Red Rocks, Hanging Lake, and Bishop Castle make this list of nearly 30 of Colorado's most beloved, unique and popular destinations.
Behold a scene like nothing else, taking place in the unassuming San Luis Valley: towering sand dunes flanked by forest and the Sangre de Cristo Mountains.
Jim Bishop and his castle are the definition of "Colorful Colorado." Bishop, a lifelong Pueblo resident, acquired property off Colorado 165 as a teen in 1969 and used it to turn a dream into reality. The glass and stone structure has achieved national fame. A dragon head is at the center of soaring towers, which are connected by walkways that are not for the faint of heart. As much as the kids will love the free attraction, cover their ears if Bishop is around and on one of his profane rants.
It's that family fun place everyone has to visit at least once. Casa Bonita is a big, pink, Southwestern fun center with cliff divers, waterfall and, arcade. At the table, push up the flag to get ,pre sopapillas, the only edible thing on the menu. This 40-year eatery is the quirky site of this season's NFL draft for the Broncos. 6715 W. Colfax Ave., Lakewood, 303-232-5115, casabonitadenver.com.
You have to see the bridge to believe it, and it’s hard to miss the vast and beautifully engineered structure stretching across the gaping yawn of Fremont County’s Royal Gorge.
Get your “City Slickers” fix at one of Colorado’s oldest ranches, Bear Basin Packtrips in Westcliffe. Set in the picturesque Wet Mountains, with gorgeous views of the Sangre de Cristos, this 1890s ranch offers full- and part-day horse rides with picnics as well as one-day fishing trips.
Near Nederland rests the Caribou Ranch recording studio, once used by Elton John, Michael Jackson, U2, Billy Joel, Beach Boys and others. The ranch is closed through June 30 to protect migrating birds and calving elk, but it boasts plenty of beautiful trails, forests, meadows, wetlands and a historical mining complex to explore during the rest of the summer.
The Anasazi Indians lived here more than 10,000 years, dating back to the 10th century. At the Canyons of the Ancients National Monument, you can find about 30,000 archaeological sites - villages, field houses, reservoirs, great kivas, cliff dwellings, shrines, sacred springs, sweat lodges and more.
Soak or steam all your cares away in the healing waters of Glenwood Springs. Perhaps the most unusual are found in the Hot Springs Vapor Caves, with a history dating back hundreds of years to the Ute Indians. The mineral waters flow through subterranean cave floors, turning them into natural saunas.
Colorado's crown jewel, Rocky Mountain State Park is a go-to destination for natives and a bucket list item for visitors. One would need multiple lifetimes to fully explore Rocky Mountain National Park, but for Coloradans, the pleasure is in trying.
Fir Summit Amphitheater, a solar-powered stage, perches atop La Veta Pass, only accessible via the Rio Grande Scenic Railroad out of Alamosa.
Take a step back in time and onto a locomotive to explore 45 miles of railway on the Durango & Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad.
The working Chico Basin Ranch southeast of Colorado Springs in Peyton has country music concerts to benefit its education program. Visitors can arrive early, find a spot to camp and explore the dusty prairie life with its cowboys, cattle, horses, pronghorn and more. Then settle in for music, food and a late-night jam session around the campfire.