Estes Park, CO: Best Things To Do, See, and Eat

Planning a trip to Estes Park, Colorado? Here are the best things to see and do in Estes Park, CO — list of the top attractions and things to do when visiting Estes Park:

Estes Park, Colorado

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Best Things to do in Estes Park, CO

Rocky Mountain National Park

If you’re in Estes Park, CO, you MUST visit Rocky Mountain National Park! It is so beautiful and absolutely worth spending a day or more exploring.

Explore Rocky Mountain National Park - Estes Park CO

At the time I am writing this, you are required to make a reservation to enter. You can get reservations online here, I recommend booking far in advance if you can!

summer colorado road trip mountains

Check out this Instagram post and save it for a list of the best hikes in RMNP. And of course, you HAVE to drive the Trail Ridge Road!

drive trail ridge road - estes park colorado

The Stanley Hotel

The Stanley Hotel is a historic hotel in Estes Park that is actually said to be haunted! You can visit the hotel, take a tour (even a haunted night one), enjoy a delicious meal at one of their many restaurants, or get a cocktail at their infamous Whiskey Bar

Even if you go to just walk around, it’s a beautiful hotel with lots of history and worth seeing. Fun fact: It is the inspiration for Stephen King’s The Shining! 

The Stanley Hotel

Downtown Estes Park

The downtown area of Estes Park, Colorado is full of cute shops, restaurants, and galleries! Spend some time walking around and support the local businesses! Read more about the different shops and activities in downtown Estes Park here.

Main street in Downtown Estes Park Colorado
Theater in Estes Park CO

Riverwalk in Downtown Estes Park

Like many small towns in Colorado, Estes Park has a beautiful stream/river running through it. The Riverwalk is a path that runs along The Big Thompson River and Fall River, and it’s a great little walk.

River in estes park CO

There are lots of benches along the path as well. We grabbed a coffee and some breakfast in the morning and enjoyed it on one of the benches.

Estes park river benches

Estes Park Tramway

The Estes Park Tramway takes you to the top of the mountain and gives you incredible views of Estes Park (photo below from their website)! You can buy tickets online, it’s $14 for adults and $10 for children. 

Estes Park things to do - aerial tramway

NOTE: The Estes Park Ariel Tramway is closed for 2020 due to COVID-19, but has plans to reopen in 2021. Check their website for most current updates. 

Lake Estes

We stayed at the Estes Park Resort that over looks Lake Estes, and it is really is beautiful! According to VisitEstesPark.com, you can “rent canoes, lake kayaks, stand-up paddle boards, motorized fishing boats, pontoon boats and paddle boats from roughly May 1 to the middle of September (depending on the weather)” at the Lake Estes Marina.

Estes Park Things to do - Kayak on Lake

Adventure Tour in Estes Park, CO

There are so many awesome outdoor adventure tours to do in Estes Park, Colorado! Including:

Here are some of the highest rated Estes Park tours on Viator:

Look for Wildlife

Estes Park is home to so much wildlife! They’re especially known for their Elks (Rocky Mountain National Park has over 3,000 elk) that often wander into the town.

elk in estes park colorado

You can also see mule deer, bighorn sheep, black bears, and tons of little creatures like chipmunks, squirrels, marmots and more! Check out the Estes Park website for tips on wildlife watching

Best Places to Eat + Drink in Estes Park, CO

Highest Rated Restaurants:

Estes Park has lots of great places to eat! Here is a list of the highest rated + best restaurants in Estes Park:

Estes Park Best Restaurants

Best Bars + Pubs:

There are lots of fun bars and breweries in Estes Park, CO! Here are some of the top rated/most popular ones:

The Barrel Estes Park

Happy exploring! I hope this Best Things To Do in Estes Park post helps! If you have any questions or want to connect, please leave a comment below or send me a DM on Instagram!

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xx Chels

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