Labor Day Weekend Trip to Colorado!

I would imagine that a Colorado itinerary could get quite long if you let it.  My brother and I got the opportunity to fly out and visit Tommy over Labor Day weekend.  It was a short trip but was filled with tons of things!  We had a blast so I wanted to share a two day itinerary with you all!

Spinach artichoke dip at Sanford's Grub & Pub in Cheyenne, WY.
Chicken sandwich and garlic parmesan french fries at Sanford's Grub & Pub in Cheyenne, WY.

We flew to Denver on Friday night and came back home Monday morning.  All we did on Friday night is drive up to Cheyenne, WY (which I don’t recommend even a little).  Dinner was tasty though!  We went to Sanford’s and I enjoyed a chicken sandwich with garlic parmesan fries and we shared spinach artichoke dip!  

Sanford's Grub & Pub in Cheyenne, WY.

The menu’s at Sanford’s were quite large, as you can see.  Friday night after dinner was spent relaxing and going to bed early.  We only had two full days ahead of us to enjoy on this mini vacation!

We woke up early Saturday morning to get on the road!  Our hotel was booked in Loveland, CO for the remainder of our trip and there were places we wanted to stop on the way down.  

Horsetooth Reservoir

Colorado itinerary for a mini vacation.

First stop, horsetooth reservoir just outside of Fort Collins, CO.  This was definitely a site to see.  It’s a reservoir that runs miles long in the mountains.  So many people had their campers and boats out and you can rent paddle boards and jet skis.  We were so close to renting the jet skis but opted for an alternative memorable experience that you can find under day 2!  

Budweiser, Anheuser-Busch

Colorado itinerary for a mini vacation.

Budweiser was next on the list!  I hate the taste of beer but my brother and Tommy wanted to have a beer at the brewery.  As much as I don’t like the taste of it, a sip of this fresh, perfectly chilled Budweiser was incredible.  The brewery was so big and so beautiful.  

Scenery at Budweiser in Fort Collins, CO.

Denver Zoo

The Denver Zoo was on our Colorado itinerary!

Denver zoo was pretty cool!  It was expensive, but it’s large and there were animals that the zoo’s at Minnesota don’t have.  

The Boot Grill

Colorado itinerary for a mini vacation.

After the zoo we went to dinner at The Boot Grill in Loveland.  It was delicious!  We shared jalapeno poppers for an app and I ordered their steak sandwich with a garden salad.

Loveland, CO Breweries

Colorado itinerary for a mini vacation.

After dinner we stopped at the hotel to change clothes quick and went out to three different breweries.  The atmosphere at each of them was so different and so much fun.  I don’t really drink and I definitely don’t like beer, so I grabbed a cup of coffee at our hotel before we left.  Side note, if you’ve never put cinnamon in your coffee you should probably do that. 

Day 2 was the best day and was spent entirely at Estes Park.

Bavarian pretzel and the most refreshing lemonade from a food truck that was in Estes Park, CO.

When we got to Estes Park we spent a little bit of time walking around and grabbed a little bite to eat before our next adventure.  This Bavarian pretzel was so soft and delicious and the same food truck had the best lemonade I’ve ever had.  

Off-Roading in the Rocky Mountains

ATV/UTV Rental in Estes Park, CO.

This was hands down the highlight of the trip.  We rented an ATV and UTV and spent three, unguided hours riding through the Rockies.  You get your helmets right down in Estes Park and then you have to drive 25 minutes or so further into the mountains to get your ATV/UTV. 

Colorado itinerary for a mini vacation.
Colorado itinerary for a mini vacation.

Off-roading was never something I aspired to do, but the dirt was so worth it!

Your Colorado itinerary should including renting ATV's and/or UTV's and off-roading in the Rocky Mountains.

Tommy wanted me to stand next to this rock for size comparison purposes.

Off-roading in the Rocky Mountains should be on your Colorado itinerary when you go!
Your Colorado itinerary should include off-roading in the Rocky Mountains!

This was one of the most incredible experiences.  The weather was perfect, the views were amazing, and the staff was friendly and fun (as you can see in the picture above)!  

Colorado itinerary for a mini vacation.

We stopped and took more pictures on our way back down to Estes and of course had to get more of that refreshing lemonade. 

Trail Ridge Road

Trail Ridge Road scenic overlook in Colorado.

After ATV’ing we took Trail Ridge Road up to Rainbow Curve Overlook.  Rainbow Curve alone is 10,829 feet.  This was a picture maybe halfway up to Rainbow Curve?  I honestly don’t even know because I’m so deathly afraid of heights that I didn’t get out at the top long enough to take a picture (although the overlook spot wasn’t all that bad because it wasn’t just a straight drop), the drive up was the worst part.  All I wanted to do was go back down and find safety.  This probably sounds dramatic but it’s not.  Trail Ridge Road has way too many steep spots for me, with about a foot of space next to your tires (no guard rails) before you fall to your death.  No joke, it was scary shi* lol.  

The Stanley Hotel

The Stanley in Estes Park, Colorado.
The Stanley in Estes Park, Colorado.

After driving for miles and miles further up into the Rockies, it was dinner time.  Dinner was about an hour wait so we put our name down and drove across the street to The Stanley.  We were excited about seeing this but it definitely wasn’t what we thought it would be.  The outside was cool to see but unless you go on one of their tours, I’m not sure it’s worth your time unless you have time to kill.  It definitely is a very old hotel and the elevators are super old and eerie, but you can’t really walk around inside so it didn’t do much for us.  

Wild Elk roaming the grass in front of The Stanley hotel.
Wild Elk roaming the grass in front of The Stanley hotel.

There were about 20 elk right outside the property at the hotel.  It’s so different than what you typically see- they aren’t scared of you.  If it was legal, you could pet them.  They just stand right next to you and do their thing.  Not pictured were elk within arms reach.  

Ed’s Cantina & Grill

Ed's Cantina & Grill for Mexican Food in Estes Park.

Dinner consisted of chips with queso and salsa, and steak street tacos with rice for me!  The tacos were delicious.  By the end of dinner we were all exhausted and ready to shower off all of that dirt from earlier!  We called it a night and went back to our hotel to get a good nights sleep for our flight the next morning.

Although this was a short vacation, it was a blast and we fit in a ton of cool sites and experiences!  Next time I get out that way I think I want to check out Colorado Springs, and I definitely want to rent the jet skis and ride around in Horsetooth Reservoir!  I hope you enjoyed this short, but fun filled Colorado itinerary for your next trip!

Colorado Itinerary: Pin for Later!

Colorado itinerary for a mini vacation.

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  • jmarie1974 September 16, 2019 at 4:43 am

    Looks like an amazing few days 🙂

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