20 essential Colorado activities to add to your summer bucket list
1. Indulge in Adventure
Taylor River Lodge is equal parts indulgence and adventure. A morning whitewater rafting, say, can be paired with a sumptuous riverside picnic while an afternoon of rock climbing can be followed by a soak in the hot tub and an indulgent dinner. Cocktails before bed are an option, too. Page 82
2. Sleep in an Orchard
There are some truly unique accommodation options across the state, but those options seem to expand exponentially if you are willing to pitch a tent. Delicious Orchards in Hotchkiss is one of those awesome places. Page 25
3. Care for Colorado
We love Colorado and that is why we want to try hard to protect it. Read how you can too (and, remember as the very catchy song goes “it’s the only one we’ve got”). Page 28
4. Balance Your Aches Away
Yogis will take to the water across Colorado this summer to offer an aquatic version of the ancient Indian practice. Read our top 10 SUP to find out where you can headstand your way to physical and mental wellness. Page 86
5. Bottle Some Spirits
Head to Marble Distilling Co.’s website and sign up to get an email when the next bottling party is scheduled. You’ll likely get a superb bottle of spirits in exchange for your efforts!
6. Visit a Castle
Bishop Castle and Cano’s Castle offer interesting takes on the castle concept. The former went from cabin to cottage to castle after someone asked if Jim Bishop was building a castle. With five structures reaching skyward as well as beer can-lined walls glimmering in the Colorado sunshine. Both are quite the sight to behold. Page 38
7. Do Yoga With Farm Animals
Quite the trend these days is doing yoga while having some kind of animal on or around you. There are several places that offer animal-inclusive yoga including goat yoga at Mountain Goat Lodge and alpaca yoga at Cedar Ridge Ranch.
8. Attend a Tiny Porch Concert
On both Wednesdays (July 31 and Aug. 7) of the Breckenridge Music Festival, tiny porches of historic homes throughout Breckenridge become tiny stages. Enjoy storytelling paired with chamber music that has been composed specifically for the occasion.
9. Visit Colorado’s Largest Natural Lake
Grand Lake is a wonderful little town that just happens to sit right on the west side of Rocky Mountain National Park, making it the perfect base for a visit. The lake for which the town is named also offers all kinds of options for aquatic fun. Page 50
10. Go Off Grid
Piney River Lodge is a great option for those who want to escape modern life for a night or two but don’t want to sleep with the beasts. Enter glamping, the perfect middle ground between camping and luxury.
11. Sleep in the Dunes
Great Sand Dunes National Park and Preserve is, as the name suggests, home to the highest sand dunes in North America. An incredible and unique national park, it offers everything from backcountry adventure to dune surfing. Complete a visit by camping out in the dune field. Page 57
12. Go UFO Sighting
Not far from Sand Dunes National Park is the UFO Watchtower, an observation platform, campground and gift shop just north of Hooper. With a 360-degree view of the San Luis Valley, a hotbed of UFO activity, you are sure to see some little green men. Page 24
Fourth of July is just around the corner, and what better way to celebrate than by visiting an incredible national monument and watching a group of fearless people climb us a sheer rock face to plant a flag? Page 104
14. Cool Down
Hot weather and refreshing beer go hand in hand, so we did the dirty work for you and sipped our way through dozens of beers to find six of our favorite brews for the season. From light and refreshing to hazy and hoppy, these six beverages will keep you cool this summer! Page 68
15. Go for Gold
Colorado is home to hundreds of miles of fish-rich Gold Medal Waters. Whether you’re new to fishing or an old hand, the Arkansas River near Salida is one of the top spots in the entire state to cast a line. Page 42
16. Sip Some Rosé
The Colorado wine industry is a sleeping giant with truly amazing winemakers producing truly delicious wines. It is only a matter of time before people all over the world are cooing over them. Get a head start by trying a few of these rosés this summer. Page 70
17. Take a Train to a Concert in the Mountains
The Mountain Rails Live concert series brings together music, trains and the majestic Rocky Mountains. Climb the steep grades of the Southern Rockies, enjoying the incredible vistas en route, to an intimate concert venue where a range of well-loved singers will be performing this summer.
18. Discover the Past
With a dazzling array of museums across the state - from mining and classic cars to Colorado celebrities and outlaws - summer road trips should incorporate as many of these repositories of the past as possible. Page 90
19. Bag a 14er
There are over 50 14ers in Colorado and summer is a good time to go “peak bagging.” Be warned, the mountains will be teeming with hikers, but getting yourself a 14er is somewhat of an outdoor right of passage in Colorado, so get bagging!
20. Dine Farm to Table
Summer is when culinary creatives go al fresco to take advantage of the perfect Colorado weather. There are some incredible farm-to-table dinners taking place through the summer. Read about them on Page 72