Visiting Winter Park in Colorado was an absolute dream. Here’s why.
You may or may not know this about me yet, but I love the winter. I looooove snow. Perhaps that’s a product of originally being from Connecticut and then living in Massachusetts for many years.
Honestly though, you might think the opposite, right? That after all those chilly, snowy years that I’d be over it?
I love it even more. And that might be because now I’m living in Atlanta. Atlanta, the city that has only seen snow for TWO days in the past 2.5 years. It’s not enough. I’m missing it dearly. Which is why, you can imagine, I was thrilled to be back in Colorado.
A friend and I drove out to Denver a few months back (yes, from Atlanta, it took about 22 hours) and I loved it so much (and my friend), that I ended up flying back last week. Well, not just me, 3 gals and I flew out to see our friend Lulu and indulge in delicious food, cocktails, and a day on the mountain.
Whether you have access to a car or not, I highly recommend catching the Amtrak Winter Park Express train from Denver Union Station up to the mountain. It was one of the most beautiful train rides I’ve ever been on, if not the most beautiful.
It’s a two hour ride that flies by because the views are unreal. As you traverse the mountains, you’re treated to views that are both desolate and magnificent. As you move further and further away from the city and, in turn, advance closer and closer to the mountain, the landscape begins to shift.
You’re in and out of tunnels and finally, as you enter the last tunnel of the ride – Moffat Tunnel – you’re so close you can almost smell the snow.
Ten minutes later, you emerge into a winter wonderland. The trees are lightly covered in snow, the temperature has dropped significantly, and the excitement amongst the passengers builds until its overflowing like a pot boiling to the brim with water.
Skiing and snowboarding are often the first answers here, but there’s tons to do in Winter Park! In fact, we didn’t even ski or snowboard, ha! Instead, we started our day with savory crêpes at Goodys (get the Monte Cristo, it’s a delight!), followed up with a snowy walk around the resort.
We made our way up to Hill House shortly after breakfast and coffee via the cabriolet and indulged in an hour of tubing. Let me just say this, tubing was a BLAST. I haven’t laughed and screamed so hard simultaneously in I don’t even know how long.
There were four of us so we tied our tubes together and ventured down as a group. We FLEW down that mountain. Honestly, I was pretty petrified the first time and then ended up loving it. Yet another reason to do things that scare you.
After tubing, we made our way to the gondola (the ride alone is worth the $29 ticket) and headed up to the top of the mountain for a little après-tubing. Is that a thing? We’re making it one.
We sipped on mulled wine and snacked on toasted sandwiches at Sunspot. If you’ve never been up to a mountaintop lodge, this is your chance.
You HAVE to go. Whether you’re skiing/snowboarding or not. It’s divine. I loved watching everyone hop off the ski lift and prepare to head down the mountain. It didn’t hurt that the views were unparalleled. AND it was snowing, which felt like an extra special treat for our one day on the mountain.
My biggest tip for Winter Park? Stay overnight if you can. We wish we were able to, so you can bet we’ll be doing just that during our next annual winter girls’ trip.
How about you – have any winter trips coming up? Where are you heading?