Colorado’s Crown Jewels Offer Travelers the Royal Treatment #VisitCOS

The world is abuzz with the royal nuptials of Prince Harry and American actress Meghan Markle. Billions of people tune-in to watch lavish traditions, flowing gowns and fascinators that flash across every sized screen. After tuning in to the globe’s most-watched love story, head to these impeccable and unforgettable Pikes Peak region castles and landmarks for a taste of the royal treatment. Find more memorable things to see and do and order a free Vacation Planner at VisitCOS.com.

Glen Eyrie Castle is home to over 800 acres of stately pines and whispering aspen, lush lawns, sparkling waterfalls and majestic sandstone rock faces. The site offers tours, afternoon high teas and overnight accommodations, whether inside the castle or the nearby cottages. The castle, originally built as the home of Colorado Springs founder General William Jackson Palmer, will make anyone feel like the heir to the throne. Whether planning a grand or intimate romantic escape or family retreat, the historic site is the perfect place for a few days away.

Miramont Castle, located in Manitou Springs, was originally built as a private home in 1895. Later, throughout the 1900s, the structure was used in many other capacities. Today, the castle is dedicated to preserving the heritage of Manitou Springs and the Pikes Peak region. The museum houses four floors that total more than 14,000 square feet. Constructed of now-rare hand-quarried greenstone, it features 30 rooms, nine styles of architecture, five fireplaces and a Victorian garden. Guests can enjoy High Tea, Light Victorian Tea or lunch year-round.

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Visit Antlers at Vail Colorado

The Perfect Hotel for Your Trip to Vail

Whether you are planning a ski trip or a visit in summer to beautiful Colorado you could not pick a better destination than Vail and you could not find a better place to stay than Antlers Hotel.

sculpture at antlers at vail coloradoThe list of benefits for staying at Antlers at Vail is long. The rooms/condos are equipped with full stocked kitchens, lovely decor, and balcony views of Gore Creek, which runs behind the hotel and the picturesque Lionshead section of town. In winter they offer on-site ski rentals and  ski valet complimentary. Located just a short walk from Vail’s Lionshead Gondola it is easy to hit the slopes and get right up on the mountain.

Iceskating rink near Antlers at VailYear round there is plenty to do right outside Antlers at Vail. I honestly loved Lionshead more than Vail town center, with its cute shops and quaint ice skating rink. When you do want to travel around town there is a free shuttle that leaves from directly across from the hotel. This can take you anywhere you want to go in town and saves you from paying for parking! Check out the galleries or grab something to eat nearby at any of the restaurants. We chose to cook so hit the nearby grocery store then loaded up the full size fridge.
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Copper Mountain, Ski Colorado

Hit the Slopes Here on Your Next Vacation

Whether you slip your boots into skis or a snowboard the important part is where you get to ride. When in Colorado and the Rockies a top choice is Copper Mountain Resort for lodging, entertainment, dining, and of course the trails. The views from the top of Copper Mountain are absolutely stunning. I could have spent all day at the top if it wasn’t so fun going back down!

View from the Top of Copper Mountain skiing in ColoradoCopper Mountain is just 75 miles from Denver and a great balance of size, navigability, and easy travel. With three central locations or villages there are plenty of options to approach the mountain. They have more than 140 marked trails to keep everyone in your family occupied.

East Village Lodge at Copper Mountain ColoradoThe trails breakdown as 21% beginner, 25% intermediate, 36% advanced, 18% expert. Keep in mind certain levels leave from one village or another so be prepared to keep track of everyone, but there are buses to take you anywhere you need to get on the ski resort. If you are looking for multiple days of skiing and snowboarding fun this is the place. The shear size of the resort and number of trails means there is always a new path to master.

