Hotels in Estes Park (Colorado, USA)
Hotels in Estes Park
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Estes Park - Colorado
The small city of Estes Park is the gateway to the Rock Mountain National Park of Colorado, situated a couple of hours’ drive north of Denver. Thousands of visitors come through the area each year and Estes Park is often used as a base for trips to the surrounding mountains. As a result, there are a variety of amenities to be found, offering a chance to stock up before heading into the wilderness and beauty of the national park. The city itself provides many activities and points of interest, with nature and adventure being the prominent theme for all demographics.
Exploring downtown Estes Park
Estes Park in its modern form was founded in the mid nineteenth century and has always been focused around tourism due to its picturesque location and proximity to the Rocky Mountains. The city is situated in a valley and thus heading up the hillsides in any direction can provide excellent panoramic views, plus is also a great way to understand the orientation of the city. There is only a small permanent population living in Estes Park, but especially during the summer months it becomes a thriving place with tourists from across the globe. The city centre is focused around East Elkhorn Street and the immediate surroundings; an area packed full of shops, restaurants and bars. The city’s accommodation options then spread outwards from here, with some of the larger hotels in Estes Park found towards the hillsides at the edge of the city. As to be expected with such a tourist-oriented destination, there is an abundance of accommodation options from small hotels and campgrounds up to the most luxurious all-inclusive resorts.
An array of cuisine, nightlife and shopping
Visitors to Estes Park are not short of options when it comes to dining or bar-hopping; there are restaurants, cafes and bars to suit all needs, with several international specialties represented. American cuisine features heavily with burger-joints and steakhouses plus local delicacies and wild game on offer, but also Italian, Nepalese, Mexican and Eastern-Asian eateries can be found. Similarly, the bars range from taverns and sports pubs to high-end cocktail bars. Shopping wise, there is a wide assortment of specialist outdoor stores catering to the hiking and adventure tourism market. Souvenir shops are a plenty, selling everything Rocky Mountain related, in addition, there are a few small boutiques which offer a selection of Native American art and cultural products. For visitors who are self-catering or needing to stock up before heading into the national park, there are a few supermarkets and grocery stores across the city as well. The compact nature of the area ensures that most of these amenities are within walking distance of any of the Estes Park, Colorado hotels.
Museums, historic architecture and cultural events
Aside from the commercial activities in the city centre, Estes Park is also home to unique, cultural events and points of interest. The Estes Park Museum offers a good overview of the city’s history and founding, whilst the Macgregor Ranch and Museum showcases the life of the some of the early settlers to Estes Park. Possibly the most iconic building in the area is the Stanley Hotel, dating back to the start of the twentieth century. Indeed, it is one of the most scenic hotels in Estes Park or Colorado in general and is consequently a very well-photographed spot. Lake Estes is another well-frequented point of interest with photographers trying to capture the mountain tops mirrored by the lake. Throughout the year there are several events going on in the city, The Longs Peak Scottish and Irish Highland Festival each September and the Elk Fest shortly after, are two of the more popular events, during which the city’s atmosphere is lively and festive.
Adventure time; hiking, climbing and wildlife
Much of the appeal of Estes Park is of course its proximity to nature and this forms the bulk of the activities in the area. The local wildlife is very popular with visitors, animals such as elk, deer and bighorn sheep can be seen roaming around the edges of town. There are also tours which help visitors get closer to the wildlife, plus horse-riding trips into the hillsides too. Fishing is another well-attended activity in the nearby lakes and rivers, whilst further afield there are also whitewater rafting and kayaking opportunities. The Open-Air Adventure Park, plus a variety of summer camps provide further outdoor, family-friendly fun. During the winter months, cross-country skiing and snowshoeing form the basis of adventure, ensuring Estes Park is a very desirable destination for outdoor lovers and families all year round. Moreover, there are endless trails, mountain climbing spots and other outdoor adventures to be found inside the Rocky Mountain National Park, many visitors therefore use Estes Park as a base to adventure from.