THANKSGIVINGheader

With such great lodging deals in November, now is definitely the time to book your Thanksgiving getaway. So what if you don’t feel like cooking a feast during your vacation? Don’t worry, you’re not the only person who feels this way! Luckily, many local restauranteurs always come to the rescue with beautiful and tasty Thanksgiving fare throughout the day, or if Thanksgiving food isn’t your thing, you can order off their regular menus. We went ahead and compiled a list of a few of our favorite spots.

Deno’s Mountain Bistro – A longtime favorite among visitors and locals alike, Deno’s has the type of atmosphere perfect for family memories. Cozy and charming décor with expertly-crafted cocktails and a vast wine selection, plus a thoughtful and delicious menu featuring a delectable Greek Fusion theme. Check back on their facebook page for more information on their Thanksgiving specials.

DaVinci – This “Modern European” Restaurant is both chic and classic, with dishes to satisfy the traditional eater, as well as a selection of delicious treats for the foodie in your group. The atmosphere is comfortable and the staff are friendly, definitely an elegant way to spend the holiday. Check their website for more information and specials.

Hernando’s Pizza Pub – This family-friendly restaurant makes the best pies around! Try putting honey on your crusts, you’ll never go back. The atmosphere is quaint and cool, and you’ll sure grow to appreciate the American dollar in this joint! If dining out isn’t your thing, consider carry-out for a delicious night in. Check their facebook page for more information and specials. 

Tabernash Tavern – This is one of our favorite places for a date! Even more special on Thanksgiving, the high-end rustic charm of the Tavern is the perfect romantic compliment to a delicious dinner for two. A great beer selection and marvelously opulent and delicious food pairings make for an experience you will definitely crave again! Check out their facebook page for more information and specials.

Volario’s – The signature restaurant at the Vasquez Creek Inn, Volario’s is an exquisite blend of Spanish and Northern Italian fare. The fresh and vibrant atmosphere will make your group feel right at home.You’ll love the meatballs or the pizzetas, and be sure to check back on their facebook page to see what Thanksgiving offerings are in store for you!

We hope you enjoy your Thanksgiving in the mountains, and if you have any other suggestions for a fabulous Turkey Day restaurant, let us know on our facebook page!

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We hope to see you soon! If you are planning a Thanksgiving getaway in Colorado, click here take a peek at our 140+ modern vacation rentals in Winter Park . 

August 28th, 2015

Posted In: Best of, Dining & Restaurants, Fall activities, Helpful hints, Night Life, Our favorites, Tips, Town of Winter Park

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If you haven’t experienced autumn in the mountains, trust us, you’re missing out! Every season up here offers its own unique beauty, but the changing of the aspens is perhaps one of the most awe-inspiring experiences you and your family can have together. We love how easily the vibrant trees lend themselves to beautiful photos and fond memories. That’s why we’ve hand-picked a list of our favorite scenic drives and destinations to watch this incredible phenomenon. Grab a latte and your camera, and hit the road. You’re in for an amazing day of leaf-watching.

Meadow Creek Reservoir (Map)

Driving above Devil’s Thumb gets you to this serene reservoir, surrounded by trees and wildlife. Picnic areas at this spot include fire pits, so you can make s’mores and hot chocolate while you relax and watch the leaves.

Devil’s Thumb (Map)

This destination is a wonderful place to walk around, or enjoy a beer by the bonfire as the sunsets. Even better, catch a sunset and see the alpenglow over the mountains over the trees.

Snow Mountain Ranch (Map)

The YMCA/Snow Mountain Ranch is just a short drive from Winter Park, nestled alongside Highway 40 in Granby. The ranch itself is a beautiful place to hang out, but it’s also the start to a number of hiking trails to get up close and personal with nature.

Columbine Lake Trail (Map) This fantastic and well-maintained hike takes you through the Indian Peaks wilderness. It’s a moderate hike, a gradual incline with a few scrambles, and the views are striking.

Trail Ridge (Map) Trail Ridge Road is the name for Highway 34, which traverses Rocky Mountain National Park, a picturesque setting to not only see the leaves, but for an incredible wildlife experience during the yearly Elk Rut.  (More info on the elks here!)

Cottonwood Pass* (Map) A short drive from Hot Sulphur Springs, this is one of those routes you won’t soon forget. Deemed by many a “mountain wonderland,” this is the epitome of nature’s idyllic beauty. 

Monarch Lake* (Map) The drive to the trailhead of Monarch Lake is incredibly scenic, running alongside the water through Grand Lake. You’ll love the feel of this well-maintained trail, with superb views of the trees changing all around you.

