Evergreen  is just 15 miles west of Denver, and if you haven’t spent time in this quintessential mountain town lately, it is time to rediscover her charms. After all, what says Christmas more than ice skating on a frozen lake? Here, we give you the locals’ lowdown.
The cozy, family-owned Da Kind Soups  has more than 500 made-from-scratch soups and chilis in their repertoire (several varieties rotate daily). Our go-to on a snowy day is always the tomato soup and half grilled cheese combo.
Summers at Creekside Cellars  are for lingering on the patio with a bottle of white. During the winter, come inside and try the sausage and peppers panini paired with a glass of Creekside’s Tempranillo.
Marmalade  features eclectic, handmade jewelry and accessories from 30 Colorado artists, plus pieces from independent artisans from developing countries. Every piece is unique—and affordable.
The Main Street Fine Art  gallery is all about keeping it local: they represent a small number of Colorado painters, photographers, and sculptors.
No Colorado home is complete without a comfy quilt to snuggle up in. Check out Gallerie Quilt ’s extensive selection, and don’t be scared to ask the owners for a quick lesson on the different styles.
The best part about Evergreen is enjoying the incredible scenic views. Elk Meadow Park  is a favorite for hiking or snowshoeing. Take a moment for reflection at the Church of the Transfiguration’s stone labyrinth . And Evergreen’s 40-acre lake is open daily for ice skating (call the skating hotline at 720-880-1391 for hours, which change with ice conditions.)
Evergreen Lake House  hosts Skate the Lake Winterfest  on New Year’s Eve. Festivities include sleigh rides, ice hockey games, face painting, bonfires, and more. There’ll be two fireworks shows: One at 8 p.m. for those who want to celebrate early, and another at midnight.
On New Year’s Day, come out for the Polar Plunge . For a mere $25—which benefits the Evergreen Parks and Recreation District Special Needs program—anyone willing to sign a waiver can jump into the lake’s icy waters. A small price to pay for bragging rights that last forever.
—Image Courtesy of Evergeeen Chamber of Commerce