Cut in half by the huge Rocky Mountains and loaded with the most beautiful national parks and wild spots, Colorado represents the perfect travel destination. You will love Colorado, especially if you’re into outdoor activities like skiing, camping, rafting, hiking or biking. If you visit Colorado, these activities will undoubtedly become your way of life.
The state has a vibrant atmosphere and sportive culture that attracts travelers from all over the world. They come to Colorado to get their laidback vacation or to enjoy the breathtaking landscapes of this splendid piece of land.
Did you know that here in Colorado, more beer is produced than in any other state? Also, it’s one of the ONLY two states in America where you can legally possess marijuana for recreational use.
Abundant in cultural and historical attractions along with the natural glamour, Colorado has a lot to offer to travelers. There’s something for everyone here. If you want to learn about the best places in Colorado, below is a list of top 10 best places you cannot miss if you come to the Centennial State, especially if you’re a first-time visitor.
Notable and impressive, Aspen represents one of the most famous ski resorts in the world.
It’s popular among celebrities and travelers searching for a great skiing spot, fishing or simply enjoying the rare mountain views.
With it’s four top-quality resorts, this place is a must-visit. There’s plenty to admire about Aspen, from the Buttermilk mountain to Aspen Mountain, the Roaring Fork River, to the Maroon Bells.
Although this place is famous for winter sports, you can also enjoy festivals that take place throughout the year, local craft beer along with a delicious meal before you take off to dog sledding, snowmobiling, downhill skiing, ice skating or cross-country skiing.
If you plan to visit Aspen during the summer period, prepare yourself for a ride in the Aspen Mountain Gondola. You can also try hiking, horseback riding, or hot air ballooning. Also, gourmands shouldn’t miss the annual food & wine classic that takes place in June.
9. Mesa Verde
Found in the southwestern parts of Colorado, Mesa Verde represents home to the famous cliff lodgings of the ancient Anasazi population.
It also represents one of the most important archeological domain of Native American culture in the United States.
Throughout history, the Anasazi people built homes in caves and under rocks along the canyon natural fences. The Cliff Palace represents an iconic structure build in such a way. It’s made out of sandstone bricks and mortar made out of clay, water, and ash.
It holds 76 open spots and 150 rooms. Increase in population along with climate changes forced Anasazi to migrate to Arizona and New Mexico during the late years of the 13th century. Today, Mesa Verde represents one of the most stunning National Parks of the state. You can visit many attractions if you climb the top or enjoy the landscape.
Vail holds the largest single-mountain ski resort in Colorado. Build to accommodate the Vail Ski Resort; the city has turned into the most popular draw with scenic lakes and rivers.
Although famous for the winter sports, the city grabs the attention of travelers during the summer period too. It’s a place where you can play golf, try mountain biking, horseback riding, hiking or some other activity that’s popular among tourists in summer.
Vail is loaded with top-rated restaurants. The weather is perfect throughout the year. What more could you possibly ask for? It should climb your travel list as a must-visit, especially if you’re looking for a picturesque paradise to spend your winter vacation at.
7. Black Canyon of the Gunnison
Best known for the narrow valley called the Black Canyon, the Gunnison National Park can be found in southwestern Colorado.
Amazingly, the canyon reached a depth of over 2,700 feet and was carved by the Gunnison River thanks to the thousands of years of erosion.
The 6 mile South Rim Road will offer you an impressive view of the canyon. It also provides a great view of the tallest cliff in Colorado, the Painted Wall that’s over 2,250 feet tall.
This canyon is a must-visit, especially if you’re a first time visitor and want to experience something special. It’s no wonder why no tourist has excluded the Black Canyon from their travel list during their stay to Colorado. The place is a gem.
6. The National Monument of Colorado
The monument has a captivating beauty like no other.
It spreads across 23,000 acres and isn’t your usual tourist attraction. If you expect the average mountain scenery, sorry to disappoint, but the National Monument won’t meet your expectation but overtop it.
