January 4  |  Our Communities

5 Romantic Winter Getaways Near Fort Collins

Colorado is filled with charming cities and beautiful mountain towns. Whether you’re looking for a family vacation or a solo adventure, the Rockies are the perfect setting. And when you’re looking for a romantic getaway, there is no shortage of options!

Whether you’re celebrating Valentine’s Day, a birthday, an anniversary or are just looking to get away for a long weekend, there’s a perfect place for you and yours. Some are just one hour away and others are three, but they’re all worth the drive. There are so many luxury hotels, must-try dinners and fun excursions awaiting, so pack up your suitcases and head for the hills!


Lyons, CO

Lyons, Colorado

Photo courtesy of Lyons, Colorado and Edward Bruder Photography, Peaceful Valley Resort, Farmer Girl

Travel Time: 1 hour

This year, Lyons won the Best Small Adventure Town in Colorado in Elevation Outdoor’s annual contest. That makes it the perfect destination during the winter for a one-of-a-kind getaway — as romantic and adventurous as you want to make it.


Brand new this year, WeeCasa Tiny Home is Colorado’s first tiny home hotel and a great way to sample the small home movement. In an effort to reduce waste and promote simple lifestyles, tiny homes are 1000 square feet or less. The structures at WeeCasa are straight out of any home decor lover’s dream! Reserve your stay this winter and simplify your life for a weekend or two.

If you prefer a hotel-style getaway, we suggest Peaceful Valley Resort. If you opt for a cabin instead of a lodge room, you get a home to yourself — hot tub included! Rent a pair of snowshoes or cross-country skis and start your adventure getaway the right way.

Or, stay in one of the coziest homes in town — The Lyons Den. Built in 1910, the home is located right in the heart of downtown with two bedrooms, a full kitchen, dining room and even a backyard turned micro-orchard!


For a casual lunch (and a delicious margarita!) stop by Lyons Fork. Back in 2010, the rustic and historic nature of the building spawned a vision of fresh, made-from-scratch fare. Today, they have some of the best food in town — and the perfect truffle fries, according to the Boulder Daily Camera!

For upscale eats, Farmer Girl offers local, organic and sustainable food you’ll come back for again and again. Chef Tim Payne creates simple and straightforward dishes using local ingredients and is consistently changing his menu to accommodate the most seasonal fare. Make your reservation with OpenTable.


While you’re out and about, don’t miss the original Oskar Blues brewery, one of Colorado’s most notable craft breweries. Or, for something a bit stronger, sample a few spirits at The Spirit Hound Tasting Room.


When you’re not snowshoeing, cross country skiing or exploring and shopping downtown, stop by Lyons Whitewater Park. In the winter, the lake transforms into an ice rink with hockey on the inside and free skating along the outside lanes. Bring a picnic along and set up beside one of three gas burning fire pits or the historic wood-burning fireplace!


Boulder, CO

Things to do in Boulder Colorado

Photos courtesy of Hotel BoulderadoCafe Aion and Caroline Treadway

Travel Time: 1 hour, 10 minutes

One of the state’s hippest locales, Boulder is filled with food, drink and entertainment options you won’t find anywhere else. It’s the perfect place to get away from your everyday life and spend some time with your significant other. If you’re looking for more reasons to love it, check out 30 Reasons to Love Boulder.


Located right next to downtown Boulder’s Pearl Street Mall, Hotel Boulderado offers modern luxury in a historic Victorian setting. The upscale hotel opened its doors on New Year’s Day, 1909. It has endured through every era of American history since then and today, has been restored to its former glory. It’s also on the National Register of Historic Places, is a City of Boulder landmark, and is the perfect setting for your weekend getaway.

For a more quaint atmosphere, make a reservation at Briar Rose Bed & Breakfast — located between Pearl Street and Twenty-Ninth Street Malls. Their cottage-style home and charming landscape offer one of the best quiet, romantic settings in the area!


Boulder was named America’s Foodiest Town by Bon Appétit, and downtown’s Pearl Street was ranked among Food & Wine’s 10 Best Foodie Streets in America. Needless to say, you’ll find a place to eat.

Our favorite upscale spot is Cafe Aion. Owner and chef, Dakota Soifer, won Food Network’s Cutthroat Kitchen and worked in nationally acclaimed restaurants across the country. His menu changes daily to reflect local ingredients and fresh culinary experimentation.

No matter what kind of food you’re looking for, stop by Rayback Collective any time of year for a casual meal outdoors or at the bar. A community gathering place for beer, food and music lovers, you’ll find local food trucks parked every night as well as craft brews, live bands and even the occasional yoga class.


