3 Can't-Miss Colorado Spring Adventures
Submitted by alison on Tue, 04/15/2014 - 2:01pmTrying to decide where to visit in Colorado? If you’re planning a visit in the spring (April/ May), it can sometimes be tough to figure out what to do. Winter is over for most of the state, so most visitors aren’t thinking about skiing, sledding, or sleigh rides. But summer hasn’t quite arrived, either, so how do you decide the best way to spend your time? The following three Colorado destinations offer rock-solid activities for visiting in the spring.
BV is a summer destination for all things outdoorsy, but don’t let the early season stop you. With a moderate climate and close proximity to the Collegiate Peaks, you’ll have plenty to fill your schedule if you visit.
HikingLooking for something extreme? Buena Vista is close to the highest concentration of 14,000 foot peaks in the state, and many hard core hikers tackle these mountains during the winter months. Visit in spring to get the best of both worlds – minimal crowds and less snow.
Hot springsTired after a day of exploring? There are several local hot springs with a range of pool options. Soak your tired muscles and warm up after a cool spring day. You can even find lodging options at some of the hot springs, making the trip from hot springs to hotel room a snap.
KayakingThe Arkansas River draws paddlers from around the world with killer whitewater from Class II to serious Class V. As the weather starts to warm, the water levels rise and the kayaks start to appear on the river. April and May are the perfect months to head for the rapids.
ArtLet’s face it, even with spring in the air, there are still some cold, gloomy days interrupting the sunshine. When the weather turns sour, head south to Salida and enjoy the booming arts scene by touring local galleries or checking out current events.
With days routinely reaching into the 70’s and 80’s, Denver can almost feel closer to summer than spring, and that means it’s the perfect destination for outdoor adventures. Whether you want a day in the city or an excursion into the mountains, you’ll find everything that you’re looking for, and you’re only a short distance from several other Front Range cities.
GolfDenver and the Denver area are home to several amazing golf courses, many of which are open for most of the year and some of which are considered among the better courses in the country. From city courses to private clubs, you’ll find a variety of options for your foursome. Not feeling confident with your handicap? Don’t forget to check out the nearest mini golf course with the whole family.
BreweriesColorado is consider microbrew heaven (it ranks first in the US for beer production), and Denver has more than its fair share of great breweries. Plan an afternoon at one with a sunny patio or try to hit several and compare notes on your favorite IPA, wit or stout. Many breweries will offer tours of the brewing area, so do your research before you go.
Zip LiningLooking for something with a little more adrenaline? Several companies offer zipline courses close to the Denver area. A short drive will take you into the foothills or mountains to the west, where you’ll have a chance to soar through the air. Whether you’ve got a big group or you’re looking for a couple’s outing, a zip lining tour will add a unique experience to your trip.
Red RocksThere’s nothing like a little live music under the open sky to make it feel like summer is truly here. Red Rocks is Denver’s top destination for live music with a natural, rock amphitheatre that feels like an experience even when there’s no one performing. Consider spending an afternoon climbing among the ruddy boulder fields that give Red Rocks its name, then head back after dinner for the show.
Breckenridge is a top ski destination in the winter and a popular summer destination for hiking and biking, but few people think to visit during the spring shoulder season. That’s a shame, because spring in Breckenridge can be the perfect time to visit (plus you’ll beat the crowds and the peak season prices).
Spring skiingBreckenridge Resort is open for almost the entire month of April this year, and even once it closes, you’ll just be a short drive from Arapahoe Basin and Loveland Ski areas, which will be open for skiing and snowboarding through May.
Mountain bikingEven if you can’t get lift service yet, there are still plenty of bike trails around Breckenridge. If you’re desperate to get back out on your bike, head for the Peaks Trail as the snow melts and get those bike legs back in gear. Don’t want to deal with slush and mud? It’s just a short drive down i70 to Georgetown and Idaho Springs, where you’ll find plenty more trails that are already dry.
Road bikingPrefer to stick to pavement when you bike? By late March, you’ll be seeing cyclists along the roads around Breckenridge. Challenge yourself by riding over Swan Mountain Road or consider a more leisurely tour along the Dillon Dam Road.
2-for-1 DiningAt the end of a day of biking or skiing, you might be craving a beer and bite to eat. One of the top draws during the shoulder season is the surplus of restaurant specials available, with many establishments offering 2-for-1 dinners, appetizers or drinks. Grab a local paper to find the best deal near your hotel.
Whether you're hoping for outdoor activities, live music, great food, or a little bit of everything, you'll find plenty to see and do (often for cheaper than during the main season) during the spring in Colorado.
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