Our Winter Getaway in Colorado + Highlights From Our Trip!

January 15, 2019

I’m Tara.
 I'm an influencer strategy expert, the host of Project Influence the Podcast, and the founder of Creator Cube™, a co-creating space for content creators. 
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To say that Colorado was memorable would be an understatement! We had such an amazing time in the snowy mountains this Christmas! My kiddos have been asking for a white Christmas ever since they could speak, so when we told them that we were spending actual Christmas in Colorado, they were so excited! Living in South Texas, we do not get a lot of snow, so I honestly didn’t know what to expect, what to wear, or if I was going to be freezing the whole time. Lol! If you know me personally then you know, that I HATE to be cold. Like, throw me on a beach in 100-degree heat and leave me there for a week, I’m fine. Ask me to stand outside and shiver for two minutes. I’m out on that. And. Honestly, when we book vacations, I’m always pushing warm and tropical for this very reason. But… what I didn’t realize is that because of the elevation and the dryness of the air, it’s not really that cold! There were days where it was in the teens and below, and a long sleeve shirt was all I needed! Once I figured out that I could be outside, in the snow, and not be cold… I instantly became a snow vacation person! LOL.

So I thought it would be fun to share our itinerary with you because we made a lot of stops and went to multiple towns while in Colorado. I am so glad that we did it this way because we got to see and do so much!

First up was flying into Denver. Our actual first destination was Pagosa Springs which is about five hours south of Denver. We chose to fly into Denver, one, because it was much less expensive than flying into Pagosa, and two, we really wanted to rent a car and drive through the mountains! Now, I only recommend this if you have experience driving on ice or snow-covered roads! I do not, but Matt does so we were fairly confident we would be fine. Even so, it’s common for smaller mountain roads to close if the snow and ice are too heavy, so definitely take that into consideration when making travel plans. We didn’t have to deal with any road closures driving down to Pagosa or back up to Denver on this trip which was great! We landed really late in Denver so we stayed the first night in a hotel near the airport. Got up early the next morning and started our drive down to Pagosa!

Next stop was Breckenridge! I am such a fan of Breck! The cutest little town with great shops, restaurants, and the most beautiful mountain views! We only stayed for a few hours to have lunch and take some pics but it was enough to know that we will definitely be back! We ate lunch at Mi Casa Mexican Restaurant and it was delish! Great food and fantastic margaritas!

The next part of our trip was probably my favorite! If you’ve never driven through snow-covered mountains then it will be hard to explain but it was seriously the most beautiful and breathtaking thing to see. We were all just in awe of how big the mountains were, how much snow there was, and just how gorgeous the scenery was. We got to Pagosa that evening and met up with my in-laws! My mother-in-law booked cabins for us and both of Matt’s brothers and their families, and we spent the next three days hanging out with family in Pagosa! The girls loved spending Christmas with their cousins and grandparents in the snow! We actually weren’t sure if we were going to get that much snow in Pagosa but woke up on the second day to tons of it! The kids got to sled and play in the snow all day! We spent Christmas Eve in Durango and road the Polar Express! This was really cool and the kids loved it! On Christmas day, after opening gifts, we all drove up to Wolf Creek Ski Area to let the kids sled on bigger hills with more snow! That was so much fun! A lot of you have asked if we skied on our trip, and we did not. None of us have skied before so we were kinda just scoping it out on this trip, but we definitely will on the next trip!

After a few days in and around Pagosa, we made our way back toward Denver with our last stop being in Vail for one night! We stayed at the DoubleTree by Hilton in Vail and I highly recommend this resort! So kid friendly, and only about a five-minute drive to Vail Village which is where all the shops, restaurants, and ski areas are! They also provide a shuttle to take you back and forth if you don’t want to drive! The Hotel was super kid friendly with tons of activities! They had board games and a shuffleboard table in the bar/lobby area, so the kids could play while we sat by the fire and had a drink! They also had a full game room with a pool table, ping pong tables, and other fun games. I think the highlight for the kids though was swimming in the hot tub while it was snowing! So fun! Vail itself was pretty amazing, with Vail Village being the highlight. So many cool restaurants, shops, and things to do and see! We had dinner at Fall Line which was one of my favorites from the whole trip! Great food and cocktails! One thing that I will say about Vail is if you are going to Vail to ski, I would try to stay closer to the ski areas. It gets more expensive the closer you are but if you are there to ski, It’s best to be close!

On the last day, we made our way over to Lions Head which is another shopping and ski area in Vail. It was similar to Vail Village but had fewer people! Lions Head Village did have a skating rink and a walking trail near a creek that was really cool! The kids loved jumping and playing in all the snow along the trail! Next, we got back on the road and headed towards Denver! On the way we stopped in the little town of Frisco for lunch! It’s just thirty minutes outside of Vail and fifteen minutes outside of Breckenridge… and it’s super cute! They have a snow tubing adventure park that looked so fun, but we were on a time crunch to get to the airport so we didn’t stop! Next time! 🙂

And That’s it! Like I said, we didn’t spend long in any one place but over the six days got to see so much! We now have a list of places that we want to go back to and know what we want to do in each of them! I’ll list some of the highlights below of each place plus our favorite things we did or want to try next time below!

  • Pagosa Springs: Super laid back, inexpensive, and has tons of natural hot springs!
  • Wolf Creek Ski Area: Great place for sledding and learning to ski, Inexpensive Ski School, and GORGEOUS mountain views!
  • Durango: Super cute historical town with tons of shopping and great restaurants! Home of the Durango Train Station and The Polar Express train ride during Christmas time! (See my story highlights to see some video of the train ride!)
  • Breckenridge: Family friendly, great shopping and dining! Ski-friendly for first timers and gorgeous scenery!
  • Vail: Amazing! More expensive so expect to pay more for ski school, lift passes, or shopping and dining, then you would in other areas, but hey.. someone’s gotta pay for those heated streets 🙂 #amiright?!? lol!
  • Frisco: Super cute little town just minutes from Breck and Vail. Very affordable to stay here and drive into one of the bigger ski areas for day trips. Home of the Frisco Adventure Park for tubing, sledding, and carriage rides!

Alright, guys! That’s a wrap for Colorado! I hope that you found this useful if you are planning a Colorado trip soon! Feel free to reach out for more recommendations or to share your snow covered pics! 🙂

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