Tales to Tell and Selfies to Shoot … 9 Mar 2014, 1:01 pm
So, it is time to book a vacation, and you are trying to decide where to travel? What defines a great vacation? It is the tales that you will tell afterwards, right? That is what facebook is all about, too, defining yourself through experience and photos. We invite you to make Colorado the site of your vacation adventures and the background of your epic vacation selfies. The Bed and Breakfast Innkeepersof Colorado member inns have enough opportunities to keep you posting for a very long time. We will amaze you with history, legends, stories and experiences to go with the hundreds of selfies that you will shoot in our State.
|Picture yourself here!|
Booking your vacation stay at a bed and breakfast is also an excellent way to get an unofficial tour guide for your Colorado adventures. Our innkeepers have located in a State that is over 1,500 square miles of varied terrain. Every area has its own fascinating history, and we will happily tell you stories and give advice to guide your daily trips. Our history is fascinating. Man was here in prehistoric times, leaving pictographs on canyon walls. Archaeology students from the University of Colorado are excavating ancient camping hearths in the Garden of the Gods, an area frequented for thousands of years by many Native American tribes. The land was considered sacred, and many tribes met there in peace.
|Native American wedding ceremony|
|Tarabino Inn Trinidad|
In the 1800’s, pioneers from eastern states came to Colorado in
covered wagons using the Santa Fe Trail. The long, dusty trip
covered the plains of Colorado with the Tarabino Inn is in the mountain town of
Trinidad near Cokedale where coal was mined for the railroads. Your
innkeeper will tell you old mining stories and direct you to the
nearby mining museum. Photo ops are everywhere in Colorado!
Rocky Mountains beckoning the pioneers to the center of the State. Sometimes mining towns were a destination for a new life –
|Bent’s Old Fort|
|Carr Manor Cripple Creek|
It was a long trip in a covered wagon from Missouri, usually stopping at Bent’s Old Fort on the eastern plains of Colorado, now a national historic site. If pioneers turned their oxen and covered wagons northwest towards the mountains of the Front Range, they might be headed to areas where gold and silver were mined. Along with enterprising miners, a merchant class sprang up that supplied the miners on their travels. The Avenue Hotel in Manitou Springs was an early lodging house for miners on their way to Cripple Creek. In that city, the old brick school was converted to bed and breakfast use as Carr Manor. Innkeepers are always happy to show their guests how their inn was used in Colorado’s early days.
|Ute Pass near Colorado Springs|
Wagons were loaded with provisions for the mining camps in Cripple Creek from Colorado Springs and Manitou Springs. Blue Skies Inn was built on the historic property owned by the founder of Manitou Springs, a small mountain town founded around sparkling mineral springs. Three bed and breakfast buildings were designed to fit with the 1872 carriage house which is now used for weddings. Located at the base of Pikes Peak, there are multiple day trips for adventuring and photographing selfies with a backdrop of spectacular mountain views. Whatever direction you head, you’ll find a welcoming bed and breakfast waiting for you.
|Blue Skies Carriage House and Wedding Chapel|
And, oh my!!! breakfasts at our Colorado member inns are amazing. We guarantee that you’ll be shooting selfies while you munch them. We’ve done the math to know that our innkeepers are baking millions of muffins for you.
|Avenue Hotel Manitou Springs|
Please visit our website to search for features that you want to find in the bed and breakfasts that you’ll book for vacation fun. Some inns welcome children, and we’re a State that is very educational for a home schooling trip. Other inns welcome pets. Several inns are ADA handicapped accessible. Whatever tales of adventure you’d like to tell after your vacation, or whatever background you want for your selfies, Colorado inns are your playground. Our innkeepers invite you to visit us!
If you stacked all of the muffins baked at every bed and breakfast in Colorado each year, would they reach the moon? To enjoy a taste of Colorado bed and breakfasts right in your own home, visit our website at www.InnsofColorado.org and take a tour throughout Colorado to see why you should book now to create new opportunities for your own selfie!
Special thank you for this blog edition contributor Sally Thurston, Blue Skies Inn Bed and Breakfast
Colorado Bed and Breakfasts Light up the Holidays with Traditions and Treasures… 1 Dec 2013, 8:01 pm
by Linda DuVal (special writer to Bed and Breakfast Innkeepers of Colorado)
Holidays Suit Newest BBIC Member Just Fine
|Edgewood Inn, Woodland Park|
Set on a ridge outside of Woodland Park, overlooking snow-capped Pikes Peak, the Edgewood Inn makes the perfect winter retreat. This newest member of the Bed-and-Breakfast Innkeepers of Colorado association celebrates winter and the holiday spirit in a big way.
Last year, they decorated 45 Christmas trees! They had help, says innkeeper James Maloney. Tweed’s, a home decorating store in nearby Woodland Park, aided their efforts when they were the focus of a holiday home tour. This year, they did it themselves and cut back to about 20 trees.
“It was still a lot of work,” admits Maloney, who manages the inn for owners Kathy and Dean Buysse, a couple who hail from Minnesota.
The inn is relatively new – it opened in 2012. It’s a modern geothermal house, but the look is old-fashioned, with window seats, glass door knobs and lovely woodwork, a la early 1900’s Arts and Crafts design. The main floor has public areas and one guest room, There’s a loft over the garage and
three guest rooms on the lower level. A farm-style breakfast is served every morning, with lots of variety, but the homemade hash browns are a guest favorite, Maloney says. Cookies and muffins are usually available for nibbling and there is a light snack with libations provided every afternoon. Dinner can be found at one of Woodland Park’s nice restaurants, just five minutes away.
But back to those Christmas trees. Each one has a theme, but Maloney thinks his favorites are the “bird tree” and the “angel tree.” The 5,000 square feet of decking also gets the holiday treatment with wreaths and garland. After Christmas, the obvious holiday stuff is removed, but the winter theme remains till spring, Maloney adds. Guests also can go for winter walks, take up snowshoeing (you can borrow some on-site) or curl up by the fire with a good book or movie.
It’s a real retreat,” Maloney says.
The Edgewood Inn is getting into the events and wedding business, too. Though it only has the five rooms, it can handle up to 150 people for a party. The public areas include a 900-square-foot dance floor in the Saloon and a gazebo out back is complete with a stage for a band.
