62 PHENOMENAL THINGS TO DO IN COLORADO

Colorado has a rich cultural history and numerous natural destinations that make it the ideal place to spend a vacation or holiday any time of year.

With national parks, plenty of outdoor adventure, family friendly activities, small towns, big cities, historical sites, and more, you’ll never run out of things to do in Colorado!

Here are 62 things to do in Colorado that you and your crew don’t want to miss!

VISIT A NATIONAL PARK

38 PHENOMENAL THINGS TO DO IN COLORADO - ROCKY MOUNTAIN NATIONAL PARK
Elk are prevalent in the Rocky Mountain NPS

ROCKY MOUNTAIN NATIONAL PARK

Encompassing 265,807 acres of land, this national park is home to a range of mountains, rivers, and wildlife. Rocky Mountain NPS features 300 miles of hiking trails and homes to rare animals like elk, mountain goats, and marmots. To check its sixty mountain peaks, which are about 12,000 feet high, you’ll need to plan a week or more.

Read More: 17+ OF THE BEST FUN THINGS TO DO IN ESTES PARK

Book a Tour: Rocky Mountain Half-Day Explorer Trip OR Hidden Valley Sledding Tour with Park Pass

Planning a National Parks road trip? The America the Beautiful Pass covers entrance for an entire year to all the US National Parks and over 2,000 federal recreation fee sites. Fees are covered for everyone in the car for per-vehicle sites and for up to 4 adults for per-person sites. This is a no-brainer, friends. While fees vary, you’ll likely break-even after two visits. Plus, REI will donate 10% of pass sale proceeds to the NPS Foundation.

BLACK CANYON OF THE GUNNISON NATIONAL PARK

Black Canyon is home to one of Colorado’s steepest cliffs. Here, you get a chance to observe some of the oldest rocks and hiking trails. The park covers around 30,750 acres of wilderness and is home to the 48-mile long Gunnison River.

GREAT SAND DUNES NATIONAL PARK AND PRESERVE

Great Sand Dunes National Park preserves 750-foot-tall sand dunes and is present in the south-central region of Colorado. Visitors are allowed to explore and climb any part of the 30 miles of the park. However, summers are the season to do so, especially in the evening or mornings, because you can avoid high surface temperatures.

MESA VERDE NATIONAL PARK 

For around 700 years, people built communities in the cliffs of Mesa Verde, which is now a tourist attraction. This park has preserved 5,000 archeological sites. It’s a great place to visit if you want to explore the Ancestral Pueblo’s cultural artifacts and how they lived. Be sure to stop in the Visitor Center.

Read More: 21 AMAZING THINGS TO DO IN DURANGO CO YOU’LL LOVE

WALK WITH THE DINOSAURS

62 PHENOMENAL THINGS TO DO IN COLORADO
Dinosaur National Monument

DENVER MUSEUM OF NATURE & SCIENCE

The Denver Museum of Nature & Science is home to a plethora of scientific knowledge and natural history and is located in the Rocky Mountain region. Spread on 716,000 sq feet, the building houses one million objects related to library resources, anthropological materials, historic items, etc. The biggest tourist attractions are IMAX Theatres and year-round science exhibitions.

Dinosaur lovers should check out the Prehistoric Journey exhibit.

Read More: 43 BEST THINGS TO DO IN DENVER THAT YOU’LL LOVE

Discount Tickets: Denver CityPASS®: Save up to 40% on Top Attractions, including Denver Museum of Nature & Science

DINOSAUR RIDGE

The Dinosaur Ridge area is an indoor/outdoor museum located in Morrison, Colorado. It is one of the world’s most famous fossil extraction sites.

Some of the world’s most famous dinosaurs were discovered here, such as the Stegosaurus and Apatosaurus. Even now, new fossils continue to be found on the ridge. Pack up the kids and a lunch to enjoy some beautiful scenery and go digging for fossils.

DINOSAUR NATIONAL MONUMENT

You might think this is in Utah, and you’d be right. But it’s also in Colorado, where to states meet. What is it? A dinosaur graveyard… preserved in 1915 to protect Dinosaur Quarry.

Visible remains of the dinosaurs, such as fossil beds, prove that they once lived here. This recreational park has also preserved scenic canyons of the Yampa and Green rivers.

