Tuesday 10: A Visit to Estes Park

For today’s post, we’re leaving Fort Collins and heading to beautiful Estes Park, Colorado.

Estes Park has always held a special place in our hearts. My wife’s mother spent a summer there as a nanny in 1938 and being from Nebraska, it was quite an amazing experience for her. Last year, we discovered a Lyman Byxbe etching amongst her cards and letters. Lyman Byxbe (1886-1980) captured many of our Colorado mountain scenes in his works and a great collection can be found in the dining room at the Stanley Hotel.

Our family has spent many happy Valentine’s and birthday celebrations in Estes. Even now, my brother and his new wife are enjoying their honeymoon up there. Here are 10 upcoming events to check out in Estes:

1. Rocky Mountain National Park Centennial – Officially Sept 3rd-4th – Events from May through September – Over 300 miles of trails to hike, Jr. Ranger classes, classes (rock climbing, anyone?)…this will require multiple visits. http://www.visitestespark.com/rocky-mountain-national-park/centennial/

2. Fiber Affair & Wool Market – June 13th-14thGet your fill of fluffy animals by visiting this market. Meet llamas, alpacas, Angora bunnies, and lambs while perusing a mixture of fiber artwork. http://www.visitestespark.com/events-calendar/special-events/wool-market/

3. Rocky Mountain Irish Festival – June 18th-21st Enjoy a weekend of music, history, and fun celebrating everything Irish. http://rockymountainirishfestival.com/

4. Scandinavian Midsummer Festival – June 27th-28th Celebrate the summer solstice and long days of sunshine with a festival of light, flowers, food, and music. http://www.estesmidsummer.com/

5. 4th of July Weekend Celebration – Start the day at the Coolest Car Show with more than 100 “Steam-to-Electric” vehicles on display. Next enjoy nighttime music form the Estes Village Band. End with fireworks over Lake Estes. Fill any extra time with hiking, miniature golf, and enjoying the setting. Sounds like a great way to spend the holiday. http://www.visitestespark.com/events-calendar/special-events/july-4/

6. Rooftop Rodeo – July 6th-12th Spend the week enjoying rodeo, dancing, and food. The wekk kicks off with the Rooftop Rodeo Parade. http://www.visitestespark.com/events-calendar/special-events/rooftop-rodeo/

7. Estes Park Summer Concerts – July 20th, 27th & August 3rdEnjoy music by the Colorado Music Festival Chamber Orchestra at the Stanley Hotel Concert Hall. It’s a great excuse to be at the historic Stanley Hotel (although I’d recommend staying away from the third floor if you’re afraid of ghosts). Tickets start at $31. Or, Every Thursday night you can enjoy a free concert at Performance Park at the west end of Elkhorn Avenue. http://www.estesparkmusicfestival.org/summer-concerts.htmlhttp://estes-park.com/performance-park

8. Estes Park Wine Festival – August 15th-16th An event for Colorado wines…and food…and vendors…and music. Yum! http://www.estesparkwinefestival.com/

9. Longs Peak Scottish Irish Highland Festival – September 10th-13th Scotch, dance, bagpipes, food, drummers…and our personal favorite, Dogs of the British Isles. It’s well worth a visit to Estes during this weekend. http://www.visitestespark.com/events-calendar/special-events/longs-peak-scottish-irish-highland-festival/

10. Autumn Gold Festival – September 26th-27th Elk bugles and changing colors attract crowds every year. Visit the festival to enjoy both and savor food including bratwursts and cold brews. http://www.visitestespark.com/events-calendar/special-events/autumn-gold-festival/

Bonus: Our favorite places to eat in Estes.

Baldpate Inn, Stanley Hotel, Kind Coffee, Penelope’s, Mary’s Lake

Have you visited Estes?

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