Possibly the thing we love most about the Rockies is the delightful, charming towns that reside in the comfort of the region. And when you hear the term “small town” you might be picturing a place where no excitement is to be had, and a town that’s a few miles long. That’s why so many are happily surprised when they visit Grand Lake for the first time. There’s never a lack of things to do here, and that becomes ever more apparent in the summertime. Grand Lake is an exciting place for those that enjoy mountain living, incredible shopping, and a day outdoors. Whether you’re just passing through, taking a long weekend vacation, or plan to make Grand Lake your home, here are a few things we think you shouldn’t miss in this incomparable lakeside landscape.
1. Grand Lake. The very namesake of this delightful town and the literal backyard to its main street, the lake of Grand Lake is a “can’t miss” spot. This lake happens to be the deepest and largest natural lake in Colorado making it a great spot for your next catch, or just a lovely swim. If you enjoy recreational fishing, boating sports, or are looking for the perfect spot to watch the Fourth of July fireworks this week, look no further than the Grand Lake. What should you do here?
- Rent at the Grand Lake Marina. As the weather continues to heat up, it’s time to take to the lake to cool off. Thankfully, the Grand Lake Marina offers all kinds of boat and aquatic rentals, from kayaks to whalers.
- Go fish! If you love to fish out on the open water, this might just be your paradise. With three types of trout, salmon, and several other species of fish about, just drop a line and see if you’re having a lucky day.
- Spend a day on the sand. Maybe water sports aren’t your forte, maybe you’d rather spend an evening watching the sunset on a beach towel. Grand Lake Beach is the perfect spot to relax, watch the boats go by, and take in the beauty of the nature around you without having to get out onto the water.
- Picnic at Point Park. If you’re looking to spend a sunny afternoon picnicking and looking out in awe of Mount Craig, check out Point Park.
2. Grand Lake Boardwalk. Step back in time while strolling down Grand Lake Boardwalk. This downtown spot contains over 60 shops, eateries, bars, and art galleries. If you think that Colorado mountain towns are only entertaining in the winter, you’ve never been to Grand Lake. The summer season is packed full of fun boardwalk activity. Stop by for handmade ice-cream, check out the Main Street Playground with the kids, or shop at the many idyllic boutiques.
- Take in history. The boardwalk along Grand Avenue dates all the way back to 1881, and the town has made sure to keep its classic western architecture. Throughout the year it's easy enough to catch an amazing concert at one of the several saloons or see a show at the Rocky Mountain Repertory Theatre, but the warmth of summer brings with it even more outdoor performances at the Town Park Pavilion.
For Those That Love the Outdoors
Lovingly sandwiched between Grand Lake and Estes Park, Rocky Mountain National Park is the hub for all the great things the natural landscape of Colorado has to offer. With one entrance to the park literally minutes away from town, this national park is the perfect place to bike, hike, camp, and fish. It’s considered the most visited recreational area in the state, and there’s no wonder why.
- Stay the night or the weekend. With 5 drive-in campgrounds and 1 group campground located on either side of the park, camping is a major attraction to the area. So attractive, in fact, that many campgrounds fill up during the peak of the summer season. If you decide to camp when you come for a visit, plan ahead by researching the various grounds, and reserve a spot ahead of time.
- Hike to your heart's content. Rocky Mountain National Park is a hiker’s haven. Tundra Communities Trail is a gorgeous and ever-popular 1-mile, round trip hike at a high altitude that most avid hikers will tell you to trek at least once. If you’re looking to take a short and history filled hike with the whole family, you could make your way to the Holzwarth Historic Site, checking out the the former 1920’s dude ranch in the area.
Fall in Love with Grand Lake
You’ll never be without something to do in a town so full of indoor and outdoor activities. It’s a great place to pass through, but you might choose to stay for a while longer. So many residents of Grand Lake started out as visitors seeking a unique landscape and ended up calling Grand Lake their home. If you come by for a visit and end up falling in love with this little town, make sure to let us help you the perfect place to put your roots down.
By Coldwell Banker