Epic Escapes

It’s time to plan that mountain trip you’ve been putting off.

Edit by Valarie Rose Johnson

Photo by Tony Demin

Who’s ready for a truly great escape? Seriously, we all probably need one now more than ever. The good news is there are plenty of destinations to choose from in Colorado, only now, there is a delightful twist. During the past year, many businesses have upped the ante in terms of enhancing existing amenities or creating new offerings. You, the traveler, are the lucky beneficiary. Innovation and indulgence have come together for an unexpected travel experience in our lovely Rocky Mountain state. It should also be noted that diligent efforts have been and are continuing to be made to keep visitors healthy and safe.

Where should you plan your next getaway? Well, that depends on the type of vacation you are seeking. Whether you are looking for somewhere nearby and convenient or prefer a location that is isolated and tucked away from the world, Colorado’s got you covered. Each destination we’ve highlighted over the following pages invites tourists to experience a different kind of vacation, and caters to all getaway desires on the spectrum.

Enjoy!

Photo by Ryan Bonneau

Telluride

For many, Telluride is best known for its world-class skiing, and to others, it is the festivals and summertime adventures. Either way, the Telluride attitude, character, style, and vibe are more than a destination. As the New York Times put it, “Telluride isn’t just a ski area, it’s a way of life.” Telluride is nestled into a picturesque box canyon and surrounded by magnificent 13,000- and 14,000-foot peaks. There is only one road in and out of town; therefore no one ends up there by accident.

Telluride is an absolutely charming, Victorian-era mountain town, and the entire town is only eight blocks wide and twelve blocks long. However, it is packed with boutiques, galleries, restaurants, pubs, coffee houses, and plenty of friendly locals with fascinating personal stories to share.

In 1964, it was designated as a Historic National Landmark District, and testaments of this important heritage can be appreciated and are sprinkled throughout the bustling town. Fly into Montrose Regional Airport from ten major hubs. Escape to the magic of Telluride this summer for endless and unforgettable outdoor and cultural experiences.

What To Do

Mountain Biking

Get your heart pumping and enjoy all of the amazing trails in the San Juan Mountains. Book with expert guides (or venture out on your own). Contact Telluride Adventures.

Paragliding

For the ultimate adventure, try a tandem paragliding flight over Telluride. Perfect for the “all-in” adventure seeker and something to definitely tell your friends about at home.

Scenic Photography Tours

Want to capture Telluride’s natural landscape and majestic beauty? Check out Legendary Scenic Photography Tours in the area and take home memories that will last a lifestime.

Mountain Village Gondola

Hover over the Telluride spectacle during an 8-mile ride that you’ll never forget. This is something you’ll want to make sure is on your to-do list during your visit.

Where To Stay

Inn at Lost Creek

If you’re looking for a luxury mountian boutique lodging experience, look no further. The award-winning Inn at Lost Creek in Telluride features 25 suites and five studios at a prime location in the Mountain Village core. Offering some of Telluride’s most exquisite cuisines with a special emphasis on making your stay warm and memorable. The Inn also offers direct access to your favorite activities year round.

Lumière With Inspirato

With just 18 boutique, recently remodeled luxury rooms, Lumière promises a Telluride vacation that will change you. The pristine fivestar amenities make your staycation one of indulgence including spacious lodging, high-end chef’s kitchens, and spectacular views and service. It is a ski-in and skiout resort located conveniently at the base of Lift 4 in Mountain Village, which translates to easy, year-long adventure access.

Mountain Lodge Telluride

The Mountain Lodge offers a luxurious, serene, and simply breathtaking resort experience to guests from around the world. It is an oasis placed in the middle of the mountains and features guestrooms, suites, and private log cabins. Enjoy the majestic 14,000-foot peak views from your room. It’s definitely not hard to settle in and relax in the beautifully appointed rooms; with its warmth, comfort, and extravagance all wrapped into one grand experience.

Photo courtesy of Breckenridge Tourism Office

Breckenridge

Breckenridge was originally a gold-rush base camp in the 1850s. Now affectionately known as “Breck” by locals, it is the largest historic district in Colorado; full of character, Victorian architecture, stories, and adventure indoors and outdoors. The Tenmile Range is home to its world-class ski resort, historic landmarks and buildings, western hospitality, and is chock-full of activities for all seasons.

The main street in Breckenridge harkens back to the way it looked over 100 years ago, during the Wild West mining rush. There are over 150 shops and boutiques, including some locally produced and handcrafted items, as well as stores specializing in outdoor adventures, souvenirs, gifts, apparel, jewelry, and general merchandise. With over 100 restaurants, pubs and bars, dining is an award-winning adventure in and of itself. Here is a sampling of where to stay and what to do when you visit Breckenridge.

What To Do

Breck Create

The area’s bustling Arts District called Breck Create is a one-acre campus of studios, galleries, public art, performance spaces, and creative businesses all housed in renovated historic structures.

BreckConnect Gondola

Don’t miss out on the enchanting BreckConnect Gondola ride while you’re there. In the summertime, you can bring your bike up the mountain (for a small fee) and/or your dog.

