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10 Exciting Destinations Near Denver To Explore All Summer Long

Jessica Ramos Jessica Ramos

10 Exciting Destinations Near Denver To Explore All Summer Long

Festivals will be returning this summer.

With so much to see around the beautiful state, we wanted to compile a list of a few of our favorite summer adventure destinations for some pampering, exploration, and small city fun. From beautiful spas to adventure parks to entire mountainsides bursting with things to do, here’s 10 of our favorite summer destinations that cover all the bases.

1. Cheyenne Mountain Springs Resort 

A breathtaking resort where the Colorado rockies stretch as far as the eye can see. Cheyenne Mountain Springs Resort is one of the loveliest stays you’ll find around Denver, and the good news is that it’s only an hour and a half drive. This resort has everything you might want for a weekend away: from golf, to spa treatments, pool decks, fine dining (we especially recommend Elevations for alfresco mountain views alongside your cocktails), take a swim in the lake, or check out the local attractions, like The Cave of the Winds, where you can experience subterranean caving adventures.

Where: 3225 Broadmoor Valley Rd, Colorado Springs, CO 80906

2. Dunton Hot Springs

Dunton Hot Springs is an old 1800s ghost town reinvented for luxurious relaxation away from the hustle and bustle of the big city. A community of private resorts, complete with a spa, dining options, and yoga. The highlights, however, are the amazing and mineral hot springs great for increasing blood flow. You can enjoy them in a variety of different ways, from the bathhouse underneath the stars, perfect for those warm summer nights, to the pool inside the Well Cabin pictured above. Choose your preference, and lose yourself to ultimate bliss.

Where: 52068 Road 38, Dolores, CO 81323

3. Durango

This small town around 6 hours away from Denver is a bit of a drive, but it’s close to some of the best National forests, and the city has got a lot to offer as well. Spend a posh afternoon visiting art galleries, museums, and restaurants. For some outdoor adventures, you have a couple of options to choose from that are a quick 30 minutes away. Nearby is the vast National Forest of San Juan, complete with grand lakes, high falls, and ancient cliff dwellings. Or you can check out Mesa Verde, a park with amazing views, Ancestral Publoan cliff dwellings, and loads of camping options.

4. Aspen

Aspen isn’t just for winter getaways. They’re the perfect year-round destination with award-winning dining, arts and culture, and entertainment. You can ride the gondola to the top of Aspen Mountain for stunning views, enjoy the Aspen Saturday Food Market, go horseback riding, and more. Also, nearby is Independence Pass, an amazing recreational area for summer explorers to “recreate on the continental divide.”

5. Golden Gate Stay Canyon Park

For hikers, Golden Gate State Canyon Park is a must, for their variety of trails like Beaver Trail, Black Bear Trail, Buffalo Trail, and Coyote Trail. With the exception of Black Bear’s high difficulty, most of these trails are moderately ranked. Be aware that there’s no cellphone service in the state park, so make sure you come prepared, especially in the upcoming summer months. Check out the official website here for any further details about the trails or other activities.

Where: 92 Crawford Gulch Rd, Golden, CO 80403

6. Breckenridge

Breckenridge is another of those year-long destination highlights, where you can take a stroll down main street, enjoy some alfresco dining, and relax. Or, if you’re feeling more adventurous, there’s zip-lining, white water rafting, and a ton of great hiking trails, more than we can even count. Not to mention, they’ve also got summer dog sled tours perfect if you’re a dog lover, which of course you, right?

7. Vail

Vail opened up a few months ago for their summer season, so now is your chance to do some summer exploring from new heights. Some of Vail’s exciting offerings during this season are their beautiful, panoramic gondola views, their 343 miles of mountain biking, and their high-speed alpine coaster that lets you soar through the vast forest surroundings. That’s not to mention their resort that serves as the perfect accommodations for a relaxing weekend away from that morning routine.

8. Telluride

Telluride is back to its regularly programmed festivals this summer, and we couldn’t be more thrilled. Recently, this charming, tight-knit town hosted their Air Balloon festival, and what a beautiful site it was. On June 11th, they’ll also be hosting their Annual Telluride Bluegrass Festival, along with their year-round art galleries and fine dining experiences.  Telluride has also got a lovely gondola ride that’s just reopened for summer, and adventure seekers can explore the area through kayaking, stand up paddle boarding, hiking, off roading. You name it, they have it. Telluride is really the all-encompassing destination we can’t wait to check out this summer.

9. Longmont

Longmont, located within Boulder county, is the perfect little day trip destination, where you can everything from innovative breweries and cideries, and arts & culture. There’s so many cool breweries to check out, they actually have a Beer Trolley pass that lets you hop on and off a trolley tour to all the best spots. The small city charm of Longmont is amplified by the beautiful views of the Rockies that surrounds it, and what’s better is the nearby Mcintosh Lake that’s perfect for family lake adventures.

10. Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park

About 160 miles west of Denver sits this adventure park called Glenwood Caverns, which is also considered America’s only mountain-top theme park. Not only are there scenic gondola tours and thrill rides, but the highlight of Glenwood Caverns is in the name. You’ve got to do a cave tour while you’re here. Learn about the living cavern that’s home to thousands of formations, including stalactites, stalagmites, soda straws, cave bacon, and flowstone while experiencing a place that’s been decades in the making. Plus, the subterranean adventure is the perfect cool down for a hot summer day.

Where: 51000 Two Rivers Plaza Road, Glenwood Springs, CO 81601

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