My wife and I will be travelling to Colorado the first week of September. We have never been there and would like suggestions of things to do - if you had only 8 days to see everything, what would be on your "Do Not Miss" list?
Also, any suggestions for B&B's?
Lodo - Lower Downtown filled with cool restaurants and bars. Great place to go for night life.
The Fort - Up in the foothills it's a touristy restaurant, but the view down to Denver is amazing (especially at night) and the selection of "game" foods is really good. I had the game plate, with elk chop, teriyaki-style quail, and buffalo filet. Great if you are on the Atkins diet .
The art museum is pretty decent.
It's fun to climb up to the top of the capitol building - you'll be amazed at how winded you get. Plus you can get a picture of the 1 mile high plaque
Outside of Denver:
Boulder - a nice town. The pedestrian mall there makes for a good shopping day.
Breckenridge - quaint little ski town about 2 - 3 hours West of Denver. It feels more authentic than Vail or Aspen, though of course you are less likely to see any stars.
Garden of the Gods, Colorado Springs - you can walk and/or drive through the park. The rock formations are amazing. Colorado Springs is about 2 hours South of Denver.
Go hiking - you are in the outdoor capital of the U.S. Might as well put on some comfy shoes and go for a hike. I hiked around Jones Pass (it's somewhere around South Park).
If you are already in Denver, and like really tacky, touristy, melodramatic fun, then go to Casa Bonita mexican restaurant. The food is really bad, and the lines may be a little long to get in, but its a really fun, different place. I doubt anyone goes for the food. Try to get a seat near the water fall to see the divers. You can't begin to describe this place, other than just weird. Good way to spend an evening when it is too dark or late to do anything else, and you don't want to just sit in a hotel room.
Royal Gorge just outside Co Springs is spectacular. I skipped it the first few times I was in the area due to cost and the feeling it was just a tourist trap, but finally decided to go, and really enjoyed it.
The sand dunes in the southern part of CO are really interesting. Allow yourself enough time to climb them.
My very favorite place in that area is Mesa Verde (if you are not afraid of heights. You need a couple of days to do it right, but you can do it in less time. If you plan to go, try to get reservations in the park on top of the mesa...usually takes 6 mo, but they do have cancellations some times. The drives up and down are long, and staying on top saves lots of time, as well as its being beautiful up there. Check to see if reservations are needed to go into the special cliff dwellings...scary, but worth holding your breath for.
Pikes peak can offer spectacular views - long train ride to the top - or be a total bust. The last time I went up, it was sunny and clear when we boarded the train, and when we arrived at the top, visibility was about 20 feet so we sat for 30 minutes staring at the clouds around us, drinking hot chocolate and waiting for the train to take us back down.
Due to security, Norad may be closed in CO Springs, and it may be too late for reservations - required - but worth it for the scientific minded if you can get in.
Have a great trip.
If you get a chance or are in the area, try to check out Telluride Colorado or Uray Colorado. They are post card towns. If you want a GREAT place to ski, try Colorado. Its a well kept secret. My sister has lived there for 13 years and just loves it.
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