Skip to content

Top recommendations from locals

From sightseeing to hidden gems, find out what makes the city unique with the help of the locals who know it best.

Park
“Get there early or go after 4. It can become very crowded during the day. Ask the ranger for recommendations of trails and activities. Get the paper and map. Participate in ranger talks and/or ranger led hikes. If you have a child, encourage him/her to earn the junior ranger badge. Take a lunch. You will want to spend the day.”
  • 373 locals recommend
Government Building
“A must in the summer! This entrance is way less crowded than the Estes entrance.”
  • 30 locals recommend
Hotel
“The history of The Stanley Hotel is the history of Estes Park. You can take a history tour there and learn about how F.O. Stanley helped laid the foundation for Estes Park to become the tourist destination it is today. ”
  • 34 locals recommend
Mexican Restaurant
$$
“Vibrant, locally owned, sustainable cafe serving up traditional Mexican eats with a Colorado twist plus margaritas & beer in Estes Park. We've enjoyed meals and happy hours there. Love the skinny margaritas!”
  • 25 locals recommend
Plaza
“Dress for cooler weather as temperatures in mountains tend to be a bit lower than in Longmont”
  • 143 locals recommend
Restaurant
$$
“Back in the 60s this was a roadhouse, and the college students would come up from Boulder to dance to the bands. Now, it is an excellent restaurant with a great happy hour! The staff are great, the atmosphere is pure mountain rustic, and the live music is fun. They don’t take reservations, so plan to get there early for happy hour or just get there early enough that a long wait time doesn’t get you too hangry. (This is a favorite hang out for Park employees and wild land fire crews — if you sit at the bar long enough you might be able to get some inside tips and good stories.)”
  • 22 locals recommend
Coffee Shop
$
“A great local coffee shop. My personal favorite is the kind shake. Casual seating inside and out. Wifi hookup. On the Riverwalk. ”
  • 21 locals recommend
Food
“Micro brewery with excellent beer and rotating food truck. If you are staying in the cottage or house on the hill you can walk here!”
  • 11 locals recommend
Restaurant
$$
“One of the best new restaurants in Estes, and you can walk there from our Casa Larkspur! Great locally sourced fresh food and friendly atmosphere. We recommend getting a reservation!”
  • 13 locals recommend
History Museum
“Cute little museum with local information. Not big or an all day activity but is worth the look.”
  • 11 locals recommend
Point of Interest
“The Estes Park Aerial Tramway was designed and built by Robert Heron. Mr. Heron became involved with tramway during World War Two. The 10th Mountain Division contracted the engineering company Mr. Heron worked for to design a portable tramway for use in Italy and Germany. The task was assigned to Mr. Heron. A book entitled “The Tramway Builders”, by Philip A. Lunday and Charles M. Hampton gives the history about these tramways and the men who built them. After the war Mr. Heron traveled to Europe to study the tramways and became more fascinated with their design and capabilities. Because of the steep terrain, many trams in Europe do not require any towers to support the wire ropes. The entire length is a free span between the bottom and the top stations. The Estes Park Aerial Tramway utilizes this design. A free span is fairly uncommon in the United States and this type of design affords a very smooth ride. Mr. Heron also became one of the pioneering chair lift builders for the United States ski industry and built the first double chair lift in this country. The Estes Park Aerial Tramway opened to the public in July, 1955. Since then it has safely carried more than 3 million people to the summit of Prospect Mountain. The tramway is still owned and operated by the Heron family. May 25th to September 2nd Open 9 am-6pm daily”
  • 9 locals recommend
Breakfast Spot
$$
“Be sure to visit this bakery and cafe early. This is a sit down restaurant. ”
  • 12 locals recommend
Clothes Shop
“You will find every outdoor adventure gear needed here! Plus, they have a bargain basement on top brands like The North Face, Marmot, etc....plus they have a climbing gym too”
  • 12 locals recommend
Bar
$
“Estes Park - Want a dive bar with a local feel? This place is perfect. Has a few pool tables and a couple of pinball games... and shuffleboard. Fun place!”
  • 9 locals recommend
Steakhouse
$$$
“A little prices but well worth it. The setting is in a historic lodge and the food and service are great!”
  • 12 locals recommend
BBQ Restaurant
$$
“Fantastic BBQ. Be sure to go in the off time otherwise you will be waiting. Loved by locals and tourists alike. There is a second location which is not as well known at the 18 Hole Golf course (locals secret). ”
  • 10 locals recommend