After just a couple hours of driving, you can be exploring Rocky Mountain National Park and the quaint town of Estes Park. From a small town growingthrough ranching and farming, Estes soon became a place of tourism for many to come and visit this Switzerland-like landscape. It is known for its wildlife and beauty with surrounding peaks ranging from 8,500 to 14,000 feet high. Elk can often be seen all over town, even congregating on the baseball diamond. Elkhorn Avenue, the main street in town, offers a huge variety of locally-owned shops and stops and places to grab a bite. The Riverwalk runs along the Big Thompson River and Fall River and is a peaceful way to enjoy downtown. Enjoy hiking, rock climbing, river rafting, fishing, archery and more. Try paddle boarding on Lake Estes or riding the Aerial Tramway tothe top of Prospect Mountain. Estes Park is a majestic place where you will experience the great outdoors.
For a varied mountain get away experience, try Steamboat Springs. This unique town is just over 3 hours from Douglas County. Instead of luxury condos and designer shopping,this special place has a casual, western feel, focused on local artisans, downhome cooking, and relaxing. Famous authentic Mexican tacos are served on 9th street, perfect for a break from skiing. And check out the historic western store established in 1905. A huge variety of winter activities await, from snow skiing and snow shoeing to ice hockey and ice fishing. And of course, a popular activity is soaking in the natural hot water. Hot springs are located both downtown and 40 minutes outside of town. During other times of the year, experience biking, visiting one of the surrounding lakes, botanic gardens, horseback riding,or the hot air baloon festival. Free buses also make it convenient to go from downtown to local attractions with routes every ten minutes. Enjoy this different kind of ski town.
Skiing at “Breck” is hugely popular, with the highest chair lift on the continent, at 12,840 feet high, (the Imperial Express Super Chair). It is internationally known for its snow-covered slopes. At only two hours away, this makes for a convenient weekend getaway. Aside from skiing, Breckenridge offers sledding, ice skating, sleigh rides, and snowmobiling, among many other winter activities. With snow into May, winter through spring is when the town shines. But warmer weather also brings hiking, biking, or floating the Arkansas River. Take a tour through the town’s history or sign up to tour the gold mine. You can even meet the Siberian Huskies who pull for the dog sled team adventure. The charming and historic main street offers a variety of shopping, fun, and food, with pork rinds and truffle fritters being some of the favorites. For a high-end experience, try a Breckenridge vacation.