“We have journals in all the rooms, so guests can write down their impressions of their stay,” Maloney says. “The words we most often see are ‘gracious’ and ‘hospitality.'”
More holiday décor
|Avenue Hotel B&B, Manitou Springs|
In response to our query for holiday decorating ideas, innkeeper Gwenn David of the Avenue Hotel in Manitou Springs, says: “We put up two trees, one in each of our parlors. One is our family tree and the other is the library parlor tree, the fancy tree. The latter tree is themed, with burgundy and silver bulbs, delicate bird ornaments, hand-tied ribbons and a gorgeous tree topper. Beneath it is a vintage village with hundreds of classic village pieces.
They make a 7-foot-tall snowman from papier mache and batting. He greets guests, standing in the entry on his glistening snowbank. For
instructions on how to make the snowman, visit their blog link on the Avenue Hotel page at the Bed and Breakfast
Innkeepers of Colorado website.
The staircase is wrapped with greens and ribbons. The mirrors and chandeliers also are decorated. A snowman figurine collection and snow babies are all about. Each of the nine guest rooms is decorated with greens and bulbs and a small tree, she says.
Outside, icicle lighting hangs from the soffits, the hand rail is adorned with giant pine cones and hand-tied ribbons and blows, and the rail around the porch and doorway are swags with greens, more ribbon and bows. At night, the vintage Santa and Tin Soldiers light up and a laser light show dances across the face of the house to the tune of Christmas carols.
That’s the spirit!
from Edgewood Inn
Add eggs and vanilla.
Sift together dry ingredients.
Add to cream mixture.
Roll into walnut size balls.
Flatten with the bottom of a glass that has been dipped in sugar.
Sprinkle with colored sugar for the season.
Bake at 350 degrees for 8-10 minutes.
Cool on rack.
Store in airtight container.
They can be frozen
Autumn paints Colorado in a palette of colors…perfect for a bed and breakfast leaf peeping stay!!! 1 Sep 2013, 12:45 pm
Autumn paints Colorado in a Palette of Colors
By Linda DuVal (Special Travel Writer to Bed and Breakfast Innkeepers of Colorado
Autumn creeps across Colorado, swiping at stands of aspens, cottonwoods and scrub oak with its bright brush, starting at high altitudes and working its way down to the river valleys and foothills.
|Fall is the perfect time to visit|
gone in a flash. No one can predict when and how long it will put on its
brilliant show. But while it lasts, it’s glorious.
Colorado bed-and-breakfast inn which has been inspected and approved by high standards through Bed and Breakfast Innkeepers of Colorado and take your chances on catching the annual
display of spectacular fall foliage.
manager Shorty Fry. In 1913, local records called it Jacob’s Ranch and listed
|Conejos River Ranch near Antonito|
as a fishermen’s lodge. It has had several owners over the
taking in guests, and gradually morphed into a full-fledged bed-and-breakfast
inn after Leonard and Kathy Romero bought it in 2002.
tiny Southern Colorado town of Antonito, it’s far enough from anywhere that
guests get breakfast with their lodging and can buy dinner, too – there aren’t
a lot of other options in the area. It also opens its restaurant doors to the
public, which happily takes advantage of it.
|Aspens are the hallmark of Colorado|
“the colors are absolutely gorgeous, usually. And this year, with all the rain,
they promise to be even better,” Fry says. Normally, the aspens start turning gold by
mid-September and finish by mid-October, and the cottonwoods linger even
longer, and with brighter and more varied hues – orange, gold and scarlet.
banks of the Conejos River, where fishing is the main draw. Few fishermen go
away without a batch of rainbow or brown trout.
into Antonito to catch the Cumbres & Toltec Scenic Railroad, which also does fall color rides
until mid-October, usually. “It always
depends on the weather,” Fry says. “We can get our first snow in mid-October,
sometimes.” The lodge has eight rooms and
an on-site rerstaurant. To find out about rates or make a reservation, call
719-376-2464 or go online to the Conejos River Guest Ranch.
earlier. And leave earlier.
|Dining Room at Frisco Inn on Galena|
overnight, surrounded by the reds and oranges of scrub oak and other shrubs,
then the flame is out. You don’t want to miss it.
Frisco Inn on Galena in Frisco (near Breckenridge), has seen it come and go
quite a few seasons. Before purchasing the inn with a partner in 2012, he owned
another inn in the area.
surrounded by aspen forests in all directions,” he says. “The colors are
magnified by the cobalt skies at this altitude. Frisco’s quaint, historic Main
Street with its variety of wonderful shops and restaurants complement all of
the fall activities available, whether it’s a hike in the forest, a bike ride
on the 80-mile network of paved bike paths or unlimited mountain bike trails.”
lake nearby. “Lake Dillon is just down
the street, (and)
|Beautiful guest rooms|
offers a unique perspective of the colors from a sailboat,
canoe or kayak (all available to rent). The inn has free bikes available for
guests to ride around town. (Some) also enjoy a scenic drive on one of the many
scenic byways in the area.”
Frisco Fall Spectacular or Oktoberfest, both local favorites.
|Frisco Inn on Galena near Breckenridge|
mountain inn has lots of room options, with 15 rooms ranging from two doubles
to queens and kings, with flat-screen TVs in every room. They serve wine, cheese
and other appetizers every afternoon, along with hearty gourmet breakfasts.
There are also lots of great restaurants in the area. The inn also has spa
services available, and fitness classes.
snow flies, they’re near great skiing and other winter sports, making the inn a
terrific base camp all year round.
reservation or see pictures of rooms, visit the Frisco Inn on Galena.
Hiking and “Liking” Colorado Bed and Breakfasts! 2 Jun 2013, 5:35 pm
you stay at a bed-and-breakfast inn that is close to a great trail system or
trailhead, it makes life all that much easier for you to pursue your high-altitude
passion. And, this is especially true at a Bed & Breakfast Innkeepers of Colorado member inn.
|Garden of the Gods|
|Mueller State Park|
One of the newest and most challenging hikes
in the state is the Mount Manitou Incline. Used illegally for years by local
residents, the incline is now open to the public, legally. Built in 1907 to
haul a tram car up Mount Manitou for visitors to see the views, it was abandoned
in 1990 after a rock slide. But the one-mile stair-step-style ascent with
railroad ties has continued to lure those who want to challenge themselves.
