Colorado is today one of the favorite destinations for travelers from all over the world: since the recent legalization of marijuana – in January 2014 – tourism has greatly increased, leading to the spread of travel agencies specializing in cannabis-tour. Its medical benefits and the need to stop the illegal trade are the two factors that convinced the Government to legalize cannabis for recreational purposes (not only for medical use) as well.
And yet Colorado is not only a good destination for people in search of soft drugs: it also offers many possibilities and options for those who like to mix culture, sport, nature and entertainment, thanks to its several attractions for young people, families, students and pensioners too!
The U.S. state of Colorado is part of the Western United States, the Southwestern United States, and the Mountain States; it borders with Wyoming, Nebraska, Kansas, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Utah and Arizona. In Colorado’s territories you can plunge yourself in the art, go for long bike rides, enjoy the natural sceneries and the Wild West atmosphere surrounded by an uncommon variety of colors.
Here is a list of the most fascinating places to visit in Colorado.
The cosmopolitan city of Denver, the capital and the place with the highest density of population, is full of museums and art galleries. Its hold town consists of buildings dating from the late nineteenth century, while in the suburbs you can observe most modern architectures, many of them surrounded by large green spaces, flowery front gardens and big, shady trees. Some of the main neighborhoods you should not miss are Capitol Hill, Highlands, Baker, Berkeley, Uptown, Sloan’s Lake, Cheesman…
If you like skiing or if your core aspiration is to meet some celebrities of glossy magazines, you should spend some time in Aspen. The city can be a shopping heaven (surely for the rich people): every kind of shop or boutique offer every sort of antiques, jewelry, furniture, fine art, home furnishings, fashion clothing, specialty gifts and souvenirs. People can spend time just cruising the streets, shopping, and checking out sales. Aspen offers a high number of adventurers to endless trails to climb, hike or bike, outdoor concerts, water sports and cultural pursuits.
3) Colorado Springs
Colorado Springs is a modern urban center, with many parks, bike trails, urban green spaces, businesses and shopping malls, theaters and other entertainment places. It is one of the most remarkable cities of Colorado selected by tourists for holidays, thanks to its several area attractions, family itineraries, educational and cultural activities, museums, parks, a zoo and more. In Colorado Springs you can fly by canyons, valleys, forests, and mountain tops in a hot air balloon, or visit the city aboard a segway!
Durango is one of the most scenic towns in the United States and offers fine restaurants, shopping, live entertainment and outdoor activities. This city is popular for its wildlife above all. Here visitors may have horse rides or pick a ride in the historical steam train: the course lasts a few hours and unfolds in a wonderful canyon in the mountains. The railway climbs mountains along overhangs overlooking the river that carved the canyon.
5) Denver Art Museum
For art lovers, the Denver Art Museum is one of the most important places to see: founded in 1893 in the center of the city, the Denver Art Museum is one of the biggest art museums of the West Coast, with a collection of more than 70,000 works of art divided in 10 permanent collections including African, American Indian, Asian, European and American, modern and contemporary, pre-Columbian, photography, Spanish Colonial, textile, and western American art. The whole museum complex amounts to 356,000 square feet, divided between North Building Frederic C. Hamilton Building.
6) Museum of Western Colorado
If your children and you are fascinated by the history of dinosaurs, you must see the largest multi-disciplinary museum between Salt Lake City and Denver: Museum of Western Colorado. It is located in Grand Junction, Mesa County, and offers a large number of programs featuring dinosaur expeditions, extensive educational and historic trips and tours. People can see real bones of prehistoric animals, fossils, gnashing robotic dinosaurs, but also photographs, original manuscripts, maps, city directories, rare books and so on.
7) United States Mint
In Denver you can also enjoy a tour in one of the main administrative centers of United States Mint, which manufactures all denominations of circulating coins, coin dies, gold and silver bullion and commemorative coins. This structure has an Italian Renaissance style and it was built after the discovery of gold in Colorado and when hundreds of merchants and miners moved in, in search of fortune. A free guided tour in U.S. Mint takes about 45 minutes: visitors can learn about history and production processes, and buy some unique gifts in the shop inside the facility.
8) Rocky Mountain National Park
The Rocky Mountain National Park consists of 359 miles of hiking trails, 150 lakes, 60 mountains taller than 12,000 feet populated by elks, mountain lions, bobcats, eagles, marmots, squirrels and – in the park’s lower forests – some black bears too. The park is about an hour and a half from Denver and it is considered as the most attractive adventure destinations of U.S. states.
National Geographic named it among the New Year’s must-see places of 2014.
9) Mesa Verde National Park
Located in Montezuma County, Mesa Verde National Park is another large green area that occupies 81,4 square miles and protects about 5,000 most notable and best preserved archeological sites, including 600 cliff dwellings, which are structures built inside the caves and under outcroppings in cliffs. Mesa Verde is a World Cultural Heritage Park, a designation granted by UNESCO. Visitors can walk, hike and climb, drive, or take a bus tour through the area.
10) Great Sand Dunes National Park
It is the largest dune park in the United States: it is worth to visit this national park located in southern Colorado, with snow-capped rocks immediately behind. Tourists can climb the highest dune in just half an hour, and board through sand, an amazing experience. There are also countless tales related to Sand Dunes Park about strange and unusual paranormal phenomenon, such as ghosts to dancing balls of unexplainable light and energy.