A Guide to Colorado
Guide
A Guide to Colorado

Colorado Vacation Rentals and Guide

Colorado Vacation Rentals

Welcome to Colorful Colorado! This beautiful Rocky Mountain state is full of incredible vistas, endless powder runs, and a mix of laid back and ritzy resort towns. Colorado is full of fun and calls to your adventurer!

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With beautiful scenery, diverse outdoor activities, and world-famous ski-resorts, Colorado is one of our favorite destinations.

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Many consider Colorado one of the best places to live and this outdoors-loving sunshine state has been nationally ranked for lifestyle awards such as “fittest state.” Colorado is full of activities from skiing, to hiking, mountain biking, fly-fishing and golf.

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Colorado also affords you the opportunity to enjoy all four seasons, so at any time of year there will be something special to do and see:

In the spring, Colorado weather is perfect for hiking and wild flowers are in full bloom.

The summer is perfect for heading up to the mountains for camping or even boating on one of the state’s many lakes. The resort towns are also gorgeous, offering an adventurous or cultural summer getaway.

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Enjoy the aspen leaves in the fall, when they change into beautiful shades of auburn and gold.

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And Colorado is best known for its snowy winters, full of fresh air and powder, a winter wonderland for ski and snowboarders

Getting to Colorado

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DIA – Denver International Airport

DIA is a major international airline hub found just outside of downtown Denver. Since they opened their doors in 1995, DIA has consistently won readers’ choice awards from publications like Business Traveler Magazine, and when you arrive you will see why!

DIA was modeled to highlight the beauty of the Rockies and has quickly become the country’s sixth busiest airport. With over 54-square miles, you could fit the island of Manhattan within DIA’s parameters…twice.

Denver is a major hub for United, but most domestic US carriers offer service into Denver. International carriers including British Airways, Iceland Air and Lufthansa offer service from overseas.

Rental Cars

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Renting a car at DIA is easy. Head to level 5 on either side of the terminal. Follow signs for Ground Transportation and find the Kiosk with an overhead sign titled “Rental Shuttles.” Each company has a shuttle that visits periodically. The rental car park is found on property and is about a 5 minutes’ drive from the terminal. Naturally, you might be pressured to upgrade to a 4-wheel vehicle, but this is only necessary during the winter and might be needed to navigate to your vacation rental or hotel. The mountain roads can be unpaved in some of the resort towns, and although Colorado has great snow removal, winter storms can prove aggressive.

Shuttle Buses

There are also various shuttle bus options that will take you to the mountains. A quick google search will help you find the best company for your resort. If you are staying at an Exotic Estates vacation rental, be sure to speak with your Villa Specialist about which transportation choice would be best for you and your group.

One shuttle company that our team has used to get to and from Breckenridge with relative ease is Peak 1 Express. The service will pick-up and drop-off travelers at certain hotels and condos, as well as from the gondola depot / transit center in the center of Breckenridge.

Driving to the Mountains

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Getting from DIA to the mountains is easy depending on weather and time of day. A quick enter of your Colorado vacation rental address into your phone’s map application or GPS system should provide easy directions. Once you land yourself on I70, it is a straight shot from DIA to the resort.

Drive Times

Depending on day of week and the time of day, getting to the mountains can be an easy, 2-hour drive. Pick the wrong time, and you might find yourself stuck in traffic for three times that. During the winter, most of Colorado flees to the mountains in hopes of catching fresh falling powder. Avoid driving up on Friday nights and avoid heading back on Sunday, when most of the state is headed back down for the upcoming work-week.

Also be aware that during the winter months intense snow storms can make driving a slow. Make sure to get up-to-date weather reports before you set off.

Stock Up on The Way

There are plenty of options for stocking up on the way. For large or multi-generational families traveling together, we suggest hitting the Costco on Havana St. in Aurora, CO. This is a wonderful place to stock up on family dinners, snacks, and alcohol. For shorter visits or smaller groups, each town has a grocery store, and there are plenty of fun mountain towns with food along the way.

