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Top Ten Destination Spots in Colorado

Updated on October 22, 2015

10. Old Hundred Gold Mine

This historic mine is no longer mined however; it is now a popular museum which offers tours of the mine while riding in mine carts.

The first claim staked at Old Hundred Mine was in 1872 and the land was also home to a cliff dwellers boarding house which was built on the edge of Galena Mountain and gave shelter to forty men. During this tour you will learn about the mine and the cliff dwellers building located on Galena Mountain.

After the tour there are panning opportunities which give you the chance to pan for gold, silver and other gem stones. There is also a gift shop and a covered picnic area.

There are different tour packages available through San Juan Back Country Tours. This tour company offers train and shuttle rides to the mine and also includes a box lunch. This will give you the opportunity to see the beauty of Colorado and to see great views of the terrain near Silverton Colorado.

Old Hundred Gold Mine

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9. Ute Indian Museum

Located in Montrose, Colorado, The Ute Indian Museum is dedicated to the Ute Tribe and houses many artifacts.

This museum covers the history of the Ute people. built in 1850, the grounds this museum sits on belonged to Chief Ouray and his wife Chipeta.

The Ute Indian Museum includes a visitor center and offers a variety of different exhibits.You will also see artists, craftsman and performers.

The walking paths and picnic spots give an opportunity to view the grounds and get a look at the land; or get outside for a bite to eat and some fresh air at the picnic area.

Explore the land where the Spanish Conquistadors traveled through in 1776. The Spanish Conquistadors Memorial is also housed on these grounds.

While living in Colorado, Chief Ouray spoke with congress in attempt to stay in Colorado and make peace with the white man. Unfortunately Chief Ouray and the Ute people were forced to leave colorado and pushed into what is known as Utah today.

Chief Ouray and his Wife Chipeta

History of Ute Indians in Southern Colorado

8. Vail

The city of Vail is centered around the Vail Ski Resort which is the second largest ski mountain in the United States and is definitely one of the more popular skiing locations.

Nestled in the Colorado Rockies, Vail is a great city that offers more than just skiing. Vail Square is a nice area that has a quaint ice skating rink to skate on. Those who cannot skate have the option to take some lessons from an instructor.

The Betty Ford Alpine Gardens are beautiful botanical gardens in which have been named after first lady, Betty Ford. President Ford and Betty Ford both visited Vail regularly and Mrs. Ford was in awe as she walked through gardens. These gardens are the highest gardens in the world due to the elevation of Vale. With over 2,000 different plants and 5,000 different varieties of flowers and alpine plants, this garden is full of beauty and the amount of flowers are abundant.

Vail has a variety of activities and entertainment lined up all year round. Enjoy the summer concerts and festivals as well as the many spas located in Vail.

Some of the popular recreational activities include; skiing, hiking, biking, snowboarding and even golf. The White River is close by and is a great place to go river rafting.

The White River National Park is the perfect place to take in the views from the overlooks and trails in the park.

Vail has a free bus system making it hassle free to get around to different shops and boutiques as well as restaurants and lodging.

Vale Colorado

Vail Street View

Betty Ford Alpine Gardens

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7. Leadville Colorado & Southern Railroad Co.

Don’t miss out on two and a half hours of site seeing and history while aboard a train. This breathtaking tour offers many photo opportunities and if you forget your camera, you might regret it.

The Leadville Colorado & Southern Railroad Co. takes you through the San Isabel National Forest and will take you passed some homes that were the homes of some people we might have heard of. Molly Brown and Doc Holiday are just two of them.

You will see great views of Freemont Pass as well as the two tallest peaks in Colorado; Mount Massive and Mount Elbert.

A great tour to take is the Browne Canyon Rafting Tour. This tour offers a day of fun and sightseeing. First you will go on a river rafting trip which last approximately two hours. You will then be given a box lunch once you have reached the train station and then climb aboard the train and continue on to soak in the gorgeous views.

This part of Colorado can get chilly in the fall and a jacket is a necessity while visiting here.

Leadville Colorado & Southern Railroad Co.

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San Isabel National Forest

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6. Garden of the Gods

Not far from Colorado Springs is a land full of majestic red rock formations. Garden of the Gods is not only a beautiful site, there has also been evidence showing that Native American tribes visited Garden of the Gods in approximately 1330 BC.

Hiking, mountain biking and horseback riding are popular activities for this area, but rock climbers from all over are drawn to Garden of the Gods.

