Estes Park has been in the tourist business for years and the town knows what it's doing. Joel Estes, the town's namesake, first started taking in guests in the 1860's and a few years later when Griff Evans subsequently bought the original homestead and expanded the living quarters he developed Estes Park's first official tourist lodging, advertising in as far away a place as Chicago. Years before Rocky Mountain National Park actually existed the world was interested in viewing the beautiful surrounding snow-capped mountains. Today more than three million visitors come to Rocky Mountain National Park each year and adjacent Estes Park is there to cater to their needs.
Have no fear if you've never engaged in outdoor activities such as hiking, rock climbing, fishing, rafting, horseback riding, or camping because any equipment, clothing or footwear you will need is sold in town at reasonable prices. As a first time tourist you are freed from having to figure out what to bring because everything you will need can be purchased once you are there. You will have your choice of outdoor gear stores. Your selection of stores includes a large outlet store, smaller mom and pop stores to specialty footwear shops.
Let's say you have no intention of doing anything more strenuous than climbing into your guided tour jeep to see the sights. After returning back to town what you want are stylish clothing and accessories stores, trendy boutiques and western wear stores. Once again, have no fear, there are plenty.
How about something to bring back to display in your home? There are furniture and home accessories stores as well as art and photo galleries.
Want to go souvenir shopping? There is everything from cheap trinkets to one of a kind, rare and expensive items. Next to the t-shirt, key chain, and souvenir mug stores are fine jewelry shops where the rings and bracelets are made by the store owners. Interested in handmade Native American items? Head to just one of the many stores that carry these items. How about fossilized dinosaur bones dating back thousands of years? Beeline to one of the three rock shops.
Just want the basics? There are chain and independent grocery stores and multiple gas stations.
There are so many different stores in town I'm sure I've forgotten something but the bottom line is this; if you show up literally with just the shirt on your back and some cash you will be fine.