Incline starts at 6,530 feet and the summit hits 8,550 feet for a gain of
elevation of 2,020 feet in just over a mile. The average grade of the hike is
41 degrees with the steepest grade 64 degrees. If you
want to be close to the incline, or to Barr Trail, which ascends Pikes Peak
just beyond, you have several choices of B&Bs.
|Two Sisters Inn-Manitou Springs|
House in Old Colorado City, and the Avenue Hotel and Two Sisters Inn,
both in Manitou Springs, are all close to the Incline and Barr Trail up Pikes
Peak, one of Colorado’s more accessible “fourteeners” — 14,000-foot peaks.
go” say owners, Wendy Goldstein and Sharon Smith of Two Sisters Inn. “From our door you can easily get to the … Manitou Incline, the always
challenging Barr Trail to the top of Pikes Peak, and the leisurely (with
incredible views) Intemann Trail. All trails have connections to
Section 16, Red Rock Canyon Open Space and the famous Garden of the Gods.
Nearby hikes include the Ute Pass Trail, Longs Ranch Road, Bear Creek RegionalPark, and North Cheyenne Canyon. In a short drive there is Horsethief
Falls, the Crags and our favorite is Grouse Mountain in Mueller State Park.
Time will run out before one would exhaust the possibilities of hiking in this
guest easy access to the free shuttle that runs this summer.
discount on massages for hikers,” say innkeepers Gwenn David and Randy Hodges.
|Holden House-Colo. Springs|
Sallie Clark of Holden House says, “Our central
location just minutes from Garden of the Gods, Red Rock Canyon, Bear Creek Regional
Park and Cheyenne Canon Park, just to name a few. It is the perfect place to like to hike! And,
you’ll want to return to the inn after a day of hiking on spectacular scenic
trails, soak in a bubble bath tub for two, relax on the verandah in a porch
swing with a glass of chardonnay or peach iced tea during our afternoon wine
social or settle down for a quiet rest in a romantic suite.”
House is also on a designated bike route on a quiet tree-lined street. “A full gourmet breakfast
… offers the perfect start to your hike in the woods near creeks and waterfalls
or a walk through sacred canyons and red rocks surrounded by native American
legends. Wherever your path takes you, Holden House is always a nearby
retreat for outdoor enthusiasts,” she says.
|Hughes Hacienda-Colo. Springs|
in the Pikes Peak region, check out Hughes Hacienda south of Colorado Springs – far enough to feel remote, close
enough to hop into the city for dinner. Hughes Hacienda has great hiking trails on the
property and is 5 minutes from Cheyenne Mountain State Park — one of Colorado’s newest state parks. It’s
also not far from one of the region’s best-kept secrets when it comes to hiking
trails: Aiken Canyon Nature conservancy. “Both with wonderful hiking trails for beginners to expert hikers,” says owner Wayne Hughes.
|Hooper Homestead Hiker|
Away from the Front
Range, in the old mining-town-turned- gambling-Mecca, Central City, consider
spending a night or two at the Hooper Homestead. Owner Christine Pollock is an avid hiker herself. This year, she
is offering one-day customized, guided hikes that include lunch and, afterward,
a soak in a hot tub under the stars. Or opt for one of the inn’s hot stone
massages to soothe sore muscles. “Our B&B is
in the heart of some easier Front Range 14-ers (such as) Grays Class 1, Torres
Class 1, Mt. Bierstadt Class 2, and Mt. Evans Class 2 (and you can drive up and
take a very short hike to the top). As well, we are located 6 miles to the
Golden Gate State Park with plenty of hiking trails there. Just minutes away is
Centennial Cone Park, which is great for both hiking and biking – a double
feature there! I have hiked them all!”
|Carr Manor-Cripple Creek|
gambling town with its roots in mining is Cripple Creek. Here, at Carr Manor, visitors can do the usual
casino-cruising or they can take a great hike. Mueller State Park and Florissant Fossil Beds National Monument are close-by. “Thousands
of folks struck with gold fever made their way into the area on the southwest
side of Pikes Peak in the 1890s. Most of them walked or rode horses,” says inn
owner Gary Ledford. “Their goal was to reach the Cripple Creek Mining District,
where newly found gold was bringing promises of easy-found wealth. The Trails
of Gold is a series of trails that lead you through the wealth of gold mining
that made Victor and Cripple Creek famous.”
or historic, guided or on your own. Hiking epitomizes the summer experience in
Colorado. You just have to find a convenient place to rest your weary bones
when day is done.
Frozen Dead Guy Days: A Unique Colorado Activity 15 Feb 2013, 8:00 am
Once upon a time there was a man with a heart condition and wanderlust. Okay, maybe just a heart condition. Mr. Bredo Morstel lived in Norway and lived there his entire life. When his heart finally got the best of him in 1989, he made his way to California where he was cryogenically frozen before traveling to Colorado to be with his daughter and grandson (who had hoped to start a cryogenics lab themselves). Without a proper place to host their father/grandfather, “Grandpa Bredo” was relegated to the shed where he was kept properly chilled.
What? What about the summer months? Who will look after Grandpa Bredo?
This is where the city of Nederland stepped in. Working with Grandpa Bredo’s daughter, the city passed appropriate regulations in the mid 1990’s that allowed Grandpa Bredo to be cared for by the city.
But, of course, where there is city responsibility, there is a city job. In the years that followed, Grandpa Bredo acquired an “Ice Man” to keep his body packed in dry ice, keeping it at an appropriate temperature for continued cryogenic preservation (thank you, Bo Shaffer for over 20 years of service!). Oh, and if anyone wants to see Grandpa Bredo, Mr. Shaffer is happy to let you visit.
And what does that mean? It means that Nederland has quite the story to tell. And any town worth its weight in good-natured population knows that a situation such as theirs warrants an event! Ergo, Frozen Dead Guy Days (FDGD) began in 2001, and has been gaining popularity and attendance ever since.
