10 Best Places to Visit in Colorado

Martina Rosado
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Map of Colorado

As a native Coloradoan, I see it as my duty to write about this wonderful state of ours. I’ve been back and forth to CO for most of my life and the culture is really ingrained in my blood. When I am not working or on a road trip, I love nothing more than to have a few hours to relax and hang out in and explore my birthplace.

With that said, here are my ten best places to visit in Colorado.

Breckenridge

A growing tourist destination and home to notable ski resorts such as Breckenridge Ski Resort and Summit Powder Mountain Resort, Breckenridge was a charming ski town for decades.

And today, the ski town still receives some snow, but is now the perfect place to catch up on everyday activities. Experience a three-hour, guided horseback ride in the nearby foothills while seeing the beauty of Breckenridge from a different perspective.

Or get a taste of the outdoors with a wilderness tour where guests begin their adventure at Breckenridge Mountain Resort and ride through the Rocky Mountains along the jaw-dropping Independence Pass.

Not only does Breckenridge have the perfect combination of outdoor fun, but it also packs a culture of food and drink. Start off your day with laid-back California cuisine at the Rustic Kitchen, or treat your taste buds to a night of fusing Thai and Irish flavors at the Breckenridge Brewhouse.

Black Canyon of the Gunnison

National Park, CO.

The Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park is located at the southern end of the Uncompaghre Plateau at the California and Gunnison divides. It is the smallest of all the national parks in Colorado at only 35,326 acres and the only one owned by the Forest Service.

The creation of the Black Canyon was a result of the erosion of the inner gorge of the Gunnison River. The erosion created a pure vertical wall with no water for an easier passage of the water as it ran down to the Gunnison River. The formation of not only the Black Canyon but also the Uncompaghre Plateau is one process in the dynamic Earth’s history.

Another highly detailed and very interesting process in the Earth’s history is the creation of this area known as Plate lunch. This is the area of Colorado where the Colorado Plateau, Uncompaghre Plateau, and the San Juan Mountains meet to form one of the most fascinating areas in the world. Each of these areas created and built itself from the rock and ground remains of the overthrust.

Cairn Of Giants National Monument, Colorado.

The Cairn of Giants National Monument is located at a ridge that overlooks the Black Canyon of the Gunnison River. The area once was part of the Uncompaghre Plateau.

Vail

Area—This is a world unto itself. For nearly 100 years, Vail has served as a place of rest and relaxation, offering a multitude of activities, but always in a safe environment. The Vail Valley is also beyond swanky with a reputation for great skiing, fishing, hiking, and biking. With more than 20 restaurants and a number of shops downtown, the town is a hub of social life in the mountains.

Great Sand Dunes National Park

The Great Sand Dunes National Park and Preserve is a United States National Park that preserves the Site of our Nation’s largest active sand dune field.

The park is located in the San Luis Valley, a dry, high-altitude valley in southwestern Colorado, near the city of Alamosa, Colorado.

The dunes have been studied and documented by scientists for many decades. Washouts, changes in topography, movement of sand, and proximity to human activity affect the shifting dunes.

The Great Sand Dunes National Park and Preserve is host to many types of hiking trails, allowing visitors to hike amidst the tallest sand dunes in North America. These trails range from somewhat easy to extremely difficult.

Boulder

Aspen

Colorado – King of the Mountains.

Aspen is one of the most picturesque places in the world where the wild west and the east meet. In the Rocky Mountains, the town is the fictional home to the infamous television family, the Simpsons. Aspen is also a famous ski resort where famous skiers such as Lindsey Vonn have created new moves and snowboarders like Louie Vito have won world titles.

It is a permanent town where many people live year round. During the summer, however, Aspen is a place where you can camp out and enjoy dining at the highest restaurants.

The most beloved of the famous Aspen restaurants is the Hotel Jerome. It is known for its infamous Colorado Potato Skins. This is just one of the many famous meals that the town provides with its famous cuisine.

