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For those of you looking for a destination that combines luxury and adventure, head to Colorado.
There are many options to experience a unique vacation that go beyond staying at a ski resort.
Colorado has springs, waterfalls, canyons, lively towns with Colorado vacation rentals, and much more that will make you think you landed in true paradise. There may not be an ocean, however that does not matter at all, even if you are a beach-goer. I usually opt for a beach vacation, as many of you know. I always find a waterfront or a type of body of water that fulfills that need to be at a beach if there is not one. It may surprise you exactly how much of that there actually is in Colorado, and what else you can add to your itinerary for an exciting trip.
Anyone that has a hard time deciding on where to go, or compromising with their travel partners, visit Colorado for your next trip. You may have just found your happy medium and go-to destination for luxury and adventure.
A Waterfalls Paradise
Photo via Flickr by Mark Byzewski
Colorado has over 50 waterfalls and many of them are located outside of the mountains.
If you choose to stay in Denver or Boulder, you can take a quick visit to many of them. Some of the waterfalls do not even require a hike at all!
Maxwell Falls and Elk Falls are the closest when driving southwest towards Aspen. Elk Falls is the tallest in the entire state if you are looking to add that to your bucket list. Boulder Falls and Ouzel Falls are north, and all can be reached in less than 2 hours by car. You can find the trail maps easily online or opt to go with a guide.
There are many more waterfalls scattered all over Colorado – it just depends on where you stay and where you want to drive to. You can find the entire list here.
In the winter, some waterfalls may freeze over. Ice climbing is an option at certain sites, such as near Vail. That makes it more the winter-wonderland! Frozen or not, they are a beautiful sight to experience.
Swimming Holes Better than a Beach
Photo via Flickr by Derek Key
As you know Colorado is not located by the ocean, however swimming holes makes up for it.
Grab your bathing suit and beach towel, and head out to take a dip at some of the best natural pools.
Paradise Cove in Guffey offers a natural pool with three cliffs to jump off of. A waterfall feeds the pool and is visible.
If you want something more exhilarating, take a plunge at Devil’s Punchbowl in Aspen. The cliffs are 20 feet high and the hole is created by a series of waterfalls.
If you want to find warmer waters, head to Conundrum Hot Springs which is also near Aspen. They are located at 11,200 feet elevation therefore one need to hike nine miles to reach it. A popular option is to camp or stay close by the night before and add that to one’s itinerary.
Pagosa Springs Hot Springs is another option, without the long hike, and it is the deepest in the entire world. How’s that for sharing and bragging rights? I personally love hot springs and if you arrive outside of rush hours, you can get the whole place to yourself like how I did this one time.
Photo via Flickr by Loco Steve
If you have never visited a cave, and I mean a huge cave that you spend at least an hour inside of, then you should try one of the caving tours in Colorado.
Cave of the Winds is the most popular, with over 2 miles of passage. One can explore the cave or choose a historical lantern tour. For extremist, you can even be thrusted into the air by the TERROR-dactyl ride to view the caves and Williams Canyon from up high.
Glenwood Caverns were discovered in the 1950s and offers three types of cave tours within. The best part is, this is an adventure park also! One can go for thrill rides, sign up for activities such as climbing, and attend special seasonal events. “Winter on the Mountain” is their next event, kicking off on November 18th.
Hiking trails within Colorado have many caves along the way. They are much smaller or not fully accessible, however one can always take a quick peek into them.
Mountains to the Maximum
Photo via Flickr by David
Everyone knows that Colorado has some of the best skiing. However, what do you do if you are not a skier?
Just like myself, I look for other mountains activities to endure while everyone else is throwing on their ski boots and heading out for the day. Mountains are a great destination to be outdoors in, but also take advantage of the luxuries indoors.
Besides skiing, you can go zip-lining through the mountains. Yes, zip-lining in Colorado is open year-round with special “winter wonderland” zips in the cold months.
A hike in the mountains is always something to be fond of, especially when the trees are covered in white. Relax with a spa session afterwards, which almost every resort has.
Snowmobiling, dog sledding, and sleigh rides are easy to find. In the summer, go for rides down the rivers, white water rafting, and ballooning.
You can also find wineries and ranches within the mountains to add to your day. Sun, rain, or snow – these places stay open for visitors.
As you see, Colorado has it all for every type of traveler and person. Now it’s time for me to book my return trip!
Have you visited Colorado? What adventures did you have?