Estes Park, Colorado has long been touted as a great place for families – and it is, but it’s also a great place for couples looking for a romantic escape or just a fun, adult-oriented weekend.
Ryan and I first visited Estes Park in the late 1990s, a year before we moved to Colorado. We spent a romantic, wintry weekend soaking in our lodge’s hot tub while snowflakes fell gently around us. I remember thinking, “This is Colorado.”
Since then, we’ve visited Estes Park a number of times. Earlier this month we were booked at the Old Man Mountain Lodge at The Rustic Acre. As we drove into this historic property a deer ran up to greet us. She behaved exactly like a dog and was very excited to welcome us to Estes Park. I named this sweet and friendly deer Anna.
While the Old Man Mountain Lodge would be perfect for families, including the dog – it features two twins beds in the loft – it’s also a wonderful escape for couples. After all, there’s a jacuzzi tub in the huge master bedroom and who doesn’t love snuggling up in front of a fireplace with some warm mulled wine in the evening?
Estes Park is often considered a summer destination, but it can be delightfully cozy in the winter. Outdoorsy couples will want to try out the snowshoeing and cross-country skiing trails in Rocky Mountain National Park.
Another bonus of visiting Estes Park in the winter is that it’s a lot less crowded.
An excellent adults-only outing in Estes Park outing is a visit to the Whiskey Bar at The Stanley Hotel. This bar features Colorado’s largest selection of whiskeys, bourbons and scotch. The low lit bar is highly romantic too.
On this trip we dined at our favorite spot in Estes Park, one that’s good for both families and couples – Poppy’s Pizza & Grill. This place is affordable, has great service and serves up delicious food. Craft beer lovers will enjoy the beer selection here. Ask Rob, Poppy’s owner, for the perfect pint to pair with your pizza or burger.
If you want a full Italian menu in a little more intimate setting, cross the courtyard to Mama Rose’s Italian Restaurant.
On our first morning at the Old Man Mountain Lodge we looked out to discover that Anna, who was visiting again, had been joined by an entire herd of elk.
This huge herd was in no hurry and moseyed through the property helping themselves to Halloween pumpkins and whatever they could find in flower baskets. This is exactly the type of experience that keeps people coming back to Estes Park again and again.
We’d planned our last trip around the Fall Back Beer Fest, but there are other winter events worth booking a trip around. Check out the Visit Estes Park Events Calendar for all the fun festivals in town this winter.