Historic Hotel That Inspired Stephen King's The Shining
Something sinister lurks in room 217—and that’s what makes it one of The Stanley Hotel’s most popular spots. The infamous room 217 plays a prominent role in Stephen King’s classic horror novel The Shining, which was inspired by King's first visit to the historic estate next to Rocky Mountain National Park. A winding mountain road leads to the secluded, sprawling property, which was built in 1909 and has housed luminaries such as John Philip Sousa and Theodore Roosevelt—and its share of ghosts. It's easy to understand why the old-fashioned, New England–inspired building is a beloved haunt: every inch has been meticulously cared for, decorated with gleaming wooden floors, soaring ceilings, and traditional furnishings.
Up in the classic rooms, stately linens cover pillow-top king- or queen-size beds that sit atop plush carpeting. Decorated to resemble a comfortable, upscale home, most of the hotel's rooms feature unique accents, from cushy chairs to framed artwork. And you can look out to either the nearby Rocky Mountains or the courtyard through the room's enormous windows.
Downstairs, Cascades Restaurant serves up regional cuisine paired with varietals from its wine list, which won Wine Spectator's Award of Excellence. To use your dining credit, grab breakfast and a cup of coffee at Steamers Café.
Those looking to explore The Stanley’s haunted past can take the approximately 90-minute Ghost & History tour through the hotel's most haunted spots, including rooms and passages where ghosts have been sighted flipping over Do Not Disturb signs. Tours lead into The Stanley's underground tunnel and past the notorious room 217.
Estes Park, Colorado: Cultured Mountain Town with Outdoor Recreation
Located 7,500 feet above sea level, The Stanley Hotel is surrounded by the crisp, clean air and gorgeous scenery of Estes Park. The town is a picturesque playground for outdoors enthusiasts and nature lovers. Gentle horses can navigate the trails of the Rocky Mountain National Park, and skilled guides lead whitewater-rafting trips down the roaring Colorado River. For a scenic drive through the area, take Trail Ridge Road, which has hairpin curves that whip around the mountainside to reveal gorgeous views of the mountains (check the road’s status before heading out).