Glenwood Springs, Colorado is a beautiful town nestled in western Colorado. It’s just a short drive from Denver, is incredibly scenic, and offers plenty to do for locals and visitors alike—all of which have contributed to its status as a blossoming tourism-friendly retreat in the mountains.
Here’s a recommended three-day itinerary for anyone hoping to visit this vibrant and bustling western slope town during fall.
Day 1: Hang Out In-Town
Luckily for Glenwood Springs, there are plenty of things to do right in town.
Grab a coffee at one of our favorite shops, Riverblend. While there, you can take a peek into the Hotel Denver’s lobby, which has impressive and historic art that defines the area. Also: if you can get ahold of one of their cinnamon rolls, your tastebuds will be forever thankful.
Hit the trails for a quick hike up to Doc Holliday’s Grave, where you can catch incredible views of the town and the surrounding red mountains.
Hit up lunch at local favorite Slope and Hatch. With counter service and incredible tacos and hot dog options (I always go for the fish tacos), you can’t go wrong.
Downtown is extremely walk-able and buzzing. Head into shops and boutiques that line Grand Avenue, such as Al A Carte, Treadz, or Bollucks. Be sure to walk over the pedestrian bridge to admire scenic views of the Colorado River and Glenwood Hot Springs Resort.
Grab a drink at Glenwood Canyon Brewpub, where their Grizzly Creek Raspberry Wheat is always on tap and never disappoints.
Wander over to the Pullman for a delicious, James-Beard-worthy meal. Their menu is New American, with innovative, gourmet meals.
Day 2: A Little Bit of This, A Little Bit of That
Fill your day with a mix of hometown adventure and relaxation.
Head over to the Legends Coffee in the historic Hotel Colorado for a hot drink, and feel free to wander the halls of this famous Glenwood Springs landmark. If you’re looking for something a little more hearty to eat, Rosie’s Little Bavarian has European-inspired breakfast dishes to impress.
While you’re in the neighborhood, treat yourself to a soak at Glenwood Hot Springs Resort. This family-friendly establishment is a ton of fun; visitors can slide down the Shoshone Shutes, swim laps, tread water in the world’s largest hot springs pool, or relax in the warmer-temps therapy pool.
Note: the surrounding nature views are especially gorgeous with the fall colors, and the temperature is often ideal for warm-water rejuvenation.
Vicco’s Charcoal Burger Drive In is a super fun, delicious, and old-school option. Burgers, fries, shakes—it’s a worthy stop in West Glenwood.
Ride up to the first-ever mountain-top theme park at Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park, via gondola. Along with a western theme, the Adventure Park has incredible thrill rides, kid-friendly attractions, a restaurant, and cave tours. My go-to favorites are the Haunted Mine Drop, the Mountain Coaster, the Zip Line, indoor laser tag, and the tour of the Fairy Caves. While you’re up there, be sure to check out all the incredible 360-degree views of the city.
Note: during the fall season, the Adventure Park also offers Octoberfest activities, including a pumpkin patch, hay rides, and live music.
For a delightful dinner, I highly recommend Masala and Curry. This is one of my favorite Indian Restaurants, with a full menu of delicious dishes.
Night cap, anyone? If you’re into ice cream (who isn’t?), the newest spot on the block is Sundae. It’s delicious, artesian, and a little old-timey. Their chai-spiced flavor was right up my alley.
Day 3: Day Trip
Start your day off by heading out of town for a scenic hike, before soaking in all the relaxing vibes at Glenwood’s newest hot springs facility.
On your way out of town, hit up the drive through coffee shack on Grand Avenue, the aptly named Expresso Hut. I love their white mocha latte.
If you continue west, the road will change into Highway 82. During the fall season, the drive all the way to Snowmass is filled with vibrant autumn colors and bright leaves. One of my favorite hikes (especially beginner-friendly) is the Ditch Trail in Snowmass Village. It’s about an hour-ish drive away from Glenwood, and is totally worth every mile.
As you find your way back to town after the hike, a pit-stop at Chomps Deli is highly recommended. Though a seemingly basic and no-frills establishment, Chomps serves up a tasty deli menu with buttery, crisp bread on all their sandwiches. I’m a big fan of their roast beef option.
Be sure to schedule your time slot at Iron Mountain Hot Springs ahead of time. This hot springs is a vastly different experience than the big pool; it’s catered more toward adults (though there is a splash-friendly fresh water pool available for kiddos), with a spa-like feel. There are smaller pools spread out throughout the property, with a highlighted mineral content to watch for and quiet zones to ensure total relaxation. Iron Mountain is a total retreat, and their alcoholic drink options aren’t so bad, either.
For a quick drink, my favorite downtown spot is Casey Brewing and Blending Tap Room. Their sour beers are delicious and—you guessed it—tart as can be.
After happy hour, dinner down the street at Brava is a logical next step. This upscale Italian eatery is a parade in your mouth with every bite. The gnocchi is my go-to, and I’ll sing its praises at every opportunity.
If you feel like you have to walk off a full meal of bread, carbs, and wine, I invite you to wander through the underpass and onto the pedestrian bridge, where you can fully admire all the views that make Glenwood Springs magical, illuminated by the starry sky.