If you plan a visit to the Centennial State, here are the 10 fun things to do in Colorado!
Colorado is a western state in the U.S. famous for its diversified landscapes, wildlife, and beautiful nature. There are a variety of activities from mountain biking to hiking, cross-country skiing, canoeing, horse-riding, outdoor activities, or just unwinding amidst the wilderness.
Colorado is famous for its mountains, hot springs, forests, dunes, and mesas. It is a state that has different wild topographies.
You can find snow-capped mountains here as well as rugged terrains that are featured in various movies as well as pristine lakes that are filled with serenity.
This Mile High City is also home to craft breweries like the Great Divide Brewing Company and Cerebral Brewing.
This western state has the nickname Centennial State because it was discovered a century after the signing of the Declaration of Independence.
You can choose several routes during your tour to Colorado, and some of these famous routes are The Rocky Mountains Loop, The Trail of the Ancients, and the San Juan Skyway.
So, if you are planning a trip to this state that also has a city named Sweetheart City, then here are the 10 fun things to do in Colorado.
10 Fun Things to Do in Colorado
Colorado is a year-round tourist spot that will pique our imagination and inspire us with its dramatic landscapes and natural beauty. The Colorado attractions will leave you asking for more family trips.
If you’re scheduling a trip to Colorado, you might find it difficult to decide what to do there. There are a lot more interesting and enjoyable things to do in Colorado than you may already know. The majority of people often think about skiing and perhaps hanging out in Denver.
In fact, you might be surprised by a few of our Colorado pastimes, like sandboarding.
We’ve got you covered whether you want to check out some of the state’s top museums, cool down at the country’s largest water park, or discover all there is to do in the Colorado Rockies.
Here are the 10 fun things to do in Colorado to help you enjoy your trip to this state.
1. Watch a Show At Red Rocks Amphitheatre
Situated 6,450 feet above sea level, Red Rocks Park is a spectacular zone where the Rocky Mountains meet the Great Plains. The diverse environment allows you to see animals, birds, and plants in both these regions.
Red Rocks Amphitheatre is a naturally occurring geological phenomenon that is an acoustically perfect theatre. Every performing artist from across the globe has aspired to perform on this magical and spiritual stage.
This venue hosts some of the most incredible concerts, each with a unique design. You have always heard that music rocks; if you want to see this, you should visit this place among the top 10 fun things to do in Colorado.
Made of actual stones, this Amphitheatre gives you a listening experience that will make your favorite band sound much better than you can ever imagine. So many bands who have already performed here have listed this as one of their favorite places to perform.
At 6,400 feet, Red Rocks Amphitheatre is a well-liked destination for runners and exercise enthusiasts. Though they ask that your actions do not interfere with others’ enjoyment of the venue or cause structural harm to it. During your visit to this state in the U.S., plan to visit this place to enjoy one of the 10 fun things to do in Colorado.
However, even if you visit during the off-season and miss the musical events, you may still visit the amphitheatre without paying a penny. Along with wonderful hiking routes, the park has a museum where you can learn more about its past.
1.1 Have a visit to Red Rock Hall of Fame
Since 2003, the Red Rocks Amphitheatre has annually inducted artists into the Red Rocks Hall of Fame. The inductees represent the many various musical genres that the theatre showcases each and every year and have left their stamp in one way or another on the legendary institution.
The Visitor Center, which is housed in the Southwest Heart of the Rock Theatre, includes the Red Rocks Hall of Fame as a tangible, enduring component.
2. Visit the State and National Parks
Colorado’s state and national parks are some of the most fun tourist attractions you should include in the 10 fun things to do in Colorado.
2.1. Hiking at The Rocky Mountain National Park
The Rocky Mountains National Park is one of Colorado’s most beautiful and must-see places. Its area encompasses an incredible range of mountain environments.
Even if you are not into hiking, you will feel like hiking when you reach The Rocky Mountains, National Park. From glistening alpine lakes to meadows amidst the montane zone to the towering mountain peaks, there is something for everyone to do here among the top 10 fun things to do in Colorado.
If you are looking for some easy activity or the altitude does not suit you, then there are short, flat trails on the east side of the park like the Coyote Valley Trail, or try the Lily Lake Loop.
This place also includes hiking trails at difficulty levels like the Longs Peak and Trail Ridge Road that would give you the credit of bagging the best 14ers in Colorado (climbing a mountain over 14,000″ tall).
2.2. Mesa Verde National Park
Even though the Rocky Mountain National Park is one of the most visited national parks in Colorado, the Mesa Verde National Park is the most unique and worth visiting.
