Estes Park is the perfect place for a romantic date or getaway, and I’ve got some lovely ideas to make your getaway here even more memorable.
It’s no wonder visitors travel from all over the world to see the scenery and wildlife here. The downtown area is filled with quaint looking specialty shops, the area is surrounded by National Park and National Forest areas for outdoor recreation. So if you’re looking for a romantic spot for you and your significant other, book some flights to Denver and come on up!
My husband and I have lived (and dated) here in Estes Park, Colorado for the last 8+ years. Over this time we’ve acquired so many favorite dates. My wish for you 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.
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.
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 found it to be an incredibly cool and educational experience and left feeling so small (in the best way). Afterward, make a dinner reservation at nearby Seasoned and enjoy being wined and dined in their intimate restaurant.
Sit on the deck of Seven Keys Lodge and enjoy a cocktail before heading inside for your dinner reservation. 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 enjoy some live music there.
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!).
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!
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!
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
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.
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).
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.
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.
Ok, we love “The Rock” too. The restaurant is located near the entrance to Rocky Mountain National Park. Here you’ll find both indoor and outdoor seating, and live music every evening. It’s the ultimate cozy restaurant here in Estes Park, with great food!
They do not take reservations, but you can call ahead and get your name on the waitlist (if there is one) when you’re on your way.
So many of these Estes Park romantic date ideas would also make for great photo opportunities. Whether inside your cozy cabin in the mountains, or out exploring nearby Rocky Mountain National Park. There are so many opportunities for a romantic portraits of you and your significant other. And hey, I can help you with this one! Read more about my couple portrait sessions here.
I’d be so excited to document you having the time of your life. Let’s see if we’re a good fit!