The wedding of a Brazilian friend in Colorado Springs led a group of more than ten people to embark on a trip to the United States between mountains, parks and ski resorts. The Colorado Caravan, as we called this adventure, made us be surprised by a destination we had never thought to know.
Before meeting the staff in the wedding city, I went to visit a childhood friend who lives in Boulder - my first stop in Colorado, 25 miles from the state capital, Denver. Boulder is a university city full of parks… Among them is the park of Chautauqua, with beautiful landscapes and good hiking trails.
It was very windy in the early days of April, but the spring weather was fine, with blue skies and some snow still high in the Rocky Mountains, making it look even more beautiful.
In addition to checking out the already famous Cheesecake Factory, we ate great hamburgers at another typically American restaurant, Red Robin Gourmet Burgers.
Estes Park, Colorado
Less than an hour from Boulder is Estes Park, a small town that is the gateway to Rocky Mountain National Park. Located at 2,292 meters above sea level, Estes Park has a very dry climate and so it is essential to drink plenty of water even in the cold.
Lunch was at the great Casa Grande Mexican Restaurant, located by the river. The Marguerita is really special!
Estes Park's main attraction is the historic Stanley Hotel, founded in 1909, with beautiful architecture and spectacular panoramic mountain views. Famous for inspiring Stephen King in the chilling novel “ The Shining, ” though Kubrick used the Timberline Lodge, Oregon, façade for his film shootings.
Visitors can take a tour to experience the hotel's stories and tours that include tours of ghost legends as well as real ghost hunts (!!!). Our short time did not allow us to tour the hotel … I only met the beautiful reception, which has an old car and a buggy in the lobby. But only the wonderful panoramic view is worth the visit.
I went on a trip to Colorado Springs, where I met the guys from the Colorado Caravan. Between lunch, dinner and wedding preparations, we discovered the beauties of this destination still little explored by Brazilians.
We stayed at the hotel suggested by the couple, Holiday Inn Express, where most of the guests stayed. Has great service, comfortable rooms, highly recommend! A couple traveling with their 4-year-old son chose a different hotel from the group - they stayed at Staybridge Suites and also enjoyed the service, the view, and the large rooms and bathrooms.
As they were traveling with a child, they did some more family programs and visited the beautiful Cheyenne Mountain Zoo in the mountains (there is even a cable car ride!). In addition to some exotic animals like kangaroos and rhinos, Cheyenne has a few glass cages that allow it to be tete-a-tete with gorillas, bears, and lions. Right at the zoo entrance, the tour starts with the opportunity to feed the giraffes with lettuce, it must be really fun!
The Ghost Town Museum was also another landmark tour. Here you can visit barber shops, warehouses and workshops in a western-style village - those that appeared on the railroad route during the “gold rush” period - and see relics such as pianos, wagons and sewing machines from 150 years ago.
Have you had any adventures in Colorado? Is it on your bucket list? I hope these stories inspire you to take a trip to this beautiful part of the United States.