Estes Park is one of the gateways into Rocky Mountain National Park, and is one of my favorite places in Colorado. When our children were younger, my husband and I took them on yearly fall family retreats and Estes Park was one of our frequent destinations. Now that the kids are older, and no longer homeschooling, we don’t have the schedule flexibility to have the fall family retreats any more, but I have found spaces on our calendar to get back there at different times almost yearly, sometimes even more!
Of the places where we’ve stayed I would recommend Murphy’s Resort by the lake. One January I got away on a mother daughter trip with one of the girls, and stayed at this resort. The room was clean and comfortable, with easy access to the trail around the lake. The resort had a painting event the weekend we were there and there appears to always be something fun going on!
We have also stayed at the YMCA of the Rockies, in one of their cabins, and we have camped in Rocky Mountain National Park. It just depends on what we are wanting to do, there is something for everyone!
In the downtown area of Estes Park one can find all kinds of interesting and also touristy shops. We love the Donut Haus (Beware, they run out of donuts, sometimes by noon!) and the MacDonald Bookshop.
Mama Rose’s Italian Restaurant and Claire’s Restaurant are my two favorite places to eat in Estes Park. Such delicious food and wonderful, friendly service. But I can’t forget to tell you about Shakes Alive and A Sweet Slice of Life Pie Shop. Go ahead and have a slice of pie with a shake, the are next door to each other!
Other things to see in the downtown area of Estes Park include the Patterson Glassworks Studio and Gallery.
I was fascinated by the glass blowing demonstration. So much so that I tried to watch each time we are in Estes Park!
The Original Taffy Shop is another great spot. Here you can watch original machines stretch, cut and wrap the taffy. And of course, sample and buy some as well!
So as you are making your spring break or summer plans, think about Estes Park, Colorado!