What to Pack

Depending on the time of year, packing for Colorado can be tricky. Although there are four distinct seasons, the weather can change dramatically in the course of a day. Some say if you do not like the weather in Colorado, just wait 20 minutes!

Check the weather forecast before you go and be sure to pack multiple layers. We also suggest bringing ample sunscreen as you will experience increased exposure, especially in the mountains. Even on a cloudy winter day on the slopes, the alpine sun will reflect off the snow and can burn your skin fast. We also suggest packing: hiking boots, lip balms and sunscreen, plenty of layers, rain jacket or outer layer, base layers (if skiing), and a whistle/compass if you plan to explore on hikes.

Beware the Effects of Altitude:

To enjoy good health in the Rocky Mountains, all first-timers to Colorado should cut back on smoking and drinking alcohol during their stay. It is easy to become inebriated after only a drink at high altitudes. Note on the green tourism: We understand some might be eager to take advantage of the Colorado laws. We suggest taking it easy, as it is very important for all first-timers to approach recreational marijuana with caution.

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A more serious condition is Altitude Sickness, which feels like a very bad hangover. Most resorts are at 8,000 ft., and therefore carry little altitude sickness risk. However, a handful, including Breckenridge, are much higher and likely to cause an issue. If you do experience any discomfort, it should pass in a day or so.

Sunscreen is also very useful for managing the increased exposure to sunlight in this state. The alpine sun is often very strong because of the elevation and Colorado enjoys 300+ sunny days per year; so, never go outdoors for an extended period without wearing sunscreen. We also recommend you wear a hat and sunglasses too!

We recommend that you increase your water intake as well, as it will help you manage the dry air. First thing in the morning, have a large glass of water to start your day. Then be sure to drink plenty of H2O throughout the day.

Colorado Ski Resort Towns

Breckenridge:

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Welcome to a town that is packed full of history (old mining town), scrumptious food and plenty of adventure! This laid-back and family-friendly town is perfect for families looking to spend quality time together.

Downtown Breckenridge is only a short walk from the gondola, and features delicious local dining, ski shops, boutiques, and many art galleries.

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Breck also has the world’s highest distillery, Breckenridge Distillery (according to them) making fine whiskeys and spirits and serving up good food. Dog-friendly Broken Compass Brewery also makes for fun après ski.

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Breckenridge ski resort has a total of 4.5 square miles at an elevation of 9600 feet above sea level. Locals’ tip – spend a day at your vacation home before hitting the slopes. You will be glad you took the time to acclimate before your workout!

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Although the winter low temperatures seem extreme, the dry air keeps it bearable, but only if you are dressed appropriately! Do not forget those layers.

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The summers in Breckenridge are gorgeous and warm, perfect for mountain biking, fishing, hiking, and bike riding around town.

For mountain and road biking, Peaks Trail connects Breckenridge and Frisco, and extends into the flume loops in the Highlands. Nine miles long, this is a popular ride for visitors and locals alike

Vail & Beaver Creek:

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When most people think of skiing in Colorado, Vail is one of the first towns that come to mind! Vail Resort is one of the largest in Summit County and the town offers something for everyone.

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This European inspired resort-town is one of Colorado’s best-known ski resorts, attracting visitors from around the world to enjoy world-class skiing and winter activities. Peppered around town are fine restaurants, high-end shops, and art galleries and boutiques.  In recent history, Vail has also become known as a cultural center, offering various art and music events throughout the summer and winter months.

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Beaver Creek is a quiet resort town just west of Vail. Hidden from view, it is a small resort that offers incredible vistas of the Rocky Mountains.

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The perfect getaway for families looking for quiet and less crowds, this modern resort offers an upscale and stress-free ambience.

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Aspen

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This resort-town is located in the heart of the White River National Forest and is surrounded by the towering peaks of the Elk Mountains. Truly an incredible site, Aspen is a well-known ski destination offering its own upscale flavor of dining, shopping, and accommodations.

