Colorado Bucket List: Exploring The Centennial State

Looking for amazing things to add to your Colorado bucket list? We have the most epic list of places to visit in Colorado to keep you busy during your visit.

Colorado is a top USA bucket list destination, and for good reason. This outdoor lovers paradise is just waiting to be explored. From hiking, skiing, snowboarding, to seeing baseball games, eating crazy foods, and enjoying hot springs. There is no shortage of things to do in Colorado.

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colorado bucket list

Colorado Bucket List

1. Explore Mesa Verde National Park

Located in southern Colorado, Mesa Verde National Park is truly one of the most unique places you can visit in the whole state. Cliff houses were built into the mountainside, and now visitors are welcome to come and explore them. Be sure also to check out the museum to learn more!

2. See the sights at Island Lake

Island Lake is a scenic lake that can be reached via hiking in Colorado. The lake is a gorgeous turquoise blue and is set against the mountainous background, making it an even more breathtaking place to visit. Visit the San Juan National Forest to locate this hidden gem.

colorado bucket list

3. Take a trip to Rocky Mountain National Park

Rocky Mountain National Park should 100% be on your Colorado bucket list. Not only is it one of the most-visited national parks in the country every year, but it’s filled with epic views, beautiful hikes, and tons of natural surroundings just waiting to be explored by a traveler like you.

4. Visit the Four Corners

What better place to visit in all of Colorado than the Four Corners? By visiting this landmark in the southwest part of the state, you can stand in four states at once: Colorado, Utah, New Mexico, and Arizona. Don’t forget your camera!

5. Hop on the Silverton Train

One of the most scenic train routes in the country is located in Colorado, so you have to go on at least one train ride when visiting. One of the most popular is the Durango Silverton. Ticket prices range, but make sure you get your tickets well in advance to make your reservations. This Colorado bucket list would not be complete without mentioning at least one train ride.

6. Hike Via Ferrata in Telluride

If you’re an adventure junkie, then you’re going to love this cliffside hike in Telluride. The majority of the hike requires you to hang off a ledge that you’ll be secured to. Climb ladders, use metal rungs, and live out your rock climbing dreams.

7. Explore Paint Mines Interpretive Park

A unique place to visit in El Paso County that deserves a spot on this Colorado bucket list is the Paint Mines Interpretative Park. There’s a fun hike here that goes for about 3.5 miles and offers epic views that you won’t want to miss.

8. Visit the Garden of the Gods

One of the most popular natural landmarks in the whole state is the Garden of the Gods. Located in Colorado Springs, this beautiful park is filled with epic hikes and tons of rock formations that are incredibly unique.

colorado bucket list

9. Check out Dinosaur Ridge

Did you know that you can visit a place where dinosaurs once stood? Just head to Dinosaur Ridge in Jefferson County! Natural fossils are in this area where you can learn tons more about dinosaurs and even see their footprints.

10. Hike up Lookout Mountain in Golden

Golden, Colorado, is a popular place to visit in the winter for its skiing and snowboarding opportunities, but it’s also a must-visit destination in the summer. Lookout Mountain has a great hike and even more incredible views. If you’re up for it, you can even go skydiving from the top.

11. Explore the Maroon Bells

The Maroon Bells are two different mountain peaks that are part of the Elk Mountains. It’s one of the most picturesque mountains in the whole country and is beautiful no matter the time of year you visit Colorado’s beautiful state. Cross this epic landmark off your Colorado bucket list!

colorado bucket list

12. Check out the iconic Stanley Hotel

Stephen King, anyone? Located in Estes Park, the Stanley Hotel is famous for being featured in The Shining movie from the 1980s. You may recognize it if you’ve seen the film. It’s also just a pretty epic hotel to visit or stay at!

13. Attend a concert at Red Rocks Amphitheater

Located right outside of Denver, the Red Rocks Amphitheater is one of the state’s most iconic concert venues. It overlooks the countryside and is an open-air theater built into a mountain. How cool is that? Check their schedule before you visit Colorado to see if there’s a band you could see in concert during your visit.

14. See the Breckenridge Troll

This wooden statue is part of the epic Trollstigen Trail in Breckenridge. The hike isn’t far at all. It’s about a quarter of a mile before you’ll get to the troll itself. If you visit in winter, you can even check out the nearby ice rink.

15. Walk across the Royal Gorge Bridge

The Royal Gorge Bridge is one of the top tourist attractions in the state of Colorado. It stands at just under 1,000 feet and is surrounded by breathtaking mountains. If you’re traveling with family or friends, be sure to check out the nearby amusement park!

colorado bucket list

16. Eat at the Airplane Restaurant in Colorado Springs

Yes, there is seriously an airplane-turned restaurant in Colorado Springs! Just about forty different people can eat inside at a time, and it’s genuinely one of the most unique places to grab a bite to eat in the state. Prices are mid-range.

