These days, we simply don’t spend enough time outside enjoying nature. But if you make an intentional effort to go on a trip just to appreciate the beauty of the outdoors, you’ll find it’s a lot easier to reap the benefits of spending time outside.
Mountain lovers, Colorado is calling your name. Take a look at these five outdoor activities you can do in Colorado – all while marveling at the beauty of the mountain ranges.
Boulder may be a college town, but it’s also at an ideal location beneath the Rocky Mountains and near the Flatirons. Take a walk down Pearl Street and stop in at the many shops. While you’ll see plenty of national chain stores that you recognize, you’ll also encounter quirky Boulder boutiques that need your business to survive.
Perhaps the best reason to walk down Pearl Street is all the dining options. According to Boulder’s website, “In fact, Pearl Street was named one of the ‘10 Best Foodie Streets in America’ by Food & Wine magazine.” So if you like fine dining on vacation (and who doesn’t?), give Boulder a shot!
See the Wildflowers in Crested Butte
Nature lovers, get ready for the Wildflower Festival in Crested Butte. If you want to see the wildflowers in their full glory and learn everything there is to know about them (or learn just a little), plan to attend the Crested Butte Wildflower Festival.
At this multi-day event, you can learn about painting, pollination, culinary arts, photography, and more – there are over 200 workshops to choose from.
But if you can’t make it to the festival, you can still soak up the beauty of the wildflowers on a hike. Check out the Brush Creek Trail, the Lower Loop, or Snodgrass to see the wildflowers on your own.
Read More: Camping and Glamping Options for Appreciating Nature This Summer
Camp in Rocky Mountain National Park
Rocky Mountain National Park is one of the most beautiful parks in the nation. Dark green pine trees decorate the mountains, as do white-trunked aspens with glittering leaves that turn yellow in the autumn.
There’s so much to do inside Rocky Mountain National Park. Explore the Holzworth Historical Site and its group of small cabins, and learn about the history of some of the early European settlers to the area. Or visit the Continental Divide, where the flow of water splits and the eastern side flows towards the Atlantic while the western side flows towards the Pacific.
If you’re feeling adventurous, go horseback riding on one of the many trails. Rather appreciate animals from a distance? The chances are good that you’ll spot some wildlife when you spend time in Rocky Mountain National Park. Mule deer and elk are common, as are varieties of brightly colored birds.
Not only can you drive, hike, and horseback ride in Rocky Mountain National Park, but you can also camp on a designated site within the park itself. Visit the park’s website to learn more about how you can make a reservation – and don’t forget your bear spray.
Shop Your Way Through Vail
Vail is a gorgeous, affluent town. While it’s known for its skiing, there are plenty of other things to do in this mountain village. One thing’s for certain: you can’t beat Vail’s shopping and dining scene.
According to Vail.com, “Vail attracts more and more luxury shops and shoppers each year, from high-end items such as jewelry, perfumes and furs to the new mountain styles that are as fashionable as they are comfortable and warm to wear.
“Vail classics such as Gorsuch, and newer arrivals like Arriesgado and Avalon, have both high and hot fashions, and outdoor specialty shops like Oakley, Patagonia and The North Face keep you geared up for any winter adventure.”
So, if shopping while you’re on vacation sounds like your idea of a good time, then definitely plan a visit to Vail.
Visit the Top of Pikes Peak
These days you’ll need a reservation to get to the top of Pikes Peak, but that shouldn’t stop you from planning a visit to this American landmark. Stunning, panoramic views of the mountain landscape will make your visit worthwhile all year round. From the top of Pikes Peak, on the clearest days you can see five nearby states. You’ll be up 14,115 feet, after all!
Like in Rocky Mountain National Park, Pikes Peak has a lot to do. If you like to fish, you’re in luck. “Stop along the way at the North Slope Recreation Area, where licensed fisherman can try their luck for elusive trout in three different lakes (May-Oct) and adventure-seekers can hike and bike on nearby trails.”
There’s no doubt that Colorado is an absolutely gorgeous, phenomenal state to visit. Skiiers and snowboarders will enjoy amazing conditions during the winter, and hikers have the rest of the year to explore the beautiful landscape of this western state. If you’ve already done everything on this list, check out Mesa Verde National Park, Telluride, or Breckenridge.