Top Attractions in Colorado
There are 54 peaks topping 14,000 feet in Colorado, but only here can you drive the switchbacks or take the Cog Railway to the top. The inspiration for Katharine Bates' song "America the Beautiful," Pikes Peak looms a few miles west of Colorado Springs.
Rocky Mountain National Park and Estes Park
Estes Park is the gateway town to Rocky Mountain National Park, full of lush forests, high-alpine lakes, snowcapped peaks, wildflower-covered meadows, and 355 mi of trails. Abundant wildlife like black bear, elk, and bighorn sheep, and even more abundant crowds are drawn to this year-round paradise.
Mile High Denver
The state's capital and largest city, Denver boasts of a diverse population with a rich mix of cultural offerings, and most of the 2.7 million metro area residents are intense sports fans and serious outdoors enthusiasts. The lively downtown area has a baseball stadium, an amusement park, historic neighborhoods, and a vast park system. Denver also claims the Denver Art Museum, the Denver Museum of Nature & Science, and the Denver Performing Arts Complex.
A college town with dramatic environs nestled up against the Flatirons, Boulder has a reputation for being the most outdoors-oriented of all of Colorado towns. With its commitment to preserving open space and wilderness, the city abuts so many nonurbanized zones that you can be on a trail to a mountain peak in no time. Terrific restaurants and a vibrant arts scene add to the allure.
Aspen and Glenwood Springs
Stop by Glenwood Springs for a rejuvenating dip in the mineral springs-fed pool before continuing on to the glitzy-but-relaxing scene that is Aspen. The historic mining town has top-notch dining, the beautiful Maroon Bells mountains, and unparalleled skiing.
Mesa Verde National Park
Home to the Ancestral Puebloans more than 700 years ago, Mesa Verde allows visitors to walk among the mesmerizing cliff dwellings built into alcoves perched hundreds of feet above and below level ground. Drive through the 80-square-mi park, stopping along the way to climb down into the dwellings, which tuck into the dramatic sandstone formations.
One of Colorado's premier giant playgrounds, Summit County is a year-round destination. Choose from a number of ski resorts—Copper Mountain, Keystone, Breckenridge, or local favorite Arapahoe Basin. The towns of Dillon, Silverthorne, and Frisco cluster around Dillon Reservoir, connected by an extensive paved bike path and rimmed by the looming peaks of the Continental Divide that border the east and south of the county. The old mining town of Leadville, with its exceptional greenway and historic buildings, has become a destination for families.
Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park
It's hard to say who appreciates this natural wonder more: fishermen, river rafters, hikers, or photographers. All are drawn to the glorious narrow canyon with its dramatic, jagged walls and enormous surrounding recreation area.
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