Millions of tourists visit Colorado every year in search of its picturesque terrain and awe-inspiring natural beauty.
It could be challenging to pick the ideal location for your upcoming vacation because Colorado is home to many cities and villages, each with distinctive outdoor attractions, cultural attractions, and general appeal.
The range of attractions, as well as the recommendations of experts and tourists, were all taken into consideration by U.S. News when deciding where in Colorado to go on vacation.
The top places to visit in Colorado are abundant in natural beauty, historical and cultural sites and attractions for all ages.
Despite its diminutive size, Telluride is bursting with outdoor excitement and adventure. Telluride is well known for its renowned ski slopes, with more than 2,000 skiable acres and appropriate terrain for all skill levels. In the meantime, during the warmer months, festival-goers visit the town’s abundance of food-, music-, and film-focused events as hikers and cyclists swarm the paths and paragliders soar through the air. For some of Telluride’s greatest vistas, use the San Juan Skyway or the gondola to travel to Mountain Village.
Rocky Mountain National Park
Discover why Rocky Mountain National Park is one of the most popular national parks in the nation by visiting it. Visit the Beaver Meadows Visitor Center first to learn more about the park and determine which path to climb. Alternatively, wear skis or snowshoes in the winter instead of hiking boots. If you’d prefer to go comfortably in your car, take the beautiful Trail Ridge Road and revel in your sense of accomplishment. The route rises more than 12,000 feet in elevation at its highest point.
The cultural center of Colorado is located in its most populous city. Denver offers the best of both worlds, even though you can enjoy outdoor adventures almost anywhere in Colorado. The city is home to numerous world-class museums, exciting sports arenas, premier retail areas, and a thriving brewery sector. You may easily visit the Rockies outside the municipal boundaries and the picturesque Mount Evans Scenic Byway.
Aspen is the place to go during ski season if you want to indulge. This little village is ideally situated between four well-known ski resorts that provide excellent slopes for skiers of all abilities. In addition, the town has the very best luxury resorts, a developing culinary culture (the Food and Wine Classic in Aspen is hosted here every summer), and an enticing après-ski scene that makes it difficult to leave.
Breckenridge has a unique look thanks to the town’s past as a mining center. In addition, Breckenridge is a legendary ski destination thanks to the Rocky Mountains that serve as the town’s background, the region’s hundreds of acres of skiable terrain, and the area’s lengthy ski season. Breck, as the locals refer to it, is spectacular after the snow melts because of the lush flora that covers the trails. Additionally, the beer scene is a draw in and of itself.
Celebrities and fans of winter sports flock to this well-known ski resort. Vail is well-known for its excellent skiing and snowboarding, with thousands of acres of snowy terrain dispersed across one of the biggest single-mountain resorts in the nation. The town is more than just its slopes, though. Vail’s Epic Discovery area enables guests to partake in additional outdoor activities like zip lining, and mountain coaster rides as soon as the snow melts and the temperature rises. In addition, the Betty Ford Alpine Gardens and the boutiques in the heart of Vail are great places to go if you’re searching for less exhilarating activities.
Colorado Springs differs from its mountainous neighbors because it is not a ski resort. Incredibly beautiful hiking places like Pikes Peak, the peak that inspired Katharine Lee Bates’s “America the Beautiful,” more than make up for the city’s lack of slopes. Colorado Springs offers all the ingredients for a fantastic getaway when you combine it with a healthy dose of small-town charm and a wide range of activities (including the U.S. Olympic & Paralympic Training Center).
Boulder is a little bit smaller neighbor to Denver, but very stunning. Boulder, which has both the Rocky Mountains and the Flatirons as its backdrop, blends all the tranquillity of an outdoor getaway with the city’s vigor. Hikers, cyclists, and tubers will feel at home on the city’s trails as they explore the area’s Boulder Creek. If you’re seeking more urban fun, you can visit Boulder’s beer trails or Pearl Street Mall’s shops and eateries.