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Bring your camera and come on up,  hope to see you soon! If you are planning a leaf-spotting vacation in Colorado, click here take a peek at our 140+ modern vacation rentals in Winter Park . 

August 28th, 2015

Posted In: Best of, Environment, Fall activities, Helpful hints, hiking, Tips, Weather, Wildlife

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So they say, an ounce of cure is worth a pound of prevention, and the best way to pack for your mountain stay is to come prepared. That doesn’t mean you have to pack an insanely full car, either! We’ve compiled a list of must-haves (and must-skips) to make sure you can pack light and enjoy your stay.

First, What to Bring:

  1. We’ve said it before, but the sun up here is no joke. Bring SPF. Wear it. Reapply. Bring a good pair of sunglasses and a hat. Even in the fall and winter, sun protection is your friend.
  2. A light jacket or a hoodie is a must. You’re going to find that it could be cold in the morning, hot in the afternoon, and cold again in the evening. Bring layers and wear them! It’s the worst to be stuck in a bulky sweater because you dressed for the cold morning. You’re going to want to wear items that you can easily remove (or put back on!).
  3. Well-worn shoes. Especially if you’re hiking, you’re going to want shoes that you can trust. Blisters happen, and they can ruin your experience.
  4. A reusable water bottle and a way to transport it. Maybe you hook it to your backpack with a carabiner, or maybe your purse has a little pouch for it. Either way, you’re going to want to stay hydrated, and you’re not going to want to have to deal with shuffling your water bottle around every time you want to Instagram something (and trust us, you’re going to want to take pictures of everything!).

Second, What to Skip

  1. The stilettos. Many walkways and stairways up here are grated to allow for the snow to pass through in the winter. You’re going to look pretty funny trying to walk across them in your pumps! We’re not saying you can’t dress up for a nice dinner, but opt for a pair of cute wedges or flats that you can wear on more than one occasion. If you’re fabulous, be fabulous and practical!
  2. Cheap sunglasses. If you can, spring for a more expensive polarized lens.
  3. Fanny packs, fold-up chairs, most “travel” gear (you know, those zip-off pants? Twenty pockets on a vest? You don’t need that stuff unless you’re fishing or going on an extreme excursion!). While Winter Park is technically a small town, we offer all the modern amenities you’ll need, and it’s safe to store any of your belongings at all of our homes. Don’t think you have to carry everything with you, and it’s okay to dress how you do at home! 
  4. The over-stuffed cooler. Now, sometimes we love packing a full cooler with goodies from home, but we have fully-stocked grocery stores up here, too! If your family is keen on taking a picnic, you can bring an empty cooler and fill it with fresh food from one of the grocers up here.

When in Rome, do as the Romans do. When you’re in Winter Park, follow the above advice for a fabulous fall mountain getaway!

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Pack your bags and come on up,  hope to see you soon! If you are planning your fall or winter vacation in Colorado, click here take a peek at our 140+ modern vacation rentals in Winter Park . 

 

August 28th, 2015

Posted In: Environment, Fall activities, Helpful hints, hiking, Local Info, Our favorites, Safety, Tips, Weather

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Where to Watch the Game

Even in Colorado’s favorite playground, we know that the occasion arises where you simply need to watch the game. That time of year is certainly upon us! Maybe you’re in a fantasy league, or maybe you’re just a die-hard fan of your alma mater. Pro or college, there are several spots to watch the game in town. Here are a few of our favorites.

The Crooked Creek Saloon

With a full bar and restaurant, this Fraser spot has delicious home-cooked food and a laid-back local atmosphere, perfect for hanging out with your buddies and sharing some wings. (Website)

The Library

This space is an equal-opportunity venue, with flags from every college team decorating the walls. An fan is likely to feel right at home here, with a selection of locally-brewed beers on tap and a full menu, plus tons of televisions to make sure your team is showing. (Website)

The Winter Park Pub

Great food, great beers and a mellow atmosphere make for the ideal place to watch the game and socialize. During halftime, you can enjoy a round of skee-ball! (facebook)

The Foundry

This is a really cool way to enjoy a game and bowl a few rounds with friends. The enormous screens project the game while you (hopefully) throw a few strikes. Delicious food- trust us, you should try the drummettes! In years past they’ve allowed patrons to view the games in the movie theatre—and we sure hope they bring that back this year! (Website)

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We hope you have fun this fall watching your team, and good luck!

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Make sure to bring your favorite team shirt,  hope to see you soon! If you are planning your fall or winter vacation in Colorado, click here take a peek at our 140+ modern vacation rentals in Winter Park . 