Fifteen miles of trails are located here as well as a paved trail that is wheelchair accessible. The visitor center and Nature Center offer thirty educational exhibits and some include national history exhibits giving you the option to learn about the geology, minerals, plants and wildlife in the area.

Garden of the Gods has many options available for lodging. Cottages, RV sites, campgrounds, bunkhouses and suites are just some of the lodging available around Garden of the Gods.

Don’t forget to drop into Garden Studios to get fantastic views of Pikes Peak.

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Garden of the Gods

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5. Hot Air Balloon Rides

Hot air balloon rides are very popular in Colorado and many hot air balloon companies are available.

Colorado Hot Air Balloon Rides is a great place to get your ride. Featured on the today show, Colorado Hot Air Balloon Rides will give you views over South Park Valley, The Continental Divide, Mosquito Range, the Sangre De Cristo Mountains and more.

Fairwinds is another place to go to for a hot air balloon ride. Located near Denver and Estes Park, Fairwinds offers outstanding views of the land as well as the Colorado wildlife. Included with this ride is; a bottle of champagne or sparkling cider, a continental breakfast, a t-shirt and pin, and you will leave with a flight certificate with your photo on it.

Steamboat Springs is also a great place to go on a hot air balloon ride.

Hot Air Balloon in Colorado Springs

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Colorado is a popular place for hot air balloon rides

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4. Denver

Denver is the capital of Colorado and the largest city in the state. There are many things to do in this gorgeous city and here are some of them.

A piece of history is the Buffalo Bill Museum and Grave. The museum holds many artifacts involving Buffalo Bill which includes firearms and other memorabilia from his life.

There are also many brewery tours in Denver and is often called the Napa Valley of beer. Most of these breweries offer tours and taste tests.

There are amusement parks in Denver and two of them are Lakeside Amusement Park and Elitch Gardens which use to be Six Flags. There is also a waterpark located at Elitch Gardens.

The Denver Zoo, Downtown Aquarium and Denver Botanical Gardens are all popular attractions to see in Denver. There are also a number of museums to choose from as well. There are many opportunities for sports and recreation as well as spas to pamper yourself at. Denver has a couple historical hotels in the area along with some gorgeous homes. The US Mint offers free tours. On this tour you will learn how money is made.

There are places to shop, dine and sleep. One of the best places to shop at is the 16th Street Mall which is an indoor/outdoor mall.

Between the history and the entertainment, you are bound to have a great time in Denver.

Denver Botanical Gardens

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Buffalo Bill Grave Site

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Denver

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3. Red Rocks Park and Amphitheater

The Red Rocks Amphitheater is located in Red Rocks Park and has a stage set up in front of a big red rock formation with formations along the side of the stage as well. This formation is a backdrop to the stage which makes it a beautiful place for a venue.

Opened in 1941, many bands have played at the Red Rocks including; The Beatles in 1964 and U2 in 1983. Jimi Hendrix also played there in 1968.

The Red Rock Amphitheater has more recently been an attraction to the Jam band genre and Widespread Panic has played there more than any other band.

Red Rocks Park houses many trails to hike on along with bike trails. There are also picnic areas and even a place to grab something to eat. The Shiprock Grille is a popular eatery in the area.

Red Rocks Park is also home to plants, birds and animals which give you the opportunity to appreciate the nature at Red Rocks.

Tours are available as well as “Yoga on Redrocks”. There will be many photo opportunities so don’t forget to bring your camera.

Red Rocks Park

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Red Rocks Amphitheater

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2. Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park and Historic Fairy Caves

Located on the side of Iron Mountain, Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park and Historic Fairy Caves is a great place to go. The thrill rides will send you out over the edge looking down at the Colorado River.

The Giant Canyon Swing is one of them. This swing launches you over the cliff and 1,300 feet above the Colorado River.

The Cliff Hanger is another ride located at this unique amusement park and is the highest elevation coaster in the United States. A popular attraction at Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park is the Alpine Coaster where you control the speed.

Join in on laser tag, the maze, a 4D movie and the opportunity to pan for gemstones. A couple of the eateries are the Snack Shack and the Lookout Grill, which has good reviews.

The Historic Fairy Caves are full of stalagmites and stalactites along with cave bacon and other unique formations.

Fairy Caves

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The Giant Swing at Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park

1. The Rockies

The Rocky Mountains offer spectacular views of high mountain peaks, lakes, forests, wild life and the Colorado River.

