A Note from the Mayor on July 29, 2018: HeidiTown has grown a lot since this article was posted in 2011, but this is still the most popular post. I welcome you to HeidiTown! Please spend some time browsing everything this little town has to offer when it comes to Colorado travel and festivals.
I love Colorado during the holiday season. From Denver’s Larimer Street to the Christmas Market in Georgetown, there’s something about Colorado that makes me feel as though I’m spending the holiday season in a postcard.
As the Mayor of HeidiTown.com, I attend a lot of festivals and I spend a lot of time at holiday events around the state, so I’ve decided to share what I deem as the Top 5 Colorado Christmas Towns. This list is in no particular order, although if I were to pick a number one Colorado Christmas town, it would be Georgetown.
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1. Georgetown, Colorado is a hidden gem just 45 minutes west of Denver along I70. I’d driven by it a hundred times before actually stopping in, but once I did, I realized what a great little place it is, and during the holidays it’s truly outstanding.
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With a tree lighting ceremony, Letter Day and the Georgetown Christmas Market running for two weekends, this town commemorate the holidays the way they were intended to be celebrated. Visit HistoricGeorgetown.org for more information.
2. Breckenridge, Colorado is well known as a ski town, but this place has a lot of other stuff going on and that’s why it makes my list. The Victorian style architecture of the town looks resplendent during the holidays.
With the Lightning of Breckenridge on the first weekend in December to carriage rides available throughout the holidays and wonderful shopping opportunities, this town will make you feel as though you’ve stepped into an old-timey Christmas postcard.
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Check out GoBreck.com to keep an eye on what’s happening in Breckenridge year-round.
3. HGTV recently named Durango, Colorado as one of their “Top Ten Christmas Towns,” and it’s no surprise. Durango is home to the Polar Express, a production of the Durango & Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad. This train ride is a memorable way to celebrate the holidays with your children.
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During the month of December, Durango is alive with festive music and the hubbub of the season. There’s never a dull moment and always something Christmassy happening, and that’s why it makes my list. Go to Durango.org for more information on this top Christmas town.
4. The 12 Days of Aspen, is just one reason this ski town is making the list. From December 20, through New Year’s Eve, Aspen, Colorado celebrates the season with all sorts of cheery activities from concerts to theater, from street entertainment to free ice-skating, to shopping and restaurant specials and so much more. Aspen is also quite lovely during the holidays – just one more reason they made this list.
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5. Nestled in the soaring peaks of the Rockies, Estes Park, Colorado is known as the Gateway to Rocky Mountain National Park. It’s always a bustling during the summer, but this charming little village lights up during the holidays.
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Visitors should stop at Longs Peak Coffee & Paper House for a cup of hot chocolate and then stroll the streets of this picturesque town. While in town, be sure to visit the famous The Stanley Hotel, to see the holiday decor.
If you want romance and a true white Christmas with beautiful twinkle lights other than Salzburg, Austria, Colorado is where it’s at!!
Remember when you visit Georgetown, don’t forget to travel the extra 2 miles to Silver Plume and stop at the Sopp & Truscott Bakery. They have the most delicious breads and goodies. Try the Johnny Bread or the Asiago Cheese Bread…. or a giant cinnamon roll…. or a Naughty Bar…. yummmm
Thanks Gail! I love a good bakery. We will most definitely check out it out the next time we’re in the area. A Naughty Bar? I think I definitely deserve on of those. LOL! ~Heidi, The Mayor 🙂
I have only been in Colorado for one Christmas! Thanks for the ideas of exploring our new state during the holidays.
Thanks for stopping by HeidiTown, Misty. Christmas in Colorado is an interesting thing. My husband, who grew up here, remembers a 70 degree Christmas, which he loved because he got to ride his new bike. You never quite know if it will be a white Christmas or warm Christmas, but either way, it’s always a good Christmas in Colorado!
I will be visiting my son this Christmas. I am from SC and have no winter clothes, really nothing more than a sweater, blue jeans, and some cowboy boots. How should I dress for the weather? I have to pack light on the plane!
These all look like beautiful places to visit! Even little ole westminster had a great christmas light display and lighting ceremony.
Sounds great . me and my husband would love to come to Durango to vist before Christmas. We may come early December for a week with kidds . do you know of where to stay with good rates and near Durango is also good for us. We don’t have to be in Durango but we would,like to be close. We are of course on a budget. We would really love to come this December. Thank you for your time.
I’m sorry I didn’t answer this sooner!
Somehow it slipped through the cracks. We LOVE Durango and I have written about it extensively here on HeidiTown.
Here’s a link to all of my articles: http://www.heiditown.com/?s=durango
You might try the Durango Inn. http://www.durangodowntowninn.com/
It’s a budget style hotel, but it’s also right in downtown Durango. The beds are small, but it’s clean and you just can’t beat the location.
Check out my other Durango articles and let me know if you have further questions! I’d love to hear about your trip.
