One of the country’s most beautiful natural area’s to explore in the United States, the Rocky Mountain National Park is an ideal vacation destination for those who crave outdoor adventures and awe-inspiring vistas of mountains, lakes and valleys. With 355 miles of hiking trails, ranging from flat lakeside strolls to steep mountain climbs, there are corners of this park that appeal to everyone. Take a scenic drive and spot diverse wildlife, such as Elk, Mule Deer and Bighorn Sheep, or go hunting for one of the 30 postcard-worthy waterfalls views. While there is no lodge inside the park, visitors can find campgrounds to pitch a tent and spend a night under the stars.
This opened the Loveland Valley Ski Area in 1961 as well as some south-facing slopes to the north of Chair 2 in 1965. During the 1980’s, Loveland upgraded the old Chair 2 with a high-capacity Yan triple chair. This provided better, more reliable access to beginner and intermediate terrain. In 1989, a new Valley lodge was constructed, allowing for better guest services at the beginner and racing hills.
More than 3,000 elk, 800 bighorn sheep and herds of mule deer and moose live in the park. For the best photography lighting and opportunities to spot massive bugling elk, head to Moraine Park just after sunrise. View bighorn sheep at Sheep Lakes May through mid-August and catch a glimpse of RMNP’s ever-elusive moose population along the Colorado River in the Kawuneeche Valley on the park's west side.
There’s no need to travel far from Denver unless you really want to. Boulder is less than an hour’s drive away and is home to the luxurious St. Julien Hotel and Spa. One of the state’s most romantic properties, by booking the St. Julien Suite you’ll enjoy an opulent two-room suite with a balcony, deep soaking tub and plenty of room and relax, unwind and enjoy your time together. You can even order up an in-room couples’ massage. When you do want to venture outside of your room, you’ll find lots to do in town and nearby. Hike the scenic trails that skirt its famous Flatirons Mountains, stroll through legendary open-air mall on Pearl Street, and dine at some fabulous restaurants like The Med, with its Greek Island-themed interior, fine wine and sumptuous Mediterranean small plates.
Colorado's biggest city is also its cultural hub. While you can go just about anywhere in Colorado to find outdoor adventures galore, in Denver you get the best of both worlds. The city is filled with top-notch museums, lively sports venues, prime shopping streets and an unmatched brewery scene. Meanwhile, just outside city limits, travelers have easy access to the Rockies as well as the photogenic Mount Evans Scenic Byway. Read More »
The Experience: Located in a Western ghost town in the Rockies, Dunton Hot Springs is the rustic escape for families that want to experience the great outdoors without compromising luxury or comfort. Dunton offers perma-tents, tepees, and cabins for lodging. This remote destination hotel will get you off the beaten path and out of your comfort zone in the best, most luxurious way possible.
The saloon serves all meals using organically grown local ingredients, including lamb, fruit and vegetables. Local and international wines complement the meals. Throughout the year, Dunton offers special programs, such as Fly Fishing School, Yoga Retreats and Equestrian Adventure. Ask about special programs and packages when booking. The resort is located one hour from Telluride and Cortez, two hours from Durango, 7 hours from Denver, and 5 hours from Santa Fe, New Mexico. Rates start from $1,100 per night for a cabin, including all meals, non-alcoholic beverages and unlimited use of hot springs. The entire town and its facilities can be rented exclusively for $10,000 per day and can accommodate 34 people. All meals, non alcoholic beverages and unlimited use of the library, screening room, and hot springs are included.
The Olives Aspen restaurant, run by Chef Todd English, serves Mediterranean-inspired cuisine with a local flare. The Lobby Lounge features beautiful views, and offers a light menu with cocktails, aperitifs, wines, and beers. Doubles from $725 per night. The hotel is located 10 minutes from the Airport. You can contact the hotel to arrange transportation. Doubles from $725 per night. The hotel is located 10 minutes from the Airport.
