History buffs unite! Each day of this three-day exploration is a step back into Estes Park’s rich history. Unveil the stories and heritage of this charming mountain town on your historic journey to Estes Park.
Day 1 – Historical Foundations
Today’s journey through Estes Park’s history begins with a morning visit to the Estes Park Museum. As you wander through the exhibits, you feel as though you are transported to a bygone era. Listen to the stories and learn about Estes Park’s early inhabitants and its evolution. The stories paint an exciting picture of past and present.
After the museum, head over to the neighborhood coffee shop Coffee on the Rocks for breakfast. Grab a breakfast sandwich and americano to sip on the restaurant’s deck that overlooks a peaceful duck pond.
Now you have the energy to explore the Historic Park Theatre – the oldest operating single-house movie theater in the U.S.! Its unique architecture is a sight to behold. Be sure to check the schedule to see what’s playing. You might be able to catch an early movie, for a touch of old-world entertainment to your day.
When lunchtime rolls around, prepare for an elegant affair at Cascades – The Stanley Hotel’s renowned steakhouse. Dining in the same halls that inspired Stephen King’s ‘The Shining’ adds an intriguing and eerie, layer to your journey.
Since you’re there, schedule yourself a guided tour of The Stanley Hotel. Walking through its storied halls, filled with tales of ghostly legends, will send shivers down your spine in the most thrilling way!
Head over to Penelope’s Old Time Burgers for a retro burger eating experience. Grab a window seat so you can watch the world go by as you conclude an exciting day 1.
Day 2 – Origin Stories
Day 2 begins with a visit to the MacGregor Ranch Museum. This preserved homestead nestled amongst the mountains gives you a close look into the ranching history of Estes Park. Experience life through the eyes of pioneers and their western way of life.
Your Estes Park historical journey continues with a delightful ranch-style breakfast at Cousin Pat’s Pub & Grill. The dishes, rich in local flavors, are a perfect homage to the area’s culinary heritage.
After breakfast, venture to the Elkhorn Lodge and Stables. As you walk through one of Colorado’s oldest continuously operating lodges, you will feel a deep sense of connection to the past because of its rustic architecture and storied halls.
Lunch will be had at the Wild Rose Restaurant for some American and European fusion cuisine. This charming spot has a rustic and inviting ambiance, where the artwork tells the story of Estes Park. This gives you the spark you need to explore more of Estes Park’s history.
Head over to the Birch Ruins and the old Homestead. Gain insight into the lives of these settlers who first called Estes Park home. Conclude day 2 with a moving historical lecture at the Estes Park Memorial Observatory.
Dinner will be served at The View Restaurant at Historic Crags Lodge. Their rustic charm and mountain views create a serene dining experience. Great food in this historic lodge is the perfect way to conclude day 2.
Day 3 – Nature and Legacy
The day starts with a sunrise hike to a historic lookout point in Rocky Mountain National Park. Choose the Hollowell Park Trail, one of the most peaceful and serene places in the park. Watching the sunrise from a spot once enjoyed by early explorers and settlers is a moment of profound beauty and contemplation.
Breakfast at MollyB Restaurant gives you all the cozy vibes with a side of deliciousness on this historic journey. They’ve been serving up good food to the residents of Estes Park since 1985. Today seems like a day for French toast, so that’s what you order.
After a delightful breakfast and lots of good coffee, head over to explore the historic Fall River Hydroplant. Now a museum, it details the fascinating history of hydroelectric power in Estes Park, highlighting its crucial role in the area’s development. It was constructed in 1909 to produce electricity for the Stanley Hotel and its surrounding areas!
After a jolting experience learning all about the origins of light in Estes Park, relax with a picnic lunch at the Riverwalk. Sit on a cozy bench overlooking the water as you enjoy a sandwich from a local deli. Surrounded by the enduring beauty that has drawn people here for centuries, you feel a deep sense of connection to the land and its history.
A scenic drive along the Old Fall River Road in the afternoon is another journey through time. As the first auto route in Rocky Mountain National Park, reading the historical markers really helps you relive the past.
Plan Your Journey Today
Travel through time on your very own historic journey to Estes Park. Reach out to Voyago today to reserve the perfect vacation rental to make your historic dreams come true!