August 28th, 2015

Posted In: Best of, Dining & Restaurants, Fall activities, Helpful hints, Local Info, Night Life, Our favorites, Reviews, Tips, Town of Winter Park, Winter Park Vacations

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When you visit Winter Park, one of the best ways to enjoy our beautiful area is to stay near the trails. With that, you still want the convenience of modern amenities and access to shopping and night life.

Rendezvous is one of Winter Park’s most exclusive addresses, which boasts trail-side forest living and lots of activities year-round.  This hidden gem of a neighborhood is only a short drive to restaurants and Winter Park Resort, with shuttle service available in the winter.

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Expertly-decorated mountain homes.

Rendezvous Winter Park offers large, open spaces with plenty of room to accommodate large families. Each home is its own unique take on mountain living with beautiful stone and handcrafted wood accents.

Private balconies and garages throughout the neighborhood, and several homes include private hot tubs and large porches, perfect for a night of relaxed stargazing.

All of the three-and-four-bedroom homes in Winter Park’s Rendezvous can sleep eight or more people and are beautifully decorated with lots of comfortable seating, and lots of windows and outdoor seating to enjoy the stunning mountain and forest views.

Guests can stay in these properties year round, and the prime location makes these homes fantastic places for summer or winter activities.

These are spacious and comfortable getaways- you and your family will want to make these homes part of your vacation traditions!

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Outdoor seating and hot tub

On the hillside between Fraser and Winter Park, Rendezvous is a perfect choice for active families who want to explore Rocky Mountain National forest, and Grand County’s amazing trail systems.

Just steps away from the Fraser River Trail, runners, bikers and cross-country skiers can enjoy quick access to a beautiful trail alongside the river and Colorado wildlife.

The views are incredible from this area, and miles of trails run throughout the neighborhood.Visitors can also enjoy Mary’s Pond, a beautiful retreat named for Mary Cozens, the wife of Winter Park’s Rendezvous developer Billy Cozens.

 

Families staying at Rendezvous near Winter Park can enjoy the finest in mountain living, with spacious homes designed for relaxation and comfort, but also quick access to outdoor activities.

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Picnic area with playground on the Fraser River Trail

 

Picnic and play at the playground at the Fraser River trail head, with beautiful mountain views for your family vacation memories.

 

Click here to find available vacation rentals in the Winter Park Rendezvous neighborhood, and to learn more about the unique feel of each
home with photos, layout and descriptions!

 

July 1st, 2015

Posted In: Environment, Fall activities, Kid's Activities, Local Info, Lodging, Town of Winter Park, Winter Park Summer activities, Winter Park Vacations

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Aspen colors in coloradoFall is a beautiful time to visit Winter Park, particularly if you time it just right with the peak turning of the aspen leaves, or the annual elk rut.

A quieter time of the year, you can still enjoy a host of mountain activities, but without the crowds or busy event calendar of the summer months.

Winter Park Resort remains open throughout the week for downhill access until September 28th (Village Adventure Park is open at the weekends only), and the conditions are fantastic, as we move out of the august monsoon cycle, to the draw crisp temperatures of September.  For those that prefer to go under their own pedal power, the options are limitless for riding quiet trails through the stunning fall colors.

The Winter Park & Fraser Valley Chamber of Commerce has just released their Top 10 Colorful Bike Rides for Fall, take a peek here.  All of these trails are good for biking, or hiking, and offer amazing valley views.

Rocky Mountain National Park is a must if you are hoping for a little wildlife viewing during the elk rut (click here to see our ‘stuck in a rut’ blog), and even keep your eyes peeled around Winter Park for Yogi and friends as our big furry friends wander through town in hopes of finding an unattended pic-a-nic bas-ket/unlocked dumpster.

Fall is also a fantastic time to take a horseback ride in the valley.  The horses enjoy the cooler temperatures, and adopting their four legged form of travel will allow you a better chance of getting close to elk & moose migrating through the valley.   We highly recommend Cabin Creek Stables at Devils Thumb Ranch, as a great horse program offering small sized group rides, through seemingly endless aspen groves.

For the avid golfers out there, our highly acclaimed courses at Pole Creek, Granby Ranch & Grand Elk stay open until the snow flies (generally making it through October).   As a quieter time of the year, don’t be at all surprised to find yourself teeing off to empty greens, save for the odd moose or elk that might decide to stop by!

Take a trip to Grand Lake to play around on boats, head to Kremmling for a raft trip down the Upper Colorado, or simply snuggle up in your mountain vacation rental with your special someone.  No matter what your preference, there’s still plenty going on, in and around Winter Park during the early fall months.

