There’s plenty to do south of Denver on your Colorado vacation. Whether you’re into mountain biking, hiking, history, sight-seeing, or soaking in a hot springs pool, you can find a destination in Southern Colorado (especially near Colorado Springs) that will help you relax, recharge, and reinvigorate. Cañon City and Colorado Springs make the perfect jumping-off points for many of these beautiful, historic western locations. Before or after your rafting trip, try some of these great destinations to enhance your Colorado vacation!
Victorian elegance sets the standard for southwestern hospitality at the General Palmer Hotel, located in the heart of Durango, Colorado. Opened in 1898, it was named for one of this town’s founding fathers and remains as the only historical Four Diamond in southwestern Colorado. In the heart of downtown Durango, you can park your car and enjoy easy walking distance to art galleries, specialty stops, and a variety of restaurants.
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Louisville is conveniently situated between Denver and Boulder, offering visitors an attractive weekend getaway destination with a distinctive American small-town feel. You can stroll through the historic Old Town, where several historic buildings now house modern shops, restaurants and businesses. Downtown is also home to the Louisville Art District, which is packed with galleries, studios and hosts a monthly First Friday Art Walk. Live music and theater is popular and you can catch a concert at the Center Stage Theatre Company or the Coal Creek Community Theater. Outdoor activities include walking, hiking, biking and ice skating, while nearby Boulder offers many additional cultural and outdoor attractions.
Colorado Springs offers multiple locally-owned Bed and Breakfasts that are close to attractions, shopping and restaurants. These B&B’s are the picture-perfect place for you and your partner to unwind. Many of the Bed & Breakfasts also feature a romantic weekend room which will include a private bathroom with a jetted tub and delicious hot breakfast.
With majestic mountains, tundra wildflowers, abundant wildlife, Trail Ridge Road (the highest paved road in the US), and over 350 miles of trails, Rocky Mountain National Park is spectacular! From flat easy hikes around a mountain lake to challenging multiday backpack trips and climbs, Rocky Mountain National Park offers trails for hikers of every level - let us help you plan your adventure! Find the best ways to take in the majesty and serenity of the park. It's YOUR Rocky - explore it!
If you and your partner are looking to get off the grid after months of wedding planning, then head to these cabins located on the banks of Bear Creek. Walk or relax near the creek and share the view with wildlife who live on the land. Have complimentary breakfast brought to you as you lounge in a comfy chair along the water, or spend some time in the hot tub right on the creek to unwind. For dinner, enjoy pizza from the brick oven on the patio and socialize with other couples.
The Broadmoor Hotel, built in the late 19th-century, offers lots of historic elegance and luxury for honeymooning couples along the shores of Cheyenne Lake at the edge of Colorado Springs. The vast resort offers just about everything you could ever want in a romantic getaway, including the chance to sip cocktails alongside the infinity pool while enjoying spectacular views of the lake and the jagged peaks of the Rockies. There are eight restaurants onsite, a spa, three championship golf courses and a wide range of outdoor activities at your disposal from paddle boating to horseback riding and fly fishing. The property also offers a variety of romantic getaway packages that include things like a romantic dinner for two or sparkling wine and chocolate-covered strawberries at turn-down on your first night.
The montane ecosystem is at the lowest elevations in the park, between 5,600 to 9,500 feet (1,700 to 2,900 m), where the slopes and large meadow valleys support the widest range of plant and animal life, including montane forests, grasslands, and shrublands. The area has meandering rivers and during the summer, wildflowers grow in the open meadows. Ponderosa pine trees, grass, shrubs and herbs live on dry, south-facing slopes. North-facing slopes retain moisture better than those that face south. The soil better supports dense populations of trees, like Douglas fir, lodgepole pine, and ponderosa pine. There are also occasional Engelmann spruce and blue spruce trees. Quaking aspens thrive in high-moisture montane soils. Other water-loving small trees like willows, grey alder, and water birch may be found along streams or lakeshores. Water-logged soil in flat montane valleys may be unable to support growth of evergreen forests. The following areas are part of the montane ecosystem: Moraine Park, Horseshoe Park, Kawuneeche Valley, and Upper Beaver Meadows.
