While there is so much to do in Denver, having good weather and a little spare time makes exploring the rest of Colorado the best place to be this summer. You don’t even have to drive far to partake in some great excursions. Colorado’s diverse ecosystems and eclectic culture provide ample opportunity to refresh, relax, and revitalize while enjoying the summer sun.
Go on an Excursion
Roughly 1.5 hours south of Denver lays the Pike Peak region, nestled in the front range area west of Colorado Springs. The region boasts many natural sites, including the Manitou Springs Cliff Dwellings, Cave of the Winds, and Garden of the Gods. Other great tourist destinations that are sure to round out a good trip include a ride to the top of Pike Peak on the cog railway, a stay at the luxurious Broadmoor Hotel, and a visit to feed the giraffes at Cheyenne Mountain Zoo.
In the opposite direction, 1.5 hours northwest of Denver you can find Estes Park just outside the entrance to Rocky Mountain National Park. This mountain city boasts quite a few summer festivals, as well as many local shops, riverwalks, and area hiking trails. Whether a short cabin stay along the Fall River or experiencing a night at the famous Stanley Hotel is your preference, the spectacular backdrop of the surrounding mountains is sure to be relaxing.
Take in Some Entertainment
Colorado’s sunsets can be breathtaking. Getting a chance to experiencing one while waiting for a concert to start at Red Rocks Amphitheater is even better. Tucked into the natural rock structures near Morrison, this open-air amphitheater attracts some of the largest international talents annually. A quick half hour drive from Denver, and you could be enjoying a spectacular outdoor concert in the Colorado night air.
Not to be outdone, even the ski resorts that are bustling with excitement during the winter months don’t slow down during the summer. Vail, 2 hours west of Denver on I-70, keeps the adrenaline flowing with their summer tubing hills, zip-lining adventures, Goat Creek tower climbing, alpine coaster, guided mountain biking excursions, and more. Trading in the skis for the summer doesn’t mean slowing down.
Experience Another Time
Looking for a little medieval history? The Colorado Renaissance Festival, an hour outside of Denver near Larkspur, may just fit your taste of culture. From their jousting and stage shows to the turkey legs and steak on a stake, this 43rd annual Colorado favorite is sure to please.
If you’re looking to slow down and enjoy nature on the back of a horse, take it easy at Latigo Ranch outside of Kremmling 2.5 hours from Denver. Get a chance to relax and unwind on the dude ranch while customizing your western adventure with fly fishing, chuck wagon dinners, pack trips, cabin stays, and more.
Expand Your Leisure Activities
If golf’s your thing, taking in 9 holes at North America’s highest-altitude course, Mount Massive Golf Course, might be the stress relief you need. Not only does this public golf course, near Leadville, go big on elevation at 9,950 feet, it also provides spectacular views while situated in the Arkansas River Valley.
Colorado’s front range is known for its local breweries and international distributors, but lesser known is its wine country. If you’re up for a little further drive, touring and wine tasting at Two Rivers Winery and Chateau near the Redlands area of Grand Junction might be more to your liking.
Find Your Happy Place
Whether you’re looking to kayak Eagle River near Gypsum, sail Ruedi Reservoir near Basalt, mountain bike Deer Creek Trail in Crested Butte, or hike the Colorado Springs Incline, you don’t have to go far to enjoy Colorado in the summer. Adventures like these or slower-paced experiences, like a mountain drive to capture seasonal photos, attending a hot air balloon rodeo in Steamboat Springs, or simply taking in an evening sunset over the Rocky Mountains, is what makes Colorado summer’s spectacular.