Lyons is a cute little town that you will pass through on the way to Estes Park (about 20 miles).
If you have the time and are looking for lunch, we recommend Oscar Blues, or Smokin' Dave's BBQ. There is also a small market in town that offers deli meats, bakery goods and miscellaneous specialty items.
We highly recommend the drive to Allenspark for breakfast at the Meadow Mountain Cafe. It is quite an experience!! First of all, if you blink, you might miss the little town....and the cafe itself has maybe 4 tables, Bob Dylan music playing and the food is quite delicious!!
The other reason that we recommend this is the drive itself. It is perhaps one of the prettiest drives in the Fall for viewing the aspens, with the best view of Long's Peak (a pull-off). Along the way, you will get to see St Malo, which is a charming little Catholic chapel (even a Pope visited here!), and you can take the easy walk around Lilly Lake for some really pretty views. You will also see the huge landslide at Twin Sister which happened during the 1000-yr flood in the fall of 2013.
For a complete day you can also combine this with a "falls" hike from the Wild Basin entrance to the Rocky Mountain National Park.
PS: If you decide to go to the Meadow Mountain, do not be in a hurry and make sure to call ahead.....sometimes they like to close just because!!
The village of Glen Haven is an AspenHaus favorite. It is located 7 miles north of Estes Park. Glen Haven is famous for the cinnamon rolls at the General Store and the fine food at the Glen Haven Inn. When driving through, be sure not to blink...you might miss it : )
PLUS on the way back to Estes Park at the top of the Devil's Gulch switchbacks is the Overlook Ranch; at which point you just might see the most spectacular view of the Continenal Divide around!!
On September 13, 2013 the little town was washed away during the 1000 year flood, very sad : ( But the folks there are strong-minded and determined to rebuild. The General Store re-opened on June 1st 2014, YAY! Lots of work to still be done.