With a few days to spend in Estes Park, CO, you’ll have just enough time to see the area’s top attractions, explore the streets of downtown, and spend some time admiring the natural beauty that characterizes the area. A carefully planned itinerary will allow you to explore many of the best things to see in Estes Park, CO!
Where to Eat & Drink
Estes Park is home to three breweries, so beer lovers will want to be sure to stop in for a craft beer or two. Estes Park Brewery, Rock Cut Brewing Company, and Lumpy Ridge Brewing Company all serve up locally crafted brews and offer both indoor and outdoor patio seating. At Estes Park Brewery, you’ll find over a dozen beers on tap as well as a dining menu offering up pizza, salads, sandwiches, and burgers. Rock Cut Brewing Company and Lumpy Ridge Brewing Company often have a food truck onsite, or you can also opt to bring your own food or snacks.
While you’ll find worldwide cuisines and elegant dining in Estes Park, this area is most well-known for its wild game meat. Head to the Grub steak to savor plates of yak, elk, beef, and buffalo. With a rustic dining room, this is a quintessential Estes Park dining experience. For dessert, cater to your sweet tooth by picking something up at The Taffy Shop or The Old Fashion Candy Store.
Estes Park is truly an outdoor playground, no matter which season your day trip to Estes Park falls. Miles of trails wind their way through both Estes Park and the adjacent Rocky Mountain National Park, making it easy to find scenic hiking destinations to suit your time commitment and ability level. When snow blankets the ground, hiking trails turn into cross-country skiing and snowshoeing trails, and locals and visitors alike continue to soak up every moment in the great outdoors. If you don’t want to dedicate an entire day to hiking, consider exploring the Bierstadt Lake Loop, which is just 3 miles and offers panoramic mountain views. A good short-distance cross country skiing or snowshoeing option is Sprague Lake. Take the shorter route around the lake or do the 3.3-mile loop that begins at Glacier Basin Campground.
Things to See on an Estes Park Trip
It’s not often that a Visitor Center is considered an attraction in itself, but in this mountain town, the Estes Park Visitor Center is well worth a stop. This mountain lodge style building is great place to start when you’re planning the must-see places in Estes Park. The knowledgeable staff are friendly and helpful, and there is a wealth of information that can be picked up to help you plan your stay. The Visitor Center is also the hub for free shuttle buses that operate during peak seasons, so you can avoid the hassle of traffic and parking. Trailheads at the Visitor Center lead to the Lake Estes Path to the east and the Downtown Riverwalk to the west, both highlighted below. As an added bonus, the river and scenic bridges make the exterior of the Visitor Center a great place to explore, and it’s not uncommon to spot elk in the grassy area nearby.
While there are many ways to experience the beauty of Estes Park, some require more extensive hiking than may be desired on a short trip. However, there are still other options for taking in the area’s views that don’t require lacing up your hiking boots! For maximum views with the minimal time commitment, take a ride up the Estes Park Aerial Tramway, which whisks you to the top of Mount Prospect in a European-style cable car. Trail Ridge Road makes for a scenic mini road Estes Park trip, offering panoramic views of Horseshoe Park, Hidden Valley, and sub-alpine forest. There are so many beautiful sites to see in Estes Park!
Explore Scenic Paths Through Estes Park
Enjoy the natural beauty of Estes Park by venturing down some of its scenic paved paths. Encircling Lake Estes is a 3.8-mile paved path that follows the water’s perimeter, offering scenic views along the way. Especially when staying in an Estes Park vacation cabin on Lake Estes, this path is a convenient way to get out and enjoy a beautiful Colorado day. Depending on the season, hike, bike, or cross-country ski along this route, taking in scenic views of the water, surrounding mountains, and trees lining the path.
Another path worth exploring is the Estes Park Riverwalk, a paved path that follows the riverside in downtown Estes Park. This path makes its way by shops, coffee houses, and restaurants, providing plenty of stop-off points along the way.
Your Extended Weekend Getaway to Estes Park
Enjoy every moment in Estes Park when you book one of our luxurious cabin rentals situated on the shores of Lake Estes. These modern cabins boast amenities such as multiple master suites, multiple fireplaces, and a cozy outdoor hot tub. Come see why Estes Park is such a great getaway destination!