333 E. Wonderview Ave., Estes Park
Built in 1909, The Stanley was famously the inspiration for The Shining, and the hotel plays right into its reputation, offering a “night spirit tour” that features dark corners of the property where paranormal activity has been recorded. If you can get past the haunted element, it really is by far the nicest place to stay in Estes Park, especially if travelling with kids. Plus, it’s only a few miles from the park entrance, and a partnership with Kent Mountain Adventure Center means you can actually book guided hikes and other park activities along with your room. For the littles (and the grown-ups), there’s snowshoeing, back-country and cross country skiing in winter, while in the summer the hiking and wildlife viewing is just out of this world.
Cheley Colorado Camps
3960 Fish Creek Rd., Estes Park
Known for being particularly terrific for kids who are into horseback riding, Cheley Colorado Camps are spread out over three different sites in scenic Estes Park Valley, which is a mix of spectacular mountain peaks and pine forests threaded with hundreds of miles of trails. Land O' Peaks Ranch is about seventy miles northwest of Denver, and it houses six girls' units and six boys' units, broken up by age, from nine to eleven years old. On a ranch a dozen miles away, you'll find Girls' Trail's End (for ages twelve to seventeen) and Boys' Trail's End (same ages). Campers can sign up for half or full season. In addition, Cheley hosts a number of specialty camps: a five-day family camp, an eight-day camp for burn survivors, a five-day program in the Colorado Rockies for high schoolers who have an Air Force Reserve or Air National Guard parent, and a fall/spring outdoor education experience.