18 BEST places to visit in Colorado (2023) (2023)

Table of Contents
Need a seat quickly? Here is the best neighborhood in Colorado: Denver These are the best things to do in Colorado! #1 - Denver - Possibly one of the most important places to visit in Colorado #2 - Dinosaur National Monument - Great place to visit with kids in Colorado! #3 - Aspen - Simply one of the most fun places in Colorado #4 - The Garden of the Gods - Certainly one of the most exotic locations in Colorado! #5 - Georgetown - A great place in Colorado if you love architecture #6 - Mesa Verde National Park - One of the most unique places in Colorado! #7 - Fort Collins - One of the coolest historic sites in Colorado! #8 - San Luis - One of the most religious places in Colorado #9 - Florence - One of the most romantic places in Colorado! #10 - Rocky Mountain National Park - One of the most amazing places in Colorado! #11 - Ute Mountain Tribal Park - One of the most underrated places in Colorado #12 - Browns Park National Wildlife Refuge - One of the most amazing free sites in Colorado #13 – Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park – One of the most beautiful places in Colorado to hike! #14 - Creede - A Quiet and Nice Place in Colorado #15 – Great Sand Dunes National Park – Cool place to see in Colorado with friends! #16 – Boulder – A must for foodies! Uncover The Broke Backpacker's biggest travel secrets! # 17 – Red Feather Lakes – local peculiar do Colorado! #18 – San Juan National Forest – A good non-touristy spot in Colorado Get insurance for your trip to Colorado! FAQs for the best things to do in Colorado What is the number one attraction in Colorado? What is the most beautiful place in Colorado to visit? What's the best place to visit in Colorado for the first time? What's the best place in Colorado for nature? Don't miss the best things to do in Colorado! Goodbye for now, but not forever! FAQs Videos References

The US state of Colorado is home to the highest mountains in the Rocky Mountains of North America and offers many breathtaking landscapes. A playground for outdoor enthusiasts, the state also offers fascinating cities and communities with plenty to see and do.

At over 260,000 square kilometers (100,000 square miles), Colorado is the eighth largest state in the United States. Deciding what to add to your Colorado itinerary can be a daunting task!

We've thoroughly researched the Centennial State to bring you the ultimate list of the best things to do in Colorado. With a mix of natural treasures, national monuments, thriving and eccentric cities, planning your trip to Colorado should be a lot easier.

There are sure to be some places on this exciting list that will blow you away!


  • Need a seat quickly? Here is the best neighborhood in Colorado:
  • These are the best things to do in Colorado!
  • FAQs for the best things to do in Colorado
  • Don't miss the best things to do in Colorado!

Need a seat quickly? Here is the best neighborhood in Colorado:



Denver is our top choice of place to stay when visiting Colorado for the first time. Here you can explore the state's rich history and visit some of its most incredible galleries.

Places to visit:

  • Visit the Colorado State Capitol Building.
  • Stop and smell the roses at the Denver Botanical Gardens.
  • Choose from over 70 award-winning beers at Falling Rock Tap House.

Now the fun part! Here are the best places to visit in Colorado!

These are the best things to do in Colorado!

As the eighth largest state in the US, you're probably wondering how you'll see all the places you'll discover below AND where to find accommodation. Make sure you stop bywhere to stay in coloradofor our best tips on where to stay and explore for a while. Now the fun part...

#1 - Denver - Possibly one of the most important places to visit in Colorado

18 BEST places to visit in Colorado (2023) (2)
  • state capital
  • numerous museums
  • many microbreweries
  • a lot of variety

Why it's great:One of the best things to do in Colorado isvisiting Denver.At the point where the Rocky Mountains meet the Great Plains is Denver (nicknamed the "Mile-High City"), Colorado's cosmopolitan state capital. Proud of its mining and cowboy roots, the city is a vibrant beehive of a vibrant arts scene, interesting and diverse neighborhoods, countless bike paths, countless museums and a buzzing nightlife.

Did you know that Colorado also produces more beer than any other US state? The city also offers great shopping, beautiful parks, a sense of environmental stewardship and a thriving performing arts scene. With so much to see and do and something for all ages, there are plenty of reasons to explore Colorado's capital.

What to do there:Discover tons of interesting new facts and see a wide variety of exhibits at Denver's many museums. Step back in time at this beautifully preserved Victorian gem that is now the Molly Brown House Museum, the former home of a Titanic survivor. Learn how the pioneers of color helped the Old West at the Black American West Museum and Heritage Centre, gaze up at the sky at the Chamberlin Observatory, admire eye-catching pieces at the Denver Art Museum, and take the kids to Denver's hands-on museum for kids.

Admire the magnificent domed Colorado State Capitol building, take a summer gondola ride and relax in beautiful parks like Washington Park and City Park. The Denver Zoo is a great place for a family outing, and everyone will have fun at the large Elitch Gardens amusement park. Browse the city's many microbreweries and shop 'til you drop at Larimer Square and the Cherry Creek Shopping District.

#2 - Dinosaur National Monument - Great place to visit with kids in Colorado!

18 BEST places to visit in Colorado (2023) (3)
  • dinosaur fossils
  • old ground
  • petroglyphs
  • outdoor activities

Why it's great:Close to the Colorado-Utah border, Dinosaur National Monument is a mesmerizing desert landscape where, as the name suggests, dinosaurs once inhabited. Remains of prehistoric creatures can be seen in the fossil beds. The red-colored rocks are around 150 million years old and date back to the Jurassic period. The area also has fascinating ancient petroglyphs, detailed rock carvings created by pre-Columbian peoples. The views over the national monument are incredible and there are a variety of outdoor adventures for people of all ages.