RIDE THE RAILROAD

62 PHENOMENAL THINGS TO DO IN COLORADO

DURANGO AND SILVERTON NARROW GAUGE RAILROAD

Enjoy vintage train rides any time of the year on the Durango and Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad. The railroad operates 45.2 miles of track from Durango to Silverton. You can enjoy breathtaking views on the 3-and-a-half-hour ride.

Read More: 11 FUN TRAIN RIDES IN COLORADO (+ 8 RAIL MUSEUMS)

VISIT THE SKI RESORTS IN WINTER

62 PHENOMENAL THINGS TO DO IN COLORADO
Courtesy of the Breck Snow Sculpture Competition

BRECKENRIDGE SNOW SCULPTURES

If you are organizing a winter trip, then Breckenridge’s International Snow Sculpture Championship should be on your bucket list. It’s a world-famous competition and teams travel from around the globe to participate. Sculptors use massive amounts of snow to create massive sculptures, similar to cliff dwellings and cliff palaces, except that they’re made from snow.

Read More: 20+ Epic Things to do in Breckenridge in Summer

Recommended Tour: Full-Day Breckenridge Mountain Explorer Tour

SKI ASPEN

Aspen gives amazing skiing options on its four mountains. You can choose any mountain based on your skiing abilities.

With spectacular views, amazing resort options, delicious dining, and world-class skiing conditions — you can’t go wrong with skiing in Aspen.

Read More: 18 BEST THINGS TO DO IN ASPEN FOR YEAR-ROUND FUN

KEYSTONE NIGHT SKIING

If you’ve never skied at night, it should be on your bucket list! When you ski at night, you’re able to avoid the crowds, ski for a cheaper price, and admire the stars in between runs. It’s really a win-win experience all around.

Keystone is one of the best places to ski at night in Colorado! Have dinner in the village and then head up the mountain for some fun under the stars!

Read More: KEYSTONE SKI RESORT: BEST AND WORST THINGS ABOUT SPRING SKIING

AVOID THE CROWDS AT BEAVER CREEK

Beaver Creek is the most underrated ski resort in Colorado in my opinion! It is located in Avon, Colorado, and is often overshadowed by its more popular neighbors, Vail, Copper, and Keystone. But Beaver Creek has just as great of trails, minus the crowds.

Beaver Creek has some of the best black and double black trails in North America, and their lifts can reach some of the most extreme backcountry terrain in the country. You can even grab fresh cookies in between lifts downtown!

Ready to hit the slopes, but don’t have the equipment? We’ve made snowboarding a lifestyle, but before we owned our equipment, Ski Butlers was our ski (and boarding) rental service of choice. These guys deliver to your hotel or condo – and pick up- for only a few dollars more than the jam-packed shops just down the road. And the equipment? Best in the business! Check out Ski Butlers on your next vacation!

OR EXPLORE IN THE SNOW AND OFF THE SLOPES

62 PHENOMENAL THINGS TO DO IN COLORADO

DOG SLEDDING

Dog sledding is one of the most popular winter activities in Colorado. You can feel the icy wind on your face as friendly, energetic dogs whisk you across the Snow Mountain Ranch in Grandy, Colorado (where it’s most popular).

It’s the best way to explore Breckenridge’s surroundings and get the most out of Colorado winters. Pricey? Yes. but worth it.

ICE CLIMBING IN OURAY

Colorado is also home to several man-made recreational parks, and Ouray Ice Park is one of them. It is an ice climbing venue and is at a walking distance from Ouray.

You can enjoy ice climbing from December to mid of March. Ouray Ice Park also organizes three to four-day festivals in winter to teach visitors about ice climbing.

ICE FISHING IN FRISCO

During the winters, catching fish in Frisco is the most entertaining activity. The upper layer of the lake turns into ice in the colder season. You need to drill a hole and you can catch as many fish as possible.

Winter fishing is a given, but these alpine lakes are still frozen in late spring…you’ll just drill your hole a little closer to shore.

