Top things to do

Barbecue in Estes Park

Smokin’ Dave’s BBQ & Tap House

Half-assed BBQ joints are all too common in Colorado’s mountain towns, but Dave’s, situated in a spare dining room, fully delivers. The buffalo ribs and pulled pork come dressed in a slightly sweet, smoky, tangy sau…
Bar in Estes Park

Wheel Bar

Estes Park's favorite dive bar offers a rip-roaring good time, a killer porch out on the riverwalk, plus a mysterious wheel that truly reveals the difference between six drinks and more. Expect lots of flannel, free…
American in Estes Park

Claire's on the Park

Looking over the park with a broad wraparound porch, this is a great lunch spot. The copper-topped booths inside offer quiet retreats, and the salads are some of the freshest in town. The rest of the menu moves from…
Sports & Outdoors in Estes Park

Estes Park Mountain Shop

For very high-end technical gear, you'll want to rent in Denver or Boulder, but if you're heading into the woods for a couple days, these guys have sturdy gear for rent at a reasonable rate. They also rent bikes ($3…
Steak in Estes Park

Rock Inn Mountain Tavern

After a few days in the wilds of Rocky Mountain National Park, the rare porterhouse here seems heaven sent (even if the country band on stage can’t pass as the accompanying choir of angels). Excellent stick-to-the-r…
Brewery in Estes Park

Estes Park Brewery

The town's brewpub serves pizza, burgers and wings, and at least eight different house beers, in a big, boxy room resembling a cross between a classroom and a country kitchen. Pool tables and outdoor seating keep th…
American in Estes Park

Big Horn Restaurant

This local breakfast institution offers a side of grits along with the local gossip and the best huevos rancheros in town. If you get here on the way into the park, order a packed lunch with your breakfast, or come …
Mexican in Estes Park

Ed’s Cantina & Grill

With an outdoor patio right on the river, Ed’s is a great place to kick back with a margarita. Serving Mexican and American staples, the restaurant is in a retro woodsy space with leather booth seating and bold prim…
Maps in Estes Park

MacDonald Book Shop

You can hunker down here with a collection of topographical maps and regional titles to help plan your trip into the park. The book selection is good and the lattes from the adjoining coffee counter aren't too shabb…
Ranch in Estes Park

MacGregor Ranch Museum

In 1872 Alexander and Clara MacGregor arrived in Estes Park and settled beside Black Canyon Creek near Lumpy Ridge. Their granddaughter Muriel MacGregor bequeathed the ranch as an educational trust upon her death. I…