Home to the Lake Superior, Lake Michigan, Lake Huron, and part of Lake Erie, Michigan is rich in natural vegetation and beauty. Families looking for an adventure should explore the Upper Peninsula region that houses famous natural attractions such as the Porcupine Mountains, Pictured Rocks, Mackinac Island, Isle Royale, Tahquamenon Falls, and the Seney National Wildlife Refuge. Then there is the heavenly Lower Peninsula region with its placid lakes, rivers, forests, sand dunes and beaches. Canoeing, fishing, sailing, and motorboating are popular activities. You'll love returning to your Michigan cabin rental to unwind after an action-packed day exploring.
There are multiple scenic trails to hike and challenging cycling paths to discover as well as many more activities like zip-lining and horseback riding. You can explore the history and architecture of historic sites like Miramont Castle and Manitou Cliff Dwellings, visit the Manitou Springs Heritage Center, or enjoy some pampering at a day spa before catching a show at the Iron Springs Chateau Melodrama Theatre.
Visitors come from far reaches to travel America’s highest continuous paved highway. Not for the queasy and open only between Memorial Day — pending the towering walls of winter snow have melted — and Labor Day, two-lane Trail Ridge Road takes explorers across the Continental Divide, past weathered tundra overlooking sweeping valleys and into the clouds at 12,183 feet. The ribbon of a road covers the 46-mile stretch between Estes Park on the park’s east side and the marine town of Grand Lake at the park’s western entrance. There Peak to Peak Highway is another byway near the park, starting in Estes and going through Nederland, Black Hawk and Central City.
^ This article incorporates public domain material from the Library of Congress document: "Majestic view from the old, one-way, dirt Fall River Road in Rocky Mountain National Park in the Front Range of the spectacular and high Rockies in north-central Colorado". Library of Congress - Prints & Photographs Online Catalog. Retrieved October 28, 2016.
Once famous as a gold-rush outpost, the modern city of Golden has diversified by leaps and bounds and now offers visitors a great mix of outdoor, cultural and historic attractions. Go back in time to the gold mining era on a tour of Historic Downtown, where you will find several museums including the Golden History Center and the Colorado School of Mines Geology Museum.
Founded in 1859, Breckenridge is a historic town that rose in popularity for its fantastic ski resorts. While Breckenridge is known as a skiing mecca and surrounded by stunning peaks, the area has much more to offer. Sitting 9,603 feet above sea level, visitors can take a walking tour through the central district to hear stories of those who came here to find gold, shop for unique souvenirs, such as jewelry and antiques, or indulge in a day wine tasting or brewery visits along the Main Street center. Those who want to have an outdoor adventure other than skiing can try their hand at snowshoeing, sledding, tubing and even dog sledding, which can be arranged with one of the many companies available throughout the town.
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.”
Cushion plants have long taproots that extend deep into the rocky soil. Their diminutive size, like clumps of moss, limits the effect of harsh winds. Many flowering plants of the tundra have dense hairs on stems and leaves to provide wind protection or red-colored pigments capable of converting the sun's light rays into heat. Some plants take two or more years to form flower buds, which survive the winter below the surface and then open and produce fruit with seeds in the few weeks of summer. Grasses and sedges are common where tundra soil is well-developed.
Located just a few miles to the northwest of Denver, Boulder is a college town nestled against the foothills of the Rocky Mountains. Boulder’s inhabitants are best known for their healthy lifestyles, and outdoor activities are plentiful in and around the city. Boulder Creek cuts straight through the town and is lined with walking and biking trails. The four-block pedestrian-friendly Pearl Street Mall features outdoor performers in all but the most inclement weather. A drive up Baseline Road on Flagstaff Mountains rewards visitors with spectacular views, and there are picnic areas and hiking trails to enjoy at the summit as well.