BRING ON THE WARM WEATHER ADVENTURES

62 PHENOMENAL THINGS TO DO IN COLORADO
Vail Gondola

VAIL GONDOLA

You can hike, bike, or enjoy the Vail Gondola in summer months, or take it up for snowboarding in winter. Enjoy the views above 10,000 feet while sitting in the cable car. You can also find opportunities to go on a fantastic hike or bike-riding adventure while you’re visiting

Read More: 33 SENSATIONAL THINGS TO DO IN VAIL

TELLURIDE

As a world-class ski resort, Telluride offers a premier skiing opportunity. Visitors can also benefit from a massive golf course and impressive natural beauty. Outdoor activities and a variety of festivals offer tourists a memorable experience.

To get the most of every feature of the Telluride, visit in mid-June to August and mid-November to April. But be ready to find throngs of visitors, as many people across the world come to see cultural festivities.

MOUNTAIN BIKE FRUITA

Fruita is considered one of the best biking destinations in the United States. This is because of its combination of terrain that challenges even expert riders. You can take a ride on the 18 Road Trails to observe peaceful and beautiful views from the mountains.

EXPLORE THE LAKES IN GRAND JUNCTION

Grand Junction, Colorado is known for its plethora of epic scenery to explore, such as lakes and swimming holes. The nearby Grand Mesa National Forest has more than 300 lakes, including some of the most popular, Lost Lake and Cobbett Lake. It’s the perfect place to go boating, fishing, hiking, and camping.

Be sure to plan to spend at least a day here in the summertime to cool off over some incredible views!

Read More: 21 ABSOLUTE BEST THINGS TO DO IN GRAND JUNCTION

HORSEBACK RIDING AT A REAL DUDE RANCH

For feelings of the Wild West, opt for a great horseback riding experience at a dude ranch in Colorado. In addition to riding, some also offer fishing, hiking, zip-lining, and western dancing activities.

You can also check Eagle Ranch, Action Adventures Trail Rides, and Sage Outdoor Adventures for horseback riding without the overnight experience.

ROYAL GORGE BRIDGE

The Royal Gorge Bridge is the most adventurous, oldest, highest and famous suspension bridge in America. The bridge is 956 feet above the Arkansas River, and gives the brave amazing views of the 10-mile long gorge.

The Royal Gorge Bridge is one part of the 360 acres of park, which allows you to explore the land. Take the gondola, walk across the gorge, ride the zipline, and more.

Skip the lines: Royal Gorge Bridge and Park Entrance Ticket

THINGS TO DO IN COLORADO: SEVEN FALLS

Enjoy golden prairies and rock formations as you climb above the 224 steps in the Seven Falls. You can start your journey on high trails or sit and observe glistening streams. It looks like one waterfall, but is truly seven, since each “fall” moves into its own pool. Either way you cut it, it’s gorgeous.

After your hike, stop by the nearby Bristol Brewing Company for a well-earned drink.

Read More: 31 DELIGHTFUL THINGS TO DO IN COLORADO SPRINGS | Two Luxury Vacations in One: The Broadmoor Colorado Springs

WINTER PARK ALPINE SLIDE

Winter Park is one of the best locations for alpine fun in the summer! At the Winter Park Resort in the summertime, you’ll be able to experience downhill mountain biking at Trestle Bike Park, ride Colorado’s longest alpine slide, take a scenic gondola ride, try some puzzles on the rock climbing wall, and more.

Feel the wind blow through your hair and enjoy the beautiful scenery all around you as you make the 3,000-foot trip down the mountain!

CLIMBING A 14ER

A 14er is, quite simply, a mountain where the summit reaches 14,000 feet or more, and climbing one is no easy feat. There are 96 fourteeners in America, and Colorado has more than any other state: 53 to be exact.

You can hike most 14ers all year long, though the hike may be longer in the winter due to road closures. The best time to climb a 14er is in July and August each year, when the snow at the top of the mountains has melted.

Some of the easier 14ers to climb include Mount Evans and Mount Bierstadt. Some of the tougher ones are Capital Peak (class 4), Maroon Peak, and Mount Elbert (the tallest). The most scenic 14ers in Colorado include Grays/Torreys, Longs Peak, and Mount Sneffels.

BRECKENRIDGE TROLL

The Breckenridge Troll, Isak Heartstone, was created by Danish artist Thomas Dambo in 2018. It was built for the annual Breckenridge International Festival of Arts (BIFA) and quickly became an iconic site. It was created out of recycled materials to showcase that beautiful things can be created out of trash.

This 15-foot friendly wooden troll structure is located along the Illinois Gulch Trail. To visit the troll, park in the lot near Peak 9 and take a public shuttle to the trailhead. Parking is not allowed nearby.

