Estes Park, Colorado – Best Attractions, Luxurious accommodations, Restaurants, Activities to do

Estes Park is a charming town located in the heart of the Rocky Mountains, surrounded by stunning natural beauty and offering a variety of outdoor activities. This hidden vacation place in the United States is a perfect getaway for those seeking a peaceful retreat from the hustle and bustle of city life. Whether you’re an adventure seeker, a nature lover, or simply looking for a relaxing vacation, Estes Park has something for everyone. In this article, we’ll take a closer look at the top 10 attractions in Estes Park that you won’t want to miss.

hidden vacation gem Estes Park in Colorado State of USA
A hidden vacation gem – Estes Park in Colorado

Top 10 Attractions in Estes Park

Rocky Mountain National Park

Stunning views from Estes Park Aerial Tramway

This is the most popular attraction in Estes Park spread over 415 square miles and is home to breathtaking mountain vistas, alpine lakes, and abundant wildlife. The park offers a variety of activities including hiking, camping, and wildlife watching. You will love scenic and exciting drives on Trail Ridge Road and Old Fall River Road. You can also visit 5 visitor centers in the park area including Beaver Meadows Visitor Center. For fees and other details, you can visit the official website.

The Stanley Hotel

famous Stanley Hotel at Estes Park
Famous Stanley Hotel at Estes Park

This beautiful, charming, and historic hotel is famous for inspiring horror writer Stephen King’s novel, The Shining. The hotel offers ghost tours after noticing paranormal activity and is a great place to stay for those looking for a unique experience.

Lake Estes

This is a beautiful reservoir on Olympus Dam of Big Thompson River with 185 acres of surface area and 4 miles of shoreline, offers boating, fishing, and scenic walking on Lake Estes Trail around its perimeter. Lake Estes Marina provides you with kayaks, paddle boards, pontoon boats, and bikes on rental to enjoy this scenic lake.

Downtown Estes Park

charming Estes Park Downtown
Charming Estes Park Downtown

This charming downtown area is home to a variety of shops, restaurants, and art galleries. You can shop for antiques and varieties of items from some of the popular shops like Patterson Glassworks, Earthwood Artisan, Thirty Below Leather, Estes Park Mountain Shop, etc. Mocha Angelo’s, Coffee on the Rocks, Mountain Home Café, Ed’s Cantina, Mama Rose’s, Dunraven Inn, etc are some of the popular restaurants to enjoy your food and drinks.

Estes Park Aerial Tramway

This tramway takes you to the top of Prospect Mountain for stunning and thrilling views of the town and surrounding mountains. Usually, kids don’t like long hiking, for them, this Aerial Tramway is best for providing a smooth ride and you can click beautiful pictures here.

Visiting Breweries

Estes Park Brewery is famous here and offers a variety of craft beers with food also and is a great place to relax after a day of exploring. Other famous breweries include Rock Cut Brewing Company, Lumpy Ridge Brewing Co., Avant Garde Ale Works, The Barrel, and many more.

Moraine Park Museum

This National Register of Historic Places listed museum located on Moraine Park offers exhibits on the history of the area and is a great place to learn about the natural and cultural heritage of Estes Park.

Estes Park Memorial Observatory

This observatory offers stargazing events and promotes educational programs on astronomy for children. The observatory remains closed two days before the full moon due to brightness and you can visit it four days of the week from Friday to Monday.

Estes Park Golf Course

This beautiful 18 holes golf course is surrounded by the Rocky Mountains and offers a challenging and scenic round of golf for golf lovers.

Baldpate Inn

This historic inn is listed in the National Register of Historic Places and is home to the world’s largest collection of keys, around collections of more than 20000 keys, and is a great place to stay for those looking for a unique and cozy experience. Now it is named Seven Keys Lodge.

Hidden Places in USA

5 luxurious accommodations in Estes Park

If you’re planning a visit to Estes Park in Colorado and looking to stay, you won’t be disappointed. Here you will find lots of options for accommodations from basic to world-class luxurious amenities. Here are some of the best accommodations in Estes Park.

