100 Best Things to do in Colorado

Colorado is one of the western states in the USA. The landscape is a combination of river canyons, dry arid desert, and snow-capped mountains. The state has many ancient structures to visit such as the Mesa Verde National Park. The capital of the state of Colorado is Denver which has a vibrant downtown and nightlife.

1. Mesa Verde National Park

1. Mesa verde national park

This park is in the southwest of Colorado and is well known for the Puebloan cave dwellings. You will know them by the name of Cliff Palace.
If you are hiking, then follow the Petroglyph Point Trail. These are some of the best preserved archaeological sites in the USA.
This is a great place to take an RV and stay a few days whi8le you hike in the park.

2. Denver Museum of Nature and Science

2. Denver Museum of nature and science

Here you will be able to learn about the natural history of the state. There are over 1 million objects in the collections.

There are also archival and library resources if you need to look anything up. There are permanent exhibits, as well as temporary displays, which vary each month, so it is worth checking upcoming exhibits.

3. Raft the Animas River

3. Raft the Animas river

This is constantly rated as one of the major attractions in the state. You will be able to take a guided raft session with an experienced guide.
What is good about this is that there are rapids which are suited to all levels so no fear of being overwhelmed. Some of the routes are perfectly suitable for kids.
Most of these tours start in downtown Durango and you should arrive at least 2 hours early to prepare.
Parking is free, and right next door is a store if you need to buy food afterwards. If you want pictures of your trip, be sure to tell the guide beforehand.

4. Mount Evans

4. Mount Evans

This is the highest peak in the front range of the Rocky Mountains. You will find it in the Mount Evans Wilderness which is about 13 miles southwest of the City of Idaho.
If you are a hiker, then this should be on your agenda. Walking in the area is also very popular and there are several trails you can follow. Some are steep while others cater for younger walkers.
You can take an RV and stay a few days in the area, although you should be sure to check the weather to make sure it is good to hike or walk.

5. Nevadaville Ghost Town

5. Navadaville ghost town

You will find this Masonic Lodge in the deserted town. Oddly enough, the lodge is still used for meetings.
The town was established in 1859 as a gold mining town. It reached its peak of population with 1,000 inhabitants. When the gold was mined out, the town basically died, although there are still six official residents.
You will be able to see the city hall, and a saloon building, along with mining shacks. It is not a good idea to explore the mine shafts as they are considered dangerous, so keep children under control.

6. Denver Art Museum

6. Denver art museum

This is situated in the Civic Centre of the city of Denver. It is one of the largest museums between Chicago and the west coast, and known for the amazing collection of American Indian Art.
Also, of interest is the Berger Collection which is a private collection of mostly British art over six centuries.
The Hamilton Collection consists of 22 impressionist works from a private collection including Van Gogh’s Edge of a Wheat Field with Poppies.
Make sure you check for upcoming events and exhibitions.
Allow yourself a full day to see this museum.

7. Bishop Castle

7. Bishop castle

This is found in Rye. The story goes that at the age of 15 a boy named Jim Bishop dropped out of school, having been told that he would never amount to anything.
Jim saved up, and with the help of his parents he bought a small plot of land and started to build a cottage.
Originally it was just a one room stone cottage, although it grew to be the castle that you can see today.
The castle now has 16 stories, with three large cathedral windows and a fire-breathing dragon. You may be lucky to meet Jim Bishop as he is about 60 years old.

8. Rocky Mountain National Park

8. Rocky mountains national park

This park spans the Continental Divide. You will find a differing landscape of forests, alpines, and mountains.
If you are a hiker, then look for the Trail Ridge Road, and the Old Fall River Road. You can also drive your car along many of the routes past Aspen trees and rivers.
For the more experience climbers, the Keyhole Route is a vertical rock face, which leads up Longs Peak, and is the parks tallest mountain.
Be sure to take enough provisions for any hike as there are few supply stores here.

9. Alferd Packer’s Grave

9. Alferd Packers grave

This is found in Littleton Cemetery, Littleton. Packer was a 19th century gold prospector and a convicted cannibal.
A shoemaker by trade, Packer took a group of 21 prospectors into the Rockies. Sometime later he took a group of 5 off to prospect. After a brutal winter he returned with the wallets, saying that the men had died from exposure. What drew attention to Packer was just how fit and healthy he looked, and he was charged with cannibalism. He was eventually charged with 5 counts of manslaughter and spent 40 years in prison.
Packer maintained his innocence for the rest of his life, and because he was a veteran, the funeral and headstone were paid for by the military.

10. National Museum of WWII Aviation

10. National museum of WWII aircraft

The museum is located in Colorado Springs. You can either take a guided tour or walk around by yourself.
Look for the WWII aircraft which are in the process of being restored, and see the amazing collection still flying warbirds. There is also a rare flying P-38.
Allow yourself at least a half day here. A guide is a great idea as they are all very familiar with the collections.

11. Denver Zoo

11. Denver zoo

The zoo was founded in 1896 and is now the most popular tourist attraction in the city. The zoo began with the donation of one black bear, and the zoo became the first naturalistic zoo in the USA.
You will notice that there are no bars, just enclosures. The zoo was named the ‘Greenest Zoo in the Country’.
Allow yourself a full day here. There is a café where you can buy snacks and refreshments.

12. Walk up the Mile-High steps

12. Mile high steps

You will find the steps at the State Building in Denver. The top measures exactly 5,280 feet above sea level.
Over the years there have been differences of opinions as to the exact height, so you will notice on the 15th step it is engraved with the acclamation. Later it was thought that the 18th step was the peak.
Recently it was worked out that the top step is in fact the exact mile height. Wherever you think the exact spot is, the view from the top is stunning!
Make sure you see the mile high marker on the steps as you climb.