Read More: 20+ EPIC THINGS TO DO IN BRECKENRIDGE IN SUMMER

10TH MOUNTAIN DIVISION HUT TRIP

If you’re looking to go on an epic backcountry adventure in either the summer or winter, but don’t particularly love sleeping outside, take a hut trip. When you take a hut trip, you get to enjoy an enclosed shelter after a full day of trekking, snowshoeing, or backcountry skiing.

Book a trip with 10th Mountain Division for your next epic adventure in Colorado!

RAFT THE ARKANSAS RIVER

The Arkansas River provides an exciting whitewater rafting experience. The rivers drop 5,000 feet near the Leadville after you cover 125 miles of the river. You need the expertise to control your raft in floats and class V whitewater.

Read More: SALIDA COLORADO: 26+ THINGS TO DO IN THIS BREATHTAKING MOUNTAIN TOWN

SOAK IN THE HOT SPRINGS

62 PHENOMENAL THINGS TO DO IN COLORADO
Glenwood Springs Hot Springs

GLENWOOD SPRINGS HOT SPRINGS

You can find the Glenwood Springs Hot Springs Resort within walking distance from downtown Glenwood Springs. Pass a pedestrian bridge and walk a few kilometers more to book your room at the resort.

Built in 1977, it offers a pool lobby, bathhouse, and retail shop floors. You might be surprised to know that the resort is geothermally heated on colder days by a gravity flow system. The astonishing part is that the system doesn’t require energy-consuming devices and pumps.

Read More: 17 BEST HOT SPRINGS IN COLORADO YOU MUST VISIT | 9+ SENSATIONAL THINGS TO DO IN GLENWOOD SPRINGS

STRAWBERRY PARK HOT SPRINGS

Natural hot springs nestled in the Colorado mountains? Yes please! The stone masonry pools keep the springs looking rustic and charming. Plan to visit for the day, or (if you’re lucky) stay in the lodge overnight.

Yes, you can hire a shuttle, but the most rewarding experience is hiking the (less than) 3 miles into the springs.

Read More: HIKING TO STRAWBERRY PARK HOT SPRINGS IN STEAMBOAT SPRINGS, COLORADO

VALLEY VIEW HOT SPRINGS

Valley View Hot Springs is one of the most natural of the hot springs that you’ll find in Colorado. This mountainside paradise is located in Moffat, Colorado near Great Sand Dunes National Park. It features six clothing-optional hot spring pools, a hot tub, and swimming pool located deep in the mountains.

It’s a very remote location with campsites, making it the perfect spot to relax, unwind, and admire the stars for an evening.

OVERNIGHT IN ONE OF COLORADO’S SMALL TOWNS

62 PHENOMENAL THINGS TO DO IN COLORADO
Silverton in winter

VISIT THE BEST SMALL TOWNS

When you are visiting Colorado, not only do you need to go to the tourist destinations, but you also check out some beautiful small towns. Salida, Silverton, Pagosa Springs, Steamboat Springs, Carbondale, and others are popular for their welcoming residents, amazing food, and exciting festivities.

Read More: 9 OF THE VERY BEST THINGS TO DO IN BUENA VISTA CO

ESTES PARK AERIAL TRAMWAY

The Estes Park Aerial Tramway is a tram that takes you to the summit of Prospect Mountain. This is a European-style cable car that operates from May to early September. When you reach the top, you’ll find a coffee shop, restroom, and gift shop.

For wildlife lovers, you can encounter some of the local animals along a few trails. This place is present at an elevation of 9,000 feet, so make sure to stay warm.

Read More: 17+ OF THE BEST FUN THINGS TO DO IN ESTES PARK

FOUR CORNERS

The Four Corners region of Colorado, Utah, New Mexico, and Arizona is a great spot to visit for those looking to cross standing in four states at once off of their bucket list, as well as drive some scenic mountain roads, learn more about the history of the area, and see some unique scenery.

As you drive to the Four Corners area, I recommend taking the San Juan Skyway through the San Juan mountains to learn more about Colorado’s mining boom, and take in some of the most beautiful views your eyes will ever see.

Around the Four Corners area, you’ll find the largest concentration of National Parks in America. Take a road trip to visit Monument Valley, Mesa Verde National Park, Canyonlands National Park, and the Grand Canyon.

