Whether you want to spend your winter vacation hitting the slopes or relaxing in a snowy paradise, you’ll want to consider these 5 Colorado mountain towns that offer everything from unique winter activities, to acclaimed restaurants and downtown events.
Zipping through the lift lines and ending your day with homemade cookies at the base of the mountain is a great reason to visit Beaver Creek, but not the only reason to visit this luxurious town.
There is no need to navigate the snowy roads in Beaver Creek. From Denver International airport, you can take the Peak 1 Shuttle directly to your resort in about 2 hours. If you are looking to hit the slopes a little quicker, then flying into Eagle airport just 30 minutes from Beaver Creek may be the option for you. Once you arrive, take advantage of the Village Connect, free on-demand transportation around town.
Whether you want to spend the day on the on the mountain and or take the family ice skating downtown, there are plenty of activities for your vacation. You can take advantage of the free family snowshoe tours, or spend the day with a romantic winter wine excursion. Sleigh rides will take you up the mountain at night for an exceptional dining experience, which leads us to some of Beaver Creek’s best restaurants.
Visit Beano’s Cabin for a predetermined 5-course meal. Zach’s Cabin also offers an on the mountain dining experience, which can be followed by a sleigh ride. For the best breakfast in town visit North Side Kitchen, and don’t skip the homemade donuts for dessert!
Luxurious spas make for a great way to end your day after skiing or snowshoeing. Staying at the Park Hyatt gives guest access to the Allegria Spa, so you can end the day with a relaxing massage. Steps from the charming town filled with shops and restaurants, are plenty of accommodations that offers ski-in, ski-out lodging.
Just 15 minutes up the road, visit the charming town of Vail, Colorado. Vail is known for its walk-ability and beautiful european-esque village right at the base of the mountain.
If you are looking for steep terrain and great local events and breweries, then Telluride is the place for your holiday. Although it is about 6 hours south-west from Denver, this historic mountain town makes the trip well worth it.
Thrill seekers can find a multitude of activities from black diamond ski runs and helicopter skiing, to ice climbing and Via Ferrata. Telluride has winter adventures to get your blood flowing. For more laid back activities, take a winter horseback ride through the beautiful San Juan mountain range or enjoy winter fly fishing in the San Miguel River.
The historic town of Telluride is surrounded by 14,000 foot peaks, and filled with restaurants and breweries such as the Last Dollar Saloon. Telluride is famous for its world known festivals; check out the Fire Festival this December. Travel to and from downtown on the beautiful gondola ride which is open late for those visiting the breweries downtown.
For a historic experience in the heart of Telluride, the New Sheridan Hotel offers classic Victorian style rooms, on-site dining, and a rooftop bar overlooking downtown.
The small town of Ouray is the perfect place to visit for those looking to skip the crowds, and pick up an ice axe for some ice climbing. Ouray is just one hour from Telluride and this town offers a true rocky mountain experience.
Breckenridge has the whole package with an upbeat main street day or night, historic buildings, and a family friendly ski resort.
Don’t fight the traffic and road closures to start your vacation in Breckenridge. From Denver International airport, you can take the Peak 1 Shuttle directly to your resort in about 2 hours. Don’t worry about hiring a designated driver, the public transportation in Breckenridge is free and can take you to your lodge, downtown or even to the slopes.
It is important to mention the large ski resort with 5 different peaks and ski terrain for the whole family. If skiing isn’t for you, there is snowshoeing and snowmobiling, and even a mountain roller coaster. If you would prefer to stay out of the snow, there is great shopping and spas to unwind during your winter vacation.
Downtown Breckenridge becomes a winter wonderland and is the perfect place to spend the holidays. To escape the hustle and bustle on Main Street, take the free transportation to Breckenridge Distillery for the best cocktails and cuisine. For a dog–friendly brewery, Broken Compass is a favorite among locals and has some of the most flavorful brews in town. With about 90 restaurants in Breckenridge, there will be no shortage of breakfast, lunch and dinner spots to try.
Breckenridge offers a wide variety of lodging options. Whether you are looking for a historic house near main street or a ski–in ski–out hotel at the resort, there are all sorts of lodging options offering views of Breck’s scenery.
Keystone ski resort is located about 20 minutes from Breckenridge and offers long ski runs and a walk-able ski village at the base of the mountain. In less than 20 minutes, take the free ride to Frisco located on beautiful Lake Dillon.
For a quieter winter vacation, the mountain town of Salida is filled with artisans of all kinds. However, this Colorado town does not lack any of the winter activities some of the larger resorts have to offer.
Monarch Mountain, just 30 minutes from downtown Salida, is a great ski resort with all–natural snow. To explore the back country around Salida, take a snowmobiling tour or hit the cross–country skiing trails. For warmer winter activities, there are hot springs located right in town, or venture to Mount Princeton hot springs about 20 minutes away.
The Salida creative district is filled with shops for sculpture, fine art, handmade gifts and performing arts. You can also find a small artisan wine cellar which produces handcrafted wines right in town. Stop by the local Sweetie’s Sandwich Shop and Brown Dog Coffee Company downtown for a true Salida experience.
For an authentic Rocky Mountain stay, there are private ranches and cabins located near the hot springs at Mount Princeton. This is the perfect option for an affordable getaway.
Steamboat is located a little farther from the city, taking about 3 and a half hours from Denver International Airport. However, don’t let the distance keep you from visiting, because this western Colorado town has wonderful attractions that can keep you busy during your entire holiday.
There is no better place to visit during your vacation than Strawberry Park Natural Hot Springs. Take a dip in the 104–degree mineral water, enjoy a massage, or Watsu therapy to truly unwind. When it comes to skiing, the Steamboat resort is famous for its “champagne powder” and its consistent snowfall makes it the perfect place for a ski vacation. The beautiful Yampa river runs right through downtown and offers incredible winter fly fishing. The activities don’t stop there, for breathtaking views and great backcountry skiing or snowmobiling make sure to visit Rabbit Ears Pass. You cannot miss the summit as it perfectly resembles rabbit ears made up of basalt rock formations from volcanic eruptions. For a lot of these winter activities, it is important to have a car with 4–wheel drive.
Historic downtown Steamboat has a true western feel with incredible views as it sits in the Yampa valley. For a local experience, visit Sunpie’s Bistro serving New Orleans style Cajun cuisine, overlooking the Yampa River. For breakfast all day, delicious cinnamon rolls, and a great lunch menu, visit Winona’s in the heart of downtown. Downtown is full of restaurants and shops but don’t miss out on the museums. The Tread of Pioneers and Art Museum are both great indoor activities during your time in Steamboat.
There are plenty of affordable Airbnb’s to stay in during your vacation in Steamboat. To make your vacation one of a kind, stay at a ranch such as The Home Ranch, and add horseback riding to your agenda for your visit to Steamboat Springs.
There is no better place to spend your winter vacation than in Colorado. These 5 Colorado mountain towns have plenty to offer the whole family. Disconnect from the city, recharge, and relax because each of these towns has something special for you.