Things To Do In Colorado
Colorado has a lot to offer. It’s warm, and sunny and has some of the best mountain views in all of North America. In this article, we’ll be looking at 21 things you can do while visiting Colorado that will make your trip into something special that you won’t forget anytime soon!
Royal Gorge Bridge
The Royal Gorge Bridge is a 1,053-foot steel bridge that spans the Arkansas River in southern Colorado. It was built by the Roebling Company between 1929 and 1932 and is still standing today. The bridge is part of U.S. Route 50, which runs from Utah to Maryland and passes through Colorado as it goes between Denver and Salt Lake City.
The famous landmark was designated as a National Historic Landmark on May 26th, 1987 by then-President Ronald Reagan because of its cultural significance to Americans who love their heritage. It’s also one of the top tourist attractions in Colorado with millions of visitors each year!
The Maroon Bells, located in the Elk Mountains of central Colorado, are twin peaks that stand above Maroon Lake. The mountains can be seen from the town of Aspen, 10 miles (16 km) away. The Maroon Bells were named by James Ohio Pattie in 1820 while on an expedition with his brother William during which they explored much of what is now western Colorado. It is an impressive sight: For many years these peaks have been considered one of the most photographed attractions in North America and are certainly a must-see for any visitor to Colorado or Aspen itself.
The easiest way to see the Maroon Bells is by hiking; many trails lead to various points where you can view them up close or from afar depending on how much time you’re willing to spend on foot getting there. You can also drive up closer from Aspen but parking will cost between $5-$10 per vehicle depending on weather conditions and other factors like popularity; worth it if not just for bragging rights about having made it all this way!
Vail, Colorado is a mountain resort town in Eagle County, Colorado, United States. The town borders the Blue River and State Highway 6. It is a popular destination for winter sports, with its many ski slopes and trails.
Vail was incorporated on February 28th, 1982, and has been, a successful tourist town since its inception. Today it attracts millions of visitors every year who come to enjoy their time on the mountainside or at one of its many resorts located around the area.
Garden of the Gods
The Garden of the Gods is a beautiful park that is great for pictures. There are trails so you can hike, or just walk around and take in the views. There’s also a visitor center and gift shop, as well as restaurants nearby if you need some food after your trip.
Another great thing about this park is that it’s open year-round!
Rocky Mountain National Park
Rocky Mountain National Park is a gorgeous and popular vacation destination, with over 300 miles of trails to explore. The park itself is located in the mountains near Estes Park and includes four distinct ecosystems: alpine tundra; forested valleys; subalpine prairies; and semi-arid foothills.
While it’s possible to drive through the park, it’s best explored on foot by hiking one of its many trails—this gives you more time to take in all that nature has to offer! The Bear Lake Trail offers one of the best views of Mount Meeker (the second-highest peak in the Rockies). Other popular hikes include Emerald Lake, Glacier Gorge, Hallett Peak Ridge Trail, Longs Peak Trailhead, and Lumpy Ridge Loop Trail.
Mesa Verde National Park
Mesa Verde National Park is one of the largest and most famous archaeological sites in the world, with over 600 known archaeological sites. It’s also home to some of the most extensive cliff dwellings ever found in North America.
Some of the best-known sites within Mesa Verde include Spruce Tree House and Cliff Palace (both located near each other), which were occupied by Ancestral Puebloans around A.D. 1150–1300. Petroglyphs and pictographs are also common throughout the park, adding to its cultural significance as an important site for understanding ancient history. In 1988, UNESCO designated Mesa Verde a World Heritage Site due to its significant role in American archaeology.
Aspen Mountain Gondola
The Aspen Mountain Gondola is a fun way to get to the top of Aspen Mountain. It’s open from 9 am-5 pm, with the last ride leaving at 4:45 pm (though it’s worth noting that the gondola does not operate in bad weather). The gondola itself costs nothing; however, there is a charge for parking on the mountain ($25 per vehicle during ski season).
The ride up takes only about five minutes, but it affords spectacular views of Aspen and nearby mountains that you won’t find anywhere else in town. At the top station, enjoy a meal or snack at Bumps Restaurant & Bar before walking down Main Street or heading back to your car at Maroon Bells Lot 3 (credit card required), which is conveniently located just across from City Market Place inside Maroon Creek Ice Arena.