Now, FDGD is considered one of the 100 top festivals in the United States (so named by the Chicago Tribune). This year’s 2013 celebration commences on the weekend of March 8-10.
When you attend, be prepared for both a lot of fun and a lot of spectacle. Food, music, Grandpa Look-alike Contest, lots of people dressed as the dearly departed, a polar-bear type swim, Coffin Races, cryogenic-related activities, shopping, films, hearse parade, games and contests, and more. You never quite know what might “animate” at this unforgettable event.
Nederland itself is a pretty little community in the Rockies. Technically in the left leg of Colorado’s Front Range Region, the town is also easily accessible from locations in the Denver, Northwest, and even the South Central Region! Our member inns will keep the fire going and your room warm and cozy for your return from a grand day of cold fun! With great amenities and first-rate, personal attention, your hosts will make sure that you have a great night’s rest and a great breakfast in case you want to go back for more!
So why not plan a bed and breakfast getaway for the weekend of Frozen Dead Guy Days and enjoy some quirky fun that you will be talking about for years to come.
Discover History and Adventure on Colorado’s Historic Trains 28 Dec 2012, 12:01 pm
The whistle blows, the steam begins to chug, side rods groan into action making the wheels start to turn, and that unmistakable squeal of steel-on-steel announces that a steam-engine-led train is on the move. Fantastic scenery, arriving at destinations and vistas unattainable by automobile, and historic lessons await all who have boarded.
Do the above words make your heart begin to beat a little faster and send shivers up your spine? We can totally understand. Not only do trains bring back the feel and romance of the past, they can also be a very luxurious way to travel. If all this sounds like a great way to spend part of your Rocky Mountain vacation, it is time to plan your Colorado bed and breakfast getaway, and enjoy a riding-the-rails adventure!
Chances are, if you like the history and romance of the railroad, you will love staying at a Colorado bed and breakfast. Most of our BBIC member inns are historic homes and buildings found all around the state. Inside you’ll find homespun comfort in the form of unbeatable hospitality, use of the inn’s common areas, great breakfasts each morning, and a wide array of extras that rival any chain hotel.
When you arrive at your favorite Centennial State inn, you will be welcomed like a part of the family. After all, our inns are also our homes! Your innkeeper can also answer any questions you might have about your stay and the area. In fact, your CO innkeeper is the best place to begin looking for a day-adventure on the rails, as they can tell you what is close-by, if there are any details that you may want to consider, and can even point you to the antique and hobby stores with the best rail-related items, and to the best restaurants to keep your train-themed adventure alive.
Enjoy a great breakfast on the morning of your Colorado rail trip. If you need to schedule an early dining time in order to make your train, most innkeepers are happy to accommodate you. After your train adventure, spend some time shopping and exploring the area, and know that your welcoming B and B room and comfortable bed is waiting for your return!
To help you pick your favorite rail adventure (and coordinate your bed and breakfast stay), we offer the following brief descriptions of some of the state’s most popular train excursions that are ideal outings during your Colorado vacation and invite you to visit our Locate an Inn by City or Region page of our website to choose the inn destination closest to your interests.
Cripple Creek & Victor Narrow Gauge
A 45-minute run offered between late May and early October, this excursion takes you through Cripple Creek’s mining areas on a coal-fired steam train. The station itself is located in Cripple Creek.
Before or after your train excursion, stop into the Midland Depot for lunch or dinner. Owned by one of our member innkeepers, the eatery features vintage train decorations and antiques.
Cumbres and Toltec Scenic Railroad
Offering full-day trips between late May and mid-October, this narrow-gauge coal-fueled train travels through two beautiful mountain ranges. Much like a “regular” railroad taken for travel, the train features an observation car and parlor car for use during the trip. Because the train travels through a variety of altitudes, it is recommended that you dress in layers for optimal comfort. The station is located in Antonito.
Georgetown Loop Railroad
This 1 hour, 15 minute loop runs from Georgetown to Silver Plume and back again. You will also enjoy a tour of the Lebanon Silver mine during the trip. The train travels more than 600 feet through wooded and mountain scenery – be sure to keep an eye out for wildlife!
Please note that the railroad cars are open to the elements, meaning that you’ll be riding whether it be raining or sunny… even snowing! Please dress accordingly.
Leadville, Colorado and Southern Railroad
Operating from late May through early October, this 2.5 hour journey takes you through mining lands between Leadville and Climax. Native flora and fauna can be seen along the way.
Pikes Peak Cog Railway
A round-trip to the Pike’s Peak summit and back, this trip is offered year-round, leaving from the base of the mountain in Manitou Springs. This trip ascends over 14,000 feet through Aspen and Pine forests and past streams and wildlife (you are almost guaranteed to see deer and bighorn sheep). Total trip time is a little over 3 hours, with a 30-40 minute visit to the summit. On clear days you will enjoy majestic views at the summit, spanning as far as Denver to the north, to the Sangre de Cristo Mountains to the south.
This train varies from all others because of its rack-and-pinion rail-to-wheel system. Basically, both the tracks and the train’s wheels are notched like gears, helping them to make the steep ascents and descents needed on this steep track.
Please note that temperatures are about 30-degrees cooler on the summit than at the base. Those who have sensitivity to altitude may experience discomfort at the summit, as well as those with heart problems and asthma. The trip is not recommended for infants under 3 months of age.
Rio Grande Scenic Railroad
Between late May and mid October, you can enjoy a day-long excursion which may include shopping, a stop at the Great Sand Dunes National Park, and lots of gorgeous scenery.
This steam engine departs daily and features enclosed cars to protect you from the elements. If you chose the Toltec Gorge Limited trip, you will also enjoy a ride on the scenic Cumbres & Toltec Scenic Railroad through beautiful landscape and to the Toltec Gorge where lunch is provided.
The Monte Vista Mixed trip actually carries freight along with its passengers through gorgeous landscape to Monte Vista and back.
Historic Royal Gorge Route Railroad
Running from the start of February through mid-October for its regular season, this railroad offers scenic day trips with lunch, and romantic dinner rides. Specialty and off-season trips including murder-mystery, wine-tasting, New Year’s, and Meet Santa excursions are also offered.
