Things To Do Estes Park Colorado – Estes Park is one of our top destinations for its walkable, charming downtown, river views, great restaurants and breweries above the Rockies. Because of the beauty and variety of things to do, Colorado is something you love to visit!
As a gateway to Rocky Mountain National Park, Estes Park should be popular – but it’s a beautiful town in its own right, with lots of fun attractions and an atmosphere you can’t help but love.
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Little Hiccups: 12 Things To Do In Estes Park With Kids
A three-and-a-half-minute ride on Estes Park’s beautiful red train will take you to the top of Prospect Mountain, where you’ll have great views of the valley and mountains.
The tram is one of Estes Park’s most popular attractions, so consider going outside of rush hours to avoid the crowds!
It is open every day from May to September, but only on weekends in September (weather permitting, of course).
Even though it’s small, Estes Park has one of our favorite downtowns of any small town in the United States we’ve visited.
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With beautiful scenery, beautiful water views and plenty of restaurants and shops selling everything from beautiful gifts and homewares to local art, it’s a pleasure to visit the area (in our case, every morning with a cup of coffee in hand).
If you love browsing through historical treasures, don’t miss Fall River Jewelry and Antiques, one of the best antique stores we’ve ever visited!
Whether you’re looking for a unique gift or a letter written by George Washington (important), you’re sure to find something memorable.
Built in 1913, the unique Park Theater is one of Estes Park’s most recognizable buildings and a must-see when you’re in town (just head downtown along the river and you’ll find it).
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If you’re unlucky with the weather on vacation, you can add watching movies to your list of things to do in Estes Park here.
To experience the beautiful skies near Estes Park, all you have to do is go out and look!
Estes Park has a number of breweries to choose from (and a winery for variety), so you’ll have no trouble finding a tasty burger and local beer after a long hike.
One of my favorite places in town is the Estes Park Riverwalk, which winds through town along the Big Thompson/Fall River.
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It’s one of the best places to visit in Estes Park, CO, combining all the charm of downtown (and thus easy access to snacks and shopping) with all the wonderful people who come. Meet in Colorado.
While there are many ways to enjoy the high peaks and wide valleys of the Rockies during a trip to Estes Park, horseback riding has to be one of the best!
You can see moose everywhere in Estes Park, from the visitor center to the golf course to the river.
This is one of the most fun things about visiting Estes Park – but remember to keep a safe distance (25 yards is the recommended minimum), as moose have been known to attack people who come too close.
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The most interesting (but also dangerous) time to see elk is the driving season, which usually starts in mid-September and lasts about a month.
This local museum dedicated to the history of Estes Park has everything from an old 20th century house to an oral history that chronicles the events of the area.
Estes Park is close to some of the best driving in the United States, from RMNP’s Trail Ridge Road to the famous Peak Scenic Road – the oldest road in Colorado!
One of the most unique things to do in Estes Park is to visit the beautiful 19th century log cabin built in 1885 by Enos Mills, the “Father of Rocky Mountain National Park.”
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Tours are by appointment only, so plan ahead if you plan to visit during your Estes Park vacation!
Towering over Estes Park, the magnificent Stanley Hotel was the inspiration for Stephen King’s The Shining.
King was inspired to write the book by his experience at the Stanley Hotel with his wife at the end of that season.
We hadn’t read or seen The Shining before visiting Estes Park, so we took the time to watch Stanley Kubrick’s 1980 film – which made our Stanley experience even more interesting (note that the movie wasn’t filmed there).
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A drink in a historic whiskey bar is a great way to end a quick trip.
If you want to stay longer, consider signing up for a tour – the hotel offers historical tours during the day and spooky and paranormal tours at night.
There are many whitewater companies in Estes Park that will take you on a water adventure down the Poudre or Colorado River.
Safe and beautiful Lake Estes is near downtown and is the perfect place for a morning walk.
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For those of you traveling to Estes Park with dogs, across the street from Lake Estes you’ll find the Estes Valley Dog Park, where the kids have water!
Fun City is a great place for a family afternoon, featuring family vacation classics like boats and go-karts, as well as Colorado-themed fun like gem drilling.
A guide to where to eat in town could be its own Estes Park blog post, but you need cookies! deserves a special mention.
This homemade pastry shop has been welcoming customers since 2006 (it moved to Estes Park), and their cookies are still my favorite in the world.
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They serve breakfast daily and their food is very tasty, but really – don’t miss the pies (I personally like fruit pies).
In fact, if you rent a house or place with a kitchen, do yourself a favor and grab all the cookies for your first day in town after you get home from each trip.
Of course, no list of things to see in Estes Park would be complete without mentioning the reason everyone came in the first place: Rocky Mountain National Park (RMNP)!
There’s a reason why Rocky Mountain National Park is one of the top five most visited national parks in the country, known for its beautiful lakes, wildlife viewing opportunities, beautiful mountains, beautiful drives, and of course, epic hikes. Very nice and something for everyone.
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Estes Park is about a 10-minute drive from the nearest park entrance, making it an ideal base for a trip to RMNP.
There’s no shortage of places to stay in Estes Park, from luxurious riverside cabins to simple, cozy cabins and even America’s Famous Haunted Hotel (like the Shining, though).
Whatever your favorite place to stay, this classic Colorado town has plenty of options for you.
It was the perfect choice for us because there is no downtown parking and it is in close proximity to Rocky Mountain National Park – all of the properties we recommend here are close to downtown Estes. Park.
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Discovery Lodge – We chose to stay at this lodge for one important reason: our dog Ranger is welcome!
But we like it enough to make a second visit: less than a 10-minute walk from downtown, with views of the many elk who love to participate at the nearby Estes Park Golf Course. This is a very big problem.
Nicky’s Resort – With a very nice design including glass walls in the lobby to enjoy the high mountain, great service and amenities like stone fireplaces in some rooms, Nicky’s Resort is a great place to stay in Estes Park.
The hotel is near Estes Park and has its own restaurant for simple and delicious dishes.
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The Stanley Hotel – A perfect classic, the perfect place for luxury and a side story, you can’t beat the Stanley Hotel in Estes Park.
However, book carefully – with so many houses on the property, you’ll want to make sure the rooms you book are the ones you want!
For example, if you want to stay in a big house, don’t book the (closer and better) Aspire Residences.
While central Estes Park is within walking distance, if you choose a hotel near downtown, you’ll be walking distance to food and shopping, and you’ll need your own car to visit Estes Park and the surrounding area.
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If you’re flying into Denver, good company
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