Colorado is arguably one of the best states to be in during the summer. There is a variety of activities that you can do in The Centennial State over the hottest season of the year. From hiking, to movies to concerts there’s always something to do.
1. Red Rocks Concert
You haven’t been to a concert until you’ve gone to a Red Rocks concert. Red Rocks Amphitheater is just west of Denver. The venue is actually considered a park meaning you can do things like hike, exercise or even do yoga there if you aren’t interested in a concert. Although I highly advise you give a concert in this venue a chance. The venue is over 100-years old and even has its own Music Hall of Fame. Rain or shine a concert here is one to remember.
2. Great Sand Dunes National Park
Considering that Colorado is landlocked the Great Sand Dunes National Park is a great option if you want to experience walking on sand. Here you can experience the vastness of the Sand Dunes and how beautiful they can be. Nestled in the San Louis Valley the park also has plenty of spots for camping as well.
3. Denver Botanic Gardens
The Denver Botanical Gardens is an opportunity to get up close and personal with beautiful plants. Home to the largest North American collection of plants from cold temperate climates around the world you’ll be in awe over how beautiful this location. It just doesn’t feature plants though, there have been art venues in the past as well as classes to help educate on conservation and taking care of the planet.
4. Denver Zoo
Another great place to visit with your family would be the Denver Zoo. In the heart of Denver is a sprawling 80-acre zoo with a variety of species. Originally created because of a donated orphaned black bear the zoo now has bears, cats, hooved animals, birds and more. Here there are also plenty of opportunities for an educational experience.
5. Drive-In Movie
Drive-ins have been slowly disappearing through America, dwindling down to around 350 and Colorado just happens to have quite a bit of them. One is located in Fort Collins, there are few in Denver, as well as one in Pueblo. From there a few of them are scattered throughout the state, which is genuinely surprising. Considering that within the last ten years alone over 100 drive-in theaters have been shutdown you should take advantage of the abundance of them in Colorado.
6. The Royal Gorge
One of the world’s highest suspension bridges the Royal Gorge is a destination not to be missed. West of Pueblo this park has been leaving viewers in awe for nearly 100 years. Despite a devastating fire in 2013 that destroyed 48 out of the 52 historical buildings the Royal Gorge still carries on. This may not be the destination for people who are afraid of heights, it is 956 feet above the Arkansas River, it’s perfect thrill seekers.
7. The Incline
The Manitou Incline is what’s left over from railroad tracks that washed away in a rock slide in the 90s. Today many people of various fitness levels have attempted to hike this 2,767 summit. Although it is just shy of a full mile the altitude and sheer amount of steps can make any seasoned hiker sweat. This is a great activity to do in Colorado throughout the summer to test your athletic abilities. If you do try this and realize mid-way through you made a mistake there is a trail that will let you go back to the bottom.
8. Mesa Verde National Park
Mesa Verde National Park is home to the Ancestral Puebloan cliff dwellings. There you can experience well-preserved homes built by the Pueblo people who made it their home 700-years-ago. At the park you can get up close and personal with the city, witness history up close. Even if you’re unable to hike down into the actual city the cliff dwellings are viewable from various overlooks. Mesa Verde National Park is a great opportunity to experience the history of Southern Colorado.
This one is a no brainer but a popular summer activity in Colorado is hiking. There are too many places to name the state where you can find a great hiking path. From Fort Collins to Durango there are opportunities to put on your best trail shoes and hit a dirt path. Due to the sheer amount of trails that means there are trails that will accommodate anyone’s skill level. If you’re feeling daring you can even try hiking up one of the many mountains in the Rocky Mountains.
10. Colorado State Fair
Last but certainly not least rounding out the summer is the Colorado State Fair. Located in Pueblo this fair is put on annually. The fair features street vendors, food, agricultural shows, concerts and rides. In the then up-and-coming country artists like Brad Paisley, Carrie Underwood and Miranda Lambert have all performed there. The Colorado State Fair is a great experience for people of all ages.