There are more than 350 miles of hiking trails in the Rocky Mountains and one of the most popular areas is Trail Ridge Road. The scenery is to die for and is perfect to photograph. The Rockies are loaded with lakes and Bear Lake is always a great choice to visit.

Not far from Denver is Estes Park which is which the headquarters for the Rocky Mountains. Estes Park is overlooked by the Stanley Hotel which is the hotel that inspired Stephen King to write the book, “The Shining.” This hotel opened on July 4th 1909 and has rumors of being haunted.

The Rockies are great for backpacking, camping, fishing and waterfalls. The wildlife is abundant which include; elk, big horn sheep, moose and birds. You might even see a bear.

Bear Lake

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The Stanley Hotel

A road map to help you get around Colorado

show route and directions
A markerOld Hundred Gold Mine -
Old Hundred Gold Mine Tour, 721 County Road 4, Silverton, CO 81433, USA
get directions

B markerUte Indian Museum -
Ute Indian Museum, 17253 Chipeta Drive, Montrose, CO 81403, USA
get directions

C markerVail -
Vail, CO, USA
get directions

D markerGarden of the Gods -
Garden of the Gods, 1805 North 30th Street, Colorado Springs, CO 80904, USA
get directions

E markerDenver -
Denver, CO, USA
get directions

F markerRed Rocks Park -
Red Rocks Park, Colorado 80401, USA
get directions

G markerGlenwood Caverns Adventure Park -
Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park, 51000 Two Rivers Plaza Road, Glenwood Springs, CO 81601, USA
get directions

H markerThe Rocky Mountains -
Rocky Mountains, San Isabel National Forest, Colorado 81211, USA
get directions

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    • epbooks profile image

      Elizabeth Parker 4 years ago from Las Vegas, NV

      Awesome! Another DMB fan. That is a good one. Hard to pick a favorite but I love 41 still!

    • April Dawn Meyer profile image
      Author

      April Dawn Meyer 4 years ago from Belle Fourche, South Dakota

      Love DMB :) Rapunzel is my favorite by them. Hopefully you can see them there someday :)

    • epbooks profile image

      Elizabeth Parker 4 years ago from Las Vegas, NV

      Dave Matthews. I have their CD from when they played there, but I never actually went to that show.

    • April Dawn Meyer profile image
      Author

      April Dawn Meyer 4 years ago from Belle Fourche, South Dakota

      Thanks for commenting and reading. Who is your favorite band? :)

    • epbooks profile image

      Elizabeth Parker 4 years ago from Las Vegas, NV

      My sister used to live in Colorado so I did get to see Garden of the Gods which was absolutely beautiful. I also loved Pikes Peak and Royal Gorge. Haven't been to a venue at Red Rocks (yet) but my favorite band plays there. One day I hope to visit again! Great hub!

    • April Dawn Meyer profile image
      Author

      April Dawn Meyer 4 years ago from Belle Fourche, South Dakota

      I am glad that you had the opportunity to see some of Colorado. The mountains are so majestic are breathtaking. Have a great trip when you go back :) Thanks for reading.

    • Mel Carriere profile image

      Mel Carriere 4 years ago from San Diego California

      Next time I go visit my mother in Fort Collins I'll have my sightseeing list ready, thanks to you. I've been to the Stanley Hotel and to Leadville but I've never taken a ride on the train there, which I hope to you. Beautiful area, with Mt. Elbert dominating the background. Took a drive to Aspen through there one year, which did not make your list, but you can't put in everything can you? Great travel hub!

    • April Dawn Meyer profile image
      Author

      April Dawn Meyer 4 years ago from Belle Fourche, South Dakota

      Thank you so much for the nice compliments :)

    • ameliam.michelle1 profile image

      Ameliam Michelle 4 years ago from London, England

      Garden of the gods simply blew me away April, would definitely visit them when I am in Colorado. But, it was fun exploring this place through your well-written hub, keep it up! And, whenever I am in Colorado, I would take you to guide me through the place! lol!

    • April Dawn Meyer profile image
      Author

      April Dawn Meyer 4 years ago from Belle Fourche, South Dakota

      Thank you :) I love Colorado. It is very serene :)

    • srsddn profile image

      srsddn 4 years ago from Dehra Dun, India

      aprildawnmeyer, Colrado seems to be a great place. Garden of the Gods looks majestic. Hot air balloon rides must be a great fun. Thanks for sharing.