As one of the hippest Colorado towns, there are plenty of places to grab a crafted drink. Try Boulder’s own Avery Brewing for a taste of one of Colorado’s best craft breweries. Or, for a locally distilled spirit, stop by J&L Distilling right on Pearl Street. Their crafted cocktails are practically pieces of art — but feel free to drink them anyway!

Celestial Seasonings is also headquartered in Boulder. At their facility, you can taste samples, buy your own to take home and go on a tour to find out how the tea is made!


There’s no shortage of things to do in Boulder. Even if you’re just strolling down Pearl Street, you’ll find shopping, shows, street performers and you can even stop at an outdoor piano if you want to tickle the keys.

While you’re in town, catch a show at the Boulder Theater. Year round, they have everything from concerts and film to comedy and spoken word poetry. If you want dinner with your show, buy tickets for Boulder Dinner Theater!

For the adventurous, Eldora Mountain Resort, one of Colorado’s hidden gems, is located just 30 minutes from Boulder. You can downhill ski, cross-country ski, skate ski, snowboard, snowshoe, and just wallow in the mountain paradise!


Estes Park, CO

Things to do in Estes Park

Photos courtesy Estes Park, CO and Joe PyleThe Stanley Hotel, Twin Owls Steakhouse and Janea Smith Photography

Travel Time: 1 hour, 25 minutes

Base camp for all your Rocky Mountain National Park excursions, a quick drive from Fort Collins, and one of the coziest towns in Colorado, Estes Park is a must-see in the winter. It can meet the demands for your family vacation, solo adventure and, especially, your romantic getaway.


Estes Park is home to some of the most beautiful landscapes, wildlife and wilderness in the state. And the lodging options in town offer opportunities to celebrate that.

The Stanley Hotel was made famous by Stephen King’s novel The Shining, but it’s not all ghouls and ghosts. The stunning architecture stands out against the mountain landscape it’s nestled in, and the historic interior is reminiscent of old-world grandeur. As a member of Historic Hotels of America and listed on the National Register of Historic Places, it’s a must see — even if you’re not staying the night.

For a quaint, lodge feel, we recommend staying for a weekend with Cabins at Rams Horn Village Resort. Bring your own food and spend a romantic weekend in a rustic cabin right on the edge of lush wilderness.

Della Terra Mountain Chateau sits above Estes Park at the Fall River entrance to Rocky Mountain National Park. The backdrop makes it the perfect place to sit back, relax and take in the sights of Estes Park. And you can see it from your private balcony hot tub!


During the winter, Twin Owls Steakhouse is open on weekends only. Make sure to schedule your getaway accordingly because it’s a must-try! The lodge was built in 1929 as a family home and was later converted into a restaurant. Maintaining a lodge atmosphere, the space is complete with stone fireplace, hand assembled log walls, and the original oak floors. Make your reservation so you can try the Elk Medallions or Buffalo Filet!

For a more casual, hometown spot, Antonio’s Real New York Pizza cooks up New York style pizza in the mountains. Inspired by Colorado’s lack of true NY-style pies, the Anthonys opened their pizza shop almost ten years ago and the rest is history! Trust us when we say that the pizza or pasta will have you coming back for more.


Rock Cut Brewing Company is owned by Estes Park natives, Matt and Tracy. They brew their beers on site using rich grains and Rocky Mountain water so you can get a real taste of Colorado!

If you’re in the mood for a stronger sip, Elkins Whisky is located across the street from scenic Lake Estes. They were the first to legally distil in town in 2015 and their whisky is made from 80% Colorado corn. Stop in for a taste and make history!


It’s no secret; Estes Park is a winter sport paradise. Rent a pair of snowshoes or cross-country skis to take into Rocky Mountain National Park, or just explore the trails and wilderness right in town!

Afterward, grab a coffee or hot chocolate and explore the picture-perfect downtown. While you’re there, you may even see an elk or two, who love Elkhorn Avenue as much as the locals! Stop in at Patterson Glassworks Studio to see live glassblowing demonstrations and take home a gift to remember the experience!

Before you arrive, check out the town’s events calendar so you don’t miss any community events — like the Estes Park Winter Festival or a live concert!


Winter Park, CO

Things to do in Winter Park

Photo courtesy Winter Park Chateau, and Deno’s Mountain Bistro

Travel Time: 2 hours

Many skiers and snowboarders already know Winter Park as a winter playground, but it’s not just a sports destination! The small town feel, picturesque streets and wilderness views make it a fun, romantic getaway as well.