Colorado has a rich heritage and is full of areas of joy, pride, and history.

A mere 1.5 hours away, Glenwood Springs is another city where you can enjoy relaxation and fitness in the outdoors. There, you can find an 18-hole golf course, a mountain bike park, and the Perseverance Park with a climbing gym.

Many people like to visit the town of Breckenridge. Located a few miles from the other mountains, it also has an 18-hole golf course, a ski resort, a handful of restaurants, and more. There are various historical sites that are perfect for tours.

Colorado Springs

Colorado Springs is more than just a city in Colorado. Colorado Springs is the name of the rugged mountains that surround the city and provide the setting for some of the most stunning landscapes in Colorado.

The city lies at the foot of the majestic Sangre de Cristo Mountains, a famous national byway. There is so much to see in Colorado Springs, but these top 10 attractions are ones to see in the city as well.

Broadmoor Hotel

Along with the Broadmoor resort of the same name, the Broadmoor Hotel can come off as a bit stuffy. But aside from being the home of the Broadmoor Golf Course, THE golf course in the city, it also houses several unique little shops, and it is also the location of the Colorado Springs' annual costume ball, which is considered by many locals and out-of-towners to be the most important party of the year. The gala is a posh local charity event, and anyone is welcome to donate a ticket to purchase one. While many people go to the ball for the dresses and the food, there are plenty of fun little quirks and activities, some of which can be enjoyed both inside and outside the ballroom.

Denver

Colorado’s most populous city

The largest city in Colorado, Denver is also the state’s heart. It’s a cultural and artistic hub, with tons to do. There’s everything from art galleries and museums, to theaters and concerts, to special events and sports teams. Denver also has a strong cafe and restaurant culture. Of course, the city offers exciting attractions, which range from world-class museums and landmarks, to a spectacular ski resort city, and a world-class culinary hotspot.

Mesa Verde

Mesa Verde National Park sits on the Mesa Verde mesa in Northern New Mexico. In the 19th century, the archeology of the Ancestral Puebloans (the worlds’ first known prehistoric tribe) was largely unknown and archaeologists were shocked to find thriving communities almost 1,000 years ago.

Their buildings were in an advanced state of design and utilized the cold mountain mountains to its advantage.

The Wasatch Range, the Rockies and the Sierra Nevada Mountains create a perfect storm of natural elements and geochemical conditions that allowed the Anasazi, or Ancestral Puebloans, to thrive as a people and as a civilization. The many dwellings they left behind continues to amaze today’s archeologists into new discoveries and findings.

The park was the first ever federally protected areas designated to preserve the archaeological sites, artifacts and ancient structures. It is still one of the best kept secrets of the American Southwest.

The park is free and requires no entrance fee or pass for visitors. It is open year-round from 8AM to 5PM and phone lines are open from 8AM to 4:30PM.

The park has over 14,000 acres of natural beauty and many recreational activities, such as hiking, camping, horseback riding and wildlife viewing.

Rocky Mountain National Park

One of the best places to visit in the US is Rocky Mountain National Park. It is located in the middle of the United State and covers an area of about 395,000 acres. This beautiful national park can be seen from the 434,000 foot tall Mount Evans. With an elevation of 14,259 feet, it is the highest point in the state of Colorado. Alongside the peaks of the mountains are the diverse forests, grasslands and wetlands that are home to native wildlife.

These species include grizzlies and black bears while some of the birds small enough to fit in your hand include the swift foxes, blue birds, grosbeaks and meadowlarks. Bear’s can be seen in the park as early as June and the mountains are ablaze with colour later that month.

One of the best ways to experience the parks is by joining a guided hike. This ensures you get to see the most of the parks and include a little knowledge from the leader of the hike.

Access to Rocky Mountain National park and its various programs can be gained by road, air and rail. These include the roads across Trail Ridge Road, by air on Turbot – or Moose Creek; and by train on the Cumbres and Toltec Scenic Railroad.