Looking for a great place for a Girls’ Weekend? A bachelor party weekend? A place for the squad to get one more summer shindig in before work/school/life forgets the lazy days of summer and ramps back up. Well if Winter Park Resort hasn’t come to the top of your mind when thinking of booking a trip that extends just beyond your weekend jaunt to the high country, here’s a pre-planned excursion we’re sure will help convince everyone in your squad this is the must for your bucket list.
The following would ideally be built for a Mon – Fri schedule but can be adjusted to whatever you’d like, and depending on event our event calendar can extend through a full weekend with ease. Also, note alternative activities have been suggested to reflect Post-Labor Day schedule changes.
Morning: Adjust to Elevation – Enjoy the ride
Are you weekend warriors driving up from Denver, Boulder or somewhere else on the front ranger (even if that is DIA)? If so, we want you to make sure to factor in time for an adjustment for elevation (our base sits right about 9,000 feet). Take a break from the ear popping ride up highway 40 over Berthoud pass and park for some photo ops and a potty break for you and your pup.
If you’re used to getting up on the CO ridgeline, why not take this opportunity to hit the trail? The trailhead at Berthoud pass links up with the Continental Divide Trail, offering stunning views and unique experiences. If you’re ready to crank out a hike that will “make anyone’s legs and lungs burn” try 7.7 mi out and back singletrack to Stanley Mountain.
Midday: Lunch on the Trail or Grab Hot Dog before Check-In
After a morning of taking in the Colorado Rockies head on into Grand County (you’ll see the sign while coming round the bend of one of Berthoud’s curves) and then continue on into Winter Park. If you didn’t pack a trail lunch, or if you’ve already worked up an appetite, continue into downtown Winter Park. You can grab a quick bite and sit outside at Fraser Valley Hot Dog! Try one of their many gourmet hot dogs or carrot dogs and get a feel for the Winter Park crowd.
Next up is checking into your place to stay. If you’re looking for a camping experience, go pitch your tent at Idlewild, Vasquez Peak Wilderness, St. Louis Creek, or one of the other camp grounds in town. No matter where you decide to call home for the night, you’ll be in for a treat when you light your campfire and the stars come out!
If camping isn’t your scene, or if you want to just tag a camp out night on the end of your trip, make a reservation at the Vintage. It has dog-friendly rooms, so you can enjoy rest time with your pup, or grab a room at one of our Condo properties and be conveniently located in the Winter Park Resort Village and have access to multiple hot tubs.
Afternoon: Walk around the Village & Dinner at Vertical
Speaking of the Village, once you’re all settled into wherever you are calling home, head over to the Village at Winter Park Resort and get a lay of the land. Stop by Vertical Bistro and Tap for happy hour and dinner.
Grab a seat on their outdoor patio, and you’ll quickly learn why this stop is a year-round favorite. You can’t go wrong with the Avo-Rado Chicken Sandwhich or the Buffalo Burger. If you’re into sour beers, their Funkwerks Raspberry is the way to go for something a little different on draft. Otherwise, get their martini during Happy Hour for $7.
Morning: Trestle 101 Lesson
Looking for that new adrenaline rush? Already a seasoned biker? Either way, Tuesdays are your best bet for avoiding crowds and scoring a deal. Spend the morning testing our dirt, taking in the sights of the mountain, and trying a new sport! Here’s what it’s like to get out and ride ya damn bike. Or check out our First Timers’ Guide and you’ll get a sneak peak of what’s in store.
Still on the edge about giving it a try? On Tuesdays there’s a Buy One Get On 50% off deal on rentals and lessons. Just follow the link and print your coupons!
Midday: Lunch on Doc’s Patio
After a morning of trying Trestle, relax and soak up some sun on the Doc’s Patio. Put those Tuesday coupons to use again! Appetizers and drinks get the same deals.
We recommend the Pork Nachos – easily split among a group, and then wash it down with a classic cocktail or a New Belgium Mary Jane Ale. Also, sit on the outdoor patio and observe a good dose of people watching and flower gazing. The crew can all use Doc’s as a central meet up spot, no matter where their morning adventures take you, you can all regroup and refuel in one spot.