13. Desert Reef Hot Springs

13. Desert Reef hot springs
You will find this in Florence. It is a naturally-sourced hot spring. This is also a recognised nudist spot so if you visit, you are welcome to remove all your clothing to try the spring.
The springs were first discovered during a subsurface oil investigation and this led to the stream of hot water forming in pools.

14. Broadmoor Seven Falls

14. Broadmoor seven falls

These seven waterfalls are found in South Cheyenne Creek. There are several trails which you can take to get to the top of the falls.
Look for the trail leading to Midnight Falls and Inspiration Point. Be aware that in heavy rains there may be flooding so be sure to check the forecast. Also, make sure you take your own provisions.

15. Colorado Automobile Museum

15. Colorado auto museum

This museum is in Concord. If you enjoy looking at vintage cars, then you must put this on your list to do. This is possibly one of the best car museums you will see.
Take a little time to admire the surroundings which are red sandstone cliffs and mountains. The museum buildings are stucco and match in beautifully with the area.
Allow yourself most of the day and try to eat in the restaurant which is outstanding.

16. Rulison Nuclear Test Site

16. Rulison Nuclear site

This is the site where a nuclear bomb was lowered down 8,000 feet under the ground, and you will see the spot in Parachute.
The bomb was detonated as an experiment in natural gas extraction. It was exploded in 1969. Locals were evacuated for one day only while the explosion was carried out.
The only evidence now of the explosion is the shaft which is now securely covered. There is a plaque to tell you all about it.

17. Red Rocks Amphitheatre

17. red Rocks amphitheatre

This rock structure is found near Morrison, about 10 miles west of Denver. Concerts are performed here in the open air. The stage has a large rock right behind it, hence the name.
The arena can seat up to 9,500 people. Make sure you book in advance for any performances as this gets popular in the summer months.

18. Riverside Cemetery

18. Clara Brown Riverside cemetery

This is the oldest cemetery in the state. It is also the final resting place of many famous people. You will find it in Denver.
Over 67,000 names are listed to be buried in the cemetery, with many headstones faded and crypts overgrown.
Look for the grave of Lester Eugene Drake Sr, along with miner’s pick ax and shovel. You will also find the grave of the freed slave Clara Brown, along with congressmen, governors, suffragettes, and sports players.
The cemetery no longer takes ‘residents’, and it may take you just a half day to walk around, depending on who you want to find there!

19. Cheyenne Mountain Zoo

19. Cheyenne zoo

This zoo is found in downtown Colorado Springs. It is at an elevation of 6,800 feet above sea level and is the highest zoo in the USA.
You will find over 750 animals of 150 different species and divided into sections. For the little ones, look for ‘My Big Backyard’ where there are rabbits, chickens, and amphibians.
The ‘Rocky Cliffs’ is home to the mountain goats, while the ‘Rocky Mountain Wild’ is home to bears, eagles, mountain lions, and lynx, to name a few.
Be sure to check upcoming events at this amazing zoo.
Allow a full day here. There is a café to buy lunch.

20. Kit Carson County Carousel

20 Kit Carson county carousel

This is found in Burlington. It is one of the few remaining antique carousels in the USA. You will also notice that the animals do not move. The carousel is wooden, which is why the animals cannot move.
The difference between modern day carousels is that this one moves along at 12 mph, while most modern carousels only reach the speed of 8 mph.

All 46 animals are hand carved and hand painted. You will find chariots, giraffes, lions, tigers, horses, and even a hippopotamus!
Look at the centre of the carousel and you will find an interesting Wurlitzer 155 Military Band Organ.
While the kids may enjoy the ride, the carousel is more than an amusement. Looking closely, you will appreciate it for the work of art it really is.

21. Colorado State Capitol Building

21. State Capitol

This is found in Denver. It houses the offices of the Governor of Colorado as well as the Lieutenant Governor. The building was started in the 1890’s from Colorado white granite and completed in 1894.
You may take a tour of the inside where you will see large amounts of Colorado Rose Onyx which is very rare and comes from a nearby quarry.
Look out for the stained-glass windows telling about events related to the history of the state.
Allow yourself a half day to see the building.

22. Mahr Building

22. Mahr Building Butch cassidy
You will find this attraction in Telluride. It is the location of Butch Cassidy’s first robbery.
Cassidy’s first theft happened at the San Miguel Valley Bank, where they stole $20,000.
The bank burned down some years afterwards and was replaced by the Mahr building, which is still remembered by the local inhabitants as the place of the first Butch Cassidy robbery.

23. Casa Bonita

23. Casa Bonita

If you want an unusual night out, then head to this landmark in Lakewood. The area is an enormous strip mall built as a replica of a Mexican village.
Throughout your meal you may be treated to a typical Mexican Fiesta, followed by gunfights and fire-juggling.
The whole evening is a blast of colour and music and truly a night to remember!

24. Dougherty Museum

24. Dougherty Museum

For anyone who enjoys looking at vintage items of any sort, this is a ‘must see’. You will find it in Longmont.
The owner was Ray Dougherty, a local farmer who also collected antiques. After his collection outgrew his farm, the museum opened in 1977.
Look for his classic car collection of over 40 including a 1909 Mobile Steamer (known as the first car in the state), and the 1915 Stanley Steamer. You will also see the 1909 Packard.
What is amazing about this museum is that every piece is in working condition. Allow a half day at least to see everything here.

