Late-Fall Festivals in the Mountains

Hard cider, beer, chocolate, wine and cheese… savor the delicious treats and the views at these fantastic events.


Hotchkiss, Colorado
October 28, 2017

This is one of very few hard cider festivals in Colorado and it takes place in one of my favorite spots, Big B’s Delicious Orchards in the North Fork Valley. This bountiful region is southeast of Grand Junction and just over McClure Pass from Carbondale. The event features hard cider tasting from ten different cideries as well as three bands. Food will be available to purchase.

Big B's campground [Photo by Heidi Kerr-Schlaefer]

Stay: Festival goers can camp at Big B’s Delicious Orchards, which is a great way to experience this fantastic venue. There’s an onsite store, restaurant and cider tasting room. There’s also a large outdoor area with a permanent stage. Campers have use of portapotties and Big B’s restroom.


Photo by Brewtography Project

Estes Park, Colorado
November 4, 2017

One of the best destination beer festivals in Colorado is held annually in Estes Park. With elk in the streets and a brisk nip in the air, fall is the perfect time to visit this Rocky Mountain town. Fall Back Beer Festival always takes place on the day before daylight savings ends, therefore your get an extra hour in your weekend.

I like this festival because in addition to a nice selection of beer and great music, it always has an educational component involving presentations and workshops. It’s also an official site for the American Homebrewers Association’s National Learn to Homebrew Day and several sanctioned clubs show up to do live brew demos and talk to festival attendees who are interested in homebrewing.

Stay: Of course, The Stanley is always a choice pick when staying in Estes Park, but if you’re traveling with friends, check out the rental units at The Rustic Acre. With well-appointed units that sleep up to six, it’s perfect for Fall Back Beer Festival with friends.


Town of Creede, Colorado [Photo courtesy of]

Creede, Colorado
November 24-25, 2017

If you’ve been looking for a reason to visit Creede, Colorado, this is it. The Creede Chocolate Festival starts the day after Thanksgiving and is a showcase of chocolate creations made by local business owners and individuals.

The event occurs inside businesses up and down Main Street, and the chocolate delights range from chocolate covered pretzels to jalapeno bean fudge. Enjoy chocolate and shopping, and don’t forget to vote for your favorite in the People’s Choice Awards. The best part? Tickets are just $10.

Stay: Windsock Acres offers unique lodging in the heart of Creede. Their three charming cabins are like something straight from a storybook and a stay here makes you the hero or heroine.


Ouray, Colorado
December 9, 2017

We visited this event last year with some friends and had a wonderful time. After all, who doesn’t love chocolate, cheese and wine?

One particularly nice thing about this festival is that the wineries in attendance are nearly all represented by the winemakers themselves. This makes having a wine discussion here extra special.

Wine is definitely the highlight, but there are tastes of chocolate and cheese throughout the event as well as local artisan booths. Last year’s offerings include an array of gorgeous handmade jewelry, photography and more.

When you’re in town, don’t miss the work of Lisa Kral, of Dancing in My Head Photography, at the Wright Opera House. Ms. Kral’s first show is sure to delight Colorado lovers.

Stay: Ouray has a lot of hotels. Whether you’re looking for affordability (Ouray Chalet Inn and the Matterhorn Inn) or something with historic charm (Hotel Ouray and Beaumont Hotel & Spa), this town has got your covered.


Categories: The Heidi Guide