What to do there:If you have your own car, explore the rugged landscape and enjoy the magnificent views. Get active on a selection of biking and hiking trails, and enjoy horseback riding, camping and fishing in the area. Pack a picnic and eat alfresco while admiring the view. Admire the remains of ancient dinosaurs embedded in the sandstone cliffs. The best spots are best discovered on a ranger tour.

Don't forget to pick up a free activity pack for kids. See even more fossils in the fascinating Dinosaur Quarry Exhibit Hall. Find ancient rock art created by the Fremont people in the landscapes and admire the people and creatures that roamed the land before you.

#3 - Aspen - Simply one of the most fun places in Colorado

18 BEST places to visit in Colorado (2023) (4)
  • One of Colorado's best winter ski resorts
  • Great outdoor activities in summer
  • Beautiful landscape
  • Star-studded and luxurious atmosphere

Why it's great:Located in the Rocky Mountains, Aspen originally started out as a mining town. In the mid-20th century it was a popular ski resort and at the end of the 20th centuryºIn the 19th century, Aspen began to attract many famous faces. The luxurious environment still attracts wealthy tourists and celebrities today. While it's one of the best places in Colorado for great snow sports during the winter months, it's also a treasure trove in the summer, with countless opportunities for visitors to enjoy the great outdoors. Downtown is a premier shopping and entertainment district, with many world-class boutiques and stores, fantastic restaurants, lively bars, spas and salons. There are also a number of historic buildings in the city that offer a glimpse into the area's past.

What to do there:Summer or winter, Aspen Mountain is a Colorado must-see with many lodging options, including someCthe best VRBOs in oloradoin the area. Winters offer excellent skiing and snowboarding on the challenging slopes and in summer you can take long walks surrounded by nature and admire panoramic views from the Silver Queen Gondola. Snowmass and Buttermilk Mountain are other winter spots in Colorado. Other summer activities include golfing, fishing, trekking the rugged terrain of the Aspen Highlands and hiking the family trails of the Rio Grande and Grottos.

If you want adrenaline, try paragliding, mountain biking and rafting. See Elk Mountain's stunning twin peaks known as the Maroon Bells, tour historic architecture such as the Elks Building, Hotel Jerome, Pitkin County Courthouse and Aspen Community Church, admire art at the Aspen Art Museum and catch a performance live at the Wheeler Opera House.

(Video) 10 Best Places to Visit in Colorado 2023 - Travel Info Video

#4 - The Garden of the Gods - Certainly one of the most exotic locations in Colorado!

18 BEST places to visit in Colorado (2023) (5)
  • National Natural Monument
  • Gorgeous scenery - bring your camera!
  • geological wonderland
  • family travel destination

Why it's great:The Garden of the Gods in Colorado Springs is a breathtaking natural treasure. Today it is a public park and a national natural monument. The distinctive rock formations that the Garden of the Gods is famous for are several million years old. Ancient peoples have visited the area and several indigenous groups have a strong affinity for the unusual landscapes. The park has a rich ecological diversity and visitors can enjoy a variety of outdoor activities and educational experiences. There is no entrance fee to the park.

What to do there:Begin your visit at the Garden of the Gods Visitor and Nature Center to obtain a map, learn about the park's formation and history, view exhibits about the park's nature and geology, and shop for souvenirs. Snap photos of the park's most iconic formations, including the Three Graces, Cathedral Valley, Sentinel Spiers, Gray Rock, Sleeping Giant and Kissing Camels. Hike and cycle well-marked trails and find off-the-beaten-path trails for a more relaxed experience in the splendor of nature.

Segway and Jeep tours are great if you want to cover more distance and save energy! You can also explore the area on horseback, have a thrilling time on a rock climbing adventure, and hunt for ancient petroglyphs. Also keep an eye out for a variety of wildlife including several species of birds, foxes, sheep and deer.

#5 - Georgetown - A great place in Colorado if you love architecture

18 BEST places to visit in Colorado (2023) (6)
  • Numerous historic buildings
  • hiking trails
  • spectacular lake
  • old mining town

Why it's great:One of Colorado's most famous sites for history buffs, the former mining town of Georgetown was founded in the late 1850s. Victorian-era buildings line Main Street and is a prime place to look back in time and admire the beautiful architecture. There are many interesting old buildings including Georgetown Public School, Masonic Temple, Grace Episcopal Church and Alpine Hose Firehouse No. 2. There's a picturesque lake close to town and the area has some excellent hiking trails - if you enjoy hiking, consider one as well.Glenwood Springs Tourjust a few hours drive. Local museums teach visitors more about the area's past, and in the summer months, there's a charming tourist train. Several films have set the beautiful streets of Georgetown.

What to do there:Visit the Georgetown Heritage Center to learn more about the city's heritage and history, and to see many historic artifacts and exhibits. The Hamill House Museum also offers a glimpse into the past, with original features and period furnishings in a magnificent neo-Gothic building. Take a ride on the popular and charming Georgetown Loop Railroad, built in the 1880s. The steam train passes former silver and gold mines as it winds through beautiful countryside. Admire picturesque Lake Georgetown and enjoy summer boating and year-round fishing.

#6 - Mesa Verde National Park - One of the most unique places in Colorado!

18 BEST places to visit in Colorado (2023) (7)
  • UNESCO World Heritage
  • A fascinating archaeological site with ancestral homes
  • outdoor activities
  • impressive views

Why it's great:The magnificent Mesa Verde is the largest archaeological reserve in the United States. ANUNESCO listed site, is filled with old houses built by the Pueblo people. The houses date between 550 AD and 1300 AD and offer a fascinating glimpse into times gone by. There are houses built into the cliffs, multi-story townhouses and much more, with over 4,500 archaeological sites scattered across the picturesque landscape. Abandoned for unknown reasons, the houses fell into oblivion for many years until they were accidentally discovered in 1888 by two cowboys taking refuge from a snowstorm. The site can be visited all year round, although some locations are closed during the winter months. However, cross-country skiing is allowed in some places.

