After some much needed rest and relaxation I’m back, and I’m so excited to show you all about the amazing town of Glenwood Springs in Colorado. We recently visited there over a long weekend, and it was the perfect place for the three of us to soak, relax, and have some wintery fun. Located about 2 1/2 hours west of Denver and an hour from Aspen, it’s a perfect spot for those visiting Colorado and for locals as well. It’s a great getaway for families and couples any time of year, but I think it really shines in the winter!
THINGS TO DO
Soak in the incredible hot springs! In Glenwood Springs you’ll find 2 incredible hot springs to soak away all your troubles. Plus it’s just a fun experience swimming and relaxing in a pool when it’s freezing cold out. Don’t worry you’ll stay plenty warm while inside the water. Maybe even a little bit too warm at times. The hot springs do occasionally close for maintenance so be sure to check those times online before planning a trip.
WHAT MINERALS ARE IN THE WATER?
Calcium, chloride, sodium, sulfate, potassium, magnesium, iron, zinc, boron, lithium, phosphate, silica, fluoride, and nitrogen make up the thermal heated hot springs. These 15 minerals are found naturally in the water and are perfect for relieving aches and pains, reducing blood pressure, eliminating toxins, and increasing circulation. At times you’ll smell an egg-like smell which comes from the sulfate, which is a compound of sulfur and oxygen, it reminds me of the heath benefits so I find it enjoyable! All these minerals are easily absorbed through the skin and give your body a great health boost. I can verify after a morning and evening of soaking in the natural hot springs Brian and I felt amazing and slept amazing that night and my skin felt incredibly soft and smooth.
WHAT TO BRING TO THE HOT SPRINGS
Definitely bring your bathing suit, you can rent towels but I suggest you bring your own. I also recommend bringing flip flops because the concrete is freezing cold – it’s not pleasant to walk barefoot! You’ll see some people wearing bathrobes walking to and from the pools, it’s not crucial but it would be nice having one. Depending on the weather you might want to bring a hat to keep your head warm, especially at night.
Shown above is the Glenwood Hot Springs Resort. The main big pool is 100 feet wide and kept at 90 degrees, while the smaller therapy pool is kept at 104 degrees. A poolside grill is nearby, and waterslides are open in the summer. Swimsuits are available for rent (gag) as well as towels. Prices range from $18.75-$29.95 depending on age and dates selected, those staying at the hotel get free admission.
Iron Mountain Hot Springs is another great place to visit with 16 smaller mineral pools to choose from and soothing spa music playing. Each pool has a different temperature ranging from 98 to 108 degrees. The 98 degree pools are a wonderful way to ease in, with the 108 pools being quite hot. My favorite pools were around 103. Children under 5 are not allowed in the small mineral pools, there is a larger family pool that allows children of all ages but it is chlorinated. There is a cafe and bar nearby and a locker room with free lockers. Towels are available for rent and there is a small gift shop area. Prices range from $14-$30 depending on age and dates selected.
Walk along the charming downtown area. You’ll find a ton of unique shops and boutiques to browse, and plenty of restaurants to choose from. Or maybe you’ll just want to grab a coffee and take a nice walk to soak up the architecture and the beautiful views.
Ride the gondola up to Adventure Park and take in the beautiful views. Some of the rides are closed during the winter season but don’t let that stop you. With a winter coaster, caves, and gorgeous views it’s still worth a trip up there. There is a cafe with gorgeous views of the mountains with snacks and delicious hot cocoa drinks and adult drinks too.
There are two caves to visit with tours running every 45 minutes. The Fairy Cave is shorter and suited for younger kids. The Kings Row cave is very impressive but it involves lots of stairs. If you only have time for one cave tour I highly suggest Kings Row. You can purchase tickets for the gondola ride only, the gondola and cave, or for the full amusement park.
Soak up the history and have drinks in the gorgeous lobby inside Hotel Colorado. With a nearby bar there is plenty of seating in the lobby, so relax, warm yourself by the fire, and take in the historic architecture and the birth of the Teddy Bear. According to legend Teddy Roosevelt stayed at this hotel and after an unsuccessful day of hunting the staff presented him with a stuffed bear to cheer him up. He said “I will call him Teddy.” The term caught on and the popular Teddy Bear was born.
Sunlight Mountain Ski Resort is located about 30 minutes from Glenwood Springs. With affordable rates it’s a great place have some ski and snowmobile adventures. There is on-site lodging plus a restaurant and bar.
WHERE TO STAY
Glenwood Springs Hotel shown above is where we stayed. I chose it because it had a great location to all the attractions. With a mini indoor water park and located right next to the gondola it’s a perfect affordable option for families and kids. There were lots of kids running around, so if your looking for a quiet romantic getaway this is not the hotel for you.
Glenwood Hot Springs Resort is on the pricier side but you can’t beat the convenience of having the hot springs pool steps away from your room. Plus you’ll get free admission into the pool, and there is a full service spa inside the hotel.
Hotel Colorado is a historic hotel built in 1893 with a full service restaurant, bar, coffee shop, and a large beautiful lounge to relax in. Even if you don’t stay here it’s worth stopping by just to admire the building and sip a drink by the fire. It’s located behind the Glenwood Hot Springs Resort so it’s just a short walk to the pool.
Hotel Denver is boutique hotel that offers a 1920’s hip rustic style. Located downtown near shopping and restaurants and across from the Amtrak station, there is plenty to do. Plus it’s just a 6 minute walk to the Glenwood Hot Springs Resort.
Still not sure about where to stay? Check out Hotels.com, our favorite site to book hotels, where you can earn free night stays and save money!
WHERE TO EAT
CO Ranch House was our favorite! We loved the small coziness of the restaurant with modern western decor, with lots of amazing food to choose from as well. Try the blue crab dip, it was incredible!
Rivers is located right along the roaring Fork River, you’ll want to request a table view for sure. The menu has a nice variety with plenty of gluten free options as well. Our favorite was the elk potstickers.
Glenwood Canyon Brewing Company is located on the first floor of the Hotel Denver. With an excellent food and bar menu this place is a perfect stop and should be on everyones list!
Slope & Hatch is perfect for those in need of delicious tacos. This cozy restaurant is on the smaller side with limited tables so arrive early or you might have to wait a while.
Juicy Lucy’s is a fun lively restaurant bustling with activity. Great happy hour specials, unique appetizers, and great steaks makes this restaurant a great place to stop.
If you’re needing a magical wintery getaway Glenwood Springs is the place for you, your body will thank you for it! I’m already excited to plan another trip before the winter season ends. I need to be in those hot springs again… it’s like soaking in a tub full of Xanax.