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Just returned

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Iowa
posts: 58
Just returned

We just returned from a few days in Estes Park. It is beautiful, but CROWDED! We stayed at the Estes Park Condos...they were ok, but small. There were four of us and it was tight. They are right on the river and that was nice. We ate at Nicky's Steakhouse one night...ok, but expensive and nothing special...just my opinion. It wasn't full but service was slow. We also ate at Sweet Basilico's from recommendations from this forum. We didn't think it was anything special at all. We got a pizza and some chicken marsala...I wouldn't go there again. We got it to go and it wasn't ready on time and they got our order wrong. Maybe we hit it on a bad night, but the food really wasn't too good. We also ate at Penelope's right on the main drag. Now you're talking!!! GREAT burgers and fries...we went back twice it was so good. As for shopping, we went to the Twisted Pine from a recommendation here and it is a special place...we went to the newer, big store. It was really fun to look around in there. There were also two moose (or is it mooses??) standing in the river right outside the store. That was fun to see. The store we liked the best was Nature's Own. It is also on the main drag. They have unusual items made of stone and lots of other interesting things too. It was definately my favorite store. Very reasonably priced. Two of us went horseback riding with the Cowpoke Corner Corral. The two that went enjoyed it and felt safe. They said some people on another ride had seen a bear. There are coupons for discounts in a visitor's booklet that we found free around town. The traffic was bad and there were lots of people but it is a beautiful spot and easy to get to from Denver.

Kansas
posts: 230
reviews: 116
1. Re: Just returned

Re the food ... that's kind of what I was afraid of ... the reviews are mixed and the restaurants are very busy, which maybe hurts the chances of a good meal and/or experience, even at a local favorite like Sweet Bas ... oh well, we're going her for the hiking and beauty, we can eat when we get home (or on the way)

Re -"beautiful, but CROWDED" ... was it crowded everywhere and all the time, or were there places or times of day that you could avoid being rushed and crushed ? I was thinking if we were up early in the AM and late in PM, with a siesta in between, and if we stay away from the Go-Karts, etc., is there a little peace to be had here and there? (please say "Yes", even if it's a lie, 'cause we are coming anyway!)

Iowa
posts: 58
2. Re: Just returned

I talked to a lady working in one of the stores and she said the best time to go shopping is in the middle of the day. She said lots of people stop downtown on their way to Rocky Mountain National Park in the mornings and again on the way back through in late afternoon or early evening, so midday (she said) is a lull. The evenings were nuts. We went by the go-cart/slide place several times and actually it didn't look too bad anytime. The weekend after July 4th is the busiest weekend of the year, according to the people at our condo office, so we just picked a bad time...no choice do to work vacation schedules. We saw a picture in a newspaper flyer there that showed bumper to bumper traffic at a standstill over Trail Ridge do to construction and crowds, so we decided not even to try it. I didn't actually hear how bad it really was. I would be interested to hear from someone who took the drive. I'm sure you'll have a great time!

Iowa
posts: 58
3. Re: Just returned

oops, sorry...I meant "due" to construction.

Kansas
posts: 230
reviews: 116
4. Re: Just returned

I'll be there in two weeks, and we're going up OFFR and TRR, so I'll let you know how we do.

Thanks.

Santa Fe, New Mexico
Destination Expert
for Santa Fe, Mesa Verde National Park, Boulder, New Mexico
posts: 18,549
reviews: 38
5. Re: Just returned

Yikes, bumper to bumper over Trail Ridge. Not my idea of fun. I guess early morning would be the best time to drive over that road!

We will be there in 3 weeks for a quick camping trip. I guess I better get reservations if it is that crowded, or head somewhere else.

dallas, texas
posts: 446
reviews: 12
6. Re: Just returned

my family and i just returned from RMNP/Estes Park. We thought it was wonderful and we were there July 3 - 6. Yes, it could be crowded at times, but nothing like downtown Dallas in rush hour so I wasn't frustrated in the least ! :) LOL

We drove OFRR and TRR and didn't encountered any major problems. You may want to go early to avoid any problems - but we even drove through to sheep lake a couple of times mid day and evening and it was fine.

re: the restaurant ... we ate at Dunraven on Hwy 66 and it was just wonderful - great food, great atmosphere, great service. No problems at all. I would definitely go back !

shopping downtown could be crowded at times but, again, it wasn't too bad.

We loved our trip to RMNP and wish we could go back soon :)

7. Re: Just returned

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