If Colorado had a magic number, it might be 14,000. The state boasts 53 snow-capped mountains––known as ‘fourteeners’––whose summits reach 14,000 feet. One such monstrosity–-and a must-see on any Colorado travel guide––is Long’s Peak. This fourteener punctures the cloudscape at 14,259 feet and marks the northern end of the Peak to Peak Scenic Byway, which offers a tour of the Rockies’ stunning Front Range. This scenic byway kicks off in Rocky Mountain National Park and weaves through panoramic ridges, aspen forests, and bubbling creeks. And though it's a car trip, there's plenty to do on foot: a stroll and a meal in the quaint mountain town of Nederland, or a stop at a lookout offering sweeping vistas of crags and yawning valleys.
Of course, for those who'd rather travel by ski, Colorado is a veritable playground for snow sports. Here, some of the country’s best known ski resorts—Vail and Breckenridge, to name two—teem with skiers and snowboarders thrashing through powdery snow. But there are also plenty of things to do in the Colorado Rockies in summer. The Telluride Bluegrass Festival draws some of the world’s most prestigious musicians to its stages, while whitewater rafting on the Colorado River keeps adventurous hearts beating long after the snow melts.
Denver, Colorado’s bustling capital, proves that Colorado's culture rises as high as its mountains. The Denver Art Museum features artwork from the American West alongside European masterpieces, while the 16th street mall’s mile-long pedestrian promenade is lined with historic buildings, shopping, and fine dining options. And the open-air Red Rocks Amphitheatre, located in the foothills near Denver, brings concert going to new heights. Carved entirely out of rock, this iconic theatre earned its reputation as an obligatory stop on the touring circuits of famous bands, including the Beatles and U2.