The fiancé and I just returned from a gorgeous weekend in Colorado looking at wedding venues!
Yep, we’re planning a destination wedding in the mountains. This was our first big wedding planning trip to Colorado, and it was so much fun.
We stayed in Longmont because we planned a couple of venue tours in Lyons, which is nearby and doesn’t have many hotel options. At the last minute, I booked a tour at a venue in Estes Park, so we also took a trip there.
I’m not going to share details about the venues we toured right now. Maybe in the future, after we choose a venue, I’ll write a post about all the venues we’ve looked at. But I want the fiancé and I to make a decision without a lot of outside influence.
That said, if you have any great wedding venue suggestions in Colorado, please share! We’re looking for a venue that isn’t too high up in the mountains (since most of our guests will be coming from flat lands), has options for an outdoor ceremony and/or reception with gorgeous views, has on site or nearby lodging, has that rustic Colorado charm (but isn’t cowboy), and is affordable.
In addition to venue tours, we ate delicious food and sampled lots of craft beer during our trip. So read on to find out what we ate and other adventures we had during our trip!
Where We Ate/Drank:
The Stone Cup, Lyons, CO
We stopped at the Stone Cup in Lyons after the owner of one of the wedding venues we toured recommended it. We ended up going there twice for iced coffee and homemade baked goods. I had a vegan muffin and the fiancé had pumpkin bread. It was a charming coffee shop with amazing outdoor seating and live music both mornings we stopped in.
We also walked around Lyons.
Oskar Blues, Lyons, CO
The fiancé and I love Oskar Blues beer, so we wanted to stop in the Lyons tap room to check it out. They have a huge space with a restaurant, bar, pinball machine room, outdoor seating and space for live music.
We also walked around Lyons downtown area, and it was totally cute. Lots of antique shops, farm to table restaurants with outdoor seating, art galleries and a natural food store. I was pretty in love with this town.
We also walked through Wee Casa, a tiny house community. You can rent the tiny homes! They’re really cute.
Wapiti Colorado Pub, Estes Park, CO
I found the Wapiti Colorado Pub in Estes Park on Yelp, and it had good reviews for a casual burger restaurant. We ordered Dirty Chips, which were homemade potato chips topped with buffalo sauce and blue cheese dressing. They were just as amazing as they sound.
I had a house made veggie burger and a salad, and both were delicious. They also had a large beer menu that featured lots of local craft beer.
This restaurant is located in downtown, Estes Park, which is a heavily populated tourist area with lots of souvenir shops. We walked around and it got a bit overwhelming with all the people.
We actually were’t planning on spending much time in Estes Park because we had planned on hiking in Rocky Mountain National Park. But a rain storm moved into the mountains, so we opted to explore downtown Estes Park, drink craft beer and eat delicious food.
I wore my hiking outfit – minus hiking boots – all day. I think it worked.
Left Hand Brewing, Longmont, CO
We took our bikes because I had read that Longmont was a really bike friendly town. After an uneasy few blocks on a busy road, we found the streets with bike lanes and made our way to Left Hand Brewing. We did have to stop a few times so that I could look at my GPS to make sure we were headed in the right direction.
The space was amazing with lots of outdoor seating and garage windows to create an outdoor experience inside. They also had a food truck parked outside.
We shared a flight, and had our first Oktoberfest of the season! So good.
The Roost, Longmont, CO
We then rode our bikes to the Roost, another restaurant I found on Yelp. I absolutely loved this restaurant and we didn’t even sit on their rooftop, which looked even more amazing.
We sat at a table by an open window. I’m pretty obsessed with the garage windows in Colorado bars and restaurants. We don’t have them in Nebraska because we have tons of bugs and wind.
We shared Bangin’ Cauliflower, which was tempura cauliflower dipped in a hoisin, citrus and Sriracha sauce. It was incredible.
I ordered their signature tots mushroom style with gruyere cheese, herb roasted mushrooms and a 72 hour demiglaze. They were so so delicious. I also got a grilled Ahi torta, which was rare Ahi tuna, guacamole, roasted green chile, pico de gallo, chipotle aioli, cabbage and cilantro crema. So so good.
I, obviously, ate dairy during this trip. I typically don’t eat dairy because I have a sensitivity to casein, but I wanted to enjoy my meals out without having to worry about special orders.
Pumphouse Brewery, Longmont, CO
Our last stop before we left town was at the Pumphouse Brewery in Longmont. I ordered their saison beer, which was a perfect easy drinking summer beer. For lunch, I had a sweet potato and cauliflower burger topped with avocado, pico de gallo and cilantro lime crema. It was so delicious.
We ate great food on this trip, but the fiancé and I both felt totally stuffed by the time we left Colorado. So many big meals! We did stay active during this trip by walking a lot and riding out bikes. Hopefully next time we go to Colorado for wedding planning, we’ll be able to get in a hike or two.
Eating is one of my favorite parts of traveling, so I have no food guilt! The fiancé and I had great quality time during this trip and created fun memories together.
Give me your destination wedding tips! Share below!