November 21, 2018

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Winter Park, Colorado

SnowLocated about 1.5 hours from Denver, Winter Park is a family-friendly community with many winter and summer activities to enjoy.  Known as Mountain Bike Capital USA™, Winter Park & the Fraser Valley boast more than 600 miles of trails and a small-town environment in which to kick back and relax.  Winter Park began as two small settlements, Old Town and Hideaway Park. Construction of a transcontinental railway line and the Moffat Tunnel let to the creation of Old Town. Hideaway Park was founded in 1932 and developed by L.O. “Doc” Graves, a local valley merchant.  The town was initially comprised of 26 tourist cabins, and a cafe and service station called “Doc’s Place.”  Although the first ski hills in the Valley were built in Hot Sulphur Springs, in 1911, the railroad helped the ski industry flourish…especially Winter Park Ski Area, which opened in 1940. Over a two-year period, the town added a saloon, garage and nightclub, and nearly doubled in population.  In 1978, the town name was officially to Winter Park.  Today, Amtrak travels through the valley twice daily, providing travelers with a unique way to enjoy the Rockies.

Art fairs, half-pipe competitions, music festivals, mountain bike races and fireworks shows are some of the types of events you’ll find in Winter Park. For something different, try Geocaching.  It’s basically a world-wide, high-tech scavenger hunt with participants of all ages hunting for more than 820,000 caches in nearly every city, town, and ski slope around the world.   You use a GPS (global positioning system) handheld device to locate hidden caches or treasure boxes which contain treasure, usually toys or other little trinkets. The kids will love it!  Another family-friendly activity is Cirque du Saturdays.  Enjoy the circus in the mountains every Saturday in the Village at Winter Park.  A fun and festive atmosphere, you’ll see troubadours, unicyclists, stiltwalkers, jugglers, and more. Other fun festivals and events include, the Winter Park Music Festival, Country Music festival, Winter Park Jazz Festival, Winter Park Chocolate Festival, Village Music Series, and the Grand Art, Wine & Cheese Festival.


With more than 30 restaurants, Winter Park offers a wide variety of dining options.  Take the family for some pizza, enjoy a great Mexican meal or treat yourself to a mouth watering steak dinner.  Feeling romantic? Try dinner at a renovated ranch house and stage stop.  Ride the Zephyr Express chairlift to the top of the Mountain for dinner at The Lodge at Sunspot, located at 10,700 feet above sea level for 360 degree views.  On Winter Park Resort’s most coveted deck-space, the Shack Grill offers grilled fare and a kid’s menu in addition to the best views of the resort.   Winter Park nightlife boasts a number of pubs and bars, some featuring pool tables, televisions and occasionally live music.


From Indian art, Southwestern jewelry and Western attire to paintings and prints by local artists, books on local lore and history and gourmet specialties, you’ll find a wide assortment of gifts and Colorado souvenirs in Winter Park.  Make sure to spend time in downtown Winter Park…it’s the hub for an eclectic mix of restaurants, shopping centers, outfitters, and on-going music festivals in the park.