No chains required

Skip the hassle of the mountains with these Front Range weekend trips

Courtesy: Bob's Atomic Burgers



Great Wolf Lodge
9494 Federal Drive

For any driver making their way into Colorado Springs, the Great Wolf Lodge is impossible to miss. Situated just off I-25 north of the city, this all-in-one mountain resort is ginormous, and every inch of space inside is put to good use. It’s a prime family getaway spot, complete with an indoor water park, numerous dining options — sitdown and fast-casual — and an array of recurring events, including Snowland, their annual holiday celebration featuring winter activities, crafts, a dance party and even a visit from Santa Claus.

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The Broadmoor
1 Lake Ave.

For over a century, The Broadmoor has embodied elegance, standing the test of time as one of the state’s premier hotels. Just stroll around the awe-inspiring grounds at the base of Cheyenne Mountain, taking in the Mediterranean Revival-style architecture that blends into the surrounding landscape. Step inside during the winter months for a scene straight out of a holiday movie. Clear your mind at the Forbes Travel Guide Five-Star Spa or dive into a world-class dinner at La Taverne. It may be winter, but if weather permits, you can tee off on one of their two golf legendary courses, whose greens have welcomed tournaments by USGA, as well as Jack Nicklaus’ first official tour victory.


Bourbon Brothers Smokehouse & Tavern
13021 Bass Pro Drive

Nothing warms the body in the cold months quite like a cut of quality meat and a glass of bourbon. At Bourbon Brothers, it’s in the name, and they have the chops to back it up. The coffee-and-cocoa-rubbed sliced brisket is to die for, and the bacon mac and cheese egg rolls are deep-fried heaven, served with a delicious BBQ ranch. Then there’s the drink menu, which is fitting for the holidays because it’s practically a Christmas list unto itself. Give the 291 Bourbon a try: a spice-forward, aspen wood-finished, award-winning pour distilled at Distillery 291, just 15 minutes down the road.

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Edelweiss German Restaurant
34 East Ramona Ave.

For over 50 years, Edelweiss has held court in Colorado Springs as one of the state’s best spots to get authentic German cuisine. On Fridays and Saturdays, strolling musicians fill the space with German tunes, and three big fireplaces make guests feel like they’ve been welcomed into someone’s home. Be adventurous when ordering at Edelweiss and go for the Sauerbraten, a traditional Bavarian dish that leans on a three-day vinegar marinade, resulting in a soft, delectable beef paired with a gingerbread sauce, red cabbage and bacon potato dumpling.


U.S. Olympic & Paralympic Museum
200 South Sierra Madre St.

If The Broadmoor is Colorado Springs’ oldest staple, then the USOP Museum is the city’s hottest new attraction. The 60,000-square-foot facility looks like a spaceship that landed downtown, and it’s just as cutting edge inside. You start all the way at the top, weaving down a ramped path that takes you through 12 different exhibits, like Parade of Nations, a simulation of the opening ceremony, Athlete Training; a section that has  running, archery and sled hockey experiences for you to try, and the Hall of Fame, showcasing the greatest athletes to represent our country on the world stage. 

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Boot Barn Hall
13071 Bass Pro Drive

Dust off that cowboy hat and pick out your prized belt buckle — it’s time to boogie at Colorado Springs’ exciting country venue. Connected to Bourbon Brothers, you can round out a top-tier meal with any number of shows — they’ve hosted national acts such as Randy Travis, Sawyer Brown, Ian Munsick and Josh Turner. It’s 15,000 square feet wrapped in floor-to-ceiling beetle-kill pine walls, and the additional 7,000-square-foot patio has a gorgeous view of Pikes Peak.



Armstrong Hotel
259 South College Ave.

If you want to be in on the action, the Armstrong Hotel — set smack-dab in the middle of Old Town Fort Collins — is a no-brainer. This year marks 100 years of operation, and the Armstrong Hotel is going strong with a number of on-site eateries. Ace Gillett’s Lounge & Supper Club is a true highlight, featuring comfort food, craft cocktails and either live music or vinyl, depending on when you grab a table at the comfortable, dimly lit nook. 

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Edwards House
402 West Mountain Ave.

In 1904, state agriculture board president Alfred Augustus Edwards built a beautiful Victorian estate on the corner of Meldrum and Mountain avenues. Today, the Edwards House features many elegant suites around the house, which has been renovated and modernized, all while keeping the same charm of the original build intact. Did you forget something while packing? Not to worry — Cedar & Sage Mercantile, the sister company of Edwards House, offers toiletry items and more. 


B&B Pickle Barrel Deli
122 West Laurel St.

Grub like a local at Fort Collins’ foremost casual eatery, B&B Pickle Barrel. They’ve been slinging hot and cold sandwiches since the ’80s, and you can’t go wrong with any selection. We love the Christy Special: sautéed mushrooms and onions, tomatoes, avocado, lettuce and vinaigrette, all tied together by the star of the show: slices of tangy, delectable dill havarti cheese. And it wouldn’t be a true experience without a house-made pickle on the side. 