If skiing is included in your winter getaway, Zephyr Mountain Lodge is a must. Part of Winter Park Resort, it’s located at the base of Zephyr Chairlift so you’ll be as close to the lifts as lodging allows. Wake up with a fresh cup of coffee and walk out onto the slopes!

Winter Park Chateau is a quieter option right in downtown. The boutique bed and breakfast inn is filled with Victorian charm and luxury amenities. You can even take a free shuttle bus straight to the slopes or step outside for shopping, dining and nightlife.

Just outside of town, Devil’s Thumb Ranch Resort & Spa offers the fun of Winter Park and the quiet, relaxation of a Colorado mountain paradise. The lodge was originally built in 1937 as a dairy, but was converted to a resort in 1947. The original building exists today as the Ranch House Saloon!


After a day of mountain exploration, make a stop at Deno’s Mountain Bistro for a cozy evening. It’s been a part of Winter Park history since the early 1900s and has evolved into one of the best restaurants for casual, upscale food.

For all your post-ski needs, Lime serves up Mexican food and some of the best cocktails in town. Their casual atmosphere is perfect for winding down and letting loose after a hard day on the mountain.


Before it was Winter Park, this picturesque town was called Idlewild. And Idlewild Spirits Distillery takes their name from that old-world history. Born from a passion for quality spirits, founder Jeff Ruhle produces some of the best whiskey, vodka, gin and rum in the Colorado Rockies.

Hideaway Park Brewery offers something a little more casual. Inspired by his desire to flee the big city, Andy Brumenschenkel opened Hideaway a few years ago as a craft beer getaway — and that’s exactly what it has become!


Fort Collins may be the Bike Capital of Colorado, but Winter Park is officially Mountain Bike Capital USA. Though it may be too snowy to hit the trails in the winter, you can still explore on a pair of snowshoes or cross-country skis!

For an unforgettable experience, make a reservation at Dog Sled Rides of Winter Park. Their private trail system runs along the edge of Winter Park and your 45 minute ride is hosted by eight Alaskan and Siberian huskies. You get to ride through a winter paradise while your guide steers the way. Be sure to visit all 80 huskies post-trip!


Beaver Creek, CO

Things to do in Beaver Creek CO

Photos courtesy of Vail Resorts, Park Hyatt Resort and Spa and Maya

Travel Time: 3 hours

Beaver Creek is a small village nestled on a mountaintop above Avon, Colorado. The small town is filled with luxuries and picture perfect moments you’ll want to remember forever. Before you get on your way, find out what’s happening this week at Beaver Creek to make the most out of your trip.


There are plenty of lodging opportunities in Beaver Creek — from vacation homes to hotels. One of our favorites is the Park Hyatt Resort and Spa in Beaver Creek Proper. Located right at the base of the mountain, you can ski in and ski out, with lifts right outside the lobby doors.

Or, for extra privacy and more space, vacation at Beaver Creek’s Meadows Townhomes. They’re nestled above the ski lifts and just a ten-minute walk from the shops and restaurants at Beaver Creek village.


The village is filled with fine dining options, but one of our favorites is Beano’s Cabin. One of Beaver Creek’s mountaintop restaurants, it sits above everything with spectacular views for miles. In a lodge atmosphere, you can sip a glass of wine while you savor Roasted Venison or Washington Halibut.

At the Maya, you’ll find a slightly more casual atmosphere. Chef Richard Sandoval turns classic Mexican cuisine into an art form. Pair your meal with any one of their fine tequilas and you’re sure to have a memorable evening!


The Metropolitan is one of Beaver Creek’s newest restaurants. We especially love it for the Enomatic Wine Dispenser, only the 3rd in Colorado. You’ll get the chance to taste wines from around the world in 1.5 oz, 3 oz or 6 oz glasses so you can find the one that’s right for you!

Home of Beaver Creek’s Best Bloody Mary, Broken Arrow is a must-try — but it’s only open for breakfast and lunch so get there early!


Beaver Creek is the perfect Colorado village for relaxation. It’s all about luxury shopping, experiences and appreciating the views from every locale. When you’re not skiing, take a scenic chairlift ride to take in the breathtaking views.

And don’t miss the new Winter Wine Excursions. The adventure begins with a scenic snowshoe tour led by an expert guide who will provide a history of Beaver Creek and explain the unique natural environment. It ends at Osprey Fireside Grill where you can get a glass of wine and a bite to eat!

You may also want to consider catching a show at Vilar Performing Arts Center. With year round productions, you can see a Broadway musical, comedy show or concert.


How will you get away this winter?

Share your favorite winter escapes with us!

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