Here’s Why Colorado Should Be Your Next Vacation
Colorado is an absolutely breathtaking blend of cities, mountains, valleys, snow, and sun. My family and I love visiting to connect with the outdoors and enjoy beautiful scenery, great food, and friendly people. It’s also really easy to get to with multiple nonstop flight options from CVG. So, let’s check out why your next vacation should be on Mountain Time.
It’s family-friendly (but great for solo trips and couples, too)
We’ve visited Colorado on trips with and without a kid. Both trips were spectacular and unique in their own ways. On one pre-kid trip, we went horseback riding on a mountain. Loved it. On a trip with our kid, we drove up to the summit of Pikes Peak for some absolutely stunning views while he napped in his car seat. Loved it. There is so much to see and do for every interest, personality, and fitness level.
It’s a beautiful view around every corner
Interstate 70 heading west from Denver might be one of my favorite drives anywhere in the world. The mountain views are breathtaking, and you’ll find yourself wanting to pull over to snap photos more than once. Across the state, there are more than 58 mountain peaks over 14,000 feet tall known as “Fourteeners” that give The Centennial State a picture-perfect landscape unlike any other.
It’s a National Park playground
Colorado is home to four National Parks, each with unique landscapes and cool things to do.
Great Sand Dunes National Park and Preserve
As the name implies, there are sand dunes here. Big ones. The tallest ones in America, in fact. Just under two hours southwest of Pueblo, you can ride a horse, check out a 4×4 trail or give sandboarding a try. Great Sand Dunes National Park offers a hilly desert landscape with a creek to cool off in during the summer months.
Mesa Verde National Park
In the Southwest corner of the state lies a sacred, World Heritage Site containing Puebloan cliff dwellings where people spent over 700 years creating their community. It’s also designated as an International Dark Sky Park and features over 1,000 species of plants and animals, some of which only exist in Mesa Verde.
Rocky Mountain National Park
The National Park Service puts it best: “Welcome to the Land of Extremes.” With meadows and mountains stretching across 260,000+ acres, there are a lot of places to visit within the park. More than 300 miles of hiking trails will help you see all that Rocky Mountain National Park has to offer. A timed entry reservation system from mid-May through mid-October ensures that crowds are evenly dispersed throughout the day.
Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park
Just 90 minutes north of Telluride, this park offers a view of some of the steepest mountain cliffs you’ll find in America. The Gunnison River creates opportunities for excellent trout fishing, hiking trails to welcome all skill levels, and a chance to see the stars year-round.
There are also 15 National Forest and Grasslands and three National Heritage Areas. Admission to each park is $15-20 per person; it’s well worth every penny. There are also annual passes for $80, senior annual passes for $20, and free annual passes for Veterans and active-duty service members and their families.
It’s a ski and snowboard paradise
Even if you aren’t a skier or snowboarder, you’ve probably heard of Vail, Breckenridge, Aspen, or Steamboat. Colorado has 26 ski resorts to explore. Seasoned veterans have their favorite mountains and places to stay. Newcomers might want to check out the Colorado Ski Country site to find lessons and information on getting started. Consider planning a trip to some of these towns in the low season, as well, as they can offer big savings and fewer crowds.
It’s always sunny in… Denver?
It’s a chance to catch beautiful fish
It’s crafty (both drinks and arts)
Colorado boasts over 300 craft breweries and 70 craft distilleries. Many of these, like Tommyknocker Brewing in Idaho Springs where we’ve stopped into, also offer unique dining opportunities as well. The town of Fort Collins has over 20 of them alone and is known as Colorado’s “Craft Beer Capital.” There are also awesome artists in almost every town. Check out Manitou Springs, just outside of Colorado Springs, for some cool galleries and shops.
It’s easy to get to!
Pro Tip: High altitudes like the Rocky Mountains of Colorado are no joke, and, if you’re not used to it, your body might take a while to adjust. On my first trip, I had a terrible headache an hour after arriving at our hotel. The receptionist gave me some medicine, told me to drink all of the water she had handed me, and go to sleep. I felt a little better the next day. Before any trip to a high altitude, I reach out to my doctor who prescribes a medicine to prevent altitude sickness (aka: acute mountain sickness), and it works beautifully.
I’ll see you in a trout stream in the mountains!