Have you seen those car ads where a driver is whipping around gorgeous mountain switchbacks, whooshing through gushing rivers, and pulling up alongside quaint historic buildings? Now, can you imagine travelling to a destination that is car-ad-worthy? If the answer is yes (of course, it’s yes), then Colorado is a must-visit destination.
Welcome to Colorado
Known primarily for its 28 ski resorts, Colorado is so much more. It’s everything an adventurer lover loves, in fact. Year-round, the state’s four diverse national parks siren call hikers, bikers, skiers, and climbers.
There are ghost towns, hot springs, and cool ranches to entice. The dark sky parks offer spectacular star-gazing, and there are more scenic roads (like the Million Dollar Highway, and Top Gear fave, Pikes Peak Highway) than there are hipsters in the craft breweries. Of which there are also plenty!
Whatever your travel style is – road tripper, adventure seeker, winter enthusiast, urban explorer or nature lover – Colorado offers the activities, the mind-melding scenery, and a ton of wide-open spaces to impress.
Top Five Colorado Must-Dos
- Duh, it’s Denver!
Denver, the Mile High City, is so-called because it sits one mile up from sea level. It’s not only its elevation that makes Denver an elevated spot; it’s its hip cultural scene, diverse ‘hoods, and postcard-quality scenery. The three hundred days of sunshine don’t hurt, either.
Whether you’d like to catch a Rockies or Broncos game, wine and dine on Larimer Square, or explore the RiNo, Santa Fe, or other fascinating art districts, Denver’s got you, boo.
Denver is also only two hours from Rocky Mountain National Park, making it an easy base for a day trip if you don’t have time for a longer Rockies stay.
- Cache You Later: Cache la Poudre Scenic Byway
The Cache la Poudre River is a mesmerising natural wonderland. It’s filled with craggy canyons, broad plains, and Colorado’s only federally-designated ‘Wild and Scenic River’. To explore here, start in Colorado’s craft beer capital, Fort Collins, the doorstep to every outdoor adventure.
From Fort Collins, follow the Cache la Poudre (pronounced pooh-der) River to Horsetooth Reservoir (the foothills of the Rockies). From there head to Cameron Pass for views of the Rocky Mountain National Park. Continue on to the rugged North Park basin and family-friendly Steamboat Ski Resort.
- Spring Fling: Glenwood Springs
How does a visit to the largest hot springs pool in the world sound? Yup, Colorado’s Glenwood Springs has that, plus two other hot springs for you to soak up nature’s minerals. And – how cool – the entire mountain town runs on renewable energy thanks to the abundance of thermal waters.
You’ll also find Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park here. It’s America’s only mountain top theme park. Does the drop on the Cliffhanger Roller Coaster seem higher if you’re already over a mile above sea level? Asking for a friend.
Want to spring (sorry) into more action? Drive the Colorado Historic Hot Springs Loop.
- Old Times’ Sake: Southwest Colorado
Ye Olde Colorado is an unmissable part of any exploration here. Like who would want to skip seeing ancient remains from the Puebloan people who once walked Mesa Verde National Park? And only a scaredy-cat would miss the opportunities for a look-see around some ghost towns.
Then there’s Telluride with its Old West vibes and cruisy summer festivals. And we’re all aboard for a trip on the old Durango and Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad steam train. It tracks the same journey into the San Juan mountains as the mining pioneers back in the 1800s.
- Snow Business: Aspen Snowmass
Aspen is North America’s most famous name in ski areas, but did you know there are actually four mountains up this way? Under the Aspen Snowmass umbrella, Aspen Mountain, Aspen Highlands, Buttermilk, and Snowmass offer a combined 2,225 hectares of unrivalled terrain, ski runs, and après ski activities.
Outside of the ski season, the two peaks of Maroon Bells are a popular spot for hikers, wildflower enthusiasts, and photographers (it’s Colorado’s hottest photog spot).
If we thought you’d read it, we’d write the Colorado bible instead of a blog. Condensing 269,000 square kilometres of majestic scenery, red-rock canyons, jagged mountains, and Colorado’s 26 Scenic and Historic Byways into a few hundred words is tough. Luckily, this video can support our overuse of adjectives to describe the region.
If you’re Colo-Ready, head to Colorado.com and start planning.
The Colorado Chorus
Would the movie Rocky have been as impactful without a great soundtrack? Probably, but it was definitely better for the addition of it. Thanks to the bored-during-lockdown crew at Colorado Tourism Office, you can impact your Rockies (and other Colorado places) travels with the perfect 271-track playlist to cruise around to.
Self-Drive Insider Guides for Colorado
Colorado is a highlight on these amazing self-drive itineraries. Start your road trip in Denver on the Rocky Mountains and The Great Plains road trip or make Colorado a half way highlight on the Phoenix, Arizona road trip itinerary National Parks and American Indian Cultures.
AGENTS: JOIN THE USA DISCOVERY PROGRAM!
Get inspired by the diverse destinations and experiences available in the USA and get accredited as a USA Specialist. Complete the Colorado badge and get knowledge in a fun and interactive way.
Earn specialist badges as well as bespoke partner badges. Currently, the USA Discovery Program has over 50 badges to complete, providing agents with a fun and interactive way to learn all about the USA has to offer.
Click here to register and get all the knowledge for the USA.
PLUS! DESIGN YOUR OWN TRIP WITH THE USA TRIP PLANNER
The Visit USA Trip Planner is an amazing (and free!) tool that creates a customisable itinerary to match your personal preferences and style.
With over 230 million data points including the best places & times to visit, reviews and hidden gems, this is one smart piece of travel tech.
This little travel genius optimises your itinerary to minimise travel time, checks when attractions are open and even recommends how much time to spend at each stop off. Brilliant!
Finally, it lets you share & collaborate with your fellow road trippers and is easy to add or revise points of interest as you go.
Find out more: Trip-Planner.VisitTheUSA.com
GET ALL THE TOOLS ON BRAND USA’S TRAVEL TRADE SITE
From the Trip Planner to Insider Guides, and the USA Discovery Program to destination information, Brand USA’s Travel Trade Site for agents has you covered.
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