Are you searching for the Best Places to Visit in Colorado? Are you thinking of a trip to the South and wondering what to explore in Colorado? Divided in two by the massive Rocky Mountains and jam-packed with National reserves and parks, Colorado can be an excellent location for outdoor activities during all seasons. From whitewater rafting, skiing, and skiing to hiking, biking, and camping, outdoor pursuits are part of the daily routine throughout Colorado, the Centennial State.
Colorado’s lively culture is also a magnet for tourists seeking a relaxing vacation. In the end, Colorado is the largest producer of beers in America. It is one of the only two states within the Union that have legalized recreational marijuana usage. Abounding in historical and cultural sights as well as natural beauty, the top places to go to in Colorado offer something unique to visitors.
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Rocky Mountain National Park
It covers an area of 265,000 acres. Rocky Mountain National Park isn’t the biggest national park in the country, and it’s not the most visited, with around 4 million visitors per year (compared with the Great Smoky Mountains National Park’s more than 12 million annual visitors). Something distinctly unique about RMNP stretches 14,259 feet in the Colorado sky at its highest elevation, Longs Peak.
The primary draw is walking the park’s 350 miles of trails, which wind through spruce and pine forests with sparkling alpine lakes and swathes of wildflowers, and maybe there are bighorn sheep and elk. Perhaps it’s the drier air that gets to the minds of visitors, and even the most gloomy feel excitement and wonder after spending one or two days breathing that fresh mountain air.
When it’s time to get back to the earth or, at the very least, down to an altitude of about 7,500 feet, the visitors can savor a cup of freshly made ice cream. Enjoy an eerie excursion through the Stanley Hotel or wander around the charming community that is Estes Park. Additionally, two other Colorado hotspots, Boulder and Denver, are only a few minutes from the park.
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It is located about 65 miles (105 km) west of Denver. Breckenridge is a historic mining town with an unimportant population that grows tenfold during the winter season. Breckenridge has more than 2300 skiable acres across those four mountains, which form Breckenridge’s southern boundary.
A newly inaugurated gondola on the town’s northern part will take skiers to the top of an almost 13,000-foot (4,000 meters) mountain. It is Peak 8 Breckenridge’s very first ski slope. More than 250 structures are included as part of the National Historic Register, and cultural tourist attractions in the gold-rush town are worth exploring too.
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Black Canyon of the Gunnison
Black Canyon of the Gunnison is the best place to visit in Colorado. In Southwestern Colorado, the Gunnison National Park is famous for its narrow gorge, known as The Black Canyon. Its depth is 2700 feet (820 meters). The canyon was created by thousands of decades of erosion driven by the Gunnison River.
Scenic views along the 6-mile (10 kilometers) South Rim Road offer canyon views. Its Cedar Point Nature Trail off South Rim is an easy-to-navigate hike with indications about the region’s vegetation. It provides a stunning perspective of the 2,250-foot (7,380) height Painted Wall, which is the highest rock in the state.
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Looking for things you can do when in Colorado but aren’t sure where to begin your adventure? The capital city of the state is an excellent starting point. As with all Colorado cities that came into existence in the Pike’s Peak Gold Rush, Denver, as it is today, is the result of relatively recent events. Its origins in the mid-19th century have made its rise to fame an even more incredible feat. The largest city in Colorado is a must-see place bursting with entertainment choices.
Downtown Denver is a vast pedestrian-friendly area that caters to various interests. The city is home to six professional sports teams and three sports stadiums within a 1-mile radius from one another in downtown Denver. There are a variety of exciting museums that draw crowds of visitors.
Some of the most sought-after are museums like the Denver Museum of Nature & Science as well as Denver Art Museum, Denver Art Museum, and The Molly Brown House Museum. Denver is also known for its vibrant beer scene and a myriad of concert venues.
Denver is a city with mountain views, but it’s 10 miles far from Rocky Mountain foothills. But it is. The Mile High City encourages outdoor activities through over 200 parks and has access to more than 14,000 acres of green space in nearby mountain areas. Urban green spaces include City Park (home to the Denver Zoo, playgrounds, and sports courts) and Denver Botanic Gardens. The Denver Botanic Gardens are adored by both locals and visitors alike.
If you’re seeking exciting and historical things to do in Colorado, Durango is the best place to visit in Colorado, the southwestern city just above New Mexico’s border. As with every tourist attraction within Colorado, Durango has various beautiful natural features. It’s also a starting to The San Juan National Forest to the north and the Lake Nighthorse Recreation Area in the southwest. Still, the highlight of Durango is its commitment to preserving the past.
The most well-known popular tourist destination that is a tourist attraction of international renown in Colorado includes the Durango & Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad. It was first opened in 1882. the railroad that runs between Durango and Silverton was built to allow trains to transport silver and gold from mines in the San Juan Mountains. The railway of the past employs steam locomotives from the past for passengers to travel on leisurely trips that showcase the stunning mountain landscape.
Explore the past by making a trip to Durango’s downtown, which is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Enjoy a stroll down Main Avenue and admire the iconic Durango architecture from its times as an industrial boomtown. The Strater Hotel was built in 1887.
