Dine Around Estes is once again happening in Estes Park!
This year 20 restaurants from around town will be offering tasting plates every Thursday from 4:30 pm to 7:30 pm in March (the 2nd, 9th, 16th, 23rd & 30th of March). Each week their tasting plate menus will be different. Take a moment on Thursday evenings to taste foods from restaurants you haven't yet tried - or enjoy a favorite restaurant's tasting plate again. Each tasting plate costs $5, so you can try several different restaurants in one evening. Here are the restaurants that are participating and their addresses and phone numbers:
- El Mex Kal Mexican Restaurant - 160 1st St. (970) 586-4377
- Smokin' Daves BBQ & Taphouse - 820 Moraine Ave.(970) 577-7427
- You Need Pie! Diner & Bakery- 509 Big Thompson Ave. (970) 577-7437
- Peppers Mexican Grill - 401 E. Elkhorn Ave. (970) 577-0032
- Sweet Basilico - 430 Prospect Village Dr. (970) 586-3899 (except 3/30)
- Estes Park Brewery - 470 Prospect Village Dr.(970) 586-5421
- Big Horn Restaurant - 401 W. Elkhorn Ave (970) 586-2792
- Cafe de Pho Thai - 225 W. Riverside Drive (970) 577-0682
- Claire's On The Park - 225 Park Lane (970) 586-9564
- The Grubsteak - 134 W. Elkhorn (970) 586-8838
- Ed's Cantina - 390 E. Elkhorn (970) 586-2919
- La Cabana Bar & Grill - 165 Virginia Drive (Top of Courtyard Shops) (970) 586-1156
- Snowy Peaks Winery - 292 Moraine Ave. (970) 586-2099
- Hunter's Chop House - 1690 Big Thompson Ave. (970) 586-6962
- Baba's Burgers - 861 Moraine Ave. (970) 586-1171
- Chicago's Best - 112 W. Elkhorn Ave. (970) 586-4796
- Cinnamon's - 920 W. Elkhorn (970) 480-1501
- American Legion - 850 N. St. Vrain (970) 586-6118
- Fajita Rita's - 1560 Big Thompson Ave (970) 577-7482
- Cousin Pat's Pub & Grill - 451 S. St. Vrain (970) 586-7287
Rocky Mountain National Park's visitation was up again in 2016 with a little over 4.5 million visitors, an increase of 40 percent since 2012! Much of this was due to the National Park Service's 100th anniversary - which brought added crowds to all the national parks, not just RMNP. All months except for December set new visitation records. So how can you visit the park when it's not as crowded?
- Visit the park during the week, not the weekends... The top 10 busiest days in order from top-most visited to tenth-most visited were : September 24, July 3, September 4, September 17, July 24, July 10, July 17, September 5, July 23 and July 30, all of which fell either on a weekend or a holiday! Weekends from late June through September are the most crowded.
- Get to the park early (before 10 am) ... the park staff this past summer and fall limited the access to both the Bear Lake Road corridor and the Wild Basin area when the parking areas were filled and there was a possibility of heavy congestion in those areas.
- Ride the bus ... it's easier to park in downtown Estes, then take the free shuttle into the park.
- Visit the park during the off-peak season when you can get good deals on lodging ... January through mid-May and October through December.