7 Places To Visit On A Colorado Road Trip
Looking for the perfect USA road trip destination? A Colorado road trip is a clear winner! From the beautiful, serene mountains, epic winding roads, and tons of places for foodies there are many things to do in Colorado.
Ready to move fast? These seven places to visit on a Colorado road trip will give you a good feel for this stunning colorful state!
COLORADO ROAD TRIP STOP ONE: COLORADO SPRINGS
The Highlights of Colorado Springs
Once you arrive in Colorado Springs, power up for the day at Urban Egg. Urban Eggs is a made from scratch, swanky breakfast joint where you can build your own Bloody Mary or enjoy a mimosa with your yummy breakfast!
Location: 28A S. Tejon St.
Hours: Sunday-Saturday: 7am-2pm
After breakfast, venture over to Pikes Peak where at 14,115 feet and 19 miles up you’ll be at a loss for words by the beauty of this trek. Don’t think you can make the hike? That’s okay! You can also drive your personal vehicle to the top ($12/adult, $5/child, $40/car load max of 5) or take a ride on the Pikes Peak Cog Railway if you don’t want to drive ($38/adult, $20.50/children).
Ready to explore more of the beautiful outdoors? Garden of the Gods will intrigue you with incredible rock formations. Be sure to walk some of the trails here so you can see the mountains from all different angles.
After a long day of hiking check out, Amanda’s Fonda a local Mexican restaurant with terrific food and margaritas.
Location: 8050 N Academy Blvd., Colorado Springs
Hours: Sunday: 10am-9pm, Monday-Thursday: 11am-9pm, Friday & Saturday: 11am-10pm
READ MORE: 2 Days in Colorado Springs, Colorado
COLORADO ROAD TRIP STOP 2: GREAT SAND DUNES STATE PARK
2 hr 45 min from Colorado Springs
The Highlights of Great Sand Dunes National Park
Great Sand Dunes National Park is 85,000 acres of sand dunes and is home to the tallest sand dune in North America (750′). Depending on how much rain there has been, there are streams that flow around the dunes and are popular for cooling off while visiting the dunes.
Want to go sandboarding or sand sledding? Stop by the visitor center to get your rental for only $20 a day. It’s a little challenging but super fun to try!
Feeling really adventurous and have 4WD? Take the Medano Pass Primitive Road en route to your journey to Great Sand Dunes National Park where you’ll discover lush forests, fields of wildflowers, and camping sites.
READ MORE: Guide to Medano Pass Road & Great Sand Dunes National Park
COLORADO ROAD TRIP STOP THREE: ASPEN
3 h 30 min from Great Sand Dunes
The Highlights of Aspen
After making the drive in from Great Sand Dunes National Park, settle in for a romantic evening at Creperie du Village. Order a set of sweet and savory crepes to share along with a bottle of wine!
Location: 400 East Hopkins Avenue
Wake up bright and early the next morning to experience Maroon Bells in all its glory at sunrise! Stay a few hours, take it all in. The view is beautiful and just a few steps away from the parking lot. If you’re wanting to go for a hike the consider one of the nearby trails to see even more gorgeous views.
Looking for a scenic drive? Independence Pass is full of gorgeous mountain range views and winding roads. There are also many hiking trails nearby, Grottos Falls is a pretty one and even features an ice cave. You can easily spend half a day or more at the sights on Independence Pass.
Where to Stay in Aspen
The Westin Snowmass Village
Location: 100 Elbert Ln, Snowmass Village
READ MORE: A Day Trip to Aspen, Colorado
COLORADO ROAD TRIP STOP FOUR: GLENWOOD SPRINGS
1 hr from Aspen
The Highlights of Glenwood Springs
Upon arrival, make your way to Hanging Lake Trail. It’s a short hike but has a lot of steep areas so take your time and enjoy the scenery around you while making your way to the top. Once there, feast your eyes on the beauty of a spot full of mystery and gorgeous vivid colors. Pssst, make sure you make a reservation to hike Hanging Lake Trail in advance or else you won’t be able to visit.
