Clara Bosonetto is a retired travel consultant.
Weekend in Glenwood Springs, Colo., one of three ways: on a budget, spending a bit more, or when the getaway calls for a splurge.
Trip tips: The quaint pedestrian-friendly downtown offers unique shopping in small boutiques and shops for world-class sporting goods and authentic Western gear. Rest those tired doggies at Doc Holliday's Tavern (724 Grand Ave.), a local watering hole. Just a few miles east of town is White River National Forest, a 2.3 million-acre wilderness in the heart of the Rocky Mountains. Glenwood Springs is an outdoor lover's paradise with opportunities for canoeing, kayaking, ziplining, rock and ice climbing, and fishing (Field & Stream magazine designated Glenwood Springs as the top fishing town in America). Trip planning: www.visitglenwood.com.
Getting there: A beautiful drive over mountain passes from Denver is 160 miles. Closer is Vail (30 miles east) or Aspen (40 miles south). Grand Junction is 90 miles west. Autumn season rates to Denver from $102 each way (Delta, Frontier, United); $203 each way Grand Junction (American via Dallas); and $470 round-trip Aspen or Vail (United via Denver).
Stay: Built in 1914, the Best Kept Secret Bed & Breakfast home offers two guest rooms with a shared kitchen and common area. Nightly rates $98. Stay an extra night in The Study guest room for an additional $10 during the "quiet season" (October-April). 915 Colorado Ave., 970-945-8586, http://bestkeptsecretbb.com. The home is a half-mile hike to the memorial cemetery site of Doc Holliday, the gunfighter remembered for his friendship with Wyatt Earp and their participation in the Gunfight at the O.K. Corral.
Eat: Daily Bread Restaurant is the spot for breakfast, brunch or lunch with house specialties such as pierogi, potato pancakes and golabki (stuffed cabbage) and traditional American-style dishes. Open 7 a.m.-2 p.m.; $7-$10. 729 Grand Ave., 970-945-6253.
Experience: Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park (open year-round) offers adventures from subterranean tours of the historic Fairy Caves (inside is a magnificent five-story room called the Barn) to the Cliffhanger Roller Coaster, an alpine thrill ride with panoramic views of Glenwood Springs and the Roaring Fork Valley. Or, soar on a Giant Swing over the scenic Glenwood Canyon. End the day with an evening tram ride down the mountain with city light views. Entrance with a cave tour is $25 adults; $20 ages 3-12. 51000 Two Rivers Plaza Road, 970-945-4228, http://glenwoodcaverns.com.
Stay: Four Mile Creek Bed and Breakfast, homesteaded in 1885, offers a barn suite and two log cabins ($130-$155). The home is 6 miles south of town on a country road (look for the pretty red barn) and a few miles from Sunlight Mountain Ski Resort. 6471 County Road 117, 970-945-4004, www.fourmilecreek.com.
Eat: Glenwood Canyon Brewing Company serves fresh, award-winning hand-crafted beer and American cuisine. Entrees, $11-$23. 402 Seventh St., 970-945-1276, www.glenwoodcanyonbrewpub.com.
Experience: Two of the most beautiful paved trails in the state are within the city limits. One parallels the Colorado River and the other heads toward Aspen. Rent wheels for any age or ability; full day $35, $15 tag-along or child carrier. The free Glenwood Canyon Shuttle will take you uphill so you can ride downhill back into town. 723 Cooper Ave., 1-877-346-4536, www.glenwoodadventure.com. A hike or mountain bike ride to Hanging Lake is the most recommended for spectacular scenery.
Stay: Unique guest rooms at Hotel Denver have cozy quilts, antiques — and two with special views from the private rooftop hot tub. Rates from $156-$186 with the spacious Cupola Room at $426. 402 Seventh St., 1-800-826-8820, www.thehoteldenver.com.
Eat: Order up a fresh rainbow trout, or other Colorado comfort dishes at Rivers Restaurant. Entrees, $14-$28. 2525 S. Grand Ave., 970-928-8813, http://theriversrestaurant.com.
Experience: Glenwood Hot Springs Pool, the world's largest, was discovered by the Ute Indians, who named it "Yampah," meaning big medicine. Since 1888, a spring delivers three and a half million gallons of hot mineral-rich water every day. Adults $15.75; $10.75 ages 3-12. 415 E. Sixth St., 970-947-2955, www.hotspringspool.com. The award-winning Spa of the Rockies offers treatments from $65. After a day on the trails, treat yourself to a 90-minute Colorado River full-body massage, $169. 401 N. River St., 1-877-947-3331, www.spaoftherockies.com.
About the Author
Credit: John Spink / John.Spink@ajc.com