Sitting peacefully in the heart of the Colorado Rocky Mountains, Estes Park is a charming town that is hard to resist. Featuring numerous parks as well as other hidden gems that are yet to be discovered by a curious traveler like you, this place makes a perfect destination. It is perhaps best known for Rocky Mountain National Park. Actually, there are other interesting things you can do in Estes Park to make your vacation worth remembering for a very long time. You may want to spend at least a week to visit all the attractions. If you have no idea where to begin, you are in the right place because if you keep reading, you can learn more about the top things to do in Estes Park, Colorado.
1. Get a bird's eye view at Estes Park Aerial Tramway
You are missing out big if you set foot in Estes Park but only marvel at the incredible views right from the ground. If you already know that the views on the ground are incredible, imagine how unparalleled the views of Estes Park are from high above. See Estes Park from the top by boarding the tram of Estes Park Aerial Tramway. Enjoy the European-style cable car as you are taken higher and higher. Wonderful panoramas of the mountains, the treetops, and the clear blue sky are going to take your breath away. Why hike when you can sit quietly and go great heights in a tram?
Estes Park Aerial Tramway
Address: 420 E Riverside Dr, Estes Park, CO 80517, USA
Website: Estes Park Aerial Tramway
Opening hours: 9am - 6pm (daily)
Price: 14 USD
2. Try exhilarating activities at Open Air Adventure Park
When you are on a vacation, it is a must to indulge in a mix of activities. For example, you should enjoy exhilarating activities by spending time at Open Air Adventure Park. Your adventure will last for 90 minutes and during the period, you can have fun with features such as aerial tightropes, swinging log steps, rope bridges, and moving platforms. As long as you are older than five years old, you are welcome to have a blast at this adventure park. Since this place attracts people of all ages and is usually crowded, it is best to make an early reservation online.
Open Air Adventure Park
Address: 490 Prospect Village Dr, Estes Park, CO 80517, USA
Website: Open Air Adventure Park
Opening hours: 9:30am - 6pm (daily)
Price: 39 USD
3. Explore the historic Estes Park Museum
The museum is a fun place where you can always learn something new every time you visit. While in Estes Park, make sure to make a stop at Estes Park Museum and explore. There are plenty of fun and exciting things you can do inside the museum. For example, it is quite challenging, even for adults, to identify what kinds of animals inhabit the Rocky Mountains. What about returning cattle to their ranches? Do not worry, you will not have to return real cattle, just the magnetic version–but it is still challenging somehow. You can also learn more about the history of the town through observing a collection of more than 25,000 objects.
Estes Park Museum
Address: 200 4th St, Estes Park, CO 80517, USA
Opening hours: Wed - Sat: 10am - 4pm (closed from Sun - Tue)
4. Go horseback riding with National Park Gateway Stables
You won’t be going on just a simple horseback ride with National Park Gateway Stables. You are going to enjoy riding a strong horse through secluded but scenic mountain trails. You can choose whether to ride along the trails of Roosevelt National Forest or Rocky Mountain National Park. For nature lovers, both trails are highly recommended for maximum enjoyment. The riding options also come in various packages with the minimum of a two-hour ride. Do not forget to wear long pants and closed shoes for your own comfort. You do not have to worry a about thing because this horseback riding excursion adventure is safe and guided.
National Park Gateway Stables
Address: 4600 Fall River Rd, Estes Park, CO 80517, USA
Website: National Park Gateway Stables
Opening hours: 8am - 5pm (daily)
Price: 130 USD
5. Appreciate the scenic views at Rocky Mountain National Park
Yes, the majestic Rocky Mountain National Park is yours to enjoy when you are in Estes Park. The popularity of the national park is undeniable as it is one of the most visited national parks not just in the state of Colorado but in the entire country. No matter which direction you turn your head to and fix your gaze on, you will see only incredible nature. The magnificent peaks, the valleys and the wildlife are some of the most prominent features of Rocky Mountain National Park. Chipmunks and mule deer love to make daily appearance just to greet you. Watch out for other exotic animals, too, because they like to camouflage themselves or hide behind a big object like brush or trees.
Rocky Mountain National Park
Address: Colorado, USA
Opening hours: 9am - 5pm (daily)
Price: 20 USD
6. Ride a horse at Sombrero Ranch
Different ranches promises different experiences–that is why you also need to ride a horse at Sombrero Ranch. Enjoy riding a horse in Rocky Mountain National Park and observe its inhabitants from a close range. Along the way you can marvel at the mountains, the forests, and the water bodies scattered all over the national park.
