Colorado’s Greatest Road Trip #1 (We think so anyways)

Whether you live in Colorado or you’re just coming for a visit, the following places are totally worth the extra miles on your vehicle! From photographic nature scenes to small towns with great spots to eat, check out these places the next time you’re looking for some adventure!

 

From Colorado Springs to Boulder:

Starting from Colorado Springs, head north on I-25 for a quick hour and a half drive to Boulder, Colorado.

With Boulder sitting right at the foot of the Rocky Mountains you will not only find outdoor adventures, such as climbing, hiking and biking trails, but also urban adventure right at your fingertips. If you like shopping, then check out the Pearl Street Mall where you’ll find historic buildings filled with trendy boutiques and independent shops along with bookstores and cafe’s. Twenty Ninth Street is another a sight to see, offering amazing views of the flatirons while you check out high-end retailers such as, Anthropologie, Apple, Nordstrom Rack, and Sephora.

While shopping may be fun, we urge you not to miss out on all that Boulder has to offer as far as outdoor activities. Because Boulder has been deemed the number 1 sports town in America, we recommend coming here in the summertime to take advantage of the 300 miles of serene hiking and biking trails. If rock climbing is at the forefront of your brain then you’ve come to the right place; Boulder is blessed with some of the best rock climbing destinations in the country where climbers, hikers, alpinists and mountaineers from around the world come to congregate. From the Flatirons in town, to Eldorado Canyon to the south of Boulder Canyon to the west, there’s a plethora of outstanding climbs you wouldn’t want to miss here.

Where to eat:

Snooze an A.M. Eatery (Breakfast Only)

Jax Fish House & Oyster Bar

The Sink

 

From Boulder to Estes Park:

Starting from Boulder, head northwest on US-36 W for a short trip of 37 miles  where you’ll land in Estes Park, Colorado.

Located in Estes Park, Rocky Mountain National Park is home to some of the greatest hiking trails you will find in the entire State of Colorado. Estes Park also offers some unique attractions such as the infamous Stanley Hotel which dates back to 1909 and is known for being the location of Stephen King’s movie “The Shining”. Estes Park is a great destination town all year round, offering snowshoeing and winter activities throughout winter and spring, and more hiking and in town adventures during the summer. Also, let’s not forget about the changing colors of the trees during fall! You really can’t go wrong making a stop here, we promise you won’t regret it!

Where to eat:

If you like good BBQ, check out Smokin’ Dave’s BBQ & Brew (We assure you we’re not suggesting it because of the great name, although it does have a nice ring to it)

 

From Estes Park to Glenwood Springs:

Leaving Estes Park, you’ll head down I-70 towards Glenwood Springs for a drive time of approximately 3 hours and 45 minutes, don’t forget the snacks!

Glenwood Springs is popularly known for the biggest hot springs pool in all of the world, The Glenwood Hot Springs Resort, dating back to 1888. While relaxing by a hot spring is nice we dare you to seek out a more thrilling adventure by going to the Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park. If the name doesn’t say it all, we’ll give you a little hint, America’s only Mountain-Top Theme Park. Do we have your attention now?! With the nation’s highest-elevation roller coaster, cave tours, and giant canyon swing, people of all ages will be sure to have the best time of their lives here. After getting a boost of adrenaline from the theme park, feel free to check out the beautiful and otherworldly gem, Hanging Lake Trail.  Located off I-70 just 10 miles east of Glenwood Springs. Make sure you have your camera or phone ready, this spot is known for making epic photos.

Where to eat:

Slope and Hatch

19th Street Diner

From Glenwood to Aspen:

Approximate time: 1 hour

From Glenwood you’ll travel southeast on CO-82 to Aspen, where four ski mountains make up the terrain for the world-renowned Aspen Snowmass resort.

Aspen lives up to it’s winter reputation with it being the home of the X games; But that’s not the only thing that draws people to Aspen, it’s because there’s truly something for everyone to enjoy. To cross-country skiing, to snowshoeing or snowboarding, fly fishing and even hot air ballooning, and believe it or not, but summer offers even more outdoor recreation opportunities. In Aspen you’ll also find the most photographed peaks in all of North America, the majestic Maroon Bells. If you’re looking for something a little more upbeat don’t worry, take a short 20 minute drive to the town of Snowmass where Mardi Gras In Snowmass has you covered.

Where to eat:

Literally anywhere, and everywhere.

From Aspen to Ouray:

Now heading southwest from Aspen you’ll drive on CO-133 S for just over three and a half hours to get to Ouray.

