Things to Do in Winter Park

Don't let the name fool you — Winter Park has plenty to do all year. Just a 90-minute drive from Denver, it’s the best spot for a weekend of skiing or mountain biking.  And thanks to signature events like Blues From the Top Music Festival and the Rocky Mountain Wine Fest, you can always pair your trip with entertainment. Stroll around downtown, explore local shops and eateries, and enjoy live music and festivals at Hideaway Park.

Outdoor Activities

As the eastern gateway to Grand County, Winter Park welcomes visitors with a scenic drive over Berthoud Pass. Switchback over the high-mountain road which opens up to panoramic views of the Continental Divide.  In summer, outdoor adventurers trek wildflower-lined trails in Vasquez Peak Wilderness or mountain bike along a rollercoaster of hills at Trestle Bike Park. Hop on the  summer gondola and soar to the top of Winter Park Resort’s mountain to take in stunning Rocky Mountain vistas.

In fall, Winter Park is ablaze with colorful foliage, best viewed in September and early October. Hike through golden aspens and towering pines on the Jim Creek Trail, then head into town to sip ales on the patio at Hideaway Park Brewery. Be sure to bring the family and walk beside the burbling water on the paved Fraser River Trail. And if you want to get out on the slopes for early season skiing, Winter Park Resort typically opens up some routes in the weeks around Halloween.

Winter Park is a cold-weather playground with some of the best snow in the state of Colorado. From the family-friendly skiing and expert-level terrain at Winter Park Resort to guided snowmobile tours, sleigh rides, snowshoeing and tubing, this town is the place to start your snowy adventure.

The fun continues when the weather warms up. Early spring delivers the last laps of bluebird skiing and snowshoeing. Then the later season brings budding trees, rushing rivers and clear blue skies with snowcapped outlooks. With more than 600 miles of trails and steep backcountry climbs, Winter Park becomes homebase for backpackers, bikers, anglers and horseback riders when the snow melts.

People cross-country ski through a snowy forest in Winter Park


Home to Hideaway Park, the bustling town center of Cooper Creek Square and Winter Park Resort, there are so many events throughout the year in this mountain town. In spring, sample some suds at TheBigWonderful Beer Fest & Bluegrass, where you can catch live concerts, craft fairs and, of course, unlimited samples of Colorado brews.

Come summer, The Grand County Blues Society hosts the Blues from the Top Music Festival, where sounds of soul-moving blues bands harmonize with views of the Continental Divide at the community stage. Can’t make it that weekend? Well luckily, you can catch live music all summer long on High Note Thursdays, where musicians take the stage while residents and visitors dance, dine and jam out on the lawn.

In fall, celebrate the art of cinema at the Winter Park Film Festival. Grab your popcorn, take a seat and take in independent movies and interviews with creators. Then, taste, sip and savor vinos from around Colorado and the world at the Rocky Mountain Wine Fest, a fundraiser for the National Sport Center for the Disabled at Winter Park Resort.

And as the name suggests, winter is one of the best times to visit Winter Park, when the resort is brimming with fluffy snow and the town is buzzing with excitement. Cooper Creek Square is strung with a rainbow of lights to celebrate the holiday season, and on Christmas Eve, Santa comes all the way from the North Pole for the annual Torchlight Parade. See the mountain light up as skiers hold torches and descend the hill at night in a dazzling display. Check out the Grand County events calendar to see what's coming up.

A band plays on the stage in Hideaway Park in at a Winter Park event


Uncover iconic local art at Uptripping in Cooper Creek Square. You’ll notice artist Shannon Foley Henn’s colorful murals of rock legends, bears and moose surrounding the downtown. By the time you leave, you’ll want a piece to hang up at home. Meanwhile, admire even more work by Grand County painters at WP Framewerx, a framing shop that doubles as a beautiful gallery.

With its proximity to one of the best ski resorts in Colorado, there’s no shortage of ski shops in Winter Park. If you’re looking for some rentals to bring to the mountain, you can always stop into spots like Beavers Sports Shop. Icebox Mountain Sports is a great place to snag backcountry equipment, fat bikes and cross-country skis. And The Trailhead offers rentals and tunes as well as cool tees and hats.

Looking for a souvenir or a gift to bring back from your Grand County vacation? Stop into B. Jammin' at Cooper Creek Square to browse Winter Park apparel, kids’ toys and other trinkets. Then, explore Moose Hollow Trading Company for carved wooden art pieces, gourmet salsas and jams, and mountain lodge accessories and decor.

Art murals in downtown Winter Park


Wake up and get your caffeine fix from Unravel Cafe at GravityHaus Winter Park. Their menu is all sustainably sourced, and their to-go coffees are served up in glass jars, which you can bring back the next morning to reduce your waste. If you’re looking for a sit-down experience, check out Wake N’ Bacon, where meals begin with glazed-donut holes and tangy raspberry jam, and end with fried chicken and waffles topped with sunny-side-up eggs. Or settle in for a foamy cappuccino and a fresh muffin at Moon Frog Coffee Shop, where you can cozy up next to a wood-burning fireplace and chat all morning.

In summer, Randi's Pub & Grill’s patio is one of the best places to sit and sip a beer and munch on Irish Nachos with corned beef or racks of baby-back ribs. Or sample reds, whites and rosés at Adventures Decanted alongside seasonal menus, including charcuterie boards with a rotating selection of meats, cheeses and accouterments. Meanwhile, dunk garlic-herb paratha in warm curry and creamy paneer in the beautiful dining room at Namaste India.

Make your ski day extra sweet at the Waffle Cabin at Winter Park Resort. Top crispy, fluffy waffles with toppings like Nutella and whipped cream — or even a big scoop of ice cream. And you have to go to Rollin’ Street Bakery for their famous chimneys rolled in sweet cinnamon sugar or savory fillings like bacon, eggs and havarti. They also offer breads, ice cream and a rotating menu of traditional pastries, plus lots of vegan, gluten-free and allergen-friendly options.

Interior of a winery restaurant in Winter Park with large displays of wine bottles with a table and large barrel.

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