Popular Colorado Winter Getaways
Colorado is blessed with snowy winters that are just ideal for cold-season sports and activities. No wonder that each winter the state draws millions of travelers who are looking forward to hitting the slopes shrouded by white powder. Whether you travel to Colorado to ski or snowboard, bond with friends or enjoy the family get together, you are sure to have tons of winter fun there. In Colorado every type of traveler will find activities that appeal to them most.
Seasoned Ski Bunnies
Colorado boasts about 30 ski resorts where experienced and beginner downhill skiers can hit the slopes exploring the advanced terrain. Below are just some of the ideas for skiers to consider.
Why not hike to 12,392 feet in altitude to the summit of the renowned Highland Bowl at Aspen Highlands or head to Vail boasting over 7 miles of the resort's back bowls.
To explore untracked steep terrain you may opt for a ski resort in the southwest. For example, at Silverton Mountain skiers of all levels can tackle the resort's steep terrain, but Telluride's Plunge and Spiral Stairs trails with breathtaking vertical drops will offer enough challenge even for the expert skiers.
Feel what it is like to be a Spiderman at Ouray Ice Park featuring over 200 ice and mixed climbs. To meet lots of other ice-climbing extremists, consider attending the Ouray Ice Festival in January.
In addition, many ice climbers prefer to stay in such towns as Vail, Boulder, Grand Junction, Redstone, Glenwood Springs, Telluride and Silverton.
Most ski resorts in Colorado offer skiing classes and feature beginner areas built for skiers of all ages. In addition, nearly all ski resorts offer a range of alternative activities for those travelers who would like to do something different from skiing or snowboarding.
For the beginners we recommend Buttermilk with its wide and gently rolling trails. At Breckenridge Ski & Ride School you will be able to cover the basics and hone newly acquired skills to perfection. Both beginner skiers and more advanced ones can meet at Ski Granby Ranch, a family-friendly ski area with all trails starting at one point and finishing at the base. Taking Amtrak's Winter Park Express train is a must. It runs between Denver's Union Station and Winter Park Resort's base area offering a great opportunity to get you and your friends on the slopes again after a relaxing break.
Apart from skiing local resorts and nearby towns offer plenty of other activities to get you entertained. In Keystone, Breckenridge, Beaver Creek, Winter Park and Crested Butte you can demonstrate your amateur triple axle, and Frisco Adventure Park and the hills of Copper Mountain feature lifts that will satisfy your hunger for superb winter fun.
If you are staying in town, we recommend attending one of Colorado's winter festivals. The Grand Junction Winter Festival, 12 Days of Aspen, Estes Park Winter Fest and Steamboat Springs' Winter Carnival are only some of the events worth visiting.
Those with Kids in Tow
Colorado is a popular family getaway and the state's ski resorts offer a number of activities for kids as well. Here are a few things to do with the kids in Colorado in winter.
Consider staying at Steamboat Ski Resort equipped with five kids' lifts and a special area called Rough Rider Basin where inexperienced skiers could learn the ropes. In addition there is a daily cookie hour and such fun activities as face painting, scavenger hunts as well as live dance music at Keystone Resort's Kidtopia.
If you are looking for a resort with childcare services Aspen/Snowmass Treehouse Kids' Adventure Center is a good option to consider then. The resort features Colorado-themed, interactive play rooms for children up to 4 years old.
If you love nature and wild animals visit Dowd Junction Elk Viewing Area located not far from the city of Minturn on Hwy. 24. There you will be able to spot furry residents including elk in their natural winter habitats. Another place where you can see large animals is State Forest State Park situated along County Road 41 in Walden. At this park you can spot moose who live there all year round. Bird lovers will be happy to spot over 100 bald eagles along the South Platte River Trail (on Hwy. 34 between Fort Morgan and Kersey) where they roost on the branches of cottonwoods in winter.
Colorado boasts lots of outstanding dining venues. For a truly unique gourmet dining experience consider taking a Keystone's Dinner Sleigh Ride. Enjoy your dinner in a rustic cabin while listening to country music. You can reach the cabin in a sleigh pulled by draft horses to savor such favorites as smoked ribs, barbecue chicken and apple pie a la mode.
Colorado's capital has plenty of award-winning restaurants that have got favorable reviews by such magazines as Bon Appetit and Forbes. So no wonder that Denver boasts the reputation of a great destination for "foodies". However, there are a number of great places to eat outside Denver as well.
