Colorado is the American frontier at its best. With incredible hiking, unbeatable skiing and snowboarding, and cool culture, there’s a reason it’s called “Colorful Colorado.” Don’t miss all that the Centennial State has to offer.
Denver, CO, USA
Each Denver neighborhood has its own charm. The Highlands have some great restaurants including Root Down , El Five , and Avanti Food and Beverage . If you’re looking for something a little funkier, the North River area (better known as RiNo) is home to art galleries, as well as a bunch of breweries (which Denver is famous for). Try a pint at Odell Brewing Company or Epic Brewing Company . If you’re looking for some nature, take a walk or bike ride around the Cherry Creek Trail starting at Confluence Park . Before or after, you can head to Lucile's Creole Café for some breakfast/bunch (they have killer bloody marys, beignets, and biscuits). Further out, you can enjoy a little nature walk around Red Rocks Park , home of the famed outdoor amphitheater.
While only a short 40-minute car ride from Denver, Boulder is a charming town all its own. The Boulder Dushanbe Teahouse is a must with great decor and food (their chai tea is amazing and pro tip: they provide as many refills as you like). There are also a couple of great hikes. Mount Sanitas Trail provides incredible views but can be challenging, so you might want to instead opt for the magical Chautauqua Park . If you want to relax, head to Eben G. Fine Park and take a cold plunge or even grab a tube and float down Boulder Creek, which runs through it. For some shopping, check out Pearl Street . One store we love is Savory Spice Shop where you can find fun, yummy spices, many of which are named for mountain peaks in Colorado, like Pike's Peak, Mt. Elbert, and La Plata.
Aspen, CO 81611
Enjoy high-end shopping and high mountains in Aspen. The most photographed mountains in the world happen to be here, so don’t miss Maroon Bells . You can drive up to the base of the Bells and take an easy walk around the lake to enjoy the stunning scenery. For a more challenging but manageable hike, look for Smuggler Mountain Road (it takes about 45 minutes and gives you a beautiful view of Aspen Mountain). If you want to continue on past the lookout point, you can do the Hunter Creek Trail that winds through picturesque Aspen trees and takes about two hours. After you’ve worked up an appetite, grab wraps, salads, and/or tacos at The Big Wrap , right across from the gondola at the base of Aspen Mountain. For something a little more refined, L'Hostaria Ristorante is a local’s favorite with a lively atmosphere and delicious Italian food. For high-end dining, check out Matsuhisa . While you might not think about sushi in the middle of the country, it's Chef Nobu’s first location outside of Beverly Hills.
4. Colorado Springs
Colorado Springs, CO
Garden of the Gods in Colorado Springs is one of the most stunning rock formations; drive up and walk around to enjoy. From there, head to Pikes Peak to enjoy nature and the views. Afterward, stop by the The Broadmoor , a beautiful, sprawling resort, for a drink. Last but not least, one of the most popular, newest, and the city’s can't-miss attractions is the U.S. Olympic & Paralympic Museum .
Telluride, CO 81435
Telluride is a little challenging to get to (the closest airport is Montrose Regional Airport, an hour-and-a-half drive away), but well worth it. On your way there, stop at one of the many natural hot springs, like Orvis Hot Springs , where you can also enjoy the view of the mountains. Once in Telluride, grab breakfast at The Butcher & The Baker and hike up the valley to Bridal Veil Falls . You can also ride the free Gondola up to mid-mountain and/or Mountain Village. Grab lunch at La Cocina De Luz and make dinner reservations at The National . For a swanky evening drink, the New Sheridan Historic Bar makes you feel like you’re in the 19th century. Check and see if you’re in town for one of the many festivals, like Bluegrass, Blues & Brews, yoga, or one of the film festivals—there’s even one for Mushroom hunters!
6. Rocky Mountain National Park
Rocky Mountain National Park is incredibly beautiful and there is fantastic hiking for all levels. Note: it can get crowded and they now have a reservation system to enter, with some exceptions, so plan ahead. With 72 peaks over 12,000 feet high, 150 glacial lakes, and 359 miles of hiking trails, there is so much beauty to see by foot or car. With beautiful views, the Trail Ridge Road is the most popular and the highest, continuously paved highway in North America. For hiking, there are many spectacular lakes, but we suggest Bear Lake Trail ; you can even take it further to hike to Odessa Lake from there. Whether you’re hiking or driving, keep an eye out for wildlife as sightings are likely! If you want to stay overnight, the park has five campgrounds (reservations recommended).