A Couple of Days in Grand Lake, Colorado
Grand Lake, Colorado is an amazing spot to spend a few days in the summer. The Rocky Mountains are amazing to visit in the winter for the skiing and snowboarding but I find visiting in the summer is just as fun, mainly because the weather is usually a bit cooler than the 90-100 degree days in Denver.
I just got back from a short trip to Grand Lake and wanted to share a few of my favorite, and not so favorite spots to check out when visiting.
A huge highlight of the trip was renting a boat and taking an hour to go out on the lake. There are many types of boats available for renting. We took out a pontoon but you could kayak or go out on pedal boats. Just do it! It’s amazing!
Favorites of Grand Lake:
Miyauchi’s Snack Bar
To be honest, if Miyauchi’s’ location was anywhere else, I wouldn’t love this place as much as I do. It’s a basic burger and ice cream joint. There are probably 4 or 5 others in town and the food at those are just as good. Don’t get me wrong, the food is good. I’ve had a burger there and I really liked it. And they have interesting ice cream flavors like basil and blueberry pancake.
The location is what draws me to this snack bar every time I go to Grand Lake. It’s located right on the lake, right by the main beach in town. I just love spending some time at the beach, and then walking over to grab an ice cream cone. Also, the seating is all outside- so pet friendly!
The Wake Coffee Shop
I love the water. My dream home would be located right next to a lake. I also love boating- of almost any kind. So The Wake Coffee Shop, which is located within a boathouse downtown Grand Lake is just perfect for me. The only catch is there’s no outdoor seating- so it’s not pet friendly.
On this visit to Grand Lake, we stayed at an average spot. I wouldn’t really recommend it although it wasn’t the place either. On a previous visit though, I stayed at Shadowcliff and that’s a spot I would recommend. You need to be prepared though. This isn’t a fancy spot at all. There are options between staying in a cabin all the way to the hostel-style bunk beds. When I stayed I got a room within the main lodge. And it was lovely. Rustic and not fancy in any way but lovely! Oh and be prepared, the bathrooms are shared (separated by gender) with the entire floor of the lodge.
Creekside Eatery in Fraser, Colorado
I really wanted to mention the Creekside Eatery even though it’s not actually in Grand Lake. On our way home, we decided to stop somewhere for lunch. We were hungry so literally just went to the first place we found. From the outside, the Creekside Eatery looked like a dive. But, we went in and sat on the back patio. It was calm, beautiful and offered a view of the mountains. It was just what we needed. Not only that, the food was delicious.
I ordered the portabella mushroom sandwich with tater tots and was in love with the entire meal!
Not so awesome spot of Grand Lake:
I had been to Pancho & Lefty’s on a previous visit to Grand Lake so when my dad suggested it for dinner, I was game. I remembered the restaurant as quite large, friendly and good for kids. The food was pretty good too.
As we walked into the restaurant, I noticed a sign that said: ‘New Menu’ and another that said ‘Restaurant for sale’. I didn’t think much about either but I realize I should have thought about it a bit more. The poor waitress that served us seemed to be the only one in the entire restaurant. She was running back and forth the entire time and our service was awfully slow.
The food was pretty bad too. I would say my burrito was passable but the meal everyone else at the table got looked pretty rough. I guess the moral of the story is that maybe eating at a restaurant that is for sale is probably not the best idea. Hopefully they can turn things around.