From amazing mountain towns to vibrant urban scenes, there are countless weekend getaways in Colorado that you’ve got to check out.
Seriously. You’ll find plenty of incredible ways to spend the weekend in Colorado. Arid desert environments in the south and west deliver big on climbing and biking. While in the mighty Rocky Mountains you’ll find picture-perfect mountain towns like Ouray and upscale locales such as Aspen.
If you love to sleep in a tent, then treat yourself to amazing free camping in Colorado while you explore some of the best things to do in Colorado.
The Centennial State is home to some of the most avid weekend warriors around, myself included. Sure, I may be a freelance writer for the outdoors that specializes in Colorado adventure travel, but that doesn’t mean I don’t still get out on several weekend getaways in Colorado each year.
I’ve lived in the great CO for 12 years. And as a professional hiker, camping snob, and climber, I know EXACTLY where the best weekend getaways in Colorado are at. If you’re looking to spend a weekend in Colorado or head out on an epic Colorado road trip, you’ve come to the right place.
This is the spot to get local, expert advice on weekend getaways in Colorado. Travel like a local, not a tourist with this mega-awesome guide to amazing Colorado weekend getaways you simply can’t miss.
Inside you’ll find real, honest, local advice about making the most of your weekend. The best part? You’ll get tips about how to beat the crowds at some of the most scenic places in Colorado.
About this Guide to Weekend Getaways in Colorado
Ready to get local, honest advice about the best weekend getaways in Colorado? Let’s dive right in! Here’s what you’ll find inside this post:
- A mega-epic list of weekend getaways in Colorado you’ve got to check out
- Info on things to do, where to eat, and where to stay at each destination
- The best time to visit Colorado
- Additional Colorado travel planning resources
When is the Best Time to Visit Colorado?
Colorado is absolutely amazing any time of year. In fact, you’ll find tons to do no matter what the season.
To figure out when to visit Colorado, you’ll want to consider your activities. For outdoor adventures such as hiking, backpacking, and camping visit from late June through mid-September.
If you want to experience the magic of the Aspens then embark on a Colorado getaway the third week of September.
Ski season typically runs from mid-December through late March.
The low season for activity is certainly the spring and fall months. Although some things may be closed for their respective seasons, you can still enjoy plenty of beautiful scenery without the hordes of people (and notorious mountain traffic).
What is the Most Fun Thing to Do in Colorado?
There are so many incredibly fun things to do in Colorado that is hard to select just one.
However, if I had to choose some of the best things to do during your weekend getaway in Colorado, they would include:
- Visiting Rocky Mountain National Park – This park is stunning and there are so many amazing hikes in Rocky Mountain National Park to enjoy, including Dream Lake, Long’s Peak, and Sky Pond. You can also use Trail Ridge Road to drive across the park and experience stunning alpine views.
- Ouray – This is easily one of the most charming mountain towns in Colorado. So, while you’re here, take a dip in the Ouray hot springs, climb through the Ouray Ice Park, and admire Box Canyon falls.
- Garden of the Gods – This place is home to some of the best hikes near Colorado Springs that are perfect for hikers of all skill levels. So, get out and see the red rock towers with the Rocky Mountains in the background.
- Colorado National Monument – Stand in awe of incredible sandstone monolith and take in jaw-droppingly beautiful rock spires as you watch endangered bighorn sheep, and soak up incredible desert views,
- Hanging Lake – Hanging Lake is truly otherworldly and looks almost like a dream. It’s also one of the most stunning alpine lakes in Colorado. The trail will re-open after landslide damage on June 25th, 2022.
Where Should I Go in Colorado for the First Time?
If it’s your first time in Colorado then you cannot leave the state without visiting Rocky Mountain National Park.
After all, RMNP receives upwards of 4 million visitors annually and is the 4th busiest national park in the US for a reason.
So be sure to visit and base yourself in Estes Park so that you can drive on Trail Ridge Road, hike to Dream Lake, and drive along the Many Peaks Highway.
