A beginner's guide to Colorado
On top of all the opportunities for outdoor activities, Colorado is a state filled with vibrant cities and endless dining choices, so you’re sure to be entertained if you choose to travel here.
What to do
Colorado is home to Rocky Mountain National Park, the perfect spot in this state if you’re into forests and snow-capped mountains. Here you will find over 300 miles of hiking trails, and in the winter you can cross-country ski, sled, and snowshoe.
For those who wish to ski or hike in great spots in Colorado, check out places like Aspen, Telluride, or Beaver Creek.
Mesa Verde National Park in Colorado offers a unique mix of incredible scenery and fascinating history. As the largest archaeological preserve in the United States, here you will find just under 5,000 sites, and 600 cliff dwellings - ancient villages made out of and set into the very stone that surrounds them. Aside from the history, there are also some great hiking trails, and don’t miss driving the Mesa Top Loop Road.
For some “old western charm” visit towns like Durango and Silverton in the southwest corner of the state which are linked by the unique Durango & Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad. It’s a three-hour ride with spectacular views through the San Juan Mountains.
Finally, for a bit of the great outdoors mixed with luxury, check out Strawberry Park hot springs, naturally heated mineral water pools surrounded by forest just outside Steamboat Springs.
Anyone who spends any time in Colorado should certainly not forget to pay a visit to the 'Mile High City' - Denver. Sports fans should definitely spend some time here, and those who rather relax with a cocktail in hand or perfect dinner should head to the historic LoDo neighbourhood, which is filled with great bars and restaurants.
Where to eat
Colorado has hundreds of craft breweries, wineries, and top chefs, so finding tasty food here definitely won’t be difficult. You can enjoy anything from the fine dining, to fusion food, and good old-fashioned greasy grub. Basically, anything that you’re craving will be on a menu not too far away.
Just because Colorado is landlocked doesn’t mean it doesn’t have any great seafood. Jax Fish House and Oyster Bar has been named as one of the best seafood restaurants in the U.S., and the best in Denver. But you won’t just find them there! Jax also has joints in Boulder, Fort Collins, and Glendale. Their produce is flown in daily, and specialties include oyster, clams, and lobster.
Also check out a few favourites in Boulder, such as Frasca for some fine dining or a romantic dinner, and Flagstaff House Restaurant for some stunning views of the plains and mountains in the distance.
Where to stay
From lodges in the mountains to comfy hotels in the city, accommodation in Colorado is sure to please. If you’re headed to Colorado Springs, Cheyenne Mountain Resort is a luxurious, modern hotel with spacious rooms and beautiful views.
If you’ve made the trip to Mesa Verde National Park, Best Western Mountain Shadows is an excellent option for accommodation. Perfectly located right next to all the action of the National Park, with comfortable rooms and even an indoor pool with a glass-domed roof.
Article written by Lisa Lubin.