If I could pack my bags and move anywhere in the continental United States, it would be Colorado. But you already knew that, right? So until both of our jobs miraculously move their headquarters to Denver, long weekend trips to my favorite state will have to do.
My best friend Jenni and her husband John joined us earlier this month to a three night stay in Breckenridge and an overnight stay in Colorado Springs. Couples trips are the best. Not that I don't enjoying spending time alone with Brandon, but having more people along just doubles the fun.
Here are some highlights of the trip and scroll down further for information on where we stayed and a list of must-sees in the Breckenridge and Colorado Springs area, if you too are planning a visit.
After landing at 10am at the Denver International Airport, we high-tailed it south to Breckenridge, with a stop for lunch at Beau Jo's Pizza and a short hike to St. Mary's Glacier.
We quickly realized that we had reached new levels of altitude when the .75 mile hike had us all huffing and puffing. Totally worth it though with the views from the top, though the glacier was quite small this time of year.
We drove South a bit more and into our little cabin rental for the weekend (details below) just outside the small ski town of Breckenridge. You guys. This is the most picturesque little Colorado town I've ever seen (besides Telluride of course). It was lined with little ski shops, family-owned restaurants and cozy cafes. Adorable.
We spent the weekend hiking, taking some scenic drives through the area, eating, and shopping. The weather was freezing in Breckenridge, but I wouldn't have had it any other way. It gave us a good excuse to sit by the fire in the cabin and play strategy games like the cool people we are.
We hiked a 1.5 mile down and back Continental Divide Hike and it was freezing. I invested (well, I had an REI gift card) in a Patagonia Nano Puff jacket before going on the trip and I highly recommend it. We estimated that it was -10 with the windchill.
The next day, we drove to Colorado Springs, but not before stopping by South Park, Colorado (actually, I believe it's called Fairplay, where the South Park creator grew up). We had breakfast there too at a little family-owned diner called The Brown Burro. Best (and cheapest) diner breakfast I've ever had.
Had to do it.
We stayed at a Fairfield Marriott in Colorado Springs that was pretty unremarkable, but the activities definitely were not: visiting the top of Pike's Peak is my favorite thing to do in Colorado Springs, no matter how touristy.
You take this old Cog Railroad up to the top of the mountain (we could have driven, but it's a very dangerous road - and I'm prone to car sickness) and it's such a fun and beautiful train ride.
At the top, we bought some hot dogs, donuts, and hot chocolate (come on, you know that sounds delicious) and braved the wind chill to get some photos.
The next day we visited Garden of the Gods in Colorado Springs, which is a city park that puts any other city park to shame. We spent most of the afternoon there, snapping photos, taking a guided history tour, and we even brought lunch back there (my first time trying Jimmy John's - oh those pickles!).
[See the face?]
By the end of the day, we were exhausted, but drove up to Denver to spend the night (we all had early flights the next morning).
In summary: I just love Colorado. That is all.
Where we stayed, what we did and where we ate...
I did Trip Advisor reviews for most of these places, so I'll link to those if you want my full review.
Idaho Springs, CO
- Stayed: Moose Meadow Cabin Rental via HomeAway - we loved it, especially the views and the fireplace
- Ate: Mi Casa (Mexican) - awesome
- Ate: Mary's Mountain Cookies - was just okay
- Ate: MotherLoaded Tavern - awesome
- Scenic Drive: Boreas Pass - awesome
- Ate Breakfast: The Brown Burro Cafe - awesome
Colorado Springs, CO
- Stayed: Fairfield Inn Marriott - was just okay
- Attraction: Pike's Peak Cog Railway - awesome
- Park: Garden of the Gods - awesome