19th-century ghost town, and hosts its own fabulous mineral hot springs. The five-star property enjoys a backdrop of aspens and the dramatic San Juan Mountain Range, situated about 30 miles southwest of Telluride. It’s the perfect place to disconnect from the chaos of the modern world and connect with the one you love. Nearby you can go heli-skiing, rock climbing or hike miles and miles of scenic trails. It hosts a ring of historic log cabins that now serve as luxurious retreats as well as other historic buildings that house a lavish spa, a well-stocked library and a saloon with wagon-wheel chandeliers.
Become immersed in Rocky’s pristine landscape on some of the park’s 355 miles of hiking trails. Choose from flat lakeside walks to steeper, more challenging mountain climbs. The easy .6-mile Bear Lake trail is a popular hike featuring an interpretive nature trail hugging a subalpine lake at the end of Bear Lake Road. For a stunning waterfall hike, make your way to Alberta Falls or Ouzel Falls.
Nature lovers can go hiking, white water rafting, horseback riding or climbing in one of the surrounding national parks, or you could choose to explore historic archaeological sites such as Hovenweep, Chaco Canyon and Mesa Verde. The Durango & Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad is a highlight of any visit and you can combine various adventure sports packages with your scenic train ride. Keep reading for more Colorado points of interest. Things to Do in Durango
Get away for a weekend of pampering, relaxation and fun outdoor activities at one of these great hotels, inns and lodges near Denver, Colorado. Quick weekend trips from Denver include Estes Park, Evergreen, Minturn, Idaho Springs, Niwot and other beautiful Colorado towns. You may also like: Boulder, Crested Butte, Steamboat Springs, Colorado Springs, Fort Collins and Aspen, CO.
The winter view of Longs Peak from the Dream Lake Trail at Rocky Mountain National Park in Colorado is an epic sight. The wind kicks up a flurry of snow, sweeping the massive mountain and sending a chill we can feel through the screen. Does this make you want to put on your boots or slide under a blanket? Brandon Selinsky, www.sharetheexperience.org
Guest rooms at both lodge buildings are tastefully decorated and fully equipped with the necessary amenities for absolute comfort, including private bathrooms with showers and soaking tubs, stone fireplaces, and flat-screen televisions. The inn is situated within walking distance of the town’s restaurants, bars, and clubs, as well as other entertainment and events that happen on a regular basis. The Minturn Inn is located two hours from Denver.
These tented cabins near Colorado Springs are truly one-of-a-kind. They come with private bathrooms, a full kitchen, as well as a full decorated patio, and Wi-Fi. These rentals are booked on the daily, so couples will want to book their unique honeymoon quick so they can experience the wonders of nature and marriage from the comfort of a one-of-a-kind glamping site.
Classic Estes Park cabins are a popular choice for visitors to this Front Range mountain town. From cozy and rustic to something a little more luxurious, FlipKey has something to suit every style and budget. Many cabin rentals in Estes Park are equipped with full kitchens and fireplaces, and some have luxury touches such as hot tubs and underfloor heating. Condos in Estes Park are a good alternative to a hotel, offering many of the same amenities but with a more personal touch.
Apart from elk, many other ungulates reside in the park, including bighorn sheep, moose, and mule deer. Bison were eliminated from the park in the 1800s, as were pronghorn and moose, the latter of which was restored to the area in 1978. Moose are now frequently seen in the park, especially on the park's west side. The park's bighorn sheep population has recovered and is estimated at 350 animals.
SouthwestOuray has been a special destination of world travelers for more than 100 years. This small intimate community is nestled in some of the most rugged and towering peaks of the Rockies. Set at the narrow head of a valley at 7,792 feet and surrounded on three sides with 13,000 foot snowcapped peaks - Ouray has been eloquently nicknamed the "Switzerland of America."