Escape the City with These 13 Colorado Destinations

Lake in Colorado surrounded by mountains and trees

As Denver locals, we often get caught up in the hustle and bustle of city life. But as the flowers start to bloom and the days get longer, it’s time to escape the city and discover the beauty of the surrounding mountains. From the charming mountain town of Georgetown, where you can take a scenic train ride and explore local art galleries, to the quirky Nederland, with its eclectic arts scene and unique shops and restaurants, the possibilities for a weekend getaway are endless.

So why not take advantage of all that the surrounding areas have to offer? Plan your weekend escape today and discover the natural beauty and vibrant culture of these mountain getaways.

Rocky Mountain National Park

Just under a two-hour drive from Denver, Rocky Mountain National Park is a must-visit destination for nature lovers. The park boasts breathtaking vistas, hiking trails for all skill levels, and an abundance of wildlife, including elk, moose, and bighorn sheep. Take a scenic drive on Trail Ridge Road (as soon as it opens for the season) or hike to the top of Mount Ida for panoramic views of the park.

For those looking for a more leisurely pace, the park also offers ranger-led programs and guided tours, including stargazing programs at night. Wildlife watching is also a popular activity in the park, and visitors may spot a variety of animals such as black bears, coyotes, and mountain lions. In addition to hiking, visitors can also enjoy fishing, horseback riding, and scenic drives throughout the park. Don’t forget to stop by the visitor centers to learn about the park’s history and geology, and pick up a souvenir to remember your trip.


Breckenridge, a picturesque mountain town located just two hours away from Denver, is famous for its world-renowned skiing and snowboarding during the winter season. But as the spring sets in, the town transforms into an outdoor enthusiast’s paradise, offering activities like hiking, biking, and fly fishing.

If you’re looking for a break from outdoor adventures, Breckenridge Arts District, or BreckCreate, is a must-visit destination. The center hosts a range of art classes, musical performances, and exhibitions, covering everything from ceramics, drawing, and printmaking to metalsmithing, textiles, and painting.

Breckenridge is also a haven for beer and spirits lovers, with its own craft brew scene that began with the original Breckenridge Brewery in the 1990s. Today, visitors can enjoy a rotating menu of small-batch beers at the Broken Compass Brewery while hanging out with their furry friends on the patio or participating in a Monday-night potluck dinner.

To complete your Breckenridge experience, take a leisurely stroll down Main Street, bask in the warm sunshine and enjoy a cup of coffee from one of the many cafes conveniently located on Main Street. Visit the Welcome Center to plan your itinerary and take in the scenic views at Blue River Plaza. Indulge in some beer tasting at Tap House and Dancing Pines tasting room, or play a game of horseshoes at Kenosha Steakhouse. Wrap up your trip with a souvenir shopping spree at Rocky Mountain Underground and take a piece of Breckenridge with you.

Glenwood Springs

For a weekend of relaxation and rejuvenation, head to Glenwood Springs, about a three-hour drive from Denver. Known for its natural hot springs, the town offers a variety of options for soaking and unwinding. Other activities include hiking, mountain biking, and exploring the nearby Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park.

In addition to the hot springs and outdoor adventures, Glenwood Springs boasts a charming downtown area with plenty of shops and restaurants to explore. For a unique dining experience, try the Italian cuisine at the Riviera Supper Club, which has been a local favorite since 1947. If you’re a history buff, visit the Frontier Historical Museum to learn about the town’s rich past, including its role in the Wild West era.

For a scenic drive, take a trip up to the nearby Maroon Bells, which are two towering peaks in the Elk Mountains that are considered some of the most photographed mountains in North America. The surrounding wilderness area offers plenty of hiking trails, from easy walks to challenging climbs, all with stunning views of the mountains and valleys below.

No matter how you choose to spend your time in Glenwood Springs, you’ll leave feeling relaxed and refreshed, ready to tackle whatever comes your way back in the city.