The Stanley Hotel

This historic hotel is one of the most luxurious accommodations in Estes Park to enjoy something different experience. It offers a range of 140 rooms and suites, including those with mountain views, fireplaces, and hot tubs. The hotel also has a spa, a fine dining restaurant, and a variety of activities, including whiskey tastings. The hotel is famous for its paranormal activity offering spirited tours, and shining tours, and from time to time many events are organized here.

Dunraven Lodge

This luxurious lodge is nearly 30 kilometers away from Grand Lake, spread over 18 acres of pristine forest, and offers stunning views of the Rocky Mountains. The lodge features a variety of accommodations, including cabins and suites, all of which are elegantly decorated and equipped with modern amenities. You can enjoy a variety of activities, including hiking, fishing, and horseback riding here.

Dao House

7.5 miles South of Estes Park on Tahosa Valley, this luxurious retreat and wellness lodge is located on 235 acres of pristine wilderness and offers a variety of accommodations, including private cottages and rooms in the main lodge. You can enjoy a range of wellness activities, including yoga, meditation, and massage, as well as hiking, wildlife watching, and other outdoor activities.

Streamside on Fall River

This luxurious resort is situated on the banks of Fall River spread over 29 acres of the natural beauty of pine and aspen trees and offers a variety of accommodations, including 21 cabins and suites. The resort features a heated outdoor pool, hot tub, and a range of activities, including fishing, hiking, and horseback riding.

Estes Park Resort

This luxurious resort is located on the shores of Lake Estes and offers a range of accommodations, including spacious rooms and suites with beautiful lake views. The resort features a spa, a fine dining restaurant, and a range of activities, including fishing, boating, and hiking.

5 Best Restaurants in Estes Park

After wandering around this beautiful vacation destination, now you want to taste some delicious foods to satisfy your hunger. Here are some of the best restaurants in Estes Park that are must try to satisfy your appetite.

The Dunraven

This fine-dining restaurant is located in a beautiful lodge with stunning views of the mountains. The menu features a range of creative dishes made with local ingredients, including elk, trout, and Colorado lamb. The Dunraven also has an extensive wine list, making it a great place for a special occasion.

Bird & Jim

This restaurant offers contemporary American cuisine with a focus on seasonal ingredients with indoor and outdoor sitting facilities. The menu changes frequently, but you can always expect dishes like bison meatballs, roasted beet salad, and trout with lemon-caper butter. The restaurant also has a great selection of craft cocktails and Colorado beers.

Ed’s Cantina & Grill

If you’re in the mood for some delicious Mexican food, Ed’s Cantina is the place to go. The menu features all your favorite Mexican dishes, including tacos, burritos, and fajitas, as well as some creative twists on traditional favorites. The restaurant also has a great selection of margaritas and other beers.

Poppy’s Pizza & Grill

If you’re looking for some delicious pizza, Poppy’s is the place to go. The restaurant is located at 342 E Elkhorn Ave, Estes Park, and offers a variety of creative pizzas, including the Colorado Cowboy (with bison and green chiles) and the Margherita (with fresh mozzarella and basil). They also have a great selection of craft beers and a cozy, welcoming atmosphere, and a patio.

Rock Inn Mountain Tavern

Located on 1675 CO-66, Estes Park this cozy tavern is in a historic building and offers a range of comfort food dishes, including burgers, sandwiches, and mac and cheese. The restaurant also has a great selection of Colorado beers on tap and a friendly, laid-back atmosphere, live music, and an outdoor seating service area.

Top 10 Activities to Do in Estes Park

Estes Park in Colorado is one of the most beautiful tourist destinations to do lots of indoor and outdoor activities in the midst of nature.

Hiking

Estes Park is surrounded by some of the most stunning hiking trails in the country. Some of the most popular trails include the Gem Lake Trail, the Fern Lake Trail, and the Flattop Mountain Trail.