It can be found near Fruita, just outside the cities of Grand Junction. Compiled of cliffs, canyons, gigantic rocks and desert-like elements with scrubby bushes and tiny trees, this iconic attraction will win you at first sight. Most travelers drive through it along the scenic road, Rim Rock road which is also famous as a biking area.
Found 65 miles west of Denver, the capital of Colorado, Breckenridge represents a mining town rich in both historical and cultural attractions.
It’s a small population usually increases during the winter period when skiing season takes place.
With around 2,300 skiing grounds that make the southwestern border of Breckenridge, the place makes a paradise for travelers looking for the perfect skiing destination.
You can also visit the 13,000-foot high Peak 8, thanks to the newly opened gondola. Aside from all this, there are also cultural attractions listed on the National Historic Register worth exploring too. If you plan to visit this gold-rush town in summer, you can explore the cultural scene and learn more about the exciting history of the place.
Local experts can take you on a tour of Breckenridge’s historical centers. You get to choose between the Haunted tour, the Historic tour, and the Gold Mining tour. You can also go fishing, biking, paddling, rafting, or hiking if you’re into some of these activities.
4. Rocky Mountain National Park
Covering some of the most impressive mountains in the world, the Rocky Mountain National Park will win you over at first glance.
Lying on both sides of the Continental Divide, the place contains 77 mountains with heights that start from 7,500 to even 12,000 feet.
The park is visited by millions of tourists annually who spend at least one night in some of the campgrounds available. If you manage to hike the 350 miles trails, you will be rewarded with an impressive view of the park’s wildlife, including elk, deer, and sheep.
You can also visit Trial Ridge, the highest paved road in the United States, specially build for travelers to enjoy the scenery. As you can notice by the number of visitors, the national park is quite busy throughout the year. It makes the perfect place for hiking, wildlife gazing, horseback riding, fishing, climbing, and camping.
3. Colorado Springs
If you’re drawn by the mountain views and would like to check out the spot that inspired the writing of the hit “America, the Beautiful,” you should visit the famous Colorado Springs.
It can be found at the eastern foot of the Rocky Mountains, near Pikes Peak.
You can enjoy a ride on the Pikes Peak Highway or climb the mountain’s top that’s over 14,000 feet high. Another remarkable landscape you can experience is the Garden of the Goods based here. Compiled of rocks and sandstone formations, this natural attraction will amaze you.
Aside from all this, you can visit some of the many museums, such as the Pioneer Museum. Or check out the Fine Arts Center along with the Rock Ledge Historic Site. Colorado Springs is one of the best tourists draws across the state. And considering the beauty of the city, there’s an apparent reason why.
2. Grand Sand Dunes National Park
As you can notice, and we’ve mentioned this at the beginning, Colorado has plenty of national parks to present to tourists.
And Great Sand Dunes represents one of the best ones on the list. Located in Southern Colorado, this place offers an impressive sight.
Shaped by winds blowing throughout the mountains Sangre de Cristo, the park boosts with tall dunes that climb over 750 feet, representing highest ones in North America.
You can enjoy skiing, sand-boarding or sledding on the dunes if you decide to visit this fantastic place. Surrounded by the majestic Sangre de Cristo Mountains, the park will captivate you with one of the most spectacular desert landscape you’ve ever seen. It’s open to visits any time of year, so feel free to stop by and admire the scenery.
Last but not least, the capital of Colorado, Denver, that’s often referred to as the “Mile-High City” represents the largest city in the state.
And a very popular destination for winter sports activities.
Located east of the Rocky Mountains, Denver serves a city rich of prominent museums, such as the Denver Performing Arts Complex, that’s one of the biggest performing art centers of the nation, and the Denver Art Museum.
If you’re more into outdoor activities than art, you can try biking along the Greenway Trail. Or have a long walk in the lovely gardens and parks. Or have fun at sports parks. Don’t forget to visit the Denver Zoo to complete your memorable experience in Denver.
Colorado has a lot to offer, but if you want to visit the best places only, you’ve just finished a list featuring the top 10 best places to visit in Colorado. Feel free to make it your travel list and explore Colorado, a divine state that will overtop your expectations.