Once upon a time it was common to only take your annual vacation in the summer. Families planned their entire year around the event, starting special vacation funds, researching everything they wanted to see and do, and working hard to get to those glorious days! Today, however, vacations can be any time of the year, and as you start planning your winter and spring getaway to Winter Park, Colorado, your stay in Winter Park Escapes has more benefits than you would expect, including not having to do the research as to where to play, where to eat, and what to do while you are here. We have done the hard work for you; all you have to do is scroll down the screen and prepare to be amazed! Our mountain village may be a small one, but it has all the fun and excitement of much bigger cities, and this guide to spring in Winter Park explains it all.
The Wonders of Winter
With a name like Winter Park, you might expect that a lot of the activities you can enjoy will be snow or ice related, and you would be 100% correct! Winter Park Ski Resort and its lovely mountain Mary Jane has a long and lustrous history, starting with the “bawdy woman of the 1800s” the mountain was named after! Although the mountain was originally nothing more than a snow-covered sheep trail back in the day, everything changed on opening day in 1975 when it became one of Colorado’s famous playgrounds for skiers. Today, the lovely lady offers over 3000 skiable acres, 166 trails, and 23 lifts, ensuring that your ski getaway to winter in Winter Park brings you joy!
Granby Tree Lighting, December 3, 516 E Agate Avenue in Granby
The town of Granby lies just a few minutes outside Winter Park and offers the perfect beginning to the holiday season with their tree lighting ceremony that takes place on December 3 at 6 PM. Offering small-town and down-home wonders, there will be caroling, s’mores, and of course that big, beautiful tree lit up for the very first time! Dress warmly and bring your camera because there is sure to be lots of photo opportunities you will want to capture for your memories.
Life Outside a Hallmark Christmas Movie
Nearly every Christmas movie you will ever watch offers the “required” ice skating scene during which the couple who belong together hold hands while skating, perhaps sticking out their tongues to capture flakes on their tongues. Even if you already have your romantic co-star in life figured out, the Village Ice Rink, located just two minutes away from Winter Park Resort, allows you to act out your own romance with the mountain serving as a stunning backdrop to the scene! The Ice Rink isn’t a sterile building without charm, it literally is a pond outside that doesn’t open until the ice is thick enough to be safe, and once the rink opens, it will be open every day of the week.
The Best Hot Chocolate in Town
After a few hours on the ice or an entire day on the slopes, you may find yourself not just craving a cup of cocoa but actually needing its sweet warmth to thaw the chill that has taken over your body, and these wonderful places offer the best in town. Skiers won’t have to wander far from the mountain as they discover the flavors found at Goody’s Mountain Creperie located on the mountain. Offering café foods, brunch fare, and the best chocolate chip cookies in town, their boozy hot cocoa will warm you from the inside out this winter in Winter Park! Lion Head Coffee, located inside the Lift Transit Center, is known for their pastries (oh, how we love their cinnamon rolls!) coffee, and hot cocoa, but if you know all the secrets, you can make your own cocoa in the fully equipped kitchen of your Winter Park Escapes winter hideaway.
No we aren’t talking about the gruel served in a Dickens movie, we are giving the command for sled dogs to begin their run to the Continental Divide! Sled dog rides are available at Snow Mountain Ranch in Granby, Colorado, so dress warm and prepare to fall in love with the fluffy sled dogs! Offering lessons, private rides, and an adventure that will live on in your hearts for years to come, this unique activity is guaranteed to be one of your winter favorites.
Comfort Food on a Cold Day
As the temperatures drop, the snow falls, and the sky darkens to a velvety purple, your fingers and toes will tell you it is time to get out of the cold and your empty stomach will signal that it is time to fill it again! You have options, of course, starting with a homemade meal prepared in the warmth of our cheerful kitchens, but vacation meals prepared, served, and cleared away by others are one of your favorite parts of your getaway. Enjoy a casual meal of a large pizza piled high with cheese and your favorite toppings at Hernando’s Pizza Pub, and be sure to leave a dollar to add to the wall as a way of saying that yes, you were there! The Peak Bistro & Brewery is another Winter Park favorite, offering an all-American menu filled with your favorite dishes. Burgers, pizza, and sloppy fries topped with chili and cheese are just a few of the meals that will make your taste buds stand up and take notice.
So far, we have only discussed lunch and dinner restaurants that are destined to make you happy, but what if you wake up ready for a large breakfast before heading out for a day of cavorting in the snow? The Waffle Cabin in Winter Park Village is where we turn when we want to feed our families without all the work that is involved with making breakfast at home, and you will understand why at first sniff. Situated on the mountain, the waffles served here will change your life!