TAKE IN THE NATURAL BEAUTY OF COLORFUL COLORADO

62 PHENOMENAL THINGS TO DO IN COLORADO
Colorado National Monument

COLORADO NATIONAL MONUMENT

You’ll find the Colorado National Monument near the city of Grand Junction. This is a part of desert land with sheer-walled canyons cut into granite and sandstone, forming gneiss. Spring is the most appropriate season of the year to visit, because you don’t have to worry about the scorching sun or freezing nights.

GARDEN OF THE GODS

Spread across the 1,376 acres of land- the best way to explore Garden of the Gods in Colorado Springs is via a hike. There are 15 miles of trails, allowing you to get a good view of the entire place. You can hike on paved walkways or directly on rocky hills.

The place is popular to look at beautiful rock formations. In fact, several ancient tribes lived in this area.

Read More: 31 DELIGHTFUL THINGS TO DO IN COLORADO SPRINGS

Recommended Tour: Foothills & Garden of the Gods: Jeep Tour

MAROON BELLS SNOWMASS WILDERNESS

The Maroon Bells is one of the five landscapes in Colorado that was designated as wilderness in the 1964 Wilderness Act. It covers river and forest, which total about 181,535 acres of land. More than 320,000 people visit the area every year during summer.

The name comes from the two mountain peaks offering a colorful show in spring.

HANGING LAKE

You can find this 7-miles long lake near the east of Glenwood Springs. Hanging Lake was made when the geological fault moved the lake bed down the valley. Water flows through Bridal Veils Falls in the hanging lake, which makes it more appealing.

Hike the 3.1-mile out-and-back trail to get to this amazing place. A permit is required, and pets are not allowed on the trail.

Read More: 9+ SENSATIONAL THINGS TO DO IN GLENWOOD SPRINGS

THE FLATIRONS

The Flatirons are the slanted, reddish-brown sandstone structures present at in Boulder. They have 50 to 60 degree slopes, which make them perfect for hiking. The slab-like peaks of the Flatirons are an epic hike for outdoor-lovers.

Read More: 24 OUTSTANDING THINGS TO DO IN BOULDER, COLORADO

GRAND LAKE

Adjacent to Arapaho National Recreation Area, Grand Lake is a town that has been dubbed the ‘Snowmobile Capital of Colorado’ due to its access to Colorado’s largest network of groomed snowmobile trails. This town is also named for the lake, the largest body of natural water in the state. It’s also home of the highest altitude golf course with grass greens.

WILDFLOWER HIKES

Colorado is known for having an abundance of wildflowers from about mid-June to late July each year. Seeing the blooming flowers against rugged mountain peaks is truly a photographer’s dream come true. If you’re looking to seek out wildflowers, your best bet is to head to Crested Butte, the Wildflower Capital of Colorado.

Drive the Rustler Gulch Trail from Aspen to Crested Butte for the best wildflower scenery in the state. If you’re not in the area, don’t worry, there are plenty more places to spot wildflowers near you!

In Rocky Mountain National Park, check out the Wild Basin. If you’re near Boulder or Denver, spend the day hiking to Devil’s Thumb Lake. And for those in the Southwest corner of the state, drive the Alpine Loop in the San Juan Mountains for wildflower viewing and epic scenery all around you. You can even camp along this route for free after your drive, which I highly recommend!

ALPINE LAKES

BLUE LAKES

I’ve completed some of the most beautiful hikes in the world, and the Blue Lakes Trail in the San Juan Mountains of Telluride, Colorado is one that stands out as one of the best.

The Blue Lakes are part of the Mount Sneffels hike. If you don’t quite feel like doing a 14er that day, don’t worry, there are a couple of checkpoints along the way that are just as beautiful: Lower Blue Lake, and Upper Blue Lake. Pack some food, bring the pup, and be ready for some amazing views!

ISLAND LAKE

The hike to Island Lake near Durango, Colorado is one that should definitely be on your bucket list! It’s well known for boasting some of the most stunning views in the state of Colorado, which is a statement that should not be taken lightly.

