Colorado is where to go when you want to experience life in the extreme. Whether your idea of vacationing is shredding the half pipe at one of the states premier winter resorts, discovering lost cultures or following the tracks of an allosaurus across the grasslands, Colorado has a spot for that.
Top Ten places to visit in Colorado
Garden of the Gods ParkMesa Verde National ParkDurango and Silverton Narrow Gauge RailroadRocky Mountain National ParkPikes PeakOld Colorado CityWestern Museum of Mining and IndustryRed RockManitou Cliff DwellingsDurango & Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad.Red Rocks Park and Amphitheatre
There is no such thing as a down season in Colorado. As the locals say “The perfect time to get outdoors in Colorado is all the time.” The mile high state is a high desert, and typically sees little moisture as a result. A little known secret is that Colorado has more sunny days per year than Florida.
Ski season runs from late October to late April. The list is endless of amazing mountains you can experience. Aspen, Telluride and Steamboat are legendary for there panoramic views and powdery conditions. Breckenridge and Copper Mountains are great beginner mountains. Wide trails and gentle slopes, coupled with renowned ski schools make a perfect start for any novice. If you are looking to challenge yourself, Crested Butte and Silverton are where you need to head. Steep runs and an opportunity to heli ski, set these experiences apart from the rest.
Many think après ski is just as important as the activity itself. Small towns surround almost all of the resorts. While they look home townish, don’t be fooled. Some of the wealthiest world travelers winter in Colorado. These towns cater to the rich and famous as well as hard core competitors and loving life ski bums. There is no shortage of five star restaurants. The Steakhouse No.316 in Aspen, the Hearthstone in Breckenridge, and Allred’s in Telluride are perfect for a romantic night out. The art galleries and unique kitschy boutiques that fill the old fashioned store fronts, pedal everything from haute couture to locally inspired art.
No matter what part of the state you visit, you are within an easy drive of a rafting adventure. There are thrilling whitewater trips for adrenaline junkies on the Upper Animas. If it’s a mellow paddle you’re after, check out the Arkansas River, perfect for beginner and intermediate rafters.
Cyclists the world over travel to Colorado for its amazing biking routes. The physical challenge of the lofty altitude combined with amazing alpine views make for a road-bikers’ dream destination. The Colorado Trail is diverse enough to interest both beginner and hard core cyclists. Families with young children can bike from the Denver trailhead at Waterton Canyon, where 6 miles of gentle gravel road fun along the serene creek that is closed to automobiles. There are plenty of road and mountain bike outfitters to kit you out for whatever adventure you are looking to experience.
Alpine climbing in Rocky Mountain National Park and the Indian Peaks Wilderness, short sport pitches of Rifle, granite bouldering in Skyland, short work-out sport routes at Golden Cliffs and Garden of the Gods, and driving access to the off-widths of Vedauwoo, any climber can find bliss in the mountain state.
Colorado’s dude ranches offer vacation experiences that range from upscale, romantic resort-like properties to rustic, working ranches where guests can take part in everyday chores like herding cattle or gathering fresh eggs. While Colorado’s more than 30 dude ranches are all very different, you can count on them all being incredibly family friendly and having activity-rich schedules for everyone in your party.
A resent favorite outdoor endeavor is ziplining. Riders are whisked over the high desert and mountain terrain, where they enjoy wildlife sightings, mountain and river views, dramatic cliffs and the beauty Colorado’s dramatic landscape.
You may want to wind down after all these adrenaline pumping adventures and Colorado had a spot for that too. Some of Colorado’s most iconic natural beauty lays in it’s national parks, and in its many national monuments, national forests and state parks. Visit crystal-clear lakes and gushing waterfalls in Rocky Mountain National Park. Photogragh red rock formations that rip unexpectedly out of the greenery of Roxborough State Park. Experience the purple mountains majesty of Pikes Peak in Pike National Forest. Scale the highest sand dunes in North America at Great Sand Dunes National Park and Preserve. Visit the brilliantly colored spires on the Colorado National Monument canyon floor. Ride the Durango & Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad This historic train has been in continuous operation for 130 years, carrying passengers behind vintage steam locomotives and rolling stock indigenous to the line.
From family attractions, national parks and outdoor adventure to cosmopolitan cities and welcoming towns, these Colorado vacation ideas will fill your trip itinerary to overflow.