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Best things to do in Estes Park

Discover the city according to locals. Find the best things to do, places to eat, and get priceless advice from the people who live here.

Hotel
“Have you seen The Shining? Stephen King was inspired to write the book after being here. The views! Incredible. And so are the very pricy cocktails in the hotel bar, very worth it! ”
30local recommendations
Mexican Restaurant
$$
“Vibrant, locally owned, sustainable cafe serving up traditional Mexican eats with a Colorado twist plus margaritas & beer in Estes Park. We've enjoyed meals and happy hours there. Love the skinny margaritas!”
25local recommendations
Plaza
“Set above Ft. Collins at the entrance of the Rocky Mountain National Forest and home to the Stanley Hotel made famous by the movie "The Shinning!"”
135local recommendations
Restaurant
$$
“This Rock Inn Mountain Tavern building is on the national historic registry, so the atmosphere in here is really neat and definitely unique. The owner works with a lot of local vendors, so the food here is fresh and always very good! Also a great place to hear live music! Be aware that the Rock Inn doesn’t accept reservations, so get there a lil early to get your name on their list! The Rock is literally a 60 second walk from our front door, which makes it a great option after a long day of hiking! ”
21local recommendations
Coffee Shop
$
“Great coffee shop right along the river. Park in the new parking garage and walk over. At the start of the river walk, so get your coffee and stroll down the walk. They have wi-fi! ”
19local recommendations
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!”
11local recommendations
Restaurant
$$
“This is the place for foodies. High quality, excellent cuisine, great ambience, and pricey! ”
12local recommendations
Clothes Shop
“You will find every outdoor adventure gear needed here! Plus, they have a bargain basement on top brands like The North Face, Marmot, etc....plus they have a climbing gym too”
12local recommendations
History Museum
“Cute little museum with local information. Not big or an all day activity but is worth the look.”
11local recommendations
BBQ Restaurant
$$
“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). ”
10local recommendations
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”
9local recommendations
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!”
9local recommendations
Breakfast Spot
$$
“Be sure to visit this bakery and cafe early. This is a sit down restaurant. ”
12local recommendations
Indian Restaurant
$$
“Excellent Indian and Nepalese food! The Lamb Curry is one of our favs but everything is super tasty here. Go ahead - try it! Be sure to order the rice pudding or a mango lassi for a delicious treat.”
10local recommendations
American Restaurant
$$
“Estes Park - This place has an 80's sort of feel, but is a great spot to watch the ducks play in the pond just outside the large windows. Make sure to sit in the main dining room. Food is pretty good. ”
10local recommendations
Steakhouse
$$$
“A little prices but well worth it. The setting is in a historic lodge and the food and service are great!”
11local recommendations