Think Colorado, think rolling mountains and colonial cowboy culture. As the locals themselves confess, if an invitation says dress smart they iron their jeans and scrape the mud off their boots, which says it all about their laid-back attitude and outdoor lifestyle. This seven day taste for the Colorado life will leave you feeling exhilarated, enriched and truly extracted from the day to day rat-race. The local’s laid back attitude is infectious and you’ll no doubt be googling jobs on ranches your first day back in the office. So here’s how your luxury Colorado vacation will go…
Before you embark on your mountain adrenaline hit, head to Denver for some stimulation of the mind. Two nights right in the thick of things from your Four Seasons base is ample time to get lost in the creative vibe the city has to offer, although it will inevitably leave you wanting more. For us at Black Tomato, immersing ourselves in the culture means being adventurous with the local gastronomy. Biker Jim’s gormet Dog cart in 16th street mall is a particular favorite, with reindeer, wild boar or rattlesnake sausages topped with coca cola soaked grilled onions. It tastes better than it sounds. Also try the Buckhorn exchange, Denver’s oldest steakhouse for local fare. The Denver Centre for the performing arts has a great programme for cutting edge and mainstream theater, but the city supplies shows for all tastes, from music to comedy. If you’re disappointed that Denver isn’t the dusty cowtown you were hoping for, then get down to the honky tonk dancehall, Grizzly Rose and line dance the night away.Read more
Kick start your adventure experience with one night in the town of Colorado Springs. This place is overlooked by Pikes Peak, which is the highest peak in the area at over 14,000 ft. At the bottom of the mountain is the Pikes Peak Cog Railway station, which you can ride all the way to the summit and is the highest railway in North America. From here you can either travel back down on the railway or descend the peaks on mountain bikes. We know we keep talking about the views, but really, you have to see them to believe them.
For the quintessential Colorado activity, spend one night in Salida, Colorado’s rafting country, and hit the rapids for an adrenaline-charged ‘wild trip’ through Class IV water or ‘mild’ float trips suitable for novices. Chaffee country, home of Buena Vista, Salida and the Arkansas headwaters is the whitewater-rafting capital of Colorado.
Spend the next two nights in the mountain town of Snowmass, where the winter’s snow melts into miles of bike trails and more white waters. The Viceroy Snowmass is the perfect mountain hideaway and you could spend the whole time marvelling at the views it provides. We recommend you spend your first three days treating your lungs to the freshest mountain air. Take the Elk Camp Gondola to the start of many all-level hiking trails with a picnic from the hotel’s Eight K restaurant. The next two days can be spent relaxing and exploring. Trawl the stores in the area or park yourself poolside with a great book and relax you muscles ready for an afternoon treatment in the hotel’s Ute Indian-inspired spa. Whatever your preference, you can be as relaxed or as active as you like here.
Ride ‘em Cowboy
The grand finale of your Colorado trip is a thing of childhood dreams. The Zapata Ranch is a working Cattle ranch located amidst the mountains and dry plains of the state. Three nights here will see you exploring the surrounds on horseback and learning how to heard bison and lasso from a real life cowboy. You can take a pack trip into the mountains after a day of working the bison where you’ll spend the evening around a roaring campfire and rest your heads on camp beds under the stars. You’ll be yeehaw-ing your way back to the airport.