Culinary Connectors' Denver Top Restaurant Tour offers an excellent opportunity to visit the three most popular Denver restaurants, meet restaurant chefs in person and savor chef-prepared tastings expertly paired with a drink.
Consider visiting such companies as Celestial Seasonings in Boulder, Hammond's Candies and Stranahan's Colorado Whiskey in Denver for a behind-the-scenes look at their operation and the chance to taste their high quality products. Plan a trip to Haystack Mountain Goat Dairy Creamery in Longmont to learn how dairy products are made and enjoy five-course technical cheese tasting.
Outside Denver and Boulder there are also endless opportunities to savor great food. For instance, Salida is home to such beverage companies as Wood's High Mountain Distillery, Elevation Beer Company and Mountain Spirit Winery & Gallery. Many local restaurants serve delicious food made with local ingredients.
With incredibly beautiful views and lots of intimate activity options Colorado is a popular destination for honeymooners and couples looking for a romantic getaway.
Escape the everyday routine at Mount Princeton Hot Springs Resort located in Nathrop. The property has a relaxation pool that can be reserved for adult guests. For a more rustic romantic vacation, opt for Joyful Journey Hot Springs Spa in Moffat. Guest can stay in yurts and hot spring pools surrounded by the picturesque Sangre de Cristo Mountains.
No romantic vacation is complete without having elaborate cocktails at intimate bars, such as the Dogwood Cocktail Cabin in Crested Butte. The guests can sip inventive drinks in an intimate environment enjoying the conversation and relaxing background music. Other dining venues worth visiting include Laundry Restaurant in Steamboat Springs and The Bitter Bar in Boulder.
For a truly memorable dining experience consider having a delicious meal atop the peak at one of the ski resorts. If you love Italian cuisine then Alpino Vino in Telluride is an option to consider. Take a ride in an enclosed snow coach to enjoy a five-course gourmet dinner at 12,000 feet. Element 47 in Aspen is a very popular restaurant known for serving Colorado fare along with such delicacies as Waygu beef (from Japanese cows) and foie gras.
Colorado offers plenty of activities to be enjoyed in a company of your best friends. If you are going to visit Denver, Old Colorado City, Pueblo or Fort Collins on the first Friday of the month, you can take advantage of free admission to various local galleries participating in the First Friday Art Walk.
All girls love shopping so to find great deals make sure you visit Colorado's outlet malls in Golden, Castle Rock, Silverthorne and Loveland. Plus you will find lots of boutiques in downtown of Breckenridge, Telluride, Aspen, Durango, Vail and Steamboat. Denver's Cherry Creek neighborhood, Boulder's Pearl Street and downtown Grand Junction also features upscale boutiques worth checking out.
Pamper your body with spa treatments offered by Colorado resorts. After a long day hitting the slopes relax with the Turquoise Wrap offered at the Peaks Resort & Golden Door Spa in Telluride. The spa procedure consists of an exfoliating brush massage using Hopi blue cornmeal and a warm, ionized turquoise clay wrap. If you stay at the Vail Marriott Mountain Resort & Spa we recommend having Mountain Rescue Facial that soothes sunburn and hydrates the skin.
By tradition male bonding includes visiting Western bars and sporting events. Colorado boasts lots of both, so it is a perfect vacation destination for like-minded fellows.
A get together with friends is always fun when it involves beer, hot dogs and watching the game of sport. So consider attending the game played by pro teams such as the Denver Broncos, Colorado Avalanche and Denver Nuggets. Or you may join other Colorado Buffalo football fans during the live event at the University of Colorado's stadium in Boulder to share the excitement of a great game.
Celebrate Colorado's Wild West heritage by visiting Denver's National Western Stock Show held Jan. 6–21, 2018 or Steamboat Springs' Winter Carnival that will be organized on Feb. 7–11, 2018. The carnival will include such activities as the obstacle course races, night ski-jumping and more.
To be served stiff drinks peppered by tales of Colorado's glorious past get to Lucha Cantina at the Red Ram in Georgetown. Among old saloons worth visiting are the Diamond Belle Saloon in Durango, a historic ragtime piano bar with costumed bartenders and dance-hall girls, and Gold Coin Saloon and Millie's Restaurant in Central City.