Fall in Colorado is absolutely magical. The mountains change colors and there are festivals and farms all over the state, which encourage people to visit. Colorado boasts about having around 300 days of sunshine, meaning there are plenty of things to enjoy while the weather is cold but still nice enough to be running around. Below are a few fun fall activities to do in Colorado.
Many breweries in Colorado have their brewing down to a science. They know what beers are perfect for each season and, in fall, there is a whole slew of new brews to try. A lot of breweries have their own special brews that they make special for each season. For instance, Odell just brought out their Oktoberfest brew. It’s a Märzen styled lager made of Munich malts and spicy, herbal noble hops. There are also, of course, plenty of opportunities to experience pumpkin beer as well.
If going to a brewery isn’t enough for you, Colorado also has plenty of options to celebrate Oktoberfest. This international beer festival is celebrated throughout the state in September through October. In the high country towns like Breckenridge and Steamboat Springs. The state capitol holds their Oktoberfest across two weekends at the end of September. This is a festival aimed towards people above the legal drinking age, but there are still festivals that will have activities for the whole family.
If having a pint isn’t your cup of tea, there’s always cider. And the best kind of cider is the kind made from hand-picked apples. Colorado might be full of mountains, but it’s also full of many farms. There are several farms around the state that welcome people of all ages to swing by and grab a bushel of apples. Bonus points if your four-legged friends get to help you pick apples, too.
Colorado is known for many things, one of them being Pueblo Chiles. The annual Chile & Frijoles Festival happens towards the end of September in Pueblo, Colorado. It’s a harvest celebration where farmers from the area come together with local vendors to sell their sought after chiles. Just this summer, Governor Polis took to Twitter to defend how superior Pueblo chiles are compared to rivaling states. The Chile Festival isn’t just about food either, it’s a chance for an often-overlooked city in Colorado to truly shine. Pueblo is rich in culture and the Chile Festival allows the city to show off the best parts of Southern Colorado.
You can’t have fun fall activities in Colorado without mentioning the mountains. Like clockwork every year, the high country goes from vibrant greens to brilliant shades of oranges, yellows, and reds. Driving in the mountains might not be for everyone, but if you’re comfortable on a mountain road, by all means, take a drive sometime. There are many little towns splashed across the Rocky Mountains that will provide great food or better pack a lunch and have a picnic.
Regardless of where you live, you have to visit a pumpkin patch during the fall. Thankfully, Colorado is full of them. Along with apple-picking, plenty of farms are gearing up to start selling off their orange squash plants. You don’t have to wait until October to gather some pumpkins either. You can carve them, paint them, and eat them in a variety of ways.
Along with finding the perfect pumpkin, try finding your way out of a corn maze. A lot of the farms that have pumpkin patches will also be offering a variety of things to do on their farms, including a corn maze. Considering how many farms there are in Colorado, there is bound to be one with a corn maze perfect for you. Whether you want one simple enough to do with your family or one complicated that could last for an hour there’s a maze out there for you.
Fall means October; October means spooky stuff; spooky stuff means the Stanley Hotel in Estes Park. Even if you’re not a horror fan, odds are, you’ve heard of this infamous building. It was the inspiration behind Stephen King’s “The Shining” that went on to become a movie and a mini-series. The Stanley Hotel has become considered one of the most haunted places in America. This hotel has been open for more than a hundred years. While you may not find Jack Nicholson running around the halls there is still plenty to do. Not only do they offer ghost tours it is just an actual hotel in a beautiful part of Colorado. Even if you don’t see any spectors it is still a grand experience, especially during the fall.
If going to the Stanley Hotel doesn’t quench your thirst for ghosts, consider going on a ghost tour at any of Colorado’s many haunted places. While the other destinations in the state aren’t as famous as the hotel, there are still plenty of places to visit. For instance, there is the Molly Brown House, Colorado Grande Casino and Hotel, and the ghost town of St. Elmo. Any of these places, and many more, might just give you the fright of your life.
There are of course haunted houses that aren’t actually haunted. While these places are not real, as the other places on this list, they are designed to scare you good. In October plenty of haunted houses pop up throughout the state, promising to scare the living daylights out of you. They might not be real but you’ll have to force yourself to remember that when you’re screaming.
One more creepy Colorado tradition to take part in this fall would be the Telluride Horror Show. This film festival is celebrating its 10th year. At the Telluride Horror Show you can experience a plethora of horror movies, short films, and panels. The event happens in October and participants can purchase a pass for the entire weekend, or pick just six films to see. Being in the small mountain town of Telluride while watching a bunch of horror, sci-fi, and thriller films is a memory for the books.
Head on back to Estes Park, but this time, not for the ghosts. Instead, visit for the elk. Probably the second thing Estes Park is famous for would be the amount of elk that roam the area. These animals are not deer; they are bigger and significantly louder. While some might find their calls annoying, in Colorado, their songs are considered beautiful. There’s actually a festival dedicated to this hooved harmonizer: Elk Fest. This celebration is designed to educate people on the animal and provide guided tours.
Fall in Colorado also means it’s time for Bronco games. While the team just lost their iconic owner, Pat Bowlen, his memory lives on through the many fans throughout the state. Experiencing a Broncos game at Mile High Stadium is absolutely exciting. Even if you can’t snag a ticket, there are plenty of bars and breweries across Colorado where you’ll find fellow fans eagerly glued to the screen.
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