Must-See Places in Colorado for a March Getaway

Colorado offers a plethora of must-see places for a March getaway. From exploring natural wonders to experiencing vibrant city life, embracing outdoor adventures, and discovering the rich history of the state, there is something for everyone. Here are the key takeaways from this article:

Key Takeaways

  • Marvel at the majestic Rocky Mountains
  • Discover the enchanting Garden of the Gods
  • Hike through the breathtaking Maroon Bells
  • Immerse yourself in the beauty of Great Sand Dunes National Park
  • Stroll along the historic Pearl Street Mall in Boulder

Explore the Natural Wonders

Marvel at the Majestic Rocky Mountains

The Rocky Mountains in Colorado are a sight to behold. With their towering peaks and breathtaking landscapes, they offer a truly majestic experience. Whether you’re an avid hiker or simply enjoy taking in the beauty of nature, the Rocky Mountains have something for everyone. Explore the numerous hiking trails that wind through the mountains, offering stunning views at every turn. Don’t forget to bring your camera to capture the awe-inspiring vistas. And if you’re lucky, you might even spot some wildlife along the way.

Discover the Enchanting Garden of the Gods

Garden of the Gods is a wonderful state park located next to Colorado Springs. This park offers a maze of paved trails that weave between red and pink sandstone rocks. For those who want to explore further, there are 15 miles of hiking trails available. Rock climbing is also a popular activity here, where you can bring your own gear or join a tour. One highlight of Garden of the Gods is the Central Garden Trail, an easy and paved 1.6-mile walk through the heart of the park. Another recommended activity is driving the Juniper Way Loop, which circles around the park. Don’t forget to visit Balanced Rock and enjoy the view from High Point Overlook. Garden of the Gods is a must-visit destination for hiking, photography, and experiencing the unique rock formations sculpted by nature over millions of years.

Hike through the Breathtaking Maroon Bells

Hiking through the Breathtaking Maroon Bells is a must-do experience for nature lovers visiting Colorado in March. The Maroon Bells, located near Aspen, are two iconic peaks that offer stunning panoramic views of the surrounding mountains and valleys. The trails in this area cater to all skill levels, from easy walks to challenging hikes. Immerse yourself in the beauty of the Maroon Bells as you explore the diverse flora and fauna that call this area home. Keep an eye out for wildlife such as elk, deer, and various bird species. Don’t forget to bring your camera to capture the breathtaking landscapes and vibrant colors of the changing seasons.

Immerse Yourself in the Beauty of Great Sand Dunes National Park

If you think Colorado is all about snow-capped peaks and wild grasslands, prepare to be amazed by the Great Sand Dunes National Park. Less than a four-hour drive from Denver, these are the tallest sand dunes in North America, offering a landscape that rivals the Sahara desert.

  • Morning Activities: Start your day with a hike to the top of High Dune, one of the park’s loftiest summits. The view from the top is nothing short of spectacular, providing a panoramic vista of the dunes’ vast expanse.
  • Afternoon Fun: After a morning of exploration, why not try sandboarding or sand sledding? Beginners should start on smaller dunes and gradually work their way up. Remember, it’s all about fun and there’s no rush to conquer the tallest dune.

As the day winds down, consider staying for one of the park’s stunning sunsets. They are a sight to behold and provide the perfect end to an adventurous day. Pro Travel Tip: Pack a picnic dinner to enjoy on the dunes, allowing you to savor the scenery for just a bit longer. Many visitors grab sandwiches from Alamosa and dine amidst the dunes for an unforgettable experience.

For those planning an extended stay, choosing the right accommodation is crucial. Staying outside the park offers limited options, while Alamosa provides a wider selection of hotels and rental facilities for sandboards and sleds. Plan accordingly to make the most of your visit to this unique and mesmerizing landscape.

