One of the great things about living in Colorado is that you can get into the mountains in every season of the year. Obviously, the winter is all about skiing and snow boarding, but the other seasons are just as wonderful for hiking, biking, wildlife watching, and just enjoying the beauty of nature. There are many places to stay during those times of year, but the same resorts that are home to ski resorts also make a great destination year round. Ski lifts will take you and your bikes up to the top of the mountain for a thrilling ride down and ski runs are converted to hiking trails. There are also zip lines and other outdoor activities like putt-putt golf, tennis, horseback riding, and golf. There are even some resorts where you can ride down an alpine slide in cars that fly down the luge track. Depending on when you go into the mountains, you will also find a variety of festivals including those with music and film. We have been to several of them, but here a few of our favorite locations.
Aspen – There is something special about this elegant city in the Colorado high country. The town has maintained a small town feel and walking the streets will be like going back in time to when skiing first became a popular sport. There is a reason that the Food and Wine festival is held in Aspen as there are an abundance of excellent restaurants for a town of its size.
Beaver Creek – Truly one of our favorite destinations no matter what time of year, there is so much to do in Beaver Creek. There are rodeos on the weekends in the small town of Frisco, which is located at the base of the mountain, just outside of the resort. The resort has activities for all ages and physical capabilities and has some excellent hiking and biking trails.
Steamboat Springs – With a main street that has many different gift shops and restaurants, there is plenty to do during the spring, summer, and fall seasons. It is one of the easier destinations to get to from Denver, which makes it a popular location for locals to visit on weekends. The town hosts different events throughout the summer, so it is wise to check out their activities calendar to see what is happening during the time that you are planning to go there.
Breckenridge – Although all of the resorts are family friendly, Breckenridge offers a wide variety of activities that will entertain children of all ages. For those that don’t just want to spend time hiking in the Rocky Mountains, you could pretty much spend all of your time at the resort if you so desired. Obviously, we’d recommend that you get out into nature either walking on a trail or riding horses to feel like an old-time cowboy or cowgirl.
Telluride – Located in southwestern Colorado, Telluride is farther away than most of the other resorts, but well worth the effort to visit. It hosts one of the most famous jazz and bluegrass festivals in the state. The town of Telluride has managed to keep that small town feel despite being a popular resort destination in both the summer and winter seasons. In order to allow the town to keep is historic feel, the resorts are purposely located in the Mountain Village with a free gondola providing transportation between the village and the actual town of Telluride. There are some smaller condominiums and homes for rent within the town itself, making a great alternative to the larger resorts that are located on the side of the mountain.
There are plenty of other towns and villages where you can stay when heading to the mountains of Colorado, but staying at one of the ski resorts offer some extra activities that you might not otherwise find. With plenty of stores, restaurants, and lodges of various size, you can truly customize your experience.