Category Archives: Colorado

The Smokehouse BBQ in Winter Park, CO

If you happen to be in Winter Park, Colorado, you will find that there are a lot of great restaurant choices available. I happen to be a little bit of a foodie, so choosing my meals always seems to be such a task. What food would taste the best, and what will provide the tastiest experience. I just don’t want to regret any of my culinary choices, especially when on vacation. Life’s too short, always eat good food.

Anyway, whether you’re like me, or you just like meat, The Smokehouse BBQ, is well worth your time.  They have a clean and inviting atmosphere for dining in. They offer some great bucket beer specials during happy hour. This restaurant also offers take out, if you prefer a more intimate dining experience.

The waiter was great. He had a wonderful sense of humor and was fairly prompt about getting us everything we desired, except the bill, which took a little longer than expected. I have forgiven this little time delay simply because the food was that delectable, and the establishment was somewhat busy by the time my party left.

The menu offers several different meal combos, as well as sides. I went with a two meat combo which came with two sides. I chose the burnt ends and pork shoulder. My husband went with the burnt ends and brisket. He ordered mac and cheese, and I ordered the sweet potato mash and potato salad. All of the meat was exceptional. My favorite item was the burnt ends.

We only went to this restaurant once during our visit, but I was highly tempted to go back on more than one evening. Had there not been so many other great options, I would have found myself once again at, The Smokehouse BBQ, enjoying more burnt ends. This is a place I will make a point of visiting again in the future.

For more information on, The Smokehouse BBQ, please visit: http://www.wpsmokehouse.com/

Colorado In The Fall

Just got back from a lovely trip to Colorado. I have now visited in the early part of September as well as the later part. I have found that there can be advantages and disadvantages to both, but mostly these situations are due to the weather.

My family chose to stay in Winter Park. This particular location lived up to its name. We experienced a five-inch snowfall overnight and had to cancel some of our plans for the week. When we visited in the earlier part of September, we did not have to battle the snow, but again, this changes year to year. Sometimes you get snow, and sometimes the leaves change before you arrive. It is best investigate the situation year to year.

My husband, Neal, and I, did take a nice drive to view the Aspens, and while quite a few were losing their leaves, some parts of Colorado were still in full color. One particular location I would love to recommend for Fall lovers, is Aspen Ridge. The drive can be a little bumpy, but the colors are amazing.

Despite the snow, we still did some smaller hikes to destinations such as Magnolia Mill. Even with a little cooler weather, and all of the snow, it was totally worth the short jaunt. Magnolia Mill and Montgomery Reservoir look amazing with the snow glistening around them. They looked even better after my stepdaughter decorated the mountainside with a smiling snowman for future hikers to see.

If you would like to plan a Fall trip to Colorado, there are a ton of great sites that list hikes and drives to see the colors.  Please visit the following for further information:

http://www.playwinterpark.com/top-5-spots-fall-color-near-winter-park-colorado?utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Sept%20Guest%20Enews&utm_content=Sept%20Guest%20Enews+CID_e86868db63ed3eb8f0025a6896a0af11&utm_source=Campaign%20Monitor&utm_term=SEE%20FALL%20COLOR

http://www.coloradoan.com/story/news/2017/09/14/colorado-fall-colors-guide-where-and-when-go/659938001/

http://www.9news.com/weather/fall-colors/9-best-drives-to-see-fall-colors-in-colorado/315377917

Number 3 On TripAdvisor List

Just today I received an email informing me of the top ten, high end rentals, in the world, listed by TripAdvisor. Recently I have taken a greater interest in such things. It is nice to know where your travel territory stands on the list. My particular travel territory only includes one of the nominated destinations, though at some point in the near future I hope to expand to overseas.

I’m only going to give away the details of one specific location; I will list the origin for the others, but not the title of the accommodations. If you want to know the rest of the specifics, you will have to go to TripAdvisor and check it out. I will include the TripAdvisor link at the bottom.

The third location on the list is The Miner’s Clubhouse in Breckenridge, Colorado. I had no idea this place existed, but the photos are enough to make me want to grab the family and go. The views are stunning and the accommodations are quite exceptional. For those who love the mountains and snow, I can see how this place received a top spot on the list.

This particular domain will run you around $5.8k for a week. It has 5 bedrooms and 5 bathrooms, and it sleeps fourteen people. You have all the amenities of home, plus a hot tub that gives you an unimpeded view of the mountains and ski slopes. It even comes with a pool table for endless hours of entertainment. Check out the pics on TripAdvisor, they are totally worth it.