Address: 1895 Big Thompson Ave, Estes Park, CO 80517, USA
Website: Sombrero Ranch
Opening hours: 8am - 4pm (daily)
Price: 50 USD
7. Enjoy unique experiences with Backbone Adventures
Dirt bike, ATV and jeep rides–how do they sound to you? Adventurous enough for you? Good news is, when you are in Estes Park you can enjoy unique experience with your new friends at Backbone Adventures. If you are traveling solo, renting a dirt bike sounds awesome. But, if you are traveling with family, you may want to book a jeep or a family razor that will bring you through isolated wilderness and present you with what Colorado has best: rich wildlife and those fantastic views of nature.
Address: 1851 N Lake Ave, Estes Park, CO 80517, USA
Website: Backbone Adventures
Opening hours: 8am - 5pm (daily)
Price: From 99 USD
8. Go rock climbing with Colorado Mountain School
If you have not had enough adventure already, you should also try rock climbing with Colorado Mountain School. Discover the true magic of the mountains as you start climbing from one rock to another until you get to the very top. You have to push yourself because when you reach the peaks, it is going to be all worth it. No worries if you never have an experience with rock climbing. The climbing activities come with different difficulty levels.
Colorado Mountain School
Address: 341 Moraine Ave, Estes Park, CO 80517, USA
Website: Colorado Mountain School
Opening hours: Vary
Price: 299 USD
9. Enjoy a spectacular drive through Peak to Peak Scenic Byway
Colorado is known for its many scenic byways. One of the most amazing byways can be found in Estes Park, of course. Seize the opportunity and enjoy a spectacular drive through Peak to Peak Scenic Byway. It does not matter which season you are in, the views will always be gorgeous. However, driving during autumn one trip that is not to be missed because only in this season can you marvel at the golden leaves of the aspen trees lining the roads
Peak to Peak Scenic Byway
Address: 72 CO-7, Estes Park, CO 80517, USA
10. Watch a movie at Historic Park Theatre and Cafe
Historic Park Theater is unlike any other theaters, it is the oldest theater in the country as it was built in 1913. So, make sure you experience the awesomeness of watching a movie in this theater. Check out what is playing and the upcoming movies on the website and book your tickets online before they are sold out. Another amazing thing about this theater is that it comes with a cafe that serves delicious cuisine, from burgers and sandwiches to soups and pastries.
Historic Park Theater and Cafe
Address: 130 Moraine Ave, Estes Park, CO 80517, USA
Website: Historic Park Theater and Cafe
Opening hours: Depends on movie
Price: From 10 USD
11. Take a guided wildlife tour with Yellow Wood Guiding
What makes this guided wildlife tour different and unique is that it is a completely private and customized tour. Do you want to see wildlife up close? Do you want to feel at one with nature on a scenic hike? Yellow Wood Guiding can make it happen for you. What is more, you will also have access to binoculars, hiking poles, and other gears so you will not miss spotting even a single tiny thing while touring.
Yellow Wood Guiding
Website: Yellow Wood Guiding
Price: From 255 USD
12. Go kayaking at Lake Estes Marina
Lake Estes Marina is definitely a must for those who crave for relaxation and tranquility in the middle of a clear blue lake and the majestic mountains. The thing with Lake Estes Marina is while you can just enjoy a stroll around the marina for the views, the lake is best seen on a boat or kayak. You can also paddle boat, canoe, or pontoon boat if you are traveling with a big group.
Lake Estes Marina
Address: 1770 Big Thompson Ave, Estes Park, CO 80517, USA
Opening hours: 8am - 6pm (daily)
Price: From 12 USD
13. Let your kids try pony riding at Jackson Stables
Jackson Stables is the place for young children to have fun and enjoy pony rides. So, if you are bringing your little ones along with you, make sure to take them here. Only children who are five years old and younger are permitted to ride the ponies. You can lead your child through a wooded loop trail, but there are also guides there to assist you. You can also book a horseback ride for yourself–there are one-hour and two-hour options for you to choose from.
