If you have the time on the way up to Winter Park (or the way down), stop at the Lewis Sweet Shop (a circa 1949 era candy shop) in the little town of Empire, located at the base of Berthoud Pass. You have to pass through Empire to get to Winter Park anyway. They have probably the best milkshakes this side of the Mississippi. Ask for a small (thick) AVALANCHE - your choice of flavor and enjoy. You'll soon see why it is called an AVALANCHE. Owners Bernie & Peggie specialize in shakes, taffy and just plain fun & friendly Colorado backcountry hospitality. They also display unique local handmade arts &crafts. You might even be lucky enough to entertained by one of the local musicians who stop in to share stories and give impromptu performances. They have great gifts for sale there too. Buy a set of chocolate dominoes. After the game is over, the winner gets to eat them. Drop in for some great pulled pork BBQ or pick up a pound of chocolate covered bacon. They swear it's the greatest thing since deviled eggs (made of white chocolate and rice krispies)???? Haven't yet tried it ourselves but it is on the to do list. Tell them Access Winter Park sent you and you'll get a local discount. Ski Press magazine calls them one of America's Top 5 Sugar Shacks.
So stop and stay awhile, catch up with the locals and maybe even catch a glimpse of the Rocky Mountain Bighorns who can often be spotted wandering through town. The kids ( little ones and big ones alike) will enjoy playing tic-tac-toe on the outside tables. "Nothing more fun than eating there when everyone else is stuck in traffic."