Go Back  Fodor's Travel Talk Forums > Destinations > United States
Reload this Page >

Colorado: 1st timers need help picking a third "area"

Notices

Colorado: 1st timers need help picking a third "area"

Old Mar 20th, 2011, 01:54 PM
  #1  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Aug 2005
Posts: 656
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Colorado: 1st timers need help picking a third "area"

Hi all - I'm surprising my hubby with a 40th birthday trip to CO. We will be there May 28th - June 4th, so over Memorial Day. We fly in and out of Denver, and I am having a difficult time trying to organize my seven nights. We are a relatively low-key couple wanting to just get away for the week and enjoy some spectacular scenery. We enjoy museums, tours, walking, sightseeing, and fine dining.

This is what we have structured so far; would appreciate help figuring out the best area to go for our middle destination.

1 - Arrive in Denver Sat morning so will have a full day at our leisure. No plans for Denver other than to catch a Rockies game either Sat night or Sunday afternoon (haven't bought tickets yet). I would really love to do the Denver Mint tour, however it does not operate on the weekends, so that won't be an option for this trip. I am debating now either leaving Denver on Sunday morning, or staying another full day and not leaving til Memorial Day morning.... but then I am trying to figure out, what will be open on Memorial Day that we can visit?

Still not sure if we are going to rent a car right at the airport, or wait til we're done with the Denver portion of our trip and then pick up a car at a city location.

2 - After Denver (so either leaving Sunday morning or Monday morning) would head somewhere for either 3 or 2 nights. This is the part I most need help figuring out. What would be the best area to stay in for 2/3 nights?? I've been looking for a somewhat luxury hotel, so some of the places I have considered are: Little Nell in Aspen, Westin Riverfront in Avon/Beaver Creek, and the Broadmoor in Colorado Springs. So as you can see I am all over the place. If we don't stay in Aspen, I can't see getting out there this trip, but I would still like to visit the town of Breckenridge and maybe the town of Vail. And it does seem like there are a few things in Co Springs we would enjoy, such as the Cheyenne Mountain Zoo and the Garden of the Gods as well as Pike's Peak.

3 - On Weds, travel to Estes Park where we have a house rented for three nights. This is going to be the main "relaxation" part of the trip, as we got a house that has an outdoor jacuzzi overlooking RMNP... ahhh!! Can't wait. We will for sure visit downtown EP, and I also want to do the Celestial Seasonings tour in Boulder one day. Any ideas for the EP part of the trip that you would suggest?

I guess my main concern with staying in Colorado Springs in between Denver and Estes Park, is that it is not "far" enough from either to warrant staying in a third location. I.E., we could actually visit some of the Colorado Springs stuff while staying in Denver.


What do you all think?
jenblase is offline  
Old Mar 20th, 2011, 06:27 PM
  #2  
 
Join Date: Nov 2010
Posts: 10,782
Likes: 0
Received 14 Likes on 3 Posts
About 2 hours west of Denver on I-70 is the town of Glenwood Springs. It has the largest hot spring fed swimming pool in the US. There is a big old hotel next to the pool.
The town of Aspen is about an hour to the south.
158 miles from Denver to Glenwood and 42 miles from Glenwood to Aspen. 400 miles round trip.
tomfuller is online now  
Old Mar 21st, 2011, 03:42 AM
  #3  
 
Join Date: Jan 2004
Posts: 864
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
We stayed in Colorado Springs a few years ago and enjoyed all of the attractions you mentioned. A special favorite was feeding the giraffes at the zoo. I'd never been that close to a giraffe before. We also enjoyed visiting the Olympic Training Center there. The tours are free:

http://www.teamusa.org/about-usoc/u-...-springs/tours
Pat_in_Mich is offline  
Old Mar 21st, 2011, 04:01 AM
  #4  
 
Join Date: Apr 2004
Posts: 1,299
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Some things you might want to consider in Denver are the Denver Art Museum http://www.denverartmuseum.org/home -- they are open on Sunday and have a very nice restaurant for lunch--Palettes.

The Denver Botanic Gardens should be lovely by then and beginning May 1 will have an outdoor exhibit of the sculptures of late renowned Apache artist, Allan Houser.

Denver has many fine restaurants--please ask if you would like recommendations.

Aspen has fantastic scenery and is great for walking. It also has fantastic restaurants. The Little Nell would be a great place to stay.