Copper Mountain Tubing Hill ColoradoThere are so many more activities than just skiing to offer during your visit to Copper Mountain Resort. Some are snow going like the tubing hill, or the outdoor Rocky Mountain Coaster, and the iceskating pond. When you are ready to get out of the cold, but still want some thrills it is time to hit Woodward Copper. Their Woodward Barn is designed as an action sports training ground! Indoor ski and snowboard training, trampolines and foam pits, skateboards, scooters, and bikes are all options for private lessons with their amazing instructors or just take the intro, then sign up for free time. You can find out all about it in our post HERE.
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Woodward Copper at Copper Mountain

For Those Looking to Take Adventure to the Next Level

Snowboarding Woodward Copper LogoCopper Mountain Resort in Colorado, just over an hour from Denver, is already known for great skiing and snowboarding and now they have even more to offer. They are home to one of the Woodward centers that specializes in pushing the limits of what you thought you were capable of. Woodward Copper is a year-round skiing and snowboarding facility with an nearly 20,000 ft indoor space for physical activity. All levels of experience are welcome, and by the time you are done even just with the introduction you will have tried things you might not believe.

Woodward Copper at Copper Mountain ColoradoYou maybe familiar with Woodward as a company, they offer classes and camps in action sports (skateboarding, bikes, parkour), gymnastics and cheer, snow (skiing, snowboarding), and the digital arts. There are locations across the US and one in particular for those embracing winter sports, Woodward Copper and the Woodward Barn at Copper Mountain.

With classes and camps both outside on the mountain and inside at their training facility Woodward Copper has options for all adventure lovers. It starts with their introduction at the Barn. When you enter the building the first startling thing you might notice is all the bodies ten feet up in the air either flying off ramps with skateboards into foam pits or bouncing on Olympic-grade trampolines. Scooter riders cruise around while kids and grownups of all ages take part in supervised activities. My first thought was, huh, I am going to be doing some of that…
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Toast & Co. at Copper Mountain

A Must Stop when Skiing Copper Mountain Colorado

Toast & Co logo at Copper Mountain ColoradoWhen every item on the menu looks so good you can’t chose, you know you are in the right spot. Toast & Co. at the Copper Mountain Resort in Colorado is the dining destination not to be missed. Located just outside the main square in picturesque Center Village you can walk right over from the slopes then hop right back on a lift and keep riding. They only serve breakfast and lunch so don’t wait too long or you might miss out for that day.

All of the options we tried at Toast & Co were amazing and trust me we were repeat visitors. French toast, pancakes, breakfast sandwiches, steak and eggs… how can you pick between pumpkin ginger cakes and caramelized pineapple pancakes? Or between the BBA sandwich, thick cut bacon cherry wood smoked, fried egg, bacon aioli, greens, roasted tomatoes, avocado on a telera roll, or the Chuck’s sandwich, a toasted pretzel roll, crispy prosciutto, scrambled eggs, Swiss cheese and a Beemster Gouda sauce? Come on!

French Toast at Toast & Co at Copper Mountain ColoradoI know you are dying to hear what we did finally pick. (PS. we took both of the above mentioned sandwiches to go and thoroughly enjoyed each, but since I am partial to avocado I would say the BBA was my top pick.) Alright enough suspense. I sat down to the Amaretto French Toast which sounds amazing right off the bat and just gets better. Made from slices of moist fresh banana bread this french toast is then dipped in an Amaretto custard to deepen the flavors. A soft mountain of Chai spiced whipped mascarpone is a decadent addition. Perhaps my favorite detail is the candied pecans for that final sweet crunch.
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White Mountain Snowmobile Tours Colorado

Sail over the Snow in this Mountain Adventure!

If you love speed and beautiful sights White Mountain Snowmobile Tours is a perfect activity for your next visit to Colorado. Whether you are a rider, a driver, or the tour you choose this is an experience not to be missed when visiting the Leadville area. It maybe a noisier way to get up in the mountains than its skiing/snowboarding counterpart, but also one of the funnest!