17. Learn at the Denver Museum of Nature & Science

No Colorado bucket list is complete without mentioning at least one museum. Denver is filled with top-notch places to learn, so why not head to the Denver Museum of Nature & Science. It has a planetarium and provides lots of history in the nearby area, especially in the Rocky Mountains.

18. Sandboard at the Great Sand Dunes National Park

Did you know that Colorado has sand dunes? It’s true! Head to the Great Sand Dunes National Park and try your hand at sandboarding. If you’re feeling up for it, you can even spend the night inside the park, if you want, among the wildlife.

19. Hike to the Hanging Lake

The Hanging Lake is one of the top attractions in all of Colorado. It’s located near Glenwood Springs, which is another must-visit place in the state. There’s about a three-hour hike to get to the Hanging Lake, and it can be a bit steep at times, but the end destination is very much worth it.

20. Attend the Great American Beer Festival

Denver is known for its local breweries, and the best way to try them is to attend the Great American Beer Festival. It’s the top-rated beer festival in the country and usually happens every autumn over the course of a few days.

21. Visit the Dillon Ice Castles

If you’re lucky enough to be visiting during the winter, you absolutely must check out the Dillon Ice Castles. They’re located about an hour’s drive west of Denver, right outside of Breckenridge in Dillon. These ice sculptures will make you feel like you’re in the middle of a Disney movie.

colorado bucket list

22. See a game at Coors Field

There’s no better way to get introduced to Denver’s sports culture than by seeing a game at Coors Field! Book your tickets well in advance because they’re known to sell out. Keep in mind that the Colorado Rockies don’t play year-round either!

23. Hike in Boulder

Boulder, Colorado, is located right outside of Denver and is an absolute must-visit. This charming town is filled with great shops and restaurants but is also home to the epic Flat Irons hike. There are different routes, so no matter your skill level, you can take in the views.

24. Try Rocky Mountain Oysters

Rocky Mountain Oysters probably aren’t what you think they are, but it’s considered a delicacy by some natives of the state. It’s usually served as an appetizer before an entree and can be found on many more local restaurant menus.

25. Rejuvenate in Glenwood Springs

Colorado is filled with epic hikes, lakes, and even sand dunes, but there are also hot springs. Head to Glenwood Springs to rejuvenate and relax in them. While you’re there, you could even check out Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park for some fun attractions and rides high up in the mountains.

colorado bucket list

Editorial credit: Kristi Blokhin /

26. Drive to the top of Pikes Peak

Pikes Peak is one of the Rocky Mountains’ highest points, and luckily you can drive to the top of it. The views are epic, but the drive can be a bit dangerous. Rent a car and see for yourself!

27. Try green chile fries at D’Corozan in Denver

One of Colorado’s best ingredients is green chiles, and there’s no better place to try it than at D’Corozan in Denver. This restaurant serves up green chiles on many dishes, including fries and burritos. Plus, they sell great margaritas and other drinks too.

28. Shop in Union Station

Located in Denver, Union Station is the transportation hub of the city. It’s where the Amtrak line is, and it’s also where a lot of bus stops are. If you want to get anywhere in the state, this is where you go. Plus, it’s filled with tons of great shops and restaurants, including the Tattered Cover Bookstore.

29. Ski in Aspen

Aspen is the place to go for skiing in the state. While it’s known for being pretty affluent, the views are incredible, and so are the resorts. If you’re not into skiing, don’t worry. You can go snowboarding here too, or partake in other winter sports!

30. Hike to the top of Manitou Springs

Manitou Springs is a city located near Colorado Springs, and it’s home to some pretty incredible hiking trails. One of the most challenging hikes is Manitou Incline Trail, but the views are truly unbeatable. If you don’t get the hint yet, be sure to go on at least one hike when visiting Colorado!

31. Explore the Wheeler Geologic Area

The Wheeler Geologic Area is one of the less-traveled places in the state, but that doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t cross it off your Colorado bucket list. The area is filled with interesting rock formations mainly due to being eroded by volcanic activity from millions of years ago.

Seeing these formations is like being in another world and a top travel bucket list moment.

colorado bucket list

32. Satisfy your sweet tooth at Little Man Ice Cream

Little Man Ice Cream is the top place to grab your favorite sweet treat in Denver. The stand is shaped like an old milk jug, and they serve up dangerously delicious ice cream until late at night. What more could you want?

33. Test yourself and hike a fourteener

Colorado is known for its fourteeners, which have a minimum elevation of 14,000 feet. These can be dangerous to hike if you’ve never hiked before, but the views at the top are incredibly rewarding. Consider hiking one with a guide so you can partake in this popular Colorado activity.,

34. Ride the Alpine Slide in Winter Park

Calling all adventure junkies! This 3000 foot ride will have your heart racing the entire time you ride down the mountain on this slide. The ride itself is a vertical drop of just over 600 feet!

colorado bucket list

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