Colorado’s front range is an outdoors man’s paradise and a brew-lover’s bliss. With iconic hikes, nationally-renowned breweries, breathtaking mountain views, delicious dining, and of course a famously friendly culture, it’s little wonder that our state is a favorite destination for visitors and a source of pride for natives like ourselves. From Fort Collins to Colorado Springs, check out our favorite things to do along the front range.
Horsetooth Reservoir, and the many hikes that surround it, is one of the most picturesque and easily accessible outdoor destinations in Northern Colorado. With six and a half miles of water nestled in the foothills of the Rockies and surrounded by 1,900 acres of public land, Horsetooth is host to a variety of activities, including hiking, rock climbing, camping, fishing, boating, water skiing, scuba diving, swimming, and picnicking.
After your outdoor excursion, be sure to stop by New Belgium Brewing Company and take their excellent tour. You’ll receive free tastings of a variety of beer styles, see behind-the-scenes brewing equipment and techniques, view an ingeniously streamlined assembly process, and maybe even receive a special beer for answering trivia questions correctly.
Of course, we can’t mention New Belgium without highlighting Northern Colorado’s other epic craft brewery, Odell Brewing Company. Be sure to visit this gem, so adored by locals, where you can sample a delicious brew while enjoying Colorado’s famously mellow culture!
Boulder’s flatirons are a visually stunning series of diagonally protruding sandstone formations. This is a favorite destination for climbers and hikers, but you can also enjoy the view from Chautauqua Park. Be sure to walk Boulder’s Pearl Street as well to discover niche shops and incredible dining.
No trip to Boulder is complete without a stop at The Boulder Duchanbe Tea House, which boasts not only authentic dishes but also an incredible history: The teahouse was gifted to Boulder by its sister city, Duchanbe, the capital of Tajikistan, where it was constructed before being disassembled, shipped across the ocean, and finally reassembled in Boulder, where it remains today.
Colorado’s front range has something to offer everyone, including the NASCAR enthusiast in your life! The Colorado National Speedway in Dacono is an exhilarating activity perfect for parent-child or full-family bonding. After the races, head on over to Echo Brewing Company for some Detroit-style pizza, cracker-thin Chicago-style pizza, and classic Italian-style pizza along with a flight of craft beer.
Denver Area and Denver Metro
If you’re a Colorado native who’s never been to Red Rocks Ampitheatre, you’re missing out on some spectacular views and acoustics. Check out their list of concerts and events, take a hike through the park, or plan a private event.
Closer toward the city, be sure to visit the Denver Art Museum, which boasts more than 70,000 works of art, as well as the Denver Museum of Nature and Science, which always brings in unique exhibits. While you’re at the Denver Museum of Nature and Science, stop by Denver’s nearby 80-acre zoo.
Sports enthusiasts will love catching a Rockies game at Coors Field or a Broncos game at Mile High Stadium. Denver offers too many wonderful things to do to name them all, but we can’t omit mention of the shopping at Union Station, which was number one on the list of the 18 best things to do in Denver by U.S. News.
Just North of the US Air Force Academy, Monument feels both charmingly rural and conveniently close to city amenities. Local and visitors alike will enjoy exploring Colorado’s backcountry and high country on a personalized jeep tour offered by Manitou Springs Adventures High Country. After your tour, check out 3 Hundred Days of Shine Distillery to taste moonshine in a variety of fruit flavors.
Castle Rock, Colorado offers several hidden treasures, including the Cherokee Ranch and Castle, which will make you feel like you’ve just stepped into a mini vacation in Scotland, Miller Activity Complex, which offers something for everyone in your family, and the highly-rated 105 West Brewing Company. If you’re just passing through, you can easily stop by the Outlets at Castle Rock, right off i-25, for a bite to eat and some fun shopping.
Last but not least, our state’s centrally-located Colorado Springs offers the best of Colorado culture through outdoor experiences like the nationally famous sandstone red rock formations at Garden of the Gods and Pikes Peak’s challenging incline hike, which some hardcore Coloradans have been known to run a full marathon on. If you’re more of a biker than a hiker, you’ll love the New Santa Fe Regional Trail. After your outdoor excursion, check out Colorado Springs’ best breweries, authentic German food at Edelweiss, and hidden dining like the underground Rabbit Hole unassumingly located off Tejon Street.
Colorado always has more to see, do, and experience, so tell us about your favorite spots along Colorado’s front range!