What to do there:Begin your journey to Mesa Verde National Park, a Colorado must-see, at the Far View Visitor Center and Chapin Mesa Archaeological Museum to learn about the sites and people that once called this area home. Drive through several exciting loops, including Mesa Top Loop Road and Cliff Palace Loop Road, where you can see cliff-top homes and those built into the ground. If you're looking for an off-the-beaten-track experience, visit Wetherill Mesa.

Take special tours to understand and discover more, including the four-hour 700 Years Tour, Balcony House Tours, Long House Tours and the Cliff Palace Tour. The Cliff Palace is worth a visit - it's the largest cliff house in the park and has over 150 rooms! See ancient rock art along the Petroglyph Point Trail, hike through picturesque scenery, camp under the stars, observe diverse wildlife, admire endless views and visit the Spruce Tree House.

#7 - Fort Collins - One of the coolest historic sites in Colorado!

18 BEST places to visit in Colorado (2023) (8)
  • lovely old town
  • places of natural beauty
  • The best place for gourmets
  • great breweries

Why it's great:Easily accessible from Denver, the college town of Fort Collins is home to a plethora of exciting attractions. The charming Old Town has a great selection of historic buildings and was one of the inspirations for Main Street at Disneyland, USA. In addition to the historic treasures, the city also has a youthful feel, thanks to the great university, natural gems close to home and several excellent breweries. Plus, it's one of the best places to eat in Colorado, with a myriad of restaurants catering to all tastes. In fact, Fort Collins has more restaurants per capita than most other cities in the country!

What to do there:Stroll through the picturesque old town and admire the historic buildings and aesthetic appeal. The brick buildings now house shops, galleries and cafes, but the facades hark back to the 19th century. Take a break in one of the fine restaurants in Old Town Square and perhaps enjoy a glass of locally brewed beer.

You can also visit several breweries including Big Horn Brewing, Equinox Brewing, Fort Collins Brewery and New Belgium Brewing. Escape to nature and enjoy outdoor activities at places like Horsetooth Reservoir, Riverbend Ponds, Bobcat Ridge, Cache La Poudre Gorge and Pineridge Natural Area.

Extend your stay in the city with a night in one of theHerbergen em Fort Collins.

#8 - San Luis - One of the most religious places in Colorado

18 BEST places to visit in Colorado (2023) (9)
  • spiritual mood
  • One of the oldest cities in the state
  • Least visited destination
  • surrounded by nature

Why it's great:Close to the New Mexico state line, the San Luis Valley is an unexplored part of Colorado. Historically home to a large Hispanic population, San Luis (founded in the 1850s) is one of the oldest cities in Colorado and one of the most spiritual places in the state. It's home to the oldest church in the Centennial State and also some of the most unusual things to do in Colorado. Nestled in the mountains, there are also plenty of opportunities to exercise and enjoy nature.

What to do there:Stroll through San Luis and see the old wooden houses and the picturesque historic church. Follow the path lined with bronze sculptures of the Stations of the Cross and stop at the unusual commons of La Vega, a place where people still let their cattle free to graze. Learn about the region's history at the Sangre de Cristo Heritage Center and relax at Blanca Vista Park. The quirky roadside attraction, UFO Watchtower, is worth a quick stop, and you can get up close and personal with fearsome alligators at the Colorado Gators Reptile Park. The beautiful Zapata Falls are nearby and you can relax with the locals on the banks of the Medano Creek.

#9 - Florence - One of the most romantic places in Colorado!

18 BEST places to visit in Colorado (2023) (10)
  • natural hot spring
  • great prospects
  • Many antique stores
  • floating suspension bridge

Why it's great:Located in southern Colorado, Florence is a charming little town in the foothills of the mountains. A place for relaxing relaxation and exciting outdoor adventures, Florence is a top destination for couples visiting Colorado. Often referred to as the former capital of the state, the city has countless shops selling quirky, interesting and valuable antiques. There are excellent restaurants and cafes, as well as a cool brewery, and on the outskirts of town there are adventure activities for fun-loving couples and natural hot springs for those who prefer to relax.

What to do there:Stroll around Florence and visit some of the bright antique shops and quaint cafes before visiting the Florence Brewing Company. Enjoy a virtual reality experience at Papa's Restaurant, take in mountain views and catch a show at the Rialto Theatre. For a blissful relationship, visit Desert Reef Hot Springs, a natural hot spring that is open year-round. It is family friendly and clothing optional. Visit the Royal Gorge Bridge for beautiful views and arrange a variety of outdoor activities such as camping, horse riding, hiking, mountain biking, climbing, fishing and rafting. For something different, how about trekking with llamas?! Get the ultimate thrill with a Florence Airport skydive with your loved one.

Is this the best backpack ever???

(Video) MOST BEAUTIFUL TOWNS IN COLORADO: Best Places to Visit in CO | Prettiest Mountain Cities to Travel

18 BEST places to visit in Colorado (2023) (11)

We've tested countless backpacks over the years and now we've found our absolute favorite:traveler approvedOsprey Daylite Plus.

Want more Deetz on why we love it?so much?Then read ourcomprehensive reviewfor those inside!

Osprey View REI view

#10 - Rocky Mountain National Park - One of the most amazing places in Colorado!

