The days of the pre-packaged itinerary are slowly disappearing. Many operators planning tours are now providing their clients multiple tour tracks in select destinations allowing them to choose what interests them from a range of activities and attractions.

Colorado’s extensive list of attractions and activities cannot be squeezed into one tour package. While there are several operators offering comprehensive itineraries throughout the state, it’s hard to find one that meets every traveler’s budget and needs. Some prefer historic sites and museum visits, while others are more adventurous and crave the outdoors, and others like a little of both.


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Here is a sampling of Colorado destinations and activities where planners will discover a variety of options.

Denver

The Mile High City is buzzing with activity. This former cowtown has seen immense growth over the last few years, and, as a result, massive revivals and renovations to its popular attractions.

Experience Art & Culture

For an art option you’ll head over to the hip River North (RiNo) neighborhood for a Denver Graffiti Tour. This two-hour guided walk explores the murals and other street art of the RiNo Art District. You’ll learn about the artists, how the art was created and the evolution of the area over the years. The tour ends at Denver Central Market, a gourmet marketplace and food hall where you can grab a bite to eat before embarking on your next adventure.

Discover History

Discover the historic and quirky things that make Colorado what it is at the History Colorado Center. Opened in 2012 in the Golden Triangle Museum District, this award-winning establishment features core and rotating exhibits that showcase the state’s distant past and more recent stories. Take a couple hours to explore the exhibits. Union Station, once a rundown stop for Amtrak trains, has been revitalized into a vibrant social hangout with restaurants, bars, shops and a hotel. It also serves as the main hub of the city’s transportation system. You can’t visit
Denver without taking a photo in front of this iconic downtown building.

Colorado Springs

There’s no shortage of things to do and see in the state’s second-largest city.

Discover History

The Western Museum of Mining & Industry is where the history of mining comes to life. The museum features several interactive exhibits where you can learn to pan for gold, see what rocks you eat and watch a 37-ton Corliss Steam Engine operate. You can even visit with some of the local donkeys.

For Shoppers & Foodies

Old Colorado City

Old Colorado City. Credit: VisitCOS.com

Add a shopping track with a visit to Old Colorado City, or OCC as it’s lovingly called. Located on the west side of Colorado Springs, this charming town is brimming with cute shops, boutiques and galleries. Pick up a memento from your visit, browse some local art and reflect on your day at one of the tasty OCC restaurants.

Explore the Outdoors & Nature

Garden of the Gods

Garden of the Gods. Credit: VisitCOS.com

Garden of the Gods, a National Natural Landmark, is a true paradise of towering sandstone formations set against a mountainous backdrop. Active visitors can explore 15 miles of trails that wind through the park, taking in the stunning views of the Rocky Mountains. For a more informative look at the park, join a free guided nature walk led by a knowledgeable volunteer (10 a.m. and 2 p.m. daily). Don’t leave without making a stop at the Visitor & Nature Center to learn how the red rocks formed through the new Geo-Trekker theater experience.
Re-energize with a leisurely lunch at the glassed-in cafe at the Red Rocks Visitor Center while enjoying stunning views of the park. Head downtown where you can choose from over 75 eateries.

Durango

Nestled in the southwest corner of Colorado, Durango is the perfect base to explore Old West heritage, national parks and monuments, and outdoor recreation.

Explore the Outdoors & Nature

Mesa Verde National Park is located about 35 miles west of Durango. This ancient Native American dwelling place gives guests a glimpse into the lives of the Pueblo people who called it home for more than 700 years. The park protects some 5,000 archeological sites, including 600 cliff dwellings. One of the best ways to experience Mesa Verde is with a one-hour, ranger-led tour, which gives guests exclusive access to Cliff Palace or Balcony House. Step inside the Chapin Mesa Archeological Museum to view exhibits and dioramas that trace the lives of the Pueblo people.

Discover History

Durango & Silverton Colorado National Monument Narrow Gauge Railroad

Durango & Silverton Colorado National Monument Narrow Gauge Railroad

Spend the day with a ride on the Durango & Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad. This steam train will take you to the historic town of Silverton, offering plenty of photo ops and sights you can’t see from the road. Grab a bite to eat in Silverton before heading back to explore Historic Downtown Durango. Take a walk down Main Street and admire the architecture of the rustic buildings, including The Strater and General Palmer hotels. Finish off the day with a delicious meal at one of downtown Durango’s restaurants, with cuisine ranging from traditional Mexican to classic Italian.

Grand Junction

Where the Rockies meet the Grand Mesa, Grand Junction has all the outdoor activities one could possibly want. Enjoy a day of ruggedness on the high desert, or get in touch with your sophisticated side at one of the many local wineries.

Explore the Outdoors & Nature

Colorado National Monument

Colorado National Monument

Colorado National Monument is a 20,500-acre paradise of red-rock monoliths, cliffs and unparalleled views. A windshield tour along the 23-mile Rim Rock Drive winds from one entrance to the other, offering you a glimpse of the beautiful scenery and great views of the city below. For those who are a little more active, you can take a hike along a scenic trail, like Serpents Trail and Devils Kitchen.

Discover History

For the tour’s history buffs, make your way over to Dinosaur Journey. This cherished attraction, home to Colorado’s best robotic dinosaurs, lets visitors examine real dinosaur fossils, experience a simulated earthquake and witness a working paleontology laboratory. For a taste of the Wild West, visit the Museum of the West. Discover the artifacts of the Fremont Indians, check out firearms used by old-time outlaws and take an interactive ride on a stagecoach.
Regardless of the tour options clients choose, end the day with a visit to one of Grand Junction’s vineyards, where you can taste all kinds of varietals, from fruit-forward wines to bold Cabernets and Merlots.
Colorado has an endless selection of things to do, no matter which city you choose to visit. Hopefully these recommendations will give you some inspiration for your next trip to Colorado.

Greeley/Fort Collins

A playground of outdoor adventure, history, culture and food is waiting in Northern Colorado. Fort Collins and Greeley offer the amenities of metropolitan cities while maintaining that small-town feel.

For Shoppers & Foodies

Kick off your history and shopping day exploring Old Town Fort Collins, which served as inspiration for Disneyland’s Main Street USA. Grab a coffee-to-go from one of the local roasters and peruse the boutique shops and galleries. Hear stories of immigrants and gold seekers at historic homes like the Avery House, or discover what life was like for workers in the sugar beet industry at the Museo a de la Tres Colonias.

Explore the Outdoors & Nature

For a little outdoors adventure, head over to Horsetooth Reservoir for an afternoon in nature. You can take a hike or bike ride on the red-stone cliffs that border the lake, or just relax by the water and take in the serene views. If you’re visiting in the winter, you can visit Roosevelt National Forest for snowshoeing or cross-country skiing. Before turning in for the evening, stop at one of the craft breweries for a true taste of Fort Collins.

Discover History

Be sure to make a visit to Greeley’s Centennial Village part of the history track. This eight-acre living history museum features historic buildings and costumed guides that showcase how early pioneers lived in the high plains. Continue the history lesson with a visit to the Meeker Home Museum, home of Greeley’s founding family, and the Greeley History Museum, where you can get an extensive look at Greeley’s past and notable community members.

Experience Art & Culture

It may come as a surprise, but Greeley has an incredible performing arts scene. If you have the chance, try to catch a show by the Stampede Troupe, Greeley’s oldest community theater organization. Or check out a student performance at the University of Northern Colorado, which puts on a range of music, visual arts and dance shows.

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