Going to Colorado no matter what the time of year is, you are sure to find beautiful scenery. From the moose, to the rocks, to the snow on the peaks, the amount of things to see when visiting Colorado is indescribable. Furthermore, if you and your family or friends are looking into rocky mountain vacations, make sure to book your experience in advance. Below is a list of 20 places to visit in the Rocky Mountains of Colorado, so consider visiting if you have the chance to visit the high country!
One of the most popular places among the state, and the capital of Colorado, just happens to be Denver. With hundreds of restaurants, museums, shopping centers, and art, you are sure to find something for the whole family when visiting Denver. Make sure to check out a Rocky’s game or head on over to the Bronco’s stadium for an ultimate experience in Denver.
2. Red Rocks Park And Amphitheater
One of the most beautiful places to see a concert in the state of Colorado so happens to be Red Rocks Park and Amphitheater. About 15 miles outside the city of Denver, is a small town called Morrison. Morrison is the home of Red Rocks Park, and thrives off tourism in the summer and fall months. If you are in the Denver area, make sure to check out the schedule of Red Rocks and go see a concert between the huge rocks, while also seeing the light display echo off the mountains.
Golden Colorado is home to the Colorado School of Mines, as well as Coors beer company. Located in North of Denver along the foothills is a historic downtown scene, with Clear Creek running through the middle of town. If you are able to check out Golden while visiting Colorado, make sure to rent a tube and life-jacket for $10, hop on the river, and float along through town! After you have cooled down, grab a bite to eat at one of their historical dining locations.
Home of the University of Colorado Buffaloes, Boulder gives off a hippy college town vibe, while also being well-known for their shopping along Pearl Street, and their hiking throughout town. Nestled in the mountains, Boulder offers is known for its “flatirons,” as you will see on the mountains as soon as you are entering Boulder.
5. Fort Collins
Home of the Colorado State University Rams, Fort Collins is about an hour north from Denver. Fort Collins is a college town, with many activities for young families and young adults to engage in. One of the famous landmarks that attracts thousands of tourists per year is Horsetooth Reservoir, located in Fort Collins right in the foothills. The reservoir consists of 1,900 acres of rocky land and water for fishers, swimmers, and boaters. If you have a chance to visit Fort Collins, don’t miss out on this rocky mountain vacation specialty!
6. Colorado Springs
Colorado Springs is located about an hour south of Denver, with more than a half a million people currently living in the metropolitan area of the springs. In Colorado Springs, you will find many landmarks, such as Garden of the Gods, Pikes Peak, and the Olympic Training Center. While visiting Colorado, make sure to drive up Pikes Peak for $25 a car, and experience some million dollar 360 degree views. You must add Colorado Springs to your Rocky Mountain vacations list of activities.
Nestled in the rocky mountains along interstate i70, Georgetown is a small river town offering stunning views of the mountains surrounding the community. If you are looking for a highlight of your rocky mountain vacation, check out this small mountain community and be sure to ride the Georgetown Loop Railroad that takes you to Silver Plume!
Home of one of the best skiing locations in the world, Breckenridge is located about an hour and a half west of Denver. Surrounding the town are mansions and ski lifts, while the middle of town consists of many shops and restaurants. If you have the chance to visit Breckenridge in both seasons, you must experience it in the summer and the winter! Rocky Mountain vacations are all about visiting a ski town, and this cozy town is a must!
9. Estes Park
One of the smallest, yet unique towns to put on your Rocky Mountain vacations activity list is Estes Park. With a small population of humans, you are likely to come across an elk while driving through the town. Additionally, home to hundreds of animals including elk, chipmunks, bears, moose, and prairie dogs, Rocky Mountain National Park is located in Estes Park about 2 hours northwest of Denver. It is $25 a car to enter the park, and has multiple hikes from easy to expert levels. If you are looking for a crystal blue lake in a glacier gorge, check out Emerald Lake located in Rocky Mountain National Park!
10. Red Feather Lakes
Rocky mountain vacations are all about having a good time and enjoying the outdoors.If you are looking for a great place to camp, check out Red Feather Lakes. It is about 45 minutes west of Fort Collins, and has a population of about 350. Make sure to drive around the miles of dirt roads through Roosevelt National Forest and check out the many campground locations!
11. Cañon City
Home to some of the super-max security prisons that held felons such as El Chapo, Cañon City is yet another unique location in Southern Colorado. If being in the same town as some of the worst felons in the United States doesn’t scare you, drive up to the Royal Gorge Bridge. You can walk across the bridge overlooking the canyon, as well as visit the adventure park that has thrills on top of the mountains.
12. Black Hawk
If you’re looking for mini Las Vegas in Colorado, look no further. Black Hawk is the gambling capital of Colorado. With many casinos located in the small mountain town, you are sure to find a slot machine or card table you enjoy.
Another ski-town nestled in the rocky mountains to put on your Rocky Mountain vacations list of places to go is Vail. If you like to ski, you will especially have a good time in this town. Although you won’t be able to visit Vail and have a good time on a low budget, you are sure to have a good time in this mountain village.
Also known as the ‘Switzerland’ of America, Telluride is a small mountain village located about 6 hours west of Denver. You are sure to find skiing, mountain concerts, waterfalls, and rivers, along with so much more. If you get the chance to visit Telluride, add the Via Ferrata Telluride to your list of Rocky Mountain vacations.
15. Great Sand Dunes National Park
Wanna go to the beach but going on a Colorado vacation with your family? Check out Great Sand Dunes National Park, and make it a day-trip, or camp there depending on the season. If you are visiting the Rocky Mountains in the late spring, summer, or early fall, you are sure to have a good time here. Rent a sand-board for $15 when you enter the park and shred the sandy hills like a sled or snowboard!
16. Mesa Verde National Park
If you are into history, you must visit Mesa Verda National Park when visiting Colorado. Once home to Pueblo people, Mesa Verda has wonderful archaeological sites and hundreds of cliff-dwellings. Although it sounds like an easy trip, most of the hikes are tour-led and can be very intense.
17. Crested Butte
Also known as one of the best skiing locations in the United States, Crested Butte is a small village 4 hours west of Denver. Although there are many places to ski in the Rocky Mountain’s, Crested Butte is known for its steep hills and multiple terrain levels for visitors.
18. Steamboat Springs
Located 3 hours northwest of Denver, Steamboat Springs offers great skiing as well as some of the best hot springs in the state of Colorado. Whether you are visiting Steamboat Springs in the winter or summer, make sure to check out their ski resort and the multiple locations of hot springs.
One of the most popular ski towns to visit in the Rocky Mountain’s so happens to be Aspen. Located 3 hours west of Denver, Aspen is known for skiing and luxurious resorts. If you are visiting in February, make sure to add the X-games to your Rocky Mountain vacations activity list, as it brings hundreds of professional snow athletes from around the world.
20. Glenwood Springs
Similar to Steamboat Springs, Glenwood Springs is a very well-known nestled in the western Rocky Mountains of Colorado. If you are visiting with your family, consider staying in Glenwood Springs or visiting for a day for its famous hot springs, the unique views, and their adventure park.
Rocky Mountain vacations can be very intimidating when planning a trip. Hopefully, you now have an idea of a few places to visit in Colorado. Let us know in the comments if there are some more places for visitors to go when visiting the Rocky Mountains of Colorado!
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Journalism and Media Communications student at Colorado State University. Lover of hiking, snowboarding, and traveling.