The small city of Estes Park, Colorado is nestled in the green mountains just a short drive from Rocky Mountain National Park. This picturesque mountain town is just an hour drive from Denver, making it the perfect romantic weekend getaway trip. In Estes Park there are plenty of hikes to enjoy, beers to try and fresh mountain air to enjoy with your special someone. Pack your bags and get ready for a weekend full of romance and adventure.
When first arriving to Estes Park important that the first day you give yourself enough time to acclimate to the elevation, over 7,500 ft nestled in the Rocky Mountains. Your first stop should be the Visitor Center to get some maps for the area. Then step outside and start walking in the paved walkway around Lake Estes, a beautiful walk with an stunning landscape of the Estes Valley. You can even bring your dog along. We walked everyday around the lake and in the afternoon you can see pacs of elks eating. Remember not to get close to wild animals. If you are lucky you can spot beavers and waterfowls.
We stayed at the Ridgeline Hotel, where you can check in after 4 pm. It is perfectly located in the heart of Estes Park, just in front of the lake and a easy walk to downtown. We loved this hotel as it is pet friendly, offer free wifi, gives you a free drink if you choose to go green and it is newly renovated.
Latitude 105 Alehouse
For dinner we recommend to go to Latitude 105 Alehouse, where you can get your free drink if you chose not to get your room clean everyday. The restaurant is inside the hotel, next to the lobby. “It’s a social hub that serves up chef-inspired dishes in a sophisticated mountain ambiance.
Start your day with a delicious breakfast at Notchtop Bakery and Café. If you like nature and hiking, Estes Park, is the perfect place to go as it is the getaway city to the Rocky Mountains National Park. I am a big fan of the Rockies and during spring or fall is really easy to fall in love with the landscape. Summer is also a good time to visit the park as more places are open and more accessible. During winter some of the roads and trails are closed due to the snow, but hey it is still gorgeous as you can see the rockies cover in snow.
Rocky Mountain National Park
Your first stop of the day should be the Beaver Meadows Visitor Center to pick up your trail maps, and pay the entrance fee or show your national park pass pass. It is important to stop in the Visitor Center even if it is just to ask about the conditions of the trails you are planning on visiting. Remember to bring comfortable shoes, snacks, a lot of water and sunscreen.
We recommend doing any of the following trails as they are our favorite: Alberta Falls, Emerald Lake, and Sprague Lake Loop. For a more in depth information about the Rocky Mountains National Park click here.
Bird and Jim’s
After a long day of hikes we recommend to stop by Bird and Jim’s on the way back to town. This restaurant is known for its ever-evolving seasonal cuisine, their ingredients are sources from the Front Range of Colorado.
Downtown Estes Park
If you want to go back to the National Park that will always be a good option but if you got enough hiking under your belt, then we recommend you to explore downtown Estes Park. It has many beautiful and unique boutiques, signature sweet shops and delicious restaurants. You cannot leave downtown without visiting and trying their salt taffy. While you are downtown you should stroll down the scenic Riverwalk.
Sombrero Stables Horse Ride
End your day with a relaxing and romantic one or two hour horse ride with Sombrero Stables. Along the trail you will see beautiful views of the surrounding mountains, Lake Estes and wildlife such as coyote, elk deer, and bears if lucky. The tours leave every hour.
Rock Inn Mountain Tavern
Before you go back home grab a romantic dinner at the Rock Inn Mountain Tavern, they are known for the hand-crafted, hearty comfort food with a health and planet conscience twist.
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