Travel Guide: Colorado (Rocky Mountain National Park, Denver, Estes Park, Dillon)

“Wholehearted living is about engaging in our lives from a place of worthiness. It means cultivating the courage, compassion, and connection to wake up in the morning and think, “No matter what gets done and how much is left undone, I am enough.”

It’s going to bed at night thinking, “Yes, I am imperfect and vulnerable, and sometimes afraid, but that doesn’t change the truth that I am also brave, and worthy of love and belonging.”

Brené Brown

Hi friends!
Happy New Year! I hope you are off to a restful and joyful start to the year. I love this time of year to reset my mindset, take time to reflect, declutter, and set new goals and aspirations in my career and daily life. My word of the year is “gratitude.” I will be sharing more about my word of the year and how we can all practice gratitude in our everyday lives in my next post coming out next Friday, January, 20th. So stay up to date by subscribing to this blog by email (the only emails you will get from me are my blog posts when they go live on this website) or visit my Instagram @TheHonestPursuit.

Lyncee and I at Rocky Mountain National Park

My sister, Lyncee, and I visited Colorado for 7 days for our summer vacation trip. It was a great mixture of fun in the city of Denver, and exploring the beautiful Colorado mountains outside of the city in Dillon and Estes Park. My favorite part of the trip was getting a facial in Denver at Indulgences Day Spa and going to the Rooftop Rodeo in Estes Park. Lyncee’s favorite part of the trip was seeing Shakey Graves live in concert. I love making time to spend with just my sister where we can do something new and fun together without worrying about work and school life. Sometimes you just need to get away for a few days and break the routine.

Also shoutout to my sister for taking very detailed notes of our trip on a shared Notes so I could remember all we did on our trip last summer. 🙂


The above list are places my sister and I visited. We also went grocery shopping to cut costs eating out for lunches. We saved on breakfast by eating at the hotel. Thanks to my friend Collette (a former Denver resident and excellent photographer!!), other recommended places to eat and visit in Denver include:

Brunch: Bacon Social House, Pig and Sprout, The Hornet, Jelly Café, Fox Run Café, The Lobby.

Restaurants/ Dessert: Root Down (New American Cuisine), Forest Room 5 (Tapas Bar), Linger*, Cooper Lounge above Union Station, Recess Beer Garden, Postinos (wine bar and appetizers), Little Man Ice Cream, Adelitas (Mexican), Machete (tacos), Chook Charcoal Chicken, Uncle (Ramen), The Noshery (bakery), La Loma (Mexican), Fire On The Mountain (Wings), Blue Sushi*, Highland Tap and Burger.

(* denotes reservation needed)

My beautiful sister!!!

Bars/ Breweries/ Casual Drinks: Family Jones, Avanti, Recess, Occidental, Federales, View House, Blake Street Tavern, Happy Camper, Lucky Strike (arcade/bowling), 1UP arcade bar, Jackson’s, Tap Fourteen, Improper City, Hudson Hill, Hamburger Mary’s, Trax, Miller’s and Rossi, Culinary Dropout.


Lyncee was so excited to visit Harkins Theatre to watch Thor Love and Thunder (boo) and Mr. Malcolm’s List (so good!). She used to work at Harkins in Texas before it closed during the pandemic, so it was so special to visit a place she had so many happy memories.

We didn’t get a chance to go, but on my next trip I want to go to the Red Rocks Amphitheatre to hike or attend a concert!

Parks in and around Denver: Chessman Park, Commons Park, Washington Park

Lyncee really enjoyed Meow Wolf. I enjoyed the light and sound room right as you enter the center on the main floor. I get overwhelmed by too much visual and auditory input as well as people in smaller rooms, so I had a hard time in the other exhibitions even though they were so detailed and well done. It’s definitely a unique experience and not like other art museums or installations I’ve seen before. Lyncee and I went thrifting and got ice cream after, so it was all good!


Other hiking trails in Colorado: Bierstadt Trailhead (near Idaho Springs, CO), Chief Mountain Trailhead (Evergreen, CO), Horsetooth Reservoir (near Fort Collins), San Juan Mountains, Radium Hot Springs, Strawberry Hot Springs, Mt Princeton Hot Springs.


After Lyncee and I checked out of our hotel in Denver, we traveled west by rental car to Estes Park to hike at the Rocky Mountain National Park and attend the Rooftop Rodeo. This was my favorite day because I love bring outside and I am a cowgirl at heart. If I can find a rodeo in town when I’m traveling, you bet I’ll be there!

The main reason Lyncee and I went to Dillon was to see Shakey Graves live in concert. Honestly, I think the purpose of this trip was to build an experience around going to this concert that was in the middle of the week (even more reason to take the week off!). I love that we had a good mix of our interests (Lyncee loves the art and concerts and I love the outdoors).

Both Dillon and Estes Park are smaller towns that have a good flow of tourist and local community. Lyncee and I ate a big lunch at You Need Pie! after our hike at Rocky Mountain. Loved it! PRO TIP FOR HIKE: make sure to go online and sign up for a hike time several days before your hike in order to get in the park. The line is long to get in, and it would be awful to wait so long and not get in.

Shakey Graves!! Such an amazing artist and entertainer.


Best Western Plus Denver Tech Center, 9231 East Arapahoe Road, Greenwood Village, Colorado, 80112. It was comfortable, at a great location, and clean.


Very comfortable and clean in the summer! It had everything we needed and it was close to the Dillon Reservoir (Lake Dillon).
The view of Dillon from our balcony at our AirBNB. The weather was perfect for the whole trip!

Final Thoughts & Pro Tips

Long Trip Organization: Create a shared Note on iPhone for an organized itinerary and store all digital tickets. First Lyncee and I made heading of each day of the trip (ex: Friday, July 8). We scheduled our flights for the first and last day of the trip, added a screenshot of the flight tickets to the bottom of the note, and typed the confirmation number for each ticket under the heading Flight as well as the name of the airline, boarding time, and car rental information. We added screenshots of our tickets to the concert, Meow Wolf, movies, and Rooftop Rodeo. It eased a lot of anxiety and mental stress by having a shared note to look at, keep everything in one place, and make the most of our time there. Lyncee also noted spontaneous moments and places we visited.

Elevation Sickness/ Awareness: So Lyncee and I are from the flat lands of Texas, so experiencing 9K-12K feet elevation after flying in took some adjustment. I have asthma, so I was worried I would have breathing difficulty. However, I felt more light-headed/ headaches than chest pressure in the 12K feet altitude of Dillon. Denver was about 9K feet and I didn’t notice any health changes. My body did adjust to the altitude change as we drove from Denver to Dillon as we gradually increased in elevation.

Tips to make the altitude sickness better: drink plenty of fluids and water, use a handheld oxygen dispenser (I got a Boost Oxygen product at Walgreens in Dillon and I noticed relief within minutes), rest, and know when to seek medical attention in severe cases.

Budget time to rest: As a person who loves to be on the go, I have to make myself rest and do nothing on a trip. It’s okay if you don’t do everything on the list. The important thing is to stay present with the person you are traveling with and have a good time. Lyncee and I had a Friends show marathon, ate pizza, and did face masks our first or second night in Dillon. We also took an evening to visit the Dillon Reservoir to sit on the lake shore to read, reflect, skip rocks, and take in the fresh air by the water. It was so quiet and peaceful.

I hope this guide is useful if you plan to travel to these wonderful cities in Colorado! I might add to this guide as I travel again in the future. Did I miss anything? Where have you been in Colorado? Let me know in the comments!

Petit à Petit,

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