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Here’s Why Colorado Should Be Your Next Vacation

image1 Hello Colorado!

Here’s Why Colorado Should Be Your Next Vacation

Colorado is an absolutely breathtaking blend of cities, mountains, valleys, snow, and sun. My family and I love visiting to connect with the outdoors and enjoy beautiful scenery, great food, and friendly people. It’s also really easy to get to with multiple nonstop flight options from CVG. So, let’s check out why your next vacation should be on Mountain Time.

image2 Hello from the top of Pikes Peak (It was 60 degrees and sunny at the base of the mountain!)

It’s family-friendly (but great for solo trips and couples, too)

We’ve visited Colorado on trips with and without a kid. Both trips were spectacular and unique in their own ways. On one pre-kid trip, we went horseback riding on a mountain. Loved it. On a trip with our kid, we drove up to the summit of Pikes Peak for some absolutely stunning views while he napped in his car seat. Loved it. There is so much to see and do for every interest, personality, and fitness level.

image3 Whitewater rafting the Colorado River through Glenwood Canyon. Photo: Colorado Tourism Office

It’s a beautiful view around every corner

Interstate 70 heading west from Denver might be one of my favorite drives anywhere in the world. The mountain views are breathtaking, and you’ll find yourself wanting to pull over to snap photos more than once. Across the state, there are more than 58 mountain peaks over 14,000 feet tall known as “Fourteeners” that give The Centennial State a picture-perfect landscape unlike any other.

image4 The drive between Colorado Springs and Breckenridge is stunning.

It’s a National Park playground

Colorado is home to four National Parks, each with unique landscapes and cool things to do.

Great Sand Dunes National Park and Preserve

As the name implies, there are sand dunes here. Big ones. The tallest ones in America, in fact. Just under two hours southwest of Pueblo, you can ride a horse, check out a 4×4 trail or give sandboarding a try. Great Sand Dunes National Park offers a hilly desert landscape with a creek to cool off in during the summer months.

image5 The great sand dunes with the Sangre de Cristo Mountains in the background. Photo: Colorado Tourism Office.

Mesa Verde National Park

In the Southwest corner of the state lies a sacred, World Heritage Site containing Puebloan cliff dwellings where people spent over 700 years creating their community. It’s also designated as an International Dark Sky Park and features over 1,000 species of plants and animals, some of which only exist in Mesa Verde.

image6 Tours are led through centuries-old cliff dwellings at Mesa Verde National Park. Photo: Colorado Tourism Office.

Rocky Mountain National Park The National Park Service puts it best: “Welcome to the Land of Extremes.” With meadows and mountains stretching across 260,000+ acres, there are a lot of places to visit within the park. More than 300 miles of hiking trails will help you see all that Rocky Mountain National Park has to offer. A timed entry reservation system from mid-May through mid-October ensures that crowds are evenly dispersed throughout the day.

image7 A lone elk wandering the reaches of Rocky Mountain National Park. Photo: Colorado Tourism Office.

Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park

Just 90 minutes north of Telluride, this park offers a view of some of the steepest mountain cliffs you’ll find in America. The Gunnison River creates opportunities for excellent trout fishing, hiking trails to welcome all skill levels, and a chance to see the stars year-round.

image8 Horseback riding near Idaho Springs.

There are also 15 National Forest and Grasslands and three National Heritage Areas. Admission to each park is $15-20 per person; it’s well worth every penny. There are also annual passes for $80, senior annual passes for $20, and free annual passes for Veterans and active-duty service members and their families.

image9 The Isak Heartstone troll is a beautiful reward after a short hike in Breckenridge.

It’s a ski and snowboard paradise

Even if you aren’t a skier or snowboarder, you’ve probably heard of Vail, Breckenridge, Aspen, or Steamboat. Colorado has 26 ski resorts to explore. Seasoned veterans have their favorite mountains and places to stay. Newcomers might want to check out the Colorado Ski Country site to find lessons and information on getting started. Consider planning a trip to some of these towns in the low season, as well, as they can offer big savings and fewer crowds.

image10 Ready to take the first plunge of the day while skiing Copper Mountain. Photo: Colorado Tourism Office.

It’s always sunny in… Denver?

Yes, really. The Mile High City boasts over 300 days of sunshine every year. So even if the temperature is only in the 40s during the winter, you might want to pack the sunscreen! Spring to fall is especially nice with average high temperatures ranging from 65 in April to 90 in August and dipping back to 68 by October. You can use this nice weather to enjoy one of the 205 parks in the city, making it the largest park system in the country. Make sure you’re aware of the latest driving conditions, especially in the winter months, when some roads, including major interstates, can be temporarily closed.

image11 An incredible sunset over Manitou Springs.

It’s a chance to catch beautiful fish

One of my favorite things to do is fly fish, and Colorado offers incredible angling opportunities, serving as home to the headwaters of seven major rivers. On a trip last fall, I met up with a friend, and we spent the day fishing the South Platte River near the town of Deckers. We caught some beautiful fish, but it was the hiking along the stream and scenic mountain views that really stood out. If you don’t want to go it alone or don’t have equipment with you, guided trips are available across the state to explore a few of the 2,000 lakes and over 8,000 miles of rivers. A knowledgeable fishing guide can help even a first-time fly fisher land a beautiful trout.


image13 The South Platte River is a beautiful place to spend the day fishing.

It’s crafty (both drinks and arts)

Colorado boasts over 300 craft breweries and 70 craft distilleries. Many of these, like Tommyknocker Brewing in Idaho Springs where we’ve stopped into, also offer unique dining opportunities as well. The town of Fort Collins has over 20 of them alone and is known as Colorado’s “Craft Beer Capital.” There are also awesome artists in almost every town. Check out Manitou Springs, just outside of Colorado Springs, for some cool galleries and shops.

image14 Art appreciation along one of Denver's monthly art walks

It’s easy to get to!

CVG offers multiple nonstop flights to Denver each day on Frontier, Delta, United, Southwest, and Allegiant; itis consistently one of the most affordable destinations. We’ve also found great deals using very few points. (Our most recent trip to Breckenridge was entirely booked with points!) Be sure to double-check each airline’s baggage policy when it comes to bringing along skiing, snowboarding, camping, and fishing equipment.

image15 The view on the way up Pikes Peak is phenomenal.

Pro Tip: High altitudes like the Rocky Mountains of Colorado are no joke, and, if you’re not used to it, your body might take a while to adjust. On my first trip, I had a terrible headache an hour after arriving at our hotel. The receptionist gave me some medicine, told me to drink all of the water she had handed me, and go to sleep. I felt a little better the next day. Before any trip to a high altitude, I reach out to my doctor who prescribes a medicine to prevent altitude sickness (aka: acute mountain sickness), and it works beautifully.

image16 You could spend days exploring Garden of the Gods.

Have a favorite spot in Colorado we should know about? You can reach me at @JayKruzOfficial on Facebook, Instagram, and X.

image17 Miners from Indiana dubbed this The Hoosier Pass in 1860.

I’ll see you in a trout stream in the mountains! -Jay