I love a city adventure, don’t get me wrong, but there’s nothing more rejuvenating for the mind, body and soul than venturing to a Mother Nature wonderland, and Colorado is just that.
A four-season destination, Colorado is all about adventure and fun amidst spectacular scenery. You’ll also discover a thriving arts scene, rich cultural heritage, divine cuisine, and renowned ski areas and resorts—28 of them to be exact. The state’s breathtaking scenic landscape boasts natural hot springs, the headwaters of seven major rivers, many peaceful lakes and reservoirs, 12 national parks and monuments and 58 mountain peaks that top 14,000 feet.
Australians and Kiwis have long had a love-affair with Colorado in winter with skiers and snowboarders returning annually in droves to their favourite mountain resorts. Yet, Colorado is open for business all year ’round.
Here are some of the too-many-to-list reasons to visit Colorado:
Four National Parks, Four Different Experiences
Colorado’s four National parks offer an incredible diversity of landscape and opportunities for adventure year-round. Rocky Mountains National Park is snow-capped peaks, mountain lakes and wildflowers in summer. Mesa Verde National Park is dedicated to its ancient cliff dwellers; a fascinating look into the past. Great Sand Dunes National Park swaps peaks for massive dunes and the fun activities they offer.
Black Canyon’s dramatic walls plummet steeply into the gorge carved by the Gunnison River
Mountain life is addictive and you’ll experience the special allure of the pure air and majestic surroundings. Look out for the bighorn sheep, the State mammal, or perhaps spot some of the 959 other species of wildlife.
Get Active Outdoors
Hike or mountain bike the many trails, ride horses or motorbikes along our many scenic byways, try whitewater rafting or the famous fly-fishing in the headwaters of our seven major rivers; whatever you choose, Colorado provides the spectacular natural backdrop for your next soft, or extreme, adventure. Summer or winter or seasons in between.
Take a Road or Historic Train Trip
Explore any of 26 scenic byways on a bucket list road trip for the majestic scenery, discover historic sites and 1500 ghost towns throughout the State that hark back to the gold rush days of the 1800s. Or take an historic rail journey – the only way to see some of Colorado’s wildest places and make it even more special with a photo tour, dinner trek or a mystery excursion you’ll never forget.
The Mile High City
Denver, the gateway to the Rockies and the American West, is a vibrant outdoor city brimming with music, art, culture, fine dining and unique shopping options. Explore the Mile High City’s farm-to-table cuisine, local breweries serving craft beer and unique live music venues like the famous Red Rocks Park and Amphitheatre. Visit the Denver Art Museum with its famous American Indian art and Western art collections and see the giant blue bear public art sculpture.
More than 300 days of sunshine and easy to get around, Denver combines historic Victorian brick buildings in Larimer Square and LoDo (Lower Downtown) with the bold architecture of today, all within a laid-back, walkable city centre. Shop at Cherry Creek or delight in the celebrated talents and wares of local artists, artisans and western boutiques such as Rockmount Ranch Wear. Check out the character and fun of the different neighbourhoods and the Denver Beer Trail to truly live like a local. See www.VisitDenver.com
Where to Stay
The Broadmoor Hotel, Colorado Springs
Once a dairy farm and a casino, now The Broadmoor is a legendary luxe destination resort celebrated for its European style and western hospitality. Whether you are into horse riding, golf, fly-fishing ziplining or seriously self-indulgent relaxation at the spa, this resort has activities for all ages, in every season. www.broadmoor.com
- Opening of the new Limelight Hotel, Snowmass
- Check out the summer music scene in Glenwood Springs, Colorado’s most famous hot springs town and five free kid-friendly activities
- Craft Beer and spirits craze is alive and well in Breckenridge, check out Breckenridge Distillery, Broken Compass Brewing and Continental Divide Winery along with ten new culinary offerings in the last year alone.
- A free hiker bus on the weekends, all summer long for people and their dogs headed to the premier hiking area in Boulder
- New Ikon Pass to include five Colorado Ski areas
Colorado offers a huge variety of events throughout the year and one of the best times to go is when its destinations are bustling with festival excitement.
Denver’s Great American Beer Festival July 31- 1 August
Breckenridge International Festival of Art 10-19 August (left) credit: Liam Doran, courtesy Breckenridge Creative Arts
Wild West Air Fest Steamboat Springs 1 September
Cowboy Poetry Gathering Durango 4-7 October
For more, click here.
Virgin Australia & Qantas offer direct flights to the U.S. and American, United & Delta Airlines have connections into Denver International Airport, the gateway to Colorado and the region. A new train service will connect you from DIA to downtown Denver in minutes. Air New Zealand flies via Los Angeles or San Francisco from Auckland.
Seasons: Summer from June to October; Winter from December to April