Best Places to Visit in Colorado
Colorado is located with some of the most stunning wilderness areas and mountain ranges in the United States. For those who like cities to the outdoors, the state is rich in Wild West legends and globally known for its wildlife and recreational activities. Popular places to visit in Colorado such as Denver, however, provide numerous museums and art for those who prefer cities to the outdoors.
There are top things to do in Colorado for everyone, whether you are a mountaineer or an art lover. Colorado is the best place to visit for outdoor hobbies in every season, split down the middle by the enormous Rocky Mountains and groove with nature reserves and wilderness areas. Outdoor activities are a part of life in Colorado, from skiing and white-water rafting to hiking, bicycling, and camping.
Visitors searching for a laid-back holiday will like the state’s enjoyable culture. After all, Colorado generates more beer than any other state and it is one of only two states in the country to allow recreational marijuana usage. The top things to do and the best places to visit in Colorado are rich in historical and cultural activities as well as natural beauty, and each visitor will find something unique to enjoy. Check out this Colorado travel guide to make your travel comfortable:
Rocky Mountain National Park:
Rocky Mountain National Park is one of the top tourist attractions of Colorado, located just a few miles from the mountain town of Estes Park. Nature at its finest, with majestic mountain peaks, alpine lakes and meadows, woodlands, and plentiful wildlife. Longs Peak, the park’s tallest peak at 14,259 feet, is among the park’s more than 100 summits above 10,000 feet. The major driving road through the park is Trail Ridge Road, which reaches an elevation of over 12,000 feet and provides easy access to this amazing environment. You can sightsee from the comfort of your car or take a stroll or a short walk along the road.
Hiking trails ranging and less than a half-mile to full-day and multi-day walks are available throughout the park. You might see elk, pronghorn sheep, deer, and other animals if you’re lucky. Hiking, wildlife observation, camping, fishing, horseback riding, climbing, and climbing are among the most top activities in Rocky Mountain National Park throughout the summer.
Mesa Verde National Park:
Mesa Verde (Spanish for “green table”) is a town in southwest Colorado. Theodore Roosevelt declared this region a national park in 1906. It’s a beautiful national park and UNESCO World Heritage Site that protects historic Puebloan cliff houses, and it’s one of the top places to visit in Colorado for history and wildlife buffs both. When you visit Mesa Verde, grab your walking shoes and bring your camera.
Mesa Verde has been populated by nomadic tribes from 7500 BC, with the earliest pueblos established around 650 ADS, according to researchers. The park’s spectacular cliff homes, which still attract visitors, were built circa 1200 AD. Visit the Cliff Palace and the Chapin Mesa Archeological Museum to learn more about these aboriginal Americans. Don’t miss the Mesa Top Loop Road, which has several fantastic vistas and canyon overlooks.
Denver, Colorado’s capital and biggest city, is known as the “Mile-High City” because it is about a mile above sea level. Denver, situated just east of the Rocky Mountains, is a famous winter sports destination with a rich history of mining and cowboys.
The city also has a vibrant arts and culture scene, with several notable museums, including the Denver Art Museum and the Denver Performing Arts Complex, one of the country’s largest performing arts venues. Denver is one of the best tourist attractions in Colorado that you will find in every travel guide.
Colorado Springs, located at a height of over 6,000 feet at the eastern foothills of the Rocky Mountains, is a gateway to some of Colorado’s best trekking routes as well as a variety of other outdoor activities. White water rafting in the Royal Gorge, trekking in the gorgeous Garden of the Gods Park and cycling the Barr Trail are just a few of the exciting activities available.
Several neighboring parks offer wildlife viewing opportunities, or you can visit historic and cultural institutions such as the Colorado Springs Pioneers Museum and the Cripple Creek Historical Museum. Art enthusiasts can participate in fascinating art walks or visit the Colorado Springs Fine Art Center.
Aspen is among the world’s most recognized ski resorts and is one of the top tourist attractions of Colorado, with a reputation for drawing celebrities and well-heeled visitors. There’s a cause for all the excitement.
