Have the holidays worn you out? Need a little escape to celebrate the New Year? Looking for a change of scenery? Consider a weekend getaway!
While we still have to be diligent about our social distancing, that’s no excuse not to explore some of the great getaway destinations in our beloved state. Thankfully, some of the most picturesque and delightful vacation spots are just hours away from Denver.
Whether your interest is piqued by natural hot springs, ski slopes, cross country skiing or just sleeping in and being pampered, there are some pretty awesome places to make it happen in our home state. Here are a few of Usaj Realty’s favorite getaway destinations that are sure to jump start your 2021.
As one of Colorado’s signature hotels and resorts, the Broadmoor is a real treat regardless of the season. During January and February, the Broadmoor is offering special discounted rates for Colorado residents. For Sunday through Thursday night stays, you’ll be treated to five-star service and accommodations starting as low at $159 per night. Here’s your chance to experience the charm of one of the Centennial State’s most iconic hotels at the foot of picturesque Cheyenne Mountain. The Broadmoor offers a full-slate of amenities including an indoor spa pool and outdoor heated lap pool as well as a whirlpool, spa treatments and fine dining. Colorado Springs is home to dozens of great things to do including the scenic Garden of the Gods, Seven Falls, Cave of the Winds, Manitou Cliff Dwellings and the Royal Gorge Bridge in nearby Canon City. Winter is an excellent time to explore these must-see Colorado attractions, especially with fewer crowds.
Like the Broadmoor, Devil’s Thumb Ranch is another luxury Colorado experience that shouldn’t be missed. Tucked away at the foot of the Arapaho-Roosevelt National Forest outside Winter Park, this peaceful haven is a crown jewel among the most discriminating travelers. Offering a wide range of activities and accommodations, you’re sure to find the perfect combination to make your stay memorable. Choose from impeccable lodge rooms to private cabins and guest houses for the ultimate mountain experience. Winter is absolutely captivating here and you don’t have to leave the premises to enjoy Colorado’s bounty. A full-service cross-country ski facility is on-site, and you’ll have access to 120 kilometers of trails, ranging from easy to difficult. Furthermore, there are designated paths for snowshoeing and fat-tire biking. In addition to cross country skiing, there is an ice-skating rink, tubing hill, horseback riding and a luxurious spa where you can pamper yourself following a full day outdoors.
Far from the I-70 corridor of traffic and claiming the title of northernmost ski resort in Colorado, Steamboat has created its own special appeal as a true western cowboy town and cosmopolitan ski resort. Situated in the Medicine Bow-Routt National Forest, fans of this area love both the historic downtown as well as the trendy Steamboat Mountain Village, located at the base of the ski area. Plan on a 2 hour, 45 minute drive to this location from Denver, but the extra time assures you of an experience you’ll long remember. With close to 3,000 skiable acres, there is something for everyone but the gladed areas of Sunshine and Storm Peaks are Steamboat’s particular claim to fame, with “champagne powder” in the trees. Furthermore, after skiing or snowboarding, you can indulge yourself in the soothing waters of the Strawberry Hot Springs. Just a 15 minute drive from downtown Steamboat, these incredible hot springs offer a chance to soothe aching muscles in a truly idyllic setting.
As one of the largest ski resorts in North America, Vail attracts both the Front Range skier and snowboarder as well as destination travelers. Boasting over 5,000 skiable acres, Vail not only prides itself on some of the best slopes in the state but also offers incredible shopping and dining in its European-styled village. There is limited car traffic allowed in the three main sections of Vail: Golden Peak, Vail Village and Lionshead. Pedestrian walkways dominate the intimate enclaves, which features trendy boutiques, delicious dining options, excellent ski shops and services, and easy access to the nearby lifts. Even if you’re not a downhill skier or snowboarder, it’s definitely worth a ride on the Lionshead gondola to the top of the mountain. There you’ll have incredible views of the Sawatch Range including the 14,000 foot peak of Mt. of the Holy Cross. If cross country skiing is more your style, don’t miss the groomed trails on the Vail Golf and Nordic Course. Finally, since winter sports are a key part of Vail Village, make sure to check out the Vail Snowsports Museum. You’ll love the history and exhibits that celebrate the founding of Vail and how skiing and snowboarding have helped shape the community.
