Smithsonian declares Estes Park #1 small town to visit
By now most of my readers must be convinced that I’m a paid shill for Rocky Mountain National Park and the gateway town of Estes Park. I assure you I am not. It’s just that I’ve spent most of my vacations (since the late 1940s) in those areas and love them more than anyplace else I’ve ever visited. (And judging from their persistence in the PT Bestsellers list, so do a lot of other people.)
That said, I’ve got to brag. Again. The Smithsonian is probably one of the most highly respected organizations in the country, and a few days ago they named Estes Park the #1 Best Small Town to visit this year. Their article tends to focus on the historic Stanley Hotel, which I’ve only visited once or twice in all these years; for me the mountains and wildlife are the big draw. Likely the Smithsonian was attracted by the fact that this is RMNP’s Centennial year. And currently the Stanley is adding a giant hedge maze on its front lawn. Should make a nice tourist attraction, but personally I’d rather have an unobstructed view. They also mention elk wandering through town but that only happens in late fall and winter.