Amid some of the most breathtaking mountain scenery in the United States, Colorado is a state that offers both the untamed and rustic, as well as the sophisticated and luxurious. The state’s booming cities of Denver, Colorado Springs and Boulder give way to the glamorous resorts of Aspen and Vail and historic gold rush towns like Cripple Creek and Fort Collins. No matter where you are in the state, there’s a Colorado for everyone.
Nestled in between the majestic Rocky Mountains and the Great Plains, Denver stands as Colorado’s capital and largest city. Historic downtown buildings rub shoulders with soaring skyscrapers and Old West saloons can be found amongst the trendy bars and award winning micro-breweries in town. Miles of on and off-road bike and hike trails, city parks and the surrounding Rockies give way to major museums, the Red Rocks amphitheater and the Denver Center for the Performing Arts. In additions to the arts, culture and retail therapy that can be found in the city, Denver is a roaring sports town with a half-dozen professional teams.
Though commonly regarded as an international winter playground for the rich, Aspen still enjoys a small-town feel. This western ski resort may only have a population of less than 6,000, but that doesn’t take away from its big charm and countless traveler attractions. Winter sports, powdery mountain peaks and buoyant holiday crowds give way to spring’s lush green parks, hot air balloon rides and outdoor music festivals. For stunning scenery in any season, visitors should not pass up a trip to the Maroon Bells. The surrounding lake, hot springs and 14,000-foot mountain peaks are some of the most photographed landscapes in Colorado.
Nestled at the base of Pikes Peak, Colorado Springs is a unique and refreshing destination that is a blend of outdoor recreation, diverse culture, and Western Americana. Natural attractions like the red sandstone formations of the Garden of the Gods, Seven Falls, the underground Cave of the Winds and the Manitou Cliff Dwellings are some of the staples of Colorado Springs and are not to be missed. In addition to the inspiring natural scenery, the city boasts a local arts scene that the young population fuels with the rush of each arts festival, concert or theatrical production.
The cuisine of Colorado can range from New Southwestern to Asian-fusion. Regional specialties like buffalo, elk and rainbow trout can be found just about everywhere in the state, and shouldn’t be passed up. Whether visiting Denver, Boulder, or one of many mountain towns in Colorado; chances are good you’ll come across a brewery serving up some of the finest locally-produced beer and American fare in the western U.S.
The major transportation hub of the region is located in Denver, with Denver International Airport (DEN), which serves all major airlines. Other major airports throughout the state that offer both domestic and international air service are: Aspen-Pitkin County Airport (ASE), Colorado Springs Municipal Airport (COS) and Fort Collins-Loveland Municipal Airport (FNL). Most major cities have public transportation systems, though renting a car is a good option throughout the state.
The climate varies based upon location in Colorado. The further north, the colder it gets. The average snowfall in the state is around 55 inches per year, while summer temperatures remain warm and sunny, with low humidity and cool evening breezes. Colorado is a wonderful year-round destination that should be seen in all seasons.