Winter in Colorado means colder temperatures, snow, and shorter days. But winter doesn’t mean you have to stay inside. The crisp air and snow-capped mountains offer fun activities for locals and visitors alike. Only 30 minutes west of Denver, Evergreen, Colorado is the perfect place to escape the hustle and bustle of the city.
Whether you come for an afternoon, a weekend, or a week – there is something for everyone in this charming town. Check out these recommendations for the perfect two-day winter getaway:
Tubing at Echo Mountain
Touted as the closest ski resort to Denver, Echo Mountain offers more than just affordable skiing and snowboarding. They also have a tubing hill! If you’ve never been tubing, this must be on your Colorado bucket list. Imagine an epic sledding hill that has a conveyor belt to bring you, your family, and your friends back up for ride after ride. Echo Mountain provides the tubes and you can fly down the hill solo or link up with your family to enjoy one another’s laughter all the way down.
The mountain is located right outside of Evergreen and offers spectacular views of the Continental Divide. Make your reservations online and kick off your day with this fun adrenaline rush.
Lunch with a view at a local brewery
After your outdoor adventure, you’ll be ready for a cold beer and good lunch. Try the Lariat Lodge for a local favorite restaurant. Nestled just above downtown Evergreen, the expansive deck has great views and is even dog-friendly. They are known for their burgers, but the rotating menu of locally brewed beers is not to be missed.
Check out their calendar of events for live music, and even snag a six-pack of beer to go. The fun brews like “Angry Elk Amber Ale” or “Lost Gnome Saison” match the laid-back ambiance of this mountain brewery.
Shopping in Downtown Evergreen
Now that your stomach is full, take a stroll through downtown Evergreen. There is something for everyone to check out. From local artists to souvenirs and candy shops. Nestled along Bear Creek, Main Street has an eclectic mix of historic buildings that host restaurants and stores. Dating back to 1859 when ranchers settled here, Evergreen became an ideal location for summer homes where Denverites could have a mountain getaway. That original charm is reflected in the narrow, wood sidewalks and friendly store owners you’ll meet.
Don’t miss the stylish clothes at Sisters & Co, the original art at The Evergreen Gallery, or the one-of-a-kind jewelry at the Silver Arrow among many other boutiques. When you aren’t inside a store, be sure to look at the public art. Evergreen is home to a rotating display of sculptures for all to see. Download a map and enjoy the Sculpture Walk at your leisure.
Stay at a creekside lodge
For the whole mountain experience, you’ll want to snuggle up and relax in a cabin or suite. Nestled in the hillside among the trees, the Alpen Way Chalet feels a world away but located just ½ mile from downtown Evergreen you can still walk to restaurants and shops.
Make yourself at home in this welcoming lodge that was originally an estate from the 1920s. If you can peel yourself away from your private fireplace, then bundle up and sit by the creek, or soothe your muscles in the guest hot tub.
A local herd of elk has been known to hang out on the lawn, so your chances of spotting wildlife are great. The standard rooms, suites, and cabin are full of character and offer something unique for each guest. Ask your friendly hosts for information about local events, and check online for specials and packages.
Breakfast on Main Street
After a good night’s sleep grab your morning drink at one of several coffee shops down the street from the Alpen Way Chalet. If you’re craving a bigger meal, try and get a seat at the Wildflower Cafe. Another local favorite, this restaurant fills up quickly. On a sunny day, you can enjoy your eggs benedict outside even in the winter. They pack a lot of personality into a small space with outstanding menu options to choose from.
If the wait is too long at Wildflower Cafe, try the Muddy Buck. Located a couple of doors down, this coffee house offers more than great drinks. Order fresh baked goods or a loaded sandwich then settle into the historic building from 1896. Ask the staff about the history of this old “ice house” and check out the rock wall that adds to the character.
Ice Skating on Evergreen Lake
No Evergreen itinerary would be complete without a visit to Evergreen Lake. This year-round attraction is conveniently located next to downtown via a paved walkway. As the temperature drops in winter, the 55-acre lake freezes over making it a perfect destination for ice skating and ice fishing.
No need to pack your ice skates, they can be rented in the beautiful Lake House where you can also warm up with hot cocoa on cold days. There’s a Zamboni-groomed rink for skaters of all skill levels, and several hockey rinks for those looking for more action.
Not interested in skating? Then pack your fishing pole. Outside of the skating area, you’ll find fishermen huddled around their fishing holes waiting for the next big catch. Or, you can hike the 1.25-mile trail around the lake. You’re sure to spot wildlife as well as locals and their friendly dogs.
Come visit again and again.
With its close proximity to Denver, DIA, and Golden, Evergreen is the perfect mountain town to visit over and over again. The laid-back vibe and variety of activities, shops, and restaurants attract visitors year-round.
The itinerary above only scratches the surface of things to do this winter. Don’t forget to check out local events – there are parades, concerts, and festivals that shouldn’t be missed. Plus, hiking and biking trails for all ages to explore.
Take a break from the mundane this winter, and come make memories in Evergreen, Colorado.