Departing from Canon City, the train follows the Arkansas River
and through the gorgeous Royal Gorge. Thrill at the hanging bridge
in a 30-foot-wide canyon! Both open-air and enclosed cars are
offered, and you may move about the train at will.
For the Perfect Gift Idea: Bed and Breakfast Gift Certificates 18 Dec 2012, 12:09 am
Need a great last-minute gift option? Well look no more! Instead, treat your friends, family, or loved one to a wonderful stay at a welcoming Colorado bed and breakfast!
member offer the best in Rocky Mountain hospitality with beautiful inns, great breakfasts, wonderful hospitality, and the best amenities. All in all, hotels can not hope to compete with a bed and breakfast experience!
Perfect for the holidays, birthdays, or “just because,” gift certificates can be purchased in almost any amount, whether you want to gift an entire stay, or maybe just part of a night! Your favorite Colorado bed and breakfast innkeeper will be happy to help you decide!
Downhill and Cross Country Skiing for a Perfect Colorado Winter Getaway 13 Nov 2012, 12:22 pm
Winter is making its way into Colorado, and snow can regularly be seen on Rocky Mountain-tops for at least part of the day. And where there is snow in Colorado, there is certainly skiing and snowboarding! In fact, Colorado offers some of the best skiing in the country, so why not “ski-inn” to a Colorado bed and breakfast! Whether your spirit takes you on a downhill, snowboard, snowshoe, or cross-country adventure, we have the Colorado inns to provide warmth, comfort, and hospitality after your powder-perfect day.
Please note: Throughout the rest of this post, we will be referring to just skiing. However, you can read “snowboarding” into any downhill skiing reference.
So you may ask: Many ski resorts have their own lodging options, so why should I stay at a bed and breakfast?
First, there is the ambiance. Inns are much smaller than resorts, meaning they are quieter, have special little touches that large resorts always overlook, and you can’t beat the coziness of a home-like atmosphere. You also don’t have the crowds that often make resorts feel like a true cattle-call of humans!
Second, there is the personalized service. Many of our innkeepers are skiiers themselves, meaning that they are ready to host visitors who love to ski. They may have discounts on packages and/or lift tickets, they know how to get to the slopes, and they can tell you the best runs at the nearby ski areas, and those that are friendliest to beginners or families! Oh, and that tricky mogle hill or spot that’s always slick? They know about those as well, and can give you tips and tricks for a great time at your chosen ski area.
Thirdly, there’s the hot and hearty breakfasts that our innkeepers prepare FOR you. You don’t have to try to find food amongst the hustle and bustle of a resort setting. Just come to the dining area, enjoy a great breakfast, and head out feeling full, warm, and ready to face the slopes! There’s also a good chance that there will be the perfect treats waiting for your return: maybe a hot tub, cocoa/cider/coffee/wine, or even a great little snack waiting for you when you return!
For cross-country fun, it’s the fact that once we get a base of snow, it doesn’t go away until spring… or later! Pair that with the amazing scenery, and we can guarantee a great Nordic skiing experience. Nordic skiing can break out almost anywhere there is snow, including the City Parks in Denver, Colorado Springs, Boulder, Ft. Collins, etc., and other open space areas around the state.
For downhill adventure, without a doubt, it’s the powder. And the climate. And the scenery. And the amazing slopes. Okay, so we’d argue that just about everything about downhill skiing in Colorado is better than many places in the country. If you happen to only have downhill experience in the east, you know how much “fun” a frozen slope can be, how piercingly cold the winds can be, how crowded the slopes are, and you know that the average run is about 1 1/4 miles. However, when you come out west, the powder makes skiing truly fun instead of a task, the winds are drier and less abrasive, there is WAY more acreage and the runs can be upwards of four miles or more! Pair that with the majestic scenery, and there truly is no better place to ski than Colorado!
It may be a surprise to learn that skiing is not prominent in all parts of the state due to the glorious winter sunshine and warmer temps enjoyed on many winter days on the Front Range and eastern plains. If you love hitting the slopes or the flats, then we hope that this high-level guide will help you choose the perfect place to spend your Colorado bed and breakfast getaway. If you do not see information for your chosen area, please feel free to ask your bed and breakfast innkeeper for more information about nearby opportunities.
Northwest: For cross-country lovers, the Sulphur Ranger District in Grand County offers trails in the over 400,000 acres of gorgeous acres, and a dozen Ranches and Nordic Centers offer opportunities on their land (cities in Grand County include Fraser, Granby, Grand Lake, Hot Sulphur Springs, Kremmling, Radium, Tabernash, and Winter Park). Downhill lovers will enjoy:
- Arapahoe Basin (near Keystone),
- Aspen Highlands (near Carbondale and Leadville),
- Aspen Mountain,
- Buttermilk (near Aspen),
- Copper Mountain (near Frisco),
- Eagle (near Vail),
- Granby Ranch,
- Howelsen (near Steamboat Springs),
- Powderhorn (near Grand Junction and Mesa),
- Snowmass (near Basalt),
- Sunlight Mountain (near Glenwood Springs),
- Vail Mountain, and
- Winter Park ski resorts.
Southwest: Cross-country skiing is available at the Crested Butte Nordic Center where over 30 miles of trails is available around the town. For Alpine fun, try:
- Crested Butte (near Gunnison and Carbondale),
- Purgatory (near Durango),
- Silverton (near Durango and Ridgway),
- Telluride (near Ridgway),
- South Fork, and Wolf Creek (near Pagosa Springs) ski resorts.
Front Range: The Clear Creek Ranger District in Clear Creek County (Idaho Springs, Dumont, Downieville, Lawson, Empire, Georgetown, and Silver Plume are here), Canyon Lakes Ranger District in Larimer County (Berthoud, Estes Park, Fort Collins, Johnstown, Loveland, Timnath, Wellington, and Windsor are here),
- Eldora (near Nederland and Rollinsville),
- Loveland Ski Area (near Georgetown), and
- Winter Park (actually in the Northwest, but close enough to call ours as well).
Denver: While there is no skiing in Denver, proper, a short drive into the mountains will provide plenty of on-snow fun.
South Central: Leadville and Tennessee Pass Nordic Centers offer over 30 miles of trails for cross-country exploration. For downhill, try:
- Monarch (near Salida), and
- Ski Cooper (near Leadville).
