Colorado already has a reputation as a leading outdoor destination, attracting couples from across the United States who want to explore Rocky Mountain National Park and other natural areas. But if you and your partner run to the Rockies too soon, you’ll miss out on all of Colorado’s Front Range towns and resorts.
To help you plan your trip, the U.S. News scoured the state for the most romantic getaways in Colorado. Whether your dream vacation means skiing down a mountain, soaking in a hot spring, zip-lining, visiting a museum, or something else, you’ll find it all in the Centennial State.
Rocky Mountain National Park
Rocky Mountain National Park is full of opportunities that will take your breath away. The national park offers everything from hiking and cycling to rock climbing and horse riding. The national park provides a natural playground that is sure to delight outdoor couples during a weekend getaway or romantic getaway.
Those with warm enough sleeping bags and adventurers can camp in the park’s more than 265,000 acres. However, Estes Park and other nearby towns offer more traditional lodging options if you and your loved one don’t want to go through the hassle. A variety of national park tours depart from Estes Park, including private, personalized expeditions. While there are virtually no formal restaurants (the Alpine Visitor Center offers refreshments), the park’s many scenic overlooks provide great quick spots for romantic picnics.
You should allow at least half a day to travel along the Trail Ridge Road. The popular stretch of highway runs 48 miles from Estes Park to Grand Lake and introduces travelers to all that Rocky Mountain National Park has to offer, including tundra, forests and grasslands. If you’re not comfortable driving on mountain roads, book a green jeep tour to learn about the park’s history with an experienced guide behind the wheel. Couples who enjoy a more challenging scenic drive should consider taking Old Fall River Road, a one-way gravel road that runs 11 miles west before merging with Trail Ridge Road. Note that many of the park’s roads and other attractions close when snow begins to accumulate, usually in late October.
The Stanley Hotel: Estes Park
Perched atop Estes Park, the Stanley Hotel overlooks the beautiful city and is its most famous landmark and the best place to stay. The Stanley Hotel opened in 1909 and quickly modernized the quiet valley. Since its opening, the hotel has hosted many distinguished guests, including President Theodore Roosevelt and former Japanese Emperor Akihito. However, most travelers know this hotel for being the inspiration for Stephen King’s novel The Shining. Couples who enjoy cuddling while watching scary movies and listening to ghost stories usually appreciate a nighttime guided tour of this supposedly haunted hotel. Additionally, anyone interested in the hotel’s rich history can opt for a day tour. After exploring the hotel or spending a few hours exploring the surrounding area, retire to the hotel’s impressive rooms, decorated in earthy tones and standard amenities such as Wi-Fi access and flat-screen TVs. are equipped with
Estes Park, known as the gateway to Rocky Mountain National Park, provides the perfect middle ground for nature-loving couples who still crave tranquility. Along Elkhorn and Moraine avenues, the city’s main streets, you’ll find several cozy, romantic restaurants. Grab a bite to eat at Bird & Jim, which serves a variety of rustic dishes made with local ingredients. You and your partner can also browse the Estes Park art galleries or test your skills with an acrylic painting class. No visit would be complete without a scenic view of the Estes Park Aerial Tramway, which in the warmer months takes passengers more than 1,000 feet to the top of Prospect Mountain. Estes Park is located less than 70 miles northwest of Denver, making it easily accessible for most Colorado couples.
Breckenridge stands out among many ski towns in the Colorado Rockies for its well-preserved historic area. Main Street is lined with Breckenridge’s new and old Victorian buildings (any new building must fit the Victorian theme), creating a uniquely romantic atmosphere. History-loving couples who want to learn more about the city’s past should book a haunted tour. However, Breckenridge’s main attraction is Breckenridge Ski Resort—one of Colorado’s top ski resorts—which offers a respectable 2,908 acres of skiable terrain. However, couples don’t have to stay at a ski resort, so be sure to compare the best hotels in Breckenridge. Some options offer key amenities like ski-in/ski-out access and amenities like locker rooms and equipment storage (think: One Ski Hill Place, a rock resort).