Afternoon: Resort activities & yoga
After your strength is restored post riding, grab a Pick 3 Day Ticket and spend the afternoon riding the Alpine Slide, playing Frisbee Golf, and get a little healthy competition going on the Putting Course. Seriously, our putting course is hard, so bring your A-Game and channel your inner Happy Gilmore. Tapppp It in.
Post Labor-Day our hours for base activities like the slide and putting course are limited, so if you’re still fitting in a fall trip, swap this out for an Enduro Bike (a bike meant for downhill and cross country trails) or a trail run on the Serenity Trail.
Spend the afternoon soaking up the afternoon sunshine in traditional Colorado fashion, and then make your way to Mountain Side Yoga at 5pm. It’s our free weekly yoga class that will help you stretch out after your morning of riding and/or an afternoon of physically demanding Alpine Slide action.
Evening: Dinner and hot tub
Post yoga, grab some delicious Mexican Food at Lime. If you skip yoga, you can hit Happy Hour (3-6) and score $4 Margaritas! Lime tacos are the way to go for something filling that isn’t too heavy post your day of activity. Enjoy their patio or the hip vibes inside at the bar.
Tonight you’ll be happy you’re staying slopeside, as you can easily get back to your condo from Lime and have plenty of time to end the night soaking in the hot tub.
Morning: Rocky Mountain Roastery and Rocky Mountain National Park
Try a special Winter Park Blend of coffee (plus a breakfast burrito or piece of bakery!) at Rocky Mountain Roastery. They are an easy grab and go option while en route to Rocky Mountain National Park. Before you go though, make sure to check conditions to be sure there isn’t any crazy weather, and note that there is an entrance fee for the park.
The drive is about an hour, but you do get to enjoy a scenic drive!
You should have an idea of what you want to do before visiting the park, as summer is one of the busiest times of the year. If you’re headed there in fall, you’ll probably see less people, but enjoy more wildlife! Here is the RMNP Plan Your Visit tool but we also have some suggestions (courtesy of the Winter Park Chamber)
First stop, Kawuneeche Visitor Center to get info and maps. Then spend the morning on a short hike, like Coyote Valley Trail! This hike is a one-mile loop, that starts just 5 miles north of the Visitor Center. Pack a lunch and spend the whole morning exploring.
Midday: Grab a boat in Grand Lake
After driving through and hiking around one of the most scenic National Parks in the US, you can trade the mountains and forests for mountains and beaches! Grand Lake has a variety of boat rentals: Stand Up Paddle Boards, Canoes and Kayaks, and Pontoons. Everything is located along one convenient strip of beach so you can pick whatever boat fits your fancy. Mountain Paddlers (the canoe and kayak renters) also supply dry bags, so leave bigger items in the car, and then pack along a few essentials in a bag that can clip right to your boat. Get your paddle on and enjoy your afternoon on the water!
Afternoon: Grab food and drinks in Fraser
If you’re back before 3pm keep the beach vibe going and on your way back, stop in Fraser for food. One Love will keep those beach vibes going with the Jimmy Buffet Pandora station, Caribbean infused food options (like an Island burger and Jerk Chicken) and beach drinks that will take you away to a tropical paradise. If you take more time exploring in the morning, stop by Crooked Creek Saloon. Enter on the Eatery side, and go to the back patio. You can play some horseshoes and drink a pitcher of PBR for $8. Their cheesy tater tots are also a delicious appetizer for a group to much, but you’ll have to get 2 because they go fast!
Evening: Fraser River Trail or Relax
If you’re still standing, congratulations! If you’re looking to fit in, even more, take a stroll on the Fraser River Trail from the Fraser side. You can enter just behind Safeway, and enjoy a pleasant, easy walk with great views.
If you’re ready to pass out, call it a day and relax! That’s what vacation is really all about right?
White Water Rafting is one of the best summer/fall activities to cross off your bucket list. It is thrilling and a great group activity for everyone to paddle together. Between the guides and the adventure, you’ll have the time of your life.
Book a morning trip with Mad Adventures (located in the Winter Park Resort Village). They can help you pick the best trip for your group’s skill level (or adventure level). This will be a highlight of your trip- but don’t take our word for it.
