The state of Colorado is known for its unpolluted fresh air and natural wonders. The views are majestic, and there are a lot of outdoor activities to enjoy. Here are the top 10 most exciting weekend getaways in Colorado:
Vail is famous for its epic slopes and powdery mountains. The city has its own ski area called Vail Ski Resort, which upholds a reputation for being one of the best ski resorts in the entire country. Plus, if you’re planning on heading to Vail this winter, be sure to check out Eater’s list of best bars and restaurants in the area, including La Nonna Ristorante, Vail’s newest authentic Italian joint that reopens its doors for the ski season on November 15th.
- Maroon Bells
Colorado’s Maroon Bells mountain range is one of the most photographed ridges in the country. The Maroon Bells Scenic Loop Trail is a short hike that’s stunning during any time of year, accessible for all skill levels, and leashed dogs are allowed too! Prepare your backpack, and get ready for an adventurous hiking experience. The scenery is absolutely incredible.
- Mesa Verde National Park
Mesa Verde National Park is an incredible preservation of land, established to protect the creations of the Ancestral Pueblo people in Colorado many years ago. The way the Pueblo architecture blends with the nature that surrounds it is truly a marvelous sight to see. If you’re interested in learning more about Native American culture, this park is a great place to explore.
- Pagosa Springs
Pagosa Springs is home to the world’s deepest natural hot spring, with a record-breaking depth of over 1,000 feet. Enjoy soaking in the hot springs in winter, try ice fishing, or ice skating. On a cold winter day, you also can’t go wrong with brewery hopping. Get the local craft beer experience at Pagosa Brewing Company and Riff Raff Brewing Company.
- Pike National Forest
Pike National Forest is the perfect place to get away from everyday life and recharge. Set up your camping tent, go hiking, or spend quality time fishing with your loved ones. There are several streams in the forest for anglers to enjoy catching fish, but the most popular fishing area is Eleven Mile Canyon Recreation Area. While you’re there, enjoy a 19 mile scenic drive along Pikes Peak Highway.
- Million Dollar Highway
Speaking of scenic drives, the “Million Dollar Highway” offers jaw-dropping views of Colorado. Hop in a car, and have a joyride in the mountainside highway, but be careful because some areas of this road lack guardrails. Some sights along the drive include Bear Creek Falls and the Uncompahgre Gorge. There are a few restaurants and shops along the way, but take note that these establishments are closed during winter.
- Rocky Mountain National Park
Rocky Mountain National Park ranks third in the top U.S. national parks to explore. Wildlife viewing and camping are two of the most exciting activities to experience here, but if you’re looking for the perfect view of the Rocky Mountain’s ridges, the Forest Canyon Overlook is a great place to start. Within the park also lies a ghost town on the Lulu City Trail. As you continue to roam the land, you’ll probably also see bighorn sheep, deer, and elk in the flesh.
- Garden of the Gods
At Garden of the Gods, you’ll find towering red rock formations contrasting with blue skies and greenery all around. Once you arrive at this geological wonder, you’ll understand how it got its name. Explore on bike, or go on a horseback riding tour. For adrenaline seekers, rock climbing is a common activity in the area. Best of all, this National Natural Landmark can be experienced free of charge.
Visit the Durango and Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad & Museum in the town of Durango. The historic train is still fully functional, with day trips available from Durango to Silverton. During the holidays, there is even a Christmas Tree Train ride! But no matter when you’re visiting, Durango has a mountainous landscape, making it a great location for hiking and mountain biking.
- Black Canyon of the Gunnison
Black Canyon of the Gunnison is sometimes referred to as Colorado’s Grand Canyon. For couples who seek privacy and time away from the crowd, this park is secluded from noise and people. There are three campsites available: South Rim, North Rim, and the East Portal. The land is so remote that every September, they host an annual Astronomy Festival.
Which Colorado attraction are you planning to visit first? Allow us to help you find an affordable vacation rental close by.