October 9, 2021 by Crystal
Although I love the beach, I am definitely more of a mountain town kinda girl. This summer, I talked my husband into taking a family vacation to meet friends in Granby, Colorado. It turned out to be the perfect summer mountain getaway. If you’re not familiar with Granby, you’ve probably heard of Winter Park, Colorado. Granby is situated about 20 miles from Winter Park. We drove through the town of Winter Park on our way in from the Denver area.
My husband doesn’t get the opportunity to travel very often, so our family vacations are few and far between. When he does, he likes to just relax completely. A resort-style vacation where you can just check in and never leave is really his jam. Granby was perfect because there was plenty to do without going too far off the beaten path, and it was never really crowded. If you’re looking for low-key and relaxing, Granby has it. If you’re more adventurous and like to get out and about and mix things up, Granby offers that as well. There truly is something for type of traveler.
When I think of the Winter Park area, I always think of ski resorts. I have friends who love to visit Winter Park for their annual ski trip, but we’re not skiers. My husband doesn’t like skiing or the cold, for that matter. Since my knee injury a couple of years ago, I doubt I’ll ever ski again. But we absolutely loved the area as a summer destination and would definitely return. We liked it even more than Breckenridge because it sits at a lower altitude, so we didn’t have to deal with adjusting to the high altitude quite as much, which made for a more enjoyable experience. Especially given that we were only there for a few days.
Where We Stayed
WorldMark Granby – Rocky Mountain Preserve
Our friends have a timeshare with Club Wyndham, so we stayed at the WorldMark Granby – Rocky Mountain Preserve. The property is situated on the Grand Elk Golf Club and is surrounded by incredible views of the mountains.
We booked a 3-bedroom casita, a freestanding unit with a full kitchen, gas fireplace, and a patio complete with outdoor seating, a barbecue grill, and a hot tub. It was really the perfect setup for our two families to share. I didn’t take many photos of the casita that could really do it justice, so I’ve included a link to the property website here.
When we weren’t on the lake or visiting one of the nearby towns, we took full advantage of the resort amenities. I enjoyed walking the trails every morning to the nearest coffee shop. The kids loved splashing away in the outdoor pool during the afternoons. My husband and daughter were able to squeeze in some time at the driving range. And a scenic soak in the hot tub on our patio made for a perfect way to end every day.
My friend just bought a new boat this year, and she was anxious to take it out on the lake, so Lake Granby was the biggest draw for us. We spent several perfect afternoons on the lake. The local lakes in the Dallas area can be quite crowded, and I never feel comfortable allowing my daughter to tube or wakeboard, but this was a real treat. There were very few boats on the water when we were there. The water was a tad cold for swimming for us Texans, even in the middle of July, but we had a blast tubing and floating. I also got my first lesson in piloting the boat!
All the Beauty Minus the Crowds
At over 7200 acres, Lake Granby is one of the largest lakes in Colorado. Lake Granby’s sister lake, Grand Lake, may be the deepest natural lake in Colorado, but Lake Granby was far less crowded.
Fun on the Lake
Lake Granby has tons of coves and stretches of shoreline to hike and explore. On one afternoon, we found a sandy stretch of beach, grilled out, and hunted for pretty rocks and shells. We also had the opportunity to observe lots of wildlife. We spotted two Eagle nests while we were on the water and got to see a momma Eagle feeding her eaglets.
Fishing Lake Granby
If you like to fish, Lake Granby is stocked with various types of trout and salmon. Anyone 16 and up must have a fishing license to fish in Colorado, but you can easily purchase a single or multi-day license online or pick one up at the local Ace Hardware store.
Easy Access to the Lake
We had an easy time accessing the boat launches during our visit. If you don’t have your own, you can rent a boat for the day at one of the marinas.
Fun Fact About Lake Granby
At just over 8200 feet above sea level, Lake Granby boasts one of the highest-elevation yacht clubs in the world!
