This Colorado Springs attraction gets visitors from over 60 countries every year. The Garden of the Gods Park covers 1,367 acres and is a National Natural Landmark containing pinon-juniper woodlands from the American Southwest and grasslands from the Great Plains. The gorgeous landmarks and rock formations are the result of 300 million years' worth of geological history. Be sure to stop by the visitor center before entering the park as you will find snacks as well as maps and information telling you which trails will give you the best views of nearby Pikes Peak and the rest of the park.
The name of Mesa Verde means "green table" in Spanish and the area shows visitors what it was like to live in this Ancestral Pueblo. It was occupied between 600 and 1300 AD and today you can find almost 5,000 archaeological sites within the park, a figure which includes 600 cliff dwellings, which are some of the best-preserved in the country. Starting in May, you can go on tours of the Cliff Palace and even in the winter visitors to Mesa Verde have plenty of opportunities for adventure with cross-country skiing and snowshoeing on the gorgeous snow-covered trails.
Vail is widely known as the top ski resort in North America, bringing visitors from around the world to enjoy the legendary Back Bowls. This ski resort is known for its clear blue skies, mountain wall spanning seven miles, and 5,289 acres of three areas that let skiers of all levels enjoy the outdoors and beautiful scenery. You don't have to worry about finding the right place to stay while in Vail as there are plenty of lodging options ranging from budget-friendly to luxurious resorts. There is even a school for skiing and snowboarding if you want to learn. While at Vail Ski Resort, be sure to visit Vail Village as well for European sophistication mixed with mountain charm.
The Black Canyon of the Gunnison is one of the best Colorado attractions for those who love old rock formations as it has some of the oldest rocks as well as craggiest spires and steepest cliffs within North America. Over the past two million years, the Gunnison River has worked to create this gorgeous vertical attraction. You can find hiking trails around the rim of the canyon with options for all abilities and adventure levels. If you are up for adventure, try going camping or take the strenuous hike to the river.
The Denver Museum of Nature and Science has been a popular attraction in the city for more than 100 years. Here you'll find an excellent planetarium as well as an IMAX theater with fun, educational films for the whole family to enjoy. This museum is designed to keep children entertained while they learn with areas such as the Discovery Zone and Expedition Health. Adults will also enjoy the exhibitions that explore cultures, prehistory, gems, space, wildlife, and more. You even get the chance to touch real fossils during your visit.
Maroon Bells are considered the peaks that are most photographed throughout North America. The gorgeous 14,000-foot peaks are surrounded by Maroon Lake and beautiful wildflowers. You don't have to pay anything to access Maroon Bells via non-motorized transport, whether you are hiking, biking, rollerblading, or doing something else. Instead of driving it is usually more convenient to take a bus tour, which you can find plenty of during the summer. Even if getting there is sometimes complicated, the journey is well worth it.
Inside the Great Sand Dunes National Park and Preserve, you will find the tallest dunes in the continent along with tundra, alpine lakes, aspen and conifer forests, wetlands, and grasslands. This national park is the perfect place for nearly any outdoor activity, including sand sledding, wildlife watching, and hiking. You can even enjoy the water in Medano Creek, have a picnic, participate in a free ranger program, or spend the night camping.
Cheyenne Mountain Zoo is actually the only mountain zoo in the country and to make it stand out even more, you will find one of the biggest herds of giraffes in the world. Like any normal zoo, this one offers a wide range of animals as well as activities for hands-on learning, including those specifically geared towards children. As a bonus, you also get amazing views since the zoo is on a mountain.
Elitch Gardens Theme Park is actually two theme parks in one, a water park and the typical one with rides. The theme park also hosts concerts, drive-in movies and more, providing family entertainment as long as the weather is nice. When you visit the theme park, you will quickly see why it is the coaster capital of Colorado, with kid's rides, family rides, thrill rides, and everything in between. The water park is the perfect spot to cool off on a hot day, whether you want to swim, raft, or go on a thrill ride.
This national park covers 415 square miles of spectacular mountains and views. You can enjoy the 12,000-foot crest of Trail Ridge Road or take advantage of the 300 miles worth of hiking trails, home to starry nights, wildlife, and wildflowers. For anyone who enjoys natural beauty, this national landmark is a must-see in Colorado.