10 Best Places to Visit in Colorado
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If you’re looking for an unforgettable adventure, look no further than the top 10 best places to visit in Colorado. From stunning mountain vistas to vibrant cultural experiences, Colorado has something for everyone. Whether you’re an outdoor enthusiast, a history buff, or a lover of the arts, you’ll find plenty of top tourist attractions in Colorado to explore.

Get ready to immerse yourself in breathtaking landscapes, indulge in mouthwatering food and drink, and discover the unique spirit of Colorado. With so much to see and do, it can be difficult to know where to start. But fear not, we’ve got you covered with our guide to the 10 best places to visit in Colorado. Ready to begin your Colorado adventure? Let’s go!

Rocky Mountain National Park

Embark on an unforgettable adventure at one of the most renowned national parks in the United States – Rocky Mountain National Park. Located in Colorado, this stunning park boasts majestic peaks, serene lakes, and abundant wildlife that will captivate any nature lover. Here, you can explore the picturesque scenery through numerous stunning trails, witness the breathtaking beauty of nature while going wildlife spotting, or even camping in the pristine wilderness.

The park is home to the highest continuous paved road in the US at Trail Ridge Road, which provides stunning views of the surrounding peaks and wildlife. At nightfall, gaze up at the stars and experience the dark skies of Colorado. The park also offers scenic drives, horseback riding, and fishing in the glacial lakes.

Don’t miss the chance to witness the incredible natural beauty of Rocky Mountain National Park during your Colorado travel.

Colorado vacation spots

Garden of the Gods

If you’re looking for beautiful places to visit in Colorado, the Garden of the Gods is a must-see. This geological wonder is nestled in Colorado Springs and provides a breathtaking view of towering sandstone cliffs against the backdrop of Pikes Peak. It’s a popular destination for hiking, biking, and rock climbing enthusiasts, but also a place to simply enjoy the beautiful scenery. Take in the majestic landscape of this awe-inspiring park while enjoying your favorite outdoor activities.

beautiful places in Colorado

The geology of the Garden of Gods

The red rock formations found in the Garden of the Gods have a rich history that dates back more than 300 million years. These towering sandstone formations were created by tectonic activity, erosion, and deposition. Over time, the forces of nature created the stunning rock formations that we see today.

“This spot is the most wonderful and enchanting place I have ever seen.”

-F.W. Rinehart, Sculptor

Visiting the Garden of the Gods

When planning your Colorado travel guide, make sure to add the Garden of the Gods to your list of must-visit destinations. The park is open year-round and admission is free. Visitors can enjoy hiking, rock climbing, and mountain biking. The park also offers guided tours and educational programs to help visitors better appreciate the natural beauty of this incredible location.

Things to DoHours of Operation
Scenic drive5:00 AM to 10:00 PM
Hiking5:00 AM to 10:00 PM
Rock Climbing5:00 AM to 10:00 PM
Biking5:00 AM to 10:00 PM

What are you waiting for? Enjoy the natural beauty of this awe-inspiring park that offers something for everyone. Add Garden of the Gods to your Colorado travel guide itinerary and discover why it’s one of the most beautiful places in Colorado.

Mesa Verde National Park

If you’re interested in exploring Colorado’s ancient history, then a visit to Mesa Verde National Park is a must. This incredible park is home to some of the best-preserved Ancestral Puebloan cliff dwellings in the world.

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The park is a popular landmark in Colorado and attracts visitors from all over the globe. Exploring Colorado means delving into a history that dates back over 1,400 years, and what better way to do that than by visiting this UNESCO World Heritage site?

Once you’re there, you’ll be able to explore the 5,000 documented ancestral Pueblo archaeological sites, including 600 exceptionally well-preserved cliff dwellings, such as the famous Cliff Palace.

Throughout your visit, you’ll learn all about the ancient civilizations that once thrived in Colorado and gain a deeper appreciation for the incredible feats that these early inhabitants achieved.

popular landmarks in Colorado

“Visiting Mesa Verde National Park was such an incredible experience. It was fascinating to learn about the history of the ancestral Puebloan people and to see such well-preserved examples of their cliff dwellings. Definitely a must-visit when exploring Colorado!”

Great Sand Dunes National Park

When it comes to natural wonders, Great Sand Dunes National Park is definitely at the top of the list. With its towering dunes – the tallest in North America – and unique landscape, this park is a must-visit for anyone traveling to Colorado.