This luxurious Strater Hotel serves as an exhibit of living history in addition to being a hotel. The hotel is home to an impressive assortment of Victorian walnut furniture and shadow boxes in the lobby. They provide stories from The Old West.
Great Sand Dunes National Park & Preserve
Tourists travel from all over the world to enjoy the powdery, snow-covered hills in the Centennial State, but one of the most beautiful places in Colorado has slopes that don’t have snow whatsoever. Great Sand Dunes National Park & Preserve, located in south-central Colorado, is the home of the highest dunes of sand found in North America.
They result from sediments that accumulated from the Sangre de Cristo and the San Juan Mountains on the San Luis Valley floor. The valley was once flooded with stormwater and melting glaciers. However, as the lake drained, the dunes emerged.
The most well-known pastimes at the dunes are sand sports. Retailers that are outside of the park will have boards, sleds, and skis that are available for hire or buy. The equipment is designed to slide across the sand so that no other options can be used. Families also love the nature park’s Medano Creek, an annual stream where visitors can splash, swim in, wade, or surf based on the water level.
There are no trails through the 30-square-mile dunes field; However, hikers can wander the wilderness at their own pace. The people who like designated trails and shade ought to consider the forest portion within the park. This includes some marked trails for hiking. Great Sand Dunes is also a recognized International Dark Sky Park; you should stay until night for fantastic night skies.
If you’re planning to visit places in Colorado looking for the ultimate in luxury, Vail is the best place to visit in Colorado. Vail Ski Resort was founded in 1962. Vail Ski Resort was first established in 1962. However, Vail was not included as a city until the year 1966. This series of events demonstrates how Vail’s identity is tied to Vail’s resort and its mountains.
Its town Vail is divided into three “villages,” where streets were designed to be reminiscent of European Alpine towns, cobblestones, and the rest. While they might appear to be minor, they are visited by famous people and offer gourmet dining and luxurious shopping.
Vail has built its reputation for being more prominent and superior to the rest of the resorts. Vail is a standout among other alternatives. Vail Ski Resort is the third-largest single mountain resort in the United States (behind Big Sky Resort in Montana and Park City Mountain Resort in Utah). It has 5,317 acres of skiing. The resort’s varied terrain is vast and accommodates skiers of any level.
The surrounding terrain and the mountain remain in top form during the warm seasons. Visitors can enjoy the lush greenery from the top of scenic gondolas that ascend to 10,000 feet. Its Forest Flyer Mountain Coaster is an exciting ride that gives riders a different view of the forest in the alpine. Also, make sure you look through the calendar of events in town to see festivals like Vail Arts Festival, the Vail Arts Festival, Vail Oktoberfest as well as Vail Film Festival, Vail Film Festival, and many more.
Manitou Springs and Garden of the Gods
Manitou Springs, nestled between Colorado Springs and Pikes Peak, is a popular destination for its many mineral springs that are thought to provide healing power to Native Americans, as well as its art, which draws people from all over the world, thanks to its numerous exhibitions of sculpture, galleries as well as theater and music. The historic District includes gorgeously restored structures that house restaurants, shops, and art galleries.
It’s a beautiful location to stay for outdoor adventures as well as in and around Pikes Peak. It’s also an excellent base to explore the Garden of the Gods, ranked as the number # 1 attraction within the U.S. by TripAdvisor, which is awe-inspiring with its fiery red rocks that blend with the forests of the mountains of Pikes Peak.
Cripple Creek was a booming city home to more than 55,000 during its heyday around the turn of the 20th century. Nowadays, just a few hundred residents reside here. It’s still a trendy destination for those wanting to see an authentic glimpse of Cripple Creek’s Old West or to test their luck at the casinos.
If you’re not interested in gambling, You can visit excellent museums such as the Old Homestead House, an old high-end brothel, and enjoy a thrilling melodrama in the historical Butte theater, or venture 1,000 feet below the ground to walk on the path of gold miners working in an actual mining operation from 1890.
Mesa Verde National Park
The Four Corners region in southwest Colorado is an official national park and a UNESCO World Heritage Site remarkably preserved in Ancestral Puebloan settlements. With over 4,000 archeological sites dating back to 700 decades, Mesa Verde National Park is among the most popular locations in Colorado for historians. Apart from being the biggest preserved archaeological site in the US, The park has a comprehensive range of options for outdoor adventures.
Of the many historic sites documented in the park, approximately 600 are built on cliffs. These elaborate houses carved into cliffsides offer valuable insight into the life of Native people who lived in the region. Cliff dwellings are accessible from a distance throughout the year from numerous viewpoints, but the most effective way to see them is to take an organized tour. Tours are offered between May and October. They offer visitors unparalleled close-up views of the homes built on cliffs.
The park’s backcountry is closed to visitors to preserve its archeological and natural beauty. However, there are numerous designated hiking trails that you can explore. Specific courses are groomed to allow cross-country skiing and snowshoeing if there’s enough snowfall in the winter months. If you plan to stay for an extended period at the campground of the park or a lodge on-site during the summer, do not forget to take a trip to the stars: Mesa Verde was named an International Dark Sky Park in 2021.
All destinations are awesome! According to my opinion, Great Sand Dunes National Park & Preserve is the best to start. I hope you have enjoyed our list about Best Places to Visit in Colorado.
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