Stanley Hotel and Garden of the Gods(credit: Colleen Bement)
Colorado has said farewell to the summer heat and greets the crisp cool glory of fall in the Rockies. The Front Range offers up plenty of choices to Denverites who need a relaxing getaway, hiking adventures and even ghost hunters all looking to create some amazing memories. It is finally time to experience the Rockies in the fall.
The Stanley Hotel
333 Wonderview Ave.
Estes Park, CO 80517
Yes, this cool old hotel inspired Stephen King’s novel “The Shining.” Yes, there are stories upon stories told of ghostly light and creeks in the night. Yet the historic Stanley Hotel nestled in breathtaking Estes Park is a must visit for a fall getaway. Guests are treated to old-fashioned rooms barely touched by time, yet relaxing and comfortable. That is, of course, if one can fall asleep after catching “The Shining” on TV 24 hours a day. F.O. Stanley built this incredible gem in 1909 which later sparked tourism and prosperity in Estes Park. The hotel has been renovated and still enjoys the same romantic ideals Stanley had back when he built it. Those curious for adventure and history can take the ghost tour to hunt for ghosts on their own and learn about the building’s history. Light up those ghost radars and EMF meters, learn on the phones and take a tour of this famously haunted old hotel. The tour guides are informative and entertaining.
Avenue Hotel Bed and Breakfast
711 Manitou Ave.
Manitou Springs, CO 80829
Nestled in lush green mountains a short drive south of Denver is the gorgeous Manitou Springs. Following a day exploring the Garden of the Gods Park, Pikes Peak Cog Railway and the fun shopping of Old Colorado City, Avenue Hotel Bed and Breakfast is a romantic way to rest up and rejuvenate. Served up along with a delicious breakfast are charming and spotless rooms among lovely flowers and green lawns. If staying with friends, no one has to quibble over who gets the best room. Built in 1886, this lovely old Queen Ann-style Victorian inn has seven different rooms each with its own claw-foot tubs and baths. Ideally situated on Manitou’s main street, you have the entire town at your feet. There is plenty to see in the area with the nearby Air Force Academy and the chance to journey to the top of a 14er on the Pikes Peak Cog Railway.
The Bradley Boulder Inn
2040 16th St.
Boulder, CO 80302
Mountain magic less than a 45-minute drive from downtown Denver, The Bradley Boulder Inn is a fall getaway well worth booking. Not only do guests enjoy a delicious breakfast, but they are treated to the Bradley’s happy hour with wines, craft beers, cheese, crackers and fruit. Location is key here, being just a block off the famous Pearl Street Mall where visitors will find delicious foods, unique shops, street performers and culture. Boulder happens to have one of the best hiking areas of the state with the Chautauqua Trailhead. Trek up what makes Boulder so beautiful by exploring the Flatirons. Offering easy trails as well as some for the more enthusiastic hikers, the Chautauqua Trailhead will guide hikers to incredible views of the Continental Divide as well as the plains below.
The Hotel Denver
402 7th St.
Glenwood Springs, CO 81601
Take a step back in time to the glory of Colorado’s mining days by staying at this fully restored lovely old hotel in Glenwood Springs, The Hotel Denver. History buffs will soak up all of the glamour and charm while still staying close by to the city’s famous hot springs. The rooms are clean, comfortable and full of the flavor of antique décor. The drive up to Glenwood Springs will not disappoint with aspens and pines mixed with the stark beauty of Glenwood Canyon. While in town, hiking enthusiasts can travel just a couple miles back down I-70 to see the breathtaking beauty of Hanging Lake.
Mountain Thunder Lodge
50 Mountain Thunder Drive
Breckenridge, CO 80424
Just before ski season arrives is a gorgeous time to visit the town of Breckenridge. Less than a two-hour drive from downtown Denver, the Mountain Thunder Lodge provides a getaway filled with the charm and beauty of the ritzy mountain area without the giant price of similar resorts. The wildflowers in the hanging baskets and trees of all shades and colors are still in bloom as fall serves up its affordable beauty right before the pricy ski season. A close walk to Main Street, this hotel offers luxury and comfort close to all of the shopping and restaurants. While the fall weather holds out, enjoy the hiking, biking, shopping and dining in one of the best mountain areas in the country.
Related: Top Bed & Breakfasts In Denver
Colleen Bement is a freelance writer covering all things Denver. Her work can be found on Examiner.com.