Colorado's Top Tourist Spots
Sep 5th 2017
Colorado is one of the most popular tourist destinations in the U.S. for good reason. As arguably the most beautiful state in the country (it's basically a postcard), you owe it to your eyes to experience all the breath-taking scenery at least once in your life. Friendly people, endless activities, tons of outdoor culture, and a touch or two of offbeat weirdness make "The Centennial State" the most frequent answer to the question: "If you had to move to any other state, which would you choose?"
Colorado is definitely most well-known for its outdoor culture, but Denver has more than enough urban adventure to keep you happy. Unlike most state's big cities, Denver is very walkable (biking is recommended). You'll be able to find park pretty easily and your wallet will still have some change in when you leave. With more than 40 breweries and distilleries, and amazing food, your stomach will enjoy the trip as well. While you're in the Mile High City, make time to hit up the zoo, art museum, Wings Over the Rockies Air and Space Museum, a baseball game at Coors Field, indulge yourself at The Source, and just take a stroll downtown.
#2 Climb a Mountain
If you go to Colorado and don't see a mountain, your eyes are probably closed. Open your eyes, get out of your car, and get in touch with nature through some of the most beautiful scenery in the world. The Rocky Mountain area has six mountains ranging 14,000 feet, covered in forests, lakes, meadows, and miles and miles of trails. Pike's Peak, located in Colorado Springs, is the most visited mountain in the U.S., and is uniquely accessible at the peak by vehicle.
The Mountain Village to Telluride Gondola is the only free ride of its kind in the country. The 13-minute trip offers breathtaking 360 views of the San Juan Mountains.
#3 Garden of the Gods
Garden of the Gods is unlike most gardens you've seen. The one in your backyard probably isn't dotted with jagged 300-feet tall stone towers and giant balanced boulders, with mountains rising up in the distance. Hike the 15 miles of trails and get up close and personal with the surreal rock formations. You can also go rock climbing, mountain biking, horseback riding, and take a Jeep tour. There is a nature center and cafe onsite.
#4 Rock Out at Red Rocks
If your favorite band is making a stop at the Red Rocks Amphitheatre, it's worth your time to schedule a road trip. Located outside of Denver, Red Rocks is one of the most unique venues in the world. The surrounding rock formations have delivered killer acoustics for huge bands like The Beatles and the Rolling Stones.
Recently designated a National Historic Landmark, Red Rocks has more than just unforgettable concerts. Its also a park for hiking, biking, and horse riding. Saturdays during the summer, you can get those thighs burning at Yoga on the Rocks.
#5 Manitou Cliff Dwellings
Built more than 700 years ago, the Manitou Cliff Dwellings in Manitou Springs are an extremely rare historical treasure. You can explore authentic Anasazi cliff dwellings preserved under a protective overhang of red sandstone. Visitors are free touch and even go inside the structures. Nearby, there's also an Anasazi museum and gift shop located in a three-story Pueblo-style building. After that, be sure to head out on the nature walk to see native flowers, trees and other plants.
#6 Mesa Verde
If Manitou Springs ignites an interest in cliff dwellings, your next stop should be Mesa Verde National Park, which contains four major ones: Long House, Cliff Palace, Balcony House, and Spruce Tree House. The Spruce Tree House is the only one available for self-guided tours and is the best preserved preserved of the structures.
#7 Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park
If the phrase "mountain-top theme park" doesn't immediately pique your interest, you can skip to the next item in the list. The only one of its kind in America, Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park is a worthwhile destination for any thrill-seeker. You can hit up thrill rides like the nation's highest-elevation roller coaster the Cliffhanger, popular attractions like zipline rides, laser tag, and a 4D motion theatre, and amazing cave tours.
#8 Royal Gorge Rafting
If you're a thrill-seeker and amusement parks don't scratch your itch, whitewater rafting may be the adventure you're looking for. Hop in a raft and get your adrenaline pumping as you get soaked to the bones and your heart pounds through your chest. You'll raft through class III to class V rapids with intimidating names like Sledgehammer and Boat Eater.
#9 Hit the Slopes
Skiing and Colorado are almost synonymous. Some of the best skiing and snowboarding in the world can be had in one of the many resorts in the state. You'll find both world-class resorts to family-run slopes with just a single lift. You'll be able to find a location that's perfect for your needs. Most resorts are located near Deniver. The most popular ones are Breckenridge, Keystone, Copper, and Vail.
#10 Dinosaur National Monument
Turn your car into a time machine and take a trip back to a prehistoric era. The state actually has an entire town dedicated to Dinosaurs and it's called, yep, you guessed it... Dinosaur, Colorado. Dinosaur National Park, located in on the northwestern border with Utah, contains famous fossils, rock carvings, river canyons, as well as a myriad of activities.You can drive the Tour of Tilted Rocks, go river rafting, and even cross-country skiing in the winter.