Top Ways to Explore Colorado: 6 Tourist Tips to Help You
Colorado is a land of natural wonders, and there are many different ways to explore it. Whether you’re a nature lover or an outdoor enthusiast, there’s something for everyone in Colorado. If you’re looking for some tips on how to make the most of your visit, read on. Read on for six in-depth tourist tips to help you explore Colorado like a pro.
1. Exploring with Locals
The best way to get an insider’s perspective on Colorado is to connect with locals. Get advice from knowledgeable Coloradans on where to explore, what attractions to visit, and what hidden gems they recommend. Especially if you search online for a Colorado travel guide by locals, you can find great tours fit for any type of trip you want to take. No one can know Colorado better than the people who live there, so make sure to take advantage of the locals’ knowledge.
2. Choose Your Activity Level
The activities available in Colorado are seemingly endless, so it’s important to think about how active or relaxed you want your vacation to be. If you’re an adrenaline junkie, try extreme sports like skydiving or white water rafting; if you’re looking for something a bit milder, hikes and biking trails are great options. There are also plenty of tours tailored to different activity levels – consider booking a guided tour that can offer you the best experience without overdoing it.
- For Bikers: Bikers can explore several trails in Colorado, from city streets to mountain paths. Many cities, like Denver and Boulder, have dedicated bike lanes that make biking around town a breeze. If you’re looking for something more challenging, the Continental Divide National Scenic Trail provides stunning views of Colorado’s rocky terrain.
- For hikers: Colorado is home to countless state parks and trails with varying levels of difficulty. From easy strolls along riverside pathways to overnight treks on rugged mountaintops, there’s an adventure for all skill levels. Check out Rocky Mountain National Park for some of the most stunning views in the state.
- For thrill-seekers: Adventurers seeking an adrenaline rush won’t be disappointed in Colorado. Take a ride on wild rapids during a white water rafting trip, or feel the rush of skydiving above beautiful mountain terrain. The options are seemingly endless when it comes to extreme activities in Colorado – just make sure to take all necessary safety precautions.
3. Embrace the Outdoors
Colorado is renowned for its stunning natural beauty, catering to nature lovers from all over the world. Take advantage of this by going on a backpacking trip through Rocky Mountain National Park, or setting out for a day of fly fishing in the stunning mountain streams. If you’re looking to stay close to civilization, try exploring one of Colorado’s many state parks or national monuments. Some of the best outdoor destinations in Colorado include:
- Garden of the Gods: This location features unique red sandstone rock formations that are ideal for hiking and sightseeing. To get there, you’ll need to drive to Colorado Springs.
- Great Sand Dunes National Park and Preserve: This natural wonder offers some of the tallest dunes in North America, ideal for a day of sandboarding and exploring.
- Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park: This stunning canyon is one of the deepest in North America, featuring sheer walls that are ideal for rock climbing, hiking, and camping. It’s located just outside Montrose in western Colorado.
- Rocky Mountain National Park: As one of the most popular parks in Colorado, this destination features majestic mountain peaks and alpine lakes perfect for hiking, biking, fishing, or camping out under the stars.
- Mesa Verde National Park: Located near Cortez in southwest Colorado, this park is best known for its ancient cliff dwellings, offering visitors a glimpse into the lives of Ancestral Puebloans.
- Curecanti National Recreation Area: This recreation area is made up of three reservoirs and offers an array of activities from fishing to boating to swimming. It’s located near Gunnison in southwestern Colorado.
4. Visit Historic Sites
The history of Colorado is as vibrant as its scenery and wildlife, with plenty of historical sites to explore. From mining towns like Central City to ancient cliff dwellings like Mesa Verde National Park, there’s something for everyone when it comes to discovering Colorado’s past. Make sure to take some time during your visit to learn about the state’s rich cultural heritage – you won’t be disappointed!
The Mesa Verde National Park is home to some of the largest, best-preserved, and most iconic ancient cliff dwellings in the world. Dating back over 700 years, this site offers a glimpse into the lives of Native American tribes like the Anasazi who lived in Colorado centuries ago. Visitors can tour several spectacularly well-preserved structures, including Spruce Tree House and Cliff Palace.
Just 30 miles northwest of Denver lies Central City, a former mining town full of Old West charm. Here visitors will find traces of the town’s rich history with its colorful old buildings standing in stark contrast to its mountainous surroundings. There is also plenty to do here with museums such as Gregory’s Mining Museum and outdoor activities like hiking and rock climbing nearby.
San Luis Valley
Head to the San Luis Valley for an adventurous and educational day trip. Here you’ll find many of Colorado’s oldest settlements, including some that date back to the 1500s. The San Luis Valley is also home to several archaeological sites like Montezuma Castle and Shadow Mountain Pass where visitors can explore ancient ruins and petroglyphs. Additionally, visitors can go bird-watching, skiing, or snowshoeing around these historic locations for a unique experience.