Whether you’re looking for a thrill or just want to soak in the stunning beauty, Great Sand Dunes National Park has something for everyone.

One fun and unique activity that you can enjoy in the park is sandboarding – similar to snowboarding, but on sand! Rent a board and shred down the dunes for an adrenaline rush that you’ll never forget.

But if that’s not your thing, don’t worry! There are plenty of other ways to experience the beauty of the park. Take a leisurely hike to one of the many peaks, stroll along Medano Creek, or simply sit and admire the view.

At night, be sure to stick around for some stargazing – the dark skies over the park offer some spectacular views of the stars and planets.

The Beauty of Great Sand Dunes National Park

AttractionDescription
SandboardingRent a board and shred down the dunes for a unique experience that’s sure to get your heart pumping.
HikingWith numerous peaks and trails, Great Sand Dunes National Park provides a variety of hiking experiences for all skill levels.
Medano CreekTake a leisurely stroll along this shallow creek, which runs through the heart of the sand dunes.
StargazingThe dark skies over Great Sand Dunes National Park provide some of the best stargazing opportunities in Colorado.

So what are you waiting for? Add Great Sand Dunes National Park to your list of must-visit destinations in Colorado, and prepare to be amazed.

best natural wonders in Colorado

Maroon Bells

Maroon Bells is one of the top tourist attractions in Colorado and a must-visit destination for nature lovers. These breathtaking peaks, located near Aspen, offer some of the most awe-inspiring scenery in Colorado. Take a hike around the crystal clear Maroon Lake and soak in the majestic beauty of these mountains.

With vivid shades of red, yellow, and orange, the fall foliage around Maroon Bells is a sight to behold. In winter, visitors can ski on the slopes of Aspen or snowshoe around the lake. Whatever the season, Maroon Bells is a year-round attraction that promises to leave you spellbound.

Maroon Bells

The Maroon Bells are also home to a diverse range of flora and fauna, so keep an eye out for Rocky Mountain bighorn sheep, elk, and black bears during your hike. If you’re feeling adventurous, take on the challenging 14,000-foot peaks to test your mountaineering skills.

Pikes Peak

If you’re looking for stunning views in Colorado, Pikes Peak should be on your list. As one of the state’s most famous fourteeners, it offers breathtaking panoramic views that are sure to leave you speechless. You have two options to reach the summit of Pikes Peak – you can choose to hike the challenging Barr Trail or opt for a more relaxing drive. Either way, the views from the top are well worth the effort.

Exploring Colorado

The Barr Trail is a 12.6-mile hike that can take between 6 to 10 hours to complete, depending on your pace. It’s a challenging hike that requires good physical fitness, but the stunning views of the mountains, canyons, and alpine forests make it worth your while. Don’t forget to bring plenty of water, snacks, and sunscreen.

If hiking is not your thing, you can take the Pikes Peak Cog Railway or drive up the Pikes Peak Highway. The highway is a 19-mile scenic drive that offers stunning views of the surrounding mountains and valleys. Along the way, you’ll have plenty of opportunities to stop and take pictures or enjoy a picnic.

No matter how you choose to reach the summit of Pikes Peak, you’ll have a chance to take in the breathtaking vistas that make Colorado so special.

Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park

If you’re looking for rugged and breathtaking natural vistas, the Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park should top your list of Colorado vacation spots. Marvel at the steep, narrow walls that plunge more than 2,000 feet into the Gunnison River. This awe-inspiring canyon is a popular landmark in Colorado, known for its impressive scenery and abundant opportunities for hiking, rock climbing, and wildlife viewing.

Colorado vacation spots

Exploring the Black Canyon of the Gunnison

As you explore the canyon, take in the striking contrasts of light and shadow cast on the canyon walls by the sun and its reflection on the river. Feeling adventurous? Hike one of the numerous trails that range in difficulty level from easy to strenuous. Alternatively, for adrenaline junkies, try your hand at rock climbing one of the precariously perched rock formations. For animal lovers, watch out for the abundant wildlife like the peregrine falcon, elk, and mule deer that call the canyon home.