25. American Museum of Western Art

25. American museum of western art

You will find this in Denver. It was originally called the Navarre Building as a school for women. However, it was changed in 1889 and became a brothel featuring an underground secret passage for clients to enter without being seen.
The building changed hands several times after that, finally becoming the museum. You will see a massive collection of paintings depicting the American West.

26. Pearl Street Mall

26. Pearl Street mall

You may also hear this called Downton Boulder, as that is where it is located. It is a four-block pedestrian mall which is home to numerous businesses and restaurants. You will also find the county Courthouse here.
Pearl Street is filled with eclectic art, numerous fountains, and sculptures. In the summer months you will see street performers such as musicians and jugglers.
Many of the building are the oldest in the state of Colorado so it is worth spending time looking around there.

27. Cranmer Park Sundial

This is one of the smallest parks in Denver. It has the privilege of being the home of the Chinese style quartz sundial.
The sundial was first installed there in 1941, although this was destroyed by vandals. A replica was installed. As it was designed in typical Chinese style, you will find a polar chart at the base with western features.
The park itself is worth walking around. Even though it is small, it is well-maintained and very pleasant to walk through.
Plan on spending the morning or afternoon in this delightful park.

28. The home of Indiana Jones

28. Home of Indiana Jones

If you are a fan of his movies, then you will want to see the home of the character of Indiana Jones.
You will find it in Antonito. It is in fact a bed and breakfast place, so you can stay a night or so. It is a bright place, with four sections to choose from. You may choose to stay in the Holy Grail, The Crusaders, The Cortex, or The Coronado.
Note the mailbox outside the house still attached to the fence, and the picture of Sean Connery over the fireplace.

29. Try some local Cantaloupe

29. Try some canteloupe

Cantaloupes grow well in Colorado. In fact, local inhabitants think they are simply the best in the world.
You will find them on sale all over the place, and on many menus in restaurants. Netted Gem is the most prolific one and it is slightly larger than most and a lot sweeter. If possible, try to visit in July when they ripen. You will then find Rocky Ford Cantaloupes on every shelf in every supermarket!

30. Breckenridge Snow Sculptures

30 Brekenridge snow sculptures

Once a year this takes place in Breckenridge. It is the competition to carve the best sculpture out of snow.
Competitors have 65 hours to create their masterpieces. You will see fantastic snow scenes such as dragons, scenes, and shapes, all carved from blocks of ice.
If possible, you should try and stay a few days, so you can see the creations taking shape, and then be there for the judging at the end. Be sure to book accommodation in advance.

31. Molly Brown House and Museum

31. Molly Brown house

This is also known as the House of Lions, and you will find it in Denver. Molly Brown survived the sinking of the RMS Titanic and was then known as ‘the unsinkable Molly Brown’.
There are guided tours around the house where you may see many different types of memorabilia, both of Molly herself and from the ship she sailed in.

32. Edwin Carter Discovery Centre

32. Edwin carter discovery centre

If taxidermy fascinates you, then be sure to visit here. Edwin Carter was a gold miner who turned his hand to taxidermy.
The collection consists of over 3,000 animals. Carter began as an amateur taxidermist and set out to preserve as many specimens as he could. Eventually his cabin could not house them any longer and they were donated to a museum.
The original cabin is also still preserved where visitors can visit and learn about the art of taxidermy.
The centre regularly has special exhibits of interesting subjects.

33. Pikes Peak

33. Pikes Peak

This peak is the highest summit of the southern edge of the Rocky Mountains. You can reach it by going 12 miles west of Colorado Springs.
Pikes Peak is one of Colorado’s ‘Fourteeners’ which are mountains higher than 14,000 feet above sea level.
There are many hiking trains around the base as well as up the mountain. You should be aware of weather conditions before you head out and be sure to take enough provisions with you.
The area is perfect for taking an RV and spending a few days while you hike in the vacinity.

34. Ute Council Tree

34. Ute Council tree

This interesting attraction is situated in Delta. It is a giant tree stump which was once a towering cottonwood. Legend has it that Ute Indians held their tribal meetings under this tree.
The tree stump is estimated to be over 210 years old, and before it began to fall apart it reached a height of 89 feet into the air.
In 2017 the last living branch on the tree fell off and any dead branches were removed so they did not fall on people below. What remains is now just the huge 23-foot trunk as a memorial to the Ute tribe.

35. Vindicator Valley Trail

35. Vindicator valley trail

If you enjoy hiking, then this should be on your list of things to do. The trail starts at the ruins of the Theresa Gold Mine, in Cripple Creek.
The trail is 2 miles long, and winds through the Anna J Mine, past many little ruins and brick sheds all related to the old mining area.
Be sure to check the weather before you start out, and wear sturdy shoes as the terrain is uneven in many places.

36. Take a Jeep and Raft Tour

36. Jeep and raft tours

These tours are a great idea to see the area. They start in the city of Durango and head out towards Mesa Verde.
The jeep tour takes you through canyons and over rivers in the morning, while the raft tour in in the afternoon. The rafting takes place on a Class III white water river and is famous for the spectacular views.
Make sure you take a change of clothing as well as some warm wear.

37. Nederland Mining Museum

37. Nederland mining museum
This is found in Nederland and is home to one of the last remaining Panama Canal Steam Shovels, which stands outside the museum. At the time when it was used, it was one of the largest in the world.
There are many interesting events and exhibits through the year.
You will need about a half day to look around the mine, although the area is interesting with lots of mining history, so is worth spending a full day.