Just 30 minutes from Denver, Boulder is a vibrant college town that offers a range of activities for a weekend getaway. Hike the iconic Flatirons, wander through the Pearl Street Mall, or indulge in some of the town’s renowned farm-to-table cuisine.

For those looking for a unique experience, check out the Celestial Seasonings Tea Factory for a free tour and tasting of their famous herbal teas. For a more adventurous outing, head to Eldorado Canyon State Park for some rock climbing or fly fishing. And if you’re a beer lover, Boulder has a thriving craft beer scene, with must-visit breweries including Avery Brewing and Upslope Brewing Company. With its lively atmosphere and stunning scenery, Boulder has something for everyone.

Estes Park

Nestled in the heart of the Rocky Mountains, Estes Park is a picturesque mountain town that offers a perfect blend of outdoor adventure and small-town charm. Take a scenic drive through Rocky Mountain National Park, hike to the top of Twin Sisters Peak, or stroll through the quaint downtown area to explore local shops and restaurants.

For those looking for a more laid-back experience, Estes Park also offers a variety of opportunities for relaxation and rejuvenation. Enjoy a picnic by the tranquil waters of Lake Estes or take a leisurely horseback ride through the stunning landscapes of the surrounding mountains. Visit the Stanley Hotel, which served as the inspiration for Stephen King’s “The Shining,” and take a ghost tour of the property. You can also try your hand at fly fishing in one of the many streams and rivers that run through the area. No matter what you choose, Estes Park is the perfect destination for a weekend of adventure and relaxation.

Colorado Springs

Home to the iconic Garden of the Gods and Pikes Peak, Colorado Springs is a popular destination for outdoor enthusiasts. Take a scenic drive up Pikes Peak, hike through Garden of the Gods, or explore the charming downtown area.

In addition to outdoor activities, Colorado Springs is home to several noteworthy cultural attractions. Visit the Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center to view art collections from around the world, or tour the U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Training Center to learn about the training process of elite athletes. For a unique experience, take a ride on the Pikes Peak Cog Railway, which takes visitors on a scenic journey up to the summit of Pikes Peak.


Known for its world-class skiing and snowboarding, Vail is also a popular destination in the spring for its picturesque mountain setting and outdoor activities. Go for a hike, bike ride, or fly fishing trip, or simply soak up the scenery and relax in this beautiful mountain town.

Steamboat Springs: Known for its world-class skiing and snowboarding, Steamboat Springs is also a great place to visit in the spring. Enjoy hot springs, hiking, mountain biking, or fishing in the Yampa River.

In addition to outdoor activities, Vail also offers a range of cultural experiences. Take a stroll through the Betty Ford Alpine Gardens, the highest botanical garden in North America, or explore the Colorado Snowsports Museum and Hall of Fame to learn about the history of skiing in the state. Enjoy a performance at the Gerald R. Ford Amphitheater or catch a film at the Riverwalk Theater. And don’t forget to indulge in the town’s diverse culinary scene, with options ranging from casual cafes to upscale fine dining.


A charming mountain town, Telluride offers stunning views, excellent skiing, and a vibrant cultural scene. Go skiing, snowshoeing, or snowmobiling in the winter, or hiking, mountain biking, or fly fishing in the spring.

In addition to its outdoor activities, Telluride hosts a range of events and festivals throughout the year, including the Telluride Film Festival, Telluride Bluegrass Festival, and Telluride Jazz Festival. Take a scenic gondola ride to Mountain Village for more dining and shopping options, or stroll through the historic downtown area to explore local art galleries and boutiques. And don’t forget to visit Bridal Veil Falls, a stunning waterfall that’s easily accessible from town.

Want to avoid the crowds? Here are a few more suggestions that will help take you off the beaten path:

Buena Vista

Buena Vista is a charming mountain town 2.5 hours southwest of Denver, is famous for its hot springs, scenic hiking trails, and outdoor recreation opportunities. In addition to these activities, visitors can also explore local art galleries, boutiques, and restaurants.