However, Breckenridge is about more than just skiing. Couples will find plenty of ways to entertain themselves all year round. Head to Carter Park, a city favorite, and try sledding down a giant hill. You can also spend a few hours biking, skating, or hiking down the nearly 15-mile Vail Pass Trail, which offers breathtaking views on your way from Breckenridge to Frisco. For a slower ride, try a three-hour brewery and distillery tour on a fat bike, where two people can wear beer jackets while sipping and trading snow-covered scenery. Boreas Pass Road also provides a great scenic drive, with magnificent aspen trees in the fall that attract lovely birds.
Sonnenalp Hotel: Vail
Vail’s main attraction is its unparalleled powder snow, but even couples who struggle down the slopes will find something to love in this luxurious mountain town. Like many of Vail’s best hotels, the legendary Hotel Sonnenalp, welcoming guests since 1979, reflects Vail’s versatility. Located at the base of the Vail Ski Resort, this hotel caters to the needs of snow lovers and recreationists with its convenient location and first-class amenities.
For couples interested in skiing, the hotel’s proximity to Vail Ski Resort makes it easy to enjoy the resort’s more than 145 miles of trails. Meanwhile, couples who prefer to relax on site can head to Sonnealp Spa to enjoy a treatment or take a dip in one of the many indoor and outdoor pools and hot tubs. The hotel also offers an 18-hole golf course for those who prefer to play golf. After spending a few hours inside or outside the hotel, explore Veil’s Bavarian-style town center with its wonderful shops and eateries, or dine in one of Hotel Sonnenalp’s quiet, romantic restaurants before bed. Billy Ranch deserves special praise from former guests for its pleasant staff and excellent food.
All of the hotel’s chalet-style rooms can be described as comfortable. Guestrooms and suites feature exposed wood and tartan fabrics, complemented by custom Bavarian furnishings and views of Gore Creek or Vail Village (mountain views are an extra charge). What’s more, all bathrooms have heated floors, a welcome luxury after a long day on the slopes. Couples looking to splurge on extra space can choose from a variety of suites, all of which feature gas fireplaces to add to the hotel’s romantic atmosphere.
The Broadmoor: Colorado Springs
The Broadmoor has been impressing visitors and industry experts since it opened in 1918, earning it the longest consecutive recipient of the AAA Five Diamond and Forbes Five Star awards. So it’s no surprise that this hotel is one of the best romantic spots in Colorado. While the Broadmoor is a one-star resort by any measure, recent guests agree that the Colorado Springs Hotel excels in two categories: dining and entertainment.
A wide range of on-site activities and facilities, including golf, tennis, swimming pools and a luxurious spa, make The Broadmoor a destination in itself for active couples. Anyone looking for a romantic getaway outside of the Broadmoor grounds will have their pick of adventures, from a trip through the spectacular Seven Falls to a scenic ride along the Broadmoor-Manito and Pikes Peak Railroad. Includes a zipline excursion through South Cheyenne Canyon. (Couples can also book zipline tours at Seven Falls through third-party groups.) When it comes to dining, The Broadmoor’s offerings include a variety of restaurants, cafes, and bars. Couples can dine on Italian cuisine and an evening drink a bottle of wine at Restaurante del Lago or grab a bite to eat at The Summit Restaurant, which combines regional cuisine from across the Americas.
The Broadmoor is a large resort with 784 rooms, suites, cottages and brownstones, as well as a full estate. All standard rooms can be described as grand, with unusual headboards and intricately patterned textiles, as well as standard amenities such as Wi-Fi access and flat-screen TVs. Lovers looking for extra privacy can take part in one of the resort’s jungle activities: off-site camps and ranches that take the hotel’s special atmosphere deep into the mountains to access more active outdoor offerings. Activities such as fly fishing and hiking to scenic spots.
Garden of the Gods: Colorado Springs
Garden of the Gods, also located in Colorado Springs, has earned recognition as a National Scenic Landmark with sandstone cliffs jutting 300 feet into the air and scraping the sky. Couples can start their tour with a sunrise hot air balloon ride that includes a light breakfast and champagne, then pick up maps from the Visitor Center and Nature Center for a full-day hike around the red rock formations. can be used on Adventure seekers can enjoy cycling or e-biking, jeep tours and even rock climbing. Once you’ve worked up an appetite, you can grab lunch at the Bean Sprouts Cafe (located in the Visitor Center) or grab a lunch at one of the park’s picnic areas.