18 BEST places to visit in Colorado (2023) (12)
  • diverse landscapes
  • breathtaking scenery
  • Variety of flora and fauna
  • Excellent range of outdoor activities

Why it's great:Rocky Mountain National Park is aUNESCO World Biosphere Reserve. One of America's most visited national parks, where indigenous groups used to hunt for food. Later, gold and silver were mined in the mountains. One of the highest national parks in the United States, home to the highest road in the country. It is also divided by the Continental Divide. The terrain includes mountains, meadows, forests, lakes, rivers, waterfalls and tundra. There is an abundance of wildlife; The park is one of the most ecologically diverse places in the United States. There are countless outdoor activities for visitors to enjoy and it ranks among the most famous places in Colorado.

You mayStay in and around Rocky Mountain National ParkHowever, the best way to explore the vast park is to stay in one place for just a few nights and move on to the next.

What to do there:Enter the national park at one of the five visitor centers and take your time exploring the different sections. Region 1 is known for its extensive meadows filled with wildflowers and lots of elk. Don't miss the unusual Horseshoe Bend near the Never Summer Mountains. Other highlights include Lakes Verna, Bowen, Timber, Lone Pine and Nokoni, as well as Adam Falls, Granite Falls and Skeleton Gulch. Alpine Region 2 is a great spot to spot wildflowers, marmots and bighorn sheep.

In Region 3, you can experience life in the open desert with several magnificent waterfalls (such as Chasm Falls and Bridal Veil Falls), the Mummy Mountains, beaver-filled ponds, sparkling lakes and a bird sanctuary. Discover the heart of the park in Region 4 with Bear Lake, Flattop Mountain, Sprague Lake, Dream Lake, Lake Helene and many more features. Region 5 is known for its abundance of waterfalls and rugged terrain.

Throughout the national park, you can see a variety of creatures including birds, rabbits, deer, bears, moose, cougars, wolves, porcupines, bobcats and coyotes. Don't get too close to the cougars,travel safety 101! A variety of outdoor activities can be enjoyed in the popular national park, including trails of various lengths and levels of difficulty, horse riding, climbing, fishing, scenic drives, white water rafting, kayaking, skiing, snowboarding and Nordic walking. When planning your Colorado itinerary, it's worth setting aside at least a few days to do the beautiful national park justice. Campgrounds throughout the park make it easy to explore for longer.

For an unforgettable experience, check out these fantasticCabins and Treehouses in Colorado, most near Rocky Mountain National Park!

#11 - Ute Mountain Tribal Park - One of the most underrated places in Colorado

18 BEST places to visit in Colorado (2023) (13)
  • Long and interesting history
  • Least visited destination
  • Experience past and present tribal life
  • Ancient artifacts and rock art

Why it's great:The Ute Mountain Tribal Park is owned and operated by an Indian tribe. It offers a fascinating glimpse into times gone by and is far less crowded than neighboring Mesa Verde National Park. The well-preserved tribal park has fascinating rock carvings that help bring the past to life and see how people lived in the past. There are also many ancient sites, some dating back to prehistoric times, as well as numerous artifacts that provide even more information about the people of the past. A visit to the Ute Mountain Tribal Park will definitely be exciting!

What to do there:Arrange for your guide to explore the fascinating Ute Mountain Tribal Park - independent visits are not permitted. Half-day tours give you a great overview, while full-day tours allow you to see more of the ancient sights. For even more thrills, you can also camp within the park's boundaries. Hike the original Pueblo trails, climb tall stairs to reach some of the most hidden ancient dwellings high up in the cliffs, and see amazing rock art. Admire massive cave houses like the Lion House, Eagles Nest and Tree House and marvel at unspoiled landscapes that have remained almost exactly as they were when ancient tribes roamed the land.

#12 - Browns Park National Wildlife Refuge - One of the most amazing free sites in Colorado

18 BEST places to visit in Colorado (2023) (14)
  • remote place
  • No entrance fee
  • Numerous species of birds and home to several mammals
  • Historical Page

Why it's great:Nestled in a remote mountain valley in the far northwest of the state, Browns Park National Wildlife Refuge is a Colorado premier spot for nature lovers. It is especially good for avid ornithologists. The sanctuary aims to provide a safe and desirable habitat for various breeding birds as well as migratory species. Depending on the season, the sanctuary can be home to around 200 different species of birds. A variety of mammals also call the area home. The large refuge covers approximately 12,150 acres (4,917 hectares). There is no cost to explore the landscapes and observe interesting wildlife.

What to do there:Visit the site of what was once Fort Davy Crockett, a historic trading post that operated in the 1830s and 1840s. Little remains of the site today, but there is a marker showing where the fort once stood. Keep an eye out for a wide variety of wildlife - binoculars can help you spot the different birds. Birds found at the refuge include waterfowl, ducks, Canada geese, hawks, eagles, sparrows, jays, flycatchers and hummingbirds. Mammals that live in the refuge include bighorn sheep, elk, deer and otters, and you may also see bats and various reptiles.

Problems with small packages? 😉

18 BEST places to visit in Colorado (2023) (15)

My wife travels with all her clothes in ziplock bags:Don't be like my wife.IMPROVE YOUR PACKAGING GAME!

packing cubepara globetrotterscompression bagsfor therealAdventurers - these babies are onetraveler's best kept secret.They organize your packaging and also minimize the bulk so you can pack MORE.

Or, you know... you can stick with ziplock bags.

Check out our favorite data Or look at the bags!

#13 – Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park – One of the most beautiful places in Colorado to hike!