Things to Do Near the Mountain Town of Granby
Granby, Colorado is close to the towns of Fraser, Winter Park and Hot Sulphur Springs. All three towns have something unique to offer and are worth a visit of you have the time.
Have a Little Outdoor Fun in Winter Park
The Winter Park resort area was about a half hour drive from where we stayed in Granby. Most people think of Winter Park as a ski destination. For us non-skiers out there, it’s really a perfect getaway from the summer heat. There is so much to do! You can head out there for a day and explore a range of activities: the Scenic Gondola, Alpine Slide, White Water Rafting, Rock Climbing, just to name a few. There is really something for everyone. It’s helpful to know that many of the activities must be booked in advance. For more information, check out the Winter Park Resort website.
Spend an Afternoon in Fraser
Fraser was a scenic 15-minute drive from our resort property. Our friends are beer connoisseurs, and my husband enjoys a good whiskey or bourbon, and Fraser delivers on both.
Fraser Valley Distilling
This is a great little spot to spend a few hours with friends. It’s family-owned, and everyone was so incredibly nice here. We met one of the owners and main distillers during our visit. He was very personable and engaging with guests. He checked in on us several times during our dining experience and shared interesting tidbits of information about the spirits and the distilling process. We got a sense that they’re really passionate about what they do and are excited to share their craft with others. Even if you don’t drink, the food is excellent, too. We enjoyed the charcuterie board, the Mediterranean board, and the cheese curds. Great vibes here all around, and I highly recommend that you stop in for some adult time, complete with good old-fashioned conversation. For more information, check out the Fraser Valley Distilling website.
Everyone else in my party ordered the Deluxe Bourbon Flight and had rave reviews. I love all things lemon, so I tried the liqueur flight that included the house limoncello along with orange and chocolate liqueur. It was delicious, especially the limoncello.
Fraser River Beer Co,
Colorado is home to some of the best craft beer in the country. In fact, this article by The Beer Connoisseur has Colorado ranked fourth in the nation, so naturally, we had to stop in at a local brewery. Fraser River Beer Co has a ton of beers on tap and many in rotation, so the menu is always fresh. We each ordered a customized flight and found ourselves a spot out back next to the taco truck and commiserated about life for a while. If you like beer, I highly recommend it. There were a few that I preferred over the others, but they were all enjoyable. We didn’t sample any of the taco truck fare while we were there, but it smelled really good. For more information about what’s on tap, visit the Fraser River Beer Co online.
Relax for a Day in Hot Sulphur Springs
The town of Hot Sulphur Springs is aptly named after the hot springs in the canyon along this section of the Colorado River and makes for a fun and relaxing day trip from Granby. It will take you about a half hour or so to get there by car. Fun fact: the Hot Sulphur Springs have been renowned for their therapeutic properties since the days when the Ute and Arapaho hunting parties referred to it as “big medicine.”
If you’d like to soak in the hot springs, you can buy a day pass to the Hot Springs Resort and Spa to visit the hot springs and pools. If you’re so inclined, you can also book a spa treatment. Be aware that if you’re traveling with kids, there are limitations on the facilities that children under 12 can use. I would call ahead to inquire about this before you go.
Under the Radar
We enjoyed our time in Granby, Colorado. It was never really crowded at any point during the trip, which leads me to believe it’s an under-the -radar summer destination. Maybe most people think of Colorado as a ski destination, but if you’re a warm weather bird like me, and you really hate the cold, it’s the perfect summer mountain getaway. It even got the hard to please hubby stamp of approval. We’ll definitely visit again in the future. If you’re like my husband, and a beach is your idea of heaven on earth, I highly recommend Padre Island National Seashore as an under-the-radar option. It’s one of our favorite places to visit in Texas. You can read more about it on the here on the blog.
Do you have a favorite mountain town or resort that you love to retreat to? If so, we’d love to hear from you!
Until next time,