3 Easy Mountain Day Trips From Denver

Perfect one-day vacays from the Mile High City



Estes Park, Colorado

I’m an expert member of several online travel forums, and I often see the following question: “Looking for an easy mountain day trip from Denver. Suggestions?”

Here are a few easy day trips from Denver that allow visitors to enjoy a Rocky Mountain experience without a long drive.

GEORGETOWN, COLORADO
hidden in plain sight

We’ve been visiting Georgetown for many years now. It’s a wonderfully authentic mining town just 50 minutes west of Denver on Interstate 70.

Georgetown is home to my favorite “house museum” in Colorado. It’s Hotel de Paris, an absolute delight to tour. One reason this museum is so fantastic is that 90 percent of its furnishings are original to the building. If you love the history of the west, Hotel de Paris is a must-visit.

Visitors have a selection of good restaurants to choose from in Georgetown. I have three go-to spots including Lucha Cantina for the green monster burrito, Trio’s Cafe for an appetizer and glass of wine, and Cake for baked goods and amazing homemade soup.

And don’t miss the Georgetown Valley Candy Company, family-owned since 1985—it’s a diamond in this town’s crown.

For more on this pretty little mountain village, visit Historic Georgetown online.

ESTES PARK, COLORADO
go for the beauty, stay for the pizza

We’ve been visiting this town for many years, and it’s been fun to watch it evolve. Today, there are several breweries and a distillery in town, plus a fun outdoor beer garden called The Barrel. However, I go to Estes Park for the pizza.

My all-time favorite unique pizza is the Rocky Mountain Pizza (smoked trout, capers, cream cheese, red onion, mozzarella) at Poppy’s Pizza & Grill. I stumbled across this addictive pizza several years ago and it’s a must-have whenever I’m in town.


Photo courtesy Anthony DeSousa

If you want a straight-up New York-style pizza, you must go to Antonio’s Real New York Pizza. My friend Anthony DeSousa serves up some of the best pizza you’ll ever eat. It’s worth the drive to Estes just to put some in your mouth.

Estes Park is an easy day trip from Denver. To learn more about it go to VisitEstesPark.com.

GOLDEN, COLORADO
feels remote yet so close to the city

Last but not least, and definitely the closest, Golden’s proximity to Denver means that I often recommend it to folks who want to escape the big city during their visit to Colorado.

I’ve had the great pleasure of staying in Golden several times and the town, which is almost a suburb of Denver, has retained that Colorado mountain feel.

I don’t have time to talk about all the things to do in Golden, but visitors can grab a pint at one of the town’s many breweries and then enjoy the history at the Buffalo Bill’s Grave & Museum or an art show at Foothills Art Center. When you tire of museums, jump on a trail. Golden has many to choose from.

If you visit during the summer, don’t miss the Golden Farmer’s Market. I think it’s one of the best in Colorado.

For more information go to VisitGolden.com.

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About This Blog

Heidi Kerr-SchlaeferHeidi Kerr-Schlaefer is the founder of HeidiTown, the place for entertaining festival and travel stories. As the “Mayor” of HeidiTown and a freelance writer, Heidi travels the Rocky Mountain States and beyond in order to introduce her readers/citizens to the amazing adventures that are just a road trip away. ‚Äč 

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