It could still be chilly in the mountains late May and early June, so be sure to bring clothes to layer. The highway department usually get Trail Ridge Road (the road through Rocky Mountain National Park) opened for Memorial Day. There will still be huge piles of snow at the top.
martym is offline  
Old Mar 21st, 2011, 04:03 AM
  #5  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 16,219
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Glenwood is a good 3 hours from Denver. I believe Aspen is a bit north of it. Aspen would be a more "fun" place to stay, and pretty. The Little Nell is spectacular. There is also a Ritz in Aspen, and the Hotel jerome is an OLD old hotel with a lot of class which could be a lot of fun.
I am not a fan of Colorado Springs, and can't see much reason for going there before Estes Park.
I know everyone has their desires for a trip, but the mint might not be worth staying over for--and probably not open on Memorial Day either.
What are your plans for returning to Denver/airport? I would be tempted to head out for Aspen from the airport, and then see Denver things before you leave. The Denver ARt Museum is VERY nice--has a lovely restaurant in it. The Botanic Gardens are lovely. There's good shopping. And the Rockies, of course.
But between CO springs and Aspen, it's the latter hands down.
Gretchen is offline  
Old Mar 21st, 2011, 05:28 AM
  #6  
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Posts: 74,668
Received 22 Likes on 2 Posts
What a great trip! I'd definitely pick the Little Nell in Aspen.

Happy birthday to your DH!
starrs is offline  
Old Mar 21st, 2011, 07:38 AM
  #7  
 
Join Date: Nov 2010
Posts: 10,782
Likes: 0
Received 14 Likes on 3 Posts
Aspen is certainly 42 miles South of Glenwood Springs.
You have to go through GS to get there from Denver.
Many years ago, I had a tour of the state Capitol Building on July 4.
I don't know if they still do tours on holidays.
tomfuller is online now  
Old Mar 21st, 2011, 08:37 AM
  #8  
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Posts: 1,299
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Aspen for sure. The scenery in Summit County (ie Breck) and around Vail just isn't that spectacular, IMO, and there's so much development. Vail is a modern resort town crammed up against the interstate. Aspen, on the other hand, has beautiful historic buildings, good restaurants, culture, and some very pretty mt scenery nearby (check out the Maroon Bells area--there are some very short hikes if you aren't up for anything longer). You could stop at the Glenwood Hot Springs on the way, if you like, though I'd probably skip it during actually Memorial Day weekend due to crowds.
christy1 is offline  
Old Mar 21st, 2011, 08:43 AM
  #9  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 16,219
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
My total apologies!! I could swear every time we went to Aspen or Snowmass we turned right!! Still 4 hour drive from Denver even pushing the limit.
Gretchen is offline  
Old Mar 22nd, 2011, 08:44 PM
  #10  
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Posts: 213
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
I love Aspen, and I love Colorado Spring (esp. GOTG) but I think you're short-changing Denver a little. You could easily fill a week here, and I think two to three days here instead of that *third* destination would be great. The art museum, the botanic gardens, walking around some of the neighborhoods (Cherry Creek, West Highlands), Lodo, hanging out in Wash Park for an afternoon...

You're going to RMNP, which has some of the most fantastic scenery in all the state, so I'm not sure that another mountain destination is needed.

Yes, Aspen is a better town than Estes, which isn't much IMHO, but I don't know whether Aspen trumps Denver.

There are some fabulous lux hotels here, too, a new Four Seasons just opened up if that's what you are looking for. Plus, Memorial Day can still be quite cold in the mtns., and Aspen doesn't *really* get going for season until later in the summer.

Regardless of where you end up, I'm sure you'll have a fabulous time!
Back2Sabi is offline  
Old Mar 23rd, 2011, 03:42 AM
  #11  
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Posts: 621
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Gretchen,
You're not losing it all that much. When you are heading west on I-70 and get off at Glenwood Springs to go to Aspen, you DO initially turn right (north), but within a few blocks you loop around 180 degrees and eventually head south.
furledleader is offline  
Old Mar 23rd, 2011, 03:48 AM
  #12  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 16,219
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
OH, THANK you!! After left and right, I don't have much sense of direction--just want to get there!! LOL
Gretchen is offline  
Related Topics
Thread
Original Poster
Forum
Replies
Last Post
jeepyland
United States
24
Jan 4th, 2018 07:31 AM
freetraveler1234
United States
16
Apr 14th, 2016 06:55 AM
staci1
United States
8
Feb 21st, 2015 09:45 AM
6abc
United States
10
May 12th, 2012 10:35 AM
martin517
United States
8
Aug 3rd, 2005 01:25 PM

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is On
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are On


Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Do Not Sell My Personal Information

FODOR'S VIDEO