For more information or guidance on booking a fall getaway to Winter Park, call one of our friendly vacation planners at Winter Park Lodging Company.

 

September 5th, 2014

Posted In: Fall activities

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The Mighty Elk Rut

The Winter Park & Fraser Valley (and nearby Rocky Mountain National Park) is a hot spot for migrating elk during their annual rut, and a fabulous place to witness the natural world up close & personal.

elk bugleThe elk (wapiti) is one of the largest species of the deer family, and one of the largest land mammals in North America. Elk range throughout the US in forest and forest-edge habitat, feeding on grasses, plants, leaves, and bark.

Adult elk usually stay in single-sex groups for most of the year with the exception being during their elaborate mating ritual known as the rut. The elk rut runs from late August through early November and is a spectacular display of strength , aggression, showmanship and courtship from this fascinating species.

Bull_Elk_herdBoys will be boys

In order to attract and keep a harem of cows by their side, a bull elk must put on a near continuous display of dominance and strength. To draw the attention of far off females, the bull elk will perform a bugle call into the air that be heard for miles, the louder the call, the more interested the cow will be. Bugling is most common early and late in the day and is one of the most distinctive sounds to be heard throughout the Winter Park & Fraser Valley in the fall.

If a bull crosses the threshold of another’s harem, it is considered a challenge by the residing bull.  A theatrical battle of posturing, bellowing, strutting and pawing will ensue until one party backs down, or a they engage a fight using their antlers to wrestle.   In the event that bulls do lock antlers, the fight tends to be short in duration, but incredibly physical and dangerous for both parties, often causing one, or both of the bulls to sustain serious injuries. For this reason, the bulls will spend many minutes trying to out-psyche their opponent before committing to a physical interaction (and it is this display that is most widely witnessed during the rut).

Fall in Winter Park, ColoradoGirls just a wanna have fun

In the elk world, it seems a bulls’s work is never done. Having conquered his opponent, the winning bull must return to his harem and resume the task of out bugling and out battling any future opponents, or risk losing them to another suitor. Although the bull may appear at first glance to be the dominant party within the harem, it is the female who ultimately decides which harem she will be part of, and will not hesitate to leave if her bull fails to hold her interest.  In the course of a single day, it is not uncommon for a bull to engage in multiple spars and courtship displays of bugling, thrashing and rounding up, mating with and guarding his harem.

the backdrop

Amid these incredible displays of nature is the ever enduring back drop of fall in the rocky mountains.  Vibrant yellow aspen burn into brilliant blue skies, while the deep purple and orange hues of the willow offer protection and forage for the marauding elk herds.  Photography enthusiasts will travel from all over the world to capture the action of the rut against the stunning vistas of the Rocky Mountains.

elkAlthough elk are frequently seen around the Winter Park area, our recommendation for viewing large herds of elk during the rut, is to take a day trip to Rocky Mountain National Park (approximately 35 miles North of Winter Park).   RMNP is home to many huge herds of elk, in addition to many other species of fascinating wildlife that are often more visual and active in the fall months (including moose, bear, deer, big cats, big horn sheep).

For further information on activities and events in the Winter Park area during the fall months, visit Winter Park Lodging Company, or call 877-329-1383.

August 2nd, 2013

Posted In: Environment, Fall activities, hiking, rocky mountain national park

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Aspen colors in Winter Park COFall Drive to View the Changing Aspen in WInter Park, CO

Its looking like the last week of August and first two weeks of September are going to be  the prime time to view the changing aspen here in Winter Park, Colorado.  With Rocky Mountian National Park just a short drive away Winter Park is a situated perfectly for a fall getaway to come and enjoy the blazing fall colors of the Colorado Rocky Mountains.  The above photo was taken Aug 28 and shows the aspen are already

Heading up from the Front Range we have an easy yet fun trip through Rocky Mountain National Park that will let you use the Fraser Valley as a base to explore the beauty and wildlife in Winter Park, CO.

Trail Ridge Road (US 34) through Rocky Mountain National Park

From the Denver/Boulder/Fort Collins/Colorado Springs area  — Take the Boulder Turnpike (US 36) west to Rocky Mountain National Park via Estes Park. Once in the park, drive Trail Ridge Road (the highest paved through highway in the US) and enjoy the breath-taking scenery. The weather can change quickly in the park so be prepared for cold weather. Trail Ridge Road peaks at 12,183 feet in elevation. Just west of the high point is Fall River Pass, elevation 11,796 feet, and the Alpine

Trail Ridge road aspen viewing driveVisitor Center. Exit the west side of the park and continue on US 34 down into Grand Lake. From there, take US 40 east through Fraser to Winter Park.

