Looking for a good quick getaway, maybe a “staycation”, I have just the place for you. Whether you are looking for a nice romantic weekend getaway or perhaps a family adventure. Glenwood Springs is the place you want to venture off to. As a kid,I used to go up to Glenwood with my sisters in laws. They were a big family (7 kids) and finding a family vacation spot was not so easy when trying to keep the costs down, as you can imagine. Lucky for me my sister included me and it became an annual vacation until I was about 12. I’m not exactly sure why it has taken me 28 years to return to this beautiful place.
The drive to Glenwood is beautiful, the mountainscapes, the Colorado river by your side, the red rock cliffs, it is all just breathtaking. The drive from Denver is about 3 hours, so it’s tolerable for the younger kids, my daughter who is 4 fell asleep, but prior to, she only asked are we there yet about 3 times. She was really excited and anxious.
Once we entered the small town, it was refreshing to see that not too much had changed. It hasn’t become too commercialized or touristy. It still has that old town feel. There were, however, more restaurants! But again, not franchise style restaurants, only local. We had dinner the first night in town at Slope & Hatch. They offer tacos and hot dogs, sounds weird right, but DELICIOUS! They case their own dogs and all flavor options for both the tacos and hot dogs are unique and extremely flavorful. My step dad had the good ole chili dog, I myself had the jerk chicken tacos, my mom had the Cubano tacos and my husband got the crispy fish tacos. We all got something different so we could try them all! Which no one had a bad meal, they were all so good none of us could pick a favorite. Highly recommend and extremely affordable!
The second night, we went out to eat at the CO Ranch House. This place is a little pricey, but we knew we were wanting to have one night of splurging with a nice dinner. Their menu consists of steak, chops and seafood, especially rainbow trout. The atmosphere has a great ranch style yet modern feel but upscale feel, which also includes a large patio. They didn’t lack in any ambiance which set high expectations for the food and they didn’t fall short. Our filets were tender, juicy and flavorful (no A-1 here) and the pork chops were bursting with flavor. They do offer a very well balanced price range should you choose to eat a salad, sandwich or burger, even just a few appetizers to share. They have a wide variety and keep the menu simple and localized, such as Elk burgers, trout B.L.T., Venison meatballs, its unique and delicious.
The third night, we went to The Lost Cajun, beignets & gumbo, need I say more. Now, I myself have never been to New Orleans or anywhere in Louisiana for that matter, BUT my mom and step dad have and they said this restaurant’s gumbo and beignets were right on target. It felt like they were in New Orleans again, my mom’s eyes lit up like a star on the top of a Christmas tree when she got her beignet basket. They melted in your mouth and we couldn’t get enough. Lucky for us they were in the house! They were really busy and service was a little delayed, so since we were so nice and understanding the waitress not only got us beignets on the house but also comped our drinks!
Now, I know what you’re thinking this sounds more like a food review, but really it’s not, I just didn’t want to fall short in giving the details of some great restaurants and there are more we are wanting to try next time for sure!
On top of all the great places to eat there is also a wide variety of places to stay and many of which are very reasonable. We stayed at the Best Western Antlers. This is the place my parents always stay at and I now I know why. It is a cute, quaint place that is well kept and clean. It has all the accommodations you would need and the grounds and landscaping are very nice. No complaints here, plus it is walking distance to town and also to the Glenwood Springs Hot Springs pool. Plus it is affordable! I will say that next time around we want to stay at the Hotel Colorado. This hotel has history! Teddy Rosevelt, William Taft, Molly Brown along with Al Capone all stayed here. They have all the vintage, antique decor, and furnishings, many of which are originals. Loved it!
Then there is the hot springs pool, you can’t go wrong here. It is fun for all ages and it large enough to not feel over crowded. You are able to bring in coolers and your own plastic bottle beverages. Or you can enjoy a nice lunch at the grill.
On our last day there we decided to take the long way home and drive through Aspen on Independence Pass. If you haven’t taken this drive, you need too! It is probably the most beautiful drive I’ve ever been on in Colorado. You can stop along the way and dip yourself in the river, take pictures or just take a nice deep breath of fresh mountain air! This is also the drive that is recommended for a fall drive to see the change of colors in the aspens, now I know why! Breathtaking!
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