Things to do in Colorado
Colorado makes a great destination for all kinds of travelers, but it calls to nature lovers in particular. Every year, thousands of visitors strap on their hiking boots or snap into their skis to explore the slopes of the Rocky Mountains and take in some of the country’s most breathtaking views. So it’s not surprising that some of the best things to do in Colorado revolve around the mountains, like hiking Mount Princeton or the Spanish Peaks – named for their Old Mexico heritage – or skiing Vail Mountain and Snowmass, located northwest of Aspen.
There’s certainly more to Colorado than hitting the slopes. Summer travelers will want to hike to the Grottos, a series of short trails that lead to scenic waterfalls and sculpted gorges, visit the Dinosaur National Monument, which preserves one of North America’s largest dinosaur fossil beds. Tour New Belgium Brewery, which merges three passions of Centennial State residents: cycling, sustainability, and beer. History buffs will find a number of things to do in Colorado, like riding the vintage steam locomotives of the Durango & Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad or learning about local cultures at the El Pueblo History Museum and the Trinidad History Museum. And art lovers will want to visit some of the Centennial State’s fine art galleries and museums, including the Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center, the Denver Performing Arts Complex and the Denver Art Museum.
The modest spa’s hour-long Swedish massage is intense and the perfect cure for ski-weary muscles.
Rent kayaks or book a white-water-rafting trip through Pagosa Outside, a reputable one-stop outfitter for activities on the roaring San Juan.
Hunter S. Thompson's old haunt lives on in this rustic tavern covered in old news clipping and memorabilia, mostly about the gonzo journalist himself.
Offering 150 properties in Aspen, its agents will also make hard-to-get dinner reservations.
This Boulder bistro creates French Provençal cuisine in the mountains of Colorado. Seating includes a long bar and two rows of tables with white cloths, bathed in natural light from the windows. Clusters of abstract, tapering pendant lamps cast a golden glow.
The last bastion of schussing under the lights in Colorado, Keystone's night skiing program remains one the best deals in ski country. Fifteen trails off the River Run gondola and the Peru, Summit and Montezuma express lifts are lit from 4–9 p.m.—and your day pass is good for it.
The Music Festival promotes classical music under the tents of the Aspen Institute.
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Located in a former firehouse, this fine art gallery and studio displays original pieces by owner Steph Brady and her husband Joe. Established in 2001, the space has picture windows facing “S” Mountain, paintings hanging on cream-colored walls, and Steph’s long work table in the back.
Serious treks through Western Europe (the Mont Blanc region; the Italian Dolomites), the Himalayas, and southeastern Utah. Accommodations vary by region, from luxury tents to intimate chalets.