A 3-day weekend is upon us… let us rejoice and take full advantage! If you are planning to stick around Colorado this Memorial Day and are looking for something to do, take our advice and partake in one of these 11 epic day trips that you will never forget:
We’re aware that these uncertain times are limiting many aspects of life as we all practice social and physical distancing. While we’re continuing to feature destinations that make our state wonderful, we don’t expect or encourage you to go check them out immediately. We believe that supporting local attractions is important now more than ever and we hope our articles inspire your future adventures! And on that note, please nominate your favorite local business that could use some love right now:
San Juan Mountain Blue Lakes
If you have never seen these magnificent pools of blue before, you’re not alone; the lakes can only be accessed via an 11-mile hike (round trip) through the rough and bumpy mountains. However, if you are up for the walk, the end goal is well worth it. (Are you seeing these pristine, turquoise waters?)
Royal Gorge Bridge (Canon City)
Built in 1929, the 1,260 foot long, 18 foot wide bridge was built within a six month period as an intended tourist attraction. This 1,292 planked wonder can hold numerous pedestrians at a time and is truly a Colorado rite-of-passage that must be experienced once.
Strawberry Park Hot Springs (Steamboat Springs)
Located just outside of the popular Steamboat Springs, Strawberry Park features several stream-fed soaking pools that vary in temperature from 101 to 106 degrees Fahrenheit. No matter the time of year, you are guaranteed a relaxing and well-deserved break at this incredible resort!
Chimney Rock National Monument (Archuleta County)
Located in the scenic San Juan National Forest, Chimney Rock is a massive 4,726-acre national monument that features not only the beautiful colors you would come to expect from the San Juans, but also Ancestral Puebloan sites from some odd 1,000 years ago. (Please note: Since the area is highly protected, it is only accessible via guided tours.)
Denver Botanic Gardens (Denver)
Quite possibly the most tranquil spot (with the most recognizable garden) in the Mile High City, the Botanic Gardens are home to 24 acres of flourishing gardens, special events, and concerts. (P.S. If you think they look spectacular in the spring, wait until you see them all lit up at Christmas!)
Old Town Museum (Burlington)
Situated near the Colorado/Kansas border lies the small town of Burlington, which boasts such family-friendly activities as their turn-of-the century Old Town (complete with 21 fully restored buildings, working soda fountain, shops, and can-can dancers) and stunning Philadelphia Toboggan Company Carousel #6.
One of Colorado's most famous and well-preserved mining towns is that of St. Elmo: a now ghost town that continues to intrigue and excite anyone who visits. During the 1890s, St. Elmo was seemingly unstoppable, continually welcoming new families to the area as well as an array of (once) thriving businesses. Sadly, as quickly as the town grew, it diminished, even losing its post office in the early 1950s.
Garden of the Gods (Colorado Springs)
With its winding, scenic and unforgettable trails, the Garden of the Gods may just have the best hike in the entire state. Offering both short beginner (like the Perkins Central Garden Trail, which features a short, 1 1/2 mile trek through the heart of the formations) and moderate hikes (the Chambers/Bretag/Palmer Trail runs 3-miles around the main park and contains uneven, rocky paths), there is truly something for everyone at this Colorado gem.
Colorado Gators Reptile Park (Mosca)
Want something to brag about when you go back to work next Tuesday? What if we told you that for a mere $100, you can wrestle an alligator at the Colorado Gators Reptile Park?! If wrestling a man-eating reptile isn't your cup of tea, you can also just check out the wide variety of both reptiles (including, of course, alligators, tortoises, snakes, iguanas, and much more) and birds at the sanctuary.
Cheyenne Mountain Zoo (Colorado Springs)
Coming in at #6 on USA Today’s 10 Best Zoos competition (2017), Cheyenne Mountain Zoo is a multi-award winning zoo that allows guests the opportunity to see (and feed) exotic animals via their African Rift Valley, Aquatics, and Rocky Mountain Wild exhibits. In addition to "just" the animals, Cheyenne Mountain Zoo also houses a number of other various attractions like carousel rides, the Will Rogers Shrine of the Sun, Mountaineer Sky Ride, and numerous classes and special events.
No matter your interest, you are sure to find it here in this Western Slope town! Do you crave fresh produce and exciting farmer's markets? Palisade's got it. Locally produced wines? Sip, sip, hooray; this is Colorado wine country, baby! Hiking with a jaw-dropping view? Let's just say that you haven't seen ANYTHING until you have seen the view from the Mount Garfield Trail!
Who will you be taking with you on your epic day trip? Let them know by tagging them in the comments!