Denver is Colorado’s capital city and is located at the foot of the Rocky Mountains. It is a high-priority vacation destination for many tourists, and when you see all of the activities there are to do here, it’s not hard to see why!
Everyone who lives in Denver, or at least the majority of people, lives for the great outdoors! Denver is home to many sports fans who enjoy drinking and spending time with friends. It is an extremely welcoming place.
However, if you have been living in Denver for a while, then you know that the city is not the only place where spending your time is worthwhile. Just outside of the city, there are amazing places you can go and spend the day making memories you won’t forget.
So, whether you’re a local to this gorgeous city or a visitor looking for something new to do, you’re in luck! In this article, we will detail 11 day trips from Denver, Colorado that you won’t forget! If you’re interested, read on for more!
1. Bishops Castle
Bishop Castle is around 2 and a half hours from Denver. This is, without a doubt, one of the most unique and quirky day trips on this list. Bishop Castle was built by just one person and is a very popular roadside attraction.
The castle itself has a very peculiar shape. It is made from iron and stone towers and another infrastructure with a pointed roof, mismatched arches, and crooked steps.
Inside, you will find a man-made fire-breathing dragon and an amazon ballroom where you’ll wish you could dance the night away! You also have the option to stand at the top of the tower and look on for miles and miles: simply beautiful!
Bishops Castle features no guided tours, so you have to take yourself around. However, it is always free, always open, and you can explore whatever you like, whenever you like!
2. Glenwood Springs
Glenwood Springs is also 2 and a half hours away from Colorado’s capital city, but that’s what day trips are for, right? Traveling in the car and listening to your favorite songs on the way!
However, you may want to turn your music down as you approach this tranquil sight and let the peacefulness of the area wash over you. Alternatively, you can get a permit to hike to the springs on the Hanging Lake Trail (one of the most loved hikes in all of the state.)
This is a short road spanning just one mile. However, it is rather challenging for new hikers because there is a lot of elevation. But, it is worth it for the scenic views and the soak your muscles get in the hot springs afterward.
So, if you want a day trip where you can relax, or one where you get your steps in and can reap the rewards afterward, the Glenwood Springs is for you!
3. Estes Park, Colorado
Estes Park is located around 1 and a half hours from Denver in the northwest. There are many fun activities visitors can participate in here. For example, you can see some wonderful views as you take the Estes Park Aerial Tramway.
Not only that, but you can explore the Stanley Hotel, which is where Stephen King’s famed book “The Shining” was filmed to become the iconic movie horror fans all know and love!
However, do this at your own risk, because the Stanley Hotel just so happens to be one of the most haunted hotels in the state! Enter at your own risk.
If you don’t fancy creeping around a haunted hotel (which we totally understand) you can partake in many of the outdoor activities Estes park has to offer – and join many of the locals who will be doing just that!
4. Breckenridge, Colorado
Breckenridge is located just 1 hour and a half drive away from Denver. It sits right at the foot of the Rocky Mountains and is the perfect palace to go to if you love winter sports, such as skiing.
Breckenridge has an amazing sky resort where visitors can soar down the mountain and take in all of the sights along the way.
Not only that, but those who love history will be glad to know that there is a historic town close by that boasts plenty of cute mountain charm and plenty of knowledge to soak up with a hot cocoa.
Breckenridge also boasts many other winter activities, such as tubing and snowboarding! And, if you choose to take your day trip there in any other season, then don’t worry!
There are still plenty of things to do – such as hiking, biking, and many alpine activities you can lose hours to.
5. Rocky Mountain National Park
Of course, who could visit Denver without taking a day trip to the Rocky Mountains National Park? Located just 1 hour and a half away from the capital city, this national park remains one of the most popular and enjoyable tourist destinations in all of the Centennial State!
You can join the other 4,000,000 + people there as you explore over 400 square miles of wonderful mountains. There are many sights to be seen here, some perfect for Instagram, and others perfect for simply capturing to memory.
The most popular hiking trail is Trail Ridge Road, also known as the Highway To The Sky because it is the highest paved road in all of the US.
Not only are the hikes beautiful but there’s plenty to do here such as horseback riding and fishing. You can visit this national park no matter the season, so add it to your list today!