Experience the Vibrant City Life

Stroll along the Historic Pearl Street Mall in Boulder

Boulder is a charming city located just a short drive from Denver. One of the highlights of Boulder is the Historic Pearl Street Mall, a pedestrian-only street lined with old shops and local restaurants. It’s the perfect place to take a leisurely stroll and explore the unique shops and boutiques. You can also grab lunch at one of the many delicious eateries in the area. After enjoying the Pearl Street Mall, you can embark on one of the Boulder hiking trails to see the famous Flatirons up close. It’s a great way to experience the natural beauty of Colorado. If you’re a fan of art, be sure to check out the art galleries scattered throughout the city. Boulder truly offers something for everyone.

Indulge in the Art and Culture of Denver

When visiting Denver, you’ll be immersed in a vibrant arts and culture scene. The city is home to numerous art galleries, museums, and theaters, showcasing a wide range of artistic styles and performances. Take a stroll through the RiNo District or Union Station area to discover unique street art and trendy shops. Don’t miss the opportunity to visit the Denver Botanical Gardens, where you can admire beautiful botanical displays and serene landscapes. And of course, no visit to Denver would be complete without experiencing the lively music scene. Catch a live performance at one of the city’s many music venues and let the rhythm move you.

Enjoy the Lively Music Scene in Colorado Springs

Colorado Springs is known for its lively music scene, offering a vibrant atmosphere for music lovers. Whether you’re into rock, country, or jazz, you’ll find a variety of venues that cater to different tastes. One of the highlights of Colorado Springs’ music scene is Copperhead Road Bar & Nightclub, which hosts an impressive lineup of talented local and national bands. With exceptional live performances, it’s a must-visit for any music enthusiast. So, grab a drink, hit the dance floor, and enjoy the energetic vibes of Colorado Springs’ music scene.

Explore the Hip Neighborhoods of Fort Collins

Fort Collins is known for its vibrant and eclectic neighborhoods, each with its own unique charm. Whether you’re looking for trendy shops, delicious restaurants, or lively entertainment, Fort Collins has it all. One of the must-visit neighborhoods is the RiNo District, which stands for River North Art District. This neighborhood is a hub for artists and creatives, with numerous galleries, studios, and street art murals to explore. You can spend hours wandering the streets, discovering hidden gems and enjoying the vibrant atmosphere.

Another popular neighborhood is the Union Station area, located in the heart of downtown Fort Collins. This area is known for its historic buildings, trendy boutiques, and cozy cafes. It’s the perfect place to grab a cup of coffee and watch the world go by. You can also check out the nearby Red Rocks Amphitheater in Morrison, which is a famous outdoor concert venue with stunning natural rock formations.

When it comes to dining, Fort Collins offers a wide range of options. Some local favorites include Lowdown Brewery, known for its tasty pizza and beer, The Great Divide Brewery, a Colorado classic, and The Post Brewing Co, where you can enjoy the best fried chicken and soul food.

If you’re planning to visit Fort Collins on a Sunday, be aware that the traffic on I-70 can be extremely bad from 11 am until 5 pm. It’s advisable to plan your travel accordingly to avoid any delays.

Fort Collins is a vibrant city with a lot to offer. Whether you’re exploring the hip neighborhoods, enjoying the local cuisine, or taking in the natural beauty of the nearby attractions, you’re sure to have an unforgettable experience in Fort Collins.

Embrace Outdoor Adventures

Go Skiing or Snowboarding in Aspen

Aspen is known as one of the top snow destinations in the United States. If you love winter sports or just want to spend a few days in the mountains breathing fresh air and doing a bit of sledging, Aspen is a perfect place to come. There are 4 separate ski resorts in Aspen – Aspen Mountain, Aspen Highlands and Buttermilk are smaller mountains and are closer to the resort. Snowmass is the largest but you’ll need to drive a few miles to get there. If skiing and snowboarding is not your thing, there’s snowmobiles, tubing, snowbikes (it’s a thing!) and ice skating. In the summer, ski slopes turn to mountain bike trails and the hiking routes become a little easier without a few feet of snow on top of them. There are mountain top restaurants that are open through every season and you can even catch a concert at the 19th century Wheeler Opera House. If you’re planning to visit Aspen in the winter, make sure to check the road conditions as sometimes State Highway 82 may be closed due to dangerous passes. Overall, Aspen offers a wide range of winter and summer activities for everyone to enjoy.