Tips for Visiting Black Canyon of the Gunnison

Best time of year to visitThe best time to visit the Black Canyon of the Gunnison is in the summer months, but be aware of the crowds. Winter is less crowded and the scenery is equally stunning, but check the park’s website for road closure information.
Where to stayThe park offers both camping and lodging options. For camping, try either the North Rim or South Rim campgrounds. For lodging, there are a few options just outside the park’s entrance.
How to get thereThe Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park is located in Western Colorado, and the easiest way to get there is by car. The closest airports are in Montrose, Gunnison, and Grand Junction, but flying may not be the most practical option.
Additional tipsBe sure to bring plenty of water and sunscreen, as the sun can be intense at this altitude. Wear comfortable hiking shoes and bring a camera to capture the stunning views.

Whether you’re an adventure seeker or a nature lover, Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park is a must-visit destination in Colorado. Don’t miss out on the chance to witness one of Colorado’s most majestic landmarks.

Durango and Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad

If you’re looking for a unique way to explore Colorado, consider taking a scenic train ride through the San Juan Mountains. Durango and Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad, a historic railway that operated since 1882, offers a nostalgic journey into Colorado’s past.

The train route follows the Animas River through breathtaking canyons and mountains, providing stunning views of the surrounding scenery. During the summer months, you can choose between standard and first-class rides; the latter includes luxurious amenities and access to an open-air car making it the perfect option for couples or families with older children. The train also operates during the winter, giving visitors an opportunity to enjoy the snow-clad wonderland of Colorado.

During the ride, you’ll learn about Colorado’s mining and railroad history from knowledgeable and entertaining guides, who ensure a memorable experience. The train stops at Cascade Canyon, where you can enjoy various activities such as hiking, fishing, and picnicking.

You’ll also have a chance to visit the Durango and Silverton Railroad Museum, dedicated to preserving and showcasing the history of this iconic train. Whether you’re a train enthusiast, a history buff, or just looking to experience the beauty of Colorado, a ride on the Durango and Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad is a must-do when exploring this beautiful state.

beautiful places in Colorado

Telluride

If you’re looking for a charming mountain town to add to your Colorado travel guide, Telluride is a must-visit destination. Surrounded by stunning scenery, you’ll find endless opportunities for outdoor activities year-round. In the winter, hit the ski slopes and enjoy the picturesque views of the snow-covered mountains. In the summer, take in the lush greenery and attend one of the many festivals held in the town, including the world-renowned Telluride Film Festival.

Aside from outdoor activities, Telluride boasts a variety of restaurants, shops, and cultural attractions. Be sure to check out the historic Sheridan Opera House and the Telluride Historical Museum to learn more about the town’s rich mining history.

must-visit destinations in Colorado

Overall, there’s something for everyone in Telluride, making it a top must-visit destination in Colorado.

Royal Gorge Bridge and Park

When it comes to popular landmarks in Colorado, the Royal Gorge Bridge and Park is a must-visit destination.

The main attraction of the park is the Royal Gorge Bridge, one of the highest suspension bridges in the world. Walking across the bridge is an exhilarating experience that will leave you breathless.

But the park offers more than just the bridge; visitors can enjoy a variety of thrilling attractions, such as a zip line, gondola rides, and a skycoaster.

From the park, you can enjoy awe-inspiring views of the Royal Gorge and the Arkansas River. If you’re looking for outdoor activities, the park also offers hiking, camping, and rock climbing opportunities.

popular landmarks in Colorado

Mount Evans Scenic Byway

Embark on a scenic drive along the highest paved road in North America, the Mount Evans Scenic Byway. This unforgettable drive takes you through stunning alpine landscapes and offers some of the best natural wonders in Colorado. Keep an eye out for local wildlife like mountain goats and bighorn sheep as you climb to the summit of Mount Evans for panoramic views of the surrounding mountains.

If you’re looking for Colorado vacation spots that combines natural beauty and adventure, the Mount Evans Scenic Byway is a must-visit destination. Don’t forget your camera, as you’ll want to snap plenty of pictures to treasure for years to come.

best natural wonders in Colorado

What to Expect on the Mount Evans Scenic Byway

ActivityDescription
Scenic DriveThe Mount Evans Scenic Byway is a 28-mile drive that offers breathtaking views of the Rocky Mountains. The road winds its way through the Arapahoe National Forest, providing stunning photo opportunities at every turn.
Wildlife ViewingAs you climb higher, keep your eyes peeled for herds of bighorn sheep and mountain goats perched on the cliffs. You may even spot a marmot or pika scurrying across the rocks.
HikingThe Mount Evans area is home to several hiking trails that range from easy walks to more challenging routes. Hike to summit Mount Evans or explore nearby Echo Lake Park.
Star GazingAt 14,000 feet, the summit of Mount Evans offers expansive views of the night sky. On clear nights, you can see constellations and shooting stars beneath a blanket of stars.

