Colorado’s Top 12 Experiences

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From vibrant cities to gorgeous peaks, Colorado offers terrific experiences that should be on every traveler’s list. Here are Fodor’s top picks for a memorable trip.

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Rocky Mountain National Park

This premier national park teems with lush forests, alpine lakes, snowcapped peaks, and more than 350 miles of hiking trails. With any luck, you’ll spot bighorn sheep, elk, and mule deer here.

PLAN YOUR TRIP: Visit Fodor’s Rocky Mountain National Park Travel Guide

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Mesa Verde National Park

Wandering through some of the nearly 600 ancient Puebloan dwellings carved into high sandstone cliffs at this park is truly awe-inspiring.

PLAN YOUR TRIP: Visit Fodor’s Mesa Verde National Park Travel Guide

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Microbrews

Coloradoans craft some superb microbrews. Pop into local establishments for tours and tastings, or take away a growler for an outdoor picnic.

PLAN YOUR TRIP: Visit Fodor’s Colorado Travel Guide

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Dude Ranches

Staying at a dude ranch is a true Western experience. Guests can ride horses through gorgeous terrain and then dine family-style on grass-fed meat.

PLAN YOUR TRIP: Visit Fodor’s Colorado Travel Guide

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Wildlife Spotting

Colorado’s national parks offer excellent opportunities to spot all kinds of wildlife, from the small (marmots, pika) to the large (bears, moose, elk).

PLAN YOUR TRIP: Visit Fodor’s Colorado Travel Guide

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Skiing

The perfect powder of the Rocky Mountains and variety of alpine terrain attract skiers of all levels. Après ski, relax at a bar or restaurant in one of the state’s posh resorts.

PLAN YOUR TRIP: Visit Fodor’s Rocky Mountain National Park Travel Guide

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Old West Mining Towns

Relive the boom times of the West in the state’s colorful mining communities. Many historic buildings have been converted into museums and hotels.

PLAN YOUR TRIP: Visit Fodor’s Colorado Travel Guide

Courtesy of Hotel Jerome, an Auberge Resort

Aspen Glamour

One of the U.S.’s fabled resort towns, Aspen defines glitz, glamour, and glorious skiing. Top-notch restaurants and high-end shops provide diversions year-round.

PLAN YOUR TRIP: Visit Fodor’s Aspen and the Roaring Fork Valley Travel Guide

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Outdoor Activities

Whether it’s fishing, hiking, biking, horseback riding, or rafting, the fresh-air activities here are sure to satisfy all tastes.

PLAN YOUR TRIP: Visit Fodor’s Colorado Travel Guide

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Scenic Drives and Train Trips

Eye-opening vistas of dramatic canyons, verdant forests, or undulating landscapes await on grand journeys around the state.

PLAN YOUR TRIP: Visit Fodor’s Colorado Travel Guide

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Pikes Peak

The inspiration for the song “America the Beautiful,” Pikes Peak beguiles with its breathtaking views. Take the world’s highest cog train all the way to the summit.

PLAN YOUR TRIP: Visit Fodor’s South Central Colorado Travel Guide

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Cities

Vibrant, trendy cities like Denver, Boulder, and Aspen lure visitors from the mountains with their top-notch dining, shopping, and nightlife scenes.

PLAN YOUR TRIP: Visit Fodor’s Colorado Travel Guide

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