Northeast: Sanctioned skiing activities are yet to be developed for this area.
Southeast: Sanctioned skiing activities are yet to be developed for this area.
Ski the “Gems”
A number of the above-mentioned downhill resorts are considered Gems: lesser-known resorts that provide excellent ski and snowboarding experiences. Most offer a less-crowded, more relaxed environment where learning and families are both welcomed and a common occurrence. While we won’t go into which ski areas are considered Gems, know that if you plan on making several visits to Colorado during ski season, it may be worth looking into the 2012-2013 winter season Gems Card which offers special discounts on these particular resorts (some blackout dates apply).
With so many skiing and snowboarding opportunities, you can’t go wrong with a winter vacation to a Colorado bed and breakfast inn! We hope to see you this winter.
2012-2013 Colorado Bed and Breakfast Guide 13 Oct 2012, 12:00 pm
Sports, art, history, activities, culture, food and drink… Colorado has it all. And whenever you come to our magnificent state, there is no better place to stay than a Colorado Bed and Breakfast inn. Our hospitality, unparallelled service and accommodations, and delicious breakfasts bring visitors from all over the country, and even the world, for an exceptional lodging experience.
To assist in finding the perfect inn for your destination and needs, the Bed and Breakfast Inns of Colorado have just published the full-color 2012-2013 State Guide. The list of B and B member inns throughout Colorado with detailed information on each property including rates, website address, guest policies, and amenities grid will help you with this choice.
Know you want to come to Colorado, but unsure about what you want to do here? The guide also includes a statewide map and scenic byways map as the perfect resource for ideas and inspiration for your trip. Whether you decide to explore the prairies, discover gold, visit any number of our parks, hit the slopes, relive our extensive history, find some great shows and festivals, or discover or locally-made wines and beers, the BBIC State Guide will help you plan the perfect Colorado getaway to our inn accommodations in the area of your choice.
Use this handy guide to plan your travel and “inspected and approved” bed and breakfast accommodations. Each member inn has passed a 160-point checklist of standards created to assure a guest’s safety and comfort, evaluated in person by an independent inspector. No matter what the reason for your visit, there is a perfect BBIC choice for convenience, comfort, and hospitality that will surpass any hotel experience.
Request your State Guide online. The guide can either be mailed to you, or you can choose to download the .pdf version – whichever is more convenient for you!
Love the breakfast foods at your chosen inn? The State Guide also includes a Colorado Culinary Inn-Spirations cookbook order form. This cookbook includes over 100 simple and delicious recipes, made by our BBIC member innkeepers and taste-tested by our inn guests, that will bring back wonderful memories of your mile-high vacation.
So order your Colorado Bed and Breakfast Inns Directory today and start planning an unforgettable stay!
Experience the Grandeur of Colorado Scenic Byways 28 Sep 2012, 1:49 pm
Last time, we talked about the autumn landscapes in our great state: a rainbow of colors dominated by the yellows and greens of our Aspens and Evergreens. But how to go about seeing the beauty of the season? We would like to recommend Colorado’s 25 Scenic Byway drives in almost every part of the state! No matter which bed and breakfast you choose, there is a gorgeous and historic drive full of gorgeous Colorado scenery, within a short distance of your inn, just waiting to be explored!
Scenic Byways are just that – scenic. But that really isn’t an accurate term for the routes here in Colorado. The views are majestic, awe-inspiring, and just downright picturesque. During these jaunts, you can drive through the mountains, across the prairie, and along valleys and gorges. As you wander, you will see sights that can only be found here in Colorado: the flora and fauna, amazing landscape, and a variety of our natural wildlife. Some routes even lead you to recreational areas where you can take a break from your driving and see the sights close-up.
But did you know that many of our Byways are also historic? With names like The Ancient Roads, Trail of the Ancients, Highway of Legends, and Gold Belt Tour, how can they NOT be historic? Many of the Byways coincide with both National Historic designated sites, and locations that are obviously major parts of our state heritage.
Of our state’s 25 Scenic Byways, eleven of them have been designated as “America’s Byways” by the U.S. Secretary of Transportation: more than any other state in America!
Without further ado, a brief summary of our Byways is listed below. While some of the routes follow major roads, please note that some are back-road drives which may require 4WD vehicles, some may have vehicular restrictions, and some may not be passable during winter months. Please be responsible about checking road conditions before you set out, especially during the winter and after large storms.
The prairie-lands in the northeast easily bring to mind images of covered wagons and men on horse, making their way west to find either fortune, or the start of a new frontier life. The flatlands are interrupted by sights of hearty crags jutting above the earth in the north. This is truly the land where “the deer and the antelope play.” Our BBIC member inns in this area offer a comfortable night’s rest and hearty breakfast to prepare you for your explorations!
Pawnee Pioneer Trails
This 128 mile tour which meanders between Fort Morgan, Sterling, Grover, Briggsdale, and Ault. This short-grass prairie area is home to coyotes, prairie dogs, rattlesnakes, pronghorn antelope, and birds. The Pawnee Buttes provide a visual landmark throughout the drive, and you’ll even pass right by them on the north part of the route. Potential stops include the Overland Trail Museum and the Fort Morgan Museum. Keep an eye out for quilt squares painted on the area barns!
South Platte River Trail
A 19-mile circle route close to the Nebraska border that travels from Ovid to Julesburg and back again. While it may be short, this route covers the main route used to travel west in the 1800s. Potential stops include the Fort Sedgwick Museum, site of the Pony Express home station, and the Colorado Welcome Center.
Welcome to the land that inspired Native Americans and Spanish Explorers to tales of the fantastic. This rambling land is home to prairie lands, wondrous rock features, the Sangre de Cristo Mountains, and trading posts. When you leave your Southeast Colorado inn, you will wander from your comfortable and welcoming accommodations and into the atmosphere and inspiration of the past!
Highway of Legends
This 82-mile E-shaped route located on the west side of Interstate 25 is anchored in Trinidad, Aguilar, and Walsenburg. As you travel through the foothills, you will drive through Cucharas Pass and Cordova Pass and witness some truly amazing mountain views and rock formations. Keep an eye out for the Devil’s Stairsteps and the Dakota Wall, and consider stopping at Trinidad State Park and Lathrop State Park.
