As the price of gas, hotels and eating out has increased, many people have been rethinking their vacations as staycations. Now instead of spending time at one spot for a week, it can be equally fun to complete a list or loop of destinations that are close enough to drive to, but may not require a week's worth of your hard-earned vacation time. Colorado is a perfect place to go to fulfill some of these theme-oriented destinations.
When it comes to the Mile High state, most people think mountains. In the lower forty-eight states, Colorado ranks number one in peaks with an elevation above 14,000 feet. If you are an avid outdoor type, then consider a vacation that includes climbing all the Fourteeners. With over fifty of them in the state that should keep you pretty busy for a while, unless you get the whole summer to play.
If you are looking for a less ambitious pursuit of fun, hiking may be just up your alley. And because of the mountains, one theme may be to hike to all the waterfalls in Colorado. Hikes can range from a quarter mile from the near road to an overnight camping trip. You can gauge your trips based on the size and dynamics of your group.
One thing that is great about Colorado is its accessibility to nature and its beauty. The state has made it easy for you to plan your vacation via its twenty-five scenic byways, about half of which are also designed as America's Byways, more than any other state. So load up the family and take a drive. Some routes are located along highways, while others require four-wheel drive, high-clearance vehicles. So, it might just take you several years to complete the task. Who said vacations and bucket lists were supposed to be easy?
While cruising these scenic drives, you could try to complete another theme idea by visiting all the state parks along the way. Camping is cheaper than hotels, and you'll find many of the state parks are located to help you appreciate all that Colorado has to offer. Also, along the byway, you might want to visit all the ghost towns in Colorado. There are quite a few and, contrary to some people's definition, some still have a few residents.
Nature lovers can often be subdivided into wildlife lovers, wildflower lovers or bone and stone lovers. For the latter, fossils, petrified wood, dinosaur bones, ancient civilizations, caves and quarries are scattered through Colorado. You can name your bucket list Places of Geologic Interest. There are many, but it may require a little digging. (Pun intended.)
For those of you, who may like to spend a week on a beach, there are relaxing past times to have had in this health-oriented state. One of the most popular is visiting all the brewpubs and partaking of some homegrown and flavorful brews. The true enthusiast will arrange it so that they are in Denver in time for the annual Great American Beer Festival (usually October). If the tickets sell out, as they do almost immediately, that just gives you an excuse to go visit all the breweries first hand.
So next time you are thinking of a destination, but want to do something a little different, think Colorado. Whether you are a dynamo and have to climb a mountain because it is there or whether you'd like to sit back and taste what is on tap, this is one state that can keep you climbing and imbibing for years to come.