Popular with outdoor enthusiasts around the United States, Colorado is one of the hottest travel destinations in the 21st-century. Picture rugged mountains, isolated Colorado cabin rentals, lakes, skiing and cosmopolitan cities and you can start to appreciate the factors driving this boom in tourism. But most visitors don’t want to visit the Centennial State and feel like an outsider. Here are a few tips on how to enjoy Colorado.
Why Put Colorado on the Bucket List?
The biggest appeal is the diversity in activities from visiting museums and relaxing in one of Denver’s cafés to climbing one of the dozens of mountains over 4000 metres above sea level. With big cities, an abundance of outdoor activities, deserts, national parks and lakes, Colorado has it all. Regardless of your interests and budget, you’re sure to find something to do on your trip to this American State. Just take the time to research your options and plan your holiday to get the most out of your trip to Colorado.
Where to Visit in Colorado
Almost all tourists will spend some time in Denver, the state capital. The airport receives domestic flights from all around the United States as well as several international ones. The city is a favorite spot to spend a few days for first-time visitors to the state. Denver’s famous bustle, baseball and shopping along 16th Street Mall aren’t to be missed. There are also several museums, local restaurants, art galleries and parks. It’s easy to get the local experience in Denver, and you can also take the chance to mingle with the city’s friendly and approachable residents.
The types of activities vary depending on the time of year and season. In the spring and early fall, tourists often flock to the national parks such as the Rocky Mountain National Park, the Great Sand Dunes and Mesa Verde. Other outdoor activities range from hiking and mountain biking to white water rafting, fishing and canoeing. Head to Colorado in spring or fall to experience some of the United States’s most spectacular scenery. Spring’s blooming flowers fill the streets with color, and the onset of fall transforms the Rocky Mountains into a blanket of orange and yellow. Both natural events are a photographers dream come true.
Travel in the winter and visitors can experience world-class skiing. The best spots are at either Breckenridge or Aspen. A top tip for those who want to hit the slopes is to plan your trip months in advance. Regular discounts and promotions on accommodation, packages and tickets are available for the savvy and those who are patient.
For the real local experience, rent a car and drive. Not only will you have the chance to see more of the state at your own pace, but it also gives you the freedom and flexible the adventurous crave. From cruising along desert roads to following the hairpin bends of the mountains, driving through Colorado is a fun activity. Some people rent a car as soon as they land at the airport while others will get one from Denver after spending a few days in the city. It might also be good to travel with others to split the driving and fuel costs. If you want to visit the national parks and experience the outdoors, having your own set of wheels is essential.
For those who don’t want to drive, Colorado’s public transport covers large areas of the state and are reasonably reliable. Cities have regional buses and light rails which can get you from one attraction to the next. Daily buses also leave from the capital to other cities including Colorado Springs, Fort Collins and Boulder. Some of the ski resorts are also accessible by public transport, which might be advisable for those unfamiliar with driving in snowy and icy conditions.
How to Get Value for Money in Colorado
No self-respecting resident of Colorado will burn their money in the local tourist traps. Instead, they know the best places to go to keep the cash in their wallet for much longer. If you have a local contact, ask them for their recommendations on where to get the best meals. Happy Hour Meal promotions and lunch-sets are a popular way the locals dine in the larger cities. It’s also a good idea to read online reviews by other American tourists to find out where to visit and the places to avoid. Domestic visitors have a better idea of what’s considered good value compared to those from overseas.
Choosing the time of year to visit can also cut the costs significantly. As with most places around the world, the low season comes with reduced accommodation costs. The rustic cabin in the Rocky Mountains suddenly becomes 50% less in the fall compared to spring. Know what kind of activities you want to do and try to visit off-season, and you’re sure to get more value for your buck. There are several free attractions throughout Colorado State too. And some of the best experiences are indeed free. Hiking along trails or having a picnic near one of the many lakes might imprint longer-lasting memories than renting an overpriced jet ski for an hour or two. Ask a local to recommend their favorite experience rather than relying on the opinions of international tourists.
Having an Unforgettable Trip
Colorado rates as one of the best places to travel in the United States for both domestic and overseas visitors. If you decide to visit, enjoy the incredible landscapes and rent a car to explore on your own terms. Make the most of Happy Hour Meal deals and tap locals for information on the best free spots to visit.