“The Mount Evans Scenic Byway is one of the most epic road trips you can take in Colorado. It’s an experience you’ll never forget.” – Traveler Review

Garden of the Gods Trading Post

Experience Colorado’s rich history and culture by visiting the Garden of the Gods Trading Post. This rustic trading post is one of the top tourist attractions in Colorado, offering unique shopping and a chance to learn about the Native American tribes that once inhabited the area.

Browse the artwork and crafts created by local artisans, or enjoy a delicious meal at the Balanced Rock Cafe. The trading post also features an impressive collection of Native American jewelry, pottery, and other artifacts.

beautiful places in Colorado

Explore the museum to learn about the geology, wildlife, and history of the area. The exhibits showcase the beauty of the Garden of the Gods and its significance to the Native American tribes who consider it a sacred site.

Don’t miss this opportunity to immerse yourself in the culture and beauty of Colorado’s iconic Garden of the Gods Trading Post.

Aspen

If you’re looking for a premier destination that caters to both outdoor enthusiasts and culture lovers, Aspen is a must-visit location in Colorado. Known for world-class ski resorts and a vibrant arts scene, there’s never a dull moment.

Hit the slopes and indulge in some of the finest skiing and snowboarding in North America. Whether you’re a seasoned pro or a beginner, there are plenty of slopes to suit your skills. After a long day on the mountain, unwind in one of Aspen’s luxury resorts for a relaxing spa treatment.

Not into skiing? No problem. Aspen also boasts some of the state’s best hiking and biking trails. So, grab your gear and adventure through the stunning Rocky Mountains. Along the way, snap some Instagram-worthy photos of the awe-inspiring landscapes.

If you’re a culture buff, Aspen has plenty to offer. From galleries to museums to music festivals, there’s always something to keep you entertained. Make sure to check out the historic Wheeler Opera House, which hosts various shows and performances throughout the year.

must-visit destinations in Colorado

Aspen Shopping and Dining

Aspen is also known for its upscale shopping and dining options. Browse designer stores and boutiques for the latest fashion trends. If you’re a foodie, indulge in some of the best culinary experiences Colorado has to offer, from farm-to-table restaurants to five-star dining.

Aspen Events and Festivals

Don’t miss out on some of the most popular annual events in Aspen. From the renowned Food & Wine Classic to the X Games, there’s always something happening in this vibrant town.

Estes Park

If you’re exploring Colorado, don’t miss the Gateway to Rocky Mountain National Park, Estes Park. This picturesque mountain town offers breathtaking landscapes and a vibrant downtown area to explore. Take in the stunning views of alpine tundra, glaciers, and forests while hiking the many trails in the park. Be sure to keep an eye out for the abundant wildlife that calls Estes Park home.

If you’re looking for a more leisurely activity, take a scenic drive through the park to witness the sweeping vistas from the comfort of your car. And when you’re ready to unwind, explore the charming downtown area filled with shops, galleries, and restaurants.

Exploring Colorado

Things to Do in Estes Park:

  • Hiking in Rocky Mountain National Park
  • Wildlife Spotting
  • Scenic Drives
  • Shopping and Dining in Downtown Area

Estes Park is the perfect destination for nature enthusiasts and city explorers alike. With its scenic outlooks, abundant wildlife, and charming downtown area, it offers something for everyone.

Conclusion

Colorado is a state that offers an abundance of natural beauty and captivating cultural experiences. You can enjoy hiking, skiing, wildlife spotting, and exploring charming mountain towns. Ensure you visit the top 10 best places to visit in Colorado, including the Rocky Mountain National Park, Garden of the Gods, and Mesa Verde National Park, among others.

Immerse yourself in the rich history, diverse culture, and adventurous activities Colorado has to offer. Begin planning your Colorado adventure today and create unforgettable memories in this enchanting state!

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