Grand Lake, perched on the western edge of Rocky Mountain National Park and adjacent to the largest natural lake in the state (also called Grand Lake), is a grand mountain getaway for families. Many visitors stay here and drive Trail Ridge Road through the park to the town of Estes Park on the other side. The park provides endless entertainment from hiking and wildlife watching in summer to cross-country skiing and snowshoeing — and more wildlife watching — in winter.
The lake itself, which has a historic boardwalk that dates back to Wild West days, the Grand Lake Marina and the highest-altitude yacht club in the world, is popular with boaters, waterskiers and anglers and anyone wanting to stay on or near the water. The marina rents many types of boats and paddleboards, and there are sandy spots for beach activities. Each summer, the town hosts the Grand Lake Regatta and Lipton Cup Races.
Read about summer in Grand Lake >>
In winter, local sports aficionados put away their boats and crank up their snowmobiles. Streets are left packed with snow to accommodate the hundreds of snowmobilers who converge on the town during the winter months, and a vast system of snowmobile trails and the ability to ride right through town keep them coming back. There's also the Grand Lake Nordic Center for snowshoers, cross-country skiers and skate skiers (including rentals) and sleigh rides at Winding River Resort.
Watch a video on Grand Lake's backcountry snowmobiling adventures >>
Broadway makes its way to the town's impressive Rocky Mountain Repertory Theater and a full calendar of events, including a summer concert series, keeps visitors busy throughout the year — certainly one of the reasons the town was recently designated a Certified Colorado Creative District. Another is the historic boardwalk packed with galleries and artisan shops.