How to Take a Cheap Trip to Colorado?
Some great ways to save money on your next trip to Colorado are to:
- Stay in a hostel
- Travel during the off-season of low season
- Try car camping
- Fly into Denver
- Use a shuttle to get from Denver Airport to various ski towns
- Don’t rent a car at the airport
- Do a bit of backcountry camping
What is the Most Romantic Place in Colorado?
Some of the most romantic places in Colorado include:
- The Stanley Hotel
- Little Nell
- Garden of the Gods Resort and Club
- The Broadmoor
- Dunton Hot Springs
- The Gant
Is Colorado Springs Nice for Vacation?
If it’s your first time in Colorado I wouldn’t recommend staying overnight in Colorado Springs.
Not only can you easily visit as part of a day trip from Denver but there are other, far nicer places to check out in the state.
Is Colorado a Good Place to go on Holiday?
Absolutely! Colorado is a great place to go on holiday. And with over 300 days of sunshine annually, you can get outside and go hiking, rafting, and rock climbing in the summer.
Then, in the winter, you can bundle up and try snowboarding, ice skating, skiing, and even dog-sledding too.
A Map of Weekend Trips in Colorado
There are fantastically amazing weekend getaways in Colorado throughout the state. This map highlights the different destinations that offer up drool-worthy scenery and plenty of fun-filled adventures. Be sure to check out the interactive map too!
23 Weekend Getaways in Colorado
Wanna getaway? Colorado is jam-packed with amazing outdoor getaways that will take your breathe away. Here’s a look at the best weekend getaways in Colorado.
Denver is the biggest city in Colorado and actually has more culture to explore than the outdoors. It’s definitely the best weekend getaway in Colorado for an urban adventure.
Larimer Square is the center of the city, with plenty of shops to peruse and restaurants to enjoy. For more cool things to do in Denver, pay a visit to the RiNo (River North) District for art galleries and food halls. If you want some fresh air, stroll around City Park or check out the Denver Botanic Gardens, which are beautiful in any season.
Wanna get out of town? Check out some of Denver’s best hiking trails and then hit up your favorite brewery after your romp through nature. Spend the weekend in Denver and get cool urban vibes with plenty of quick glimpses into nature.
If you’re visiting in the snowy season, you’ll find ample things to do in Denver in winter. Don’t forget to check out the best ski areas near Denver too!
Where to Stay in Denver:
While there are tons of places to stay in Denver, from hotel chains to Airbnbs, one of the coolest is Hostel Fish.
This fun and funky hostel is located right downtown and within walking distance of Union Station, so it makes a great base to get around. (I had a friend who stayed here once, so I got to check it out, and I would totally stay here if I didn’t already live in Denver!)
Boulder is truly the destination to get outside in the Front Range of Colorado. You’ll see the iconic Flatirons immediately when you arrive in Boulder, but that’s just the beginning.
Explore Chautauqua Park for great views of the Flatirons and check out Flagstaff Mountain for panoramic vistas of the whole area. Head up Boulder Canyon to dip in the creek or climb at the crags. And don’t miss Eldorado Canyon State Park for some of the best hikes in Boulder and world-class trad climbing.
Where to Stay in Boulder:
The Adventure Lodge in Boulder is designed as a hub for outdoorsy fun, and you can choose a room, a cabin, tent camping, or even just a space to park your van. You could also stay right in the heart of Pearl Street at Hotel Boulderado.
Golden might not be as well-known as Boulder, but this cute western town is a quick day trip from Denver and offers plenty of outdoor places to play, along with a lot of breweries to grab a pint after your adventure. The town is bookmarked by North and South Table Mesas and Lookout Mountain (the M up there represents the local college, School of Mines).
Clear Creek runs through the center of town and the canyon itself is full of climbing crags and hiking trails. And the iconic Red Rocks Amphitheatre is just a short drive away in Morrison.