Southwest Colorado is home to Mesa Verde, which translates as “green table” in English. Theodore Roosevelt declared the region a national park in 1906. It is a stunning national park and World Heritage site that protects historic Puebloan cliff dwellings and is the perfect vacation spot for both history and nature enthusiasts.
You can find some of the best-preserved ancient cliff dwellings in southwestern Colorado here.
Mesa Verde has been inhabited by nomadic tribes since 7500 BC, and the first pueblos are thought to have been constructed around 650 AD, according to researchers. Built about 1200 AD, the striking cliff homes are still a draw for tourists to the area.
The ingenious way that the ancient Puebloans built their homes to stay comfortable during each season, preserve their food, and live happily together is indeed inspiring.
If you want to get a good overview of the cliff dwellings, then drive along the Mesa Top Loop Road and stop at the markers along the way. The NPS can even provide you with a guided audio tour. When you visit Mesa Verde, don your walking shoes and pack your camera.
Also, visit the Chapin Mesa Archeological Museum to learn more about these Native Americans and see the Cliff Palace.
2.3. Comanche National Grassland
A stunning national park that is filled with beautiful scenery, the Comanche National Grassland is a remarkable place among the 10 fun things to do in Colorado.
It is one of the most incredible places, especially for those who love nature. It provides important historical information and has preserved artworks about the people of this land.
The preserve is split into two areas, each of which is managed by a different district of rangers—one in Springfield and one in La Junta. As far back as 8,000 years ago, Native Americans decorated the cliffs and rocks with drawings.
The natural beauty of grasslands can be a welcome diversion from the splendour of mountains or beaches. Visit the area’s ancient artwork, or go outside to the Picketwire Canyon to view dinosaur footprints! Explore the paths on foot, on a bike, or even on a horse. You can return to a motel to relax or “rough it” at the nearby campground.
The grasslands add to the lovely greenery, and if you want to experience this place to its best, camp overnight to see the stars coming out and lighting up the whole atmosphere.
2.4. Great Sand Dunes National Park
Stepping into the Great Sand Dunes National Park is like going to another planet. This place proves that Coloradans are spoilt with natural wonders for nature lovers.
When you think of Colorado, you may never think of dunes here. But it is home to the largest and most spectacular dunes in North America.
Planning a trip here will be one of the most memorable of your 10 fun things to do in Colorado. You can go horseback riding, hiking, and sandboarding, a unique activity at the park, or even enjoy sand sledding down the dunes.
A trip to Great Sand Dunes National Park will nourish your soul!
2.5. Black Canyon Of The Gunnison National Park
If you want to see some of the oldest rocks in North America, then you must visit the Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park.
It is an amazing canyon having a rugged look, and it is so remote that it gives you a feeling of being an undiscovered place. The cliff walls rise to create a narrow and dramatic look to the canyon.
You can hike along the canyon rim or the inner canyon to view the cliffs and Cliff Palace from different angles.
The main attractions here are to wander along the walking paths or hike along the short hiking trails on the rim. You can also sit and gaze out over the Black Canyon and appreciate the surrounding environment.
2.5 Red Rocks Park
Only pedestrians are permitted on the Geologic Overlook Trail, Trading Post Trail, Funicular Trail, and Mt. Vernon Creek Trail. The elevation of the trails is roughly 6,280 feet above sea level, so anybody with health issues might want to talk to their doctor before trying the trip.
Please offer supervision if children are participating in the hike because some parts of the trail have drop-offs, steep gradients, and road crossings. The bulk of trails are no wider than three feet. Climbing rocks is not permitted. Due to the frequent changes in weather, hikers should be prepared for inclement weather.
3. Head To The Monuments
The monuments of Colorado hold so much information and beauty that you will be left awe-struck.
3.1. Colorado National Monument
Colorado National Monument is stunning with its dramatic rock formations sticking out into the sky. Sunsets are scenic for their red color settings.
This monument is located on the western slopes of the Rocky Mountains in Fruita, next to the Grand Junction.
Take a drive along Rim Rock Drive to enjoy the views of this monument and look out for the eagles and bighorn sheep in the surrounding.
3.2. Dinosaur National Monument
Dinosaur National Monument covers Colorado and Utah, but you can see the dinosaur fossils on the Utah side.
The Dinosaur National Monument contains lots of dinosaur fossils that are embedded in the rocks in the area, but there is even more to see.