Hike/Bike Trails

Choose one of hundreds of hiking and biking trails in this scenic alpine town. Whether you want to stroll alongside the Blue River or summit a fourteener, all levels of outdoors people are welcome.

Meet Isak Heartstone

He lives in a new location on the Illinois Gulch Trail. This famous and smiling creature was created by Danish artist Thomas Dambo to be mindful and kind to nature and its visitors.

Where To Stay

Gravity Haus Breckenridge

Gravity Haus was created for the modern adventurer. It opened in 2019 and has a unique boutique ambiance about it. This Haus is nestled at the Base of Peak 9. It boasts 60 nicely appointed rooms designed for the ultimate retreat experience. The amenities at Gravity Haus are tailored to the needs of adventurous vacationers. Seek some respite in the dry sauna or hot tubs situated right on the mountain. Enjoy family-style meals at Cabin Juice, or perhaps try your hand at air awareness on the Super Tramp.

Grand Colorado on Peak 8

If you are traveling with family and looking for an exclusive, multigenerational experience, Grand Colorado is a gem in the Rockies. Uniquely positioned as a fractional and timeshare property, they also rent out as a hotel. They are vested in the guest experience. Come and enjoy the infinity pools and hot tubs that seemingly spill into the ski slopes. And when you’re done exploring the outdoors, retreat inside for a drink at the hotel’s popular Lobby Bar or Robbie’s Tavern.

LOGE Breckenridge

If you’re looking for something a little different and want to try a unique “hotel” experience, Loge Breckenridge is an old motor lodge that has been completely renovated with a super modern vibe. It opened in fall of 2019 and appeals to those seeking less exposure to others than one might experience in a typical hotel stay. It is literally just steps off the Colorado trail. If you are seeking a throw-back and quirky get-away, Loge is an unexpected option, offering individual door access and zero contact.

Photo courtesy of Aspen Chamber Resort Association

Aspen

Aspen immediately evokes thoughts of glitz, glam, shopping, and the great outdoors. According to the Aspen Chamber of Commerce, it is a destination that “defies ordinary.” No wonder so many distinguished clientele and visitors are drawn here from all over the world. Aspen is known for its upscale restaurants and world-renowned culinary experts, high-end boutiques, and landmarks like the Wheeler Opera House, which was built in 1889 during the area’s silver mining boom.

Interestingly, Aspen was originally home to the Ute Indians, and is perfectly situated in the middle of the White River National Forest and flanked by the Elk Mountains. Not to mention, its offerings go far beyond skiing and sightseeing. Aspen is a to-die-for destination to hike, horseback ride, bike, fish, and even paraglide since it’s enveloped in spectacular wilderness.

What To Do

Ballooning & Paragliding

Soar above all Aspen has to offer whilst hot-air ballooning or paragliding during your vacation. Enjoy panoramic views of the Elk Mountains.

Helicopter Rides

Imagine seeing the American West from a bird’s-eye view. Book a tour with Colorado Mountain Activities and create unforgettable memories.

Fly Fishing

Veteran and novice fly fishers alike can enjoy exceptional guided fishing experiences in the Roaring Fork Valley by booking through Aspen Fly Fishing.

Rock Climbing

The professional AMGA-trained mountain guides will show you a safe and memorable multipitch experience on the granite rocks of Independence Pass, whether you are a beginner or an expert.

Where To Stay

St. Regis Aspen Resort

This five-star resort exudes rustic luxury from every vantage point. It is located at the base of Aspen Mountain and delights guests who come for the world-class skiing in the winter as well as those who visit during warmer months. Don’t miss historic downtown Aspen, filled with boutiques, restaurants, bars, and coffee shops.

Onsite, indulge yourself at the Remède Spa, known worldwide as a premier hotel spa. Alternatively, or additionally, soak away your tension in one of the heated outdoor pools or hot tubs that overlook Aspen Mountain.

Hotel Jerome

Hotel Jerome has often been referred to as a “crown jewel” in Aspen. Located on East Main Street, it was built in 1889 and listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1986. Patrons can enjoy the scenic outdoor pool, exceptional spa services, and impressive dining options. There are activities all around Aspen, including golfing, cycling, fishing, shopping, walking tours, yoga, biking, hiking and photography. The John Denver Sanctuary is also nearby, and the Aspen-Pitkin County Airport is three miles away.

The Little Nell

At The Little Nell, indulgence, comfortable extravagance and world-class service convene. It is the only five-star, five-diamond, ski-in/ski-out luxury hotel in Aspen. The outstanding concierge services, inspiring mountain views, culinary offerings, award-winning wine lists and unforgettable accommodations are sure to please. Aspen’s relaxed nature can be felt in all rooms, suites, and residences. Sardy Field Airport is only nine minutes away from The Little Nell hotel. An 18-hole golf course is available at Snowmass Club, which is only eight miles away.

Continue reading about Colorado Springs, Steamboat Springs, Boulder, and Durango in the full feature found in our May 2021 issue, pages 60-75.