There were no other locations listed within the United States. The other locations were as follows: Italy, United Kingdom, Costa Rica, Ionian Islands, Spain, and Indonesia, if that gives you any indicator of what the type of place people are looking for when it comes to luxury. I feel that the Miner’s Clubhouse stands completely alone as far as the type of location and experience it provides.

While none of these locations will be on the budget based side, they will definitely provide some memories and experiences of a lifetime. For more information, please visit: https://www.tripadvisor.com/TravelersChoice-VacationRentals-a_Mode.expanded

 

 

Vacationing The Summer Away In Steamboat Springs, Colorado

Summer is in full bloom and vacations are upon us. Living in the Midwest you never know what the weather is going to be. It could be hotter than Hades, or it could be cold and rainy. You might have humidity that makes you want to cry, or you could end up with a day that feels like fall is moving in. Take heart in knowing that you can escape the madness by adventuring to either coast, or leaving the country completely.

If you are looking for a great summer destination with beautiful weather and great scenery, in the month of July, allow me to recommend Steamboat Springs, Colorado. Steamboat is a great location for your summer vacay, because this city has a little bit of everything. You will be surrounded by great hiking territory and a quaint downtown area that has lots of great food options as well as shops.

There are tons of lodging options in Steamboat. You can choose a hotel, a condo, or look to VRBO, which is what my family did on our vacation. We managed to rent a five bedroom home overlooking the mountains, on the outskirts of town. This particular location was beautiful and felt like home away from home. We had a hot tub, a horseshoe pit, a grill, and large open living spaces. Check out VRBO.com, sometimes they give last minute deals to fill their rentals.

If you plan a trip to Steamboat, and you like rodeos, you should check out their Pro Rodeo Series. They host a special rodeo event on the 4th of July. My family had a blast, and it was a fairly inexpensive and entertaining way to spend an evening.

Other fun things to do while in Steamboat are as follows: The alpine slide, gondola rides, bike trails, fishing, tubing, kayaking and canoeing, climbing, zip lining, the water park, and the hot springs. If you like the outdoors, you will find plenty to do in and around this town; there are many more options than what I named above.

While we were out hiking in July we did see quite a few wild flowers. There are nearby hikes that include waterfall destinations. If you don’t feel like hiking, there are also some scenic drives that will provide you with some great views and photographs.

While I have only visited Steamboat once, just thinking back to our last trip there makes me want to return. The feel of the town is small, but also clean and crisp. You can breathe in that mountain air and enjoy the river running along the edge of town. The feeling is serene.

For more information on Steamboat Springs, please visit: http://www.steamboatchamber.com/discover-steamboat

http://www.steamboatchamber.com/discover-steamboat/western/rodeo

 

Rocky Mountain National Park: A Favored Scenic Destination

Over the past few years I have spent a decent amount of time visiting Colorado. From the first time I saw the mountains, I knew I was hooked. It wasn’t until about four years ago that I visited Rocky Mountain National Park for the first time, but it quickly became one of my favorite repeat destinations.

To me, Rocky Mountain National Park is worth the drive even if I am staying in a hotel that is a few hours away. If you choose to do a day trip to the park, be sure to arrive early in the day so that you can take full advantage of all of the scenery. In all honesty there is no way to do everything within the park in one day. There are just too many trails and roads to travel. Ideally a person would want to stay somewhere within Estes Park and spend several days exploring Rocky Mountain National.

One of my favorite hikes in the park is the Alluvial Fan. This is a large beautiful waterfall that fans out as it flows down the mountainside. Definitely be sure to wear a decent pair of hiking boots if you choose to hike up the waterfall, because you may encounter some wet rocks. The views from different points are awesome. There are many great photo opportunities on this hike.

Just the drive alone through the park is amazing. There are so many different animals to encounter. I have previously seen moose, elk, black bear, prong horn, mule deer, and a variety of different birds. Dusk is definitely a great time to go for a drive, because animal activity has a tendency to pick up.

Other than animals, the views are breathtaking. I could photograph the different points in Rocky Mountain National Park at all different hours of the day on a regular basis and I would never become bored. The views are ever changing due to the sunlight, clouds, time of day, and time of year. Definitely bring your camera because you will see some very impressive mountain scenery.

I highly recommend that you both drive through the different scenic roads in the park, as well as get out and explore. There are plenty of things to see and do. If you are not sure where to begin, the visitor’s center is always a great choice. The visitor centers can give you information about the different hikes and often tell you where certain animals may have been spotted.