From the rolling hills of Buttermilk Mountain to the ungroomed terrain of Aspen Mountain, four resorts offer fantastic skiing for all levels of skiers. Visitors can fish for trout in the Roaring Fork River during the summer, or take shuttles to the adjacent Maroon Bells’ 14,000-foot (4,300-meter) peaks for peaceful hikes across Colorado’s most photographed mountains.
Boulder is a college town situated against the foothills of the Rocky Mountains, just a few miles northwest of Denver, and is one of the popular tourist spots in Colorado. Boulder residents are recognized for their active lifestyles, and there are several outdoor activities in and around the city.
Boulder Creek runs directly through town, with walking and bicycling trails on both sides. In all save the most adverse weather, the four-block walkable Pearl Street Mall hosts outdoor entertainers. Visitors can enjoy amazing views from the peak of the Flagstaff Mountains by driving up Baseline Road, which also has picnic sites and hiking trails.
Great Sand Dunes National Park:
The Great Sand Dunes National Park, located in southern Colorado, is one of the best places to see in Colorado. The sand heaps, which are shaped by winds blowing from and against the adjacent Sangre de Cristo Mountains, reach heights of more than 750 feet (230 meters), making them North America’s tallest dunes.
The park’s most popular activities are sandboarding, skiing, and sledding on the dunes, and there are medium-sized slopes close to the main parking area where you can slide. A lengthier climb to the north leads to a 300-foot (90-meter) slope that cascades into Medano Creek, thrilling adrenaline seekers. These are some of the top things to do in Colorado that you must add to your itinerary.
Comanche National Grasslands:
In south-eastern Colorado, the Comanche National Park is a National Grassland. The preserve is separated into two areas, each of which is managed by a different ranger district: one in La Junta and the other in Springfield. Drawings on the cliffs and rocks left by ancient Native Americans extend back as far as 8,000 years.
The natural beauty of grasslands can be a welcome contrast to the splendor of mountains or beaches. Explore the surroundings and the prehistoric artwork, or go dinosaur-watching at Picketwire Canyon! Hike, bike, or even ride a horse across the paths. You can either “rough it” in a nearby campground or return to a motel to rest your feet.
Mount Evans Scenic Byway:
The Mount Evans Scenic Byway is near Idaho Springs, a mining town. Take Colorado Highway 103 out of town to the highest main road in North America. You’ll pass by beautiful rows of pine trees until they give way to abrupt climbs with vistas into glacier-carved valleys and rocky mountain peaks that seem to continue forever.
The guardrails diminish as the trees go, so this is not a drive for the faint-hearted. For sake of the scenery and your security, bide your time around the curves. Mountain goats and mountain goats will continue to graze without seeming to notice your presence. Take in the view of the earth below – the clouds don’t always make it up here. All these reasons make it one of the top places to visit in Colorado.
Toltec Scenic Railroad:
The Cumbres and Toltec Scenic Railroad begins in Antonito, Colorado, and goes 64 miles to Chama, New Mexico. Take a trip back in time on this narrow-gauge vintage train and take in the scenery as you go through it. You’ll have a front-row seat to Toltec Gorge, which inspired the railroad’s name.
Start your journey in Antonito in the morning and stop in Osier for lunch. You have the option of booking a coach seat or a first-class parlor car. Allow the vintage steam-powered engine to handle the heavy lifting while you relax and enjoy the journey. You’ll drive by sights like the Rio Grande and Carson National Forest that are worth seeing.
The Arkansas River, the most famous river in the United States, was born in the Rocky Mountains. It’s also ideal for white water rafting, whether you’re looking for a half-day excursion or a multi-day adventure. There are a variety of rafting routes to choose from, ranging from family-friendly to experienced Class IV.
If you’re a seasoned white-water rafter, start in Bighorn Canyon. For a truly natural experience, you can go for days and camp along the river’s edge. Royal Gorge and Browns Canyon are both welcoming to skilled and inexperienced rafters, offering options for multi-day trips or day trips.
