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Things to do in Colorado

Things to do in  Colorado

Welcome to Colorado

From the eastern plain’s flat grasslands rippling in the breeze to the snow-capped peaks of the Rocky Mountains, Colorado is perfect for those who heed the call of the wild. A variety of tours offer hiking opportunities in Rocky Mountain National Park and Garden of the Gods, each within easy reach of Denver and Colorado Springs, respectively. White-water rafting tours whisk you along rivers that wind their way through the state. Snow sports enthusiasts will want to join an excursion to some of the best slopes in the United States in Vail, Telluride, and Breckenridge — which transform into cultural hubs hosting music festivals and outdoor movie nights when the snow melts in the summer. Take a trip to tour the southern tip of the state, where Canyons of the Ancients and Mesa Verde National Park offer a glimpse into the lives of the area’s Ancestral Puebloan inhabitants. When it’s time to step indoors, make your way to a culinary or city tour for some cowboy-chic culture, especially in and around the Mile High City (and state capital) of downtown Denver. Sip high-altitude beers on a tour of the city’s ever-expanding craft brewery scene; taste farm-to-table cuisine on a Denver food tour; spend an evening touring the city’s fine art collections; or take an easy day trip to the neighboring college town of Boulder.

Top 15 attractions in Colorado

Garden of the Gods

An urban park and designated national landmark in Colorado Springs, the Garden of the Gods encompasses 1,367 acres (553 hectares) of unique wilderness, Great Plains grassland, and juniper woodlands. Highlights include the red rock formations Balanced Rock, Gateway Rock, and the Three Graces, as well as petroglyphs from the original Native American occupants of the area, the Ute people.More

Red Rocks Park and Amphitheatre

Denver’s Red Rocks Amphitheatre is a music venue unlike any other—a sandstone stadium forged by the elements and blessed with natural acoustics. Many musicians have taken to this stage, and when shows are in town, Red Rocks can host over 9,500 concertgoers, all in for a treat beyond the music: stellar views of the natural Colorado landscape.More

Pikes Peak Highway

As you wind your way up Pikes Peak Highway prepare for stunning views and historic establishments on the way to the iconic 14,115-foot (4302-meter) peak known as “America’s Mountain.” The drive is lined with scenic vista points, lakes, picnic areas, trails, and high-altitude plants and wildlife. You can stop at the Crystal Reservoir Gift Shop and Historic Glen Cove Inn on your way to the Summit House—the restaurant atop the peak.More

Lower Downtown Denver (LoDo)

A lively district of restaurants, shops, and nightlife, Lower Downtown Denver (or LoDo) is a top destination for Denver culture. In addition to its vibrant scene, though, LoDo is also home to some of the city’s best-preserved historic architecture and more Victorian–era buildings than anywhere else in the United States.More

Animas River

Get your helmets and life vests ready—this family-friendly rafting river serves up class I, II and III rapids as it winds through Colorado shrub land and downtown Durango. Calmer than its wild upper reaches in the San Juan mountains surrounding Silverton 48 miles north, Durango’s stretch boasts calm bends as well as several named rapids including “Smelter,” “Pinball,” and “Santa Rita Hole,” as it passes the fairgrounds and the buildings of downtown. Though it still can be a wild ride, most guided tours will take kids as young as five years old. Rafting adventures run from May to September.In the height of summer when the river is warmest and lowest, tubing is also a popular past time. The city runs shuttles from the parking and take-out at 9th Street at Schneider Park to the put-in near the Recreation Center where there’s free air fills for tubes. South of town a four-mile stretch of river has achieved notoriety as an excellent fly-fishing spot for rainbow and brown trout.If you’re in Durango in the off-season, you can still enjoy the river and its downtown views via the Durango River Trail. The walking path has pedestrian bridges and sculpture installations and follows the course of the river through the city.More

Larimer Square

Larimer Square is the oldest part of Denver, with Victorian-era buildings now home to many of the city’s best restaurants, bars, and boutiques. The foundation of Colorado’s capital, the 2-block district is popular with locals and tourists alike, strolling beneath strings of lights and state flags.More

Historic Downtown Durango

Built by miners and railroad workers in the late 19th century, Downtown Durango—a nationally registered historic district—holds onto its Wild West flair. On its historic main street, you’ll find plenty of shops, restaurants, and cowboy-toutin’ places of note, including the original Strater Hotel, built in 1887, and the Durango and Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad, a historic steam train that travels through the San Juan Mountains and straight into downtown.More

