For 2016, we have been exploring a different community in Northern Colorado each month, highlighting some notable features, some basic facts, and a few reasons why we think it’s worth visiting. While we love each and every community in the area, this next one is a town we are particularly excited to talk about.
Estes Park is a popular destination for people all over the world due to its endearing, majestic, log-cabin-filled, mountain-town qualities with surreal landscapes visible in all directions. Not to mention, there are a few major landmarks in this town that constantly attract tourists and Estes Park dwellers alike. If you’re a Northern Colorado resident, it’s the perfect getaway destination that will make you feel like you’re removed from it all, without having to travel too far out of your way.
We simply couldn’t wait another month to proclaim that…
Let’s start with one of the most obvious reasons for visiting Estes Park: its abundance of outdoor activities. Estes Park is bordered by Rocky Mountain National Park, which hosts a myriad of opportunities for hiking, taking a scenic drive, wildlife viewing, picnicking, camping, fishing, horseback riding and backcountry camping. Whatever adventure you embark on within Rocky Mountain National Park, you will be surrounded by breathtaking beauty in every direction. The park exhibits over 415 square miles of varying terrain and natural landscape that attracts more than three million people each year.
You don’t have to travel into the wild to experience the best of Estes Park, because the town itself is full of character, great local businesses, and lots to see and do. The beauty of this town is the proximity and convenience; you can simply park your car along or near East and West Elkhorn Avenue and explore all the wonderful shops and restaurants along those connecting streets by foot. That area is packed with personality — from its charming gift shops, vintage architecture, fantastic restaurants, lush green trees, benches and old-fashioned light poles.
One of our favorite shops is The Grey House, a mountain boutique offering apparel and accessories for active and cozy living. Check out their selection of offerings ahead of your visit, and find The Grey House tucked away along East Elkhorn Avenue during exploration of Estes Park.
Because Estes Park is such a common vacation destination, there are lots of gift shops along this street perfect for that Colorado-branded souvenir or a local, handmade keepsake. Rustic Mountain Charm is a one-stop-shop for all your gift-buying needs — including candles, lamps, Christmas decorations, home decor, books, specialty foods, CDs, jewelry, frames, home fragrance, bath and body products, specialty coffees, carved wooden bears and hand-painted windows.
The purpose of traveling is to simply eat food in different locations, right? So, if you’re in search of some great food, visit The Other Side Restaurant for all all-American cuisine, Poppy’s Pizza and Grill or Village Pizza for a pizza, Hunter’s Chophouse for a steak, or Grumpy Gringo for a burrito.
(From left to right: The Other Side Restaurant, Poppy’s Pizza and Grill, and Village Pizza)
Another notable landmark in Estes Park is The Stanley Hotel, which we’ve previously discussed as we explored some real haunted places in Fort Collins. It was here that horror novelist Stephen King received inspiration for his 1977 novel, “The Shining”, and the place has since been pronounced haunted. To experience the reported paranormal activity yourself, you can request the Ghost Adventure Package while booking your stay at The Stanley Hotel.
If you’re feeling a little less adventurous, you can book your stay at a non-haunted hotel and still check out The Stanley’s grandiose lobby and unique exterior architecture. There are several cozy lodging options in Estes Park, as the area is known for its romantic getaway appeal.
If you love your visit to Estes Park so much that you want to make your stay a bit more permanent, the residential life of this community is thriving as well. There are so many homes in the area with amazing cabin-like infrastructures and gorgeous mountain views. One of our favorites is this entertainment-centric home with an incredible indoor pool.
If you’re lucky enough to call Estes Park home, you probably have a myriad of reasons why you love your hometown. If you’ve visited once or twice, this town has likely tugged on your heartstrings and left you longing to return.
Either way, let us know your favorite things about Estes Park!
PHOTOS COURTESY OF: The Group, Inc. Real Estate, Estes Park, Colorado.com, The Grey House, Rustic Mountain Charm, The Other Side Restaurant, Poppy’s Pizza and Grill, Village Pizza and The Stanley Hotel