38. Downtown Aquarium

38. Downtown aquarium

This is found in Denver and used to be named the Ocean Journey Aquarium. The complex is home to 500 different species of marine animals.
Make sure that kids het to visit the interactive Stingray Tank where they can touch the rays.
The aquarium has a very pleasant restaurant, so you can plan on spending most of the day here.

39. Colorado Model Railroad Museum

39. Colorado model railway museum

This is in Greeley. If you are interested in vintage railways and trains, then make sure you visit this attraction. The train layout is simply amazing, with some of the trains running on most days.
For the kids there is a scavenger hunt to find dinosaurs hidden among the tracks. There are many buttons which you can push to make things happen, such as the Ferris wheel turning, and a forest fire starting to burn.
This will take about half the day to visit.

40. Elitch gardens, theme, and water park

40. Elitch water park gardens

This amusement park is found in Denver. During Halloween they host the haunted house and the Trick or Treat trail for the smaller kids.
Make sure you head for the new rides, these are the Tube Top, Tike Bikes, and the Kiddieland area.
The Island Kingdom Family Water Park is great fun for the whole family with a huge family raft ride as well as the lazy river.
Allow yourself a full day here, especially if you are visiting with kids.

41. Ouray County Museum

41. Ouray county museum

This is found in the town of Ouray. The museum is jam-packed with artefacts and information such as medical, military, law, and mining.
Be sure to talk to the staff as they are very well-informed about the history of the area,

42. Great Sand Dunes National Park

42. Great sand dunes nat park

This preserve is found in southern Colorado. It is well-known for the towering dunes. Look for the high point named Star Dune.
There is a seasonal creek which may be filled with water at different times through the year.
For hikers, head for the Medano Pass which winds through the canyon and on towards the Sangre de Christo mountain range.
There are several trails leading through forests, wetlands, and lakes.
This is a great place to take an RV and stay a few days while you enjoy hiking in the park.

43. Buckhorn Exchange

43. Buckhorn

This attraction was founded in 1893 and is found in Denver. It houses a wall-to-wall collection of taxidermy. It is also kept in Denver’s oldest steakhouse.
You will find collections of antique weapons along with the hundreds of stuffed animals.
The steakhouse menu includes such items as rattlesnake and elk, with buffalo sausage and alligator tails also being available.
This restaurant is definitely a ‘must’ for those who enjoy a meal with a difference.
Be sure to reserve your table as it is a very popular venue.

44. Breckenridge Ski Resort

44. Brekenridge ski resort

Breckenridge is the largest historical district in the state and this is where the ski resort is found. The town is built around the resort and it a delightful place to spend a day, even if you do not ski.
The streets are lined with eclectic shops and interesting restaurants. There are several coffee shops and small family owned eateries.
Be sure to head to the downtown area where you will find the art district.

45. Mount Evans Scenic Byway

45. MOunt evans scenic bypath

You can start up this byway in Evergreen. It is the highest paved road in North America. The road winds its way up Mount Evans to an altitude of 14,130 feet above sea level.
The road was completed in 1931 and runs for 28 miles, with some of the most spectacular scenery in the state.
Be aware that it can get cloudy and have snow falls so check the weather before you plan a trip. There are plenty of pull-off areas where you can stop and take pictures.
Along the way you will find the Mount Goliath Natural Area which is home to protected trees.
At the top you can stop and see Summit Lake Park and the lake. You will notice that the waters of the lake are pristine, because they are fed from a glacier.

46. Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park

46. Glenwood

You will find this in Glenwood Springs, about 160 miles west of Denver. The caves and the tours only opened for the public in 2003.
There are guided tours to the caves which are called the Fairy Caves Tour, the Kings Row Tours, and the Wild Tour.
The tours last about 2 hours, and they must all be booked in advance.

47. Anasazi Heritage Centre

47. Anasazi Heritage centre

This museum is found in Dolores. It is the premier archaeological museum in the state. You can see the history of the Anasazi and several other native American cultures.
There are two sites and a collection of over 3 million artefacts. The museum is well worth visiting and is free during the winter months. Entrance fee of $3 per person is charged at other times.

48. Mount Elbert

48. Mount elbert

This is the highest point in the state and you will find it near Buena Vista. It is at an altitude of 14,400 feet above sea level.
This is the second highest peak in the USA and there is a hiking train which is relatively easy, and only three miles long.
If you plan to climb this mountain, you must be aware that the weather changes and it is subject to lightning in the afternoons.

49. Try some Colorado Lamb

49. Colorado lamb

This is regarded by locals as the best lamb in the world. You will find lamb on most restaurant menus as well as in most smaller eateries.
Colorado lamb is bred for meat, not wool and is known for the rich flavour and good texture. It is almost completely free from artificial growth hormones.
You will find lamb in many delicious dishes in most towns and cities in the state.

50. Take a helicopter tour

50. Take a helicopter tour

Many helicopter tours start in Las Vegas, where you will be collected at your hotel. You will be taken to the airport where you will be flown in a 7-seat helicopter.
Most tours will take you over the Hoover Dam, and Lake Mead, which are very clearly seen from the air.
You will be able to get great pictures of the Colorado River and the iconic coloured wall faces, before heading back over the Black Canyon and the extinct volcano.
Allow yourself a full day for these tours as Las Vegas has many things to see and do.

