Our Colorado road trip started in Denver and we traveled west down I-70 to visit my sister in Parachute, a small town close to Grand Junction and the Utah border. Of course we made a few stops along the way – breweries to keep the husband happy and hot springs to keep me relaxed.
We arrived at Denver International Airport 11 AM on a Friday morning. The day before I-70 had been shut down due to a massive snow storm dumping over two feet of snow in the mountains, so we upgraded our rental to an SUV with all wheel drive and headed off.
Our first stop was to grab lunch in Georgetown at Cooper’s on the Creek – the perfect spot to grab a burger and a beer. Just a short drive further was Dillon Lake, a scenic spot worth stopping to take a picture.
After taking in those views, we continued on our I-70 journey to Glenwood Springs. Our first stop: Iron Mountain Hot Springs which was the perfect way to unwind after our travels. If you have room in your luggage, bring your own towel (or they will charge you $3.00 per towel).
Next we hit up the local brewery: Glenwood Canyon Brewpub.
After we finished our beers, we finally headed off to meet my sister and her beautiful family for dinner at Rivers. I was a little distracted by meeting my new niece that I did not take one picture of dinner, but who can blame me.
We stayed the night at their house in Parachute, CO and woke up early Saturday morning to head to Arches National Park in Moab, Utah. Check out that blog post here.
After visiting Arches National Park, we headed back towards Denver and stopped to spend the night in Vail. We stayed at the lovely Tivoli Lodge. If you visit in the off-season you can save hundreds compared to peak winter rates.
We were craving some comfort food when we arrived and were not disappointed with the extra cheesy pizzas served up at Pazzo’s Pizzeria. I can only imagine how crowded this place gets in the ski season, but they also offer carry out.
What pairs well with pizza? Beer. Across the street in the main plaza of Vail is Vail Brewing Co. A small bar that boasts you can bring in outside food. We passed the time playing a few rounds of jenga (I don’t want to talk about who won).
Then it was back to the Tivoli Lodge to unwind and relax in the hot tubs. Here we made friends with some locals who gave us our itinerary for the next day – A scenic drive down to Leadville.
We started off the morning at Loaded Joe’s for some delicious local coffee followed by a cup of tea with breakfast at Big Bear Bistro. Once we were caffeinated and fed we hit the road for Leadville.
Just when we thought we couldn’t possibly squeeze in one more thing, we decided to drive through Breckenridge to hit up one last brewery: Breckinridge Brewery.
While we didn’t see it all, we feel like we covered some good ground in Colorado. The mountain views were absolutely gorgeous and made the hours spent in the car seem like minutes.