Ten Things to Do in Colorado

Pikes Peak, Vail, Royal Gorge highlight The Centennial State

By
Kevin Litwin
On Saturday, December 5, 2015 - 10:43
Things to do in Colorado

Visitors have much to see, do and enjoy:

Reach Your Peak

Take a scenic drive up to Pikes Peak, situated in Pike National Forest 10 miles west of Colorado Springs. The attraction is named for explorer Zebulon Pike who conquered the mountain in 1806, and today there are several visitor centers along the route. Motorists can reach the summit a number of ways, including via Pikes Peak Highway.

Go Gardening

Join the more than 2 million people a year who visit Garden of the Gods, a popular nature park for hiking, rock climbing, mountain biking and horseback riding. The park has a visitor center and 15 miles of trails, including a paved one-mile Perkins Central Garden Trail through the park's largest and most scenic red rocks.

Wax the Skis

Choose one of 190 runs to snow ski at Vail Ski Resort in Eagle County, ranked the No. 1 ski resort in the United States 14 times over the past 17 years. There are 33 lifts that accommodate up to 3,600 people an hour, and the resort features upscale shops, restaurants and nightlife options.

Bring Your Glove

Enjoy a meal at Blue Moon Brewery behind the right field stands and then attend a Colorado Rockies baseball game at Coors Field. The stadium includes 63 luxury suites and 4,526 club seats, with an overall capacity of 50,445. The field is natural grass and the baseball carries well because of Denver's high altitude.

Appreciate a Picasso

View artworks from masters like Claude Monet, Henri Matisse, Pablo Picasso and Georgia O'Keeffe at Denver Art Museum, located in the city's Civic Center and billed as the largest art museum between the West Coast and Chicago. The museum owns 68,000 works from across the centuries and world, representing painting, sculpture, photography and textiles.

Believe in Santa

Bring the kids to meet Santa and Mrs. Claus at Santa's Workshop, an amusement park in Cascade just west of Colorado Springs. The attraction is best suited for children ages 2-12, with 26 rides open from mid-May through Christmas Eve. Other highlights include North Pole Village and Santa's Workshop itself.

Be Refreshed

Grab your swimsuit and head to Water World in Federal Heights, 10 miles north of Denver. The water park opens from Memorial Day through Labor Day with 50 attractions that include water slides, a lazy river and two wave pools. The most popular attraction is a “Voyage to the Center of the Earth” water slide.

Do Some Shopping

Bring your credit card and shop at Pearl Street Mall, a four-block pedestrian retail plaza in Boulder that stretches along Pearl Street from 11th Street to 15th Street. The destination is popular with tourists as well as students attending nearby University of Colorado Boulder. Besides stores, the mall has several fountains, sculptures and nightlife attractions.

Look at Lemurs

Witness more than 750 animals representing 150 different species – including 30 endangered species – at Cheyenne Mountain Zoo, located southwest of Colorado Springs and known as America's only mountainside zoo. Animal exhibits include Rocky Mountain Wild, African Rift Valley, Wolf Woods, Australia/Budgie Buddies, Aquatics, Monkey Pavilion and Primate World.

Experience Gorgeous

Base jump, bungee jump, rock climb, whitewater raft or ride an excursion boat along Royal Gorge, a 10-mile-long canyon on the Arkansas River near Cañon City. The narrow, steep gorge is carved through the granite of Fremont Peak, and all public river usage is supervised and regulated by the Arkansas Headwaters Recreation Area.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Kevin Litwin is the author of Crazy Lucky Dead and a freelance feature writer with a career spanning more than 20 years.