51. Royal Gorge Bridge

51. Royal gorge bridge

This attraction is near Cañon City, in the Royal Gorge Park. The bridge crosses the gorge at 955 feet above the Arkansas River, and until 2001 was the highest bridge in the world. It is still the highest bridge in the USA.
The bridge is 1,260 feet long. Cars are allowed over the bridge but only at certain times, so you should check before you plan to cross.
There is an amusement park at the entrance to the bridge which is a great place to take the kids. There is also a zip-line across the gorge for the more adventurous.

52. Ludlow Massacre Site

52. Ludlow massacre site

This is found in Trinidad. It is the site of the Colorado Union Massacre which took place in 1914.
Some 8,000 mine workers went on strike to protest against unfit living conditions. They planned to form a union, and a fight ensued between the miners and the National Guardsmen with 25 people being killed.
Today the town is a ghost town, and the monument is dedicated to the workers and innocent families who died that day.

53. Rocky Mountain zip line

53. Rocky mountain zip line

You will find this outside of Denver in the foothills of the Rocky Mountains. There are four different tour times and zip line options ranging in length from 850 feet to 1,900 feet.
You do not need any experience to be able to enjoy this as the staff will instruct you. You will get a short training period, and then be fully equipped for the ride.
If you prefer you can take the tour which involves a 4-hour tour and three of the longest zip lines. To do this, you need to take the 10-minute hike uphill, making it good for people who are fit.

54. Maroon Bells

54. Maroon Bells

These two peaks are found in the Elk Mountains. They are on the border between Pitkin County and Gunnison County, about 12 miles southwest of Aspen.
The view of the mountains is widely regarded as one of the most photographed in the county. There is even a bus from Aspen which takes tourists out to the mountains to take pictures.
There are several hiking trails, some long and some shorter so suitable for all levels of fitness.

55. Butte Theatre

55. Butte theatre cripple creek

The theatre is home to both community and professional performing arts events. It is in Cripple Creek.
The town of Cripple Creek is worth looking at. There are several small casinos, and a silver mine which you can tour.
This is a nice place to take an RV and stay a few days.

56. Manitou Incline

56. Manitou incline

You will find this outside Manitou Springs. It is a vertical hike that will take you up 2,000 feet in less than a mile.
You can follow the old cable car tracks and it should take about 40 minutes to get to the top. You do not need any special climbing equipment, although this may not be suitable for children or people who are not relatively fit.
Be sure to pace yourself so that you get to the top. Also take enough water for up and down.

57. Manitou Cliff Dwellings

57. Manitou cliff dwellings

You will find these just west of Colorado Springs. They are the ruins of the Anasazi Tribe who used to live there.
The dwellings date back many years and were first opened to the public in 1904. Be sure to check out the museum, where you will learn about the tribe and be able to see artefacts such as tools and pottery. There is a good collection of weapons on display. You can walk through the ruins, so wear sturdy shoes.

58. Boulder teahouse

58. Boulder tea house

The interesting thing about this tea house is that it was a hand-built gift from Boulders’ sister city in Tajikstan.
In the exchange programme the two cities agreed to exchange one building each and while Boulder received the teahouse, Tajikstan received and internet café.
You may agree that Boulder got the better deal in that arrangement!

59. See the Flatirons

59. See the Flatirons

For walkers and hikers, this is a great place to see. There is a trail which is well marked.
The hike is quite difficult, and care should be taken but the views from the top are spectacular. Be aware that if you hike here in winter there will be ice at the top and the rocks will be very slippery.
There are several trails which do not go all the way to the top, and are easier, and more suited for people who are less fit.

60. Durango & Silverton Narrow Gauge Railway

60. Durango railroad

The railway runs from Durango to Silverton and has been designated as an historical site.
The railroad was opened in 1882 to transport gold and silver from the San Juan Mountains. The last train ran along the tracks in 1968, after running continuously since 1881. You can take the train from Durango to Cascade Wye in the winter, and to Silverton in the Summer months.
Be sure to book seats in advance.

61. Manitou Springs Penny Arcade

61. manitou springs penny arcade

This penny arcade is situated in the town of Manitou Springs. You will find over 100 games ranging from penny pinball machines to modern arcade games.
In between the games you will find several souvenir shops, and snack bars are littered all around the place.
There are even penny operated kiddie rides here, so make sure you bring all your small change. The machines will take money up to quarters. Some of the games date back to 1900, and there are several rooms in themes, each with their own story.
Be prepared to spend most of the day here.

62. Take a Denver food tour

62. Take a Denver food tour

No visit to Denver will be complete without tasting some of the local cuisine. There are some excellent tours which will introduce you to the different styles.
Most tours will suggest a hotel to start and you will have a guide who walks you down the streets, explaining along the way.
You will stop at several places along the way and sample such things as pork belly and noodle bowls. Don’t forget the home-made ice-cream which you will find on almost every corner!

63. Snowmass

63. Snowmass

This area of the Aspen and Snowmass ski resort is found in Snowmass Village near the town of Aspen. It is the largest of the four mountains and most well-known for the family-friendly atmosphere.
Even with it being family orientated, there are still some slopes rated as extreme, with glade terrain in places.
There is a recently constructed gondola in the base Village and a new restaurant near Elk Camp.
Snowmass is also known for vertical skiing, in fact it has the most vertical feet of skiing in the USA.
Make sure you ask about any special offers on lifts and rentals.
If you plan to stay any length of time, you must book accommodation in advance.

64. Doc Holliday’s Grave

64. Doc Hollidays grave

If you are a fan of Wyatt Earp and his friend, then be sure to stop here and see the grave of the famous Doc Holliday. You will find it in Glenwood Springs.
Doc was a dentist by profession although he admitted that necessity made him become a gambler. He turned out to be one of the fastest men with a six-gun, as well as one of the deadliest and skilful gamblers of his time.
You can see the headstone in Linwood Cemetery where he is buried.

