Estes Park, Colorado has been a tourist magnet for well over 100 years. The abundant wildlife and breathtaking scenery that lured early travelers still draw guests by the millions today. The crisp mountain air; charming shops; and dozens of outdoors activities offer tourists and visitors a taste of the wild west as well as modern day conveniences we have all come to expect.
Vacationers browse through the downtown area where shops and galleries present a smorgasbord of goods for sale. More than 200 retailers, restaurants and attractions line the downtown along Elkhorn and Moraine avenues. For the most part, the retail establishments are independently owned businesses. Chain stores won't be found here, which means guests find unique treasures, gifts and mementos. Some of the buildings feature rustic timber framing, reminiscent of Estes Park's homesteading era. Others have been updated and re-purposed, revealing the evolution of this unpretentious mountain village.
The great outdoors is something guests cannot escape in Estes Park. Many downtown activities take place outside, such as jazz concerts, cowboy sing-a-alongs, Riverwalk strolls and even wine tastings. In the end, it's this combination of abundant wildlife, snowcapped mountain views, and charming amenities that makes the village of Estes Park a memorable getaway. Wildlife is so plentiful in Estes Park that elk wandering in and out of the downtown area seem normal, and certainly acceptable. Indeed, guests are as likely to run into an elk as one of the many artists who find inspiration here. Painters often set up on the sidewalks, in parks or along the river. Other artists work in galleries or studios, shaping bronze into animals or blowing glass into exquisite bowls.
Peaks rise all around Estes Park , from 8,500 feet to more than 14,000 feet, rendering gorgeous views in every direction. In the warmer months, head to one of many nearby patios to enjoy those panoramas, plus good food and a locally-made bottle of wine. When the temperatures drop, move indoors, tucking into a table near a roaring fire to savor wild game, delicious ethnic dishes or maybe a hearty steak.