September 30th is the start of Vintage Market Days a biannual, three day, bohemian chic event in Estes Park, and who needs a better excuse to gather up your besties and head for the hills? Not me. While I have the privilege of living in Estes Park, I'm always looking for reasons to entice my friends and family to visit. This event is just what we've been waiting for and it the perfect way to get a jump on my holiday shopping list!

Crash Pad

While my house has sufficient space (once you roll out the air mattresses, that is), a true girls weekend requires getting away from the kids and men, so we will be reserving one of our favorite condos near downtown. With three bedrooms and two bathrooms, this will enable plenty of space for us to get ready, to lounge around and for the early crashers to have peace and quiet while us night owls chat the night away. 

The Main Event

While Vintage Market Days is new to Estes Park, they have been holding events all over the country and established a pretty loyal following. They bring in the best of the hand-crafted, up-cycled, and vintage-chic proprietors from the area (and beyond) into one place. It's like hitting all your favorite boutiques, antique markets, used furniture spots and eclectic retailers in one locale. Sweet, right? And admission is only $10 the first day and $5 Saturday and Sunday (a great option if you want to keep your eye on a few pieces to haggle on the last day!) Get to the Estes Park Event Center early (opens Friday at 10am) for the best selection - these are one-of-a-kind items, after all.

Sip & Savor

All that shopping can work up an appetite, so make sure you know the hot spots. Depending on your group, you may want to try Mama Rose's Italian restaurant with their incredible wine flights, the breathtaking overlook at The View or something spicy at the new Himalayan Curry & Kebob. Whatever your flavor, there is definitely something to help you refuel for the next day of retail therapy.




For a pre- or post-dinner drink, there are equally as many options. Our crew will often gravitate toward craft, so the distillery, winery or one of the new breweries are likely in the rotation. If you want a wider selection, the main street beer garden and pubs provide a relaxed and friendly atmosphere, while the hotel bars often have a more upscale style. Many of the hot spots and local eateries have entertainment on the weekends, so check the event calendar for options.



Keep Your Energy Up

We all have different sources of energy, right? For some (like my sister) it is a morning run on the Riverwalk. I simply cannot find energy in running, so this weekend I've convinced the crew to hit a yoga class at Estes Park Yoga (downtown, so we can walk - or run) there together. Afterward, we'll need the other kind of energy - caffeine. For that there are a variety of options, but along the river is Inkwell & Brew where a strong cup of joe meets (what else?) more shopping! Cute journals and cards and gifts abound in this quaint little A-frame shop. 


Shop On!

Let's face it, we could shop for days, so when you've exhausted your vintage palette, head downtown where the shops are all stocked with new summer inventory, which means the freshest selection of the year for all of us!  Find name-brand clothes and bags at Mary Jane's. Unique home decor and cool gifts at Trendz (including something for your man to help ease the pain of being gone all weekend). Very cool threads for you, him, and the baby, at The Grey House. And grab something sweet to take to the kids (or to refuel along the way) from the Old Fashioned Candy Store, a real childhood flashback. 


Wind Down

OK, maybe we are trying to pack too much into one weekend, but what girls getaway would be complete without some TLC? An afternoon at the spa is a must and we have booked a variety of treatments. From pedicures to massages to facials - we each have our personal preferences. Then, back to the condo for a hot tub soak and a night at the fire pit (with the local growlers and wines we grabbed the day before) to revel in our last night.You can't beat it!


You might be getting a head start on your holiday shopping, but that doesn't mean that you don't deserve some additional pampering. With all the headaches of everyday life, we need these breaks and the bonding that goes with them. Personally, I feel more refreshed after a few days with my sister, friends and mom than I do after a whole week's vacation with my kiddos and my other half. Besides, we betters get our while we can – the holidays are just around the corner!