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Things to do in Colorado

Things to do in  Colorado

Welcome to Colorado

From the eastern plain’s flat grasslands rippling in the breeze to the snow-capped peaks of the Rocky Mountains, Colorado is perfect for those who heed the call of the wild. A variety of tours offer hiking opportunities in Rocky Mountain National Park and Garden of the Gods, each within easy reach of Denver and Colorado Springs, respectively. White-water rafting tours whisk you along rivers that wind their way through the state. Snow sports enthusiasts will want to join an excursion to some of the best slopes in the United States in Vail, Telluride, and Breckenridge — which transform into cultural hubs hosting music festivals and outdoor movie nights when the snow melts in the summer. Take a trip to tour the southern tip of the state, where Canyons of the Ancients and Mesa Verde National Park offer a glimpse into the lives of the area’s Ancestral Puebloan inhabitants. When it’s time to step indoors, make your way to a culinary or city tour for some cowboy-chic culture, especially in and around the Mile High City (and state capital) of downtown Denver. Sip high-altitude beers on a tour of the city’s ever-expanding craft brewery scene; taste farm-to-table cuisine on a Denver food tour; spend an evening touring the city’s fine art collections; or take an easy day trip to the neighboring college town of Boulder.

Top 15 attractions in Colorado

Garden of the Gods

An urban park and designated national landmark in Colorado Springs, the Garden of the Gods encompasses 1,367 acres (553 hectares) of unique wilderness, Great Plains grassland, and juniper woodlands. Highlights include the red rock formations Balanced Rock, Gateway Rock, and the Three Graces, as well as petroglyphs from the original Native American occupants of the area, the Ute people.More

Pikes Peak Highway

As you wind your way up Pikes Peak Highway prepare for stunning views and historic establishments on the way to the iconic 14,115-foot (4302-meter) peak known as “America’s Mountain.” The drive is lined with scenic vista points, lakes, picnic areas, trails, and high-altitude plants and wildlife. You can stop at the Crystal Reservoir Gift Shop and Historic Glen Cove Inn on your way to the Summit House—the restaurant atop the peak.More

Red Rocks Park and Amphitheatre

Denver’s Red Rocks Amphitheatre is a music venue unlike any other—a sandstone stadium forged by the elements and blessed with natural acoustics. Many musicians have taken to this stage, and when shows are in town, Red Rocks can host over 9,500 concertgoers, all in for a treat beyond the music: stellar views of the natural Colorado landscape.More

Animas River

With the right gear, nearly anyone can experience the watery wilds of the Animas River, which flows right through the heart of Durango, Colorado. Starting at some 11,000 feet (3,353 meters), it winds for 126 miles (203 kilometers) down mountains, valleys, and shrublands in the southern part of the state. To best explore all that this mighty river has to offer, choose between fly fishing or tackling Class I, II, and III rapids in a kayak, canoe, or even a paddleboard or tube.More

Lower Downtown Denver (LoDo)

A lively district of restaurants, shops, and nightlife, Lower Downtown Denver (or LoDo) is a top destination for Denver culture. In addition to its vibrant scene, though, LoDo is also home to some of the city’s best-preserved historic architecture and more Victorian–era buildings than anywhere else in the United States.More

Larimer Square

Larimer Square is the oldest part of Denver, with Victorian-era buildings now home to many of the city’s best restaurants, bars, and boutiques. The foundation of Colorado’s capital, the 2-block district is popular with locals and tourists alike, strolling beneath strings of lights and state flags.More

Historic Downtown Durango

Built by miners and railroad workers in the late 19th century, Downtown Durango—a nationally registered historic district—holds onto its Wild West flair. On its historic main street, you’ll find plenty of shops, restaurants, and cowboy-toutin’ places of note, including the original Strater Hotel, built in 1887, and the Durango and Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad, a historic steam train that travels through the San Juan Mountains and straight into downtown.More

Colorado State Capitol Building

The Colorado State Capitol, built a mile above sea level with a bell-shaped gold dome, is a striking feature in Denver’s skyline. The historic structure is made from Colorado rose onyx, a rare marble that’s entire known stores were used on the building. On your way in, look for the step that marks the capitol’s “mile high” point.More

Lookout Mountain

It’s just a short drive from downtown Denver, but Lookout Mountain feels like another world. Once used as a lookout for the Native American Ute tribe that called the area home, the 7,300-foot (2,225-meter) mountain has miles of hiking and mountain biking trails throughout, from easy walking paths to strenuous switchbacks. From the summit, you can see the Denver skyline 12 miles (19 kilometers) away.More
Cheyenne Mountain Zoo

