A Day in Evergreen, Colorado
If you plan to spend the day and don’t mind a little walking, then park in the main lot to your right as you enter town on Highway 74. It’s just past the Baskin Robbins.
:: Breakfast ::
Start your day in Evergreen with breakfast at the Wildflower Cafe. This chef owned and operated restaurant offers a cozy atmosphere and a breakfast menu full of traditional mountain favorites and unique twists. Try one of their hearty breakfast skillets with Wildflower’s signature “wild” potatoes and homemade green chili. Or, check out the build-your-own omelet menu. In the mood for something sweet? Try the pancakes or stuffed French toast. You really can’t go wrong; the food is consistently delicious and well-priced.
Seating is limited, but it’s worth the wait. If you have to, put your name on the list, and then head a few doors down to the Muddy Buck where you can grab a house-roasted coffee and check out the historical building and vintage coffee roaster.
:: A Morning at the Lake ::
Walk off breakfast with a stroll around Evergreen Lake on the Evergreen Lake Trail. The 1.3 mile loop trail is easy to navigate and offers much to see and do as you make your way around.
If you’re visiting in the spring or summer, stop by the Evergreen Nature Center located in the historic warming hut along the trail on the north side of the lake. The displays offer information about the plants and animals indigenous to the area. CLICK HERE for more information about the nature center, seasonal programs, and hours of operation.
In the spring, summer, and fall you can also rent a paddle boat, kayak, fishing boat, sail boat, or canoe at the Lake House. CLICK HERE for boat rental information and hours of operation.
If you’re visiting in the winter, then you must experience the world’s – yes, that’s right, the world’s – largest Zamboni-groomed outdoor, natural ice rink. Rated one of the nation’s top 10 most beautiful ice rinks by CNN, the Evergreen Lake skating rink can’t be missed. CLICK HERE for hours, pricing, and parking information.
You can walk to the trail from downtown Evergreen by entering at the dam on the east side of the lake, or you can drive and park either in the parking lot by the dam or by the Lake House on the west side of the lake.
:: Lunch ::
After reviving your appetite at the lake, make your way back into town for lunch at One World Cafe, which is located on your left as you come back into town from the lake on Highway 74. This charming restaurant not only offers a local feel, but it also offers many locally raised and farmed menu options from their Ralston Valley Ranch grass-fed beef burger to their soulful sandwiches all served with locally-baked bread from Aspen Baking Company. They also have a delicious salad menu if you’re in the mood for something light. Accompany any lunch with a Colorado beer or glass of wine. As you dine, be sure to take a moment to enjoy some local artwork.
FYI: One World closes from 2pm to 5pm to set up for dinner.
If you don’t do lunch at One World, this is a great option for dinner, as they also offer fresh pastas and seasonal specials.
If you’re visiting in the summer, another option is lunch on the deck at Cactus Jacks Saloon where you can usually catch live music and enjoy lunch outside by the creek. They offer hearty saloon fair from their giant Macho Nachos to the awesome build-your-own burger menu featuring locally-raised Denver beef to their award-winning red and green chilies. You will see Cactus Jacks on your right on Highway 73 as you head back into town from the lake.
:: An Afternoon of Art & Shopping ::
Walk off lunch with an afternoon of shopping and browsing Evergreen’s many local boutiques and galleries. Some favorites include Shadow Mountain Gallery and Stoneheart Gallery that both feature and support accomplished and up-and-coming local artists. The Green Merchant offers an ever-changing collection of handcrafted fair-trade items, while at the Sweetwater Boutique you can find an eclectic collection of women’s clothing featuring local Colorado and fair-trade designers. If you’re looking for unique jewelry, you can find funky artisan crafted pieces at Marmalade Jewelry and Accessories, which is known for a constantly rotating collection of casual and semi-precious pieces. Or, see what you can find at Evergreen Goldsmiths who are famous for their original Evergreen Elk pendents and fine locally-crafted jewelry.
CLICK HERE for a complete list of Evergreen shops and galleries.
:: Afternoon Wine Tasting ::
Before dinner, spend the afternoon tasting Creekside Cellars Winery’s award-winning Colorado wines. A family hobby that began over thirty years ago is now a successful Colorado winery that sets beautifully on Beer Creak. Sit on the patio if it’s warm or cozy up to the bar in the tasting room on a chilly day. Get there before 4pm if you’d like to pair your wine with one of their fresh Italian-inspired antipasto plates.
:: Dinner ::
Depending on your mood, you have a couple of international dinner options. Either spend the evening enjoying authentic Mexican cuisine at Rio Del Sol where you can find delicious moles from the central regions and fresh fish specials on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday featuring coastal region recipes. They also have a fantastic cocktail menu where you can find unique tequilas and their house margarita.
In the mood for something from the East? Go to Saigon Landing for authentic Vietnamese cuisine in a charming Victorian house with beautiful decor and a grand piano player. Don’t let the website fool you; the main picture is often of their Greenwood Village location, whose decor is nothing compared to the Evergreen location. Some favorites include the crispy roll lettuce wraps with fish sauce, sesame chicken, hot and sour seafood soup, pho beef noodle soup, and their other more exotic items such as the pineapple duck, stuffed quail, and lemongrass lobster.
:: A Night of Live Music ::
Finish the night off right with a cocktail or beer and live music at the legendary Little Bear Saloon. Once known as “Colorado’s rowdiest bar”, the Little Bear still offers a good time in a rustic Western saloon without all of the ruckus. Mingle with skiers, locals, and tourists in what the Denver Post describes as “popular pandemonium”.
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