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.
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!
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.
Perched on the banks of the San Juan River in Pagosa Springs, this hot-springs haven offers a Relaxation Terrace with five pools that are only accessible to the of-age crowd. The terrace is tucked above the kid-friendly main springs area, and includes a waterfall, fire pit, roman shower, jetted tub and river overlook, along with blissful quiet time. Access to the terrace is complimentary for hotel guests and is available to day visitors for a small fee.
Old World meets ghostly charm at the 135-room Stanley Hotel in Estes Park, just an hour from Denver, Colorado. Located six miles from the Rocky Mountain National Park in the shadow of Pikes Peak, the Stanley is a “shining” example of romantic, secluded and haunted. Make it a weekend getaway as there is so much to do and see in the surrounding area, from visiting Rocky Mountain National Park to exploring the beautiful downtown.
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.
The main things to do here are to simply gaze out over the canyon and appreciate the environment or wander along the walking paths and short hiking trails on the rim. These are generally flat and easy trails. If you're adventurous, you can hike into the canyon, but trails are not maintained or marked, conditions are difficult, and you are basically on your own and responsible for the costs of rescue, should the need arise. Three campgrounds are located in the park; the North and South Rim campgrounds are open to tents and RVs but the East Portal is only open to tents.
Endless mountain landscapes and sunny weather, Colorado is the perfect place to pack your backs and escape to for a few days. With an abundance of natural splendor, Colorado boasts a myriad of cities worthy of exploring. From luxury ski resorts to charming small towns and the world-famous Rocky Mountains, travelers are spoiled for choice with outdoor adventures. Get off the grid and soak in the crisp mountain air, where depending on the season, nature enthusiasts can hike through beautiful trails, go swimming in natural hot springs or hit the slopes. Cities filled with diverse wildlife and natural wonders, here are ten of the best weekend getaways in Colorado.
A popular high-altitude town with a bustling downtown scene and a diverse array of activities to choose from, Boulder is a fun place for everyone. It has many great restaurant offerings, in addition to outdoor sports, and is home to the University of Colorado at Boulder. It also has a thriving nightlife, as well as numerous art galleries, shopping, breweries and so much more.
The Alps Boulder Canyon Inn is an award-winning boutique bed and breakfast in the heart of scenic Boulder Canyon. Offering an unforgettable Boulder experience, the Inn features luxurious accommodations, excellent cuisine, and outstanding service. Surrounding by Boulder's magnificent mountain parks and just a short stroll from downtown Boulder and all its attractions, the Inn is an ideal place for both business and leisure travelers to take advantage of everything the town has to offer.
Get away and enjoy the surrounding beauty and frequent wildlife visits right from your cabin. Only 3 mi. from Estes Park, our quiet piece of paradise is set on 15 acres of pines & aspen next to RMNP. Full kitchen, living room, and fireplace in all cabins for evening relaxation. Private decks and gas grills. Some w/private hot tubs. Valhalla Resort Details
When it comes to the best weekend getaways in Colorado, Colorado Springs is a top choice with a little bit of everything—numerous hiking trails, interesting museums, an artsy historic district, and plenty of restaurants and breweries. It’s also home to Garden of the Gods, a National Natural Landmark featuring hiking, climbing, and stunning views at the foot of Pikes Peak.