The calendar may claim that winter is still a few weeks away, but the weather outside begs to differ. That being said, get a head start on your winter (and beat the crowds!) by exploring these 14 Colorado locations:
1. Maroon Bells (Aspen)
Do yourself a favor and visit the Maroon Bells at least once during the winter, spring, summer and fall--it looks astoundingly different (and stunning) every single time.
2. Durango & Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad (Durango)
Hop aboard the Durango & Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad this winter, with non-stop service to the North Pole!
3. Ouray Ice Park (Ouray)
Sure, you've rock climbed and hiked around Ouray... but have you ever climbed one of their insane mountains made of pure ice?
4. Denver Christkindl Market (Denver)
Ring in the holiday season by visiting the annual Denver Christkindl Market, which features authentic German foods, drinks, and gifts you won't find anywhere else. (Except for maybe Germany!)
5. The Springs Resort & Spa (Pagosa Springs)
There is nothing in this world more heavenly than soaking your cares away in warm, therapeutic waters... The cold never bothered me anyway!
6. Black Hawk
Winning big money is even more fun amidst blankets of snow and thousands of Christmas lights!
7. Blue Mesa Reservoir (Gunnison)
Ice fish the largest body of water in Colorado for a variety of trout, salmon, and perch.
8. Botanic Gardens (Denver)
You haven't *really* seen the Denver Botanic Gardens until you've seen them decked out in thousands of twinkling lights! (But hurry to get there; the Blossoms of Light close January 2nd.)
9. Telluride/Mountain Village Gondola (Telluride)
Soar high above the snow covered earth in your very own gondola, with transportation between Telluride and Mountain Village via the San Juan Mountains. (It isn't referred to as “the best commute in the country” for nothing!)
10. Seven Falls (Colorado Springs)
Hike up an out-of-this-world, 1,250-foot-wall box canyon and experience what National Geographic calls an "international wonder."
11. Georgetown Christmas Market
Step back in time by visiting the 55th annual Georgetown Christmas Market. Enjoy roasted chestnuts, Victorian carolers, and horse-drawn wagon rides through Historic Georgetown. (Hurry; this event ends December 24th!)
12. Garden of the Gods (Colorado Springs)
The spectacular red rock formations look even more beautiful against a soft, white backdrop.
13. Paint Mines (Calhan)
"Oh the weather outside is frightful; but the subtle colors popping out from under the snow is so delightful!"
14. Denver Zoo (Denver)
Everyone who visits Zoo Lights LOVES the hundreds and thousands of sparkling lights and illuminated animal sculptures... and I can totally see why! (This seasonal event ends Janurary 3rd.)