Lookout Mountain

It’s just a short drive from downtown Denver, but Lookout Mountain feels like another world. Once used as a lookout for the Native American Ute tribe that called the area home, the 7,300-foot (2,225-meter) mountain has miles of hiking and mountain biking trails throughout, from easy walking paths to strenuous switchbacks. From the summit, you can see the Denver skyline 12 miles (19 kilometers) away.More

Colorado State Capitol Building

The Colorado State Capitol, built a mile above sea level with a bell-shaped gold dome, is a striking feature in Denver’s skyline. The historic structure is made from Colorado rose onyx, a rare marble that’s entire known stores were used on the building. On your way in, look for the step that marks the capitol’s “mile high” point.More

Molly Brown House Museum

Visitors may know Margaret “Molly” Brown in association with theRMS Titanic, but there was much more to her life than the ill-fated voyage for which she became famous. An activist, suffragist, and philanthropist, Brown’s spirit lives on through educational tours, exhibits, and programming inside her restored historic Denver home.More
Cheyenne Mountain Zoo

Cheyenne Mountain Zoo

At an elevation of 6,800 feet (2,072 meters), Cheyenne Mountain Zoo in Colorado Springs is aptly called “America’s only mountain zoo.” Its 146 acres (59 hectares) are home to hundreds of animals, including grizzly bears, monkeys, hippos, tigers, elephants, and its renowned herd of giraffes—one of the largest in the world.More

Denver Art Museum (DAM)

One of the largest museums between Chicago and California, Denver Art Museum showcases a wide range of art in its 70,000-piece collection. From Native American art to ultramodern contemporary pieces, interactive exhibits to works sparking profound cultural reflection, DAM (as locals call it) is a destination for art lovers of all ages.More

Denver 16th Street Mall

The Denver 16th Street Mall in Denver, Colorado, is a tree-lined pedestrian corridor filled with outdoor cafés, restaurants, and shops. Along the popular downtown promenade, visitors can enjoy performances from local street performers or take a ride in a horse-drawn carriage while searching for the perfect craft beer or dining spot.More

Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park

Atop Iron Mountain in Colorado’s Rocky Mountains, Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park provides a day of nonstop thrills with some of the best views of any amusement park around. Home to the highest-elevation full-size coaster, the park gives adrenaline junkies plenty to scream about with rides that zip and swing across cliffs and canyons.More

Denver Civic Center Park

Denver Civic Center Park was created more than 100 years ago as the civic heart for the city of Denver. The urban green space is the site of the Colorado State Capitol, and arching footpaths across the park offer a chance to stroll among the gardens and marvel at the surrounding architecture, including the Denver City and County Building, the Denver Art Museum and the Denver Central Library. The park is also home to the Greek Theater and the historic Carnegie Library.Recent revitalization efforts have turned Civic Center Park into a hub for local events including outdoor movies and Civic Center EATS, an annual, summer-long tradition in which local, gourmet food trucks convene at the park every Tuesday and Thursday during lunchtime.More

Top activities in Colorado

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Recent reviews from experiences in Colorado