If for no other reason than the views Ouray offers, you wouldn’t be missing out. The scenery here is unlike anything you’ve even seen, a small mountain town surrounded with 360 degree views of all you can get, mountains. Explore these mountains on foot, horseback, four-wheel drive, rafting or climbing. In winter, Ouray is nicknamed “The Switzerland of America” and here you will find the most popular winter attractions are the Ouray Ice Park and the Ouray Ice Festival. After soaking in all the activities this small mountain town has to offer, consider relaxing in one of the natural sulfur-free hot springs or chilling in a vapor cave.

Where to eat:

Backstreet Bistro

 

From Ouray to Telluride:

Back on the road to venture to the next stop, Telluride! Heading north on 550, you’ll then take CO-62 to CO-145 S for a total travel time of 1 hour.

Telluride is a charming historic town surrounded by 13k and 14k foot peaks which offer activities for both the summer season and winter. If you enjoy checking out the amazing views this place has to offer then be sure to make a trip up the free gondola ride. Telluride is home to the iconic Bluegrass festival that happens every June and the Telluride Film Festival that takes place every Labor Day weekend. People from around the world come to join in these festivities so put them on your bucket list if you’re looking for a good time that you’ll be sure to remember forever!

Where to eat:

Allred’s Restaurant (located at the top of the Telluride gondola!)

 

From Telluride to Durango:

Heading south for a travel time of two hours and eleven minutes, Durango is situated in the southwest corner of Colorado, just east of Cortez.

Flanked by dramatic landscapes like the Animas River Valley and the San Juan Mountains, there’s unparalleled access to anything outdoors here. Along with Western traditions and a growing collection of trendy shops and tasty food joints, Durango is the perfect town to visit all year-round. If you’re looking for a little extra adventure, we recommend checking out the largest zip line course in the world, the Soaring Tree Top Adventures! Located six miles from the nearest road in the San Juan National Forest, you’ll travel on the Durango and Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad to arrive at Soaring’s property where you’ll fly over 1.5 miles through the trees and cross the Animas River!

Where to eat:

Carver Brewing Co.

 

From Durango to Pagosa Springs:

Back on the road heading east to Pagosa Springs, an hour and ten minutes on US-160, just 35 miles north of the New Mexico border.

Pagosa is named after the sulfur springs where travelers from all over the world come to relax in these baths while the mineral-rich water continues to be celebrated for its therapeutic benefits.

Where to eat:

Borde Rio Riverside Restaurant and Tavern (seriously guys, don’t leave town before grabbing a bite to eat here!

 

From Pagosa Springs to Salida:

Now heading north for 2.5 hours into Salida, where you’ll find a dozen 14ers and countless hiking and biking trails.

And in the winter, get a taste of what all those 14ers have to offer in the nearby Monarch Mountain ski area. Salida was recently named a Certified Colorado Creative District by the state and is steadily growing as an arts community. Salida offers a fun family friendly artwalk, which highlights many local artists and is a hub of creative activity, including more than 20 artist studios and galleries.

Where to eat:

Boathouse Cantina

 

From Salida to Breckenridge:

Moving north to Breckenridge, it’ll take you about an hour and 40 minutes to reach your next destination.

Breckenridge, Colorado is made up of four mountain peaks, making it a popular tourist attraction for winter time activities such as snowboarding, skiing and snowshoeing. The quaint in town main street looks like something out of the movies and is filled with places to shop and eat. This little mountain town will always leave you wanting more but don’t worry, there’s plenty of Breckenridge to go around! If you like history, take a tour of the oldest museum in the state – the Edwin Carter Museum, dating back to 1875! If you happen to be around during winter, be sure to check out the Budweiser International Snow Sculpture Championships. And if summer is more your style, Breckenridge puts on an Annual Summer Music Festival that takes place on the Riverwalk Center. No matter what time of year you come here, you’ll be sure to find something fun to do!

Where to eat:

Blue River Bistro

 

From Breckenridge to Denver:

Venturing northeast to our next destination, you’ll take I-70 for an hour and a half to land in The Mile High City.

As you make your way to Denver, you’ll have many opportunities to stop and do some sight-seeing, such as Frisco, Georgetown and Idaho Springs, so take your time and explore more of Colorado! In Denver you’ll find a plethora of shopping locations like the Cherry Creek Mall and Ikea. Take a stroll through the Botanic Gardens, the Denver Art Museum or the downtown aquarium. Here in Denver, there’s no shortage on things to do, including places to eat and drink and adventure. Denver truly has something for everyone to enjoy.

Where to eat:

Uncle

Sam’s No. 3

Sushi Den

Yard House

Williams and Graham

 

We hope this blog post encourages you to get out there and do some exploring of our beautiful state and all the fun and exciting things it has to offer! If you happen to go to any of these places mentioned above we would love to hear from you and see your pictures! You can send them to our Facebook page or as always just come on by and say hi!