If you are traveling to the State of Colorado for the first time and don’t want to spend hours trying to find the most fun things to do, here are five quintessential things you can focus on that are hard to duplicate in any other single state. Many of these activities don’t involve long lines or lots of people, and they don’t have to cost a lot.
Visit a Brewpub
Move over Milwaukee and St. Louis, we’re talking small breweries located throughout the state of Colorado. You could make brewpubs your reason for visiting and traverse the entire state in search of the perfect brew or try to attend the October brew festival in Denver that sells out very quickly every year. This is a great, thirst-quenching way to see Colorado. Just don’t spend all your time indoors.
See Dinosaur Footprints or Bones
Many of the dinosaur skeletons you see at museums throughout the world originated in Colorado. Whether you go to the Museum of Nature and Science in Denver or the Dinosaur National Monument in the northwest corner of the state or check out the 1300 footprints at Picketwire Canyonlands south of La Junta, you can design your visit based just on dinosaurs. There are also footprints just west of Denver along Dinosaur Ridge. This is an experience few other states can claim.
Spend Time in the Mountains
Seek out an outdoor festival of music, local art and a chili cook-off, 4-wheel drive over Engineer Pass for spectacular vistas of mountains and wildflowers, hike to a waterfalls, take a hot air balloon ride, fish, kayak or raft, mountain bike down a mountain used for skiing in the winter, ski, climb a Fourteener or a Sand Dune. There is no better way to soak in the summer sun and appreciate the deep blue sky and white, puffy clouds then to spend a day in the mountains. Don’t ruin things by forgetting your sunblock, sunglasses, a rain shell and plenty of water. Even a drive up Pikes Peak or up to Mount Evans is a great way to spend the day and see some wildlife without using up all your oxygen.
Do Something Western
Visit a ghost town, mine for gold, take a trip on the Durango and Silverton steam train, go to a dude ranch, visit Anasazi pueblos carved in cliffs, see bison near Denver, have some authentic Mexican food, fresh chips and hot, spicy salsa, visit the Pawnee Buttes with high-top footwear to ward off rattlesnakes, go to a rodeo and enjoy the mutton busting, see the Red Rocks Amphitheater or the red rocks at Garden of the Gods in Colorado Springs. Just don’t try to do all these things in one day. Colorado is the eighth largest state and the mountains mean you don’t travel straight as the crow flies.
Soak in a Hot Springs
So, you wore yourself out and you need a massage. There is nothing better than a soak in a hot springs, many of which have accompanying spas. The best experience is an outdoor one with the winter snow falling in your face or a summer breeze cooling the evening with a sky full of sparkling starlight. You’ve earned yourself a nice hot soak and afterwards, you’ll sleep like a baby and be ready to start all over again tomorrow.