5. Experience the Arts
Colorado is home to an impressive number of art galleries, music venues, and performing arts centers. Catch a show at Red Rocks Amphitheater in Morrison or take a tour of the Denver Art Museum. If you’re looking for something more low-key, consider attending one of the many outdoor concerts held throughout Colorado during the summer months. Another great way to experience the arts in Colorado is by visiting some of its many festivals, such as the Telluride Film Festival and the Vail Jazz Festival. And for those who love theater, several renowned theaters throughout Colorado offer a variety of performances from Broadway musicals to small independent productions. No matter what kind of art you’re into, you’ll find plenty of opportunities to enjoy it while in Colorado.
6. Enjoy Local Cuisine
No trip to Colorado would be complete without trying some of its delicious local cuisines. From European delicacies like wild game dishes to Latin American street fare, there are plenty of unique culinary experiences to try in Colorado. Try stopping by a farmers market for fresh produce and artisanal snacks, or grab a bite at one of the state’s renowned breweries. No matter what you decide to do, you’re sure to find something that satisfies your taste buds. Additionally, many restaurants in Colorado take advantage of the locally grown ingredients, offering truly unique dishes.
When to Visit Colorado
Now that we’ve covered what to do, the next question is when to visit. Colorado typically experiences all four seasons, though temperatures can range from hot and dry in summer months to cold and snowy during winter. Spring and autumn tend to be moderate in temperature with mild days perfect for outdoor activities like hiking or biking. Summer is a great time for exploring the outdoors, while winter offers plenty of snow-based recreation like skiing and snowboarding. No matter what time of year you decide to take your trip, make sure to do your research and pack accordingly.
How to Find Accommodation
Once you’ve decided on the best time to visit, it’s time to look for accommodations. Colorado is home to a variety of lodging options from camping and cabins in the mountains to luxury resorts in Aspen and Vail. Hotels are plentiful throughout the state as well, with many offering stunning views of nature at its finest. Whether you’re looking for something affordable or luxurious, there’s something for everyone in Colorado. Here are five of the best options to consider:
- Airbnb: Airbnb offers an amazing range of accommodations, from shared rooms to entire houses. With prices ranging from affordable to luxurious, you’ll be sure to find something that suits your budget.
- Hotels: Colorado is full of great hotels, with plenty of options for every budget. From 3-star family hotels to 5-star resorts, there’s something for everyone here.
- Campgrounds: If you’re looking for a more rustic experience, consider camping in one of the many state parks or national forests in Colorado. These sites are perfect for those who want to get away from it all and immerse themselves in nature.
- Bed and Breakfasts: These cozy lodging options offer a warm, homey atmosphere with a personal touch. Whether you’re looking for something in the city or out in the countryside, there’s sure to be something that appeals to you
- Vacation Rentals: Vacation rentals are an ideal choice if you’re traveling with friends or family. You can stay in one large house or rent several smaller units – it all depends on your needs.
Renting a Car or RV
When traveling to Colorado, you may want to consider renting a car or RV. This can be a great way to explore the state and see its many sights conveniently and cost-effectively. You can book your rental online with one of the many companies offering services in Colorado, or you can rent from one of the local car rental agencies located throughout the state.
- RV: An RV offers many benefits, from allowing you to sightsee and camp in one vehicle, to the convenience of having your kitchen and bathroom. Depending on the type of RV you rent, you may also be able to sleep up to six people in a single vehicle. Rental costs vary depending on how long you’ll need the RV and what size it is.
- Car: Renting a car makes it easy to get from one place to another without relying on public transportation or paying for taxi services. It’s a great way to save money while still getting around quickly and conveniently. You can find car rental agencies throughout Colorado that offer reasonable rates for both short-term rentals (hourly or daily) and longer-term rentals (weekly or monthly).
How to Visit Colorado as a Foreigner
If you’re not from the US, don’t worry – you can still enjoy everything Colorado has to offer. You’ll just need to make sure you have the necessary paperwork and documentation to get into the US legally
- The first step is obtaining a visa, which will allow you to enter the country legally and stay for a certain period. Depending on your nationality, there are several different types of visas you may be eligible for.
- Once you’ve obtained your visa, you’ll need to apply for an ESTA (Electronic System for Travel Authorization). This will permit you to travel in the US and must be renewed every two years or whenever your passport expires
- Once all of the necessary paperwork is complete, it’s time to start planning your visit! Whether you’re looking for outdoor adventure, cultural attractions, or simply some rest, Colorado is the perfect destination.
When it comes to getting around Colorado once you’re here, there are a few options to consider. The most popular way is by car – as we have mentioned, it’s easy to rent one from any of the agencies located throughout the state with an international license. However, if you want to get off the beaten path and explore more remote areas (like some of the national parks), then an RV is the best better option.
No matter when you decide to visit Colorado, there are plenty of things to do and experience. From breathtaking views of majestic mountains to an abundance of outdoor activities, the state offers something for everyone. Whether you’re looking for a relaxing getaway or an active adventure, you can find it in Colorado – just make sure to plan and bring the right gear!