Marriott Courtyard Colorado Springs - we were very impressed with this Marriott, which we highly recommend for romantic & inexpensive accommodation in Central Colorado. The King Rooms with JACUZZI® tub are ideal for honeymoons, and the pool and on-site Bistro & Cocktail Bar are great. 2017 ERV Rating* for Couples - Colorado Springs Romantic Hotels: 77% - Good. (2570 Tenderfoot Hill St, Colorado Springs, CO 719-226-5006). See More of This Romantic Colorado Springs Jetted Tub Suite Here
Isle Royale National Park is situated on an island on Lake Superior near the Canadian border. This beautiful island spans 432 square miles and was shaped into its present form by Ice Age glaciers. Today it is home to a wide range of wildlife including herring gulls, wolves, otters, foxes, falcons, and ospreys. When you want to explore unspoiled wilderness this park is the perfect destination.
Brush up on your Lindy Hop and head to this one-of-a-kind ball that celebrates all things 1940s each June. A hangar at the Boulder Municipal Airport is transformed into a dance hall befitting the USO, with 1940s cars, celebrity impersonators, swing dance lessons, live music and an authentic-attire contest that’ll make you feel like an extra in “Casablanca.”
Summer nights are long in Colorado, and after dinner Brian and I still had time for a shoreline walk around the Barker Reservoir, rimmed by mountains and fed by a cool and clear river. I took photos of the baby Canada Geese near shore, a speck of black in the middle of the water that turned out to be a cormorant, a hummingbird settled against a tree branch, while Brian cast a line. But I really didn’t want to move.
The Centennial State is dotted with cool little towns, in the heart of the Rockies, as little as 1 hour and up to 3 hours from Denver. This is where I discovered the historic and romantic Palace Hotel in Salida, a boutique hotel that stole my heart — and it will do the same to you. Located steps from the banks of the Arkansas River, the newly renovated Palace Hotel is in a red-brick building located across from the Riverside Park. Think edgy Victorian and recycled furniture, an eclectic mix of old and new. Photovoltaic panels line the roof of the historic building, providing renewable electricity.
The riparian ecosystem runs through the montane, subalpine, and alpine tundra zones and creates a foundation for life, especially for species that thrive next to streams, rivers, and lakes. The headwaters of the Colorado River, which provides water to many of the southwestern states, are located on the west side of the park. The Fall River, Cache la Poudre River and Big Thompson Rivers are located on the east side of the park. Just like the other ecosystems in the park, the riparian zone is affected by the climatic variables of temperature, precipitation, and elevation. Generally, riparian zones in valleys will have cooler temperatures than communities located on slopes and ridge tops. Depending on elevation, a riparian zone may have more or less precipitation than other riparian zones in the park, with the difference creating a shift in the types of plants and animals found in a specific zone.
Explore the nearby great outdoors at the Horsetooth Mountain Open Space or get your adrenaline pumping by rafting on Cache La Poudre River with the Mountain Whitewater Descents Company. Visit Global Village Museum of Arts and Cultures to learn about folk art from all over the world. Take the kids to the Farm at Lee Martinez Park to learn about the farm life and play with baby farm animals.
Nicknamed the “Mile-High City” because it sits exactly a mile high in altitude above sea level, Denver is Colorado’s capital and largest city. Located just east of the Rocky Mountains, Denver is a popular winter sport destination that celebrates its mining and cowboy history. The city also boasts a lively arts and culture scene with many distinguished museums, such as the Denver Art Museum, and the Denver Performing Arts Complex, one of the nation’s largest performing art centers.
Crested Butte is an amazing ski destination and the wildflower capital of Colorado, attracting outdoor enthusiasts all year round. Before you hit the slopes or the hiking trails, you can learn about the mining history of the town on a Crested Butte Historic District Walking Tour and meet some of the town’s talented artists on a tour of the Crested Butte Creative District.
For mountain bikers, Colorado is a haven, with great trails all over the state. Unfortunately, the mountain climate limits the season in many areas. But the town of Fruita, near Grand Junction, has the climate to enable you to stretch out your mountain biking season through the shoulder seasons and into the winter months. It's also a quirky little town with enough character to make you want to stay a while and return.
