This summer, my wife and I are heading to Denver for a wedding. We will have 9 days in the area. We are going to take at least 4 or 5 to explore a bit of Yellowstone (3 nights in park) and Teton (1 night in park) at the beginning of the trip. The wedding is on Sat and we don’t fly out til Tuesday. Right now I know the Rockies are scheduled to play a home game on the Monday night we are in town. Any suggestions of things to do around Denver or somewhere within a few hours for Sunday?
I highly recommend the Clyfford Still Museum. Hopefully it will be back open.
If you’re up that way, I highly recommend Kalispell/the Flathead Lake area, as well as Missoula while in Montana.
Both have some really solid craft beer, and are really great small/medium sized towns with some beautiful scenery around them.
In Denver itself, check out the Red Rocks Amphitheater. A show is amazing, but just walking the venue and seeing the view is impressive.
If you’d like more craft beer recs, Denver is my craft beer home away from home.
Boulder is always worth a look around. The Chautauqua is pretty cool. We did Estes Park and a few sites within the Rocky Mountain National Park in a day. Plenty of dispensaries to see too.
My plan of attack for Denver is always to get into the mountains as quickly as possible.
If you have a car and want get into the mountains a bit:
Lunch/Brunch in Georgetown at The Happy Cooker.
There’s also the Mount Evans road. Absolutely spectacular views.
You could do either or both of those as a day trip depending on your time constraints.
If around Kalispell you must see Glacier Nat’l Park…my vote for most spectacular U.S. Nat’l Park.
You definitely have to go to the top of Pike’s Peak. I too went to a wedding in western Kansas a few years back and decided to piggy back a trip to Denver off of it. I remember it was sunny and 86 degrees at the entrance to Pike’s Peak park when we started the drive up the mountain. At the top it was 24 degrees with snow flurries. Absolutely bizarre.
Also agree with Big D and MarkR regarding Glacier Park. I took a road trip with a couple good friends out west from Atlanta after graduating from college many years back. Saw the Badlands, Yellowstone, Tetons, mountains through Denver, etc. Glacier Park was my favorite of all the places we visited. Absolutely beautiful.
My family went to Glacier twice, and I like y’all, recommend it highly. The Going to the Sun Highway is spectacular. I or we (do not remember the year) also took the cog railway to the top of Pike’s Peak. I have never driven it, but the cog railway was great fun.
Another vote for Boulder (about an hour’s drive). Best pizza I’ve ever had in my life!
But, so much to do around there. There’s so much that there’s even a travelogue about what to do when you’ve truly run out of time.
Boulder is definitely great as well.
And if you’ve never been, the drive to and scenery in Estes Park is amazing as well. And it’s a pretty quick and painless drive from Denver.
Been to Estes Park too. Yes great scenery, but the town is a pale comparison to what it was before they stopped the skiing in the RMNP. The Overlook Stanley Hotel is still well worth a visit though.
I was up there around Christmas a couple of years ago. If they marketed themselves on Hallmark as Christmastown USA, they’d be packed to the gills. It’s perfect for it. But they all-but shut down in winter which is so sad.
I suspect they like it that way. Gives them time to recuperate from the busy season when they’re overrun.
The Stanley is incredible.
The town itself is a gigantic tourist trap, but it’s still beautiful.
Been to Estes Park 2-3 times too. Beautiful.
That’s not what the locals were telling us. They used to be busy year round when there was skiing nearby, but now they have to hunker down and try to survive the winter and hope the people come back next summer.
So my Stanley Hotel ghost story is this:
We’d had dinner and were sitting in the lobby bar enjoying a bourbon by the fire. Perfect!
Then there was a blast of cold air - not wind - the air didn’t move, it just got suddenly cold for a moment. At the same time, a number of lights on the Christmas tree popped. The staff just brushed it off, telling us the lobby ghost is just always a little pissed off.
Last time I was there was in early October, it’s been 3-4 years now.
The place was a virtual ghost town. There were maybe 5 total shops open on the main drag.
Weirdly, one of the places that WAS open was the only place (at that time) in Colorado you can get Blue Bell ice cream.
Maybe so. I used to be there a lot in the summer and occasionally in the fall, way back into the 70s. I don’t know about winter, but in fall, the place was pretty much a small town. I’m not a skier, but I thought all the resorts were west of the divide and trail ridge road was always closed for the winter.