This is a bit of a long posting but I thought I would outline a recent trip my wife and I took to Glenwood Springs for those that are interested. It was one of our favorite trips of late, and definitely too short.
We had two nights and really just one full day with an evening on the front end but left fairly early on the third day.
I'll start with hotels. Our stay was at the Residence Inn, which was fantastic. If you look through the reviews you'll know it is a reasonably new hotel with spacious rooms. The staff was extremely friendly and helpful. Check in and out were both smooth and quick. The most helpful piece of information we picked up from the staff was a taxi recommendation that ended up working out really well. That takes me to the only real drawback for this hotel, it is located away from the downtown area, but near a shopping area if that's of interest to you. There is a Starbucks nearby, and a liquor store so you can pick up Baileys for your morning coffee. We took a taxi back and forth each night. It was $10 each way and the taxi company (Valley Taxi) was extremely quick and responsive. We basically had them on speed dial and felt like we had our own private driving service they were so responsive. Highly recommend them.
Next is activities. Our one full-day was one of the best travel days we've ever had. We started out by heading into Canyon Bikes to rent bikes and catch the shuttle to Dotsero, the far end of the canyon. The bike ride through the canyon is one of the top rated activities in Glenwood Springs for a reason. It is outstanding. The bike trail is easy riding and the day we were there it was not crowded at all. Numerous times we stopped along the way just to soak in the scenery.
We parked the bikes at the Hanging Lake Trailhead and hiked up to Hanging Lake. I'm not a real hiking fan, but this was great. It is a bit of a workout, but nothing to be intimidated by. We did see a few people with small kids (like 4 or 5 years old) and I'm not sure that is the best idea unless you are comfortable with carrying them a good part of the way up and down. Good solid footwear is a good idea as well, as those with flip flops, crocs, etc. will have a hard time. All in all a somewhat challenging climb (at least for me) but certainly doable, and well worth the effort. We did see a rattle snake along the path, so that's either a good or bad thing, depending on your perspective.
Including the hike it was about five hours later when we got back to Canyon Bikes. Also to comment on Canyon Bikes as an organization, they were great to deal with. We made our reservations online and there was a slight mix-up on the times, but they easily adjusted and accommodated us. I wouldn't hesitate to recommend them, and the shuttle to the far end of the canyon worked out really well.
Lunch was grabbed at Chomp's Deli, which was a recommendation from the guy at Canyon Bikes. It turned out to be a great recommendation as they had lots of interesting items on the menu aong with more traditional items. My wife got a portobello something or other and she was very impressed with it. It's not a lot to look at, but worth checking out. They have a little patio/courtyard alongside which was a very comfortable spot to sit and grab lunch.
From there it was Yampah Spa for a mineral bath and visit to the caves. I thought my wife was going to throw up when we first walked into the caves, it was so hot. It took her a minute or two to acclimatize and then she was fine. If you like to sweat, you'll love the caves.
Next I'll cover restaurants. The first night we ate at The Riviera, the next was The Pullman. Both meals were excellent, but slightly different experiences. We went the The Riviera earlier in the evening to catch the Happy Hour and it was quite quiet. There was only one other table of diners when we first went in, and one more came in not too long after us. As the evening wore on it got a little busier, but not what I would call hopping for a Thursday night. As we walked around town after dinner many of the other restaurants were packed, and the Riviera was maybe half full. Having said that, the food was great, the service was wonderful and the total bill seemed quite reasonable, so all in all we definitely left there having enjoyed the evening.
The Pullman was a different experience as we were there a little later, and it was a Friday night. The place was jammed when we arrived and certainly had an energy we hadn't experienced the previous night. Everything about The Pullman was fantastic. The atmosphere, the staff, the food, even the bill. Go there.
The next morning we grabbed lattes at Sacred Grounds. My wife had a latte there the morning before and she thought it was possibly the best latte she'd ever had (and she is quite particular about her lattes), and the next morning was as good, or maybe even better. It is a cool little coffee shop offering great product. We then hit the road for Maroon Bells, Aspen, Independence Pass, and finished the day taking in a concert at Red Rocks (which was the real reason for the trip). It was a busy few days and we can’t wait to go back and do it all over again because there are lots of things to do in Glenwood Springs that we didn’t have a chance to take in.