65. Aspen Mountain

65. Asoen Mountain

This is just outside the city of Aspen. Aspen was the first public ski area in the state. It is small in comparison to the other mountains, but you will find that it has a cultural flavour to it and seems reminiscent of times past.
The ski area is found inside the White River National Forest. There are three restaurants on the mountain, two at the top, and one half-way up.
Allow yourself at least a full day here, perhaps even longer.

66. San Juan National Forest

66. San juan Forest

This area is in western Colorado and covers most of the San Juan Mountains west of the Continental Divide.
Within the forest you can find two alpine wilderness areas as well as the Piedra area.
Look out for the Durango and Silverton Railway which passes through.
This is a great area for hiking and walking. It is perfect for taking an RV and staying a few days while you look around.

67. Buffalo Bill Museum and Grave

67. Buffalo BIll grave

Anyone who has heard about this American Icon will want to see this spot. Not only can you see his grave, but you can also look around the museum.
Buffalo Bill founded the town of Cody (named after himself) in Wyoming. He was an avid supporter of the rights of both Women and native Americans.
When he died of kidney failure, tributes were sent from worldwide figures such as King George V and President Woodrow Wilson.

68. The Colorado Trail

68. Colorado Trail

For runners, this should be included in your list of things to do. The trail is a long distance running trail of 486 miles with the highest point being 13,271 feet above sea level.
Most of the trail is above 10,000 feet, although you will find that it dips down into alpine terrain.
If you run along this trail, you need to be aware that the region is very exposed and subject to sudden storms.
Summer days are pleasantly warm, with cool nights, although there can be snowfalls at any time of the year. The best time of year to run the trail is July, August, and September.

69. Picketwire Canyon Trackway

69. Picketwire Canyon

If you are interested in dinosaurs, then be sure to see this. These are the largest dinosaur tracks in the USA. You will find them in La Junta.
The area contains over 1300 tracks in 100 different paths over miles of limestone deposits on either side of the river.
You may recognise the two main types as being from either Apatosaurus or Allosaurus.
If you have a four-wheel drive, you may want to join a guided tour and if so, you need to book in advance.
Allow yourself a half day at least to explore this area.

70. Independence Pass

70. Independence Pass
You may also hear this called Hunter Pass. It is at an altitude of 12,095 feet and is the pass between Aspen and Twin lakes.
State Highway 82 is the road to take to get to the pass. This is the highest elevation of a paved state highway in the state.
Be aware that due to winter snow, the road is closed in the cold months. During the summer it is very popular as the scenery is spectacular. The area then becomes a haven for backpackers, and hikers, as well as rock climbers.

71. Wild Animal Sanctuary

71. Wild animal sanctuary

This is found in Keenesburg and is the largest sanctuary to carnivores in the world. There are over 450 rescued meat-eaters who live there.
All the animals who are houses there have been rescued, and you will be able to see lions, tigers, and bears, to mention a few.
The enclosures are large and have plenty of space for the animals to recover and get healthy again. When you visit the sanctuary, you will be able to see the animals from above on the 1.5-mile elevated walkway that takes you around the enclosures. This is also known as the longest footbridge in the world.
There is a small café there so allow yourself at least a half day to visit here.

72. Garden of the Gods

72. Garden of the gods

This is found in Colorado Springs. It is very popular for hikers and walkers, as well as cyclists and rock climbers.
This is the most popular park in the city. For walker, there are over 15 miles of trails to explore and many of them are wheelchair accessible. The trails will take you through very scenic red rock formations.
This is a great place to pack a lunch and head off for the day.

73. Hanging Lake

73. Hanging LAke

This crystal-clear lake is found in Glenwood Springs, in the canyon. Waterfalls coming over the top of the canyon fill the lake at the base with icy-cold, clear water.
The water is so clear that you can see the bottom of the lake. The lake was discovered by a gold prospector and was originally a private home, before becoming the property of the White River Forest Service.
For hikers or fit walkers, there is a trail which takes to up a steep hill to lake which is full of trout and literally appears to be hanging from the sides of the canyon.

74. Colorado National Monument

74. Colorado national Monument

You may also hear this called simply The Monument. You will find it near the city of Grand Junction. It is an area rather than one place and encompasses sheer walled canyons as well as desert highlands.
Wildlife enthusiasts will b3e able to spot golden eagles, ravens, jays, hawks, and coyotes, to mention a few.
This is a great area to drive an RV and stay a few days while you explore the area.
There is a visitor’s centre and a gift shop, and many walking trails which are well sign-posted.

75. The Tank

75. The Tank

This interesting attraction is found in Rangely. It was originally a large metal water storage tank which has been converted into a concert hall.
The tank was never used as a water tank and stood empty for some years until it was taken over by a group called ‘Friends of the Tank’, who converted it to the hall.
People agree that the acoustics are of the best in the world. If you intend to see the Tank, please be aware that it is on private land and is private property.

76. Bear Lake

76. bear Lake

This scenic hiking trail ends in the Rocky Mountain National Park. The lake is at 9,450 feet above sea level. The trail starts in the Beaver Meadows Entrance Station in the park.
There are several trials which will take you here, some of them are easy while others are more strenuous.
The road is open all year round although it can be slippery and closed temporarily in bad weather. You will find ample parking at the top for cars. The road is about 10 miles long.
This is not suitable for RV’s as the road gets narrow in places.
Make sure you check the weather forecast before you set out.

