Colorado

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.

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.

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.

Receiving about 25 feet of snowfall each year, this Colorado ski hill is renowned for its expert runs (double-black diamond)—some with up to 50 percent grades. Sixteen lifts provide access to the rugged and steep terrain, located in the Elk Mountain Range of the Rockies.

A registered National Natural Landmark, the Garden of the Gods is a collection of 300-foot sandstone rock formations set in the shadow of famous Pikes Peak. The formations are more than 300 million years old and have names like the Siamese Twins, Kissing Camels, and Cathedral Spires.

Located in a fairly nondescript office park just off a busy highway, Udi's draws locals not so much for its ambience—which is pleasant, but a typical sandwich shop with an order counter and light-filled dining room—but for the quality of the bread, baked by Maurizio Negrini, the store's Italian-b

A boutique established by retailer Amen Wardy, this high-end shop is stocked with unique home accents.

The tour company runs excursions to the Upper Colorado, where Class I and II waters are easy and calm.

Stop in to buy tickets for ranger-led tours to the park’s three most dramatic and important cliff dwellings: Cliff Palace, Balcony House, and Long House.

Vail Resort, owned by the mountain resort company Vail Resorts, is an expansive skiing and snowboarding area developed around Vail Mountain. The area is known for it seven back bowls, as well as plenty of moguls, cliffs, and ridges for intermediate and expert skiers.

While parents ski or board, kids can take lessons through Mountains of Discovery, the ski school at Breckenridge. Children as young as three can sign up for all-day classes, which cover the basics of skiing or boarding, and classes are offered for kids up to age 13.