Fraser, Colorado
Fraser, Colorado

Just about 65 miles northwest of Denver, Winter Park is a popular winter destination for downhill sports, but did you know that it’s also a favorite summer vacation spot among Colorado locals in the know? It’s not as crowded as some of the other resort towns can get- even in summer- but it has all the beauty and outdoor activities and of the bigger (and more expensive) resorts like Aspen and Vail.

Winter Park offers the same outdoor activities as the rest of the Rocky Mountain resorts, with plenty of hiking and biking trails, golf and disc golf, and scenic chairlift rides. Winter Park has some awesome activities and eateries that the others don’t, though. Here are some reasons to consider Winter Park for your next summer vacay with Mary Jane.

What to Do

  • Alpine Slide

    Winter Park Resort has boasts Colorado’s longest alpine slide- it’s like a bobsled ride without the ice. More than 3,000 feet long, the 610 foot vertical drop will get your adrenaline pumping!

  • Snow Mountain Ranch-YMCA of the Rockies

    Feeling crafty? Head over to Snow Mountain Ranch, an easy 20 miles north of Winter Park, and get it on one of their arts and crafts programs: tie-dye a T-shirt, create some jewelry or make a mosaic.

  • Summer Tubing

    While you’re at Snow Mountain Ranch, slide down their summer tubing slope. It’s one of only three summer tubing runs in the U.S., and the only one in Colorado. It’s a pretty popular place, so reservations are required. Day visitors should call the morning of their visit to check for open time slots, or if you want to wing it, check in at the Program Office when you arrive. YMCA members get special discounts.

  • Hot Air Balloon Rides

    Wanna get really high? Head just 5 minutes out of Winter Park and go up, up, and away in a colorful hot air balloon. It’s as close as you can get to a magic carpet ride! Your morning ride includes champagne, breakfast munchies, a photo op and of course, breathtaking views you can’t get from the ground.

  • Hideaway Park Brewery

    Craft beer fan? Hit up Hideaway Park Brewery and sample some great local brews-you’ll find something for every taste. No food service, but they do have free popcorn and you can bring food in. There’s stacks of board games to play if you want to get competitive or just work your brain a little.

  • Rodeo

    Get a real feel for cowboy culture at a Colorado rodeo. The High Country Stampede Rodeo is held every Saturday throughout July and August at John Work Arena in Fraser, just 5 miles north of Winter Park. The Junior Rodeo starts at 4 pm, and the big show begins at 7 pm- between the two, grab a plate of the Stampede’s famous BBQ dinner with all the fixins.

Summer TubingSummer Tubing
Grand Adventure Balloon ToursGrand Adventure Balloon Tours

Where to Buy Marijuana

Winter Park is located about 30 miles north of I-70, on US-40 W. If you’re looking to buy some green before arriving, be sure to swing by the three dispensaries in Idaho Springs, two in Dumont and one in Empire or continue north pass the park to Fraser where you’ll find three more dispensaries to choose from.

  • Mountain Medicinals Wellness Center (Idaho Springs, CO)

    Mountain Medicinals offers both recreational and medical marijuana at prices to fit any budget. Their team can help you get registered as a MMJ patient, find the right products for your specific needs and even give you tips about growing.

  • Igadi (Idaho Springs, CO)

    IgadI is revolutionizing the marijuana industry by unveiling the processes and science behind growing, cultivating and manufacturing choice quality marijuana. Like a visit to the aquarium, you will be looking into another world—only instead of sea life, this world will consist of budding, flowering cannabis gardens, and will be the only one of its kind in America.

  • The Spring (Idaho Springs, CO)

    The last of three recreational dispensaries in Idaho Springs, the Spring is a Strainwise dispensary (with several other locations across the state). Located in a small converted house, they offer a smaller variety of strains and edibles.

  • The Highway (Dumont, CO)

    This small shop offers true chill, mountain vibes with limited flower and edible options. Having said that, it does have more affordable prices than its competitors, which is a plus.