After hiking, grab lunch at Glenwood Canyon Brewery where you can try Colorado craft beer and replenish your energy with some yummy nachos, chicken wings, or other appetizers.
Location: 402 7th St, Hotel Denver
In the evening, relax your aching muscles in Glenwood Springs Hot Spring Pool, the world’s largest hot spring. While we believe this is somewhat of a “tourist trap” it was nice to soak our aching muscles in the 105°F water of this steamy hot spring.
Where to Stay in Glenwood Springs
Location: 52039 Highway 6, Glenwood Springs
READ MORE: Glenwood Springs & Hanging Lake Trail
COLORADO ROAD TRIP STOP FIVE: ESTES PARK
4 hrs from Glenwood Springs
The Highlights of Estes Park
Estes Park is one place on your Colorado Road trip that you should allow some extra time for. It has so much to offer! A trip to Estes Park wouldn’t be complete without at least a day in Rocky Mountain National Park. There are a number of amazing hikes here – one easy hike being the Bear Lake Loop.
Another thing not to be missed is the Estes Park Aerial Tramway. Buy a round-trip ticket and enjoy some of the amazing skyline views of the Rockies!
Looking for something spooky? Visit the notorious Stanley Hotel, best known for its role in The Shining. You can go on one of the ghost tours OR even stay the night… if you dare.
While in Estes Park, you must grab a local beer at The Wapiti Pub (they have great food too!) and enjoy some sweets at Purple Mountain Taffy Company. There is a lot of neat souvenir and specialty shops in this area too!
One of our favorite Colorado road trip activities was renting a Jeep from Backbone Adventures to go trailing. We drove the Jeep up Storm Mountain and had the whole place to ourselves!
Jeep rental from Backbone Adventures $200
Where to Stay in Estes Park
Peak to Peak Lodge
Location: 760 S St Vrain Ave
READ MORE: 8 Epic Things to Do in Estes Park
COLORADO ROAD TRIP STOP SIX: BOULDER
1 hr from Estes Park
The Highlights of Boulder
Trek, hike, and climb the Flatirons. While there are a few different trailheads that can lead you to the Flatirons, we decided to park at the Gregory Canyon Trailhead to start our trek up. They’re pretty to view from below but the view on top is also incredible!
A half-mile hike up (Baseline trail to Ski Jump trail to the Bluebell-Baird trail) takes you to the beginning of the Flatirons loop trail. The mile trail up to flatiron 1 and 2 is mild at the beginning and increases in grade as you continue up the trail.
For dinner, take a stop at The Sink, a funky family-owned restaurant was featured on Diners, Drive-ins, & Dives! After dinner, browse historic Pearl Street for some fun shopping!
COLORADO ROAD TRIP STOP SEVEN: DENVER
30 min from Boulder
The Highlights of Denver
Denver is such a fun, quirky city! Start your day with brunch at Snooze where you can enjoy a pancake flight or eggs benedict anyway you like. The wait might be long, but it’s WORTH it.
Location: 2262 Larimer St.
Hours: Sunday-Saturday: 6:30am-2:30pm
After breakfast, visit the charming shopping and dining area of Larimer Square. There are a ton of specialty shops here and the twinkly lights make for a pretty ambiance.
Although some might consider them a bit overrated, you should check out the foodie experiences at Voodoo Donut and Ice Cream Riot. These two unique dessert shops that will make your taste buds spin!
After some shopping and dining, feel like a kid at The 1up Arcade Bar where you can play skeeball for 25 cents!
One other fun thing to do in Denver is to rent a Bcycle. You can rent a bike for 24 hrs or rides for 30 min each doesn’t incur extra charges
Where to Stay in Denver
DoubleTree Denver Aurora
Location: 3696 E Iliff Pl, Aurora
READ MORE: Unique Things to do in Denver
What is your first stop on your Colorado road trip?
Comments & Reviews
Tash M says
I’d never considered visiting Colorado, but these photos are beautiful and I think I’m convinced – USA here I come!
I’ve been pleased to learn about your journey with this blog post. I loved the photos that you have shared. And I am feeling fly to Colorado as soon as possible.