Published: March 21, 2016

NederlandYou wake up on a Saturday morning. You start running through all the things you could do today, but you soon realize that you’ve exhausted Boulder of all if has to offer (extremely hard to do). What do you do? There’s no way you can stay inside all day, the sun is shining and the birds are chirping (typical Colorado). You go to your secret safe and open it up—inside is Ben’s Day Trips 101. You open it up to a random page and land on “Nederland and Estes Park” and the book instructs as follows.

Step 1: Get a car, or find a friend with a car. Unless you want to bike all the way there, which would be very Boulder of you, but it would also be very tedious.

Step 2: Grab day trip provisions, including but not limited to: donuts, water, mixtape you’ve been working on for months, camera, sunglasses, chapstick (important), a friend or two (or not, your prerogative), etc.

Step 3: Go to Canyon Drive and head west, enjoy scenery and people rock climbing until you reach Nederland and park your car somewhere where you won’t get a ticket.

Step 4: Explore! Nederland is a small town without a doubt, but it serves as a Colorado novelty, with the traditional western town look, and small coffee shops, and a few roadside eateries and attractions. All-in-all Nederland can be done in an hour or two.

Step 5: Get in the car (watch out for Nedestrians!) and follow the massive sign that says “ESTES PARK” with an arrow pointing to the way to go. The drive is a very scenic one hour affair, with a few optional pit-stops if you need to show people how good your mixtape is.

Step 6: Arrive in Estes Park, find parking close to the town center.

Step 7: Walk around town center, it’s a really pretty town that you can stroll through and enjoy everything it has to offer.

Step 8: Drive up to the Stanley Hotel in Estes Park, the hotel in which “The Shining” was filmed. Yell “here’s Johnny!” a couple times and explore.

Step 9: At your own leisure, make your way towards Rocky Mountain National Park—a must if you’re already in Estes Park.

Step 10: Get butterflies as you drive through one of the most scenic places in America, find a great vantage point for the sunset, enjoy the magic of a Colorado sunset unfold.

Step 11: Bid adieu to Rocky Mountain National Park and Estes Park, head to the center of town and follow the massive sign that says “BOULDER”.

Step 12: Arrive in Boulder about 45 minutes later, content with your day trip, and grab some grub because you must be starving by now. Post an obligatory photo on Instagram with the hashtag #DayTrip101, and retire to bed.

Well, what are you waiting for?! It's spring break, you’ve just read about this great trip, so go do it! Daylight is burning and you need to be in Estes Park for sunset! Have fun!




Benjamin Rains