Local Tip: Golden is incredibly scenic in the spring. Views towards the plains are alive with vibrant greens and Clear Creek Canyon really comes to life.
Where to Stay in Golden:
The Dove Inn is on a cute little neighborhood street right downtown, and it is the place to stay to feel like you’re right at home in Golden. But the historic Victorian stylings and all the extra amenities elevate your time here into a lovely getaway.
4. Colorado Springs
Colorado Springs is the perfect place to enjoy one of the best weekend getaways in Colorado. Garden of the Gods is rightfully known for its stunning sandstone formations that you can meander through along the trails – or even climb! If you’re up for it, check out the ultimate outdoor Stairmaster of the Manitou Incline. The 2,744 gain 2,000 feet in less than a mile, so it’s definitely a challenge.
Of course, the highlight of the scenery in Colorado Springs is Pikes Peak, which you can drive, bike, or hike to the top of.
Where to Stay in Colorado Springs:
You’ll find a variety of accommodations in Colorado Springs, and you really can’t go wrong when you have access to the amazing natural adventures in the area. The ColoRADo Adventure Hostel is a good option for anyone on a budget, or splurge with a stay at the luxurious Broadmoor.
5. Fort Collins
If you want to spend a weekend in Colorado playing in the water, visit Fort Collins. Horsetooth Reservoir is very close to town and is a hub of water activities from swimming, boating, kayaking, SUPing, and more. Take the adventure up a notch by whitewater rafting on the Cache La Poudre River or hiking or climbing in the canyon.
Where to Stay in Fort Collins
Spend your nights downtown at the hip and historic Armstrong Hotel, or stay right by all the outdoor action by camping at the Horsetooth Reservoir or in campgrounds located along the Cache La Poudre.
6. Glenwood Springs
Hanging Lake is a treasure in Glenwood Springs and totally worth planning a Colorado weekend getaway around. This gorgeous hike has become so popular that permits are required.
Glenwood Springs attractions include some of the best hot springs in Colorado. You have a couple of different hot springs to choose from, but Iron Mountain is always my go-to since it’s a little more sophisticated than Glenwood Hot Springs and has beautiful views along the banks of the Colorado River.
Where to Stay in Glenwood Springs:
The Rio Grande Bed & Breakfast offers a variety of accommodations in Glenwood Springs, from studio lofts downtown to cozy cabins to cute cottages on Red Barn Ranch.
Breckenridge offers epic skiing and snowboarding which makes it a perfect winter weekend getaway in Colorado. The charming mountain town is also great for strolling around and après ski shenanigans.
For a bonus quirky little adventure while in Breck, take a hike on Trollstigen Trail to say hi to the troll sculpture in the woods. You’ll also find some of the most scenic winter hikes in Colorado right around town.
If you’re visiting Breckenridge in the summer, you’ll find some incredible hiking trails in Breckenridge. Or if you want an even bigger adventure, try your luck at some of the best 13ers in Colorado. Atlantic Peak and Northstar Mountain are two favorites of mine.
Road bikers will love the many paved (and dedicated) road biking trails in the area. Opt to bike around the Dillion Reservoir or even try your luck at peddling all the way to Vail. The uphill effort is worth the effort for the downhill rush!
Local Tip: From Breckenridge, it’s really easy to explore nearby Frisco, Dillion, and Silverthorne too! Traffic builds quickly coming home on Sundays though, so plan to either be on the road and through the Eisenhower Tunnel before noon or stay late into the evening.
Where to Stay in Breckenridge:
Gravity Haus is a modern ski lodge with a perfect location to walk into town or hit the slopes of Peak 9. It even has a Japanese bathhouse to pamper your tired muscles in soaking tubs and a sauna.
8. Steamboat Springs
Another amazing ski weekend getaway in Colorado is Steamboat Springs. With lots of light “champagne powder” and aspen glades for tree skiing, you won’t want to leave the slopes. Not to mention the apres scene is bumping with live music and a fun party every weekend.
