If you’re debating where to visit for a weekend away, North Colorado is well worthy of a place on your list of spots to consider! This region enjoys around three hundred days of sunshine annually and has a semi-arid climate. Plus, it’s home to the famous Rocky Mountain National Park, is the former home to the Wild West, and – although this is contested – the place where the cheeseburger was invented!
To pack as much as you can into your short break, it’s important to have a plan and to focus on the destinations you’d most like to visit during your time away. Below you’ll find our pick of the very best things to do in North Colorado, so you can be sure of having the best weekend trip ever, whether you’re looking for an active break or something much more chilled!
Visit the Rocky Mountain National Park
This is a must-include on any itinerary, no matter how short or long you plan to stay in North Colorado. Covering 415 square miles and taking in around 300 miles of hiking trails (of varying lengths and suitable for different abilities). This national park is rich in a range of spectacular mountain habitats and boasts alpine lakes and a huge multitude of breathtaking panoramic views. As well as hiking, the park is also a popular destination for those wanting to enjoy a spot of skiing, fishing, or even snowboarding.
Many people come to this spot specifically to appreciate the wildlife that lives within the park: if you’re lucky, you may get a glimpse of elk, bighorn sheep, moose, and even bears.
Savor Some Fabulous Fare
North Colorado is plentifully supplied with gorgeous fine-dining eateries as well as restaurants with a distinctly laid-back ambiance. Frequently topping lists of best establishments in this part of the state is Laundry in Steamboat Springs. Specializing in creative comfort food, its Steampunk fused with California chic vibe is evident in everything from the rustic-yet-contemporary restaurant furniture to the gourmet yet generous charcuterie boards and huge steaks.
Lucile’s Restaurant is also well worth a visit; it’s famous locally for its cozy, welcoming feel and delicious, authentic Cajun cooking. Our recommendation? Drop in for breakfast: the Eggs Pontchartrain won’t disappoint! The O-A Bistro needs a mention, too: it’s extremely popular on account of its flavorsome homemade soup, eclectic wine list, and six-course prix fixe menu.
Marvel at the Dinosaur National Monument
Fitting a trip to the Dinosaur National Monument into your weekend break is a great idea: the site is one of the USA’s largest dinosaur fossil beds and was discovered in 1909. The Quarry Exhibit is particularly spectacular: this partially excavated, covered rock wall is home to 1,600 dino fossils that can be seen protruding from the shale and stones, an awe-inspiring sight!
To finish off your visit, why not stroll along the 2.4-mile Fossil Discover Trail; ranger-led hikes are also available for those wanting to find out more about this fascinating site.
Try the Breckenridge Walking Ghost Tour
Fancy something a little different as part of your weekend itinerary of events? How about the Ghost Tour at Breckenridge? It’s so popular that it’s been running since 2010! The walk takes around one hour and forty minutes and takes in seven stops around this historic mining town, where you’ll learn all about Breckenridge’s darker side, ending at the Old Brown Hotel – perfect for those who fancy a little refreshment at the end of the tour!
The tour is suitable for kids aged six and up, so it’s a great option if you’re weekending with an older family.
View the Great Stupa of Dharmakaya
One of the most important examples of Buddhist architecture in the USA, the Great Stupa of Dharmakaya stands 108 feet tall and was built to inter the ashes of Chogyam Trungpa, who passed away in 1987. From the monument, you may wish to walk the few miles to the Shambhala Mountain Center Buddhist Retreat.
Getting to the Great Stupa is a lovely experience in itself – it’s located just a short walk from the center of the Shambhala Village, and the stroll will take you over little bridges and past prayer flags before finishing in a beautiful meadow.
Old Town Hot Springs
Head to Steamboat Springs during your stay to enjoy some relaxation and rejuvenation at the historic Old Town Hot Springs. Here you’ll find the famous all-natural spring that’s been drawing people to its waters for generations.
The venue is family-friendly, and as well as the Heart Spring pool offers a variety of swimming and soaking pools, including waterslides, a 3,000-square-foot hot activity pool, and an aquatic rock climbing wall. So, whether you’re in the area with family, friends or are enjoying a romantic break, the Old Town Hot Springs is a must-visit destination.
Enjoying the Perfect Weekend in North Colorado
North Colorado is a wonderful destination for a weekend away. With its gorgeous alpine scenery, fascinating historical sites, and plenty of opportunities for fine dining, your main problem may be narrowing down your must-visit places to ensure you can fit everything into just two days!