At 7.7 miles and climbing nearly 2,700 feet in elevation, this hike is considered a pretty challenging route that takes about 5 hours to accomplish. There is a decent amount of climbing required to reach the summit. Aside from the small island in the middle of the turquoise blue lakes that you’ll find at the summit, you’ll also get to see waterfalls, creeks, and blooming flowers along the way.

PAINT MINES INTERPRETIVE PARK

If you’re a history buff or just looking for a unique site to see in Colorado, head on over to Paint Mines Interpretive Park!

In this park you’ll not only find cool geographical features, such as hoodoos, spires and brightly colored rocks, but you’ll also learn a lot about early human life. The colorful clay that you’ll see around you when you visit the Paint Mines were collected by American Indians in the early days to be used to make paint.

Paint Mines Interpretive Park is located less than an hour from Colorado Springs and about an hour and 45 minutes east of Denver. You’ll want to spend about 2-3 hours exploring this area, so block off an afternoon here during your visit to one of those two bustling Colorado cities!

HIKE AMERICAN LAKE IN FALL

The American Lake Trail near Aspen is one of my all-time favorite hikes! This 6.8 mile out-and-back trail is rated as moderately difficult and takes roughly 4 hours to complete.

The scenery is absolutely stunning, especially when wildflowers are in full bloom. It features a little bit of everything in its 2000-foot ascent to the lake, such as towering aspen woods, rugged peak views, and blooming flowers all around you. I highly recommend adding this hike to your bucket list next time you’re in Aspen!

 GET TO KNOW COLORADO’S HISTORY

62 PHENOMENAL THINGS TO DO IN COLORADO

GHOST TOWNS

There are several ghost towns in Colorado that offer a glimpse of history. This includes Independence, Capitol City, Carson, Teller City, Ashcroft, and Animas Forks.

There are plenty of fascinating ghost towns all over the state. Some of them are abandoned due to economic struggles or mining, while others are abandoned due to natural forces, like unbearable winters. One of the most popular and must-visit ghost towns in Colorado is Dearfield.

MANITOU CLIFF DWELLINGS

The Manitou Cliff Dwellings are a rare historical treasure and home of over 800-year-old Anasazi cliff dwellings. This fascinating architecture by the Ancient Puebloan stays open for tourists all year-round. If you want to explore the place entirely, you will need more than 2 and half hours.

Ream More: 31 DELIGHTFUL THINGS TO DO IN COLORADO SPRINGS

PIKES PEAK COG RAILWAY

You might have heard of Pikes Peak, as it is one of the 54 fourteeners around 14,000 feet above sea level. This is a designated National Historic Landmark made from pink granite. Not only can you hike up the mountains, but you can drive up the mountains as well.

For a memorable experience, take the Cog Railway. The 3.5-hour journey offers views you won’t see any other way.

RED ROCKS AMPHITHEATRE

Everyone coming to the state has to experience the Red Rocks Amphitheatre, an open-air amphitheater developed in rock before 1941. The Beatles, Stevie Nicks, Willie Nelson, and Louis Armstrong are world-class musicians who performed between the red rocks.

Behind the Scenes: Red Rocks Amphitheater and Mount Evans Tour

THE STANLEY HOTEL

A fan of The Shining? This is where to filming magic happened! Take tour, or stay the night in one of the 88 guest rooms that source their energy from the Fall River hydroelectric plant. You can find the hotel near Trail Ridge Road in the Rocky Mountain National Park.

Read More: 21 AMAZING COLORADO RESORTS FOR EVERY TYPE OF TRAVELER

EXPLORE THE BEST STATE PARKS

62 PHENOMENAL THINGS TO DO IN COLORADO
Lory State Park

LORY STATE PARK

With 26 miles of trails, Lory State Park is the best to enjoy both long and short hikes. Mountainous hillsides and rolling valleys are great to enjoy a horseback ride, mountain bike ride, and trail run experiences.

Read More: 15 AMAZING THINGS TO DO IN FORT COLLINS, COLORADO

MUELLER STATE PARK

Mueller State Park covers 5,112 acres of land. There are several outdoor activities available, such as hiking, hunting, camping, and horseback riding. Not to mention, there are 55 miles of trails, wildlife, and conifer forests, so spectators can take in the beautiful views.

STATE FOREST STATE PARK

State Forest State Park is Colorado’s largest state park. It is located just west of Rocky Mountain National Park just north of Grand Lake.