Your Spring in Winter Park
As you turn the page on another season, you may realize that your perfect Spring Break isn’t one spent by the sea; the mountains are your destination of choice, and as you might have guessed, Winter Park is waiting with open arms! Spring in Winter Park can still be cold and snowy. As a matter of fact, the last day of ski season doesn’t usually happen until the middle of May most years, allowing you to enjoy one last hurrah on the slopes before it is time pack away your snow gear for the season! If you haven’t skied before or are interested in learning how to snowboard, this time of year is the best time to learn; the crowds have shrunk and the slopes are bound to be more open, helping assuage any fears you may have about learning these new sports. The warmer days, sunnier skies, and all-around cheer will ensure that your Colorado vacation will be one of your happiest escapes as you play and explore everything that Winter Park has to offer.
Depending on what part of spring you arrive, it may still be cold, but if you dress in layers, exploring the trails that traverse the valley are destined to be your favorite activity! The Fraser River Trail, located in nearby Fraser, offers scenic views, tall pines, and even a picnic table or two on which you can enjoy a midday meal surrounded by the natural beauty of the Colorado countryside. Relax on a bench placed on the banks of the Fraser River, take family pictures with the mountain in the background, or simply hike until your feet say they can take no more. This part of the country is known for its beauty and tranquility, and this trail is the perfect example! If you forgot to pack hiking gear, comfortable shoes, sunglasses, water bottles, or hats can be purchased at West Portal Outfitters, located at 89 Parsenn Street in downtown Winter Park.
Winter Park Winery, 395 Zerex Street in Fraser
Sipping wine at local wineries is a luxury we all love, and if you can find a better way to while away a beautiful spring day in Winter Park, we suggest you jump at it; we on the other hand will continue to sit, sip, and enjoy the wines that are created right here in town! Fellow oenophiles (wine enthusiasts) understand the simple joys found in a glass of wine that is still half filled, and Winter Park Winery is where you need to spend a happy afternoon during your Colorado getaway. Offering a cozy tasting room that seats about 20 folks, when you find a bottle you really love, you can order it to be delivered to your hometown, although we wouldn’t mind if you chose to come back to Winter Park every time you needed a new bottle!
This Winter Park spring escape is guaranteed to be your favorite getaway, especially when you realize that you don’t need an excuse for a little retail therapy! The shops and boutiques that dot the landscape of our mountain village are filled with all the things you never knew you couldn’t live without, and nothing makes a spring day feel even nicer than a good old fashioned shopping trip. Pick up a cute and colorful sweater at Peezie Marie, (78930 Cooper Creek Square) a new pair of ski goggles from Winter Park Trading Company, (78902 US-40) or lose yourself in the assorted gifts, snacks, art pieces, and souvenirs that makes Moose Hollow Trading Company (47 Cooper Creek Way #124) one of our most favorite places to shop!
Traveling with little ones that you want to make sure stay happy and engaged at all times? A visit to Imaginations in Cooper Creek Square will bring joy as you explore the aisles filled with toys, puzzles, and games guaranteed to bring fun and happiness to every recipient. Finally, when you are looking for that perfect painting to hang above your sofa back home, the Elizabeth Kurtak Art Gallery, located at 201 Eisenhower Drive in Fraser, has a colorful selection of masterpieces that will enhance the beauty of your home.
The Season for Fly Fishing
Every season is a great season for fishing in Winter Park, but it is springtime when seasoned fishermen hearts beat a little faster, because they know that this is the season for fly fishing. Combine a leisurely hike along the Fraser River trailhead and pick any spot to cast your line; the Fraser River is known for being one of the most popular fishing spots in the entire state, offering up a bounty of fish for everyone dropping a line. Granby Ranch is another hot fishing spot, but it does cost a bit more, as the resort charges a fee for those hoping to cast off into their private section of the Fraser River. Finally, Lake Granby is probably the absolute best spot in the state to catch your limit during the cool and beautiful days of spring.
A Home for Every Season
No matter what season you choose to visit Winter Park, our Winter Park Escapes seasonal sanctuaries will be your best choice for a vacation you will never forget! Sit by a roaring fire in the winter, watching Christmas shows as the snow falls outside, or sit on the deck on a cool spring evening while watching the sun set. The quiet comforts and easy luxuries of our homes will inevitably become your favorite part of your getaway; reserve one today and live the good life in all the seasons!