Downtown Glenwood Springs

Posted on September 26, 2018 by shawn_manwaring

Welcome to downtown Glenwood Springs!  With incredible history, culture, and arts and entertainment, Glenwood Springs consistently ranks as one of Colorado’s “top places to live.”  According to Outside Magazine in August 2015, Glenwood Springs was ranked the #5 place to live in the entire United States!

The unique part of Glenwood Springs is we have several small areas around town that make up our neighborhoods.   Nothing compares the the history, charm and incredible 19th century feel of downtown Glenwood Springs.  Many of the restaurants, bars and shops located downtown still operate from the original buildings that were built in the late 1800’s.   In addition to commercial space, we have a couple thousand residential properties located in the downtown area also.

On your next visit to Glenwood make sure to leave time for some retail therapy.  A leisurely stroll through Glenwood’s downtown shopping district can do wonders.  Most of this will be found between Grand and Cooper Avenues and 7th and 11th Streets. One of the highlights of Glenwood’s core shopping district is the myriad of independently owned boutiques.  Many of these are occupying some of the town’s most historic structures. The stores here offer an eclectic retail mix. This includes book shops, home décor boutiques, art galleries, thrift shops, clothing shops, fine and costume jewelry purveyors, a candle maker, and several sweet shops. Stop by the fabric and quilting shop where beautiful handwork is always on display or slip into something more comfortable at the shoe store that specializes in men’s and women’s comfort shoes.

In the event you are really feeling lazy and want a list of things to do in Downtown Glenwood Springs, we made this for you!

  • Adventure Park – Ride Colorado’s longest alpine coaster at 3,400 feet.  Jump into an Old West–themed laser-tag shootout or catch a flick in the 4D theater (complete with moving seats and special effects).  Take a spin on the newly-configured Soaring Eagle Zip Ride which takes you 625 feet down the mountain while affording a birds-eye view of the stunning canyons below.
  • Glenwood Vaudeville Revue – Good clean fun for the entire family to enjoy.  Come early for dinner and a ragtime piano sing-a-long.  After that you can get your laugh on during a comedy show performed by a professional cast. Not only do the actors dish out a good batch of hilarity, but they also serve your food and drinks including a full bar. One of the most interesting parts of the show is a rarely seen 1918 Orchestrion—an instrument once used to produce sound effects for silent films.
  • Pullman –  No visit to Glenwood Springs is complete without a visit to The Pullman.  With its easy sophistication, communal feel, and friendly, laid-back service, the restaurant is a destination in itself.  There’s an inventive, industrial vibe here, and it shows in everything from the décor to the thoughtfulness of the menu.  Settle in with a cocktail and start with the house-made kimchee and truffled pork rinds. Health-conscious guests will appreciate the variety on the salad menu, while those in search of a truly decadent meal should go for the slow roasted pork belly with bacon braised kale and white cheddar grits.
  • Hot Springs – If you want to bypass the traffic of the hot springs than head to the less-crowded and more “earthy” Yampah Spa & Vapor Caves.  Originally used by the Ute Indians for healing rituals, these underground caves are a natural sauna.  The125-degree water is sourced from the Yampah spring—the same one that supplies the famous pool down the street—but here, you’ll find a more relaxing, private vibe.  Between soaks, cool off in the solarium room or take in the fresh mountain air on the outdoor deck.  You can also indulge in a massage.
  •  Retail Therapy – Top off your visit with some well-deserved retail therapy. Head to the heart of downtown to browse the locally owned shops that line Grand and Cooper avenues between 8th and 11th streets. Here, you’ll find everything from home décor to outdoor gear suppliers to souvenirs to commemorate your Colorado vacation.
  • Hike – Yes, it might wintertime when you visit, but that doesn’t mean you can’t get out for an invigorating hike to a National Natural Landmark.  Hanging Lake Trail is a short drive from Glenwood Springs and is considered one of the most beautiful places in Colorado.  The trail’s pretty steep and likely slippery in winter, but the off-season is also the perfect time to enjoy this very popular spot.  Soak up a unique aquatic environment while taking in a vista of canyon cliffs below.

When you visit Glenwood Springs, the downtown area will have just about everything your family is looking for in a small Colorado town.  We also wanted to share a little information on this history and geography of Downtown Glenwood Springs.

Glenwood Springs was originally known as “Defiance”.   Defiance was established in 1883.  It was a camp of tents, saloons, and brothels with an increasing amount of cabins and lodging establishments. It was populated with the expected crowd of gamblers, gunslingers and prostitutes. Town Founder Isaac Cooper’s wife Sarah was having a hard time adjusting to the frontier life.  In an attempt to make her environment somewhat more comfortable she persuaded the founders to change the name.  The name was changed to Glenwood Springs, Colorado, after her beloved hometown of Glenwood, Iowa.

The location of Glenwood Springs rapidly made it a center of commerce in the area. The city has seen famous visitors.  These include President Teddy Rosevelt who spent an entire summer vacation living out of the historic Hotel Colorado in downtown Glenwood Springs.  Doc Holliday a wild west legend spent the final months of his life in Glenwood Springs and is buried in the town’s original Pioneer Cemetery above Bennett Avenue.  Kid Curry is buried in the same location.  Infamous serial killer Ted Bundy was imprisoned in the Glenwood Springs jail until he escaped on the night of December 30, 1977, an escape which went undetected for 17 hours.

Glenwood Springs was one of the first places in the United States to have electric lights. The original lighting was installed in 1897 inside of the Fairy Caves in Iron Mountain.  Later, a dam was built in Glenwood Canyon providing water for the Shoshone power plant.  The plant began producing power on May 16, 1909 and retains the largest and oldest water rights to the Colorado River.

Glenwood Springs winds throughout narrow mountain valleys.  These valleys host the confluence of the Colorado River and the Roaring Fork River. The surrounding terrain is steeply contoured on all sides.  There are also numerous caves to be found. Reddish colored sandstone cliffs surround the city. Glenwood Springs is one of the most walkable towns in America.  Downtown Glenwood Springs has extensive trail systems for walking, hiking and biking. 

Glenwood Springs owns some of the most senior water rights to tributaries of the Colorado River.  The town’s drinking water is supplied primarily through senior rights.  These rights are to major watersheds in the Flat Tops wilderness area and the tap water is generally of excellent quality.

If you are looking to sell or buy real estate in Glenwood Springs, contact Shawn Manwaring and he would be delighted to assist you.

Manwaring Properties



See you downtown!

Categories: Downtown Glenwood
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