You can even see petroglyphs and learn about the outlaws and others hidden in the surrounding area.
Take a hike around Dinosaur National Monument
In Dinosaur, hiking is a great opportunity to take in a natural beauty and untamed terrain of the park. Along the Cub Creek and Harpers Corner scenic routes as well as close to visitor centers are where you’ll find the most crowded paths.
The park contains more constructed trails. Off-trail hiking is permitted in several areas of the monument, unlike many other parks.
4. Garden of The Gods
Located near Colorado Springs, the Garden of the Gods is a National Natural Landmark that is home to some unique landscapes like the jagged stone towers and fins that are jutting up from the earth.
Giant balanced boulders surround the fins, and the scenery is completed by rock piles dotting the landscape and the distant mountains. The park, a recognized National Natural Landmark, draws tourists from around the nation and from beyond.
Surveyors from Denver first stumbled onto these stunning sandstone formations, and when they saw how the rocks blended with the Great Plains grasslands, Southwest woodlands, and mountain forests of Pike Peak, they said it looked like a garden fit for the gods.
There are easy walking trails here that will allow you to get close to the red rock formations and wander through the unbelievable scenery. The park is popular for rock climbing and other activities like mountain biking, biking trails, and horseback riding.
There is a Garden of the Gods Park Visitor and Nature Center that functions as a museum consisting of exhibits and a video on the geology of the park. The views from the visitor center are mind-blowing, and you can enjoy the view from the on-site café’s huge windows while enjoying a snack or beverage.
While you are at the 10 fun things to do in Colorado, try to find the Sleeping Giant or the Kissing Camels and figure out why they are named so at the Garden of the Gods!
5. Explore The Museums
There are a few art museums and cultural centers that you can explore during the 10 fun things to do in Colorado. You can book your tickets to the museums in Denver much in advance, and if you want to save on admissions while visiting multiple attractions, grab a Denver City Pass.
5.1. Denver Museum of Nature and Science
One of the most extraordinary things to do while you are in Denver, especially for kids, is to visit the Denver Museum of Nature and Science. Here, you can learn everything from mummies to human bodies to dinosaurs.
A unique section of the exhibits here is the Gems and Minerals area, where aquamarines found in the mountains are displayed. A 13 ½ pound gold piece – Tom’s Baby – found near Breckenridge is also exhibited here.
5.2. Denver Art Museum
One of the best museums in Denver is the Denver Art Museum, and it has some incredible collections of art from and about Colorado. You can also see pieces from all over the world, including paintings by Van Gogh, Monet, and more.
Scenes of the Wild West and western art featuring cowboys are an exciting display.
5.3. Butterfly Pavilion And Insect Park
The main attraction at the Butterfly Pavilion is the vast tropical rainforest. There is a wide variety of butterflies and insects here, from the Rosie to the Tarantula and the crawly bugs. You can also see various underwater invertebrates in the Water’s Edge tanks.
Regardless of how cold or hot it is outside, you can watch these winged beauties while you wander the area around the surrounding area.
5.4 Colorado Music Hall of Fame museum
The Colorado Music Hall of Fame museum, the state’s foremost music museum, is housed inside the Trading Post. Before performances or during day trips to the park, people of all ages can enjoy the engaging exhibitions.
Fans of locally produced music in Colorado can visit the free museum during the Trading Post’s regular hours to reminisce and discover the fascinating and varied musical heritage of our state. Follow the signs to the Trading Post at Red Rocks, which is located on the east side of the amphitheater beneath the main stage.
The Hall is a place to meet new people and listen to fresh music, featuring everyone from Glenn Miller to five-time Grammy winner Dianne Reeves. More than 40 Colorado artists, businesspeople, and institutions have been honored since Hall’s opening in 2011 via colorful and exciting displays.
Music history is brought to life through memorabilia displays and kiosks that feature bios, images, audio clips, and videos for each inductee. The John Denver “Spirit” statue, one of the Colorado Music Hall of Fame’s most prominent relics, welcomes guests and welcomes them inside.
The nonprofit Colorado Music Hall of Fame’s purpose is to commemorate our state’s musical heritage by paying tribute to individuals who have contributed to it and to spread awareness of it among the general public through historical artifact displays, educational programming, and musical performances.
6. Relax and Unwind in The Hot Springs
Take some time off to relax and unwind in Colorado Springs, so you don’t miss them among the 10 fun things to do in Colorado.
6.1. Glenwood Springs
The Glenwood Hot Springs Resort is the most known among the three hot spring areas in Glenwood Springs. Rooms with good facilities are available at the resort, and you can pay a day fee to use the pool or enjoy the spa services.