Local Tip: I love visiting Steamboat Springs in the fall. Buffalo Pass is one of the best fall drives in Colorado and soaking in the hot springs is a must-do after a fun-filled fall hike!
But if you do need a break, head to Strawberry Park Hot Springs. Soak your tired body in one of the many pools in a soothing natural setting.
Where to Stay in Steamboat Springs:
You can actually stay right at Strawberry Park Hot Springs to maximize your soaking time and appreciate the beautiful resort. Or spend the night downtown along the Yampa River at the vintage (but updated) Rabbit Ears Motel.
Aspen is the place to be for Colorado winter activities and there’s plenty to do in other seasons, too, making it one of the best weekend getaways in Colorado. Of course, the skiing is incredible with tons of terrain to run laps on at Aspen Mountain, Aspen Highlands, Buttermilk, and Snowmass.
The Maroon Bells are another iconic Aspen attraction and make Aspen one of the prettiest mountain towns in Colorado. These gorgeous peaks tower over 14,000 feet, and you can choose to hike to the summit or appreciate them from afar on other hiking trails in the area. You also can’t beat Aspen for spectacular fall colors in Colorado.
Avid backpackers must put the 4 Passes Loop on their bucket list. As one of the most beautiful backpacking routes in Colorado, this stunning loop takes you up and over 4 mountain passes. It’s tough, but well-worth the shlep.
Local Tip: You’ll need to take a shuttle to reach a lot of the most popular hikes in Aspen, including views of the Maroon Bells. Get there early to snag one of the few parking spots, or plan for a shuttle run.
Where to Stay in Aspen:
While there are many hotels and resorts in Aspen, most of them are not exactly affordable. But the Tyrolean Lodge on Aspen’s Main Street is quaint, charming, and cheap (at least by Aspen standards).
10. Grand Junction/Fruita
While a lot of people simply drive through Grand Junction and Fruita on the way to Utah, these neighboring towns on the Western Slope make for a memorable place to spend an outdoor weekend in Colorado. The Colorado National Monument is a must-see, filled with red rock canyons and towers.
Local Tip: Psst…some of the most amazing hiking trails in Grand Junction rival some of Utah’s famous red rock scenery.
This area is also a mountain biking destination with tons of trails, including the epic 140-mile Kokopelli’s Trail. Fuel up after your ride at the Hot Tomato in Fruita, an east-coast style pizzeria and beloved community hub.
Local Tip: Grand Junction and Fruita get HOT in the summer. Visit during the shoulder seasons or in winter for the best weather.
Where to Stay in Grand Junction/Fruita:
If you want to dirtbag it, there’s plenty of dispersed camping on BLM land in the area (just be sure to Leave No Trace). Or treat yourself to a stay in the sleek Hotel Maverick, located on the campus of Colorado Mesa University.
Get a real Rocky Mountain high with a weekend in Leadville, the highest incorporated city in North America at 10,152 feet. Leadville is easily one of the best places to visit in Colorado for summer – thanks to the variety of activities around.
If you want to summit some of the best 14ers in Colorado for beginners, Mount Elbert and Mount Massive, the highest and second-highest peaks in Colorado, are nearby. Alternatively, if you prefer mountain biking, you will love the trails in Leadville.
After you work up an appetite, Treeline Kitchen is truly a treat and one of the best things to do in Leadville, CO! Both the meals and the cocktails (friends raved about the spicy marg while I was a big fan of the Colorado New Fashioned) never fail to impress.
Where to Stay in Leadville:
Leadville has some of the best campgrounds in Colorado, from Twin Lakes to Turquoise Lake to Camp Hale (where the 10th Mountain Division used to train). If you want an actual roof over your head, the Slumberyard at Freight features quirky cabins, each named after Leadville’s legendary “women of the night.”
12. Crested Butte/Gunnison
Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park features awe-inspiring views of an incredibly steep narrow canyon of 2,000-foot rock walls made of gneiss and schist.