Snowmobiling at White Mountain Snowmobile Tours ColoradoWhite Mountain Snowmobile Tours is a year round operation that offers a variety of their namesake snowmobile tours as well as zip lining (which is the year round part). You can go for the Family Prospector Tour which is a laid back 2 hour ride perfect for couples looking to ride double or those with kids. There is even a break for kids up to 70lbs to ride their own mini snowmobile, which they will LOVE.

The next step up is the Performance Tour, taking you higher into the mountain and for solo riders only. You want to push your limits and are already an experienced rider you can graduate the the Extreme Tour and really tear across the countryside. Any level of experience is welcome and there are options for everyone of all ages.
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Ski Monarch Mountain Colorado

Ski Independent, Embrace Family Fun

See what real Colorado skiing and snowboarding is like outside of the resorts and take a trip up to Monarch Mountain.

Colorado's Monarch Mountain Ski Resort LodgeWhether you are local or traveling in to get your share of winter fun, skiing/snowboarding is a great adventure for all ages and skill levels. There are a lot of things to consider when looking for the perfect destination and Monarch Mountain is a great match for the top items on my list. Plenty of varied levels of ski terrain, natural snow (Monarch receives more than 350” of natural snow each year), one lodge (makes it easy to keep track of all the members of your group), short wait times, affordable prices, and quality food make an ideal mix of family friendly fun.

Ski and Ride school at Monarch Mountain colorado.

For the newbie skier like myself there are great class options offered at Monarch’s Ski + Ride School, whether you want to separate or even take a family lesson. Parents might consider sending the little ones off to learn while they get some runs in or brush up on technique with expert help. The covered magic carpet and learning area was great, with plenty of room for classes while still being accessible for independent riders. This section was ideal for those working their way up to the lift.

Ski + Ride School at Monarch Mountain ColoradoYour littlest ones even have their own section to get the hang of things. Starting as young as 3 your munchkin can begin to get their ski or board legs under them. Monarch Mountain has group lessons that are kids only, grouped by age and experience or if you are looking to be hands on try the Mini & Me program that introduces children, ages 3-6, to skiing, while the grown up gets tips from an expert. There is also a children’s center with indoor activities to take breaks in.

Monarch at the top of monarch mountain coloradoOnce you hit the mountain the action is non-stop. There are long runs at all levels from all over Monarch, but a highlight is getting to the top of the mountain and straddling the continental divide while looking out over the San Isabel National Forest. You can go up and visit the metal Monarch, or Peak Locator for a breathtaking destination. Turn this little butterfly and she will let you know exactly where you stand and the local landmarks you are looking out over. From there coming down the mountain is a choose your own adventure of green, blue, or black to get back to the base.
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The Fritz, Salida Colorado

Small Plates, Great Big Flavor

Don’t read that wrong, The Fritz in Salida, Colorado has options of all sizes, but they are known for their deliciously tempting variety of small plates on the menu. Literally every person we spoke to in town recommended The Fritz as a place to enjoy heart and tummy warming favorites and each had a personal favorite small plate to recommend. So our approach to the menu was to give as many as we could a try and I confess we were successful and left more than satisfied.

The Fritz in Salida Colorado near Monarch MountainWe hit the Fritz after a long day of skiing at nearby Monarch Mountain and with embarrassingly noisy stomachs. Options like Tuna Sashimi & Poached Prawn’s which are served with crispy onion, pineapple Ponzu sauce, and jalapeño jam were instantly eye catching. Our first pick, this dish was a cool treat for the palate, refreshing and light with a nice spicy heat giving each bite contrast and depth.

The Fritz near Monarch Mountain in Salida ColoradoPick 2: Brussel sprouts tantalizingly prepared with an orange reduction, walnuts, parmesan, and brown butter. On a cold winter night this is comfort food at its best. I am always a sucker for the warm richness of butter on my vegetables, but the addition of the orange reduction, the sharp flavor of the parmesan, and the crunch of the walnuts took this dish to the next level. It also came highly recommended by our ski instructor.
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