Once a well-known climatic health resort for wealthy typhoid sufferers in the late 19th century, Colorado Springs is now the second largest city in Colorado, but without losing the charm of a small town. Those wanting to relive the great elegance of yesteryear should check out the ornately decorated Broadmoor Hotel.
Natural sights such as Cheyenne Canyon Park, the Cheyenne Mountain Zoo or the impressive Garden of the Gods are not far away. You can also visit the US Air Force Training Academy, which is overlooked by a cadet place of worship and a pointed steeple. Entry to the US Olympic Complex is also free.
The small town of Manitou Springs with its colorful galleries and small Victorian-style shops is particularly recommended. It’s also where the Pikes Peak Cog Railway starts, the world’s highest cog railway, which climbs to the summit of dramatic Pikes Peak.
According to Itypetravel, Pueblo was once Colorado’s second largest town. Today it presents itself with a wonderful mix of Victorian districts and the flair of the American Southwest. Nightlife with some bar visits, beautiful places on the Arkansas River, especially on the beautifully landscaped Pueblo Riverwalk, the interesting Pueblo Museum, the reconstruction of Fort Pueblo and – just outside – the Pueblo water reservoir determine the overall picture in this area.
Grand Junction is a cute little town on a pretty pedestrianized Main Street known for its ‘Art on the Corner’ – a collection of art sculptures. The city is also a good starting point for the Colorado National Monument. Incidentally, there are 16 wineries in the fertile Grand Valley, all of which offer wine tastings. The Museum of Western Colorado sheds light on the full breadth of history – from dinosaur finds to ancient orchards and farms. An often undiscovered highlight is the Grand Mesa, one of the largest table mountains in the world in terms of area, which stretches east of the Grand Valley and lures with a hilly landscape dotted with 100 lakes and lush forests.
Boulder is considered the up-and-coming university town, located at the foot of the Rocky Mountains and surrounded by a lot of nature. In the center is the Pearl Street Mall, where you will find restaurants, street art and other entertainment in addition to individual shops. A fixed highlight of the very environmentally conscious community is the Saturday farmer’s market.
Fort Collins is Colorado’s second major university city and also the brewery capital of the state. The small inner city captivates – thanks to the large student population – with a lively and varied nightlife. The highlight is the “bicycle library” where you can borrow bicycles for free. Outdoor fans get their money’s worth thanks to the extensive nature reserves in the area. The Cache La Poudre River, which runs west of town through a beautiful canyon, is also one of the top spots for white water rafting.
Durango shapes the spirit of fine arts in the Southwest. Its long and equally sweeping main street is lined with galleries and fine shops in the style of old Victorian architecture. The Animas flows through Durango, which, with its strong current, enables whitewater rafting right up to the picturesquely situated hotels and guesthouses. Aside from the nearby Mesa Verde National Park, the city’s most famous attraction is the Durango-Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad.
Pagosa Springs is about an hour west of Durango. In addition to a variety of hiking opportunities, Pagosa Springs is best known for its hot springs. West of town is the historic Chimney Rock National Monument, which offers a spectacular hike up ancient Native American rock ruins.
Gunnison is home to Colorado’s oldest rodeo: the Cattlemen’s Days have been held annually since 1890 in the small farming community in the heart of Colorado. But the spirit of the old west can still be felt here in many corners. Also worth a visit is Gunnison Whitewater Park, which attracts water sports fans from all over the world.
A few miles north of Gunnison is Crested Butte , perhaps one of the most beautiful spots in the state. Colorful wooden houses painted in all colors of the rainbow line the main street of the former mining town, which is now the starting point for the nearby ski area. Mount Crested Butte is one of the hottest ski resorts among the real cracks, but benefits from its remote location, making it very quiet all season.
Salida also has its roots in the times of the gold rush. Today, the picturesque town is known for its up-and-coming and diverse artist scene. Many of the city center’s old Victorian brick buildings, long vacant, have been perfectly restored and are now home to a variety of artists’ studios and galleries. Together with nearby Buena Vista, Salida is also one of the best whitewater rafting destinations.
Glenwood Springs is home to the world’s largest hot spring pool, Glenwood Hot Springs. Several US Presidents and countless celebrities have taken a dip in the warm water of the healing mineral springs here. The springs were already known to the Native Americans. Probably the city’s most famous citizen was western hero Doc Holliday, who died here in Glenwood Springs and whose grave can still be visited today. In addition to rafting on the Colorado River, today’s visitors are also attracted to a complete theme park on the mountain above the city, which was created around a fascinating labyrinth of stalactite caves.
Network Colorado’s preeminent rail routes range from steam-powered trains in the mountains to state-of-the-art trains criss-crossing the state.
California Zephyr from Chicago to San Francisco – Arguably the most scenic route on the Amtrak network is in Colorado. Between Denver and Grand Junction, trains pass through tunnel after tunnel before traveling through pristine Rockies. It then crosses the Continental Divide and travels through the narrow, reddish-hued Glenwood Canyon before entering the fertile Grand Valley to the west.
The Durango & Silverston Narrow Gauge Railroad is a breathtaking route that runs for over 70 kilometers through the canyons of the San Juan National Forest far above the Animas River. The route has been in existence for 120 years and was originally built to bring silver and gold discoveries from the higher mining regions to Durango for processing. The journey ends in Silverton, a Victorian mining town high in the Rockies. The one-way journey takes about three and a half hours. It is advisable to take the bus for the way back (or the way there), which only takes about 1.5 hours. The route is open all year round and even winter excursions are spectacular. Georgetown Loop – climbing steeply from beautiful Georgetown to Silver Plume – is an 1884 mining train with open passenger cars. In order to reach the height of almost 200 meters in 2.3 kilometers, a railway line with a length of more than seven kilometers and numerous supporting pillars is required. The Lebanon Mine tour ends at the top and can be undertaken between May and October. It’s the historic railroad that’s the closest to Denver (about an hour’s drive).
Cumbres & Toltec runs 100 km from Antonito down to Chama in New Mexico – the longest and narrowest railroad in the nation. It has been in operation for 120 years. The railway line is available between May and October.
Rio Grande Scenic Railroad is a century-old railroad that is over four kilometers long and runs from Sangre de Cristos to the San Luis Valley with a connection at Antonito to Cumbres & Toltec. It is open all year round.
The Royal George Route takes two hours. The almost 40-kilometer tour rewards you with a fantastic view from a height of 300 meters of the lively Arkansas River on one side and rocks on the other. The railway line, which has transported passengers since 1880, also winds over a suspension bridge. The train route is open all year round.
Pike’s Peak Cog Railway has existed since the late 19th century. This little train makes its way up to 15,000 feet – higher than any other train in the United States. Breathtaking views. The train runs from April to January.