The Winter Park area has a plenty of hiking trails and mountain bike rides that will get you up and close to some of the best aspen and wildlife viewing in all of Colorado.

Winter Park Lodging Company is offering third night free for all stays in September.  So come up to the Colorado Rocky Mountains and check out what all the fuss is about the aspen trees.  Bring a camera because you will not believe how beautiful it is in Winter Park, Colorado this time of year.

Winter Park Vacation Rentals

Winter Park Vacation Guide

August 28th, 2012

Posted In: Fall activities, rocky mountain national park

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Wildlife viewing Winter ParkWinter Park, Colorado Wildlife Viewing

Fall in Winter Park, CO brings out the golden leaves of the aspen trees and the plentiful wildlife that roam the peaks around us.  For many fall is the favorote season here in Winter Park as most of the summer travelers stay in the lower elevations. But those that are willing to sport a jacket will be rewarded with some the finest scenery that the state of Colorado has offer.

The pictures featured here of moose, deer and fox have all been taken in the last two weeks and the prime wildlife viewing season has not even begun.  Paired with the coming oranges and golds of the aspen tree leavesFall colors Winter Park,CO this should be one of the most spectacular falls for seeing the colors of the Colorado Rocky Mountains.  Wether you are coming up to see the changing of the colors or to do some late season mountain biking there will be plenty of chances to spot some beautiful moose, deer, antelope and fox.

A few aspen leaves have already started to turn and it is looking like the first and second week of September will be the prime viewing time to see the golds of the aspen against the deep blue Colorado sky.  As the temperatures of the lowlands is still hitting 90˚ we here in Winter Park topping out in the low 70˚s.Wildlife in Winter Park, Colorado

So if you are looking for a relaxing getaway up to the mountains to see some beautiful wildlife and the brilliant gold of the aspen, Winter Park, Colorado is the place to be.  With the Winter Park Lodging Company third night free for September lodging,  a mountain getaway will be easy on the wallet and a chance to get out of town before the snow of winter pushes us all indoors ’till the opening of the Winter Park Resort ski season.

Labor day weekend is the traditional kick off of the wildlife and aspen viewing so make your plans today to getaway and celebrate the coming of fall and winter.

Check out all the Winter Park Lodging Co. Vacation Rentals.

Winter Park Vacation Guide

August 24th, 2012

Posted In: Fall activities, Local Info, Wildlife

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If you’re a fan of the fantastic live Blues shows that Grand County Blues Society hosts in Winter Park, it’s been a long couple of months for you waiting for the next show.  We’re in luck though: this FRIDAY, November 11th at 9PM, Smokin’ Moes welcomes back Samantha Fish and Kate Moss for a night of rockin’ blues! Samantha Fish will be jamming on her guitar as if she’s been playing for a liftetime instead of less than a decade, and will be accompanied by special guest Kate Moss. We’ll likely hear a lot of music off Samantha’s first solo album released in April, called Runaway.

American Blues News reviewed one of her songs, 4 Non-Blondes, as being part Rolling Stones, part John Lee Hooker, and part Dukes of Hazzard car chase. In other words, Samantha knows how to play the blues, and we’re guaranteed another amazing show this Friday. Kate Moss will certainly only add to the party; she’s no stranger to the guitar herself. With these two on stage together, be ready to dance.

One added bonus: the Blues Society is kind enough to appreciate Verteran’s Day at the show, so any Verteran plus one guest will get into the show FREE! Guess what else? If you’re a guest of Winter Park Lodging Company, mention it at the door and your ticket will be on the house too! If you didn’t book with us this time, your ticket is $10, but it’s for a good cause: the Grand County Blues Society is a non-profit, so all the cash they collect at the door goes toward keeping Blues in the School and Blue Star Connection successful programs. Plus, our donations and ticket purchases help us to to keep bringing great live blues music back to Winter Park as often as we can. So, after you’re done waxing your skis for the early opening of Winter Park Resort this Saturday, come out to Smokin’ Moes for a great night with us. Want to make a weekend out of it? Give Winter Park Lodging Company a call to set up your lodging, lift tickets, ski rentals, and some free tickets to a great show!

November 8th, 2011

Posted In: Art, Dining & Restaurants, Fall activities, Helpful hints, Local Info, Music, Night Life, Our favorites, special events, Tips, Town of Winter Park, Winter Park Events, Winter Park News

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