I took a trip to Estes Park, Colorado to run yet another half marathon. The partner hotel for the race happened to be the Stanley Hotel, which was the inspiration for Stephen King's "The Shining" and ultimately Stanley Kubrick's movie adaptation. Being a huge fan of the movie, I HAD to stay there. I have to note that although it is THIS hotel that inspired Mr. King, it was not actually filmed here (which he was not happy about, and filmed his own version of the movie later). You absolutely understand where the creepiness came from during his stay, and it doesn't help that there are ghost tours each night. The long, oddly lit hallways with creaky floorboards... the grand staircases... the lonely piano... I absolutely loved every second of the stay. If that's too freaky for you, it's ALSO the hotel where they filmed parts of Dumb & Dumber (THEY LANDED ON THE MOON!). There are a lot of great little shops and restaurants on the main road through Estes, and it seems pretty vibrant at night with tourists and locals alike. Pack your flashlight and your hiking boots, and book a stay at the Stanley and spent some time in the National Park!
The Stanley Hotel
You have to keep in mind you're staying in a historic hotel. The rooms are fairly dated, though they have flat screen TVs, etc. There is no air conditioning, but that is fairly common for Colorado in general.
Trail Ridge Road Summit
Scenic ride in your own car around Estes Park. Plenty of pull-offs for scenic overlooks. For those of us who like nature, but don't necessarily want to sleep in it.