Best Day Trips: From Denver Pt. 1
Denver itself offers many experiences and opportunities for adventure but your options increase exponentially if you’re willing to drive a couple hours. Here are some of the best day trip ideas if you need a break from the city or want to show a visitor more of what Colorado has to offer.
Ski Resort Towns
Known for its stunning views and consistent snow, Colorado has some of the best downhill skiing and snowboarding that the world has to offer. With 28 ski resorts in the state, there are many options for skiing and the villages that host these resorts are equally as impressive. Many of these destinations are located within a two-hour drive of Denver, assuming you can avoid the rush of skiing traffic, and offer great opportunities for shopping, dining, and even live music if you know where to look. Some of the biggest names within two hours of Denver include Keystone, Winter Park, Breckenridge, Copper, Arapahoe Basin, Loveland, and Vail. While each of these ski resort villages offers unique excursions and views, they are all worth the trip and provide a very prototypically delightful Colorado mountain experience.
Royal Gorge/Leadville/Clear Creek/Durango Train Rides
If you find your driver taking in the striking views of the Rockies a little too much, consider hopping on one of the trains that weaves the valleys and shadows of the mountains. There are a handful of trains that provide a scenic ride with many offering food and drinks for you to soak in all the beauty over a delicious meal or while savoring your favorite beverage. Perfect for all ages, this versatile experience is a hit with everyone whether you have older guests looking to relax with the views or you’re hoping to impress a date.
Rocky Mountain National Park
Spanning over 250,000 acres with over 300 miles of hiking trails, Rocky Mountain National Park in northern Colorado. Accessible from Denver in under two hours, RMNP provides scenic views with sprawling wildlife in the heart of the Rockies. Be sure to plan your trip ahead of time to stay on top of possible closures and ensure you have the proper pass, but don’t forget your binoculars and camera once you embark because you will want to savor the sights forever.
Peak to Peak Scenic Byway
If you’re reading this, you likely enjoy cruising in your vehicle with good tunes, good company, and good views. Look no further than the Peak to Peak Scenic Byway. Stretching 55 miles and running parallel to the mountain range, the drive mesmerizes with the Rockies and Front Range visible throughout the entirety of the journey. As Colorado’s oldest scenic byway, the road traverses multiple forests and parks while providing countless opportunities to venture off the main road in search of hikes, lakes, and wildlife. Connecting Central City with Estes Park, the highway passes through Nederland and runs close to Boulder, ensuring you have ample opportunities to enjoy the mountain towns and stop for dining or drinks.