5 Must See Colorado Travel Destinations

Looking for a family-friendly destination that caters to outdoor enthusiasts and history buffs alike? Get ready to explore Colorado, home to some of the nation's finest--and funnest--experiences, and create some memories that will last a lifetime.

1. Go Play Outside!

Once host to miners and cattlemen alike, Colorado is rich in natural beauty and outdoor adventures. In the winter, visitors can enjoy such sports as snowmobiling, snowboarding, downhill skiing, snowshoeing, and cross-country skiing in the Rocky Mountains.

In the summer, those same slopes and wide-open vistas offer acre after acre of varied and hikeable terrain. One such location, the Rocky Mountain National Park (RMNP), provides 355 miles of hiking trails which wind through wildflower meadows, past alpine lakes, beneath snow-draped mountain peaks, and past the occasional wildlife sighting of elk, bighorn sheep, and black bear. Estes Park is your jump-off point to the RMNP.

World-class rafting experiences are available, too, and showcase the excitement of whitewater runs. Budding fishermen and photographers will also enjoy the rush of the Colorado outdoors.

2. Get a Mile High

Check out Denver, which happens to be not only Colorado's capital, but also the state's biggest city. Denver delivers a lot to its visitors, including history-rich neighborhoods, a vibrant downtown, a solid base of cultural experiences, and professional sports teams--namely the Denver Nuggets, Denver Broncos, and the Colorado Avalanche, Colorado Rapids, and Colorado Rockies. Visitors can indulge in such offerings as the Denver Museum of Nature & Science, the Denver Art Museum, the U.S. Mint, and the wide-ranging Denver Zoo.

3. Colorado Springs

Stop by Colorodo Springs, home to nearby Pikes Peak. Katharine Lee Bates was inspired to write "America the Beautiful" from its summit; you too can experience America's grandeur from Pikes Peak; take a drive or jump aboard a cog railroad to reach the top, reaching 14,115 feet tall; the brave can attempt it on foot.

Colorado Springs is also home to the nation's prestigious Air Force Academy, which offers tours of part of its campus, including the Honor Court and the Cadet Chapel.

Inspiration in Colorado Springs can also come in another form. Only one of three U.S. Olympic Training Centers is located here, and visitors are welcome to take a tour, and watch premier athletes at their training regimens.

Be sure to soak up the beauty of the Garden of the Gods, a Colorado Springs city park rich with red rock formations. Just remember to take your camera along.

4. Mesa Verde National Park

Get lost in the past at Mesa Verde National Park. Crafted by Ancestral Pueblo cliff dwellers more than 700 years ago, Mesa Verde highlights the struggles and accomplishments of a people who built communities and a way of life in a challenging environment. Mesa Verde offers a distinctive sense of place, showcasing dwellings sometimes hundreds of feet above ground. The park spans over 80 square miles, with much of it desert sandstone.

5. Mine for History in Leadville

As the leader of all mining regions in Colorado, Leadville produced immense wealth from minerals, starting in 1859 and continuing through today. Such legends as Molly Brown and Jesse James played a role in Leadville's history. This economy was so large that 3 different railroad companies operated lines through the district. Climb aboard a Leadville Colorado & Southern Railroad train for a relaxing ride through the Rockies.

This article was contributed by Limo Lane Denver limo rental and transportation services.

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