Planning to visit the Centennial State? From Denver and Aspen, to Boulder, this ultimate Colorado itinerary will help you create a memorable trip!
With breathtaking mountains, awe-inspiring hiking trails, and world-class skiing, Colorado is the ultimate dream destination for travellers seeking adventure!
You could be soaking up Colorado’s wild and rugged beauty all year long thanks to a wonderfully mild climate and a variety of fun, year-round activities. In the spring and summer months, check out Colorado’s vast network of hiking trails and camping destinations. In the winter, visit Aspen or Breckenridge for winter sports including skiing and snowboarding.
But Colorado offers so much more than just outdoorsy fun. Head to Boulder and you could enjoy some retail therapy at the world-famous Pearl Street Mall. Alternatively you could plan a romantic weekend getaway at the base of the Rocky Mountains in Colorado Springs.
With lots of charming mountain towns to explore and so much scenic wilderness to take in, it can be difficult choosing the best places to visit in Colorado. Hopefully this Colorado itinerary will give you plenty of ideas for fun things to do in the state!
Weather in Colorado
Colorado is a travel destination that you can visit year-round. Warm weather, outdoor dining and exciting concerts and festivals mark the spring / summer season, with temperatures ranging from 21°C – 26°C (high 70s to the low 80s °F).
In the winter, you’ll find cool temperatures and plenty of snow for your winter sports. Despite its frosty reputation, average daily temperatures during winter hover around a chilly, but manageable, 7°C (mid 40s °F)
Top Things to do in Colorado
Catch a concert at the Red Rocks Amphitheatre
If you’re a music lover you’ve simply got to book tickets to a live performance at this gorgeous, yet intimate, outdoor concert space. The bleacher-style seats of the Red Rocks Amphitheatre are built right into the surrounding sandstone, providing a picturesque backdrop for catching everything from rock bands to live theatre performances.
Conveniently located just 15 minutes outside of Denver, you’ll enjoy not only the beauty of the raw sandstone formations but top-notch acoustics for concerts and shows as well. Although most live performances run between April and November, you can still visit the unique beauty of the Amphitheatre year-round or check out one of the many nearby hiking trails.
Relax at a hot spring
If you’re looking for romantic things to do in Colorado, why not add a visit to some wonderfully cosy hot springs to your Colorado itinerary? Surrounded by beautiful mountain scenery, Glenwood Springs provide a romantic and intimate place to recharge at the world’s largest mineral hot spring pool.
Glenwood Springs offers a lot more than just hot springs too! Try white water rafting on the Colorado River, take a dip in nearby Hanging Lake or visit the family-friendly Glenwood Caverns and Adventure Park.
Explore nature at a National Park
You’ve probably heard of world-famous Rocky Mountain National Park, but Colorado is home to a number of other equally stunning national parks. Experience the fascinating preserved cliff dwellings of the ancestral Pueblo people at the Mesa Verde National Park or take in one of the greatest landscapes in the American Wild West at the Colorado National Monument.
Thanks to the hardworking National Park Service, Colorado’s national parks are clean and the trails well-maintained, meaning even novice hikers can experience all of Colorado’s natural beauty and wildlife.
Try sand Boarding at Great Sand Dunes National Park
One of the most unique things to do in Colorado is to go sand surfing at the Great Sand Dunes National Park. Just like regular surfing, sand surfing promises lots of fun, excitement and great exercise! With over 30 square miles of sand dunes to explore, there’s plenty of room for everyone to experience this increasingly popular sport!
Remember, the National Park does not rent sand boards, so be sure to rent your own at the retailers in the San Luis Valley.
Take a scenic road trip
When deciding what to include in your Colorado itinerary, I’d definitely add in a scenic road trip! One of the best ways to experience Colorado’s immense beauty is by taking to the road. For some of the best views, drive the Trail Ridge Road which spans nearly 50 miles across the Rocky Mountain National Park. Alternatively drive to the summit of jaw-dropping Pikes Peak Mountain along the Pikes Peak Highway.
Other must-see drives for any Colorado Road trip itinerary include the Rim Rock Drive and the Million Dollar Highway. These routes are simply magical, you might have trouble concentrating on the road with so much epic scenery around!
Visit the Black Canyon at Gunnison National Park
The Black Canyon is an awe-inspiring and rugged canyon that was carved into the mountain landscape by the Gunnison River over 2-million years ago. The canyon is filled with an abundance of local flora and fauna, and is also home to a vast network of hiking and mountain biking trails.
Despite its impressive beauty, Black Canyon doesn’t get as many visitors as some of Colorado’s more popular national parks, meaning you can often enjoy the raw and rugged beauty without the crowds! Pack a picnic lunch for a day hike, spend the night camping under the stars or take a scenic road trip around the park and visit all the best spots in one day.
Enjoy the charming, small-town vibe of Boulder, Colorado
With a pleasant climate, lively nightlife, and breathtaking views of the Flatirons and Rocky Mountains in the distance, Boulder offers up some of the best things to do in Colorado.
Take a break from outdoor activities and head for a bit of shopping at the world-famous Pearl Street Mall. More than 1,000 businesses are located in the pedestrian-only zone. You’ll find everything from clothes stores and gift shops to buzzy cafes and restaurants. In fact, the town has a great food scene, with award-winning restaurant, OAK at Fourteenth, one of the most popular spots.
Go skiing in Aspen
If you’re looking to splurge on some of the best skiing in the country, Aspen is the place to go! This small and irresistibly charming town features four renowned ski spots with slopes for all skill levels, a number of luxury resorts, and a rich wine and culinary scene.
If you’re staying in Aspen, consider visiting the nearby Independence Ghost Town. Wander the town alone and experience first hand Colorado’s rich Wild West history or choose a guided tour from the Aspen Cultural Society instead.
Where to stay in Colorado
Kimpton Hotel Born, Denver
Featuring a terrace with gorgeous mountain views, a modern alpine aesthetic and award-winning accommodation, The Kimpton Hotel Born in downtown Denver is one of the best luxury hotels in Colorado.
Located right in the middle of Colorado’s transportation hub, the Kimpton is the perfect starting point for visiting any of the destinations I’ve mentioned. If you feel like staying in, the Kimpton features a lively happy hour on their outdoor terrace, along with one of the most popular foodie spots in Union Station.
Check availability and latest prices here
Centrally located in the heart of Boulder, Hotel Boulderado is an 100-year-old historic hotel featuring Victorian-inspired decor, 2 world-class restaurants, modern amenities and a gorgeous antique-furnished seating and dining area.
Just one block away from the famous Pearl Street Mall, Hotel Boulderado is the perfect place to enjoy Boulder’s shopping opportunities and nightlife.
Check availability and latest prices here
If you’re planning your own Colorado itinerary, I hope this guide to some must-see places to visit in Colorado has given you some inspiration. I hope you have an amazing trip, wherever you decide to go!
Looking for more tips for your Colorado adventure, don’t miss my guides to visiting Breckenridge in winter and my top things to do in Denver.