For more information on Rocky Mountain National Park, please visit: https://www.nps.gov/romo/planyourvisit/basicinfo.htm

 

Visiting Keystone, Colorado

If you are planning a trip to Colorado and you are looking for a great location for hiking and fun activities, Keystone is a wonderful place to be. My family has stayed in Keystone, Colorado on many occasions and it has been a great deal of fun every time.

Keystone offers many different VRBO rental options that will put you either on the edge of town, or right at the base of the ski lifts. You can easily find a place to accommodate anywhere from two to sixteen people, and maybe even more. You can find places that are in the middle of it all, or a little more secluded for a more private vacation.

Last summer my husband’s family took a trip to Keystone, there were fourteen of us. We stayed in two large beautiful condos that were right next to each other. Each condo had its own hot tub as well as large beautiful kitchen and living room. The location was great because it was right on the edge of town but within walking distance of restaurants and liquor stores.

You will find many shops, restaurants, and activities in the Keystone town square. You can play giant versions of chess and checkers and sit by fire pits in the evening. Sometimes they even hold special events and festivals in this area. If you are able to endure the height, you can also walk to the gondolas and take a trip to the top where you will find a restaurant and other fun outdoor games to partake in.

If you want to go hiking there are tons of great trails nearby. Keystone is only about forty-five minutes from Breckenridge, which is also near a lot of great trails, and it’s a great town to explore.

For more information on Keystone, Colorado, please visit: http://www.colorado.com/cities-and-towns/keystone

 

Outdoor Activities To Add To Your Mountain Adventures

Sometimes when on vacation in the mountains I get a craving for something more than just a hike or off-roading. Perhaps I want to relax while still doing something fun and enjoying the scenery. There are so many activities that provide excitement and views without a ton of exertion on your whole body. On the opposite end of the spectrum, there are a ton of other activities that still provide great views, are different than the norm, and give you a great workout.

A few of the things I have looked into have been gondola rides, horseback riding, alpine coasters, and boat rentals. Most often if you are in mountain territory during the summer, you will be able to locate some or even all of these activities. If you want something more exciting and strenuous though, I would look into white water rafting, mountain biking, or zip-lining.

While visiting the ski towns, you can often get free gondola rides at some locations, on certain days of the week. Keystone and Breckenridge, Colorado have previously offered a day when you can ride the gondola to the top of the mountain for free. When you get to the top in Keystone you have the chance to do all kinds of fun outdoor games, have some drinks, sit and enjoy the views, or eat a meal at the restaurant. You could spend hours up there just wandering around.

While visiting Pigeon Forge, Tennessee, my husband and I, took time to do lots of different outdoor activities. We rented a pontoon and spent the day on the river. It was beautiful and we were able to enjoy some swimming as well. On the other end of the spectrum, we also went whitewater rafting, which was a blast. We rode two different alpine coasters, which are like roller coasters, but you have your own car and you control how fast you go. We tried out Goat’s On the Roof Alpine Coaster and the Smoky Mountain Alpine Coaster. I enjoyed both but I think the Smoky Mountain Alpine Coaster was my favorite, though you were able to feed goats at Goat’s On the Roof, so that makes both totally worth it in my book.

On two different trips to Colorado I went horseback riding on the mountainside. The ride was great because you have a chance to see all types of wildlife as well as get some great photo views. I recommend riding earlier in the day because there is something serene about the earlier hours meandering through the mountains.

I can’t forget to mention taking a trip to the hot springs. While in Steamboat my family decided we would spend an afternoon relaxing at Strawberry Park Hot Springs. This particular park is very family friendly and has a more natural look to it. There are several different pools all at varying temperatures. We had a great time though the place was most definitely on the packed side.

When you travel, don’t forget about all of the other amazing outdoor adventures you can partake in. There is way more to the mountains than just hiking and off-roading, although hiking and off-roading are pretty great. Try something new; you never know you may find a new activity that you just can’t resist doing over and over again in the future. To you and yours, happy hiking and exploring!

For a little extra information, please visit: http://strawberryhotsprings.com/facilities/

http://www.coloradoan.com/story/sports/outdoors/2015/01/14/visit-one-family-friendly-hot-springs/21767959/

http://www.smokymountainalpinecoaster.com/

http://thecoastertn.com/

http://www.keystoneresort.com/activities/summer-activities.aspx?page=viewall&CMPID=PPC_DEST_KEYSTONE

http://breckstables.com/

http://www.horsebackestespark.com/