Colorado is one of the most picturesque places to visit in the great U S of A. If you’re a fan of Mother Nature, look no further than this mountainous state! From hikes to concerts to big cities and bright lights, Colorado has it all. Here are our top three picks for a stellar outdoors experience in this American gem. All you need to do is pick up your sweet Transfercar rental from Denver and go exploring!
Pikes Peak America’s Mountain
The best way to connect with Mother Nature during your trip to Colorado is to hike up to Pikes Peak, if you’re feeling fit enough that is! This mountain is the most visited in the entire country and is open the whole year round. Take a hike on the 19-mile Pikes Peak Highway or check out the Barr trail. Lassie and Fido can get in on the fun too, as the entire park is pet friendly, but don’t forget your pooper scooper. Rumour has it that one of the best reasons to visit Pikes Peak is to catch a glimpse of the elusive Big Foot. No, I’m not kidding. There have been several sightings of Big Foot since 1988. You just may be the one to capture him on film (and then sell the images for thousands online!).
Fun Fact: On March 25, 1929, Bill Williams, an average joe from Hondo, Texas spent a gruelling 21 days on the Pikes Peak Highway. His goal? To push a peanut from the base of the mountain to the summit. With his nose. Apparently he went through 3 pairs of shoes, 12 pairs of gloves and roughly 150 peanuts. Did he achieve his goal? Yes. Did it make the world a better place? Not so much, but it’s still an impressive achievement I must admit!
Red Rocks Park and Amphitheatre
The Red Rocks Park and Amphitheatre is the ultimate Colorado experience. World renowned as the only naturally-occurring, acoustically perfect amphitheatre, visitors not only get to groove here but they can also discover the region’s different flora and fauna. The summer concert series brings some of the best acts from all over the country. From Sting and The Beatles, to opera stars and U2, every artist aspires to play on this magical, spiritual and emotional stage. In 2015 you can count on seeing Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers, Kings of Leon, Led Zeppellin and even Drake vs. Lil’ Wayne! The amphitheatre opened in 1941 and is still going strong today. With 9525 seats this is a great concert venue and not something you should miss on your trip.
But it’s not just a great place to catch a concert. The 868 acres of geological wonders, prairie and old dinosaur stomping grounds is where the Great Plains meet the Rocky Mountains. There are a number of recreational options available to you here at Red Rocks, from hiking, biking, guided tours, and even shopping and fancy dining for those of you who are more at home in the mall rather than nature!
Fun Fact: On June 10, 1971, a riot involving Jethro Tull, led to a five-year ban of rock concerts at Red Rocks. 1,000 people without tickets arrived at the sold-out show and when police directed the non-paying crowd to an area behind the theater, some of the people attempted to enter the amphitheatre by charging at the police line. Then they began lobbing rocks at the police, and well, the police responded with tear gas that the wind then carried over the hill, into the paying crowd and onto the stage. It all ended in tears so to speak. Since then there haven’t been any more riots. Ah the 70’s! Good times…
Rocky Mountain National Park
You may have heard of the Rocky Mountains?! Of course you have silly, who hasn’t?
Adventure seekers shouldn’t miss out on trekking and hiking at the Rocky Mountain National Park. There are activities for every level of fitness here, so don’t worry if you haven’t been hitting your local Cross Fit gym lately, there’s something here for you. You can go skiing, snowshoeing, sledding, fishing, hunting and horseback riding. But if you want something slower paced then just get your shoes on and go for a walk! The stunning views and spectacular vistas are just begging to be seen. If you’re into animals Rocky Mountain National Park offers a wide variety of wildlife. In the higher alpine areas, you’ll find yellow-bellied marmots and pikas. Larger mammals that inhabit the park include elk, bighorn sheep, black bears, mountain lions, mule deer, and moose. Leave your shotgun at home, ok? This is a no hunting zone!
Fun Fact: The oldest rocks in the park are metamorphic, and estimated at 1.7 billion years old, making them some of the oldest rocks within the National Park System. That’s some old rock! If you know any geology nerds, make sure you save a seat for them in your free rental car as the geological wonders of the Rockies will blow their minds!
Ugh, enough about nature for a minute. Let’s talk about the capital city of Denver. With a population of 2,697,476 people, Denver is Colorado’s largest city and the 22nd most populous city in America. Once you’ve natured-up in the Rockies head into this fabulous city and catch a show at the Opera House or spend some hard-earned cash at the 16th Street Mall, a pedestrian and transit mall that runs along 2km of Denver’s 16th Street! In the summer there are heaps of festivals to watch out for such as The Great American Beer Festival (hello! Glug! Glug!), the Dragon Boat festival in July, and the Moon Festival in September. For foodies, Denver offers the best New Mexican cuisine America has to offer, so pack some Pepto Bismal for the aftermath of spice!
Getting to Colorado is easier now that Transfercar has free rental cars available to you year round. Have you registered yet?