Things to do in Colorado

Things to do in  Colorado

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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

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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

Larimer Square

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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

Pikes Peak Highway

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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

Red Rocks Park and Amphitheatre

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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

Animas River

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With the right gear, nearly anyone can experience the watery wilds of the Animas River, which flows right through the heart of Durango, Colorado. Starting at some 11,000 feet (3,353 meters), it winds for 126 miles (203 kilometers) down mountains, valleys, and shrublands in the southern part of the state. To best explore all that this mighty river has to offer, choose between fly fishing or tackling Class I, II, and III rapids in a kayak, canoe, or even a paddleboard or tube.More

Pikes Peak

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Just outside of Colorado Springs, the towering Pikes Peak stands as an American icon. Katharine Lee Bates wrote the song “America the Beautiful” after surveying the great western lands from atop this very mountain, and today, visitors can enjoy the same view that inspired Bates, looking down across the rolling plains and jagged peaks of the Rocky Mountains.More

Lower Downtown Denver (LoDo)

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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

Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park

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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

Historic Downtown Durango

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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

Colorado State Capitol Building

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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
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Cheyenne Mountain Zoo

Cheyenne Mountain Zoo

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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 Civic Center Park

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Colorful flower beds bloom amid a lineup of historical monuments in Civic Center Park, a green space bordered by some of the city’s most important landmarks. Its tree-shaded paths lead to the Denver Art Museum, the State Capitol, and the City and County Building. A stop on many city tours, it’s a great place to start exploring downtown.More

Arkansas River

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Originating in the Rocky Mountains, the Arkansas River flows through four states before emptying into the mighty Mississippi. Near its Colorado headwaters, the river is one of the top white-water rafting destinations in the United States, with rapids ranging from mild to extreme as the waterway winds through the scenic Royal Gorge.More

Denver 16th Street Mall

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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

Lookout Mountain

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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

Trip ideas

Top activities in Colorado

Half Day Rocky Mountain Escape

Half Day Rocky Mountain Escape

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$89.00
Downtown Denver Food Tour
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Downtown Denver Food Tour

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$75.00
Visit Red Rocks Park, Continental Divide & Breckenridge
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RiNo Arts District Food Tour
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RiNo Arts District Food Tour

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Denver, Red Rocks, and Beyond
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Denver, Red Rocks, and Beyond

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$89.00
Breckenridge Mountain Explorer
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Breckenridge Mountain Explorer

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$143.65
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Glacier Hiking & Geothermal Cave Pools + Pictures Day Tour in Idaho Springs
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Shared Half-Day Mountain Tour in Red Rocks Evergreen and Echo Lake
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Garden of the Gods, Manitou Springs, Old Stage Road Jeep Tour
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Private Tour to Pikes Peak Garden of Gods
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Private Tour to Pikes Peak Garden of Gods

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All about Colorado

Local Currency
US Dollar ($)
Time Zone
MST (UTC -7)
Country Code
+1
Language(s)
English
Attractions
46
Tours
777
Reviews
39,048
EN
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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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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