Hiking around the rim is easy, but only fit and prepared hikers should attempt to descend to the river. The Black Canyon is also a mecca for rock climbing in Colorado, and experienced rock climbers can take on the challenge of ascending the massive rock faces. For a less intense climbing experience, check out Hartman Rocks, which also features a great network of mountain bike trails.
Just a short drive away, the town of Crested Butte offers more mountain biking, as well as hiking and skiing. Don’t forget to check out Crested Butte in the fall months as it’s home to some of the most incredible fall hikes in Colorado. And then in the summer, you can see some of the best Colorado wildflowers too.
Be sure to give yourself some time to wander down the adorable main street. Hit up The Alpineer for any technical gear you might need and check out Chop Wood Mercantile for cool outdoor lifestyle products and clothes. Spend happy hour hanging out on the porch of The Last Steep for a pint and a meal (I highly recommend the curry shrimp and coconut salad).
Where to Stay in Gunnison/Crested Butte:
Hartman Rocks is an excellent place to camp, with lots of sites with stunning backdrops (it’s worth the effort to drive around for a bit to find the perfect place to pitch your tent).
In Crested Butte, Purple Mountain is a welcoming B&B with a hot tub and daily local craft beer tastings. Nearby Kebler Pass also offers some of the best free camping in Colorado.
13. Buena Vista
Pronounced “Bewna Vista” this coveted hot spot is one of the best weekend getaways in Colorado. Known as the premier adventure mountain town, there’s plenty of things to do in Buena Vista.
Home to the mighty Sawatch Range, peak baggers from all over come to try their luck at one of the many 14ers. You’ll also find plenty of must-see lake hikes in Colorado.
Mountain bikers also scour the hills nearby for some fast-paced single-track action. During the summer months, you can raft Browns Canyon, definitely a big bucket list item.
After you’ve had your fill of adventure sports, head to the famous Eddyline Brewery and Pub. Relax outdoors and soak in the quintessential Colorado vibes.
Where to Stay in Buena Vista:
Located just 2.5 hours from Denver, the best way to spend a weekend in Granby is to enjoy some of the best free camping near Denver. It’s literally EVERYWHERE around here. AirBnB’s are another excellent option as the town of Buena Vista is super-quaint and just minutes from amazing mountain scenery.
14. Estes Park
Estes Park is an ideal weekend getaway from Denver to visit Rocky Mountain National Park. RMNP, as it’s known locally, features acres of alpine terrain to explore and is home to some of the very best hikes in Colorado. The hike to Nymph, Dream, Emerald Lake is simply stunning and should be on your Colorado bucket list. While it’s super crowded in the summer, I love this hike in winter when there are fewer people, and you can walk right across the frozen lakes.
For a more challenging adventure, try your luck at hiking to the iconic Sky Pond or even climb Long’s Peak, one of Colorado’s most beautiful 14ers. If you’re not into hiking, don’t worry, there are plenty of other things to do in Rocky Mountain National Park.
Outside of RMNP you can enjoy an array of awesome things to do in Estes Park. Start your day off by enjoying one of the many hiking trails in Estes, followed by a drive down the Many Peaks Highway – one of the most scenic drives near Denver. Then head into town and relax at one of the awesome downtown Estes eateries and shops.
Local Tip: This is one of the most touristy areas in all of Colorado. Plan to visit Estes Park during the late spring or late fall if you’re looking to avoid the crowds. Winter is nice too, but Trail Ridge Road closes and many of the park’s bigger hiking trails travel through avalanche terrain. However, there are still plenty of things to do in Rocky Mountain National Park during winter.
Where to Stay in Estes Park:
If you get a coveted campsite, you can stay right in RMNP, which is definitely one of the top places to camp in Colorado. Of course, Estes Park is also home to the famous (or infamous) Stanley Hotel, featured in The Shining. If you can get over your fear of it being haunted, staying here offers a luxurious experience and amazing views of the Rockies.
