Colorado

Colorado Travel Guide

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.

One of the premier retailers of ski equipment and skiwear in Vail, Pepi Sports spans three stories in Vail Village.

One of the West's largest art institutions, the Denver Art Museum has been showcasing collections in its 210,000–square-foot North Building since the 1970s, and in 2006, the DAM completed the 146,000-square-foot Frederic C. Hamilton Building, designed by architect Daniel Libeskind.

This aristocratic tavern inside the Hotel Boulderado has a high ceiling, tall windows, and wood everywhere, including the classy Old West-style bar area. The Corner Bar’s happy hour runs from 3:00 to 6:00 p.m., and includes deals on beer, martinis, wines and appetizers.

The bakery is run by the same people as Laughing Ladies Restaurant around the corner.

Top tip: Don’t miss the Taunggyi Balloon Festival, in Shan state, when villagers convene on the November full moon to display handmade paper balloons. Years as agent: 13. Specialties: Burma, India. Fee: None.

True, most resorts have a Nordic center, but Beaver Creek's McCoy Park stands above the rest—literally. McCoy's 30 kilometers of Nordic and snowshoe trails traverse aspen glades, open meadows and pine forests at the top of the mountain.

Uley Scheer was more clean-cut than the average man of the mountains, an incident involving liquor and town law enforcement landed him in the county jail. Though the namesake is a bit dubious, this remote restaurant in Crested Butte Mountain Resort offers Colordo fare with French influences.

Ignore Gorsuch's chain-like omnipresence: when the moneyed set shop for the slopes, this is where they come.

Take a hike beneath cottonwoods and aspens alongside the rushing San Miguel River.

The Gunnison thunders down the steepest mountain descent of any river in the United States through one of the most spectacular and deepest canyons in the country. The less-trafficked North Rim has a great campground, at the lip of a nearly 2,000-foot plunge into the gorge.

Aspen Brewing Company turns out small batches of brown and hefeweizen-style ales, along with four other brews (including a cleverly named I.P.A., the Independence Pass Ale).

The Regal Watering Hole is a popular destination for Aspen’s young and party-ready crowds. The club often attracts a line of patrons waiting to gain entrance. During a 2007 remodel, the Regal added a back room with an additional bar, high-backed, white seating, and an aged-leather floor.