Visiting Park

Rocky Mountain National Park is a must-visit park, just a few minutes from Estes Park, and offers a range of outdoor activities, including hiking, fishing, and wildlife viewing.

Wildlife viewing

Estes Park is home to a variety of wildlife, and the most famous is elk, and also includes moose, bighorn sheep, and black bears. The best places to see wildlife include Rocky Mountain National Park, the surrounding areas of Lake Estes, and the Estes Park Golf Course.

Estes Park Aerial Tramway

Your tour to Estes Park is incomplete without enjoying this tramway and which takes you on a scenic ride up Prospect Mountain, where you can enjoy breathtaking panoramic views of Estes Park and the surrounding mountains.

Horseback riding

There are a number of stables in the area that offer horseback riding tours through the mountains.

Fishing

Estes Park is known for its excellent fishing opportunities, with many streams and lakes in the area stocked with trout and other fish.

Golf

The Estes Park Golf Course is a beautiful 18-hole course with stunning views of the mountains for golfers.

Rafting

There are a number of companies in the area that offer white water rafting tours on the nearby rivers and it is one of the thrilling adventure activities to do here.

Museums

For history lovers visiting the museums is a must-do activity and Estes Park is home to several museums, including the Estes Park Museum, which tells the town’s history and the surrounding area.

Shopping and dining

Estes Park has a charming downtown area with a variety of shops and restaurants to explore to complete your desire for tasty foods, shopping, and roaming in surrounding areas.

How to get to Estes Park

There are many modes of transportation to get to this beautiful tourist destination Estes Park which is located in the northern part of Colorado, about 90 minutes or 64 miles northwest of Denver.

By car

The easiest and best way to get to Estes Park is by car. You can rent a car from Denver International Airport or drive your own vehicle. The most direct route is via US-36, which takes you through Boulder and into Estes Park. A journey by car will be most scenic for you.

By Shuttle

If you prefer not to drive, there are several shuttle services that operate between Denver International Airport and Estes Park. These shuttles typically run several times a day and can be reserved in advance.

By bus

If you don’t prefer a shuttle ride, another option is a bus service that runs between Denver and Estes Park. The Bustang service is operated by the Colorado Department of Transportation and offers several trips per day.

By Air

If you’re visiting this beautiful destination from farther away, you can fly into Denver International Airport and then rent a car or take a shuttle to Estes Park. The airport is about a two-hour drive from Estes Park.

FAQs about Estes Park

  1. What is Estes Park known for?

    Estes Park is known for its stunning natural beauty and lots of activities to do at Rocky Mountain National Park. It’s a popular destination for outdoor enthusiasts, with hiking, fishing, wildlife viewing opportunities, and much more to do.

  2. When is the best time to visit Estes Park?

    The best time to visit Estes Park depends on what you want to do. The summer months are most busy and offer the best weather for outdoor activities. Fall is a great time to visit the beautiful fall foliage, and winter offers great opportunities for snow sports and snow activities. If you like fewer crowds, visiting Estes Park during Spring is the best time for you.

  3. What are some of the top attractions in Estes Park?

    Some of the top attractions in Estes Park include Rocky Mountain National Park, the Estes Park Aerial Tramway, the Estes Park Museum, and the downtown shopping and dining area.

  4. Are there accommodations in Estes Park?

    Yes, there are many accommodations in Estes Park, including hotels, motels, cabins, and vacation rentals. There are options to fit every budget and preference from basic to luxurious amenities you want.

  5. Is Estes Park pet-friendly?

    Yes, Estes Park is a pet-friendly destination with many accommodations and outdoor activities that welcome pets. However, it’s always a good idea to check with individual businesses before bringing your pet.

Conclusion

Estes Park in Colorado is a hidden gem that offers a variety of activities and attractions for visitors of every age group. With stunning natural beauty and a charming downtown area, Estes Park is a perfect destination for your next vacation this year. Whether you’re looking for outdoor adventure or a relaxing retreat, Estes Park has something for everyone. So, get ready and plan your next vacation to this hidden gem and discover all that Estes Park has to offer.

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