Travel Guide: Estes Park, Colorado

Hi y’all! We officially made it back from Colorado last week! Talk about a whirl-wind adventure. We were gone for 9 days, but it felt like it flew by in a blink. This time on our trip we decided to break up our trips to see our families, by visiting Estes Park. Brian and I had both never really been before, so we wanted to see what it was all about.

We spent 3 days in Estes, which if I am honest felt a little short, but we got to do pretty much everything we set out to do. And it was a blessing because right after we left, the wildfires in Cameron Peak got worse! Brian and I feel very lucky to have experienced Estes when we did. The weather was beautiful and there was hardly any smoke from the fires.

**UPDATE: The fires in Estes Park got a lot worse! We are praying for anyone and everyone that has been effecting by these fires.**

I still wanted to go ahead and share our vacation to Estes Park, even though things are NOT good there right now. I hope this gives you a glimpse of what Estes Park really looks like! xo, Nataly

What We Did:

Rocky Mountain National Park

This was the one and only reason Brian wanted to visit Estes. He is a huge outdoorsman and while I am most definitely the opposite, I still had so much fun! There is so much to see and explore inside Rocky Mountain National Park. We spent two whole days in the car driving around and hiking. On our hikes we saw a ton of elk and wildlife. The elk hang out around in the town of Estes too. We saw them every morning on our walks.

We paid $25 each day to enter the park. Everyone we encountered was following social distancing and we both felt very safe walking around exploring the area.

Lake Estes

My personal favorite thing we did while in Estes, was wake up at 6:00am to walk down to Lake Estes to see the sunrise. We grabbed coffee at Starbucks before the walk down the road. It was the perfect way to start our day!

Lake Estes is beautiful! This is where we found the elk each morning.

Downtown Estes Park

Estes Park has the cutest little downtown I ever did see! There are a ton of gift shops, ice cream shops, and outdoor stores to wander through. We spent a couple hours on our first night there just walking in and out of stores. Of course, I picked up a couple of souvenirs! I collect fridge magnets from every place I visit.

In the city of Estes you are required to wear a mask downtown even when you are outside walking around.

Where We Ate

Bird + Joe – We stumbled upon this place for a late afternoon lunch. We were pleasently surprised with the menu and options. You must try the Spicy Tuna Tacos and Smoked Brisket Toast.

Poppy’s Pizza – I am only including this restaurant here to let you know to skip it. I wouldn’t recommend.

Smokin’ Dave’s BBQ – We loved this place! You must try the Chocolate Peanut Butter pie…you will thank me later.

Georgia’s at the Lodge – Back when we were planning this trip I booked us a fancy breakfast at the Stanley Hotel. The Stanley Hotel is from the movie the Shining and is supposed to be haunted to this day. It was a spooky, but very yummy breakfast over looking the mountains. I would recommend making reservations.

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