Estes Park vacation rentals are always worth considering, but be sure to check the calendar before you book and you could enjoy something even more special. Estes Park hosts a variety of events throughout the year, any of which would make a great addition to your vacation itinerary. For example, in early June, the Estes Park Jazz Fest takes place and features jazz musicians from across the country and beyond.
Most visitors to the park drive over the famous Trail Ridge Road, but other roads include Fall River Road and Bear Lake Road. The park is open every day of the year, weather permitting. Due to the extended winter season in higher elevations, Trail Ridge Road between Many Parks Curve and the Colorado River Trailhead is closed much of the year. The road is usually open again by Memorial Day and closes in mid-October, generally after Columbus Day. Fall River Road does not open until about July 4 and closes by, or in, October for vehicular traffic. Snow may also fall in sufficient quantities in higher elevations to require temporary closure of the roads into July, which is reported on the road status site.
Whether you like to ski, hike, or just take in the jaw-dropping mountain scenery with a craft beer in hand, you’ll find the perfect weekend getaway in Colorado. From lively cities like Denver and Boulder, to more laid-back locales like Golden and Pagosa Springs—and plenty of world-class ski resorts in between—we’ve compiled a list of 17 of the best weekend getaways in The Centennial State.
The Experience: Super close to Manitou Springs, you'll find another town called Colorado Springs, which is also in the Pikes Peak region. While you're there, you have to see the park known as the Garden of the Gods. As its title implies, it's pretty otherworldly. With incredible, oddly shaped sandstone rock formations, you'll want to spend all day here. You should also pay a visit to the Royal Gorge Bridge, an insanely high, dramatic bridge between the canyons. Then head to the upscale resort Broadmoor.
A nature lover’s paradise, Colorado is filled to the brim with beautiful landscapes, offering travelers over 300 days of sunshine to come and explore its diverse areas. From the majestic Rocky Mountains to picturesque prairies and cosmopolitan cities, Colorado is surrounded by vibrant outdoor attractions, diverse wildlife and scenic byways just begging to be explored. Whether you hit the slopes at a luxury ski resort, hike the trails at a National Park or take a scenic drive through the countryside, Colorado has so many great things to see and do throughout the year. Perfect for families, couples and solo travelers who are looking for an outdoor adventure, read on to discover the best places to vacation in Colorado.
Just a few miles from the town of Estes Park, Rocky Mountain National Park is one of the most popular national parks in the United States. The soaring mountain peaks, alpine lakes and meadows, forests, and abundant wildlife showcase nature at its best. The park has more than 100 peaks over 10,000 feet, including Longs Peak, the highest in the park, at 14,259 feet.
Southwestern ColoradoOur small town atmosphere and endless beauty allows you to feel the true meaning of a vacation. Refresh your spirit in a place away from the crowds. Restore your sense of fun while exploring over three million acres of wilderness and national forest. Reconnect with family and friends. Come to Pagosa Springs and enjoy simplicity on a grand scale.
Although Aspen is best known as a winter sports destination, this lovely little town in the heart of the White River National Forest is a brilliant year-round destination for active adventurers, festival lovers and arts aficionados. Besides downhill skiing, you can try cross-country skiing, snowshoeing, snowmobiling, ice skating and dog sledding, before rounding off your day with Après-Ski cocktails, local craft beers or a delicious meal.
Another benefit of staying in an Estes Park lodging is the proximity to a number of diverse restaurants. Everyone on your vacation will be sure to find something appealing. Try Himalayan Curry & Kebob, which offers authentic Indian food, or Nepal's Cafe for Nepalese food. Pasta lovers should pay a visit to Mama Rose's, with all manner of Italian dishes accompanied by an extensive offering of wine, beer, and spirits. Mama Rose's is also great for diners with food allergies or those who are vegetarian, vegan, or gluten-free.