Outdoor enthusiasts and indoor adventurers will all find their Memorial Day weekend nirvana just outside of downtown Denver. A three-day opportunity awaits visitors of all ages and tastes with activities ranging from biking through vineyards and climbing up a 14er by railway, to hunting for ghosts and reveling in relaxation. Break out the luggage and cameras and prepare for a weekend out of town.
Wine Country Inn
777 Grand River Drive
Palisade, CO 81526
Set aside this long Memorial Day weekend to explore wine country in nearby Palisade. Just before reaching Colorado’s high desert, you’ll find a perfect valley of lush green orchards, vineyards and rivers just waiting for the adventurous traveler. Rent or pack the bikes to cruise through the delicious vineyards and scrumptious peach orchards of this charming little town. Well known for its sweet wines and peaches, this little hidden treasure is calling out to be explored. Along with the famous Wine Country Inn, there are some adorable bed and breakfasts to cater to their guests’ every needs. Underneath these deep blue skies are at least 20 wineries and even a distillery to tempt the taste buds. Bonus, most of the tasting rooms are complimentary.
Glenwood Hot Springs Lodge
415 E. 6th St.
Glenwood Springs, CO 81602
The beauty and charm of Glenwood Canyon is just a little over a three-hour journey west on I-70. Visitors will not only be ready to beat the heat of the Front Range plains but they will revel in Glenwood Springs’ fun shops, restaurants and, of course, the largest mineral springs in the entire world. Just outside of town is the must-see tropical paradise of Hanging Lake. The hike is a bit of a challenge so be sure to pack the bottle of water and the camera for this getaway of breathtaking waterfalls and spectacular scenery. Simply a three-mile round trip, this is a steep climb just steps away from the relaxing mineral waters of the Glenwood Hot Springs Lodge. This lodge offers a lovely 107-room lodge, water slides and great seasonal packages in which to take it all in.
The Stanley Hotel
333 E. Wonderview Ave.
Estes Park, CO 80517
Not only known as the gateway to Rocky Mountain National Park, Estes Park offers everything like some of the most incredible hiking trails in Colorado, quaint and unique shops along the St. Vrain River and even the chance to hunt for ghosts. Must-see spots are, of course, the historic Stanley Hotel which is well known for being the inspiration for Stephen King’s novel “The Shining,” the Historic Park Theatre and a line-up of sweets and treats down main street’s shops and restaurants. Lake Estes awaits the outdoor enthusiasts with hiking, fishing and boating along the backdrop of gorgeous mountains.
The St. Mary’s Inn
530 N. Nevada Ave.
Colorado Springs, CO 80903
Just an hour south is a destination filled with glorious red rocks, fascinating caves and a railway to the top of the world. With plenty of activities, hotels and restaurants, the beautiful Colorado Springs area is the ideal Memorial Day getaway. Enjoy a few days away from the real world and soak up the majesty of Garden of the Gods Park with its myriad of hiking trails and photo opportunities. Bring the family to the Cave of the Winds in Manitou Springs to learn about the history of these creepy caves. Top off the weekend with an adventure 14,115 feet up one of Colorado’s most infamous 14ers, Pikes Peak. Many hike it and some drive it but most take the unique Pikes Peak Cog Railway up this incredible mountain. Reservations are encouraged as this ever popular journey takes people through four life zones starting with warm green plains and ending above the tree line with little oxygen.
The Lodge and Spa at Cordillera
2205 Cordillera Way
Edwards, CO 81632
Pass over the high-class and snobby atmosphere of Vail and find luxury and restful beauty at The Lodge and Spa at Cordillera in Edwards. This hidden gem offers a long weekend filled with glorious spa treatments, memorable menus and a cozy atmosphere of private balconies and crackling fireplaces. With both indoor and outdoor pools and Jacuzzis, hiking, biking and horseback riding nearby, this little-known resort will pamper guests at every turn. There is even an outdoor fire pit next to the pool where new friends are made and cocktails are shared.
Colleen Bement is a freelance writer covering all things Denver. Her work can be found on Examiner.com.