One of the most iconic weekend getaways in Colorado is Granby. The town itself is minutes away from the mega-huge Lake Granby where you can fish, boat, hike or simply relax. You’ll also find the Monarch Lake Trailhead nearby, home to the most beautiful mountain in Colorado – Lone Eagle Peak.
Enjoy world-class mountain golfing, head out on a scenic horseback ride, or opt to head north and access the lesser-trafficked west side of Rocky Mountain National Park. You’ll get easy access to Trail Ridge Road, one of the most scenic drives in Colorado.
In winter you can ski at Winter Park – famous for its unbelievable tree skiing and laid-back atmosphere. If you live in Colorado, you can also come up to Granby to chop down your own Christmas tree. A time-honored tradition that also aids in forest management.
For delicious eats check out the Java Lava Cafe and the Granby Garage.
Where to Stay in Granby:
For luxurious lodging stay at Base Camp One. More budget-friendly options include Lone Eagle Lodge and the Canyon Hotel. Camping is available as well, but mostly through paid campgrounds such as the Sunrise Point Campground, Arapaho Bay Campground, and Big Rock Campground.
Known as one of the best Colorado road trip stops, Telluride should be on everyone’s list of the best weekend getaways in Denver. This town is drool-worthy down to every detail. Nestled right in the heart of the GORGEOUS San Juan Mountains, this town has it all.
For starters, head to the end of the main road and hike to Bridal Veil Falls, a must-do waterfall hike in Colorado. Nearby you’ll also find the exhilarating Telluride Via Feratta, a fun-filled hiking and climbing adventure that uses metal cables and requires a harness. Or check out some of the other awesome hiking trails near Telluride.
You can also enjoy plenty of amazing offroad driving, 14er hikes, and world-class skiing (winter). When you’re tuckered out stop by Esperanzas Tequila Restaurant or the Smuggler-Union Brewery and restaurant.
Local Tip: Telluride is home to some of the best wildflower hikes in Colorado too.
Where to Stay in Telluride:
Telluride isn’t the most budget-friendly spot – in fact, an AirBnB will cost you around $200 during the busy season. However, wherever there is a nearby dirt road, you can almost promise you’ll find camping. For reasonable lodging, check out nearby Ridgway.
Ouray is everyone’s favorite mountain town. There are so many Ouray activities, you’ll come back again and again.
It’s a great home base for epic hiking – like the stunning Ice Lake Basin. Come in mid-July and experience some of the best wildflower hikes in Colorado.
The Million Dollar Highway is a must-drive, drool-worthy mountain jaunt (and a perfect gateway to nearby Durango). Ouray is also world-famous for its 4×4 roads so if you have a Jeep, ATV, or other adventure mobile, you’ll be in good company.
Also, Ouray is home to some of the most scenic sections of the Colorado Trail – making this region a backpacker’s paradise.
In winter, come down to the Ouray Ice Park and try your luck at ice climbing. Beginners can take lessons in a controlled environment while pros can indulge and test their skills at the annual Ice Climbing Festival.
Local Tip: This place gets BUSY in the summer. But that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t visit for a weekend getaway in Colorado. Simply plan ahead and hit the trails early to beat the crowds.
Where to Stay in Ouray:
The Ouray Inn is a funky, cozy spot to rest your head for a reasonable price. Or head down one of the many National Forest roads and enjoy dispersed camping for free (bring in everything you need, including a proper bathroom kit).
Known for its high-end accommodation and world-class skiing Vail is a high-end adventure lover’s paradise. From amazing golf courses to road biking, and epic Vail hikes, you can easily spend a weekend here (or three).
In winter, skiing – both downhill and cross country – is the name of the game. Also, you’ll find the world’s most challenging ice climbing where it isn’t unusual to spot world-class athletes.
In summer there is plenty of things to do in Vail. Enjoy the network of road biking trails, mountain bike at Vail resort, backpack to Gore Lake, or plan a golf outing.