Cheyenne Mountain Zoo

At an elevation of 6,800 feet (2,072 meters), Cheyenne Mountain Zoo in Colorado Springs is aptly called “America’s only mountain zoo.” Its 146 acres (59 hectares) are home to hundreds of animals, including grizzly bears, monkeys, hippos, tigers, elephants, and its renowned herd of giraffes—one of the largest in the world.More

Arkansas River

Originating in the Rocky Mountains, the Arkansas River flows through four states before emptying into the mighty Mississippi. Near its Colorado headwaters, the river is one of the top white-water rafting destinations in the United States, with rapids ranging from mild to extreme as the waterway winds through the scenic Royal Gorge.More

Denver 16th Street Mall

The Denver 16th Street Mall in Denver, Colorado, is a tree-lined pedestrian corridor filled with outdoor cafés, restaurants, and shops. Along the popular downtown promenade, visitors can enjoy performances from local street performers or take a ride in a horse-drawn carriage while searching for the perfect craft beer or dining spot.More

Molly Brown House Museum

Visitors may know Margaret “Molly” Brown in association with theRMS Titanic, but there was much more to her life than the ill-fated voyage for which she became famous. An activist, suffragist, and philanthropist, Brown’s spirit lives on through educational tours, exhibits, and programming inside her restored historic Denver home.More

Denver Art Museum (DAM)

One of the largest museums between Chicago and California, Denver Art Museum showcases a wide range of art in its 70,000-piece collection. From Native American art to ultramodern contemporary pieces, interactive exhibits to works sparking profound cultural reflection, DAM (as locals call it) is a destination for art lovers of all ages.More

Denver Civic Center Park

Colorful flower beds bloom amid a lineup of historical monuments in Civic Center Park, a green space bordered by some of the city’s most important landmarks. Its tree-shaded paths lead to the Denver Art Museum, the State Capitol, and the City and County Building. A stop on many city tours, it’s a great place to start exploring downtown.More

Top activities in Colorado

Small Group Tour of Pikes Peak and the Garden of the Gods from Denver
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Half Day Rocky Mountain Escape

Half Day Rocky Mountain Escape

Jeep Tour - Foothills & Garden of the Gods
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Rocky Mountain Zipline Adventure

Rocky Mountain Zipline Adventure

Woods Course Zipline Tour in Seven Falls
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Visit Red Rocks Park, Continental Divide & Breckenridge
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Shared Half-Day Mountain Tour in Red Rocks Evergreen and Echo Lake
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Mesa Verde Express Tour

Mesa Verde Express Tour

Small-Group Tour of the Rocky Mountain National Park from Denver
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RiNo Arts District Food Tour

RiNo Arts District Food Tour

Breathtaking Colorado Springs Sunrise Hot Air Balloon Flight
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Twilight Ghost Tour
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Twilight Ghost Tour

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All about Colorado

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People Also Ask

What is Colorado known for?

Incredibly, 78 of the 100 highest peaks in the Rocky Mountains can be found in Colorado. Though the state also comprises endless rolling plains and red rock desert, the Centennial State is best known for its wild mountain views and high-elevation adventures.

What can you do in Colorado?

In spring, summer, and fall, hit up the five-star hiking trails, zipline across canyons, SUP on alpine lakes, and spend evenings dining al fresco. In winter, snowshoe or ski at top winter resorts, catch live music and theater, and cozy up by the fire with a Colorado craft spirit.

What is the prettiest part of Colorado?

Many say the scenery around Rocky Mountain National Park—and Grand County—offer the state’s best views. Some prefer the lush canyons and waterfalls around Ouray and Durango, and still others love the red-rock vistas at Colorado National Monument and around Grand Junction. Find your favorite.

What are the main attractions in Colorado?

The state boasts vibrant cities, but Colorado’s national parks—Rocky Mountain, Mesa Verde, Great Sand Dunes, and Black Canyon of the Gunnison—draw in millions of visitors every year. You’ll also find some of the country’s best skiing and hiking trails, all of which pair well with the state’s fiery craft-beer scene.

What is there to do in Colorado during the summer?

Many Colorado visitors come in summer to experience the state’s great outdoors. Hiking the Continental Divide Scenic Trail, stargazing in Westcliffe, river kayaking and whitewater rafting the Arkansas River, searching for ghost towns—there are many activities to try in the Centennial State for summer.

How can I spend a week in Colorado?

From Denver Airport, rent a car and road trip across the state’s national parks, monuments, and landscapes—the state goes from rolling golden plains to high peaks to red rock desert. Alternatively, scout out pioneer history, go dark-sky hunting, hit top ski slopes, or hop between artsy enclaves and cowboy-clad towns.


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