You’re looking to spend a week in the beautiful state of Colorado? No worries, Sofia is coming to you live with where to hike, where to eat, and how to make the most out of your time in Boulder and neighboring towns. From kayak excursions to attending a bucket list concert at the Red Rocks, tune in to get the insider’s guide to all things Colorado. There’s more honeymoon adventures to come, but here will you get a glimpse into couple and family travel experiences.
Story Time! This year I got married and my husband and I planned an epic month trip all over.
Some said we were Amish (if you don’t know what I’m talking about, google it), and some said we were crazy, but we couldn’t decide what we wanted to do, so we decided to do everything!
We started our trip in the great centennial state of Colorado! From spectacular hiking to unique art and delicious food, Colorado is my all-time favorite place for multiple trips during the year; in the summer and winter.
The Hiking in Colorado is top-notch, from the front range (The Flat Irons), deep into the Mountains. The hikes we hit on the first half of the trip were Mount Evans and Ptarmigan Mountain. Mount Evans is one of the Highest Peaks in Colorado-what the locals call “a classic 14er.” It is about an hour's drive up through spectacular tree-covered black rock mountains, with birds and mountain goats (which are super cute and funny looking) with the occasional hail downpour. We drove through hail (very slowly) on our way up to the Summit, stopping along the way to look at scenic stop spots. At the Top, the Elevation is 14,272. Pull the little sign out of the rocks that state your elevation and take a picture! The view is like no other; explore both sides once you reach the top to get 360 views. Drive slow on your way down because hail freezes! For Mt. Evans visits, pre-pay for parking-you will have an allowed time slot to park. Make sure you pack some layers because the temperature drops about 20°F as you climb up the mountain! In fact, we had such a chill when we reached the button that we stopped at the Indian Hot Springs for a 110°F cave sauna!
Ptarmigan Mountain was our second hike and it was the best and worst hike for many reasons. It was the longest hike I have ever been on (16 miles because we got lost…), and the views were something straight out of the Sound of Music (Check out my Tik Tok and Instagram)! My husband got altitude sickness and I couldn’t move for 24 hours after the hike because I was so sore. Pack at least 4 liters of water for this hike, and when you get to the fork in your trail… take the middle trail (not the left). If you take the far left trail you will be wandering through a woodsy path until you hit a “private property” gate and then you will wander through horse poop until, 2 hours later, you return to the fork. The path I recommended is the longer scenic route of the trail. Beware of Moose! Once you reach the “Mt. Ptarmigan Wilderness sign” you still have about two miles (a slow painful incline) until you reach the Summit. On your way back down, take the path on your left (the original far right path) This is a way shorter, less scenic route. Be mindful- it is steep. It also hailed on this hike-bring your raincoat! Don’t forget snacks like power bars, nuts, Liquid IV packets; and for those of you who are not a “Drip Dry” people, toilet paper!
Before you do any hiking, download the All Trails App for all hiking guides!
We learned a valuable lesson going on this trip. Pace yourself- especially with a huge altitude change. Start drinking extra water a week before you head out, and give yourself time to acclimate. If you are coming from an area with a low elevation I would recommend staying in Denver or Boulder (the front rage), for a few days before venturing into higher elevations. Altitude Sickness can begin in elevations over 8,000 Ft between 10-24 hours of arriving. Symptoms include headache, feeling and being sick, throwing up, paleness, dizziness, tiredness, loss of appetite, shortness of breath, numbness in the fingers, Delusion or deliriousness. The symptoms are usually worse at night. Cures include stopping and resting where you are, and not climbing any higher for at least 24 to 48 hours. If you have a headache, take ibuprofen or paracetamol, if you feel sick, take an anti-sickness medicine such as promethazine, make sure you're drinking enough water, rent oxygen, and go below 8,000 Ft ASAP. Do not smoke, drink alcohol, or exercise while you’re sick.
I took Mike down because we were sleeping at an elevation of over 9,000 Ft and Boulder was just over 5,000 Ft. It was a bummer to leave the mountains early, however, we took advantage of all the neat things there are to do around Denver and Boulder! We visited the Denver Art Museum (a must-see), to view the spectacular 1800s and 1900s art and we visited the Lighthouse Art Space for an experience exhibit on King Tut. For some education lessons, we dropped by the CU Museum of Natural History.
If you do NOT get altitude sickness and have to escape the elevation, some other great events that we explored were the Dillon Farmer’s Market, Free weekend music at the Dillon Amphitheater, the Vail Farmer’s Market, and great happy hours in many of the towns’ restaurants. Our favorite restaurant is Kemosabe Silverheals where we had the best Sushi, Fried Rice, and Mochi.
After all the one-on-one excitement, the family started coming in and we got ready for more fun! After all, what is a Honey Moon without a little Fam?
Two of my favorite days on the front rage were the day we explored Pear Street, visiting my favorite stores; Peppercorn, Where the Buffalo Roam, and Ben and Jerry’s (so basic), and Rocking out at Red Rocks to Alison Krauss and Robert Plant. On a different note, we went to The Wild Animal Sanctuary to see the Tiger King’s Rescued Tigers (including liger), and many more amazing rescued animals.
Fun Fact- Colorado weather is totally unpredictable, at all times. While we were up there, the temperature ranged from 30°F up in the mountains to 80°F back in Boulder. To beat the heat, the family and I mixed in some indoor and outdoor summer fun. My husband and I did two more easy but beautiful hikes; Doudy Draw and Red Rocks Hike. Another fun outdoor activity was kayaking in the Boulder Reservoir. Other notable Hikes to do in Boulder include Marshall Mesa, Heil Ranch, Hall Ranch-Boulder, Eldorado Springs-State Park, and Button Rock.
On the subject of food; the amount of good food we ate once we had our appetites back was magnificent. From french bistros, greek eateries, and sushi, to brewhouse joints, beignets, and Spanish tapas, we got the full range of excellent cuisine that Boulder and Denver have to offer. For casual breakfast or lunch try Moes Broadway Bagel, Lucille’s Creole Cafe, Le French Cafe. For Date Night try these more upscale and/or casual but romantic places: Pasta Jays, Mazevo, Happy Camper, Tupelo Honey, Japango, Corrida. My fave Mexican Spot is Adelitas, and our family’s fave breweries are Avery Brewing Company, Avanti, Schoolhouse, Southern Sun, and Mountain Sun. Dress is always casual in Colorado, but feel free to overdress for every occasion like me!
Every time we leave we can’t wait to go back, but we are ready for the next vacation!