Where to Stay in Vail:
There are some awesome campgrounds about 30 minutes from Vail or you can opt to stay at Cohabit – a budget-friendly lodge. If you want to splurge just a little, The Bunkhouse is where it’s at.
As a quiet mountain town, Carbondale makes for an excellent way to spend a weekend in Colorado. The Crystal Mill is a classic location. This privately-owned mill is perched beautifully next to a river. Opt to drive (my choice) the bumpy road to the viewpoint or hike it.
Mountain bikers will drool over the endless options for single-track action. Don’t forget to drive the West Elk Loop Byway to McClure Pass as well.
Afterward, head to the arts district and scope out local artisans and galleries. Then nosh at the Goat Kitchen and Bar.
Where to Stay in Carbondale:
There are so many cute AirBnB’s in and around Carbondale, that’s definitely my first choice. Otherwise, check into the Dandelion Inn an ADORABLE boutique hotel right in town.
As Colorado’s best western mountain town, you’ve got to plan a weekend getaway to this gateway town. Featuring amazing mountain biking, fun-filled hikes, and even the quiet, pow-stuffed Purgatory Ski Resort, there’s something for everyone.
One of the most unique things to do in Durango is to ride the narrow gauge railway. It’s utterly scenic and if you’re an avid backpacker (and peak bagger) you can ride the train to 4 amazing 14ers as well!
Don’t forget to grab a bite at the El Moro Tavern or the James Ranch Grill. DELISH!
Where to Stay in Durango:
The O-Bar Cabins offer incredible self-catering accommodation for a reasonable price – and put you in the heart of the action!
21. Idaho Springs
For a quick weekend getaway in Colorado, put Idaho Springs on your list. This historic mountain town gives you quick access to some of the most scenic easy hikes near Denver and has a lot of fun activities to enjoy.
During the late spring and early summer, you can raft Clear Creek – a fun-filled day that’s perfect for anyone looking to make a splash. Enjoy beginner climbing in Clear Creek Canyon after you’ve gone rafting and see the canyon from the top to bottom.
Drive to the top of Mount Evans, one of the closest 14ers near Denver. Afterward, enjoy a zipline adventure or go for a soak in the Indian Hot Springs. No trip to Idaho Springs is complete without a stop at Smokin’ Yard BBQ or the Tommyknocker Brewery.
Where to Stay in Idaho Springs:
Idaho Springs has a lot of affordable places to stay including the Bearadise Motel or the Juniper Mountain House.
Located about an an hour away from Denver, Frisco is an ideal weekend getaway in Colorado for anyone who wants to enjoy incredible mountain scenery right near the Mile High City.
You’ll also be able to escape the crowds since most people skip Frisco in favor of neabry Breckenridge and Silverthorn.
However, this town makes an incredible home base from which to explore the Tenmile Range and a nearby reservoir where you try out tons of fun water-based activities.
You should also grab a bike and ride along a path straight through the town before checking out all the paved trails along the I-70 corridor.
Then, feel free to make use of the area’s many easier trails before tackling the Royal Flush climbing route (5.9, 7 pitches). It’s a magical, alpine climbing-like experience that will take you all the way to the top of Mount Royal.
Not into climbing? You can hike the butt-busting trail to the top for spectacular views of the area.
Local Tip: Be sure to bike to the top of Vail Pass since the ride down is awesome.
Where to Stay in Frisco:
The Omni Frisco Hotel is a great, 4-star accommodation if you’re looking for a swank place to stay that comes with its very own indoor pool.
Otherwise, for a more down to Earth stay, try booking a room at the Hotel Indigo Frisco. It’s well located in downtown and features comfy rooms with access to an outdoor pool.
23. Manitou Springs
Just next door to Colorado Springs lies Mantou Springs, a unique destination for weekend getaways in Colorado that is probably one of the last true hippie communities in the state.
So, soak up the unusual artsy vibe of this place before going back in time at the Manitou Cliff Dwellings.