Try Ice Climbing in Ouray

Ouray embraces the ice in a different fashion than most — by climbing it. During the Ouray Ice Festival (Jan. 18–21, 2024), the Ice-Climbing Capital of the World becomes a hub of international competition, with the best climbers in the world scaling its famous frozen-in-time waterfalls while spectators watch in awe. Those brave enough to try can strap on some crampons and a harness at one of the festival’s beginner clinics.

Go Whitewater Rafting in the Arkansas River

Whitewater rafting in the Arkansas River is an exhilarating adventure that shouldn’t be missed during your Colorado getaway. The river offers thrilling rapids and stunning scenery, making it a popular destination for outdoor enthusiasts. Whether you’re a beginner or an experienced rafter, there are options for everyone. Experience the rush as you navigate through the rapids and feel the adrenaline pumping through your veins. The Arkansas River provides an unforgettable rafting experience that will leave you with lasting memories.

Embark on a Scenic Drive along the Million Dollar Highway

The Million Dollar Highway is a breathtaking scenic drive in the San Juan Mountains of Colorado. This iconic road stretches between the towns of Silverton and Ouray, offering stunning views of the surrounding mountains and valleys. The name ‘Million Dollar Highway’ comes from the legend that it took a million dollars per mile to build this road. Another legend suggests that the road was paved over a million dollars worth of gold and precious minerals. Whether these legends are true or not, one thing is for sure: the Million Dollar Highway is a must-see for any road trip enthusiast.

As you drive along this route, make sure to stop in Silverton and Ouray. These charming towns offer a variety of dining options and are perfect for a leisurely break. If you have more time, consider extending your trip to explore other nearby attractions such as the Black Canyon of the Gunnison or Crested Butte, known for its world-class skiing and mountain biking.

Please note that the Million Dollar Highway is a narrow and winding road, so drive with caution and be prepared for steep drop-offs. Enjoy the scenic beauty and take your time to soak in the awe-inspiring landscapes of Colorado.

Discover the Rich History

Visit the Mesa Verde National Park

Mesa Verde National Park is one of the most fascinating parks in the United States. This park preserves the ancient Puebloan cliff dwellings and archeological sites that are hundreds of years old. One of the best experiences in Mesa Verde is to take a tour of one of the cliff dwellings. These are only available as a guided tour and you should make your reservation in advance. Cliff Palace and Square Tower House are two popular cliff dwellings to explore. Just before you exit the park, visit the Park Point Fire Lookout for 360° views of Colorado.

Explore the Mining Towns of Central City and Black Hawk

Central City and Black Hawk are historic mining towns that played a significant role in the gold rush of the 1880s. These towns attracted famous figures like Doc Holliday, Susan B. Anthony, Buffalo Bill Cody, and Horace “Silver Dollar” Tabor. Today, Central City and Black Hawk are popular destinations for shopping, dining, and exploring the charm of the Old West. The tree-lined streets are lined with art galleries, boutiques, gift shops, and a variety of terrific local restaurants. It’s the perfect place to check out local artists, relax in a coffee shop, and indulge in international cuisine.

Learn about the Native American Culture at the Ute Indian Museum

Located in Montrose, the Ute Indian Museum offers a fascinating glimpse into the rich Native American history and culture of Colorado. Explore the exhibits showcasing traditional Ute artifacts, artwork, and historical photographs. Learn about the Ute people’s traditional way of life, their connection to the land, and their enduring cultural heritage. The museum also offers educational programs and events that provide opportunities to engage with Ute traditions and customs. Immerse yourself in the captivating stories and traditions of the Ute tribe at this unique museum.

If you’re interested in experiencing more of the Ute culture, consider participating in the night program offered by the museum. This program offers a deeper understanding of Ute traditions through storytelling, music, and dance. It’s a truly immersive experience that shouldn’t be missed.

