Unique, local getaways in Boulder County.
Choosing to vacation locally makes sense. It cuts out the money and the hours spent traveling, you can avoid being surrounded by strangers in terminals, you can pack all the toys you may need into your car, and above all else, you can explore the destinations located in your backyard, generally hidden from the periphery of your daily life. Staying near-to-home means it’s your turn to relish in the offerings of Colorado’s Front Range that others come from around the world to see.
The Adventure Lodge is a hub for the weekend warrior-types, the locals and those coming from afar. Located up Boulder Canyon, adventurers of all kinds—climbers, skiers, slackliners, hikers, mountain bikers, cyclists—can find the convenience and character of this property refreshing. A five-minute drive from downtown Boulder, guests can be on a trail or at a restaurant on Pearl St. via the Boulder Creek Path with the same amount of effort.
A-Lodge Co-Founders, Asa Firestone Kris Klauber bought the property in 2014 with the dream of making the seven-acre property into the hostel the area had been missing. With 27 private rooms ranging from $100-$150 per night, 12 hostel beds priced at $40 to $55 per night, and a couple of outdoor campsites for $40 per night, there’s an option for every type of adventurer. They are pet-friendly accommodations with international and local travelers passing through to enjoy activities like Boulder Canyon’s climbing or mountain biking up at Betasso Preserve. They also currently host an “Under the Stars Film” series where they show short films related to outdoor adventure, taking place this summer one evening in August and another in September.
One arguable downside to staying up the canyon can be the sometimes-spotty cell service. But, for many, that’s a plus and the point. The property’s chief amenity is its prime location and the activities such as a slackline, grills, a modest seasonal pool and hot tub, and eventually the new main lodge, which will include a swankier community space and a bar that will be LEED Gold Standard and will act as the lodge’s common room for après.
Chautauqua Park Cottages
Colorado Chautauqua National Historic Landmark is a popular destination for hiking and photo ops. But, once you get passed the front parking lot and along the side streets lined with cottages, you’ll have entered what feels like a secret town within the park. There’s a whimsical ambiance amongst the rustic homes and a feeling of solitude in this community that rests beneath the sky scape framing the Flatirons.
The cottages at Chautauqua hold a rich history with endless charm. It’s the sort of place people hole up for a winter or summer and finish their memoir or retreat with their partner for a long weekend, or stay as a bridal party, soaking in each other’s uninterrupted company. There are 99 cottages and two lodges on the National Historic Landmark property of 26 acres (40 acres if you include the green open space in front of the Dining Hall restaurant), 60 are rented cottages with one-room studios to three bedrooms. The two larger lodges include the eight-bedroom Mission House Lodge and the apartment-style studios in Columbine Lodge. 39 of the properties are privately owned with only seven residents residing year-round.
Most of the structures on the property were built between 1899 and the 1920’s but have been updated, and almost every unit has a name and its own story. When Three Leaf Concepts restaurant group took over the Chautauqua Dining Hall they converted a cottage next to the restaurant into the “General Store,” a gift shop that sells homemade ice cream, sun screen and hiking supplies to take out on the infinite trails that backup to the park.
“The cottages are great for family overflow during the holidays because they have full kitchens,” notes Ann Obenchain, the Marketing and Development Director.
Folks staying on the property receive discounts at the Dining Hall and with Uber, and perks like grocery delivery from Whole Foods Market or the option to stay in a pet-friendly cottage.
Wee Casa Tiny Home Resort
The WeeCasa Tiny House Resort is a nod to the small home movement and has seen around 400 percent growth in business since it opened in 2015. With 22 little houses, the alternative resort shares the 10-acre property with the Lyons Farmette’s “Riverbend,” a popular event venue in Lyons, Colorado. The mini resort feels like a little village with two rows of tiny houses and outdoor seating amongst the trees and vegetation that shade the property. In the distance, guests can hear the St. Vrain River flowing, and the entire scene is well, adorable.
Guests can fish and kayak on the river, mountain bike on local trails, tour Rocky Mountain National Park—only a thirty-minute drive up the canyon, or walk a couple of blocks to enjoy the local life and food downtown. Tucked in the foothills and only an hour from Denver, Lyons hosts colorful events, like Planet Bluegrass’ famous RockyGrass Festival or Oskar Blues Brewery’s Burning Can Festival.
According to Founder and self-titled “Wee-EO” Kenyon Waugh, many guests are people looking for a different kind of hospitality experience and many, he adds, are aiming to try out the tiny home lifestyle, to see if it’s something they could ever commit to full time.
“They travel here because they’ve seen certain homes featured on HGTV or they have been sincerely thinking about downsizing and want to know what tiny living is like,” says Waugh.
Each house boasts remarkable craftsmanship with striking yet functional mini or full kitchens, detailed woodwork and a distinctive feel to each one. Some units can only sleep two people comfortably for a romantic retreat, while others can sleep up to six, with two queen beds and a futon. Rates vary based on how many people the tiny home sleep and prices range from $149 to $185 per night. All but two of the houses were built in Colorado and many are privately owned investments, so WeeCasa and the owners split the profits. And though the guests may give up space, Waugh says the focus is on high quality linens, towels and appliances.
“It’s like glamping,” Laughs Waugh when explaining the organic interactions that take place between guests. “People end up sitting outside, meeting their neighbors and taking turns touring each other’s’ tiny homes.”