Afternoon: Stroll into town & High-Note Thursdays
After a great ride on the water, take some time to dry off and change before heading into town. Pick up the Winter Park Shuttle right outside of the Zephyr Lodge (comes every hour at 45 min past the hour). It is a free shuttle that runs all the way through downtown and into Fraser. This is the best way to get around for your evening activities- although walking/ biking the Fraser River Trail or just driving are also options. Before you leave, stop by Riverside Spirits, as High-Note Thursdays in town is BYOB.
Then walk down from Cooper Creek to Hideaway Park the free weekly music series. They have lawn chairs, but you can also bring blankets, snacks, and carry in adult beverages are allowed. It’s always a good time.
Evening: Music and Post Party at Idlewild
After music finishes up, grab a night cap at Idlewild Spirits for small plates and the best Moscow Mule in town. They make their Whiskey, Vodka, and Ginger Beer in house making their classic cocktail legendary. This is a must do in town, as our distillery is one of the top places in town, mixing small mountain town vibes with those of a chic LODO lounge. Don’t stay too late, and remember these drinks pack a punch but go down deliciously easy.
Morning: Wildflower Hike
After a night of fun, sleep in the next morning. But then it’s time to hit the trail. In summer we recommend a great moderate Wildflower Hike. In fall, check out these trails for great color. Not looking to go far but want something fun, try the Jim Creek Trail right across the street from the resort, or stay really close to home base and hike the Ute trail, that starts right at the base.
Midday: Village Stroll and Lunch at Backbowl
Regroup in the Winter Park Resort Village for soups and sandwiches at Backbowl. This quaint mountain themed bistro has a menu filled with freshness. If the soups of the day include their Zucchini Parmesan, get a bowl. And their Never Summer sandwich is a resort staff favorite.
Then explore the Village. Maybe top yourself off with ice cream and waffles at Waffle Cabin, or check out some of the summer sales at Columbia or Burton.
Evening: Winter Park Pub Crawl
Nightlife in Winter Park is pretty relaxed, but they still know how to have a good time. Put on your favorite flannel and grab some grub at the top of the Cabriolet at Five Mountain Tavern. Try a good ol’ burger classic or tasty fish and chips to give you a good base to start the night. With the strip of highway 40 that runs as the main street through town, packed with great stops and specialty drinks, you’ll have a good selection of night time fun ahead of you.
Take The Lift (The Winter Park Shuttle) into downtown. You can pick it up at the Vintage Hotel after dinner. Get the walking map and directions for the full walking tour here. Below is each stop with info and our menu recommendations!
What to order: Anything on tap is great. Really. Ask the bartender for tasters. This isn’t a cop-out, everything is just that delicious.
Vibe: Laid back and dog-friendly. You’ll see locals on two and four legs inside and out.
Must do: Grab a board game inside or people watch from the cool benches outdoors. If you’re lucky you’ll see the local dog giants. You’ll know them if you see them.
If you didn’t get here on an earlier itinerary, make sure to fit this in.
What to order: Moscow Mule (Vodka or Whiskey depending on your preference) and Truffle fries
Vibe: Mountain town meets Denver hip
Must do: Sit by the fireplace with your whole crew. It will feel like a personal party without the need for a reservation.
What to order: Looking for hops – Winter Park Ale | Want something lighter – American Lilly
Vibe: Upgrade your everyday sports bar by making them a brew house, and you’ll have The Peak
Must do: Play a game of pool or shuffleboard in the upstairs game area. You may have to rotate in after the local crowd though
What to order: Beer and bevs are pretty standard, but this place has a good selection of pub food if you’re starting to need something in your stomach. Mozzerella Sticks and Wings are good munchies.
Vibe: Mountain Vibe through and through. You’ll want to come back for winter apres.
Must do: Catch some live music on the outdoor stage and toss somebags
What to order: The PB and J
Vibe: Where real people go for a real good time.
Must do: Fridays are karaoke, so get after it!
Backtrack to get to this one, but you’ll want to end the night here.
What to order: The Jam from the Spot Grill
Vibe: dance and fun. usually good bands and a great place to end the night with the closest you’ll get to a club in the mountains
Must do: Enjoy great music and dance the night away.
Make sure to save some time to sleep in the next day, and then maybe head to the Village or downtown for the weekend event before you head down the mountain. We know that you’ll have a little something for everyone, so turn that weekend warrior adventure into a week of fun for the whole crew.