13 Romantic Date Ideas in Estes Park, Colorado

Looking for romantic date ideas in Estes Park? Maybe you’re planning a romantic getaway, honeymoon, first date, or trip just because.

Well, Estes Park is the perfect place for all of those things.

The downtown area is filled with quaint specialty shops, while the area is surrounded by National Park and wilderness. This town has something to offer everyone.

My husband and I have lived (and dated) here in Estes Park, Colorado for the last 9+ years, and I want to share our best Estes Park date ideas with you. My hope is that one of these ideas inspires your own romantic date in Estes Park. And once you’ve had said date, come back to share what a wonderful time you had.. Please?

Let’s get into it.

1. Historic Movie Theater & window shopping downtown

The downtown area of Estes Park is so dang cute with their speciality shops. There’s old time photos, taffy shops, chocolate shops, and the oldest running movie theater in the U.S.! Park downtown (there’s free parking at the visitor center!), and enjoy a show at the oldest operating cinema in the country! Then walk the downtown area picking out deserts, or window shopping. My husband and I play the game where we pick one favorite item from each window.

Couple under the sparkling lights in downtown Estes Park on a date night

2. Look at the starts through a telescope at the Estes Park Observatory

Reservations fill up far in advance for the Estes Park Observatory, but if you’re lucky enough to get in, you can have a free tour and do some stargazing from their dome! I find it to be an incredibly cool and educational experience. Afterward, make a dinner reservation at nearby Seasoned and enjoy being wined and dined in their lovely and intimate restaurant setting.

3. Lily Lake stroll & cocktails at Seven Keys Lodge

The absolutely perfect romantic Estes Park date idea in summer! Treat yourself to the amazing views + cocktails at Seven Keys Lodge before joining them inside for a shared meal. This is a great spot to meet locals, make friends, and be surrounded by amazing history and stories of the lodge itself. Don’t forget to say hello to the 3 highland cows that live there! If you’re lucky, you might even score some tickets for an intimate concert with their guest of the month.

A favorite date idea in Estes Park is going to this old lodge on the top of the hill called Seven Keys

4. Private crafting, wine tasting, or cocktail making at the Bear & Bee

Bear & Bee is a relatively new shop with a great indoor maker space. Reserve a spot in one of their adult creative events, or request a private event! Follow that up with dinner (or a movie next door!).

5. Hire a private chef to prepare a personalized dining experience

Eating out is fun and all, but if you’re looking for a more private experience, hire a local chef to come to you! They can prepare a meal for you in your favorite space and cater the experience to your taste. I highly recommend Un’i Personal Chef or Sunrise Chefs. This would also be a great surprise for your significant other, too!

6. Pamper yourself with a suite and spa experience at Della Terra Mountain Chateau

Looking for a luxurious mountain stay? Check out the Della Terra. It’s a beautiful wedding venue too, so if you’re in the market be sure to request a tour!

On the note of where to stay here in Estes Park, I also recommend The Romantic RiverSong Inn for a quiet and peaceful mountain getaway.

7. Drive up to Trail Ridge Road to stargaze

During the summer months, Trail Ridge Road makes for a great place to stargaze. We love driving up as high as we can, especially when there’s a meteor shower. Time it right with a new moon and prepare to be amazed.

This road closes during the “winter” months (usually mid-October through May), so check the status before you head up! Both Many Parks Curve Overlook and Rainbow Curve have large parking areas for you to pull off and enjoy the night sky.

Check the road status here: 970-586-1222

Silhouette of couple standing in front of the brilliant milky way on a romantic date in Estes Park

8. Grab pizza to go from Antonio’s and picnic at Lake Estes

It’s the best pizza in town… or maybe even all of Colorado?! Try it for yourself.

We love grabbing pizza and salads here to go and taking them down to the shore of Lake Estes (there are some great spots at the marina nearby!), spreading out a blanket, and enjoying food with a view. Bonus points if you pick up a board game ahead of time and surprise your partner with it.

9. Private horseback ride at Elkhorn Stables

Located at The Dao House, Elkhorn stables is our favorite horseback riding outfitter around. Request a private trail ride and enjoy sweeping views of Rocky Mountain National Park. Pssst! This would make for an amazing surprise proposal experience (don’t forget to hire a photographer).

See more photos from a ride with Elkhorn Stables here.

Horseback riding at Elkhorn Stables and The Dao House wedding venue in Estes Park

10. Coffee date and people watching at Inkwell & Brew

Inkwell & Brew is one of my very favorite coffee shops in town! They have a cozy lounge upstairs, and a lovely outdoor patio along the river walk. It’s a great spot for people watching or taking a stroll. While you’re there, be sure to check out their shop downstairs for journals, cards, and lots of gift items. If you’re looking to coffee shop hop, wander a little further from here to another favorite, Kind Coffee.

11. Watch the sunset from Twin Owls Steakhouse

Located inside Taharaa Mountain Lodge is a lovely restaurant called Twin Owls Steakhouse. The lodge and restaurant sit high on a hill overlooking much of Estes Valley with views of the Rocky Mountains. This would be a particularly romantic dining experience if you request a window seat over the hour of sunset. They also have live music here, as well as a fireplace in the dining room.

12. Rocky Mountain National Park scenic drive

Take a scenic drive through our beautiful national park! Head up to Bear Lake, or over Trail Ridge Road to Grand Lake if you have the day! When you get back to Estes Park, head over to The Rock Inn or Bird & Jim for a delicious dinner.

Elk looking majestic on top of Trail Ridge Road

13. Hire an Estes Park photographer to take portraits of you on vacation

Ever consider hiring a photographer to capture you and your partner living your best life? So many of these Estes Park romantic date ideas would also make for great photo opportunities as well.

Whether inside your cozy cabin in the mountains, or out exploring nearby Rocky Mountain National Park, there are so many photo opportunities here. Consider hiring a photographer for your vacation, proposal, or just because. Read more about my couples session offerings here.

Estes Park couples photographer

Looking for a couples session while you’re in Estes Park? Count me in. As a local, I will help match you with the best locations and help inspire an unforgettable photo session. One that feels like a date— fun, I promise. Fill out the contact form and let’s do this.

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