For the two months that I lived in Colorado, I never had a single boring moment. Despite being a hardcore city girl, who has lived in a city as fast-paced as New York, the gentle pace of Colorado never bothered me. The place kept me on my toes with the endless possibilities for outdoor activities that it offered. Every other day I was out on a trail, running or biking, sometimes kayaking at a lake witnessing some of the best sunsets ever and at other times exploring the state or national parks around.
Here are some of my favorite weekend getaways around Denver.
Boulder was closer to my Airbnb which was a 30 minute drive from Denver downtown. Having a university in town really cranked up the crowd quotient of Boulder. The charming downtown was full of gourmet restaurants, fun bars, shopping districts and street entertainers. This was the first time I saw a Barber Shop Quartet sing. We celebrated our first wedding anniversary in Boulder so its a pretty special place for me.
2. Chautauqua Park
If you’re living in Boulder, Chautauqua Park is a stone’s throw away and a great place to go for a morning hike. When I visited this park, they had Free Park-to-Park shuttles running every weekend, which was an incentive to visit Chautauqua. I went hiking one Saturday early and hit a jackpot of amazing views from the top. For biking enthusiasts, I’d say rack up those bikes and get ’em to explore the trails in the park.
3. Rocky Mountain National Park
I can’t say enough good things about Rocky Mountain National Park. I’m a tree hugger and what better place to admire nature than a national park with endless lands full of trees. Serene landscapes in every direction you glance.
Despite reaching the park at 7am, we were stranded with no parking at a lot of trails. So either camp inside the park or reach before dawn to secure a parking. Pick your favorite trail and start exploring the park already! FYI, we carried about 7-8 litres of water to sustain us throughout the sunny day and rising altitudes.
4. El Dorado State Park
A gem of a park that is totally underrated I feel. Listen up all you mountain climbers, El Dorado is much less crowded than the other spots! I’ve never climbed mountains but I spotted a group staying in a tent suspended from a cliff in this park. How cool is that! Added it to my bucketlist. I could hardly believe this place was 10 minutes from my Airbnb and yet so secluded.
5. Garden of Gods Park
For all the folks looking for a fun day trip close to Colorado Springs, hit the Garden of Gods Park early on a weekend. Exploring the super cool ancient rock formations, spotting some rare birds (and snakes!) and taking in some insanely breathtaking views was the highlight of my hike in the park. Another place for mountain climbers to practice their sport. Be on the lookout for wildlife otherwise you blink and you miss.
6. Seven Falls
Have you ever seen a hiking trail on on top of a waterfall? Well, now you will. After walking over a mile from the entrance towards the falls and climbing a gazillion stairs to the top right from next to the waterfall, you “begin” your hike. During or after rains, the falls may be muddy but otherwise the vicinity is beautifully maintained. Only if I had a log cabin or cottage tucked in among the mountains, then I would heat it up with woodfire while smoke came out of the chimney and made every moment cozy.
Few more places to go that I haven’t been to but I would love to explore the next time:
Cheyenne Mountain State Park
Red Rock Canyons