Buildings in front of the Colorado mountains at dusk

Out West

Winter days in Colorado can be so crisp and clear you'll be moved to prayer by the magnificence of the snow-covered mountains. Come along as we visit Denver and Boulder and then hit the slopes.

As a native Jersey girl in a New York City medical school, I confess that any trekking west of the Delaware River is an adventure for me. My travels led me to the breathtaking state of Colorado with my boyfriend, Alex, and we immediately fell in love. Luckily, he attends medical school in Denver, giving me a good excuse to return to this beautiful Rocky Mountain state.

Author Stephanie Sansone with Alex Metoxen enjoying the wonders of creation in Colorado
Author Stephanie Sansone with Alex Metoxen enjoying the wonders of creation in Colorado

If you are flying into Colorado, Denver International Airport will most likely be your destination. I highly recommend renting a car so you can explore all the city and state has to offer.

While in Denver

Eat Everyone loves a good brunch spot and Snooze, an A.M. eatery, specializes in jump-starting your day with organic coffee and handpicked local ingredients. For a treat, try one of the Art of Hollandaise egg dishes.

Don’t miss the opportunity to stroll through Larimer Square in the evening. One restaurant in particular, Osteria Marco, brought me back to my time abroad with an Italian farm-to-table feel, including cured meats and fresh cheeses. Mangia!

For dessert and late-night snacks head to the Capitol Hill neighborhood for eats. Steuben’s Food Service serves comfort food done right, from Chicago hot dogs to Memphis ribs to green chili stew. The real deal is the $5 burger-side-and-drink special after 10 p.m. Satisfy that late-night craving!

Lik's Ice Cream is a classic mom-and-pop spot in Denver
Lik's Ice Cream is a classic mom-and-pop spot in Denver

Play As a big sports fan, I knew I had to check out the Colorado Rockies’ ballpark, Coors Field. The field is located in the bustling Lower Downtown, or “LoDo,” district. The stadium is open for behind-the-scenes tours year-round. Game tickets are reasonably priced by Major League Baseball standards, especially in the “Rock Pile” outfield bleacher seating where adult tickets cost $4, and children and seniors only pay $1.

Reclaim your youth with an evening of ice-skating at the outdoor rink in Boulder.
Reclaim your youth with an evening of ice-skating at the outdoor rink in Boulder.

A Day Trip to Boulder

The home of the hip, Boulder is a must-see destination. Nestled against the Flatirons, dramatic rock formations, it was originally settled as a mining town. It’s a 45-minute drive from Denver.

Eat For a true hole-in-the-wall experience, stop at Efrain’s II for authentic Mexican food. I had the best-ever enchiladas at this hidden gem. Try the locally roasted brew at Laughing Goat Coffeehouse, an eclectic coffee shop.

Play There are gorgeous views of the mountains just about anywhere in Boulder. An outdoor Ice Rink is open during winter months at One Boulder Plaza in the heart of downtown.

Relax amid beauty at Highland Haven Creekside Inn in Evergreen.
Relax amid beauty at Highland Haven Creekside Inn in Evergreen.

Explore Breckenridge & Evergreen

Have you had enough of the urban experience? Time to head to the Rocky Mountains for skiing, hiking and taking in some of the most breathtaking beauty in all of God’s creation.

Stay For hitting the slopes, Main Street Station, a Wyndham Vacation Rentals property, is only two hours west of Denver. There’s easy access to skiing and it’s a short walk to Main Street shops and restaurants in this Victorian town.

I chose to stay in the foothills in Evergreen and recommend the Highland Haven Creekside Inn, a romantic setting with affordable guest rooms. Luxury suites are also available—there’s even a new three-story tree house option! It will take you about an hour and a half to get from Evergreen to quaint little Breckenridge.

Natural Wonders:

Rocky Mountain National Park, Estes Park. Snowshoeing, sledding, cross-country skiing and spectacular wildlife viewing are favorite winter activities. 2½ hours from Denver. visitestespark.com

Ouray. Nestled in the towering peaks of the Rockies, this historic Victorian village is home to the world famous Ouray Ice Field. Take a climbing lesson, then relax in therapeutic mineral springs. 1 hour from Denver. ouraycolorado.com

Steamboat Springs. One of the West’s great ski resorts, experience night skiing, snow biking or take a quiet sleigh ride through the mountains. There are plenty of adventures for all ages and interests. 3 hours from Denver. steamboat.com
First Image Courtesy of Wyndham Vacation Rentals