Colorado is known for its amazing scenery and views and an ideal vacation destination year-round, especially for outdoor enthusiasts. During the summer months, there is amazing hiking, camping, white water rafting, fishing and many other outdoor activities to enjoy. In the winter, the mountains provide amazing winter activities from snow skiing to snowboarding and everything in between. The cities in Colorado do not disappoint and provide fabulous destinations from the cultural hub of Denver to the quaint mountain towns like Telluride. You can’t go wrong if your next vacation destination is Colorado. Let’s explore and see what Colorado has to offer.
The Rocky Mountain National Park, located in Northern Colorado, is the third most visited national park in the United States and a popular destination for its breathtaking views. Many visitors note that scenery is the reason they visited the park. You can take a scenic drive on several trail rides including Trail Ridge. This drive takes you to the alpine tundra and reaches heights of over 12,000 feet. Bear Lake Road is another popular drive that includes high mountain lakes, rivers, and glacial moraines.
It has over 300 miles of diverse hiking trails that wind through the amazing evergreen forest or easy hikes around mountain lakes, this park offers options for hikers of every skill level. There are five different hiking regions within the park that offer something for everyone. The west and the north sides are known for its big meadows and wildlife views. The Alpine area covers the alpine tundra. Check out the Bear Lake area for its spectacular views and access to lakes. Finally, Longs Peak and Wild Basin are great backcountry hikes with amazing waterfalls. Whether it is a day trip or a multi-day backpacking excursion there is something for everyone.
If adventure is what you seek, the park offers white water river rafting down the Colorado River, horseback riding, fishing adventures, four wheeling, hunting, and many more outdoor activities for the whole family to enjoy. The array of family-friendly activities including Jr. Ranger programs will have your kids begging to come back year after year.
When many people talk about where to go for top-notch skiing, Colorado is generally at the top of the list. Known for its snow-covered Rocky Mountains there are several ski destinations that are highly regarded as some of the best. Consider these as a destination if skiing is what you are after, Vail, Telluride, and Breckenridge are a few of the top spots.
Vail is the largest ski area in the state and home to the third-largest ski mountain in North America. The skiing is some of the best with a variety of terrains for all types of skiers and snowboarders. The town itself is modeled after Bavaria in Germany and offers world-class dining and shopping. If skiing is not your thing there are several attractions including snowmobile tours, sleigh rides, ice skating, and more to enjoy.
Located in Western Colorado, Telluride is known for its epic terrain and top tier skiing. The layout of the mountain makes it easy to get around compared to other resort towns. The driving distance from Denver keeps the crowds down. Rich in wild west history this location gives off a more down to earth vibe. It is also home to famous festivals such as the Telluride Film Festival and the Telluride Bluegrass Festival.
Breckenridge is the most popular resort in Colorado and was voted one of the best ski towns in the US. This town offers skiing but it also offers year-round alpine activities to make this a top stop any time of year. The town offers many different options and attracts outdoor junkies for its extensive hiking trails, fly-fishing, and white water rafting. If dining and shopping are your things, you won’t be disappointed in Breckenridge. The culinary scene in Breckenridge has exploded in recent years with dining that brings things to the next level. The Main Street area offers over 200 shops including chic boutiques with trendy fashion, jewelry, antiques, housewares and more.
While the skiing is superb in Colorado, there are many other spots that are just as worthy of a visit. Located in southwest Colorado is the Mesa Verde National Park. This park provides a spectacular look at ancient Puebloan cliff dwellings and protects over 600 dwellings including Cliff Palace. These pueblos that were built in 1200 AD along the cliffs provide an impressive look into the history of Paleo-Indians.
Denver is the largest metropolitan area in Colorado and also known as the Mile High City. The amazing weather and over 300 days of sunshine each year will not disappoint. While it is not located in the mountains, it offers breathtaking views of over 200 peaks including many over 13,000 feet high. The downtown area in Denver is one of the most walkable areas in the US. It is home to three major sports stadiums, a plethora of art and history museums, an aquarium, a water park, and a river with white water rafting available. There is also a mint that produces billions of coins each year. All within walking distance of each other.
Denver is home to over 200 parks and over 20,000 acres of parkland including the Red Rock Amphitheatre. It is an open-air amphitheater located 15 miles outside of Denver and is sure to impress on your visit to the Mile High City. It is an iconic highly sought after venue with picturesque views and amazing acoustics provided by the rock formations. It is a notable landmark in Colorado and often is a filming location for music videos and films.
Colorado is often referred to as an outdoor lovers paradise and it doesn’t disappoint when it comes to adventures offered with its skiing, winter activities, hiking, fishing, white water rafting, mountain climbing, and more. However, when planning your vacation there it is also home to many metropolitan areas and cultural experiences that shouldn’t be missed. Make sure your travel itinerary has something for everyone on it.