This 71,000-acre park showcases the Medicine Bow Range and is full of rugged peaks to climb, alpine lakes to swim in, and tons of opportunities to spot wildlife, like moose. The scenery is just as beautiful as nearby RMNP but has less crowds, so I highly recommend making a stop here during your next adventure to Colorado!

DRIVE ALONG THE BYWAYS

62 PHENOMENAL THINGS TO DO IN COLORADO
San Juan Skyway Scenic Byway

SAN JUAN SKYWAY SCENIC BYWAY AND THE MILLION DOLLAR HIGHWAY

The byway between Ouray and Silverton is known as The Million Dollar Highway. This name was given to the highway because it cost millions of dollars to build it in the 1880s.

One of the most popular points of the Byway is South of Ouray, which offers sharp cliffs and rugged peaks. It’s a beautiful scenic drive as your moving from one item on your bucket list to another.

MOUNT EVANS

Mount Evans is one of the two 14ers in Colorado where you can drive to the summit instead of hike to it. The Mount Evans Scenic Byway is a 28-mile-long highway that leads you to the summit of Mount Evans in Idaho Springs, climbing 7,000 feet to reach the summit at 14,130 feet.

I’ve driven to the summit and hiked to it, and would say that driving it is just as beautiful but a lot less work. It’s about two hours from Denver, so I highly recommend making a day trip out to Idaho Springs to drive the Mount Evans Scenic Byway and visit St. Mary’s Glacier!

PEAK TO PEAK

If you only have time to take one scenic drive during your time near Rocky Mountain National Park, drive the Peak to Peak Highway.

This highway stretches 55 miles across the Front Range. It begins in Estes Park and passes some iconic sites such as Lily Mountain, Twins Sisters, Chapel On The Rock, and the city of Blackhawk. It takes approximately 3 hours to complete.

The best time to drive the Peak to Peak Highway is in the fall when the leaves are all turning yellow.

BITES AND BEVERAGES

62 PHENOMENAL THINGS TO DO IN COLORADO
Courtesy of Stranahan’s Whiskey Distillery

THE AIRPLANE RESTAURANT

The Airplane Restaurant is exactly as the name suggests: a restaurant where visitors can dine inside an aircraft, a Boeing KC-97. The restaurant is located in Colorado Springs and serves classic American cuisine. Stop by for a burger and unique dining experience when visiting the Springs!

CASA BONITA (EVENTUALLY)

If you love Mexican food and a good time, be sure to visit Casa Bonita! This delicious restaurant was first made famous by the creators of South Park, and quickly became a local favorite due to it being such a unique experience.

Grab a bite to eat, enjoy a puppet show, and then watch as someone takes a plunge below a 30-foot waterfall.

LINGER

Linger is a popular Denver restaurant that brings the term “lively” to a whole new level. This restaurant is housed in a former mortuary in my favorite neighborhood, LoHi. This neighborhood is known for its artsy culture and plethora of unique bars and restaurants.

Make a day of it and visit the Denver Art Museum and the sculpture garden at Sculpture Park, before heading to Linger for a perfect Denver day.

THE BROWN PALACE HOTEL

The Brown Palace Hotel is a luxury hotel and spa located in Denver that has six restaurants and bars and a spa. It is known for its proper high teas, holiday lights displays, and luxury amenities.

Be sure to plan a visit during your stay in Denver for a delicious drink and history lesson.

BUCKHORN EXCHANGE

The Buckhorn Exchange is one of Denver’s first steakhouses, located in one of its oldest neighborhoods. Stop by for a unique gamey meal and to try some famous Rocky Mountain oysters!

MEADOW LARK FARM DINNER

Attending dinner at Meadow Lark Farm Dinner in Boulder is an item that should be on your bucket list! This restaurant was created to honor local farmers. Here, you can not only enjoy a fresh farm to table meal, but you also get to meet the farmers and walk through their fields.

STRANAHAN’S WHISKEY TOUR

If you love drinking whiskey, or just want to learn more about it, be sure to visit Stranahan’s Whiskey Distillery during your visit to Denver. Take a tour of the distillery to learn more about how Colorado’s single malt American whiskey is made and enjoy tastings throughout.

If you’re just looking to drink the whiskey, head over to the cocktail lounge!

MORE INFORMATION FOR YOUR TRIP TO COLORADO

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