Although the previously mentioned Broadmoor is the most famous hotel in Colorado Springs, it is certainly not the only romantic stay option in the sprawling area. Equally luxurious alternatives near Garden of the Gods include The Mining Exchange, a Wyndham Grand Hotel, and Cheyenne Mountain Colorado Springs, a Dolce resort. Or head to nearby Manitou Springs to stay at The Cliff House on Pikes Peak, which features charming Victorian decor and luxurious amenities like double spa tubs, steam showers and heated towel rails.
Grays and Torreys peaks
Colorado is home to numerous mountains, but 58 of them are 14 years old, meaning they have peaks over 14,000 feet. Taking a 14-year-old child or climbing one of these impressive mountains holds a special place in the hearts of tourists. These are also quite memorable places to get down on one knee. Couples who enjoy a challenging hike will appreciate the spectacular views and the sense of accomplishment that comes with completing 14, but these challenging hikes shouldn’t be taken lightly: altitude, wind, and hydration all play a role. There are unique obstacles. Gray and Torrey peaks stand out as the two most challenging and achievable peaks for two-person hikes.
Both peaks are located 60 miles west of Denver. Couples hoping to conquer them should plan to arrive as early as possible. Former hikers recommend making sure your vehicle is a four-wheel-drive model that can handle the forest road to the trailhead. The hiking trail to Gray and Torreys Peaks is about 8 miles from the trailhead to the summit and is easily accessible from late spring through fall. Hikers should plan to climb about 3,600 feet and bring sunscreen, windbreakers and plenty of water.
Strawberry Park Hot Springs: Steamboat Springs
While Colorado has no shortage of hot springs, the surrounding forest and intricate rock formations of Strawberry Park Hot Springs highlight its water features. Open year-round, the complex includes various swimming pools, the coolest of which is around 102 degrees Fahrenheit. If you want to take your relaxation to the next level, massage and water therapy sessions are available. For those hoping for an even more romantic setting, visit in winter. (Amenities include a heated cabana.) Keep in mind that after dark, these hot springs are for adults only and clothing is optional.
Couples looking to spend a few days in the hot springs can choose from accommodations that range from converted train galleys to standard cabins and relatively primitive campsites. Alternatively, you can plan a day trip from Steamboat Springs, which is 7 miles south. Trucking companies offer routes connecting the two destinations, so anyone reluctant to drive in the snow can still make the trip. Travelers staying in Steamboat Springs can take advantage of the local ski resort when hot springs aren’t your thing. Top Steamboat Springs hotels, like the Sheraton Steamboat Resort Villas, offer private pools and easy access to golf courses, among other amenities.
The natural beauty surrounding Aspen deserves worldwide recognition. Additionally, the area’s four ski mountains—Snowmass, Buttermilk, Aspen Highlands and Aspen Mountain—help cement the city’s reputation as a world-class ski resort. While skiing and snowboarding are Aspen’s main activities, the city also offers an art museum, a variety of restaurants and shops, and a variety of warm-weather activities for visitors in the spring, summer, and fall. Additionally, those who want to learn more about Aspen’s unique history can sign up for an Aspen Ghost Tour.
A collection of luxurious hotels are available for all lovers looking to splurge. The Little Neal Hotel offers modern digs and access to the mountains, while the equally upscale Jerome Hotel builds on its history of welcoming visitors since 1889 and offers first-class service and amenities. With everything Aspen has to offer, it’s easy to stretch your budget. Lift tickets add up several days, and many of Aspen’s best hotels charge more per night. Plus, many of the city’s fabulous restaurants, from après-ski bars to romantic restaurants, are extraordinarily expensive.
Couples can offset some of the cost of visiting Aspen by finding free and affordable activities. The scenic drive up the Maroon Bells is only $10 per vehicle (reservations must be made in advance), and a scenic drive over Independence Pass won’t cost you a dime. Note that both attractions are open only in the summer, and Independence Pass closes after the first snowfall of the season.