It’s summertime. A time when most people travel to new and interesting places around the world. Colorado is a perfect destination. It features plenty of things to do, places to visit. Whether you’re an exercise fanatic or out looking for a good time, there’s nothing the Mile High state doesn’t offer.
For those booking a vacation out west in the near future, here are 10 places you must see.
Rocky Mountain National Park/Grand Lake/Trail Ridge Road: If you’re going to Colorado, you absolutely MUST visit Rocky Mountain National Park. There are many places to hike inside the park, ranging from the easy scenic Lily Lake area to the more difficult Bear Lake.
For those looking for nice scenery, Grand Lake is a great place. Located in the western half of Rocky Mountain National Park, this small town has a lake where visitors can swim, paddle board, boat or sail during the summers. During the winters, it’s a quiet town close to the different trails. That means ample opportunities for snowshoeing, skiing and much more. There’s also a boardwalk downtown, filled with a number of restaurants and shops to keep you busy for hours.
Trail Ridge Road is a nice drive to take as well, offering plenty of amazing scenery along the way. If you haven’t done this yet what are you waiting on? An engraved invitation? It’s so beautiful everyone needs to experience it at least once in their lifetime.
Garden of the Gods: Another must-see attraction in the state of Colorado. This beautiful park is located in Colorado Springs and can either be hiked or driven. Most people choose to walk the trail, as there’s a better chance of encountering different forms of nature. For those unable to walk for extended periods of time, there’s a variety of places to pull off and get out along the roadway.
Pikes Peak: Known as America’s Mountain, there are ways for everyone to experience Pikes Peak. Whether it be by car via Pikes Peak Highway, railway or hiking/bicycling up the 13 mile trail, there’s no doubt you’ll come away amazed.
Red Rocks Park: Looking for entertainment with a chance to exercise before or after the show? Red Rocks Park is exactly what you’re searching for. You can easily make a half day of this beautiful, expansive trail–hiking or bicycling at your own leisure. The day can then be wrapped up by enjoying comedy, concerts and the like at the Red Rocks Amphitheatre located on site. Really, what could be better than that?
Four Corners: A region of the western United States, Four Corners connects different areas of Colorado, New Mexico, Arizona and Utah together. The place where all four states meet is marked by the Four Corners Monument. If you stand by the monument, you’ve visited all of the above mentioned states in one trip. For those interested in seeing other historical buildings, there’s Mesa Verde National Park close by.
Steamboat Springs: Located in northwestern Colorado, Steamboat Springs offers a cowboy flair to a renowned ski town. For those growing up in the south, the rodeos and horseback riding opportunities gave visitors reminders of home. If that isn’t enough, there are also nightly concerts, a few state parks to visit and places to go fly fishing and tubing. During the winter, there’s skiing and more skiing. If you’re lucky, you might run into the many Winter Olympians that train in this area. How cool would that be?
Independence Pass: One of the highest passes in the Rockies, Independence Pass is a popular tourist destination when open. Due to the high elevation (over 12,000 feet), that’s usually only during warmer weather. Located on the Continental Divide between Aspen and Twin Lakes, it features a nearby scenic overlook, allowing visitors excellent views. Keep in mind, however, that heavy snowfall closing the pass makes the mountainous town of Aspen nearly impossible to get to.
Cheyenne Mountain Zoo: The only mountain zoo in the United States, Cheyenne Mountain Zoo is located in the Pikes Peak region of Colorado Springs. It features over 700 animals, some of which are endangered species. While not for everyone, I’d definitely recommend this for animal lovers and young children. It’s also a great place to hold weddings and receptions if that’s your thing.
Sand Dunes National Monument: Renamed Sand Dunes National Park, this is one way of easily experiencing the dune making process. The wind, prevalent in this area, has the ability to pick up rocks and sand, depositing them elsewhere. Hikers must be aware, so as not to get hit by the moving rocks and particles of sand. A rare desert area in Colorado, snow doesn’t stick around here for long. In that sense, it reminds visitors of the hot and dry climate of neighboring Arizona.
Denver: The main hub for the state of Colorado and one of its largest cities, Denver is home to four major sports teams. Those are the NFL’s Denver Broncos, NHL’s Colorado Avalanche, NBA’s Denver Nuggets and MLB’s Colorado Rockies. It’s also home to the National Lacrosse League’s Colorado Mammoth. Grand Central Station is an old looking train station located downtown, steps away from Coors Field. It’s also mere blocks from the Pepsi Center. If you get on a light rail, that will take you to the west side of Interstate 70 and Sports Authority Field at Mile High. There you will find the 2015 Super Bowl champions.
So there you have it, the top 10 places to visit in Colorado. In saying that, this is not by any means a complete list. If I missed something you love, please feel free to leave a comment below.