Denver has one of the world's most stunning backyards: the majestic Rockies and everything that Colorado has to offer. The Mile High City is the gateway to amazing locations, just waiting for you to explore.
Located 97 miles west of Denver, driving time: 1 hour, 45 minutes
Vail is a year-round playground with a pedestrian village that is lined with upscale shops and outdoor cafes, as well as the largest ski mountain in North America.
DON'T MISS: The stunning Eagle-Bahn Gondola ride, which gives you unparalleled Rocky Mountain views.
South Park / Fairplay
Located 85 miles southwest of Denver, driving time: 1 hour, 40 minutes
Experience the best of Colorado's high country in South Park, including skiing, hiking, fishing, horseback riding, historic ghost towns and much more.
DON'T MISS: South Park City Museum, a remarkable, "living history" restoration of a 19th-century Colorado mining town.
Florissant Fossil Beds National Monument
Located 108 miles southwest of Denver, driving time: 2 hours
This fascinating monument is a portion of an ancient lakebed that has preserved almost in its entirety an ecosystem that existed 35 million years ago. Leaf, insect and seed fossils are found throughout the 6, 000-acre Florissant Fossil Beds National Monument.
DON'T MISS: Petrified Forest Walk, a one-mile trail that passes massive, petrified Redwood stumps, an historic excavation site, and a geologic timeline exhibit.
Located 142 miles southwest of Denver, driving time: 2 hours, 45 minutes
Located right in the heart of the Rocky Mountains, Salida boasts a hopping, historic downtown, with great restaurants, bars and shops, all just steps away from the peacefully flowing Arkansas River. Beyond downtown, enjoy great biking, hiking and rock climbing, among other outdoor pursuits.
DON'T MISS: Whitewater rafting on the Arkansas - there are dozens of outfitters in the area who can cater to all skill levels.
Located 159 miles southwest of Denver, driving time: 3 1/2 hours
Known as a hotspot for the rich and famous, Aspen is actually a welcoming, authentic mountain town - with just a touch of glamour. It's consistently rated one of the top by ski and travel experts in the winter, while in the summer, the area attracts mountain bikers, kayakers, zip-liners and other outdoor adventurers.
DON'T MISS: The John Denver Sanctuary, an idyllic location with many of the singer's best-loved songs etched into the rocks - including "Rocky Mountain High, " of course.
Bent's Old Fort National Historic Site
Located 181 miles southeast of Denver, driving time: 3 hours
This painstaking reconstruction of an old adobe fort and trading post takes visitors back to 1845 when Bent's was an important stop on the Santa Fe Trail. Costumed interpreters demonstrate what life was like during the days of the mountain men.
DON'T MISS: The fun living history interpreters who provide guided tours and demonstrations June 1 through September 1.
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