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Avogadro’s Number
605 South Mason St.

Live music, beer and good eats make for a killer combo at Avogadro’s Number, a neighborhood joint whose menu is as fun and eclectic as the art covering its walls. Brunch is stellar here, but we love the shakes as much as anything — go for the chocolate or banana, two very different options that are both endlessly craveable.


The Comedy Fort
167 North College Ave.

While it’s no secret that Comedy Works dominates the standup landscape in Colorado, The Comedy Fort has rapidly become a must for road comics and fans alike. Between showcase performances, open mic nights and a slew of domestic and national acts, you have to make The Comedy Fort a late-night priority on your weekend trip. 

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Fort Collins Museum of Discovery
408 Mason Court

The Fort Collins Museum of Discovery knows no bounds when it comes to its exhibits: from a music and sound lab and family exploration zone to displays on wildlands and wildlife, the solar system, food and forage, and so much more. You’ll find it all under one roof at this museum that has welcomed families to revel in wonder for over a decade. Be sure to check your calendar for the temporary exhibition.



The Eddy Taproom & Hotel
1640 8th St.

You can’t get closer to the mountains without actually going into them than The Eddy Taproom & Hotel. Golden’s boutique new addition is nestled between Clear Creek and the foot of the Rockies, just off Highway 6. From the outside, The Eddy looks more like a building from the late 1800s — a homage to Golden’s industrial roots — and it fits the landscape perfectly. Hit the taproom for a diverse selection of local pours, and let The Eddy be your basecamp for a perfect weekend in Golden. 

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The Dove Inn
711 14th St.

This humble Victorian abode, nestled on a side street just off Golden’s main drag, was built in 1866 when Golden was the capital of the territory of Colorado, deep in a competition with Denver to establish dominance as the region’s commercial hub. Fast forward a century and a half: Golden may have lost that battle, but the house on 14th Street is still going strong as The Dove Inn, a charming B&B featuring a meticulously crafted theme for each of the available 10 rooms. Give The Parisian Room a try, whose original bay window provides a serene view of the surrounding foothills. What about The Red Rocks Room, exposed brick, claw-foot bathtub and all? This place has the quirky variety of a house in a Wes Anderson film, with a warmness as welcoming as the town it calls home. 


Bob’s Atomic Burgers
1310 Ford St.

So far, the theme of Golden has been views — quite honestly, admiring the beauty of Golden could fill your entire weekend itinerary. The scenery at Bob’s Atomic Burgers is no different: To the left sits the Coors Brewery, and to the right is Table Mountain. But no one makes the trek to Bob’s for the landscape; they do it for the unbelievably good, old-fashioned burgers. You are in control of your destiny here: Walk in, pencil in your preferred toppings on a burger bag at the front, bring it up to the counter and grab your character name from the bucket (a fun twist on table numbers). When the server calls out “double burger for Nikola Jokić,” or whatever the name on your card, it’s time to indulge in one of the Front Range’s most satisfying meals.

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Woody’s Wood-Fired Pizza
1305 Washington Ave.

There are a few places scattered throughout the Centennial State that lay claim to “Colorado-style pizza.” Woody’s Wood-Fired Pizza doesn’t need to — it’s been their stock and trade since firing up the wood-burning oven in 1997 for the first time. Since then, this downtown staple has grown into a go-to community gathering for locals and out-of-towners alike. The words “watering hole” hang below Woody’s sign, and it lives up to that. Make Woody’s Wood-Fired a priority on the coldest night of your weekend adventure. Order the homemade green chili and the unique White Rooster pizza (white cheddar, chicken, bacon, spinach, mushrooms and roasted garlic). If you’re not in the mood for pizza, their lasagna is a great option. The feature ingredient is Woody’s signature white cheese sauce. 


Buffalo Rose
1119 Washington Ave.

Buffalo Rose opened its doors in 1859, the year Colorado’s gold rush began.  It’s been an essential part of Golden ever since. On any given night, don’t be surprised to walk in on an eclectic performance happening at the venue. Grab a seat at any one of its three bars: The Sky Bar, The State Room or The Venue Bar. In the spirit of the season, order a Winter Daisy: Gray Whale Gin, lemon juice and cinnamon ginger simple syrup round out a cocktail with just the right amount of bite. The city has grown around the site where Buffalo Rose sits today, making it a must-visit for both historical and entertainment reasons. And who knows, you may very well be sitting in the same spot where Ulysses S. Grant ordered a drink on his campaign trail over 150 years ago. 

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Coors Brewery Tour
502 14th St.

Few spots are as synonymous with Golden as the Coors Brewery. The iconic beer company opened its doors in 1873, and since then, it has held court as the largest single brewing facility on the planet. But have you ever wondered what goes on inside, what a beer-making process of this scale could possibly look like? You don’t have to wonder: The folks at Coors Brewing Company offer tours of their vast home location, giving you an inside look at its history and process that has