18 BEST places to visit in Colorado (2023) (16)
  • Some of North America's oldest and most dramatic landscapes
  • outdoor activities
  • Excellent wildlife viewing opportunities
  • One of Colorado's most serene national parks

Why it's great:DieBlack Canyon des Gunnison-Nationalparksit is one of the most incredible tourist spots in Colorado. Fewer people visit the national park compared to other national parks in the state, allowing those who visit to enjoy relative peace and quiet away from the crowds. Featuring dramatic landscapes that include the highest sea cliff in the state, the park gets its name from the fact that some parts of the canyon are so deep that they receive very little sunlight each day. The stunning landscapes used to inspire superstition among local tribes who shunned the area. The Gunnison River meanders through the impressive gorge and numerous plants and animals call the area home.

What to do there:Wake up early to watch the spectacular sunrise over the North Rim and admire breathtaking views of the canyon. Follow adventurous trails and drive along scenic US Highway 50 and Colorado Highway 92 for magnificent and unforgettable views. The steep East Portal Road is another great walk in the area. If you are adventurous, you can also take the challenging hike to the bottom of the gorge.

Exciting rock climbing offers even more adrenaline-fueled fun. Peer into the dark depths of the South Rim and stop at viewpoints like the Painted Wall, Chasm View and Pulpit Rock. The bubbling river offers great fishing and boating opportunities. When spotting wildlife, keep an eye out for bears, elk, cougars, otters, deer, coyotes, beavers, and various types of bird species. When night falls, the lack of light pollution makes it an excellent spot for stargazing, and you can camp overnight at one of the campsites.

(Video) 10 Best Places To Visit In Colorado - Travel Video

#14 - Creede - A Quiet and Nice Place in Colorado

18 BEST places to visit in Colorado (2023) (17)
  • Off the beaten path
  • Beautiful and historic city
  • Elevated location on an ancient volcanic caldera
  • outdoor adventure center

Why it's great:If you're wondering what to do in Colorado to get off the tourist trail, a visit to Creede would be perfect. The remote town sits on what was once a volcanic caldera and is surrounded by dramatic mountains. It offers a small-town atmosphere and lots of great things to do. There are countless outdoor activities, historic sites, friendly restaurants and cool farms that make a wonderful place to stay while visiting one of Colorado's best attractions. Founded as a mining town in the 18th century, the city is the ideal place to explore some of Colorado's best regions.

What to do there:Stroll down Creede's historic Main Street and be transported back to the city's silver mining days. Charming 18th century buildings now house attractive restaurants and shops selling all kinds of wares. You can experience more of Creede's mining heritage at places like the Creede Historical Museum, Underground Mining Museum and Last Chance Mine. Make your way to the area and be mesmerized by the natural splendor.

In the winter months you can go skiing, tobogganing, ice skating and snowshoeing. The summer months offer great hiking, mountain biking and ATV exploration, as well as water activities like fishing and rafting. If time permits, drive at least part of the stunning Silver Thread Byway and visit the beautiful North Clear Creek Falls.

#15 – Great Sand Dunes National Park – Cool place to see in Colorado with friends!

18 BEST places to visit in Colorado (2023) (18)
  • Tallest Sand Dunes in North America
  • Exciting and fun activities
  • sunbathe in the sand
  • Stargazing Opportunities

Why it's great:Great Sand Dunes National Park is among Colorado's top attractions for friends (and families/couples) looking for exciting outdoor adventures that are a little different from the norm. The national park has the highest sand dunes in North America and a sand desert where you can sunbathe and sunbathe on the sand. Free ranger-led events are held on select days of the week, providing a better look at the area's background, history, stargazing and more. Visitors can watch a stunning sunset in the evening and at night the dark skies are perfect for stargazing.

What to do there:If you're feeling energetic, you can climb the tallest dune in North America. The hike takes about five hours, but it's something you're sure to brag about when you travel to Colorado. There are also plenty of other dunes to climb, including one where you can cheer with excitement as you sled down. Equipment can be rented within the national park. The sand is also great for relaxing and getting in touch with your inner child by building a sandcastle! Dip your toes into refreshing Medana Creek for a summer beach feel. Don't miss the opportunity to also visit the scenic Zapata Waterfalls, located right in front of the park's entrance.

#16 – Boulder – A must for foodies!

18 BEST places to visit in Colorado (2023) (19)
  • vibrant college town
  • Located at the foot of the Rocky Mountains
  • Known as a destination for foodies
  • Various things to see and do

Why it's great:Founded in the late 1850's as a mining town, it didn't take long for residents to appreciate the beautiful natural surroundings and take steps to preserve the wonderful landscape. Dubbed “America's Happiest City” by National Geographic, Boulder today offers visitors a wealth of experiences. The surrounding natural areas offer fantastic views and outdoor activities, while the city offers a great mix of cultural, modern and historic attractions. As a college town, Boulder is known for sports, alternative cultures, food, healthy living and forward thinking.

What to do there:Stroll through vibrant downtown Boulder, watch a variety of street performers perform on Pearl Street, and visit local museums and art galleries. The Boulder Museum at Tebo Center is a must-see for anyone wanting to explore the area. Immerse yourself in the world of science with tours of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and the National Center for Atmospheric Research. Visit the Celestial Seasons Tea Factory and spend an evening at the theater.

Take lots of pictures of the majestic Flatirons, breathe in the fresh air along the Boulder Creek Path, hike several trails, explore Chautauqua Park, climb Eldorado Canyon State Park and enjoy things like white water rafting, biking and skiing depending on the season. Tempt your taste buds at Boulder's many restaurants featuring a wide variety of cuisines from around the world. A visit to the weekly farmer's market is also highly recommended.

try thisBoulder-Herbergenon offer for your trip.

18 BEST places to visit in Colorado (2023) (20)

Uncover The Broke Backpacker's biggest travel secrets!

