From Japanese gardens to castles made of beer cans.
Colorado is definitely one of the most spectacular states in the nation, and we know we don’t really to prove it, but just in case somebody asks, we thought we would round up some of the most amazing spots in the city and state that are so unique, you’ll be surprised that you haven’t stopped inside a different country all together. This is our list of the most amazing, weird, and wonderful places in Colorado that you’ll be surprised are in Colorado.
Crested Butte is one of the most beautiful and photographed locations in Colorado. It’s known for its amazing winter season, its ski resort, and village that resembles a European mountain town with its colorful buildings. Crested Butte is also a beautiful spot to go to during the summer, and often has festivals like their International Film Festival and Wildflower festival. While Crested Butte is an emblematic Colorado town, its unique look during every season makes it really unique
2. Crystal Mill
Crystal Mill looks like something straight out of a European fairytale and is one of Colorado’s most visited and photographed sites. Nicknamed “The Old Mill,” it’s located near Crystal, Colorado and Marble, Colorado, and operated as a powerhouse instead of an actual mill. Now, even though it’s not in operation, it remains one of Colorado’s most visited sites for hikers and photographers.
Where: 11520 Co Rd 3, Carbondale, CO 81623
3. The International Church of Cannabis
If you’re an Elevationist, then you’re likely to attend the International Church of Cannabis. The church is quite unassuming from the outside but once you take a look inside, you’ll be greeted with a gorgeous multicolor mural that looks like something out of a movie. Take your time, stop and take pics, and enjoy the ganja gospel.
Where: 400 S Logan St, Denver, CO 80209
Red Rocks Amphitheatre is not only famous for its iconic lineup of artists who frequently play here but for the way the venue is set up. Offering nearly perfect acoustics thanks to the two giant monoliths that surround it allow for a unique listening experience that you’re unlikely to get anywhere else.
Where: 18300 W Alameda Pkwy, Morrison, CO 80465
5. Casa Bonita
Casa Bonita has been through quite a lot since its unfortunate close during the pandemic. From temporarily closed to indefinitely closed to purchased by the South Park creators, Matt and Trey Parker, Casa Bonita is about to go under a huge transformation. Akin to the cliffs and Cenote of Mexico, Casa Bonita’s vibe is kitschy, and that’s exactly how we like it. Be on the lookout for Casa Bonita’s brand new and improved menu that’s slated to arrive with the renovations.
Where: 6715 W Colfax Ave, Lakewood, CO 80214
6. Cano’s Castle
Cano’s Castle sits in Antonio, Colorado and visitors can go see this crafty art installation made entirely of beer cans and other metal parts. The piece of art was created by Native American Vietnam veteran, Donald “Cano” Espinoza as a tribute to life and as a thanks that his life was spared during the Vietnam War. Visitors can go see it during the day.
Where: 10th Ave. and State St Highway 285 Antonito, Colorado, 81120
The Denver Botanic Gardens can offer a little piece of Japan with their authentic Japanese gardens called Sho-Fu-En, which means “gardens of the pines and wind.” From foliage that you would find in Japan to a stunning bridge and even an authentic tea house, the Botanic Gardens are the perfect place to slip away to for the day if you’re looking for a moment of tranquility.
Where: 1007 York St, Denver, CO 80206
Step into the Rifle Mountain Park Caves, and you’ll be amazed to see ice walls that you can climb, similar to what you could find in Iceland. When waterfalls over the canyon freeze, they create these stunning ice formations inside the caves which are breathtakingly beautiful.
Where: 13885 Co Rd 217, Rifle, CO 81650
This gorgeous Buddhist temple is something of a masterpiece and is similar to what one could find in Nepal. In Fact, there’s a similar Stupa in Nepal that you can enjoy. This one located in Red Feather Lakes, Colorado is enjoyed after the hike to get there. Sit in tranquility, get connected to your spiritual roots, and imagine you’re climbing the misty mountains of Nepal.
Where: Red Feather Lakes, CO 80545
You would think you stepped into the Sahara Desert instead of Southern Colorado, but Colorado is lucky enough to have one of the most amazing National Parks the country has to offer. Reservations aren’t needed to enter the park, which is open year round, so enjoy sand boarding and sand sledding, an amazing view of the stars with overnight camping, and get a majestic view of the nation’s biggest sand dune, all in your backyard.
Where: Visitor Center 11999 State Highway 150 Mosca , CO 81146
11. Vail Village
Vail Village was created to resemble a small Bavarian town, so it’s no surprise that you’ll feel transported to Europe when you spend some time there. Most often, Vail is hailed as a top tier destination during the wintertime because of Vail Ski Resorts which has been kept up and renovated over the years and has become extremely popular. That doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy Vail outside of winter though, as summer offers festivals that celebrate music, craft beer, and more.
Where: 241 S Frontage Rd W #8150, Vail, CO 81657
12. Meow Wolf
Meow Wolf is the latest and greatest art immersive spot that has hit Denver with guns blazing. The spot was highly anticipated before it opened and has become an extremely popular spot thanks to its immersive rooms, striking visuals, and innovation. From a brand new food course to a concert venue, Meow Wolf is looking to be the one-stop shop for anyone looking for a psychedelic-like experience.
Where: 1338 1st St, Denver, CO 80204