Summer is here, and what better time than now to sit down and make your summer 2018 bucket list? While there is no shortage of places to visit around the Centennial State, we recommend starting with these 13 incredible destinations everyone in Colorado should visit this summer:
1. A concert (or film) on the Rocks (Morrison)
Whether you take in a live concert or a classic movie, there is nothing in this world quite like a night out at Red Rocks! The amphitheater is located at 18300 W Alameda Pkwy., Morrison, CO 80465.
2. Movie Manor (Monte Vista)
Located near the Great Sand Dunes in Monte Vista is the one-of-a-kind Best Western Movie Manor; a clean and comfortable motel that allows you to watch (and hear!) the newest of Hollywood blockbusters due to its close proximity to the Star Drive-In Theater. (If you would rather watch the movie in your car, you can do that too, though we recommend hitting up the concession stand and then kicking back in your comfy room!) Movie Manor is located at 2830 US Highway 160 W, Monte Vista, CO 81144.
3. Conundrum Hot Springs (Aspen)
In the past, admission to these unreal hot springs was a *mere* 8.5-mile hike, however, due to idiot visitors who have zero respect for nature, it now requires both
permission and a permit
, so be sure to get both before you head out to take a soak.
4. Maroon Bells (Aspen)
When you're near Aspen visiting Conundrum Hot Springs, why not check out what is considered to be the most picturesque spot in Colorado? We have said it before and we will say it again: you should experience the Bells in EVERY season, as they look completely different from summer to fall to winter to spring.
5. Manitou Incline (Manitou Springs)
Are you ready for one of the most difficult and butt-busting workouts of your life? Then you will love the 2,744-step Manitou Incline and its 2,000-foot elevation gain, which we recommend doing first thing in the morning before the blazing sun adds even more difficulty to the trek. (Bring water no matter when you embark!)
6. Santa's Workshop (Cascade)
Who says you can't celebrate Christmas year round? Opened in the summer of 1956, Santa's Workshop, North Pole is Colorado's go-to for not only visiting Jolly Old St. Nick, but also for shopping and riding some good, old-fashioned carnival rides. You'll find it at 5050 Pikes Peak Hwy., Cascade, CO 80809.
7. Beau Jo's (Idaho Springs)
Not all Beau Jo's are created equal! Sure, each one is home to delicious Colorado-style pizza, but only the original Idaho Springs located has delicious pizza AND a view! You'll find it at 1517 Miner St., Idaho Springs, CO 80452.
8. Fruit & Wine Byway (Palisade)
Isn’t the Western Slope amazing? Not only is this unique area home to canyons, plateaus, and prehistoric formations galore, but also the scenic Fruit & Wine Byway, which spans 25 glorious miles of wineries, lavender fields, and other jaw-dropping sights. You can find the byway map
9. Kit Carson County Carousel (Burlington)
Originally manufactured in 1905 for Elitch Gardens, the Philadelphia Toboggan Company Carousel #6 was sold to Kit Carson County in 1928 after Elitches acquired a more modern carousel. The best part? The carousel only costs a quarter per ride! You'll find it at 815 N 15 St., Burlington, CO 80807.
10. Get your melon fix in Rocky Ford.
When it comes to summer food, there is nothing quite as iconic or refreshing as a watermelon, and the best ones come from our very own Rocky Ford! Located in southeast Colorado, Rocky Ford has earned the title of "The Sweet Melon Capital of the World" and for this reason has become a summertime destination for foodies of all ages.
11. Limon Heritage Museum (Limon)
Quite possibly one of the biggest of hidden gems is the Limon Heritage Museum; a free museum with hands-on exhibits, real trains to explore, and gorgeous gardens to enjoy this lovely time of year. The museum is located at 701 1st St., Limon, CO 80828.
12. Shambhala Mountain Center (Red Feather Lakes)
Do you need to relax, meditate, and get your yoga on? If so, Shambhala Mountain Center is THE place for you! Spanning 600 acres of Roosevelt National Forest, Shambhala Mountain Center is a gorgeous outdoor retreat offering numerous classes, programs, and special events that you can enjoy all summer long. You'll find it at 151 Shambhala Way, Red Feather Lakes, CO 80545.
13. Colorado Gators and Reptile Park (Mosca)
"What did you do this summer?
"Oh, just the usual... I wrested a gator. It was nothing!"
If gator wrestling is a bit much for you, you can still visit the park's rescued tortoises, snakes, iguanas, and birds! You'll find it at 9162 W Co. Rd. 9 N, Mosca, CO 81146.
What else are you adding to your Summer 2018 bucket list? Let us know in the comments below so we can join in on the fun!