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Aspen’s beautiful vistas and open spaces lends themselves well to all kinds of activities, from cross-country skiing and snowshoeing, to fly-fishing and even hot-air ballooning. 

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Most importantly, Aspen is home to four ski mountains, which make up the terrain for the world-renowned Aspen Snowmass resort. Aspen Mountain, locally referred to as “Ajax”, rises up directly from downtown, one of our favorite places to enjoy ski-in/ski-out living. Buttermilk Mountain, which is home of the famous X Games, is a kids' and action sports-fan paradise!

Steamboat Springs

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This classic Western town is one of our favorites! Think skiers in Cowboy hats and you'll have a pretty good mental picture of the vibe at this very Western resort town! Steamboat Springs offers world-renowned skiing – with its famous Champagne Powder - and amazing villas.

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Steamboat Springs boasts two ski areas: Steamboat Ski Resort and Howelsen Hill, which is the oldest, continuously used ski area in Colorado and home to 90 Winter Olympians!

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Steamboat is also known for its long-standing Western heritage, which will be obvious on your drive into town. This town offers opportunities to go horseback riding, a great winter and summer activity for the entire family!

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Plus, Steamboat Springs gets its name from the natural hot springs that visitors can still enjoy today. These unique pools are a place of enjoyment for locals and visitors alike, so bring your bathing suits!

Telluride

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Boasting jaw-dropping views of incredible Rocky Mountain vistas, it is easy to see why Telluride is such an legendary Colorado destination.

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Telluride Ski Resort offers mountains of skiing and snowboarding (literally!) just a gondola ride away from the base. Hidden behind a soaring mountain ridge, this incredible resort features over 1,700 acres of skiable terrain. The town is packed full of galleries, museums, Victorian homes, and eateries.

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History, class, culture and the world-class skiing. What’s not to love about Telluride?!

Other Activities

Although Colorado is well-known for its epic powder and fun-filled ski-resorts, Colorado is full of activities year-round. You don’t need to be a skier or snowboarder to enjoy all that this colorful state has to offer! From dogsledding and snowmobiling to hiking and fly fishing, the home of the Rocky Mountains is sure to please all travelers.

Winter Fun Beyond the Slopes

Snowmobiling

Combine the thrill flying at high-speeds with the picturesque scenery of the snowy alpine hills and you will easily see why snowmobiling is so popular amongst tourists and locals’ alike! The Rocky Mountains offer miles of trails in nearly every region of the state, and you won’t have trouble renting equipment and taking a ride.

Dogsledding

Believe it! Dog sledding is fast becoming a popular Colorado adventure sport in snowy mountain towns like Breckenridge, Steamboat Springs, and Vail. One of our favorite experiences, imagine the wind blowing over your face as you fly through the forests at 40 miles per hour! Happy, barking dogs will eagerly tear you across the trail as you and your partner shout “MUSH.” Be sure to schedule a little extra time for this unique experience!

Sledding and Tubing

Get the family bundled up and head for the hills! Throughout Summit County, you will find plenty of sled and tube-friendly terrain. Try the hills at Vail, Keystone, or Steamboat and try not to have any amazing time. Go ahead, we dare you! Lifts and tow ropes will lug your tube or sled to the top of the hills, giving you time for more runs.

Snowshoeing & Cross-Country Skiing

If you need a break from skiing or simply want a new adventure, you must give snowshoeing or cross-country skiing a try! Many areas in the mountains offer backcountry trails, which lead to fluffy-snow-covered valleys and peaceful forests of evergreen and aspen trees. One of the most relaxing experiences in Colorado, you will love hearing the chirping birds inhaling the freshest mountain air.

Summertime Time Adventures & Relaxing Escapes

The same Colorado resort-towns that bring us thrilling adventures each winter remain open for business in the much-underrated summer months!

Hiking

Whether you plan to embark on a famous 14’er or lazily gander a mellow trail, Colorado offers hundreds of hiking trails for all abilities. Colorado hiking trails are always easy to access and, depending on the time of year, you might even enjoy a hike with no traffic! Enjoy diverse landscapes, snow covered peaks, wildflower meadows, colorful cliffs and canyons, swaying grasslands, and sometimes even waterfalls!

