I’ve had the honor of attending quite a few bachlorette parties in recent years, but Christine’s was probably my favorite. Christine reserved an Airbnb in New Castle and we planned to see Glenwood Springs and Palisade that weekend. I’ve wanted to visit Palisade since we moved out here, and it’s not hyped up for nothing. Palisade, deemed Colorado’s wine country, features 18 wineries and we “only” tried 4 of them. We certainly sampled our fair share of wine.
Spruce Tree Cabins offers quintessential lodging options with picturesque views of the mountains nearby. We stayed in the valley and had the entire place to ourselves Friday evening. No else had booked a cabin. We unloaded our belongings and explored the grounds before heading to the hot springs.
Iron Mountain Hot Springs turned out to be the best hot springs I’ve ever tried. For $25, you can access 16 pools with locker rental included. There’s an infinity pool and two other pools that exfoliate your feet. They also have a bar, and the drinks were super cheap. The pool temperatures were reviewed every hour and updated on the signs accordingly. And to top it all off, the showers were clean and amazing. I’m not even kidding–best hot springs I’ve ever been to.
After we showered and freshened up, we tried a taco place called Slope and Hatch. A few reputable websites list Slope and Hatch as the Best Tacos in Colorado. I’m not a taco connoisseur, but they were pretty damn good.
We returned to the cabin and went to bed shortly after.
Saturday morning, we packed our bags for Palisade. I was probably the most excited for this part of the weekend. Free wine tastings, anyone?
Christine advised we all pick a winery to try. We started with Varaison, and I knew we were in for a treat. This winery had the most reviews on Google by a landslide, and everyone raved about this place.
Sure enough, the first tasting was great. Our server was informative and showed us exactly how to taste wines correctly.
We each paid $5 for a tier two tasting in the cellar. The wine downstairs was even better than the first round. Could this have been because we were buzzed at 11:00 a.m.? Quite possibly. At any rate, I took a picture of the $60 bottle and asked Keegan to buy it for me for Christmas.
We asked our server where to go next, and she recommended Maison la Belle Vie Winery and Amy’s Courtyard for food. The charcuterie board was on point and may or may not have absorbed all the alcohol. We tried another 5 wines and continued to the next stop just down the street. By this point we had sampled 16 different wines.
By the time we reached Plum Creek, I was having the best time ever. We pulled up blasting Big Freedia and were probably the loudest group in the winery.
Plum Creek was okay; I could see now how Varaison aimed to educate their consumers while other wineries served it up and that was it. I’m not complaining when the tastings are free, but you can tell how some wineries are just going through the motions.
The last winery we tried was Meadery of the Rockies. This one and Varaison were by far my favorites. We encountered another bridal party on the front porch with the same penis straws as us. A light-saber-esque fight ensued, and it was glorious. We were all laughing so hard, the cashier inside approached us and asked us to be quiet. He seemed like a debbie downer at first but turned out to be nice.
All in all, if my math serves me correctly, we tried 26 wines in Palisade. Maybe 27. It’s hard to remember. But the Meadery was too cool. There’s only a few hundred meaderies in the entire country; to put this in perspective, there’s approximately 6,300 breweries in the United States. Luckily meadery counts continue to climb, and every honey-flavored option in this shop impressed me. I loved the Meadery so much, I purchased a bottle of the peach flavored mead and a potholder that says “Queen B” to remind me of this fun-filled weekend.
We headed back to New Castle for dinner at the cabin. Naturally, as soon as we got the fire going, our host informed us of the fire ban, despite us asking the day before. Sadly, we put out the fire but continued with dinner on the grill. Between the sausage and grilled veggies, my belly was content. Autumn Russians rounded out the night, and I slept like a baby.
We were supposed to wake up early the next morning to hike, but you know how it is when you’re hungover. We got a late start and had to circle back to Hanging Lake three times before finally landing a spot. This park ranger wasn’t exactly friendly, but we didn’t allow his mood to affect our spirits. We braced for the steep hike, which is apparently the equivalent of walking 80 flights of stairs.
I knew about this lake before we moved out here; I’ve read a lot about Hanging Lake, so to see it in person struck a nerve. I literally shed a tear; the water was so clear and pristine, you could see straight to the bottom.
Every now and then, since we moved to Colorado, I have these “milestone moments”. Those moments you’ve dreamed of for years and finally happen. No wonder Hanging Lake is so popular. I could’ve stayed up there forever.
Pics don’t do it justice. This spot is absolutely beautiful. I love how such a unique ecosystem has developed and thrived high up in the mountains.
After climbing such a steep trail, you may as well hike a little further and see the waterfall. Besides a few other trails in Rocky Mountain National Park, this is hands-down the most beautiful hike in Colorado. It’s something you really need to see in person.
I want to thank Jimmy for proposing to Christine, which led us to having such an awesome weekend. Congrats to the soon-to-be newlyweds! I love you both, and I’m so excited for what the future holds for you two!!