Santa Fe Trail
National Scenic Byway
A 188-mile drive from the Kansas border to the New Mexico border, passing through Lamar, Animas, La Junta, and Trinidad. This route covers the wagon-route used by settlers and traders through the southern grasslands. Look for coyote, prairie dogs as you drive through this historic country. Potential stops include Bent’s Old Fort, and the Santa Fe Trail Museum in Trinidad.
Front Range Region
Home to Universities and growing communities, the Front Range is also full of gorgeous scenery and the nation’s highest paved roadway. With the mountainous views and natural beauty along the waterways, these drives will both invigorate and inspire. Your Front Range bed and breakfast inn will give you the perfect place to dream of your wanderings each night!
This 22-mile route travels through the Arapaho National Forest between Georgetown and Grant. You will go from lush, green areas in the lower elevations through mid-elevation meadows, all the way up above the treeline at Guanella Pass itself. Consider a top at the Georgetown Loop Historic Mining and Railroad Park.
This 49-mile route begins at Idaho Springs and ends with a 28-mile climb to the top of Mount Evans itself where you may see bighorn sheep, mountain goats, marmots, and incredible views of the Front Range. When you take the side-branch to Bergen Park, you will pass through a variety of environments featuring rolling hills, open meadows, evergreen forest, and more alpine scenery.
Please note that the summit of Mount Evans is open during the summer only – from Memorial Day through Labor Day. When you travel to the summit, the weather can make drastic changes. The weather may go from sunny to rainy to snowy in a very short time, no matter what time of year it is! Mountaintops are cool, yet you are that much closer to the sun – so bring sunscreen and warm clothing!
Peak To Peak
This 55-mile Byway travels between Estes Park and Black Hawk/Central City, passing through part of the Rocky Mountain National Park (RMNP). The Continental Divide is the main feature of this drive, although the route passes near the Golden Gate Canyon State Park, and Arapaho and Roosevelt National Forests, guaranteeing plenty of natural beauty. There are plenty of attractions to consider for a stop including Eldora Ski Resort, and of course the fun casinos in Black Hawk/Central City. This is Colorado’s oldest scenic byway, celebrating its 94th birthday this year.
Cache la Poudre
Spanning 101 miles from Fort Collins to Walden along route 14, the east 2/3 of this route passes through the Colorado State Forest, following the Cache la Poudre River where you may see fishers, rafters, and kayakers enjoying the water during warmer months. Look for deer, elk, moose, coyote, and antelope during your travels, and watch for livestock crossing the road!
Please note that this Byway is highly-travelled during the summer and is used by semis and other commercial vehicles.
Trail Ridge Road, RMNP
National Scenic Byway
From Estes Park to Grand Lake, this 48-mile drive takes you through the RMNP, offering mountainous beauty, summer flowers, fall color, and the chance to see bighorn sheep, elk, and other wildlife common in the area. Featuring a cliff-hugging roadway sure to thrill and astound, this drive is one you’ll never forget. Be sure to stop by the Visitors’ Center at Fall River Pass.
Please note that parts of this Byway are closed during the winter months.
National Scenic Byway
From Golden, to Bergen Park and Morrison, and back again, this 40-mile circle route explores the foothills west of Denver. Along the way you’ll see Red Rocks Park, many open space parks, the Buffalo Bill Museum and Grave, Dinosaur Ridge, and plenty of natural beauty and wildlife. This Byway is open and accessible all year.
Pike’s Peak is, of course, the LARGEST draw of this region. But don’t think that’s all there is to see here! The Rocky Mountains span down the west side of this area, hiding beautiful scenery and historic towns which provide lessons of the past, as well as entertainment of today! BBIC Member Inns await your visit to their home turf which offers six different Byway options.
Los Caminos Antiquos (“The Ancient
This Byway spirals 129 miles starting at Alamosa and continuing through Fort Garland, San Louis, and Antonio before ending at the New Mexico border. The main feature of this tour is the Great Sand Dunes National Park: giant sand dunes (the tallest in North America) at the foot of the Sangre de Cristo Range where you can climb the dunes, hike the base, fish, and even ride a sled down the sand if you’ve thought to bring one! During your trip, you can stop by the Fort Garland Museum, San Louis Lakes State Park, and our state’s oldest surviving town of San Luis.
Top of the Rockies
National Scenic Byway
This is an 82-mile drive from Aspen passing through Leadville, the Tennessee Pass, Red Cliff, and Minturn with a side-route through the Fremont Pass. Featuring the stunning mountains surrounding this route and two opportunities to cross the Continental Divide, this pretty drive follows the Arkansas River. Watch for wildlife at the water and enjoy stops at the many recreational areas and National Forests, the National Mining Hall of Fame and Museum, and the Healy House Museum.
See the old mining camps during this 117-mile drive along Route 149 between the Blue Mesa Reservoir and South Fork. Enjoy incredible views of the upper Rio Grande and the stunning North Clear Creek Falls, amazing Slumgullion earth slide, and Uncompahgre Peak’s fin-like structure.
Gold Belt Tour
National Scenic Byway
This route meanders 131 miles through gold country from Florence to Florissant, and back again. See the stunning vistas of Pikes Peak, Beaver Creek Wilderness, Royal Gorge, and natural beauty in Colorado’s high country. See the towns which were once home to gold mine camps during the prospecting days, and enjoy stops at Canon City, Cripple Creek, and Victor. If you’re a fossil-hunter, stop by the Glorissant Fossil Beds National Monument and the Garden Park Dinosaur Fossil Area.
Please note that 4WD vehicles are recommended for the Shelf Road, and Phantom Canyon Road is impassable for vehicles over 25 feet in length.
National Scenic Byway
Spanning 103 miles from Pueblo to Westcliffe on Route 96, and down to Colorado City on Route 165, this was once a common travel route for Native Americans, explorers, traders, trappers, ranchers, and gold prospectors. Snow-capped mountains, meadows, and canyons accompany your tour past historic buildings of bygone days.