Address: 9500, 2515 Tunnel Rd, Estes Park, CO 80511, United States
Website: Jackson Stables
Opening hours: 7:15am - 6pm (daily)
Price: 20 USD
14. Tour the exceptional MacGregor Ranch Museum
Another museum that is worth visiting is the exceptional MacGregor Ranch Museum. Gain insights into the lives of the three generations of MacGregor family through a keen observation of the original furnishings and personal memorabilia throughout the museum, such as household furnishings, oil paintings, and antique farm equipment. Please note that the museum is only open to the public during the summer months.
MacGregor Ranch Museum
Address: 180 MacGregor Ln, Estes Park, CO 80517, USA
Website: MacGregor Ranch Museum
Opening hours: Tue - Fri: 10am - 4pm; Sat: 11am - 2pm (closed on Sun & Mon)
Price: 7 USD
15. Dine on Italian cuisine at Mama Rose's
Italian cuisine serves up some of the best dishes in the world. You can try and indulge in delicious Italian cuisine at one of the best Italian restaurants you can find in Estes Park, Mama Rose’s. Situated by the river, Mama Rose’s features a laid-back atmosphere in a comfortable cottage setting. Favorites include Italian chili dog, salami panini, and of course, lasagna and spaghetti.
Address: 338 E Elkhorn Ave, Estes Park, CO 80517, USA
Website: Mama Rose’s
Opening hours: 11am - 3pm, 4pm - 8pm (daily)
16. Taste amazing wine at Snowy Peaks Winery
If you were wondering whether you would have a chance to taste some good wine in Estes Park, wonder no more because you can taste wine at Snowy Peaks Winery. All of the wines are carefully and passionately crafted with only the grapes that were grown in Colorado. Red wines and dessert wines are popular choices. You are also welcome to buy your favorite wines to bring home.
Snowy Peaks Winery
Address: 292 Moraine Ave, Estes Park, CO 80517, USA
Website: Snowy Peaks Winery
Opening hours: 11am - 7pm (daily)
17. Admire nature at Hermit Park Open Space
Time to reconnect again with nature at Hermit Park Open Space that boasts its lush ponderosa pine forests along with meadows and diverse mountain wildlife. To admire the beautiful nature, you will probably want to do some outdoor activities such as mountain biking, horseback riding, hiking, or even camping. Hermit Park Open Space is a great place for these activities–you can bring along friends for a hike, go on a camping trip with your family, or even go on a walk by yourself.
Hermit Park Open Space
Address: 17 Hermit Park Rd, Estes Park, CO 80517, USA
Website: Hermit Park Open Space
Opening hours: 24 hours (daily)
Price: 9 USD
18. Enjoy craft beer at The Barrel
You already know where to get good wine. Why don’t you also enjoy craft beer? The Barrel is the perfect place to satisfy your craving for beer. The indoor bar boasts 20 rotating taps and the outdoor bar comes with 64 rotating taps–an astonishing collection. Whichever rotating tap you choose, you can enjoy your beer either outdoors in the garden area or indoors in the hall area. Other than craft beer, The Barrel also serves distilled spirits, mead, cider, and wines.
Address: 251 Moraine Ave, Estes Park, CO 80517, USA
Website: The Barrel
Opening hours: Mon - Wed: 1pm - 11pm; Thu - Fri: 12pm - 11pm; Sat: 11am - 11pm; Sun: 12pm - 10pm
19. Get inspired at Enos Mills Cabin
Do not let appearance fool you. This attraction is indeed a cabin but inside, it is a heritage museum. The cabin belonged to Enos Mills, who is known to the local people as the Father of Rocky Mountain National Park. Enos Mills built the cabin himself in 1885. Throughout his life, he was an educator, a lecturer, and an innkeeper, among other roles. The cabin was transformed into a museum displaying many of Enos Mills’ achievements as a dedication.
Enos Mills Cabin
Address: 6760 CO-7, Estes Park, CO 80517, USA
Website: Enos Mills Cabin
Opening hours: 10am - 4pm (daily)
Price: 20 USD
20. Spend a day at Fun City
Situated close to the gateway to Rocky Mountain National Park, Fun City is a place for fun, especially for families with little kids. The amusement park offers loads of activities for family entertainment. Go karting is one of the most exciting and sought-after activities you can try. Take your friends along and go on a race to discover who the fastest driver is. It is time for a challenge. You can also try the other activities such as flying down a giant rainbow slide and jumping and soaring through bungee trampolines.