You enter your email here and we promise to only send you really relevant travel content - sounds like a good deal to us!

    # 17 – Red Feather Lakes – local peculiar do Colorado!

    18 BEST places to visit in Colorado (2023) (21)
    • laid back mountain town
    • fantastic natural park
    • Far from the typical tourist paths
    • Unusual Sights

    Why it's great:Red Feather Lakes is a relaxed natural oasis near Roosevelt National Forest. The area was first settled in the early 20th century when ranchers and loggers settled there. Today the city is a great place to switch off and get away from the world for a while. The city offers great outdoor activities, scenic views and some cool and eccentric attractions. You'll find North America's largest stupa alongside a spiritual Buddhist complex and a street full of interesting and whimsical statues.

    What to do there:Visit the Cache La Poudre River for great water activities such as fishing, kayaking and rafting. Discover the flora, fauna and views of Roosevelt National Forest, go horseback riding at Beaver Meadows Resort Ranch and soak up the tranquil and peaceful atmosphere. Follow a dirt track, often known locally as Gnome Road, and look for small statues watching you from bushes and rocks.

    Little kitschy rides line the trail between Lake Hiawatha and Lake Apache. One of the city's must-sees is the stunning Shambala Mountain Center, where you can gaze at the imposing stupa, breathe in an air of spirituality and admire the eye-catching architectural details.

    #18 – San Juan National Forest – A good non-touristy spot in Colorado

    18 BEST places to visit in Colorado (2023) (22)
    • Home to Colorado's only true geyser
    • wild natural beauty
    • Great camping and hiking
    • picturesque views

    Why it's great:Located near Durango, the San Juan National Forest is a peaceful destination away from the crowds. Like many places in the state, it offers many opportunities to enjoy the outdoors and many beautiful views. There are wilderness areas, scenic walks, hiking trails and a wide range of campsites. For visitors who want to get even closer to nature, there are also designated wild camping spots. Various creatures call the harsh forest home. The forest also has the only true geyser in all of Colorado!

    What to do there:Keep an eye out for the diverse wildlife, including foxes, birds, sheep and bears. Remember to practice bear safety when out in the wild. San Juan National Forest ranks among Colorado's best places to camp, with close to 40 campgrounds and numerous locations to make hiking and wild camping even easier and more adventurous. Hike scenic trails including the winding Ice Lake Basin Trail with sweeping views of sparkling lakes and the Highland Mary Lake Trail with rolling tundra, lush meadows and colorful wildflowers. Put your skills to the test with a hike in the challenging Needle Mountains.

    For those who prefer to travel by car, the San Juan Skyway and Alpine Loop promise plenty of variety and excitement. Ride the charming Durango and Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad for even more breathtaking views. Connect with Mother Nature while enjoying activities such as fishing, boating, rafting, biking, horseback riding and cross-country skiing. Be sure to see the often deserted forest geyser.

    Get insurance for your trip to Colorado!

    18 BEST places to visit in Colorado (2023) (23)
    (Video) Top 20 Cheap Places to Visit in the USA 2023 | Best Vacation Spots

    nomads of the world’ The mission is to support and encourage travelers to explore their limits. They offer simple, flexible travel insurance and safety advice to ensure you can travel safely.

    They've been doing it since 2002 - protecting, connecting and inspiring independent travelers like you.

    get an offer under or read our detailed test report!

    get an offer Or read our review!

    FAQs for the best things to do in Colorado

    Find out what others want to know about the best things to do in Colorado

    What is the number one attraction in Colorado?

    As the state capital, Denver is the most popular location in Colorado because of its cultural importance.

    What is the most beautiful place in Colorado to visit?

    With its quaint historic town and natural beauty, Creede is one of the most beautiful places in Colorado.

    What's the best place to visit in Colorado for the first time?

    If this is your first time in Colorado, I recommend visiting Aspen, which is absolutely stunning!

    What's the best place in Colorado for nature?

    The San Juan National Forest has the most beautiful nature and is a great place to enjoy the outdoors.

    Don't miss the best things to do in Colorado!

    Colorado is an adventurer's and outdoor lover's paradise, and the many cities and towns offer enticing glimpses of days gone by as well as modern attractions and amenities. There are so many great places to add to your Colorado itinerary!

    In addition to the above, consider planningBreckenridge Tours, Durango, Colorado Springs, Gunnison, Pagosa Springs, Crested Butte eSteamboat Springs. Discover the Red Rocks, marvel at Hanging Lake and admire Seven Falls and Rifle Falls. Get off the beaten track at Crestone, an arts center with a spiritual and New Age vibe, head to Rye to see the unusual Bishop's Castle and marvel at views of the Colorado National Monument.

    From stunning national parks filled with natural treasures and old mining towns to bustling cities and unusual attractions, Colorado has something for everyone. Whatever time of year you travel to Colorado, you'll find plenty to keep you busy.

    You don't have to worry about what to do in Colorado when planning your trip... this fabulous list of the best places to visit in Colorado has you covered!

    And if you want to see all the places on the list, don't worry, there are manyColorado Toll Airbnbswaiting for you too. Spend the day exploring and come home to a cozy and relaxing place to recharge your batteries.

    18 BEST places to visit in Colorado (2023) (24)

    Goodbye for now, but not forever!

    If you want MORE premium Broke Backpacker content like this, sign up for our weekly newsletter below for the latest and greatest content!

      And for the sake of transparencyPlease note that some of the links in our content are affiliate links. This means that if you book your accommodation, buy your equipment or buy your insurance through our link, we earn a small commission (at no additional cost to you). However, we only link to equipment we trust and never recommend services that we believe are not up to date. Thank you again!


