Estes Park & The Stanley Hotel

Winter gave us a rare break and blessed us with a few short days (that just so happened to be over the weekend, and a holiday weekend at that) of slightly warmer temps and no snow. We discussed going cross-country skiing again, but I told Will I was just tired of everything there was to do around home. So we jumped at the chance to return to Colorado, possibly for the last time before our move.
We went to Fort Collins, but on a whim decided to make the drive up to Estes Park on Sunday. We had heard of how beautiful it was, albeit those people were referring to its summer splendor, and didn’t want to miss the opportunity to at least see it.

Will also discovered that the hotel Stephen King stayed at while he wrote The Shining, just happened to be there. Obviously we had to go.

We actually considered staying the night there just to say we had, but instead skipped the hefty rate and opted for lunch and a bit of site seeing instead. It ended up being the better decision as we realized there really wasn’t all that much to do or see up there in the Winter time.

The hotel was just gorgeous, and packed full of memorabilia and history. 

They still use real keys for the rooms!
Visitors can pay to take a guided tour to learn all the ins and outs of the hotel. Will really wanted to do the night tour which delved into the haunted happenings of the hotel. Supposedly it’s one of the most haunted places in America!

We had lunch at the Cascades Restaurant. The bar there was used in the filming of Dumb and Dumber. 

We shared the smoked trout dip, which was amazing…

and the Hunter’s meatloaf that was made of a mix of wild game like elk and buffalo. 

Afterwards we meandered through the hotel, then tried to drive out to the Chapel on the Rock. Unfortunately it was closed for the season so we just got a glimpse from the road. 

We’re dying for Winter to end so we can get out and about more. Even though it was a cold weekend, it was so nice to just DO something, and see some new things. My travel itch is getting pretty strong!

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