Address: 455 Prospect Village Dr, Estes Park, CO 80517, USA
Website: Fun City
Opening hours: 10am - 8pm (daily)
Price: 65 USD
21. See the stars at Estes Park Memorial Observatory
Find your way to Estes Park Memorial Observatory, your gateway to an incredible experience. The telescope, the mount, and the dome inside the observatory all work together perfectly to make sure that you can see almost any space object in the night sky clearly. The observatory also holds viewing sessions and all kinds of events to cotinue in their vision of education the community on astronomy.
Estes Park Memorial Observatory
Address: 1600 Manford Ave, Estes Park, CO 80517, USA
Website: Estes Park Memorial Observatory
Opening hours: Wed - Fri: 7:15pm - 9pm (closed on Mon & Tue, Sat & Sun)
22. Sample whisky at Elkins Distilling Co.
After wine and beer on the previous listings, the time has come for some whisky sampling and there is no better place to do it than Elkins Distilling Co. All the whiskies are distilled and bottled in the Rocky Mountains. There are three whiskies produced by Elkins Distilling Co., namely corn whisky with a combination of 80% Colorado grain bill and 20% malted barley, Colorado whisky with oak cubes and staves, and Elkins apple with a combination of fresh pressed organic apple cider, white whisky, sugar, and spice.
Elkins Distilling Co.
Address: 1825 N Lake Ave, Estes Park, CO 80517, USA
Website: Elkins Distilling Co.
Opening hours: Sun - Wed: 12pm - 9pm; Thu - Sat: 12pm - 10pm
23. See the art pieces at Aspen and Evergreen Gallery
Looking to have some artsy time? Drop by Aspen and Evergreen Gallery and please your eyes with beautiful and colorful art pieces. Situated in the downtown area, Aspen and Evergreen Gallery features an extensive collection of artworks from over 50 local artists. As you are roaming the gallery, you can enjoy handmade furniture, fused glass, leather work, and many more.
Aspen and Evergreen Gallery
Address: 356 E Elkhorn Ave, Estes Park, CO 80517, USA
Website: Aspen and Evergreen Gallery
Opening hours: Mon - Sat: 10am - 6pm; Sun: 11am - 6pm
24. Enjoy mountain views at Bond Park
Set in the heart of downtown Estes Park, Bond Park promises not only magnificent mountain views but also bustling activities all year round. There will always be something that catches your attention as you are exploring the park. From farmer markets and art markets to festivals and performances, Bond Park regularly hosts events you can keep posted on and visit when you’re around.
Address: 170 MacGregor Ave, Estes Park, CO 80517, USA
Opening hours: 24 hours (daily)
25. Relish American breakfast at The Egg & I Restaurants
You need something delectable and filling to start fresh in the morning. As soon as you wake up, set out and find your way to The Egg & I Restaurants to relish American breakfast. Just like the name says, the restaurant is all about egg dishes. From eggs Benedict and omelettes to classic favorites like two-egg breakfast and healthier options such as avocado omelette that is served with chicken, the restaurant will make your appreciate and see the egg in new ways with every dish. We recommend you to come early, not long after the restaurant opens, to avoid crowd.
The Egg & I Restaurants
Address: 393 E Elkhorn Ave, Estes Park, CO 80517, USA
Website: The Egg & I Restaurants
Opening hours: Mon - Fri: 6am - 2pm; Sat - Sun: 6am - 2:30pm
26. Have a pizza at Antonio's Real New York Pizza
What if you suddenly crave for a pizza in the middle of the day? Fret not because Estes Park also has restaurants that serve tasty pizza–one of which is Antonio’s Real New York Pizza. The cozy and friendly eatery serves a variety of wood-fired pizzas along with wings and subs. Highly popular pizzas include New York Sicilian and Neapolitan Pizza.
Antonio's Real New York Pizza
Address: 1560 Big Thompson Ave, Estes Park, CO 80517, USA
Website: Antonio’s Real New York Pizza
Opening hours: 12pm - 8:30pm (daily)
Price: From 15 USD
Sweet escapes in Estes Park
Now that you have seen just some of the things to do here, you can see why Estes Park is a place you should visit. The town gives you the opportunity to be one with nature, enjoy the museums, and try all the outdoor adventures available–a perfect sweet escape. If once is not enough, come back to Estes Park another day. There’s always something new to try.
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