      What is the number 1 attraction in Colorado? ›

      1. Hike Rocky Mountain National Park. No trip to the Centennial State is complete with a trip to the iconic Rocky Mountain National Park, which ranks among the top tourist destinations in the...

      What is the number 2 attraction in Colorado? ›

      2: Mesa Verde National Park

      Mesa Verde National Park is one of the best places to visit when you're in Colorado.

      Which part of Colorado is the most beautiful? ›

      The San Juan Mountains (Southwest CO)

      Although there are many beautiful mountain ranges across Colorado, the San Juans are arguably the most scenic. The San Juan Mountains tower above southwest Colorado with year-round access to breathtaking views often nicknamed the “American Alps.”

      What is the most visited town in Colorado? ›

      Denver. Colorado's most populated city is also its cultural hub. While you can go just about anywhere in Colorado to find outdoor adventures galore, in Denver you get the best of both worlds. The city is filled with top-notch museums, lively sports venues, prime shopping streets and an unmatched brewery scene.

      What city is the prettiest in Colorado? ›

      1. Telluride. Tucked away in the San Juan Mountains and nestled inside a box canyon, Telluride is one of the most beautiful places in Colorado for all things alpine scenery and old-world charm.

      What is the coolest town in Colorado? ›

      Paonia. Cradled within the North Fork Valley, the town of Paonia is a unique place filled with artists, farmers, winemakers, and outdoor enthusiasts. Due to its idyllic location, Paonia has been aptly named the “coolest” town in Colorado.

      What is the best month to vacation in Colorado? ›

      Overall, the best time to visit Colorado is during the summer – from mid-June to September, the state sees the warmest weather and has the most options for outdoor activities. For skiers and snowboarders who are “chasing powder,” the overall best time to visit Colorado is during December through early March.

      What is the coolest thing in Colorado? ›

      Top Attractions in Colorado
      1. Garden of the Gods. 17,736. Parks. ...
      2. Denver Botanic Gardens. 5,736. Art Galleries • Gardens. ...
      3. Pikes Peak - America's Mountain. 7,737. ...
      4. Red Rocks Park and Amphitheatre. 3,751. ...
      5. Cheyenne Mountain Zoo. 4,859. ...
      6. Cave of the Winds Mountain Park. 4,281. ...
      7. Denver Museum of Nature & Science. 4,085. ...
      8. Coors Field. 4,844.

      What is the most beautiful drive in Colorado? ›

      San Juan Skyway: Perhaps the most beautiful scenic drive in Colorado, the San Juan Skyway is a harrowing journey more than 100 miles long that summits mountain passes and hangs from cliffs in the San Juan Mountains.

      What is the best small town in Colorado? ›

      13 Best Small Towns in Colorado (By a CO Local)
      • Pagosa Springs.
      • Lake City.
      • Paonia.
      • Steamboat Springs.
      • Salida.
      • Trinidad.
      • Ouray.
      • Manitou Springs.
      Feb 5, 2023

      What town in Colorado has the best views? ›

      17 Most Beautiful Towns in Colorado With Fantastic Views
      1. Crested Butte. Crested Butte is known as the “Wildflower Capital of Colorado.” This gorgeous community is made up of two municipalities, Mt. ...
      2. Telluride. ...
      3. Aspen. ...
      4. Ouray. ...
      5. Boulder. ...
      6. Estes Park. ...
      7. Breckenridge. ...
      8. Colorado Springs.
      Sep 13, 2022

      What are the top five cities in Colorado? ›

      Major cities in Colorado include Denver, Colorado Springs, Aurora, and Fort Collins. Although there are other cities with higher populations, Boulder and Grand Junction are important cities as well, with a feel and culture all their own.

      What is the most photographed place in Colorado? ›

      1. Maroon Bells. Celebrated as the most photographed place in Colorado, the two massive, snow-veined peaks known as the Maroon Bells near Aspen are breathtaking to shoot during any season.

      How many days do you need in Colorado? ›

      There is a lot to see and do in Colorado, and if you want to visit all four national parks, ideally you need at least 10 days. Even with 10 days, you will be moving very quickly.

      What part of Colorado has the nicest weather? ›

      Colorado's warmest places are found either on the far western portion of the state where elevations lie around 4,500 feet, the Front Range Urban Corridor, or south of it, usually ranging from 5,000 to 6,000 feet, as well as in the Eastern Plains, which goes from around 5,000 feet to 3,315 ft.

      What Colorado town looks like Switzerland? ›

      Surrounded by 13,000-foot peaks in the San Juan mountain range, Ouray, Colorado, is known as the “Switzerland of America.” This Victorian-era mining town is as authentic as it gets, so you'll only find locally-owned restaurants and boutiques. Here are our favorite things to do in Ouray.

      What is the hippie town in Colorado? ›

      Since they're such an iconic part of American culture, there's always a place for them to call home. That's where Thrillist comes in. Writers found the best hippie town in every state, including Colorado. This destination was chosen as the Centennial State's most hippie town: Boulder!

      What is the best walkable town in Colorado? ›

      To find this gem of a town, we recommend checking out the walkable Carbondale, Colorado. This small place will make its way to the very top of your bucket list in no time! Located just south of Glenwood Springs, Carbondale, Colorado is billed as the "Ultimate Rocky Mountain Hideout" for a great reason!

      What time of year is cheapest to visit Colorado? ›

      September, after Labor Day, is the cheapest time to go to Colorado. You'll miss the crowds and prices from summer and be able to enjoy the state on a lower budget.

      What time of year is cheapest to fly to Colorado? ›

      High season is considered to be June and July. The cheapest month to fly to Colorado is January. Enter your preferred departure airport and travel dates into the search form above to unlock the latest Colorado flight deals.