77. The Stanley Hotel

77. The Stanley Hotel

You will find this spooky place in Estes Park. It was the inspiration for Stephen King’s ‘The Shining’. Be sure you check out room 217 which was where he got the idea for the book.
The hotel is believed to be haunted, and the house has been used in the making of several horror films.
The hotel was also used in the television show ‘Ghost Hunters’, with hosts claiming to have seen children playing on the floors above them.
So, if you are brave…

78. Black Canyon

78. Black canyon

This is located in Gunnison National Park in western Colorado. This is well-known for good hiking.
The gorge walls are steep and there are several trails and roads which run along the north and south rims. Look for the scenic views of the Painted Wall cliff.
There is a trail which leads to the river below. Lok for the sign for the East Portal Road to get there.
You will encounter wildlife such as Elk, Golden Eagles, and Mule Deer.

79. Baldpate Inn Key Collection

79. Baldpate Inn keys

Baldpate Inn is in Estes Park. It is the largest collection of keys in the world. With a total of over 20,000 keys every wall and piece of ceiling is literally covered.
Look for the keys to the White House, Frankenstein’s Castle, and Hitler’s Bunker. Other interesting places who have keys there are Westminster Abbey. Mozart’s Wine cellar and the Pentagon, to name a few.
So, while you are having lunch there, you can talk to the owner about who else has keys on display there. If you have a spare, you can leave one of yours.

80. Denver Botanical Garden

80. Denver botanical garden

You will find this in the Cheesman Park area of Denver. The complex houses a conservatory and a variety of themed gardens. There is also an amphitheatre where summer concerts are held.
Make sure to look at the cold climate gardens as these hold the largest collection of plants in the USA.
The Japanese Garden is particularly restful. It is signposted Shofu-en, which means Garden of Wind and Pines.
This is a lovely place to take a lunch and relax for a while.

81. Do the Lower Downtown Food Tour

81. Lodo food tour

You will see signs for this as the LoDo tour, and you can take it from many places in Denver. The guides are local and full of interesting facts about the local cuisine and cultures.
The food tour takes about 3 hours, so a certain amount of fitness is needed. You normally stop at five different locations as well as passing iconic landmarks along the way.
Most of the products you will eat are locally produced, although if you have any allergies you should let the company know beforehand. It is essential that you book in advance.

82. Try some peaches

82. Try some peaches

For the best peaches in the state you must head for the town of Palisade which you will find in Grand Valley. The valley used to be arid desert until a settler saw the potential and created a canal to redirect water from the Colorado River. He was the first to irrigate the land, and peaches have been grown there since 1882.
If you see jams and jellies that are locally made, the chances are they have used Palisade peaches, which are known to be firm, juicy, and delicious.
You can buy fresh peaches from the shop on the farm.
In the summer months, the town hosts the Peach Festival which is very popular, although you can get these peaches most of the year on menus in restaurants.

83. Trail Ridge Road

83. trail ridge road

You may also hear of this as the Beaver Meadow National Scenic Byway. It runs between the Rocky Mountain National Park and Estes Park.
The road is closed in the winter months because of the snow. Trail Ridge Road reaches a high point of 12,183 feet above sea level near fall River Pass.
This is a very popular venue for avid hikers. The trail will pass the Alpine Visitor Centre and head out to Deer Ridge Junction.
Be sure to check weather conditions before starting out.

84. Forney Transport Museum

84. Forney transport museum

You will find this museum in Denver. It was started by J.D. Forney in 1961, after he received a gift of an antique car from his wife and children. The collection grew and grew.
The collection includes vehicles of all sorts. Look for Amelia Earhart’s old roadster called the ‘Gold Bug’, and one of the older Love Bugs used in the movies ‘Herbie’.
Probably the most impressive item is the Union Pacific ‘Big Boy’ which is a steam locomotive and one of the largest ever produced. There were only 25 ever made.
There are over 600 pieces in the museum so be prepared to spend most of the day here.

85. Dinosaur National Monument

85. Dinosaur National Monument

You will find this in the southeast area of the Uinta Mountains, almost on the border between Colorado and Utah.
There are over 800 sites at the dig and fossils including Deinonychus, Abydosaurus, and Allosaurus. The area was declared a National Monument in 1915.
If dinosaurs and fossils are your passion, then this must be on your list to see. There are towns nearby such as Jensen, in Utah and Dinosaur in Colorado where you can stay for a few days.

86. Canyons of the Ancients

86. Canyons of the ancients

To see this breathtaking area of ancient Pueblo structures you should head to Towaoc. This is an outdoor museum with over 6000 sites and an unrivalled collection of contents.
Some of the discoveries have dated back to the mid 1100’s and given scientists the opportunity to discover how ancient people lived.
There are also many bike and walking trails in the area, as well as camping areas, so it is a great idea to take an RV and stay a few days while you look around.

87. Red Rocks Park

87. Red rocks park

This park is found in Jefferson County, and is maintained by the city of Denver. It is very well-known for the large red rock outcrops made of sandstone.
You will notice that many of the rock formations have names such as the Seat of Pluto and the Cave of the Seven Ladders.
For hikers and walkers, this park offers some of the most scenic trails in the state, and it is possible to camp in certain areas.
It is perfect to take an RV and spend a few days while you hike the area.