Powder lovers take note: Steamboat Springs is unapologetically a ski town, despite not being as glitzy as some of its Colorado peers. After all, it still goes by “Ski Town, USA.” Nearly 3,000 acres of skiable terrain are available here, and the snow is so light that it is often referred to as “Champagne Powder powder.” Visitors can visit Strawberry Park Hot Springs for a massage or bath in a thermal pool after a hard day of skiing or snowboarding.
Great Sand Dunes National Park and Preserve
Great Sand Dunes National Park and Preserve, tucked up against the Sangre de Cristo Mountains, provides a distinctive outdoor adventure. The tallest dunes in North America are accessible by sled, and a section of Medano Creek in the park is navigable by raft. Other entertaining activities to explore the region’s many ecosystems include hiking, fat biking, and horseback riding. Additionally, visitors may take in the unobstructed night sky while camping. Great Sand Dunes is open all year round, but visitors should plan their trips accordingly because it can get chilly in the winter and hot and stormy in the summer.
Grand Junction, the largest city in the Western Slope of Colorado, is a great starting point from which to see nearby landmarks, including Colorado National Monument and the Grand Mesa. However, don’t ignore the city itself. Main Street in Grand Junction’s downtown is lined with stores and eateries. Additionally, the city is home to one of the greatest outdoor sculpture collections in the nation, as well as a thriving arts scene. Finally, its location in Colorado’s wine region makes it one of the greatest locations in the state for wine tasting.
Outdoor enthusiasts are drawn to Crested Butte all year round since it is recognized as the state’s wildflower capital and the last major Colorado ski town. Although the town is most well-known for its harsh terrain and steep slopes, skiers and snowboarders will find trails for all ability levels there in the winter. Visitors can switch from skiing or snowboarding to mountain biking when the weather warms up to take advantage of the hundreds of miles of bike paths in Crested Butte. Arrive in July to participate in the Crested Butte Wildflower Festival events and see the town explode with color.
Dinosaur National Monument
You’ll sense traveling back in time when you visit Dinosaur National Park. This protected area, which spans Colorado and Utah, is well-known for its archaeological treasures. On the Colorado side, you won’t uncover any dinosaur bones, but aspiring anthropologists can test their talents by searching for tiny sea creature fossils along the Harpers Corner Trail. Outdoor pursuits like hiking, river rafting, cross-country skiing, and snowmobiling are also popular on this side of the park. Finally, take a leisurely drive on Harpers Corner Drive for mesmerizing views of the neighboring canyons.
Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park
The Grand Canyon of Colorado is home to some of the most breathtaking sights in the state. The Black Canyon, which the Gunnison River carved millions of years ago, is more than 2,000 feet deep, and it has long dazzled onlookers, including the Ute Tribe, formerly called the canyon home. Visitors can now experience the Black Canyon’s famed rivers for fishing, its towering rock formations for climbing, outstanding trekking and skiing routes, and its breathtaking landscape. When visitors can observe the stars in this International Dark Sky Park at night, attention is drawn away from the rocks and river below and toward the sky above.
Mesa Verde National Park
Mesa Verde National Park, once the home of the Ancestral Pueblo people, is home to 600 cliff houses and around 5,000 of America’s best-preserved archaeological sites. Travelers should consider their physical condition and limits before visiting, as many of the sites can only be reached by ranger-led excursions that may require walking, climbing, and, in some cases, crawling. Nevertheless, the park’s fascinating history makes the somewhat challenging treks worthwhile.
Due to its huge Rocky Mountain border, abundant national parks, and wilderness areas, Colorado is the ideal tourist destination for outdoor recreation every season. As a result, outdoor activities are a part of life in Centennial State, from skiing and whitewater rafting to hiking, biking, and camping.
The state’s jovial atmosphere also draws tourists searching for a relaxed holiday. Colorado is the only state in the Union to have legalized marijuana for recreational use, yet it also produces more beer than any other state.