Estes Park Weekend Getaway

In Estes Park, romance is in the air. Estes Park has everything you’ll need for a romantic vacation with that special someone, whether you’re planning a honeymoon, celebrating an anniversary, or simply want a romantic escape. The tiny village of Estes Park is the doorway to Rocky Mountain National Park and is only 70 miles from Denver. And, no matter what season you visit, it is an excellent home base for a weekend of fun and adventure!

Take a deep breath, allow your eyes to close, breathe deep. Feel the cool, fresh mountain air filling your lungs. Listen to the rustle of the breeze through the pine needles, the birds chirping back and forth, the gentle crunching of elks munching on grass. Feel the warm sun on your face. Enjoy this moment, enjoy the essence of Colorado. Welcome to your weekend getaway in Estes Park, Colorado, USA.

Estes Park is a romantic destination all year, but the fall is especially lovely for a romantic getaway. Your autumn trip to Estes Park will be an unforgettable romantic getaway that you and your partner will remember for the rest of your lives.

The Perfect Colorado Day

For many Coloradans there is a special feeling found in the mountains. It’s something truly special and unique to Colorado – a feeling of independence and connection to nature. Finding that feeling can sometimes be tricky, but there is one place neatly stashed away in the Rocky Mountains where you cannot help but be swept into the true feeling of Colorado, and that place is the town of Estes Park. An hour and a half north of Denver, this beautiful mountain jewel is the gateway to world-renowned Rocky Mountain National Park, home to a plethora of wildlife, and your next Colorado destination.

Where is Estes Park

Just 1.5 hours north of Denver, Colorado – Estes Park is an easy day trip into the mountains. With hiking through Rocky Mountain National Park (RMNP), delicious dining in downtown Estes Park, and local brewed craft beers this is a must-see destination for all. Make sure to watch out for the elk that Estes Park is known for – they tend to meander down the main streets so have your camera ready!

Travel Tip: Wild animals can be dangerous, please be safe and stay a safe distance from the wildlife!

Sugar Rush

Begin your Estes Park adventure with a homemade cinnamon roll at Cinnamon’s Bakery, a local shop that specializes in enormous sticky buns. Try the fruit roll – every day they include a different fruit, from raisins to rhubarb! Make sure you get there early, they make a certain amount fresh each day and once they run out, they are closed for the day. After washing down the sweet with a warm, toasted cup of coffee, meander a little further down the dirt road. You will find Elkhorn Stables where it will be time to saddle up!

View from the Top

Whether this is your first time on horseback or you are a seasoned rider, the Elkhorn Stables in Estes Park will make sure you have an incredible experience! We were each paired up with a horse whose temperament matched our abilities – I am an experienced rider so I was given a more spirited horse. Each horse was saddled, bridled, and ready to ride when we arrived. With one guide leading and a second bringing up the rear, we made our steady way out of the valley up onto the ridge.

It’s official: my new favorite way to see RMNP and Estes Park is by horseback. This hour & a half ride up the mountain provided stunning views – including the infamous haunted Stanley Hotel! Our guide was professional, fun, and had some fantastic stories about the area – a true cowgirl who loves her home and job. These beautiful creatures carefully brought us to the summit, and this view:

Rock Cut Brewing

Colorado state has over 350 microbreweries – we take craft beer seriously! Estes Park is no exception. We made our way into town, stopping by Rock Cut Brewing for a quick refresher before tackling the next adventure. This small brewery was bustling, they offer a huge selection of locally brewed beers so there is bound to be something for everyone. It certainly had a “locals” vibe, something I am always searching for when traveling. If you aren’t sure what you might like, or if you want to try a little bit of everything, I recommend ordering a flight. Ranging from light to dark brews, these beers span a wide range of flavors. My favorite was the Tyndall Porter.

Rocky Mountain National Park

Rocky Mountain National Park encompasses 265,795 acres of lush forests and majestic terrain ideal for hiking, camping, and wildlife viewing. Whether you drive or hike the 48-mile Trail Ridge Road to the Alpine Visitor Center, the location at nearly 12,000 feet above sea level guarantees breathtaking views.

No trip to Estes Park is complete without an adventure through Rocky Mountain National Park (RMNP). This stunning swath of land was visited by 4.6 million people from around the globe in 2017…going in the early Spring or the Fall is recommended to avoid the crowds. I was there in March and it was still quite snowy – some of the areas and roads were closed due to ice and snow. However, the famous Bear Lake was completely frozen and we were able to walk out onto the lake! Some people were having snowball fights, building snowmen, and it was highly enjoyable in the bright Colorado sunshine.

Travel Tip: There is a shuttle that runs through the park in the busy Summer months – know before you go and plan your visit, click here.

Margaritas & Tacos

Famished, hearts full, and camera overheating from so many photos – it’s dinner time. Downtown Estes Park has an impressive selection of restaurants, definitely stop by Ed’s Cantina & Grill. They have incredible fresh margaritas and scrumptious tacos. Their menu has lots of great options, including delicious vegetarian options. (Most of the time when a place says “vegetarian options available”, it just means swap out beans for meat. Not so at Ed’s Cantina & Grill! They had some exciting vegetarian dishes that even meat-lovers will enjoy.) I had the chicken avocado taco, the bison taco, and the fish taco each with its own sauce.

Home Away from Home

When you are booking your visit to Estes Park, I highly recommend checking out Bear Creek TWO condo. It is conveniently located to downtown Estes Park, the back entrance into Rocky Mountain National Park, and is a walkable distance to Cinnamon’s Bakery and Elkhorn Stables! The two-story condo is 2BD/2BATH and can sleep up to six people. It has a fully equipped kitchen, cozy living room with a fire, and a huge deck in the back. The beautiful backyard is on Fall River, providing lovely views and some wildlife sightings! I slept so well here, it’s quiet and peaceful.

Travel Tip: Bear Creek TWO is dog friendly! Mister Freddy loved sunbathing by the glass doors. It also has a washer & dryer available for longer stays.

With so many incredible places to explore, shops to browse, and dishes to eat, Estes Park is high up on my “must return soon” list! For now I will be dreaming of my next visit to Estes Park, Colorado and fondly remembering all of the adventures had.