A splash zone for children is open from Memorial Day to Labor Day. The pool is open all year round.
But the happiest feeling is hopping into the hot springs when snow is falling all around you and the beautiful mountains of Colorado.
6.2. Steamboat Springs
Nestled in the Rocky Mountains, Steamboat Springs is a popular and fun destination among the 10 fun things to do in Colorado.
It is in the Yampa Valley and is known for its ski resorts, hot springs, and the famed Champagne Powder.
Steamboat Springs is not only well known among outdoor lovers, but it also has great attractions like hiking, horseback riding, and romantic walks along the Yampa River Botanic Park.
6.3. Pagosa Springs
An hour from Durango is located Pagosa Springs, which is a worthy Colorado destination among the 10 fun things to do in Colorado.
The Pagosa Hot Springs Resort is designed in such a way that it overlooks the San Juan River. You can find the most geothermal hot Colorado springs pools here.
Enjoy soaking in the pools that range from 83-114°F, and you can choose the temperature that you are comfortable in.
There are plenty of mountain biking, hiking, fishing, and Treasure Falls just outside the town here and enjoy.
7. Pave Up Mount Evans Scenic Byway
Mount Evans Scenic Byway is a place in Colorado that truly has earned its name.
It is one of the prettiest places and is the highest paved road in the U.S., reaching nearly 14,130 feet.
It is just not the elevation that makes this place impressive, but the views from the top and on the way up are outstanding. The area is so open that the meadows, lakes, and rolling mountains extend into the distance.
Don’t miss out on seeing the wildlife, especially the bighorn sheep or the mountain goats, during your 10 fun things to do in Colorado.
Mount Evans Scenic Byway is indeed a great sightseeing experience, and you will feel like you are in a whole existence while you are here.
8. Summit The Pikes Peak
No trip will be complete if you do not visit Pikes Peak during your 10 fun things to do in Colorado. This iconic mountain, at 4,300m, is the highest summit in the southern part of the Rocky Mountains.
The Pikes Peak mountains got their name from American explorer Zebulon Pike who was the first to sight the peak in 1806.
Pikes Peak is a popular destination among hikers and climbers. The summit offers gorgeous scenery of the surrounding areas and can be reached by car by foot or by train ride on Pikes Peak Cog Railway.
The Pikes Peak Cog Railway is one of the most fun tourist attractions. It is the only cog railway in the country, and you can visit the renovated Pikes Peak Visitor Centers through the best Colorado attractions.
9. Traveling Back At Telluride
Telluride is a historic town lying in the San Juan Mountains. Founded in 1878 as a mining camp, it became a prosperous city over time.
The town is home to various festivals and events, including the famous Telluride Bluegrass Festival and Telluride Film Festival.
Today Telluride is well-known for its charming Main Street and Victorian architecture.
The Telluride-Mountain Village Gondola, which opened in 1996, is the only free ride of its kind in the U.S. It is a means of public transport between two towns and a mountain bike, snowboard, or ski lift for visitors and residents who wish to use the ski runs.
10. Raft in The Arkansas River
The Arkansas River, which starts at Central Colorado and runs up to Arkansas, features fast-flowing water that is perfect for adventurous rafters. The waters will look intimidating, but there are plenty of accessible routes for beginners.
The Royal Gorge and Pine Creek route are meant for those having the adrenaline jump as it consists of big splashes, steep drops, and constant rapids.
Additionally, whether you want to go for a half-day excursion or make it a multi-day extravaganza, it is ideal for white water rafting. Depending on your degree of experience, there are several different rafting routes, ranging from family-friendly to Class IV.
If you’re an experienced whitewater rafter, start in Bighorn Canyon. For a genuine natural experience, you can stay for days and camp by the river. The Royal Gorge and Browns Canyon offer chances for multi-day trips or day trips for both experienced and novice rafters.
There are raft tour operators at various locations along the river. So go out and enjoy one of the 10 fun things to do in Colorado at the Arkansas River.
Colorado is a place that is made for outdoor activities and adventure lovers. Even though many of them feel that this state is primarily a ski destination, there is plenty of other things to do during every season.
When you plan a family trip the next time, rethink and head to Colorado and don’t miss out on the 10 fun things to do in Colorado.
Other than these listed above, you can visit The Cliff Palance, Paint Mines Interpretive Park, Fort Collins, Cheyenne Mountain Zoo, and such attractions of Colorado.