For a taste of local cuisine, check out the nearby restaurants. Crash Burger is a casual burger joint known for its tasty burgers. Colorado Boy Pizzeria offers delicious pizzas with a variety of toppings. Guru’s Nepalese Restaurant serves up flavorful Nepali food. And if you’re looking for a classic Colorado breakfast, Mimo’s is the place to go for their mouthwatering breakfast burritos.

When it comes to accommodation, you have a few options. If you prefer camping, reserve a spot at the East Portal Campground. It offers a scenic setting and proximity to the Ute Indian Museum. Alternatively, you can stay in the nearby town of Montrose. The Canyon Creek Bed and Breakfast is highly rated, although it may be a bit pricier. The Country Lodge is another option for a comfortable stay in Montrose.

Step back in Time at the Durango and Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad

The Durango and Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad is a historic train that takes you on a journey through the beautiful San Juan Mountains of Colorado. This narrow gauge railroad was originally built in the late 1800s to transport silver and gold ore from the mines in Silverton to the smelters in Durango. Today, it operates as a tourist attraction, offering visitors a unique and nostalgic experience.

As you ride the train, you’ll be transported back in time to the era of steam locomotives and old-fashioned train travel. The train winds its way through breathtaking canyons, along the Animas River, and past stunning mountain scenery. It’s a truly picturesque and memorable journey.

During the ride, you’ll have the opportunity to learn about the history of the railroad and the surrounding area. The train’s knowledgeable guides will share fascinating stories and facts about the railroad’s construction, the mining industry, and the people who lived and worked in this rugged landscape.

If you’re looking for a unique way to experience Colorado’s rich history and natural beauty, a ride on the Durango and Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad is a must-do. It’s a chance to step back in time and immerse yourself in the sights, sounds, and history of the Old West.

In Conclusion

Colorado offers a plethora of must-see places for a March getaway. From the stunning alpine lakes and challenging hikes in Ouray to the breathtaking rock formations in Garden of the Gods, there is something for everyone. Don’t miss the opportunity to visit the largest sand dunes in the Americas at Great Sand Dunes National Park and experience the grandeur of the Broadmoor Seven Falls. Whether you’re exploring the scenic drives or embarking on outdoor adventures, Colorado is sure to leave you with unforgettable memories. So pack your bags, hit the road, and embark on an unforgettable March getaway in the beautiful state of Colorado!

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the must-see natural wonders in Colorado?

Some of the must-see natural wonders in Colorado include the Rocky Mountains, the Garden of the Gods, the Maroon Bells, and Great Sand Dunes National Park.

What are some popular activities in Colorado Springs?

Some popular activities in Colorado Springs include visiting the Garden of the Gods Park, exploring the art and culture of the city, enjoying the lively music scene, and exploring the hip neighborhoods.

What outdoor adventures can I experience in Colorado?

You can go skiing or snowboarding in Aspen, try ice climbing in Ouray, go whitewater rafting in the Arkansas River, and embark on a scenic drive along the Million Dollar Highway.

What historical sites can I visit in Colorado?

You can visit Mesa Verde National Park, explore the mining towns of Central City and Black Hawk, learn about Native American culture at the Ute Indian Museum, and experience the Durango and Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad.

What are some recommended places to visit in Colorado for a March getaway?

Some recommended places to visit in Colorado for a March getaway include the Rocky Mountains, Garden of the Gods, Maroon Bells, Great Sand Dunes National Park, Colorado Springs, Fort Collins, Aspen, Ouray, and the Million Dollar Highway.

What are some scenic drives in Colorado?

Some scenic drives in Colorado include the Million Dollar Highway, the drive to Rocky Mountain National Park, and the drive to Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park.

What is the recommended itinerary for a 4-day Colorado road trip in March?

A recommended itinerary for a 4-day Colorado road trip in March includes visiting Colorado Springs, Great Sand Dunes National Park, Mesa Verde National Park, and Rocky Mountain National Park.

Is Colorado Springs a dog-friendly destination?

Yes, Colorado Springs is a dog-friendly destination. You can visit the dog-friendly Garden of the Gods Park and enjoy outdoor activities with your furry friend.

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