal activity. To learn more, visitors can take one of two tours – a daytime tour that focuses more on pop culture and a night tour that concentrates on the property's ghost lore.
Lawn Lake Trail climbs to Lawn Lake and Crystal Lake, one of the parks deepest lakes, in the alpine ecosystem and along the course of the Roaring River. The river shows the massive damage caused by a dam failure in 1982 that claimed the lives of three campers. The trail is a strenuous snowshoe hike in the winter. Ypsilon Lake Trail leads to its namesake as well as Chipmunk Lake, with views of Longs Peak, while traversing pine forests with grouseberry and bearberry bushes. The trail also offers views of the canyon gouged out by rampaging water that broke loose from Lawn Lake Dam in 1982. Visible is the south face of Ypsilon Mountain, with its Y shaped gash rising sharply from the shoreline.