My husband and I would like to take our children to spend this Christmas 2015 in Colorado I was thinking about Aspen but all the hotels are a bit pricey where is a good place to stay at a fair price were a family of 8 so we’re trying to stay on a budget. Your help /orientation is greatly appreciated. Thank you 🙂
Thanks for stopping by HeidiTown, Maritza.
Try Snowmass. It’s just down the road from Aspen and you may find some reasonably priced condos there for a large family. We like Timberline. Here’s a link to their website: http://www.thetimberline.com/
It that’s still coming in too high, check condos in Carbondale and Basalt. A little further down the road from Aspen, but the entire area is gorgeous and close to multiple ski areas.
Don’t miss out on soaking in one of the hot springs in Glenwood Springs when you are in the area. I’ve written about several of their lovely hot springs venues.
Good luck! Wherever your family goes, I guarantee you’ll have a great time. If you remember, let me know where you ended up staying!
Hi, we are looking for a really nice medium budget hotel for 3 near Aspen… Is glen wood springs beautiful over Christmas or is there a better place to experience a real white Cristmas wonderland like in Europe? What is theCourtyard like in Glenwood Springs?
Any info would be so welcome….
Glenwood is beautiful, but there are no guarantees that there will be snow on the ground at Christmas. I don’t know anything about The Courtyard. I’ve stayed at Hotel Denver, Hotel Colorado, the Glenwood Hot Springs Lodge and Hotel Glenwood Springs. They are all nice properties and each has its own benefits.
You may want to check out Snowmass, especially if the lodging in Aspen is a little too pricey. It’s only about 20 minutes away from Aspen. We stayed at the Timberline Condos and they were very nice. Snowmass doesn’t have a cute town because it was purpose built as a ski resort. But you can pop into Aspen or Glenwood Springs from there.
Hope that helps! Have a very Merry Colorado Christmas!
Just found your page with the great information. We are looking to spend next Christmas 2016 in Colorado close to Durango. Looking for a place for 8 of us, traveling with another family. Coming from Florida so we are looking for a great experience. Thank you.
Durango is one of my favorite towns. I’ve stayed at a number of historic hotels there that are wonderful. The Strater, Rochester and General Palmer. If you have a large group I’d recommend looking for a home rental. I bet Durango.org can help you.
About an hour down the road in Pagosa Springs the Wyndham rentals are very nice. We stayed in a beautiful two bedroom condo there this last summer. Their property has a great rec center too. That may be a great option for a large group.
You’ll have a wonderful experience in Colorado where ever you end up!
My husband and I love getting little cabins way back in the woods somewhere in the snow for christmas. Or that’s what we have done in Washington for Christmas in the past. Now we live in Texas and are thinking of trying to find that in Colorado next Christmas. But I totally have no idea where to start looking!
Thanks for visiting HeidiTown!
A lot of Texans enjoy the proximity of SW Colorado. You should check out Pagosas Springs and Ouray. Small towns with lots of charm. Both have hot springs. Ouray feels a bit like Switzerland. You are literally surrounded by mountains, while Pagosa is a bit more wide open. I think both towns would make wonderful Christmas destination and you should be able to find cabin rentals there. Good luck! You’ll have a lovely time whenever you end up. Colorado is the best!
Any great restaurants that do a great job decorating for the holiday?
I can’t think of any off the top of my head. If you’d like to eat in a festival environment, however, check out the Denver Christkindl Market. You can grab a meal at one of their vendors’ booths and eat under the Entertainment Tent that’s beautifully decorated for the holidays. I’ve written about the Christkindl Market here: http://www.heiditown.com/2015/11/20/featured-festival-denver-christkindl-market-2015/
You may also want to stop by Union Station. They really make it look wonderful during the holidays and there are several very good restaurants there to choose from.
Hope that helps!
This is so very helpful! I am trying to plan Christmas 2016 out of Texas this year with some quality us time with a husband and 2 toddlers. I am really stuck trying to find a Christmas filled ski town with a little bit of everything so we don’t have to go far since we will be flying and don’t want to eat at 5 star restaurants every night I have heard such magical stories about how towns in Colorado turn into a real life North Pole I just don’t want to chose the wrong one. Thank you so much for your help!!!
I’m looking for the most romantic spot for Christmas. With relaxation, bit of luxury, and adventure (skiing) what’s best? So many mountain towns are great but some are more breath-taking and romantic at Christmas..as long as there is snow and beauty we will be happy!!! 8)
Hmmm… romantic with skiing as an option. I’m going to go with Crested Butte. The town is absolutely adorable. Quintessential Colorado with world class skiing. For a romantic outing try Montanya Distillery for some cocktails and tapas.
If you’d also like to include some soaking into your stay, I’d recommend Pagosa Springs with skiing at Wolf Creek. You’ll experience luxury at The Springs Resort and as a guest you’ll have 24 hour access to their amazing hot springs. Be sure to book dinner at Alley House (very romantic).
