Après ski quite literally means “after ski” and it encompasses all activities following a day on the slopes—but most notably, food and drinks. Skiing and après go together like hot chocolate and marshmallows… if you’re going to do a ski trip you’ve got to do it right! And that’s why we’re breaking down 5 of the best places to get your après on in Winter Park.
Sunspot Mountaintop Après
Our first pick is a real show-stopper—après at nearly 11,000 feet. Sunspot is located atop Winter Park Mountain and boasts 360-degree views of the Fraser Valley and Continental Divide. Hop aboard the new gondola and enjoy a sunset ride to this cozy mountaintop après. Snack on small plates and warm up with a steaming cup of hot spiced wine by the fireplace. Sit back as the alpenglow hits the divide, turning the pristine white snow to a glowing cotton candy dream. Once the sun goes down, the town far below lights up and the stars come out in breathtaking clusters; a perk of our distance from big city lights. Every Thursday, Friday, and Saturday Sunspot has live music to really set the mood. Stay for dinner or ride that sweet après wave back down to the base to settle in and relax, or head out for a night with friends, more drinks, and good times!
Or Pep’s, as we like to call it, is an après staple right at the base of Mary Jane. After a day of bumps, steeps, and trees, nothing beats pizza by the slice and cold beer. Home to Colorado’s largest mug club, Pepperoni’s is the quintessential ski bar and a time-honored local’s favorite. A haven for ravenous skiers, storytellers after a day on the slopes, and boisterous belly laughs, Pep’s is an après-must for avid skiers and snowboarders. After filling up on classic pizza slices and draft beers, leave your mark on Pep’s graffiti wall, immortalizing your stop at this laid back bar.
Deno’s Mountain Bistro
This historic restaurant has been a fixture in the Winter Park community since the early 1900s. Originally serving as a stage coach stop, it was converted to a restaurant in the 1940s and has operated as such ever since. With small plates ranging from tuna poke and wings to the Greek platter or margherita pizza, Deno’s has an expansive happy hour menu and excellent wine selection. As for the people, they’re just as varied as the food. You’ll almost always find a lively mix of locals and visitors— fresh off the slopes in their ski gear, or dressed to impress for a night out on the town. And that captures what we love most about Winter Park… the laid back attitude that calls you to come as you are and clink some drinks over a table full of food.
Did somebody say margaritas? Classic, blended, or flavored, add some chips and queso and count us in! Lime is a convenient stop right in the heart of the Village that features margaritas on happy hour (though they’re a deal, they’re not to be underestimated) and is almost always buzzing with the high energy of stoked skiers and riders, recounting their best laps of the day and “oooohhhh”-ing over the ski films on the bar TV. With a full menu of Mexican food and even fuller bar, this is the perfect spot to get your slopeside party started!
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Conveniently located in the heart of downtown Winter Park at Cooper Creek Square, Leo’s Kitchen is the perfect way to start your night out on the town. Snack on crispy Brussels sprouts while sipping craft cocktails, or fill up on chicken and waffles and Colorado beer. After you’ve satisfied your après cravings, you’re in the perfect location to peruse the shops of Cooper Creek Square for gifts, souvenirs, sweet treats, and more. With late night happy hour from 10pm-midnight, you may just end up back at Leo’s for round two before hitting the hay.
Looking to inject a little more R&R into your après plans? You’ll want to stay at Zephyr Mountain Lodge for slopeside hot tubbing, or Fraser Crossing/Founders Pointe for rooftop-style hot tubs and fireside chats.