Winter Wonderland in Colorado
A fun video made by Eric to capture our long weekend getaway in Colorado. :)
Colorado is a very popular ski destination. I often see people traveling to Colorado during winter season to enjoy the snow. A few years ago, we took a trip to Colorado and went during spring time because I wanted to be able to drive a few scenic routes and hike a few spots that are only open during warmer seasons. I wanted to see Colorado when the flowers are blooming, the trees turns green, and the lakes/rivers aren't frozen and covered with snow. It was one of the most memorable road trip we've ever taken because we were able to get in touch with Colorado's nature. If you are interested on visiting Colorado in the spring and you are curious of how it looks like or what to do, click here to see my old post.
A Getaway to Winter Wonderland!
My husband wanted a long weekend getaway with a short flight from Houston. Colorado is less than two hours of flight time from Houston so it was one of our best options. We've never experienced Colorado in the winter, so it was one of the reason why we decided to go back and see how it was like. We stayed in Aspen the last time we were here, so we wanted to stay somewhere different. We booked a lodge north of Denver to experience the romantic, relaxing lodge experience in Colorado, but a couple of weeks before our trip, the lodge emailed us and told us they will be closed that weekend.
In panic, I had to figure out quick where to stay and we ended up booking a hotel in Vail. With a last minute booking, we were pretty limited on where to go and came across Tivoli Lodge- a family owned hotel that has a great history that you can read here. The hotel is located in Vail Village walking distance to the slope, all the shops, and to all the famous must-try restaurants in Vail. Vail is a very pretty town and a very popular ski destination worldwide.
Things To Do In Vail Instead of Skiing
Who said you only need to go skiing when you come visit Colorado? With no intentions of going skiing and not having the proper skiing outfit due to a last minute change of plans, we had to figure out quick of what other options that we could do.
Here are a some of the things you can do instead of skiing...
1. Stop by Dillon Lake - Before heading to Vail, stop by Dillon Colorado and get the view of the beautiful Dillon Lake. The water will most likely be frozen, but the view is still pretty spectacular.
2. Shop - if shopping is something you enjoy, this is your spot. People drive to Vail when they are in Colorado just to shop. Not only there's a shopping spot on every corner, the view of the creek is a pretty great sight to see as well.
We even met this cute dog who seriously walked across a freezing cold of water! Not only that, he swam in it!!
3. Dine - there are so many well-known restaurants in Vail and I have a list of restaurants that is a MUST try when you are here;
Almresi Vail - the cutest restaurant ever! It has a rustic mountain cottage-style decor that sets the stage for festive Austrian, German and Swiss fare. Our waiter was from Austria and had the Austrian accent going! We loved it.
Terra Bistro - Is an upscale New American restaurant that serves creative dishes with local ingredients and an essential dining destination. They also cater to gluten free, vegetarian, vegan, and allergy restricted diets.
Sweet Basil - though upon arriving without a reservation gave us a little hard time of getting a comfortable spot to sit, this was probably our favorite restaurant when it comes to flavor and just all around food goodness. Sweet basil is a trendy hot spot for creative, modern American restaurant located in the heart of Vail. They were voted Colorado's most popular restaurants by Zagat survey. I highly recommend to make a reservation to sit by the window and get the best view!
OH! and You have to try their Black Truffle Strangozzi!!!!
4. Go Snowmobiling! - the best way to see the Rocky Mountains. The view on top of the mountains with everything being covered in snow is pretty INCREDIBLE. It was probably my most favorite activity during our trip. You have a choice of doing half day or all day tour. It was a small group of people as well which made the trip even more special. You will see a spectacular 360-degree panoramic views of four surrounding mountain ranges including the Continental Divide. We booked through Nova Guides in Vail, which was pretty amazing.
What includes in your booking;
- Hotel pick up & drop off
- Snow suit & Snow shoes
Googles and Gloves are available for rent and is first come first serve. If you book a tour in the morning, you will most likely be able to rent from them. But if you do an afternoon tour, they might not have any available so I highly recommend that you bring your own goggles and gloves. Dress warm!
Walking around the world?
5. Have a Spa Day - Snowmobiling is fun but it's also a lot of work! You will definitely feel sore the next day if you have never done this in your life. What is the best way to release tension after a long day of doing activities? Get a massage and get pampered! Nothing beats a relaxing and comfortable atmosphere with a little escape from the cold by spending it at the spa. A few popular spots?
6. EXTRA! Estes Park (North of Denver) - If you have a day to spare, how about staying in Denver on your last night and drive through Estes Park and explore the North side of Denver? You'll be surprise of how much beauty the Rocky Mountains can offer! There are a few spots that you can visit and go snow shoeing at especially Bear Lake located in Rocky Mountains National Park. Mary's Lake in Estes Park is a sight to see!
Mary's Lake in Estes Park - Rocky Mountain National Park
Bear Lake - go snow shoeing to explore!
Colorado is absolutely stunning in the winter. We are so blessed and happy to be able to witness Colorado both with and without snow. I highly recommend to visit the beautiful state all year around (warm & ski season) to fully experience its full potential and beauty. It will never be a bad idea on which season to visit because you will definitely enjoy both!