This 57-mile journey covers the area from route 82 in the north, following route 285 south to Poncha Springs, 50 to Salida, and 291 to make a small triangle on the south end. This Byway parallels the Continental Divide along the Sawatch Range (home of many 14’ers in the state). Much of this drive follows the Arkansas River where you may see kayakers and fishers enjoying the waters. High-altitude ranches are also prevalent in the area, as is the aquamarine mined on Mount Antero by several companies. Consider a stop at the Arkansas Headwaters State Park, San Isabel National Forest, and the historic district in Salida.
Known for the mighty Colorado and ample skiing opportunities, this region is an outdoor-lover’s dream. Be sure to watch for the excitement as you make your way along any of the four Byway options in the area. Northwest BBIC Inns in Carbondale, Cedaredge, Glenwood Springs, Frisco, Eagle, and Minturn will prepare you for your adventures with a good night’s rest and a delicious breakfast!
Colorado River Headwaters
National Scenic Byway
Following the tumbling brook that will eventually become the Colorado River, this 80-mile byway travels on a gravel road from Grand Lake to Route 40 where it follows the water to State Bridge. With the classic, picturesque stream-side drive, you’ll see tumbled rocks, small waterfalls, trees, lush greenery during the summer, and crystal ice during the winter. Watch for native animals visiting the creek for a drink!
Flat Tops Trail
Traveling 82 Miles from Meeker to Yampa, you’ll pass through the middle of what was once the White Water Plateau Timberland Preserve: land set aside in the 1800’s that would eventually become part of the National Forest System. With protection for that long, you can imagine the pristine beauty that waits for you on this drive!
Please note that you will want a full tank of gas when you leave either Meeker or Yampa to make this drive! The road can also be muddy when wet. This Byway is also closed on the west side during the winter.
National Scenic Byway
This 63-mile route runs from I-70 to Cedaredge on Route 65 with a side-trip to Lands End. Enjoy scenic canyons, evergreen forests, and the summer’s green fields on top of the Grand Mesa where stream-fed lakes offer ample fishing opportunities. Not to mention the views of the lands below! In the winter, the Mesa is blanketed with snow and is a popular location for all kinds of winter activities. Look for mountain lions, coyotes, deer, red fox, and elk as you follow this Byway.
National Scenic Byway
This is a long, 486-mile circle drive in the very western side of Colorado and into Utah and back again. The Colorado portion of this drive is 110 miles from Dinosaur (Route 40) to Fruita on Route 70, and then over to Grand Junction. If the name Dinosaur didn’t give you an idea, some of the most notable dinosaur fossil grounds are located along the sum total of this route. This route cuts through mountains and over plateaus. Consider stops at the Dinosaur national Monument and Colorado National Monument.
Please note: We recommend a full tank of gas before setting out on the Colorado portion of this tour, as there are very limited services along this route.
Known for its history of the Pueblo people, mining, and the prized geological locations, this region is also a popular place for outdoor-lovers and sightseers. All of our BBIC Inns in this region are within just a short distance from at least one of these five Byway selections.
This strictly 4WD vehicle circle-type route between Routes 550 and 149 requires some high clearance to complete. Anchored by Ouray, Silverton, and Lake City, the Alpine Loop is made up of unpaved, rocky roads that were once used by miners in the 1800s. But this Byway makes up for the lack of comfortable travel with some of the most pristine landscapes available in the state. Explore the seven ghost towns in the area as you traverse two alpine passes.
Please note: A full tank of gas is required at the start of this drive, and extra food and water is recommended, as there are no services offered through this Bypass. This route is closed in the winter, and can be very muddy when the weather has been wet.
Trail of the Ancients
From the Colorado/Utah border to the Four Corners and on into the easternmost part of Utah, this 116-mile loop circles the southwest corner of the state with a side-trip to Mesa Verde National Park. The Ancients are the Anasazi people who left behind cliff dwellings, rock art, and remnants of pottery… and not much else. Archaeologists are still trying to decipher this mysterious race. Consider a stop at the Mesa Verde National Park, Hovensweep national Monument, Anasazi Heritage Center, and the Ute Mountain Ute Tribal Park.
Please note: Some roads are gravel and can become muddy when wet.
San Juan Skyway
A 236-mile circle-route passing through Placerville, Ridgway, Silverton, Durango, Cortez, Delores, Rico, and Telluride. Full of things to see (BESIDES the amazing views) and do, this trip could take anywhere from 6 hours to several days! Drive through mountains and valleys, through the woods and along the rivers between towns that offer both history and entertainment. Bring your camera because you’ll want to have these photos to look back on! Potential stops include the Mesa Verde National Park and four wilderness areas, the Ouray Hot Springs, and a number of different railroad and historical museums.
Please note: Bring an umbrella or jacket for the common afternoon thundershowers during warmer months. Also make sure the road conditions are passable during the winter.
This 133-mile drive along Routes 141 and 145 from Whitewater to Placerville is full of both scenery and history during your drive through the Uncompahgre Plateau. Red sandstone formations tell of earlier times, cliffs tower over you like high rise buildings, and streams carry runoff water down off the plateau. Several preserves and places of archaeological interest can be found along the Unaweep.
Please note: The recommendations are numerous for this Byway! Start with a full tank of gas and plan your route well, as there are sections of your drive where you will be unable to find fuel, and cell service is patchy. Bring food and water, as eateries are few and far between. Do not touch or take artifacts and respect the private properties bordering the Byway. Finally, watch for both falling rocks and wildlife on the roadway!
West Elk Loop
From Carbondale in the north, down Route 133 to circle around Paonia, Hotchkiss, Gunnison, and Crested Butte, this 205-mile Byway boasts grand views of Mount Sopris’ twin summits AND the amazing rock layers decorating the Black Canyon of the Gunnison. This can be strictly a sightseeing trip, however it can also offer a rich lesson in history if your interest lies there.
Please note: a 31-mile gravel section of the road over Keebler Pass is closed during the winter months.
25 total byways offering 25 different experiences. Featuring stunning sights, a chance to see both wildlife and domesticated herds, and providing historic insight into the different parts of Colorado, the Scenic Byways are a favorite activity of thousands of visitors each year! Check out the Bed and Breakfast Innkeepers of Colorado specials for Scenic Byway vacations!