Located about 2 ½ hours from Denver in the picturesque Arkansas River Valley, Salida enjoys a temperate climate and a variety of winter activities. Just a short 20 minute drive from town, you’ll find the Monarch Ski Area, tucked near the top of Monarch Pass. This small, but beloved ski area, is a favorite among the locals as well as Front Range skiers and snowboarders who want to escape the I-70 crowds. The enchanting town of Salida is full of character and boasts dozens of boutiques, restaurants and bars. People love strolling along the riverwalk that parallels the Arkansas River, and be sure to quaff a craft beer at the local Tres Litros Beer Company. A short drive up from Salida lies the Mt. Princeton Hot Springs, undoubtable one of the best hot springs in the state. Immerse yourself in the main pool or in one of incredible “hot spots,” right next to Chalk Creek. The Amigo Motor Lodge is a fun spot to spend the night.
This boutique hotel in the heart of South Main Town Square in Buena Vista, Colorado is simply magical. You can either stay in the quaint French inspired Chateau or in the main hotel itself with the gorgeous New Orleans style wrap around balcony. Walk to a cute coffee shop just across the square, and enjoy a glass of wine or a full dinner on the river at the hotel’s resident restaurant and bar Wesley and Rose. Buena Vista, like Salida (located only about 20 miles away from each other) boasts a ton of activities for the outdoorsy type including white water rafting and hiking.
If you’re willing to drive a bit further, there isn’t a more idyllic vacation choice than Pagosa Springs. Its location in southwest Colorado’s San Juan Mountain Range is worth the extra driving effort as the scenery is out of this world. The drive over Wolf Creek Pass provides a spectacular entrance to this charming little town and its serene location along the banks of the San Juan River. Enjoy a variety of affordable accommodations, lovely restaurants and wide-ranging activities in the region. Following a day of skiing or boarding at the nearby Wolf Creek Ski Area, the Pagosa Hot Springs are a must stop. Providing a luxurious soak in multiple pools of varying temperatures, even the most discerning “soakers” will agree upon the nirvana effect. By booking a room at the The Springs Resort and Spa, you’ll have instant access to the springs as well as a dizzying array of spa treatments. Don’t forget that Pagosa Springs is home to many groomed cross country ski and snowmobile trails, dog sledding, sleigh rides, ice skating and much more.
These peaceful and charming cabins are located just outside of town, and feature 8 adorable cabins spread out over 10 acres. They are pet-friendly too so you can bring your furry friends. With some cabins with as big as 3 bedrooms and some as small as 1 bedrooms, guests can enjoy the scenic setting, a cocktail but the fireplace, and so much more. According to their website, “Combining rustic beauty with modern conveniences the Pioneer is a truly unique mountain lodging experience. Surrounded in all directions by National Forest, you can hike, bike, fish, ski or snowshoe right from your cabin door!”
The picturesque Bear Creek Cabins in Evergreen, Colorado offer 10 individual cabins to rent. Ranging from 1 bedrooms to 3 bedrooms, these cabins are located right along the Bear Creek river and all have their own kitchen and wood burning fire place. Located just 1 mile from downtown Evergreen and 30 miles to Denver, the location is perfect for that quick 1 or 2 nights away. They are also pet friendly!
Boasting 45 cabins on 9 acres, the Solitude Cabins offer scenic views of Estes and a beautiful mountain escape. According to their website, “Our Estes Park cabins are a four-season retreat in the Colorado Rockies. Solitude Cabins offers fully furnished, private Estes Park vacation rentals with two bedrooms and two bathrooms that sleep up to six people. Each tastefully decorated cabin is 1,200 square feet.”
Recently renovated, the beautiful Clear Creek Inn in Georgetown, Colorado boasts great views, private kitchenettes and the excellent customer service. Enjoy the rooftop hot tub and lounge and the short 1 block walk to downtown Georgetown. You’ll never run out of things to do with great skiing, hiking, and biking all a short drive away. Georgetown offers great restaurants, shops, and other local places to explore.
According to their website, the Flying Moon Cabins are “set on three acres in beautiful Clear Creek County, just 10 minutes from main street Idaho Springs, The Flying Moon Cabins is the perfect creekside destination for your next retreat.” These quaint and charming cabins were originally built in 1951 are located in Idaho Springs, a central location for much to do! The cabins start at $125 per night and are dog friendly.