Where to Stay
Family Weekend Getaway in Rocky Mountain National Park
The storied Stanley Hotel (rooms from $134/night) is hands-down the best place to stay in Estes Park, located in a magnificent setting above town and less than six miles from Rocky Mountain National Park. Besides serving as the inspiration for Stephen King's The Shining, the elegant landmark hotel is listed on the national register of historic places and retains much of its original architecture. The stylish Stanley Overlook Condos (condos from $260/night), built behind the hotel in 2004, offer an alternative for families who require more space, or a kitchen.
For one of the best kid-friendly stays in the country, head to the Estes Park Center at the YMCA of the Rockies (rooms from $79/night), a year-round family vacation center located minutes from Rocky Mountain National Park. The rustic lodges and cabins are hardly roughing it, having been renovated in 2013 to include upgraded linens and flat screen TVs with satellite reception. Rooms come with optional meal plans at the buffet-style dining room, and access to a dizzying array of on-site activities including horseback riding, miniature golf, sand volleyball, zip lining, fishing, and mountain biking. When the adults need alone time, there's a craft house for the kids to do art projects, and both day and evening camps.