88. Geology Museum

88. Geology museum

You will find this at the Colorado School of Mines in Golden. The most interesting thing here is the rock collection from the Apollo 17 mission to the moon.
The collection consists of over 50,000 minerals including a huge number of gems from the mining districts in the area.
Look for the six beautifully restored murals which were painted in the 1930’s by Irwin Hoffman showing the history of mining.
Allow yourself a full day to see this. There is a café where you can get lunch.

89. Copper Mountain

89. Copper mountain

This is a ski resort which is located in Summit County, about 75 miles west of Denver. The closest town s Frisco, which is 8 miles away.
There are three villages at the complex, namely the East Village, the West Village, and the Village at Copper. You can buy a ski pass and resort ticket, often offering discounted rates.
If you plan to stay at the resort you must book accommodation in advance.
Worth noting is that kids ski for free so take advantage of this offer if you can.

90. Try some Colorado Craft Beer

90. Craft beer

There are over 300 breweries in the state, with 20 of them being in Colorado Springs. Most of the breweries run daily tours, some of which are guided and others you can walk around on your own.
You will get a taste of the beer at the end of your tour and appreciate the different ingredients used in the many craft brews such as saffron, cherry or cucumber.
The tours will give you an opportunity to see the brewing process. Most of the breweries have gift shops and cafes. Allow yourself at least a half day for one of these tours.

91. Telluride Gondola

91. Telluride gondola

What makes this gondola unique is that it is the only free ride of its kind in the USA. It opened in 1996 as public transport between Telluride and Mountain Village, and has since been also used for ski, snowboard, bike lifts, as well as for visitors to either town.
The trip takes just 13 minutes each way, and the views are of the dramatic San Juan Mountain Range.
Note that the gondolas are wheelchair accessible and operate year-round, with blankets being provided in the winter months.

92. Gator Reptile Park

92. Gator Rescue park

This is found in Mosca, and it is the only place in the world where you can take gator wrestling classes.
While the area is well-known for the red rock formations, it is less known for gators – there are none in the state, apart from here.
You can also see other reptiles such as snakes, and crocodiles, but primarily the park shows gators.
The wrestling classes are used to learn how to subdue the gator should you need to check it for injury and illness, so proves invaluable to zoo keepers.
If you fancy a class, you must book in advance.

93. Rocky Mountain Oysters

93. Rocky MOuntain Oysters

Contrary to the name these delicacies have nothing to do with the sea! They are well regarded as very tasty to many locals in the state.
The delicacy is in fact bison testicles, which you will find on many menus across the state. You will find them breaded and fried, normally served with a side of pickles and spicy sauce.
So, if you fancy trying something unique and local to the Rocky Mountains, they ask for these!

94. Take a dog sled ride

94. Take a dog sled

You can take these dog tours in Snowmass Village. It is one of the best ways to see to backcountry.
Most of the tours last for an hour and will wind up through Aspen. Each sled can carry two adults and one child and are pulled by groups of 8 or 10 dogs.
This is an activity which you can do at any time of the year, even in the summer as they run all year through.

95. Visit Denver

95. Visit Denver

If you visit Colorado, you should plan a stop in the city of Denver. You will discover that this city has much to offer.
The city also makes a perfect base to start exploring further afield. You will find plenty of hotels where you can base yourself for any length of time.
The city offers golf adventures, sightseeing trips, biking tours, walking tours, and many other attractions. The city also has its fair share of museums and restaurants so is well worth spending a few days to explore it.

96. Scuba dive in Denver Aquarium

96. Scuba dive Denver

While the state of Colorado is landlocked, there are places where you can scuba dive. In fact, even if you are a beginner, you can take the class and dive in the aquarium in the city.
It is a controlled environment where you can take your certification, while watching the marine life, who will no doubt be watching you.
Once certified you can dive with the sharks, sawfish, and other creatures. Remember to bring your certification papers with you.

97. Balloon over Boulder

97. Balloon over boulder

This is a perfect place to take a balloon ride as the scenery below is so fantastic. Many balloon tours start in the cities of Boulder, or Colorado Springs.
The rides take about four hours and start early in the mornings when the winds are lightest.
Sometimes you will be able to assist in setting up the balloon, while on other rides you will be treated to champagne brunches.
Balloon rides make the perfect gift for people who like adventures.
Be aware that it gets cold, and you should dress in warm clothing. These trips need to be booked in advance.

98. Eat Bison

98. Eat Bison

Bison is widely grown in Colorado and widely thought to be one of the healthiest red meats because of the lack of hormones and fillers.
Colorado is famous for its Bison and products and you can expect to see this meat on most menus.
For the calorie counters – Bison is up to 84% lower in fat than beef, and it is also half the calories.

99. Skydive in Colorado

99. Skydive colorado

This is a great way to produce a different set of holiday snaps! There are many centres in the state that offer tandem skydives, where you are attached to your instructor. This is a great way to see the country from a different angle.
Skydiving is dependent on the weather so make sure you check beforehand. You will be given protective gear, although it is an idea to leave all your valuables in a safe place with someone on the ground, while you enjoy your dive.

100. Strawberry Park Hot Springs

100. Strawberry park

You will find these natural springs in Steamboat Springs. Visitors can relax in amazing surroundings in pools of warm water.
There is a picnic area as well as changing rooms. You can even bring an RV and stay overnight.
For hikers, there are several trails you can follow as well as cycle routes, making this a great place to spend a few days to relax.

Whether you enjoy trying new foods, or checking out museums and galleries, hiking, rafting, or simply relaxing in beautiful surroundings, Colorado has all this ready for you. Pack your bags, head off, and be prepared to enjoy a wonderful holiday in this beautiful state!