Black Canyon, situated in Gunnison National Park, was built over 2 million years by the Gunnison River as it carved its way through the canyon, forming jagged cliffs and towering spires. Don’t miss out on this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to view unadulterated nature as you’ve never seen that before.
Bring some camping equipment and rough it – you can sleep under the stars, and because you’ll be so far away from the city lights, the stars will appear to burn even brighter. If you’re a mountaineer, there are also plenty of cliffs to choose from. Hike along the South or North Rims for some spectacular views; you’ll feel as if you’re closer to nature, and time doesn’t seem to exist here.
Glenwood Canyon is home to Hanging Lake and listed amongst one of the top places to visit in Colorado. Follow Dead Horse Creek upstream to be rewarded with a glimpse of this natural marvel and breath-taking show of natural beauty. Hanging Lake is almost at the top of the cliffs, and it’s so magnificent that you’ll forget how difficult it was to get there.
Bring your camera to record the lake’s beautiful blue waters and musical cascades. It is home to a fragile ecosystem that is preserved by abstaining from swimming or jumping in the alluring water, a sacrifice that is well worth it to protect the environment. Enjoy the beautiful hanging plant gardens and the calm that this tranquil lake provides.
Garden of the Gods:
Colorado Springs is home to the Garden of the Gods thereby making it one of the best places to visit in Colorado. The Park, which is a certified National Natural Landmark, attracts people from all around the United States as well as many foreign travelers. These beautiful sandstone formations were identified by surveyors from Denver, who stated it looked like a paradise fit for the gods when they saw the rocks combined with the Great Plains grasslands that meet the Southwest woodlands and alpine forests of Pike Peak.
Learn more about the park’s history and geography by stopping by the visitor center. You can arrange your trekking routes and get a drink there.
Buffalo Bill Museum and Grave:
Colorado was an important part of the United States’ western territories and exploration. During Colorado’s mining heyday, the state enjoyed a huge boom, and the railroads quickly breathed new life into the state. Old West legends abound from these raucous times, like Buffalo Bill, a fascinating figure.
Buffalo Bill rose to prominence during his buffalo-hunting days, but he eventually went on to manage a renowned Wild West Show, attracting stars such as Annie Oakley and Sitting Bull. Buffalo Bill’s Museum was established in his honor on Lookout Mountain in Colorado, where he died.
Breckenridge, about 65 miles (105 kilometers) west of Denver, is a historical mining town with a tiny population that expands tenfold during the ski season. On the four mountain peaks that make it up Breckenridge’s southern border, there are moreover 2,300 acres of skiable terrain.
A freshly opened gondola on the north side of the city transports skiers to the peak of Peak 8, Breckenridge’s first ski mountain, at almost 13,000 feet (4,000 meters). Cultural features in the gold-rush town are also worth seeing, with over 250 buildings on the National Historic Register.
Maroon Bells-Snowmass Wilderness:
The Maroon Bells-Snowmass Wilderness, located near Aspen, features some of Colorado’s most beautiful Rocky Mountain landscapes and provides an opportunity to get out of a car and into nature. There are six peaks over 14,000 feet in this area, as well as forests, alpine lakes, meadows, and 175 miles of paths to explore.
The majority of visitors come to Maroon Bells for recreational opportunities. The hiking here is amazing, with all kinds of day hikes and camping spots. Hundreds of kilometers of mountain riding trails are available. Summer is a wonderful time for fishing in lakes, ponds, rivers, and streams. People are coming here to ski, snowshoe, and snowmobiling in the winter, making it an all-year-round outdoor playground.
This is our list of some of the top things to do in Colorado! Scroll down and tell us about your favorite Colorado destination in the comments! Colorado is a great place to have a good time. There are excellent cities to visit, gorgeous national parks to see, and plenty of history to learn about. You won’t be able to view everything on this list, but you’ll be able to scratch the surface. We hope you will be able to visit Colorado soon and have a wonderful time seeing all of its beauties and attractions.
What’s next waiting for you?
Now you know where to go and what to do in Colorado, you can plan your tour with utmost enthusiasm. Check out our other travel guides to explore some of the best places to visit near Colorado.