Colorful Colorado: we are big fans of your open spaces, your sunshine, all of your outdoor recreation and even your fickle weather.
Even though it would be nice to keep this state to ourselves, it seems the secret is out. Last year, Colorado had the fourth-highest population growth of any state, with a 1.59 percent gain. That’s 83,780 people!
A Colorado real estate firm, COListings specializes in understanding the local real estate market and helping many of those new residents buy a home in Colorado. We are also sellers’ agents, and can help sell your Colorado home. As Colorado realtors, we have seen a lot of this beautiful state. So we put together a list of 10 things we think every Coloradoan—new or native—should do in their lifetime.
1. Climb a 14er.
If you talk about 14ers to your friends back East, it’s likely you’ll be met with blank stares. Here, climbing one of these 14,000+ foot peaks is almost a right of passage.
Mount Bierstadt is great for beginners, with a wide trail that is easy to follow and mostly free of scree and boulder fields, until you reach the final crest. Or, knock out two with Grays and Torreys, both moderate and able to be done in a single day.
2. Check out a concert at Red Rocks.
There’s nothing like seeing your favorite band play Red Rocks, with the red, sandstone rock formations flanking the amphitheater, the moon hovering over the stage and the lights of Denver stretched out below. With shows from May until September, you have plenty of chances.
3. Take a soak in Strawberry Park Hot Springs.
Just outside Steamboat Springs, these mineral hot springs are up an unpaved, winding road, surrounded by trees and nestled along Hot Springs Creek. There are restrooms, a tipi, a picnic area and a heated cabin for changing, so you can pack a lunch and make a day of it.
4. Visit Great Sand Dunes National Park.
The park, which is in the San Luis Valley, is open 24 hours a day with camp grounds nearby, so you can climb at sunrise or even under the moonlit sky. If you reach the highest point, the top of Star Dune at 750 feet, you’ll have stunning views of Crestone Peaks and the surrounding area. After your hike, you can dip your toes in Medano Creek, if it's flowing. The best part, of course, is running/sliding down the dunes. Some people even ski or snowboard down. Only in Colorado!
5. Raft the Arkansas River.
For adrenaline junkies, raft the class IV and V whitewater on The Numbers or The Royal Gorge, and travel through the 10-mile-long, 1250 feet deep canyon that's cut through the granite of Fremont Peak. Other parts of the river offer smoother waters for family float trips and class III river rafting. There’s really something for everyone.
6. Drink at a brewery.
Colorado has over 200 breweries with new ones popping up, what feels like, every day. You can go mainstream and visit the Coors Brewery in Golden, Colorado, where the air smells like hops. There are New Belgium and Odell Brewing Companies in Fort Collins, Colorado, and Great Divide in Denver. Or, check out one of the smaller shops for some very imaginative brews, like the Pineapple Pale Ale at Denver Beer Co., or the Coconut Porter from Broken Compass Brewing in Breckenridge, Colorado.
7. Ride the Georgetown Loop Railroad.
Journey back in time on one of Colorado's first-ever visitor attractions. The Georgetown Loop Railroad is one of Colorado’s narrow gauge, heritage railroads. The hour and 15 minute trip takes you from Georgetown, over a 100-foot high trestle, to Silver Plume, with an elevation gain of 640 feet of mountainous terrain. Tour the historic homes and shop on the quaint (but kind of famous) Main Street in Georgetown, which has made cameos in several movies and televisions shows.
8. Listen to elk bugle at Rocky Mountain National Park.
During their mid-September through mid-October mating season, bull elk in Estes Park make their rutting call from just before dusk until dawn. The bull elk’s bugle is a unique sound that starts out deep and booming then morphs into a shrill howl before ending with a series of grunts. The calls echo off the rock outcroppings and hills and seem to almost surround you.
9. Visit The Wild Animal Sanctuary.
Located in Keenesburg, Colorado, The Wild Animal Sanctuary is a 720-acre sanctuary that specializes in the rescue of large predators from illegal or abusive situations. Over 350 lions, tigers, bears, leopards, cougars, wolves and other carnivores roam free in species-specific habitats. An elevated walkway spans the sanctuary and allows visitors to observe the animals in their natural environments.
10. See the fall foliage.
Colorado is famous for its Aspen trees, which turn a vibrant gold in early autumn. There are many places to take in the views or a hike through the trees. Trail Ridge Road is the highest, continuous paved road in North America and snakes through Rocky Mountain National Park from Estes Park to Grand Lake. With eight miles above 11,000 feet, it’s a great vantage point to see the changing leaves. Closer to the Front Range, the Peak to Peak Scenic Byway starts in Boulder, Colorado, and offers unrivaled views of the Continental Divide and its fall colors. Stop-off points along the route include Rocky Mountain National Park, Golden Gate Canyon State Park, the Arapaho and Roosevelt National Forests, and the Indian Peaks Wilderness Area.
If you are planning a move to our favorite state, we can help you find your Colorado dream home. Give us a call, or fill out our form to get started.