It's impossible to get bored in Estes Park, where you'll find a wide variety of performing arts events -- many of them free -- presented year-round. You'll hear classical music, from small ensembles to symphony orchestras, plus jazz, country, and Christian; and you'll see dance and theater. The community boasts a nice outdoor entertainment venue, Estes Park Performance Park, on West Elkhorn Avenue on the west side of town. For details on what's going on when you plan to be in town, contact the Cultural Arts Council of Estes Park, 304 E. Elkhorn Ave. (P.O. Box 4135), Estes Park, CO 80517 (tel. 970/586-9203; www.estesarts.com), which represents a number of arts groups and individual artists, and helps coordinate many of the community's arts events. These include a free outdoor concert series, Thursday Night Live, logically held Thursdays at 7pm June through August at the Estes Park Performance Park; a dance festival in November; and Imagine This, a family-oriented festival of performing and visual arts, each February.
Among individual organizations presenting live productions are the Fine Arts Guild of the Rockies (www.fineartsguild.org), which sponsors musicals and plays; the Estes Park Music Festival, P.O. Box 4290, Estes Park, CO 80517 (tel. 970/586-9519; www.estesparkmusicfestival.org), which presents a series of classical music concerts each summer and winter, as well as special events; and the Chamber Music Society of Estes Park (tel. 970/586-9467; www.estesparkchambermusic.org), offering several concerts each year.
Of local watering holes, the Wheel Bar, 132 E. Elkhorn Ave. (tel. 970/586-9381; www.thewheelbar.com), which has been open for a century and owned by the Nagl family since 1945, is one of the best. It's open every day except Christmas, serving as a community hub in more ways than one. The bar is a bit funky, with an excellent steakhouse, Orlando's, upstairs, and plenty of wheel decor, including a slowly rotating specimen behind the bar.
Among other bars, the Rock Inn, 1675 Colo. 66 (tel. 970/586-4116; www.rockinnestes.com), plates up an eclectic array of steak, seafood, and salads, and hosts live rock and country music. For live rock music and dancing on weekends, check out Lonigan's Bar & Grill, 110 W. Elkhorn Ave. (tel. 970/586-4346; www.lonigans.com).
Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.