The Colorado Tourist Attractions You Should Actually Visit

When you visit a new city or town, it can be tempting to spend most of your time trekking from one tourist destination to the next. While seeing the Statue of Liberty or walking the Golden Gate Bridge may be terrific photo ops, and even fulfill some items on your bucket list, often the heart of the city lies behind the postcard façade. Denver may not have a giant gleaming silver bean or a walkway of stars but it is no stranger to the tourist destination allure. In hopes of leading you away from The Cherry Creek Mall (ranked one of the top tourist destinations in the state) and more towards the truly spectacular Colorado spots, we’ve compiled a list of the Colorado tourist attractions you should actually visit.

Red Rocks Amphitheater

Photo Courtesy of Red Rocks Ampitheater
Photo Courtesy of Red Rocks Ampitheater

If you search where to go in Colorado, you will undoubtedly see Red Rocks topping most lists. It may be a go-to for tourists, but Red Rocks is a haven for locals and visitors alike. If you are able to catch a show at this iconic concert venue, you will be rewarded with a life-changing experience. On any given day, though, Red Rocks remains a must see for tourists. Enjoy a hike around the scenic venue, or walk the stairs and enjoy the Red Rocks music museum, which chronicles some of the amphitheater’s most famous guests from the Beatles to U2.

Pikes Peak

Photo Courtesy of Pikes-Peak
Photo Courtesy of Pikes-Peak

Mountain climbers flock to Colorado by the busload. Most have come to summit some if not all of Colorado’s famed fourteeners. Although many of our illustrious mountains aren’t suited for the casual climber, Pikes Peak is friendly both to die-hard mountaineers and passersby. At just over 14,000 feet, Pikes Peak offers sweeping views of scenic Colorado all conveniently located at the top of a paved road. If you’re setting out to climb a fourteener, Sherman, Pikes Peak and Quandary are great places to start.

The Royal Gorge

Photo Courtesy of the Royal Gorge
Photo Courtesy of the Royal Gorge

Until a few years ago the Royal Gorge Bridge held the title of the world’s highest bridge hovering over the Arkansas River at 1,053 feet. This feat of ingenuity and engineering is not for the faint of heart. Peering over the side of the bridge you can see for miles down the Arkansas River and staggering cliff faces. The Royal Gorge can provide a full day of fun with daily rafting trips, a Buffalo paddock and more, making it a tourist attraction even locals can enjoy.

Mesa Verde National Park

Photo Courtesy of Visit Mesa Verde
Photo Courtesy of Visit Mesa Verde

Admittedly Mesa Verde is a bit of a drive from Denver, but it is well worth a spontaneous road trip. While it is both informational and scenic, what makes Mesa Verde so spectacular is its hidden location and storied history. Surrounding it are winding trails nestled deep within Colorado national parkland. Constructed in the alcove a cliff face, the Mesa Verde dwellings are some of the best preserved in the world. In fact, Mesa Verde National Park is the largest archaeological preserve in the United States.

Maroon Bells

Photo Courtesy of Aspen Chamber
Photo Courtesy of Aspen Chamber

At the end of a long, twisting road, that runs upwards from Highlands towards the small mountain town of Gunnison, rests perhaps the most famous of Colorado peaks: The Maroon Bells. Your drive, via bus, will lead you past a collection of reindeer, idyllic ranches sprinkled with aspen trees, and hillsides scarred by the serpentined paths of past avalanches. It is in large, due to its hidden nature, that the Maroon Bells are so breathtaking. With a crystalline lake at the base of the jagged peaks, an afternoon spent at this tourist destination is an afternoon well spent.

There are many reasons people visit Colorado, none of which are lessened by their popularity ranking by tourists. Whether you spend your days visiting the Stanley Hotel made famous by Stephen King, or wandering through Rocky Mountain National Park, you are sure to have a wonderful vacation in Colorful Colorado. Did we miss your favorite Colorado adventure? Be sure to share by commenting below or on our facebook.

The Top Five Boulder Coffee Shops

As a mountain and college town, Boulder provides the perfect backdrop to world-class cafés. With a different coffee shop on nearly every corner, it can be a difficult task to find the best brew not to mention one that comes with a charming atmosphere. In hopes of helping you put an end to your search, we’ve rounded up the ballots and found the top five Boulder cafés.

The Cup: Undoubtedly some of the best Chai in town, The Cup effortlessly blends atmosphere with delectable blends of your favorite coffees and teas. Take a seat at one of their tables lining the pearl street mall, or enjoy that beautiful Boulder breeze through the garage door that opens off the front of the café.

Our Favorite Drink: The Bhakti Chai Milkshake

The Unseen Bean: This Boulder favorite can fit a total of 10 people, but has coffee busting at the seams with flavor. Brewed blind by Master Coffee Roaster and founder Gerry Leary, the Unseen Bean only serves the highest quality, fair-trade Arabica beans. Leary roasts all of the coffee for his famed café and as he has been blind since birth, offers unique and intensely flavorful mixes.

Our Favorite Drink: Passion Cup Blend

Trident Booksellers and Café: Quite the picturesque café, Trident has a sweet selection of books and an even sweeter selection of teas and coffees. Trident has outside seating off the west end of the Pearl Street Mall and a cozy, quiet interior where you can hunker down with a good book and a great cup of coffee.

Our Favorite Drink: Café Florentine

Ozo: With three locations around Boulder, Ozo has made quite a name for itself in our Colorado mountain town. With a comfortable atmosphere, big tables, good music, and great coffee it’s hard to find a better place to work or study. The staff is friendly, and the selection wide, easily making it one of our favorite Boulder cafés.

Our Favorite Drink: 3rd Street Chai

Innisfree Poetry Bookstore and Café: Innisfree combines a wide selection of flavorful blends, with daily poetry readings and book clubs. The atmosphere is upbeat and vibrant, providing a perfect home for studying students and poetry lovers alike. Peruse their selection of books while sipping some of their delectable, free-trade coffee.

Our Favorite Drink: Laté

Boulder has about one coffee shop to every two people. It’s a hard task to narrow it down to the best five, but the above cafés not only have winning drinks, but atmospheres to boot. Let us know what your favorite cafés are by commenting below or on our facebook.