If you have been following along with me for ANY length of time, you know I love a good vacation! Travel is one of my biggest passions, alongside decorating and DIY. Anytime my husband asks me what I want as a gift, my answer is ALWAYS “Take me somewhere I have never been!”
Our most recent trip was literally one of the VERY best we have ever been on…and that is saying something!
Below is the view from our BALCONY!
We went to Winter Park, Colorado…and while I am no “expert” traveler or planner, I do travel enough to be able to give lots of tips and ideas!
First of all, the dates we went were January 3-9th…so that will play a role in this post. It was Winter, cold, and the snow was very good- yet not as good as what they say it is in February and March. (I did not know the difference, and unless you are an avid skiier or know a lot about all of that, I doubt you would either.) There was snow EVERYWHERE that was deep and awesome!
Winter Park is a great little town! The Winter Park resort area literally looks like it is straight out of a Hallmark movie, which I am all about! I could not get enough of its beauty.
We stayed at the Zephyr Mountain Lodge. I HIGHLY recommend it. Not only was it beautiful…but it was clean, nice and the MOST convenient place to stay within winter park resort! It is a ski in and out resort, and it is right at the base of the gondola! This was a big reason we picked this specific place- LOCATION! For a family with 2 kids, location is KEY…because in case you didn’t know- skiing is hard work. Let me rephrase that- the skiing is not the hard part- the GEAR and getting from here to there in it and carrying it is the hard part!
Some highlights and tips from our trip- day by day:
We got up and got breakfast at Goody’s and it was GOOOOOD! Highly recommend this place! It was right in the resort village.
We had rented skiis and equipment (which included poles, helmets and ski boots). We had to pick it all up that day. At the time of this post, Covid regulations were still in full effect (which I will talk more about later), so EVERYTHING you did for activities had to be scheduled ahead of time. It took some time upfront, but was much easier in the end because of the schedule.
So, we picked up our gear at the time we had to, and then we had ski school (lessons). We signed up for these because the kids had NEVER skied a day in their life, and me and Brandon had only skied a handful of times…and not in a place like this! HIGHLY recommend the ski school. It lasts a few hours, and it just gets you comfortable with the mountains and your equipment. You also get first dibs on the ski lifts and a discount on lift prices for that day…BONUS.
We skied that day and just had a big ole day! SO much fun!
The lifts shut down at 4, so you have plenty of time to rest in the evenings…so we did a lot of that. We came back and just literally rested and chilled in the condo…and had pizza delivered from Pizza Pedalr (they spell it a strange way). The pizza was sooooo good- and the wings!
This was the most beautiful day of the whole week! It snowed allll day, and it was majestic!
We skied in the morning, and then we had an appointment for ice bumper cars! It was only 15 minutes, so it was just a short time…but it was super fun! We laughed a lot! The kids loved it.
It was fun to break up the day with the bumper cars, because it allowed for us to ski in the morning, come down for this activity and eat lunch, rest a bit and then go back out!
For supper, we ate at Deno’s and it was DELISH! Another place that I highly recommend!
It was a good day!
This was a fun and exhausting day! We started the day off with some breakfast in the room and then headed over to Coca Cola Hill for some SNOW TUBING! It was super fun! All of it was scheduled ahead of time, because that is required. It is sold out otherwise!
We had a little over an hour to tube, and it was plenty of time for us. We. had so much fun! The kids went by themselves, they linked together, we linked as a family, me and Brandon linked together…pretty much every single way you would do it- we did it! They were fast! Definitely wear your goggles!
After we did that, we took the lift back (the lift is inside the resort, so it is a free lift that takes you up to the tubing hill) and grabbed waffles at the Waffle Cabin. It was take-out only, and we ate at a little small table out front.
The waffles there are quite different than what I am used to. They have different kids to choose from, and I got cinnamon sugar (y’all know I LOVE sugar LOL)…and it was sooooo good. BUT, they do not have syrup?!?! I had just never heard of a waffle with no syrup! But…still very good. **Also, the hot chocolate was sooo good!**
After that, we skied more!!
No skiing today! We didn’t buy lift tickets for this day because we had a few hours of snowmobiling planned, and we thought we would do that and give ourselves some time for some other things, such as souvenir shopping, eating lunch somewhere good, etc…
It was nice to have a little break from skiing and the snowmobiling was INCREDIBLE. It was definitely one of my favorite things we did. The beauty is unreal, and it was just flat out FUN! Me and Eden rode on one snow mobile, and Brandon and Blaize were on another. We did the guided tour, so we had a leader (she was awesome- only woman who guides tours there…her name was Amanda), and there was 1 other family with us on the guided tour.
We went all over the place, and it was exhilarating. I HIGHLY recommend it, and the outfit we used (Grand Adventures) was phenomenal! Tell them I sent you! Grand Adventures Snowmobiling!
When we finished snowmobiling, we came back into the actual town of Winter Park and ate at The Ditch on 40, which is literally like a hole in the wall- but it was SO good! It is Mexican, and it is probably the best meal we had while there!
After that, we bought a few souvenirs at some local shops and headed back to the condo for some rest and relaxation!
That night, we played Clue as a family….several times. SO FUN.
Our last full day here was full of skiing! We all LOVE skiing, so we made the best of it the whole day! We had a fantastic day!
For dinner, we had food delivered to our condo from Doc’s Roadhouse– which was AMAZING and super duper convenient! I had the roast, and OMG…I cannot tell you how much I loved it! I want to also add that their customer service was TOP NOTCH!
LAYER UP. Yes, it is cold. The air is totally different than what I am used to in Western KY. It is dry, so it is not nearly as cold “feeling” as I am used to, but, but nevertheless…LAYERS are key.
I recommend Under Armour 4.0 Base Layers. They are expensive but SO WORTH the money. Trust me on this.
GET GOOD GOGGLES *(linking mine from Amazon-affiliate) I didn’t totally understand the value of good goggles until this trip. You WILL NEED them, and you will be glad you had them.
Have good, basic bibs! Mine came from Amazon. I wore them every single day! Here is my affiliate link for my specific ones!
This is a no brainer, but have good gloves. Mine were pretty good, but I DID double up with another pair of thinner gloves under them. I do recommend that. Here are mine, in case you want them.
Neck gaiters are great! I didn’t use any because I can’t stand how they come up…but they do keep your neck warm, and they act as a mask- which, during Covid, is required and strictly mandated here.
100% wool socks! Seriously, this does matter! GET WOOL SOCKS!
A small backpack or fanny pack (never dreamed I would say that again LOL) would be very beneficial if you have a family and plan to be skiing for a long time. You can throw a few light snacks or a water bottle in there for a drink! We didn’t use one because we didn’t bring one, but I think next time- I probably will. They make very thin ones especially for something like this…and I would make sure it is water proof. Here is one I found on Amazon! *I have not used this one, but it looks like a good option!
Masks were mandated. Anytime you were in public or in a store…you had to have on a mask. The good thing about it here was that it was so cold- you didn’t mind! It kept your face warm LOL
**I highly recommend not traveling unless you are willing to adhere to the rules that locations have in place. They are doing this so that they can stay open safely and keep their business running. It it our decision whether or not to come, but I believe we need to respect them and their rules during this time.**
PIN FOR LATER!