      What is the rainiest month in Colorado? ›

      When it comes to precipitation, rainfall occurs quite often during the summer months, with August typically being the wettest month of the year. In June, the average rainfall is about 2.5”, while July is a little bit higher with an average of 2.8” of rainfall.

      What is the biggest problem in Colorado? ›

      Colorado is becoming less and less affordable. Housing, energy, groceries, and child care costs are all up.

      What is the most Christmassy town in Colorado? ›

      Georgetown, CO

      This historic Victorian mining town comes alive every season with festive lights, train rides to the North Pole, Christmas at the historic Hamill House, and their biggest event, the annual Georgetown Christmas Market.

      What is the coldest town in Colorado? ›

      With an average maximum temperature of just 34.8 degrees Fahrenheit, Fraser is the coldest place in Colorado. Located due west of Boulder, Fraser lies about 1.5 hours northwest of Denver. Helped in part by its elevated position in the Rocky Mountains, Fraser is consistently colder than the rest of the state.

      What is the most famous road in Colorado? ›

      Pikes Peak Highway is Colorado's most popular and well-known road trip because of its incredible viewpoints. It's one of the most scenic drives in Colorado! Located right outside of Colorado Springs, Pikes Peak is a must-visit 14er in the state!

      What is the prettiest highway in Colorado? ›

      San Juan Skyway and the Million Dollar Highway

      This is one of the most spectacular scenic drives in Colorado. The San Juan Skyway makes a big loop through the San Juan Mountains, connecting historic towns and two national parks.

      Where is top of the world in Colorado? ›

      "Top of the World" is a viewpoint on Waring Mesa. It has a spectacular view of Fisher Valley, Onion Creek, and the La Sal Mountains, but this view is only part of a variety of landscapes seen from this trail. Waring Mesa is east of Moab and south of the Dewey Bridge crossing of the Colorado River.

      What is the safest small town in Colorado? ›

      Firestone, a small town of 13,426 in Weld County, is Colorado's safest community, owing to a low violent crime rate of 0.67 incidents per 1,000 inhabitants and a property crime rate of 8.87 per 1,000.

      Where is the cheapest and safest place to live in Colorado? ›

      Grand Junction

      Grand Junction is considered one of the safest cities to live in Colorado, beating out Denver and Pueblo (although it doesn't beat Colorado Springs!). Grand Junction is most well-known for the Colorado National Monument, which hosts one of the most scenic road cycling events in the United States.

      What is Colorado best known for? ›

      Colorado is best known for the Rocky Mountains, and the natural scenery that's found in them. The state of Colorado is also known for all the outdoor activities the mountains inspire like hiking, rafting, climbing, and mountain biking.

      What is the best time to visit Colorado? ›

      Overall, the best time to visit Colorado is during the summer – from mid-June to September, the state sees the warmest weather and has the most options for outdoor activities. For skiers and snowboarders who are “chasing powder,” the overall best time to visit Colorado is during December through early March.

      What are 3 famous people from Colorado? ›

      Famous People Born in Colorado
      • Tim Allen actor, Denver.
      • Zachery Ty Bryan actor, Aurora.
      • M. Scott Carpenter astronaut, Boulder.
      • Lon Chaney actor, Colorado Springs.
      • William Harrison (Jack) Dempsey boxer, Manassa.
      • Ralph Edwards entertainer, Merino.
      • Douglas Fairbanks actor, Denver.
      • Eugene Fodor violinist, Turkey Creek.

      What is the most quaint town in Colorado? ›

      Telluride. Many feel that Telluride is Colorado's most beautiful town of all. Tucked deep into a box canyon in the San Juan Mountains, offering lots of serenity and seclusion, it has a storybook feel with streets lined with grand Victorian-era buildings.

      Where do celebrities hang out in Colorado? ›

      Here are our picks for the best celebrity hangouts in Colorado.
      • (credit: kellyliken.com) Kelly Liken. 12 Vail Road, Suite 100. Vail, CO 81657. ...
      • (credit: hoteljerome.rockresorts.com) Hotel Jerome. 330 East Main Street. Aspen, CO 81611. ...
      • (credit: thelittlenell.com) The Little Nell. 675 East Durant Avenue. Aspen, CO 81611.
      Dec 1, 2010


      1. Colorado Living Places - 10 Best Places to Live in Colorado 2023
      (US Historians)
      2. 18 Must-see Natural Wonders in the United States - Best Places To Visit
      3. Top 10 BEST Places To Visit in The USA 2023- Travel Video
      4. Things to see in Manitou Springs CO | Colorado Offbeat Places 2022
      (Offbeat Travel VK)
      5. 10 Best Places To Visit In Colorado - Travel Video.
      (Grace Media Travel)
      6. Top 100 Places To Visit On Earth - Ultimate Travel Guide
      (Ryan Shirley)


      Top Articles
      Latest Posts
      Article information

      Author: Sen. Emmett Berge

      Last Updated: 13/07/2023

      Views: 6049

      Rating: 5 / 5 (60 voted)

      Reviews: 91% of readers found this page helpful

      Author information

      Name: Sen. Emmett Berge

      Birthday: 1993-06-17

      Address: 787 Elvis Divide, Port Brice, OH 24507-6802

      Phone: +9779049645255

      Job: Senior Healthcare Specialist

      Hobby: Cycling, Model building, Kitesurfing, Origami, Lapidary, Dance, Basketball

      Introduction: My name is Sen. Emmett Berge, I am a funny, vast, charming, courageous, enthusiastic, jolly, famous person who loves writing and wants to share my knowledge and understanding with you.