Glenwood Springs never gets old, and yet it is old. In fact, it’s brimming with Colorado history, and it plays a role in the history of my life. I have been visiting for just over a quarter of a century and Ryan’s been traveling there his entire life. We simply love it.
Here is what we did in Glenwood Springs on our most recent trip this April.
We sailed into town around lunchtime and went to my favorite spot in Glenwood Springs, Slope & Hatch. They serve tacos and hot dogs and this restaurant is tiny. As soon as walking in, grab a table because there are only a few. Only once you’ve secured a table, get up and order.
I love the calamari tacos because this is the only place I’ve seen them outside of Mexico. Ryan got the Asada nachos and they were loaded with meat and lots of fresh jalapenos. This visit, I bought a T-shirt. It’s about time I had one because we’ve been going here (and sending people here) since it opened in 2014.
After tacos, we went to Casey’s Brewing, established in 2013. I have no idea why we haven’t been to this spot given our history with this town. However, before 2019, they were located six miles from downtown. That may be why, but now that they have a taproom on Grand Avenue, we went, and we are very glad we did. This spot is comfy, the beer is delicious and the beer menu is extensive. We stayed much longer than we intended.
For dinner, we ate at The Pullman for the first time. We were happy we’d made a reservation as the place was packed. Popular with locals and tourists alike, The Pullman is situated right on 7th Street, an easy walk from most hotels, and just a walking bridge away from where we were staying, Hotel Colorado. I enjoyed the special soup, a pozole, seldom on menus in my part of Colorado.
We’d been spending time off and on in our spacious Premier Parlor Suite at Hotel Colorado. We’ve stayed here several times previously and this is Ryan’s undisputed favorite hotel in Colorado. However, Hotel Colorado has undergone a multi-million dollar renovation since we last stayed, so he was worried. Would the historical integrity of the place be lost? This was his biggest concern.
It has not been lost. The renovation is exceptional. In fact, in many ways, it simply improved what was already there. After all, this 130-year-old hotel has good bones. Instead of covering up the history here, during the renovation, they revealed even more of the hotel’s glorious past. For instance, four brick fireplaces that had been sealed up behind plaster, are now uncovered.
Our suite had two rooms plus the bathroom. The light in this premier parlor suite with a king bed was what I loved the most. Located in an end unit there are lots of windows.
The space didn’t feel old and dingy, but elegant and old-fashion in a stately way. As we walked around the property, inside and out, we realized that the narrative of Colorado’s vibrant past is still being told here, and new stories are being made by each guest that graces the large hallways or the expansive, fireplace-heated lobby.
The two next days, we enjoyed breakfast in the hotel dining room. In the brightly lit solarium-style space, guests can eat breakfast, lunch and dinner. Breakfast was our favorite, although the stuffed trout at dinner is delicious. However, if you must choose a meal to have here, I highly recommended breakfast.
This was our pool day and we intended to make the most of it, heading to the Glenwood Hot Springs Pool when they opened at 9 a.m. At this time of day, even on a Saturday, it was a peaceful soak, with an occasional cloud blocking the sun and releasing a wee bit of participation, once in the form of snow.
We took a break from soaking, stamping our hands so we could get back in the pool later. We headed to lunch at 19th Street Diner, which is my pick for affordability in Glenwood Springs. Plus, the staff couldn’t be nicer. If you like an all-American style diner with things like history, patty melts and breakfast served all day (plus beer), this is the spot.
To work off the calories from our burgers, after lunch, we hiked the hill to Linwood Cemetery, something we hadn’t done in Glenwood Springs for more than 20 years. It’s a cemetery brimming with history, and yet the highlight was actually Annie’s Wishing Tree which we passed on the way up.
A memorial to Annie, who lost her life to cancer, now, people tie fabric to this tree as a way to remember someone they have lost to cancer. As we all have something in our lives we’ve either lost to cancer or who is currently battling cancer, it is a moving encounter.
The cemetery, where Doc Holliday is buried was less interesting to us this time around. The stone we remember as erected in his memory is actually new since our last visit and is boring. The one we remember was vandalized and now resides at Bullocks Western Store. Go to this store for rodeo attire or if you’re attending a “Yellowstone” screening, or need a pair of cowboy boots.
The store is next to the historic Doc Holliday’s Saloon, where I may have or may have not had a whiskey. The store is also home to a great little Doc Holliday Museum worth a gander, especially if you like Wild West history and/or the movie “Tombstone.”
The rest of our trip is a blur of ice cream at Sundae (yum) and more soaking. We soaked so long that our hands looked as old as the Glenwood Hot Springs Pool which is 135 years old.
By the way, we have a Glenwood Spring tradition which involves going to Book Grove. Nearly 20 years ago, Ryan discovered an old version of the “Lord of the Rings” books at an antique store in Glenwood Springs. He already had started a small collection of LOTRs books and happily added this one.
Then, on a different trip, he found another copy of the three volumes of LOTRs at Book Grove. So back we go, every time we’re in town, to see what other gems we can find (which of course, includes the possibility that he’ll discover an old set of LOTRs books). And yes, we walked out with purchases, although this time no LOTR books.
Glenwood Springs is part of Colorado’s history and by going there so many times, it’s definitely become part of our history too. Time to make it part of yours.
Here are a few more photos I couldn’t squeeze in above.