Believe it or not, Christmas Day has come and gone, and it is time to begin taking down decor, secretly returning the gifts we don’t like, and working extra hours to pay off all of the debt we racked up this holiday season. If you are feeling down about the ending of this most wonderful time of the year, let us begin making plans for the next big thing, like visiting these 24 epic Colorado places in 2017:
We’re aware that these uncertain times are limiting many aspects of life. While we continue to feature destinations that make our state wonderful, please take proper precautions or add them to your bucket list to see at a later date. If you know of a local business that could use some extra support during these times, please nominate them here:
1. Highland Haven Creekside Inn TreeHouse (Evergreen)
Remember that epic tree house you had as a kid? Yeah, it has nothing on the Highland Haven TreeHouse, which features an iron-and-stone fireplace, chandeliers, and an oh-so luxurious “champagne bubble” jacuzzi.
2. Biju’s Little Curry Shop (Denver)
Who would have thought that a little brick and mortar storefront in RiNo would have some of the best Indian food outside of... well, India!
3. Blue Lakes (Mt. Sneffels Wilderness)
The vibrant blues of the water and greens of the trees may look like something out of a gorgeous watercolor painting, but they are indeed real life! Visit this hidden San Juan Mountain gem to experience it for yourself.
4. King Chef Diner (Colorado Springs)
Are you the kind of person who craves green chili morning, noon, and night? If so, you're in luck, as the King's Chef Diner (E. Bijou Street location) serves it for breakfast, lunch, dinner, and even as a midnight snack on Fridays and Saturdays!
5. Copper Mountain Ski Resort Tubing Hill (Copper Mountain)
Alright thrill seekers; this one's for you! (Some of) Copper's tubing hills not only feature deeper slopes and faster speeds, but sharp turns and jumps as well! Not in the mood for a high-adrenaline ride? Not a problem, as Copper offers more family-friendly hills as well.
6. Solos Restaurant (Colorado Springs)
How many people can say they've dined in a historic Boeing KC-97 tanker? Make your reservations at Solos (AKA the Airplane Restaurant) and acquire bragging rights for life!
7. Mount Falcon Park (Morrison)
Castle walls built for a king (or at least the POTUS, as was originally intended by builder John Brisben Walker). Sadly, these early 20th-century dreams never came to surface, and all that remains are these ruins at Mount Falcon Park.
8. Denver Biscuit Company (Denver)
Three words: Strawberry. Shortcake. Biscuits. (If fresh whipped cream and strawberries aren't your thing, don't worry; DBC also offers a variety of savory options atop their warm, flaky biscuits!)
9. Hyatt Regency Denver at Peaks Lounge (Denver)
After your Strawberry Shortcake Biscuits from the DBC, take a nap and grab a drink at Peaks Lounge, which is situated on the 27th floor of the ritzy Hyatt Regency Denver.
10. Skull Creek Greek (Steamboat Springs)
Not only is Greek food filling, it also tastes great! Get your fix at this fun and affordable Steamboat favorite.
11. Grand Lake
It's no secret that Colorado is home to dozens of scenic mountain towns... so why Grand Lake? For starters, it is WAY less crowded than the more well-known tourist areas and there is no shortage of shopping, dining, and sightseeing to do around this charming community.
12. Jenny's Mexican Food (Limon)
Next time you're traveling east on I-70, don't stop at a boring fast-food joint. Stop at Jenny's for the BEST homemade chips and salsa you will ever taste.
13. Mueller State Park
With more than 5,000 acres of varying ecosystems, wildlife and plant-life, Mueller is a one-stop shop for all things Colorado. Do you enjoy a forest setting? Mueller has it. Or do you find yourself more partial to a green and grassy meadow? Mueller has that, too. Valleys full of wildflowers? They got ’em. In addition to these glorious landscapes, Mueller State Park is also home to 55 miles of hiking and biking trails, unique lodging opportunities and even Geocaching.
14. Meat & Cheese Restaurant and Farm Shop (Aspen)
Want a recommendation? Order the famous Meat & Cheese Board ("Our selection of four cured meats & four cheeses served w/ the perfect accouterments")!
15. Conundrum Hot Springs (Aspen)
AHH… Welcome to Conundrum Hot Springs, AKA Heaven on Earth. The natural infinity pools offer warm, relaxing waters, as well as some of the most incredible views you have ever encountered. The trip to the Springs may seem like a long, somewhat treacherous one, but soaking in the waters of this paradise pool is something that everyone should try at least once.
16. Buckhorn Exchange (Denver)
How many restaurants can say they've been around since 1893 AND have served five sitting presidents (Theodore Roosevelt, Franklin Roosevelt, Dwight Eisenhower, Jimmy Carter and, Ronald Reagan)? The oldest restaurant in Denver can!
17. Mesa Verde National Park (Montezuma County)
Originally built sometime around 650 AD, Mesa Verde National Park features more than 4,300 sites (including 600 cliff dwellings) and is considered to be one of the best preserved Ancestral Puebloan archeological sites in the country. The designated Park was created by President Theodore Roosevelt in 1906 and earned a spot on the U.S. National Register of Historic Places in 1966.
18. Lil's Sushi Bar & Grill (Crested Butte)
Happy Hour isn't only about cheap drinks at Lil's. You can score the famous House Roll (or several others) for $10 or less. (Happy Hour takes place every night from 5:30-6:30.)
19. Paradise Cove (Guffey)
This summer, make plans to leap into the epic (and popular) swimming hole located just outside of the small town of Guffey.
20. Island Grill (Frisco)
After a long day on Lake Dillon, there is no better way to unwind than by ordering fish tacos at the Island Grill at Frisco Bay.
21. Dunton Hot Springs (Dunton)
Beautifully restored log cabins. Glamorous decor and furnishings. Fine dining and spa treatments. The very definition of glamping can be found at the stunning Dunton Hot Springs, which is located just across the mountain from Telluride.
22. Boathouse Cantina (Salida)
When it comes to fresh Mexican fare served in a fun and hip atmosphere, there is no topping this Boathouse! (The piece de resistance? The close proximity to the mighty Arkansas River.)
23. Garden of the Gods (Colorado Springs)
The Garden of the Gods isn't your typical garden. In fact, these red rock formations are comprised of deposited red, pink and white sandstone, conglomerate, and limestone that were created millions of years ago during a geological upheaval.
24. Lindenmeier Site (Wellington)
Located in Larimer County, the Lindenmeier Site is said to contain the most Folsom cultures (with a radiocarbon date of 10,600 to 10,720 B.P.) ever found. In addition to the artifacts from the Paleo-Indian culture, researchers have also discovered a stunning collection of Archaic and Late pre-historic period pieces.