If you’re dreaming of a quaint mountain town not far from The Ranch, look no further than Estes Park! Estes Park is a great place if you love A) Nature B) Shopping C) Sweets D) Aerial Tramways E) Miniature Golf F) The Shining by Stanley Kubrick.
Estes Park has a great (albeit touristy) main strip with lots of mountain themed shops. There is toffee, ice cream, fudge, caramel, taffy, truffles, caramel apples, and probably every different type of candy ever made. Elk and deer are a common sight in Downtown Estes Park, so keep your cameras close by. Ditch your diet and head straight for a buffalo / elk burger with freshly made salt water taffy for dessert. You’re on vacation! Live a little.
Two of my favorite Estes Park Attractions are the Aerial Tram and The Stanley Hotel.
The Aerial Tramway is exactly what is sounds like… a giant lift that takes you to the top of one of Estes Park’s mountains so you have a great view of the city and Rocky Mountain National Park. Bring your cameras! If you have kids or a childlike enthusiasm for rodents, the Aerial Tram is GREAT because every semi-intelligent chipmunk in a five-mile radius is on high alert for tourists with peanuts. They will literally eat the peanuts from your hands. And lucky for you, they happen to sell bags of peanuts at the top of the mountain. WIN WIN for everyone, especially the chipmunks. http://www.estestram.com/ 970-586-3675
The Stanley Hotel (pictured above) may look semi-familiar if you ever saw the Stanley Kubrick / Stephen King thriller The Shining. Unfortunately there isn’t a giant hedge maze (like in the movie), but it is still a stunning hotel. They offer a variety of tours of the hotel and Estes Park including ghost tours and firetruck tours. Check it out! http://stanleyhotel.com/
333 Wonderview Avenue, Estes Park, CO 80517 970-577-4000