Just a little south of the Denver metro area exists a beautiful structure that’s reminiscent of Scotland in the 1450s. (I mean, I’ve never been to Scotland and I wasn’t alive 600 years ago. But that’s what they say.)

We were lucky enough to visit the Cherokee Ranch & Castle with a group of homeschoolers. They found about the tour on Groupon, so we got a great deal. (And I love a great deal!) The organization offers group tours often, and the volunteer staff is entertaining and super knowledgeable. Of course, I was more concerned with taking photos of the beautiful place, so I didn’t absorb most of the historical information. I did learn a bit on their website. Later. After the picture-taking was finished.

However, I’m just about the last person in the world who should be giving you a history lesson, so feel free to read up on the place yourself. But I did find out that the residence itself was built between 1924-1926, and the whole property consists of 3,400 acres of land. And the views from the castle are INCREDIBLE. (You’ll see.) The deed is now owned by the Cherokee Ranch & Castle Foundation and it’s a wildlife sanctuary.

See? There’s an elk just hanging out on the front lawn.

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Kidding. It’s metal of course.

But this place really is beautiful.

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Here’s the little courtyard to the right of the front entrance.IMG_6353blog

And the front door.IMG_6355blog

It’s officially on the National Register of Historic Places.IMG_6265blog

Even the foyer is gorgeous and totally castle-like.

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We started in the great hall. We learned some of the history before splitting up into tour two groups.IMG_6269blog

I won’t even attempt to tell you about each of the rooms, so I hope you enjoy the photo tour sans information. There are lots of bedrooms, a library, a trophy room, and more. IMG_6348blog IMG_6271blog IMG_6273blog IMG_6275blog IMG_6276blog IMG_6277blog

The stairs were steeeeep. I was kinda hoping I’d capture him tripping just a little.

I’m joking! Mostly.IMG_6289blog IMG_6291blog

Can you imagine this view from your dining room? That wouldn’t be bad at all.IMG_6298blog IMG_6300blog IMG_6301blog IMG_6307blog IMG_6310blog IMG_6313blog I have no idea what this little piece of furniture is, but I apparently thought it was cool and important enough to capture it.IMG_6318blog

Aaaaand then we were back in the great hall.IMG_6292blog IMG_6339eblog Nothing like standing underneath a bison head!IMG_6345eblog

Now for the outside shots. This place has a 200-mile view that stretches from Pikes Peak all the way north to Longs Peak. It’s absolutely insane. I could have stood on that balcony all day long. Except for the wind. Lots and lots of wind.IMG_6278blog IMG_6281blog IMG_6283blog I had seen an image of the castle online and James walked all around the property until he found the right vantage point. I really do like that guy.IMG_6388blog IMG_6381edit3blog IMG_6369blog

So that was a pretty fun little tour experience! The place is neat and learning all about the history was interesting. But seriously, my favorite part was the view. Because even after living here for a few months, the Rocky Mountains are STILL as majestic as ever. And I love a good, clear, blue-sky day!

Garden of the Gods
RMNP: Snowshoeing to Emerald Lake