Pikes Peak Cog Railway
The Pikes Peak Cog Railway is a trip back in time. The train climbs the mountain at a steady pace, providing riders with stunning views of the Rocky Mountains. The trip to the top won’t take more than an hour, but it will be enough time to see some amazing sights and have a chance to take pictures.
The train ride is an excellent way to see Colorado’s natural beauty from above and get up close to some scenic landscapes that you might not otherwise have access to. It’s also great for families because there are plenty of places where kids can get out and explore alongside their parents if they wish; just make sure they’re wearing good shoes!
Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park
This is a deep canyon, and the walls are high, so it’s easy to see how it got its name. If you’d like to walk the Rim Rock Trail down into the canyon, you’ll need to make reservations in advance. There are also several other hiking trails available for those willing to hike out of their comfort zone:
Great Sand Dunes National Park and Preserve
Great Sand Dunes National Park and Preserve is a place of enormous beauty, where the world’s tallest dunes rise against the Sangre de Cristo mountains. The dunes themselves are not only a stunning sight to behold, but also provide a great opportunity for outdoor adventure. The park offers hiking trails and camping in addition to sandboarding and snowshoeing on some of its vast desert expanses. The park is home to numerous animals as well which makes it especially fun for kids!
Glenwood Hot Springs Pool
Glenwood Hot Springs Pool is a natural hot spring that was built in the 1920s and is open year-round. It has a total capacity of 6400 gallons of water, which is heated by the heat from the geothermal rocks beneath it. The temperature of these waters can fluctuate between 104 degrees Fahrenheit (40 Celsius) and 107 degrees Fahrenheit (42 Celsius).
Four Corners Monument
Four Corners Monument is a place where the four states of Utah, Colorado, New Mexico, and Arizona meet. However, it’s not a square; instead, it is an irregular quadrangle with corners in each state. You’ll find no fences or signs indicating which state you’re standing in at that moment. The only way to know for sure is by looking at a map or GPS device (or asking someone who lives there).
Breckenridge Ski Resort
Breckenridge Ski Resort is a ski resort that’s open year-round, located just outside Breckenridge, Colorado. It has four mountains: Base Village Mountain, Peak 9 Mountain, Peak 8 Mountain, and Ten Mile Mountain.
With this many mountains to choose from, there are plenty of activities for everyone. Whether you’re looking for a relaxing day of skiing or something more adventurous like snowshoeing or tubing down Ten Mile Creek—Breckenridge Ski Resort has it all.
The Stanley Hotel, Estes Park
Estes Park is a small town in Colorado, only about 30 miles west of Denver. The Stanley Hotel is popular in Estes Park, and it’s also famous for being the inspiration behind Stephen King’s novel The Shining.
The hotel opened back in 1909 and has been open ever since. It was the first resort built along what would become known as Trail Ridge Road (Highway 34). Today it’s still one of the most popular destinations for visitors to this part of Colorado—it even has its zip code!
Denver Art Museum, Denver
The Denver Art Museum is a great place to experience art from around the world. It offers hundreds of exhibits and a variety of classes throughout the year, making it a welcome addition to any itinerary. The museum offers free admission on Thursdays, making it an affordable option for travelers looking to indulge in some culture on their trip. The museum also hosts traveling exhibitions that allow visitors to see exhibits they may not have had access to otherwise.
If you’re planning on visiting with children in tow, take note: there are several special programs available specifically for kids! The art museum runs summer camps and after-school programs year-round that let kids explore everything from textile arts to sculpture while learning new skills along the way. You can even join them as they learn about famous artists like Picasso or Van Gogh by creating your artistic masterpiece using materials found within the museum itself!
Denver Botanic Gardens, Denver
The Denver Botanic Gardens is a great place to visit with the family. Located in Denver, Colorado this botanical garden is over 100 acres of gardens and trails. The Japanese Garden was established in 1910 and was the first garden of its kind in North America. It has many interesting features including ponds, bridges, waterfalls, and cherry trees.
We hope you enjoyed our list of the best things to do in Colorado. If you’re looking for more inspiration, take a look at our state guides for California and Texas!