Instead of spending thousands of dollars on international travel, why not check out the fantastic sites in your own backyard? Traveling domestically offers a wealth of culture and insight that’s sure to impress. Out of the 50 states, cities like New York and Los Angeles are usually the primary options for travel. However, Colorado is making strides as being one of the most popular vacation destinations in the United States.
Nestled above New Mexico and Utah, Colorado is home to breathtaking landscapes and natural wonders. It’s an awesome vacation spot that offers fantastic activities all year round. If you’re thinking about making the trip, check out these nine unique and interesting things to do.
Red Rocks Amphitheatre
Perhaps one of the most amazing natural wonders in the states is Red Rocks Amphitheatre. Countless celebrities have graced the stage with their chart-topping hits. The reason this site is a must-see is, because the acoustics are mind blowing. The way sound bounces off of the mountains and walls of caves makes this an ideal spot for live music. While you’re there, soak in the natural sites around you. This alone makes Colorado one of the most unique states to visit.
Garden of the Gods
This hiking site truly lives up to its splendid name. Many of you may recognize this scene from popular desktop wallpapers and images. It’s a fantastic spot to go hiking and soak in the wonders of nature. The jagged mountains are positioned in a way that’s so unique, you can’t help but wonder their backstory. Here, you’ll the famous balanced rock that literally defies the laws of physics and gravity. Pikes Peak and Cathedral Spikes are just a few of the picturesque opportunities you’ll receive while taking a brisk walk.
Telluride & Mountain Village Gondola
This activity is perfect for those who love adventure but are secretly afraid of heights. Enclosed in a protective gondola, passengers are lifted high into the mountains, almost like a vertical zipline. This extreme form of transportation connects the cities Telluride and Mountain Village. Explorers are able to view the snow capped mountains up close and personal. The best part of this activity is that it’s free to the public. You won’t want to miss this spectacular view.
Paint Mines Interpretive Park
Paint Mines Interpretive Park is truly remarkable. The swaying landscape alone is stunning. This beautiful cavern is the spot where Native Americans used to gather their clay to make beautiful pieces of art. The real treat, however, is witnessing the glory of the stars. Since there aren’t lights tainting the air, visitors get a front row seat to the Milky Way show. This spectacular vision is ideal for catching Instagram-worthy photos and appreciating all that nature has to offer.
Desert Reef Hot Springs
If you’re wanting to take a hot dip in a boiling hot spring, Desert Reef is an awesome choice. Visitors can enjoy a spa-like atmosphere while taking in the beautiful scenery surrounding them. The only caveat to this excursion is that it isn’t always offered to the public. You’ll have to check the company’s website prior to booking your trip to make sure they’re accepting visitors.
It’s also rumored that natural hot springs have healing elements both spiritually and physically. Visitors are able to relax their mind in the hot springs and let go of their stressors. In addition, the steam and elements found within the spring are great for promoting healthy skin. Take a dip in this natural wonder and come out 10 times younger!
If you’re into architecture, you’ll appreciate the beauty of Bishop Castle. It holds the record as the largest, single man-made building in the world. In the ultimate underdog story, master builder Jim Bishop constructed this massive castle as a means to get back at his teacher who told him he’d, “never amount to anything.” It’s 16 stories high and flaunts stunning cathedral style windows. You won’t want to miss this free destination when visiting Colorado.
Canyons of the Ancients
This National Treasure is 176,000 acres of Native American preservation. Witness the ancient world that was once inhabited by the Pueblo tribe through modern eyes and a classic heart. Witness ancient wonders such as shrines, farms and even villages. Find out more about this historical place prior to visiting. One note of caution: bring good walking shoes! Many of the roads aren’t paved in an effort to preserve their rich culture
The Stanley Hotel
Are you a die-hard Stephen King fan? Then, you’ll recognize The Stanley Hotel as soon as you pull up. This haunting monument is the structure that inspired The Shining. If you’re into dark tourism, this is an ideal hotel to stay in. The staff always has The Shining playing and they even have themed trinkets scattered about. If you really believe in the power of The Shining, ask about the spirits that are rumored to still haunt the hotel.
This site is such a beautiful combination of purity and rustic. The surface of this lake is like a mirror; letting visitors look directly down into the lake. It’s truly a once-in-a-lifetime beauty that’s rare beyond time. With crystal clear water and thin waterfalls, you can see fish and stunning trees. Enjoy a relaxing hike while soaking in the beauty surrounding you. The only drawback to this trail is that they don’t allow dogs or fishing. You’ll have to save your fishing rod for the next go ‘round.
Colorado is one of the most beautiful states rife in culture, history and natural brilliance. It’s a perfect destination for exploring the wonders of nature. Planning your next vacation here will give you the opportunity to embrace your inner explorer and appreciate all that nature has to offer. In addition, Colorado is home to some of the best breweries in the country. People travel far and wide to taste unique beers that are sure to knock their socks off. Colorado is definitely one of the best places to travel in 2019.