  • Silver Stem Fine Cannabis (Fraser, CO)

    Silver Stem Fine Cannabis is a 21+ recreational dispensary located in the Fraser Valley Shopping Center in Fraser, CO. Silver Stem Fine Cannabis Fraser is just a short distance from Winter Park and on your way to Granby.

  • Serene Wellness (Empire, CO)

    This shop is located in the historical, small town of Empire. Although they offer 15-17 strains, they are all organically grown and hand-trimmed. Be sure to check out their wide selection of concentrates, edibles and local glass paraphernalia.

Growhouse Dispensary Growhouse Dispensary
Growhouse Dispensary Growhouse Dispensary

Where to Stay

Winter Park Lodging Options
Winter Park Lodging Options

There aren’t many 420-friendly lodging options along I-70 and US-40, however you will find three marijuana friendly options in Winter Park including two mountain lodges and a motel. Be sure to check them out to confirm their marijuana policies and general availability.

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Shopping/Arts

  • Cooper Creek Square

    For Winter Park shopping, head downtown to Grand County’s only outdoor shopping center. Visit Cooper Creek Square’s eleven shops, then get a bite at one of the seven restaurants. For shopping, you’ll find one-of-a-kind boutiques, gift shops, a mountain trading company, general store, and a really fun little toy and game store. The square isn’t just about shopping, though. Gorgeous gardens bloom throughout the plaza, Music on the Square gets toes tapping Fridays in July and August, and other special activities are sprinkled throughout the summer.

  • Art Galleries

    There are so many art galleries within 30 minutes of Winter Park, you might have a hard time choosing which ones you’d like to visit, if art is your thing. *Tip: Create your own “art walk” by planning your own tour ahead of time.

Cooper Creek SquareCooper Creek Square

Where to Eat

  • Smokin’ Moe’s Ribhouse and Saloon

    Moe’s is a huge restaurant and bar with the best happy hour, with $3 Drafts, Wells, Domestic Bottles and Wine plus .60 wings and appetizer specials. Open for lunch and dinner, you can get soooo-good sandwiches, try some tasty BBQ for dinner, or take anything to go.

  • Hernando’s Pizza

    Want great pizza? Head over to Hernando’s. Incredible hand-tossed pizza, gluten-free options, pasta, appetizers and salads, plus a full bar- what more could you want in a pizza joint?

  • Pepe Osaka’s Fish Taco Tequila Bar & Grill

    Yummy food, great service, low prices...this quaint little place is quite special. They infuse their own tequila and use it to make signature margaritas. Try the Asian tacos with a ginger margarita.

  • Casa Mexico

    How hungry are you? If you’ve got a major crave for Mexican food, vamanos over to Casa Mexico and prepare yourself for huge portions of everything-including margaritas. You can even get a pitcher of margarita!

  • The Ditch on 40

    It ain’t fancy, but you’ll get a killer burger at this casual joint. Munch on homemade chips and salsa while you wait for your meal, and sip on a strong margarita. Yes, this town loves its tequila.

Nightlife

  • The Foundry Cinema & Bowl

    So much more than just a movie theater, The Foundry combines all kinds of entertainment under one roof. There’s an 8-lane bowling alley, pool tables, air hockey, shuffleboards, a full bar, wood-fired pizza, and yes- two movie theaters with mega screens, reclining leather chairs and in-theatre meal service. Now that sounds like funland to me.

  • Winter Park Pub

    This casual, laid-back beer joint is good for watching a game or having some beers with the locals. Sometimes they have live music, and there’s a foosball table. Don’t count on great food though.

  • Ullrs Tavern

    This rockin hot spot is the only place in Winter Park to get late night live music and pub grub. Open ‘til 2 am, the bands here hit the stage when the live music at other venues is getting off. Bands start around 9:45 Friday and Saturday, usually with no cover, and The Spot Grill serves up pretty good food until 1:45 am.

The Foundry Cinema & Bowl

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