6. Georgetown Loop Railroad And Mining Park
This amazing tourist attraction is located just 45 minutes away from Denver and is one of the most immersive experiences (when it comes to history) on this list!
As soon as you step onto the train, you will feel as though you have traveled back to the 1800s, which makes the train journey feel new and exciting.
The trains themselves are all powered by steam and have been maintained and preserved in great condition for almost 120 years. On this journey, you will pass the several mining towns of Silver Plume and Georgetown.
As well as riding the train, you can also see some silver mines or learn how to gold pan. Whatever you choose to do, this is sure to be a fantastic day trip the whole family will enjoy.
7. The Garden Of The Gods
The Garden Of The Gods is around an hour’s drive away from Denver. This beautiful garden is a registered national natural landmark and is regarded as one of the best day trips you can take while visiting the Centennial State.
The Garden Of The Gods boasts 1,300 acres of enjoyable pathways and awe-inspiring views. Most of these amazing views you can access from the towering formations of red rocks.
However, you do not have to hike to see these incredible views, you can also see them by rock climbing, biking, or by horseback riding.
While you’re exploring and marveling at The Garden Of The Gods, take the time to visit the Cave of the Winds Mountain Park and the Manitou Cliff Dwellings – you won’t regret it!
8. Blackhawk/Central City
Blackhawk / Central City is under 45 minutes away from Denver, but upon setting foot here you will feel as though you have stepped back in history. This city looks just like how settlers would have seen it when they first arrived in the state, back in the time of the Wild West.
However, these small communities are known today for the top spot to gamble in all of Colorado!
Blackhawk / Central City is home to many fantastic casinos, from high-end establishments to smaller, local buildings where you can risk it all (except, don’t literally risk it all and gamble responsibly.)
No matter where you choose to spend your night, you’re sure to have a great time in Blackhawk / Central City, and it will make your trip to Denver, Colorado one to remember!
9. Boulder, Colorado
Boulder is a 40-minute drive from Colorado’s capital city, but when you arrive you’ll feel like you’re worlds away. Its quintessential small-town aesthetic is a far cry from the hustle and bustle of Denver, and visitors can find some welcome relief in the peace and quiet.
While you’re here, there are a plethora of things to do! If you love shopping as much as you love history, then be sure to check out the pedestrian mall on Pearl Street.
Here, you can also enjoy an amazing dining experience at the many restaurants of Boulder, and you can even treat yourself to some of the best beers that Colorado has to offer!
And, if you want to feel refreshed and energized in this tranquil place, you can spend the day hiking at Chautauqua Park!
10. The Coors Brewery
The Coors Brewery in Golden, Colorado is actually the biggest in the world, and it is situated less than half an hour from Denver. Because of this, Golden, Colorado actually produces more beer (per volume) than anywhere else in the whole world!
Now that is a sight you simply have to see! Luckily, the Coors Brewery offers half-hour tours of the brewery at no cost to you! That’s right, this tour is totally free!
While visiting the brewery on your free tour, you can check out the behind-the-scenes of anything and everything in the beer-making process. From malting, to brewing, to packaging! And of course, you will have plenty of beer to sample as you walk around.
Once you’re done in the brewery, make sure you check out the other wonderful sights of Golden!
11. Red Rocks Park And Amphitheatre
The Red Rocks Park And Amphitheater is located less than half an hour away from Denver. So, no matter what time you get up, you will be sure to have an amazing time there without having to rush around. This is another national historic landmark in Colorado.
There is a lot to see and do here. You can spend time outdoors by completing a trail run, stretching your legs on a hike, and even mountain biking to catch some amazing scenery of Denver! However, the best part of this trip is the shows they put on at night!
There is always an amazing lineup and you are sure to enjoy yourself at this fantastic concert that you’ll be talking about for many years to come.
Denver, Colorado, is home to many fantastic activities that ensure you are never bored! However, just outside of Denver, there are many amazing things to do, too!
Whether you want breathtaking views, challenging hikes, or unforgettable experiences, be sure to take a day trip from Denver the next time you’re in the Centennial State!
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