These re-created dwellings are perfect for kiddos who want an interactive experience dedicated to the region’s rich native history. In fact, these recreations of original Pueblo homes are sure to astound you as you fully understand how these people actually lived.
Next, enjoy some skeeball and pinball machines at the old school Menitou Penny Arcade before tackling The Manitough Incline.
It’s an insane test of physical endurance that includes 2,744 steps and 2,000 feet of elevation gain in under a mile.
Local Tip: You’ll need an advanced reservation to hike the Manitou Incline, so reserve your spot in advance!
Finally, explore the Red Rock Canyon Open Space and take in sweeping views of the area’s many sandstone rock formations before ascending to the top of Pikes Peak by way of the Manitou & Pikes Peak Cog Railway.
Where To stay in Manitou Springs
For a perfect stay in Manitou Springs, try The Cliff House at Pikes Peak. Not only are lavish rooms well-appointed, but the service is great and the price is incredibly reasonable.
Otherwise, you can partake in a slightly more traditional stay at the The Mining Exchange A Wyndham Grand Hotel, which is renowned for its incredible on-site spa.
24. Great Sand Dunes National Park
If you’re looking for one of the best weekend getaways in Colorado then you can’t beat Great Sand Dunes National Park.
Located in Southern Colorado, this amazing national park in Colorado is known for its enormous sand dunes, like Star Dune, High Dune, and Hidden Dune.
Plus, for one of the best backpacking trips in Colorado, you can camp in one of the designated sites in the Dunes Backcountry for an incredible experience.
Then, seasonally, visitors can head to Medano Creek and relax by the beach that is routinely created here.
Just be sure to snag either a 7-Day Pass for $25 per vehicle or a Great Sand Dunes Annual Pass for $45 before your visit.
You can also use the Medano Pass Primitive Road to explore the Sangre de Cristo mountains and visit alpine lakes like Medano Lake, which is home to tons of wildlife and lots of trout.
And while many people visit in the summer, early fall is a great time to explore the park since you’ll avoid intense crowds, can enjoy some stellar foliage, and won’t have to worry about sand temperatures of upwards of 150° F.
Where to Stay in Great Sand Dunes National Park
There is one campground in the Great Sand Dunes National Park and spots fill up the moment they open. So, if you want to camp at Pinon Flats Campground, plan accordingly.
However, you can also try for a walk-in permit to backcountry camp among the dunes or head to Alamosa and spend the night at Great Sand Dunes Lodge.
25. Pagosa Springs
Another one of the best weekend getaways in Colorado, Pagosa Springs is a quaint mountain town in the southwest of Colorado that is surrounded by the gorgeous, San Juan Mountains.
Therefore, visitors can fish for trout on the San Juan River before checking out the ancient Puebloan dwellings in Chimney Rock National Monument, and skiing at Wolf Creek Ski Area in the winter.
Additionally, Pagosa Springs is also known for being home to some of the best hot springs in Colorado.
So, head to The Springs Resort and Spa to relax in the deepest hot spring waters in the entire country.
You can also bring the kids since access is just $30 per person and there are a wide array of pools to enjoy while staring out at the mountains all around you.
Where to Stay Pagosa Springs
If you can, be sure to spend the night at The Springs Resort so that you have ample time to enjoy the many hot springs here.
Located right along the river, The Springs Resort offers the deepest hot springs in the US. A wide variety of pools, some suitable for children and some adult-only options, with stunning mountain backdrops, make this an excellent spot to enjoy a good soak. Accommodations are also available.
Hours: 7 am to 11 pm in the winter and 7 am to 12 am Memorial through Labor Day.
Dress Code: Bathing suit required
Kid-Friendly?: Yes with adult-only pools.
Additional Colorado Planning Resources
Wanna visit Colorado like a local, not a tourist? Check out these resource guides to plan your epic Colorado weekend getaway.
- Your Guide to Hiking in Colorado
- How to Visit Colorado: The Local Guide
- How to Camp in Colorado Like a Pro