If you’re looking for a more adventurous vacation, Buena Vista is the perfect destination. The town is located on the Arkansas River, which offers world-class whitewater rafting and kayaking. Visitors can also go rock climbing, zip-lining, or take a scenic drive through Cottonwood Pass. For a more relaxing experience, soak in the natural hot springs or take a stroll through the charming downtown area.


Georgetown is a historic mining town located 45 minutes west of Denver, has retained its Victorian-era charm. Visitors can take a scenic train ride, explore local museums and art galleries, and enjoy outdoor activities such as hiking, biking, and fishing.

Georgetown also offers a variety of options for shopping and dining, including antique shops, local craft stores, and restaurants that serve up delicious cuisine. Visitors can also tour the historic Georgetown Loop Railroad, which winds through the mountains and offers stunning views of the surrounding scenery.

Idaho Springs

Idaho Springs is a small mountain town located 30 minutes west of Denver, is famous for its hot springs, historic downtown area, and outdoor recreation opportunities. Visitors can go hiking, mountain biking, and whitewater rafting, or explore local art galleries, restaurants, and breweries.

In addition to these activities, visitors can also take a tour of the Argo Gold Mine and Mill to learn about the town’s rich mining history. The Indian Hot Springs and the nearby Mount Evans Scenic Byway, one of the highest paved roads in North America, are also popular attractions in the area.

Don’t miss Beau Jo’s, which is a famous pizza place located in Idaho Springs that has been serving up their signature mountain-style pizza since 1973. Their pizzas are known for their thick, fluffy crust and unique toppings, such as Colorado-raised bison and green chili. In addition to pizza, Beau Jo’s also serves up delicious salads, sandwiches, and calzones. It’s definitely worth a visit for any pizza lover!


Nederland is a quirky mountain town located 45 minutes northwest of Denver, is known for its eclectic arts scene, unique shops and restaurants, and outdoor recreation opportunities. Visitors can explore local hiking trails, attend music and arts festivals, or simply relax and enjoy the town’s laid-back vibe.

One of the popular outdoor recreation opportunities in Nederland is snowshoeing or cross-country skiing in the winter. The nearby Eldora Mountain Resort offers ski and snowboard slopes for all levels, and the town also has groomed Nordic ski trails for those who prefer a quieter outdoor experience. After a day in the snow, visitors can warm up with a cup of hot cocoa at one of the cozy cafes in town or indulge in some comfort food at one of the local restaurants.


Salida is a picturesque mountain town located 2.5 hours southwest of Denver, is famous for its scenic beauty, outdoor recreation opportunities, and vibrant arts and culture scene. Visitors can go hiking, mountain biking, and fishing, or explore local art galleries, museums, and festivals.

Salida is also known for its Arkansas River, which offers thrilling whitewater rafting experiences for adventure seekers. The town also has a vibrant downtown area with locally-owned shops, restaurants, and breweries. For a unique experience, visitors can take a dip in the natural hot springs at nearby Mount Princeton Hot Springs Resort.

Are you tired of the hustle and bustle of city life? Do you crave a change of scenery and some time to unwind? 

Look no further than the beautiful mountain towns just a short drive from Denver!

Whether you’re an avid hiker or simply seeking some peace and quiet, these mountain getaways offer the perfect escape from the city. Imagine soaking in natural hot springs, hiking through breathtaking scenery, or indulging in farm-to-table cuisine in a quaint town.

And the best part? You don’t have to travel far. Glenwood Springs, Rocky Mountain National Park, Boulder, Estes Park, Colorado Springs, Vail, Telluride, Buena Vista, Georgetown, Nederland, and Salida are all just a short drive away.

So why not gather some friends, pack a bag, and hit the road this weekend? Immerse yourself in the beauty of the mountains, try new outdoor activities, and explore charming towns filled with local art galleries, boutiques, and restaurants. You won’t regret taking a break from the city and discovering all that these mountain getaways have to offer.