Mountain Biking

Colorado is home to some of the world’s top mountain bikes. Here, being on a bike is a rite of passage, and you will be hard pressed to find a local who doesn’t own at least one. Most of the resorts offer rides for you and your bike to the summit, then you can enjoy a less traditional way down!

Hot Air Balloon Rides

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A Colorado hot air balloon ride is a great way to celebrate a special occasion or make any occasion special. First-timers will love this experience, where you truly feel like you are floating into a postcard. Get an incredible birds-eye view of the stunning Rocky Mountains as you embark on an early morning flight. Be one of the few to watch the sun rise over the vistas, and you will be humbled by the scenery that surrounds you.

Golf

With wide-open greens and fresh air, it’s easy to see why so many Golfer’s love Colorado. Many resort towns offer courses, so you should not have too hard a time finding one during your visit.

Craft Beer Tours

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It will not take long to notice that Colorado is home to a vast number of craft breweries, making for an awesome vacation routine. Although it is easy to find beer pouring out of most trendy-restaurants, be sure to check the schedule of a beer tour during your stay!

Don’t Miss

Red Rocks Amphitheatre:

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Red Rocks Amphitheater, found ten miles outside of Denver in a city called Morrison, is one of the most beautiful outdoor concert venues in the nation! The best artists and performers come to Red Rocks, and the experience is truly unforgettable.

Dining in Denver:

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Over the last 10 years, Denver has transformed and features a true culinary scene. On your way to or from the mountains, be sure to stop for a bite to eat at one of the MANY top-rate restaurants in the Mile-High City.

Pearl Street in Boulder:

The highlight of downtown Boulder is the Pearl Street Mall. This family-friendly outdoor mall offers vibrant brick streets filled with kids' climbing boulders and splash fountains, bars, galleries, and restaurants. Looking for a show? Check out the street performers, who often come out in force on weekends.

Top Sports Teams:

Home of the Denver Broncos, Colorado Rockies, Colorado Avalanche, and many more, you and the family can attend a game here during anytime of the year! Be sure to check the schedule before heading on your trip.

Colorado Vacation Rentals in the Rocky Mountains

Breckenridge Vacation Rentals

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Our Breckenridge villas are all designed to let you enjoy the natural beauty of Colorado, while offering fabulous amenities and all the comforts of home. Warm up with the family by the fireplace, or experience Colorado like a true local and enjoy a warm hot tub on a chilly winter night!

Vail & Beaver Creek Villa Rentals:

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Our charming Vail & Beaver Creek villas range in size from cozy homes that accommodate couples to large villas that are great for big family outings. Whether you are looking for a quiet condo, or a penthouse suite overlooking the gondola, these villas feature all the amenities of home with a cozy mountain ambiance.

Aspen Villa Rentals

Each of our Aspen villas have been built to impress the most perceptive traveler, offering luxurious amenities and stunning architecture surrounded by the incredible natural beauty of the Colorado Rocky Mountains.

Steamboat Springs Vacation Rentals

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Our Steamboat Springs luxury vacation rentals offer upscale amenities combined with a relaxed and home-town feel. From cozy slope-side condos to large luxurious lodges, you will find just what you’re looking for in this Old-West resort-town.

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Telluride Vacation Rentals

It’s hard not to find a Telluride Vacation home that you will love in one of the most beautiful ski towns in America! Telluride’s remote location makes the vacation homes peaceful and serene, offering a quiet getaway like none other. Surrounded by fresh mountain air and the Rocky Mountains, our Telluride vacation homes feature a variety of amenities and styles.

Put Colorado on Your Must-Visit List!

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It’s safe to say that we love Colorado and we know you will too. From laid back western-style towns to ritzy upscale resorts, Colorado has something to offer everyone. Don’t take our word for it, pick your favorite Colorado Vacation home today and come see for yourself!

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