Want a town with a bigger ski buzz? Try Breckenridge. More crowded, but there’s so much to do here. I’ve written about Breckenridge a ton here on HeidiTown. Just type “Breckenridge” into the search bar and lots will come up!
Hope this helps! Thanks for stopping by HeidiTown.
I know the list is a little older but it is still a great list. I’m going to try and do Aspen for Christmas either this year or next my other option is Ouray for ice climbing. My only worry is getting stuck due to weather and not getting home. Well on second thought that might not be such a bad thing.
Hi so we want to take our kids and parents to Colorado for Christmas. We want a white Christmas snow and lights and trees and xmas carolers What’s the best town to go to?
I”m sorry I didn’t see this comment until now.
No one can promise lots of snow at Christmas time in Colorado, but most of the high elevation mountain towns should have snow by then as well as the ski resorts, although there might not be snow on the ground, but there will be snow on the ski slopes.
Breckenridge has strolling carollers and is a delightful town during the holidays. Also, there’s lot to do there.
Ouray also is a very pretty town around the holidays. Much smaller than Breckenridge, it’s very charming and their Winter Fest is 7 weeks of holiday activities. http://www.ouraycolorado.com/t/650832/hbos-the-night-of/120
I hope this helps!
Hi, I’m looking into planning a trip for christmas so my kids will enjoy. Where in colorado do you recommend where they have activities for the kids such as snow tubing, sledding,ice-skating and christmas lights and fun stuff with a very much Christmas environment??
A lot of the ski resorts actually have amazing tubing hills and ice skating rinks, although some feel more like towns than others.
Breckenridge is a lovely Christmas town and you could take the kids tubing in nearby Frisco at the Adventure Park. http://www.townoffrisco.com/play/winter-activities/tubing/
There’s an outdoor pond to skate on in Breckenridge at the Gold Hill Nordic Center. http://www.townofbreckenridge.com/?page=1029
If you’d like to do something very wintry and memorable, check out the Nordic Sleigh Rides group – just outside of Breckenridge. We had a lovely experience there. http://coloradosleighrides.com/
Let me know if you have any other questions, Daisy. Breckenridge is just one of many wonderful Christmas destinations with all of the things you are looking for.
Hi, i am planning a trip to Denver and then to Estes Park with elderly and a kid the week before christmas. But wondering if there are enough things to do for two days since we wont be able to do too much hiking. And is Georgetwon worth going since we will miss the Christmas market? I am coming from CA so would like to experience small town christmas with snow if possible. Thanks!!
Might I suggest checking out the Denver Christkindl Market? Not too much walking and a great entertainment tent with lots of wonderful German music and dancing. It’s the perfect way to get into the spirit of the season.
Estes Park is a nice little Christmas town. If you want to go somewhere with more of a chance of snow, I’d suggest Breckenridge. It’s simply gorgeous all decked out for the holidays.
Georgetown is quite small and manageable, but as to whether there will be snow, that’s unlikely. Same with Estes, unless you get lucky! We are supposed to have a very snowy winter, so you just never know.
I’m sure you’ll have fun whatever you chose to do. Can’t really go wrong with any of those towns. Hope this was helpful!
If you do end up in Georgetown, don’t miss Hotel de Paris. It’s probably my favorite house museum in the country.
Hi, thank you very much for your suggestion. Denver Christkindl Market looks very nice. That’s exactly what I am looking for. Something that really can get into the spirit of the season!!
Northern Colorado including Berthoud and Loveland are also nice. If you go to Estes Park you have to try and stay at the Stanley Hotel (stanleyhotel.com). I love history and that place has a lot of it to tell.
Hello, there, thanks a lot for sharing this outstanding blog with great info. I have heard Colorado best known for its many archaeological sites. Thanks again for sharing the Chrismas of Colorado.
Perfect list, would love to follow every inch of it. I´m a wanderer myself and I could put quite a few check marks to some from these list and still willing to see more and more. So happy travelling to all of us!
Nice Blog ! Try Snowmobiling in Grand Lake : https://www.grandadventures.com/snowmobiling/snowmobiling/
I’m quite surprised that Crested Butte did not make this list as it’s very charming and more reasonable to stay than Aspen. There’s alot of snow here today, great skiing (downhill and nordic), quaint shops, and plenty of good restaurants. When we flew here from Michigan (before moving permanently to Western Colorado) it thoroughly charmed us!
We live in Dallas Texas and wanted to enjoy small town Christmas (generally seen in Christmas movies) this year. Interested in more Christmas related activities, gathering, carnival etc.
I am ok to drive 10-11 hours for the destination.
Please suggest some small town accommodation link bed and breakfast or small house (do not want to spend the Christmas in hotel, apartment or lodge).
Forget to mention , looking for snow Christmas 🙂
Colorado is the place to go for romantic and a truly white Christmas with stunning twinkle lights!! Awesome list!!!