Highly recommend!
Kevin_K, Mar 2023
Jeep Tour - Foothills & Garden of the Gods
Summit gave a great tour and provided us with wonderful anecdotes of the Colorado Spring area.
15 stars for Kyle
Allison_W, Mar 2023
Hiking Adventure in Rocky Mountain National Park from Denver
He gave us many suggestions of what to do during our stay in Colorado.
Fun Day Trip
Carol_R, Mar 2023
Small Group Tour of Pikes Peak and the Garden of the Gods from Denver
Pike’s peak, lovely town of Manitou Springs ( could have spent all day here) and Garden of the Gods.
Great experience!
Clifton_C, Nov 2022
Classic 3-Hour Food Tour in Colorado Springs
The food and the history of Colorado Springs were great!
Our tour guide Will was...
Noemi_R, Nov 2022
Rocky Mountain National Park and Estes Park Tour from Denver Winter and Spring
Our tour guide Will was awesome and was very informative about the history of Colorado and would recommend anyone to take this tour if you want to see beautiful views of the mountains and have good laugh along the way with Wills stories!
Easygoing trip to see Rocky Mountains
Felicia_P, Oct 2022
Discover Rocky Mountain National Park from Denver or Boulder
If you only have one day to see the Colorado Rocky Mountains, this one gives a good overview of the many lookout points.
Colorado up close and personal!
Jorie_D, Oct 2022
Small Group Tour of Pikes Peak and the Garden of the Gods from Denver
Perfect way to see so much of Colorado in 8 hours!
Wonderful time and very informative
Michelle_S, Oct 2022
Downtown Denver Food Tour
We've lived in Colorado springs for 20 plus years, countless trips to Denver for all types of events and we learned a ton on this tour.
Definitely Recommend!
Jennifer_C, Oct 2022
Foothills Explorer Tour From Denver
It was refreshing to see a different part of Colorado, as we were staying in downtown Denver.
Fantastic day trip
Suzanne_B, Sep 2022
Discover Rocky Mountain National Park from Denver or Boulder
So lucky to see so many animals including the Colorado State animal, the Bighorn Sheep!
A great sample of the area
Jason_L, Mar 2023
Foothills Explorer Tour From Denver
I wanted to be able to see more of Colorado than conference rooms and my hotel, but I didn't want the hasle of renting a car.
Well worth it!
Shana_D, Dec 2022
Half Day Rocky Mountain Escape
The tour itself is well worth it, got to see some beautiful parts of Colorado and discover a hip and trendy Mining town..
Small group no more than...
Jennifer_C, Dec 2022
Shared Half-Day Mountain Tour in Red Rocks Evergreen and Echo Lake
Every spot was amazing to visit and capture wonderful photos.
Unique landscape, great guide
Maria_B, Nov 2022
2.5 Hours Sightseeing Tour in Garden of the Gods
I booked this tour to visit the Garden of the Gods the day before Thanksgiving.
You will not be disappointed!!
Anthony_B, Oct 2022
Half Day Rocky Mountain Escape
Idaho Springs was the cutest little town with the most quaint coffee shop where we all got out to grab a coffee or hot chocolate.
Tour in comfort and leisure
Mercedes_A, Aug 2022
Denver and Foothills Mountain Small-Group Tour
A comfortable and leisurely way to see beautiful parts of Colorado.
Amazing Experience!
Mary_G, Aug 2022
Colorado Springs Sunrise Balloon Ride
This has always been on my bucket list and finally getting to do it in Colorado Springs was amazing.
Ghost History Tour
Lstockinger, Jul 2022
Colorado Springs - Guided Walking Ghost / History Tour
He answered questions thoroughly and left us wanting to learn more Colorado Springs ghost history.
Great time
Brandon_S, Jul 2022
Classic 3-Hour Food Tour in Colorado Springs
Our tour guid Kathy was awesome and very knowledgeable about not just the food and the restaurant but the City of Colorado Springs.
Time well spent
Roger_N, Jul 2022
Jeep Tour - Foothills & Garden of the Gods
Covered all the great places to see in the Colorado Springs area.
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All about Colorado

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People Also Ask

What is Colorado known for?

Incredibly, 78 of the 100 highest peaks in the Rocky Mountains can be found in Colorado. Though the state also comprises endless rolling plains and red rock desert, the Centennial State is best known for its wild mountain views and high-elevation adventures.

What can you do in Colorado?

In spring, summer, and fall, hit up the five-star hiking trails, zipline across canyons, SUP on alpine lakes, and spend evenings dining al fresco. In winter, snowshoe or ski at top winter resorts, catch live music and theater, and cozy up by the fire with a Colorado craft spirit.

What is the prettiest part of Colorado?

Many say the scenery around Rocky Mountain National Park—and Grand County—offer the state’s best views. Some prefer the lush canyons and waterfalls around Ouray and Durango, and still others love the red-rock vistas at Colorado National Monument and around Grand Junction. Find your favorite.

What are the main attractions in Colorado?

The state boasts vibrant cities, but Colorado’s national parks—Rocky Mountain, Mesa Verde, Great Sand Dunes, and Black Canyon of the Gunnison—draw in millions of visitors every year. You’ll also find some of the country’s best skiing and hiking trails, all of which pair well with the state’s fiery craft-beer scene.

What is there to do in Colorado during the summer?

Many Colorado visitors come in summer to experience the state’s great outdoors. Hiking the Continental Divide Scenic Trail, stargazing in Westcliffe, river kayaking and whitewater rafting the Arkansas River, searching for ghost towns—there are many activities to try in the Centennial State for summer.

How can I spend a week in Colorado?

From Denver Airport, rent a car and road trip across the state’s national parks, monuments, and landscapes—the state goes from rolling golden plains to high peaks to red rock desert. Alternatively, scout out pioneer history, go dark-sky hunting, hit top ski slopes, or hop between artsy enclaves and cowboy-clad towns.


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