9 Best Things To Do in Colorado
Rich in Wild West stories and internationally known for its wildlife and outdoor activities, Colorado is also home to popular cities such as Denver that offer many museums and art for those who prefer cities to the outdoors. Whatever your interests are, there is something for everyone in Colorado. Here are some of the best things you can do here:
1. Red Rocks Amphitheatre
Red Rocks Amphitheatre is a stone formation near Morrison, Colorado. Conveniently located 15 miles outside of Denver, the raw beauty of these rocks is sure to impress you. Thought to have been used by the Ute tribe prior to westward expansion, the rock formations provide ideal acoustics for live music performances – bands and artists perform on a rock stage! If you’re a music lover, be sure to check the shows put on here at Red Rocks.
2. Rocky Mountain National Park
Rocky Mountain National Park is one of the most popular things to do in Colorado. It’s among the top five most visited national parks in the U.S. every year, so it’s important to know what to do there before your visit. The advance prep will be well worth it when you’re exploring Rocky Mountain National Park’s 300-plus miles of hiking trails, the crystal clear lakes, and the famous Trail Ridge Road. Elk, bighorn sheep, moose, otters, and mule deer are just some of the incredible wildlife you’ll see here.
3. Buffalo Bill Museum and Grave
Colorado played a key role in the westward expansion and exploration of the United States. The state experienced a big boom during its mining glory days, and soon the railroads breathed even more life into Colorado. Old West folklore abounds from these boisterous times, including the fascinating character, Buffalo Bill. Buffalo Bill gained famed during his buffalo-hunting days, but he later went on to run a popular Wild West Show, drawing in big names like Annie Oakley and Sitting Bull. He died here in Colorado at Lookout Mountain, and Buffalo Bill’s Museum was built here to commemorate him. See his firearms and Native American artifacts, or learn more at Golden Buffalo Bill Days, a true celebration of the Wild West festival in the historic town of Golden.
4. Mount Evans Scenic Byway
Mount Evans Scenic Byway is located near the mining town of Idaho Springs. Head out of town on the CO highway 103 and drive to the highest paved road in North America. You’ll pass by gorgeous rows of pine trees until those give way to sharp rises that allow views into glacier-cut valleys and sharp peaks of rocky mountains that seem to never end. Not a drive for the faint of heart, as the trees disappear, so do the guardrails. Take your time around the curves for the sake of the views and your own safety.
5. Garden of the Gods Park
Garden of the Gods is located in Colorado Springs, Colorado. A designated National Natural Landmark, the park draws in visitors from all over the country and many international travelers. These gorgeous sandstone formations were discovered by surveyors out from Denver; upon seeing the rocks merged with the Great Plains’ grasslands that meet the woodlands of the Southwest and mountain forests of Pike Peak, they declared it looked like a garden fit for the gods.
6. Strawberry Parks Hot Springs
Strawberry Parks Hot Springs is a natural paradise you can’t miss out on. Preserved to allow visitors the chance to relax in a gorgeous, wild setting while also keeping it accessible to all, bring your swimsuit and test out these natural springs next time you need to recharge. Appreciate the best jacuzzis that Mother Nature has to offer. The park has day areas for picnics and changing rooms, or you can stay overnight if you want to extend your trip.
7. Great Sand Dunes National Park
The Great Sand Dunes National Park and Preserve are located in southern Colorado. Standing in stark contrast to mountains like the Rocky Mountain National Park, sandy dunes cover the land here, creating beautiful vistas that will remind you of vast deserts. Hit the dunes – the largest one, Star Dune, towers over the rest of the dunes. There are plenty of activities for outdoor lovers here.
8. Hanging Lake
Even though you can’t swim in the water, the hike to Hanging Lake is one of the most popular things to do in Colorado. It’s located about 10 miles from Glenwood Springs in the Glenwood Canyon, and pictures don’t do the turquoise-colored waters justice. The climb to the lake and cascading waterfall isn’t particularly easy but the views are definitely worth it.
9. Pikes Peak Cog Railway
One of the very best things to do in Colorado is to ride along the highest cog railway in the world to the summit of Pikes Peak. Near Colorado Springs, Pikes Peak is the highest point in the southern Front Range of the Rocky Mountains. At the top you’ll enjoy the same panoramic views that inspired Katherine Lee Bates to write “America the Beautiful.” Sometimes up to five states are visible.