Explore Colorful Colorado!
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Get To Know Colorado
Snow-capped mountain ranges, vast canyons, and expansive desert make up the breathtaking landscape of Colorado. A land of ancient history, Old West lore, and outdoor adventure all beckon you to escape unto its quiet beauty. Colorado is a place where vacationing becomes food for the soul. Let’s take a look at what you can do after you book a bus ticket to explore Colorado!
A Brief History of Colorado
Colorado, which translates to “red-colored earth,” was named by Spanish explorers in the 1500s. The state was once home to the ancient Puebloan peoples and the Plains Indians who made great use of Colorado’s abundant natural resources. These natural resources weren’t fully exploited until after the Louisiana Purchase (including roughly 50 percent of Colorado’s modern boundaries) when, in the late 1800s, gold was discovered. This discovery brought many new settlers to the state.
There's no shortage of things to do in Colorado.
Following many years of Native American and pioneer inhabitation, Colorado has created a unique culture of its own, centered around outdoor sport and recreation. Skiing and mountain climbing are huge draws to the Centennial State for thrill-seekers from around the world. The cities, on the other hand, are vibrant and filled with artistic expression, presenting a lively atmosphere amongst mountain landscapes and inspiring creativity for those who call Colorado their home.
Places to go
A great place to start your trip to Colorado is in Denver, the state capital. A city born in the era of the Old West, Denver teems with life. The city is located near the mountains and serves as a great base camp for outdoor activities such as hiking, climbing, and camping. In addition to its ideal location for outdoor adventures, Denver is known for its dynamic art scene, featuring art districts such as the River North Art District, where you can view art galleries, drink craft beer, and attend concerts from local musicians.
If you’re traveling to Colorado to be as close to the mountains as you can, a great place to consider on your trip is Colorado Springs. The city sits at the foot of the Rocky Mountains, which paints the backdrop you’ll enjoy while you’re there. Take a zip line ride through mountain peaks or book a hot air balloon ride at sunrise. And don’t miss the red rock formations at the Garden of the Gods. Towering upwards of 300 feet, these natural wonders are a must-see.
If you book a trip to explore Colorado during the winter months and want to do some skiing, the towns of Breckenridge and Vail are exactly what you’re looking for. Breckenridge sits at the base of Tenmile Range while Vail can be found nestled at the bottom of Vail Mountain. Both towns are home to massive ski resorts where you can occupy yourself with all manner of snow sports before heading back to town to enjoy the shops, galleries, and restaurants.
Must See List
- Pikes Peak or bust Hummer Tour
- Rocky Mountain National Park
- Garden of the Gods
- Ziplines Around Colorado Springs
- Mesa Verde National Park
- Denver Botanic Gardens
- Durango and Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad and Museum
- St. Elmo Ghost Town
- Cliff Palace
- Red Rocks Amphitheatre
- Bent’s Old Fort National Historic Site
- Carousel of Happiness
- Telluride Mountain Village Gondola
Top Cities To Visit in Colorado
Mountainous Denver is known for its exquisite scenery, as it should be. Residents of the Mile High City enjoy a wonderfully relaxed, outdoor-centric lifestyle that centers around the belief that you can have great fun hiking and eating your way through the city. Denver has plenty of great breweries and eateries, along with plenty to fulfill your cultural inclinations. Love artwork? A stop at the Denver Art Museum is a must. Don’t miss Capitol Hill’s Restaurant Row to satisfy your global cravings. Other highlights include the Denver Zoo and the seasonal Elitch Gardens water park.
Colorado Springs can best be summed up in a single word: graceful. It’s impossible to ignore its almost mesmerizing beauty, which begins with a glance at the Colorado Rockies in the distance. Opposite the majesty of the mountains, the humbling beauty of the Great Plains. There’s more to see here, including the Olympic Training Center and Cheyenne Mountain Zoo. A highlight for many is the spectacular Garden of the Gods, whose exquisite rock formations are the stuff of legend. For epic photographs and hiking, don’t miss a trek up Pikes Peak and a stop at the Broadmoor Seven Falls.
Situated along the Arkansas River, the former mining town of Pueblo is rich in history and character. Legendary names like Buffalo Bill Cody and Wild Bill Hickcock passed through Pueblo in its heyday, and the town still carries a bit of its old-world charm even today. Wander along Union Avenue Historic District and visit the aging, well-kept buildings, many of which belong to the National Register of Historic Places. If you love animals, you’ll be delighted by the many treasures at the 30-acre Pueblo Zoo. Indulge your love of hiking at Pike San Isabel National Forest.
If you love wine, you’ll love Grand Junction. As the heart and soul of Colorado wine country, it’s a charming town known for over 20 wineries and farmers’ markets. When you aren’t sipping and dining, you might be inspired to visit the Colorado National Monument and marvel at the impressive rock formations before you. Fulfill your love of art and culture downtown, where you can shop eclectic boutiques, browse galleries, and view the outdoor sculptures on Main Street. You can also dig into local history and the town’s first settlers at the Museum of Western Colorado.
Things to do
Mesa Verde National Park — Founded as a national park by Theodore Roosevelt in 1906, Mesa Verde National Park features ancient Puebloan cliff dwellings that date back to 1200 A.D.
Red Rocks Amphitheater — Just 10 miles west of Denver is a one-of-a-kind amphitheater built into a massive rock structure. Likely used by the Ute tribe at one point in time, this natural wonder is now a music venue where you can attend the most memorable concert of your life.
Paint Mines Interpretive Park — Certainly one of the most unique parks in Colorado is Paint Mines Interpretive Park, located one mile south of the town of Calhan. Jutting up from the ground are hundreds of odd geological formations made of clay and sand. The formations are most notable for the striking colorful bands that adorn them, caused by oxidized iron compounds. This beautiful and magical place was frequented by Native Americans up to 9,000 years ago as a source of clay and paint.
When to go
The best time to visit Colorado is without a doubt during the autumn months. Mild temperatures and little rain provide great weather conditions for hiking, camping, and other outdoor activities. During July and August, things can get pretty toasty and it should be noted that these months are prone to afternoon thunderstorms. If you’re planning a ski trip, February through March is your ideal time frame as the weather isn’t too severe and the skies stay pretty clear.
Where to stay
Colorado offers many options regarding accommodations and lodging. Budget, mid-range, and lavish hotels are plentiful for you to choose from in cities like Denver, Boulder, and Colorado Springs. Ski resorts offer the best lodging for those looking to stay close to the slopes. Or, if you’re looking for some quiet solace in the rocky mountains, there are hundreds of cabins available to make yourself at home.