Colorado is an underrated hotspot when it comes to natural beauty in the US. It’s home to not only a varied landscape, but a rich history that’ll bring out the inner photographer in anyone. From popular skiing destinations to former mining towns, picturesque communities abound in the Centennial State.
Visit Colorado with Culture Trip as part of our specially curated small-group Colorado and Utah trip to get closer to this beautiful state.
A beautiful mountain town nestled in the Rocky Mountains, Breckenridge is surrounded by scenic beauty. Founded in 1859, this lovely community has roots in mining. Now, it’s home to a large historic district: stroll historic Main Street to discover fine eateries and quaint shops. History buffs also will enjoy the Barney Ford Victorian Home. Meanwhile, outdoor adventurers will be nothing short of amazed with all of the activities at their fingertips, such as hiking and incredible skiing. Many festivals and events, including the International Snow Sculpture Championships, take place throughout the year as well.
Before becoming a booming silver-mining town in the 19th century, Creede was a hunting ground for the Native American Ute people. Today, it’s more a wonderful place to explore history and partake in recreational activities, thanks to the beautiful mountains, forests and streams in the area. Framed by towering volcanic cliffs, the town features buildings from the 1890s, many of which now house boutiques, galleries and dining establishments. Outdoor adventurers can hike, kayak, fish and go wildlife-watching to pass the time. Other must-do activities include taking in a play at the Creede Repertory Theatre, or visiting during one of the many events, including the Balloon Festival and Derby Race.
Another former mining town, Crested Butte is a lovely place brimming with historic charm. Often referred to as the Wildflower Capital of Colorado, the snow-covered land of winter turns into a colorful display as the weather warms. An adventure seeker’s paradise, it’s a playground if you love skiing, mountain biking, climbing and hiking. Crested Butte also hosts a music festival and an arts festival.
Sat on the southwest slopes of Pikes Peak, Cripple Creek is a popular tourist destination for both history lovers and outdoor enthusiasts. Restored turn-of-the-century buildings are all over the place, now home to unique shops, antique stores and restaurants. The Cripple Creek District Museum and the Old Homestead House Museum are two spots displaying the history of this scenic and colorful town. Other must-visit places include the Cripple Creek and Victor Narrow Gauge Railroad, and the Mollie Kathleen Gold Mine Tour, where you can descend 1,000ft (305m) underground. The town is also surrounded by the Pike National Forest, so there are plenty of outdoor adventures to take part in.
Estes Park is an ideal location from which to explore the Rocky Mountain National Park, one of the most beautiful national parks in the US. Since the mid-1800s, Estes Park has been great place for outdoor lovers, offering horseback-riding and skiing. The main street is a charming place where you will find Victorian lights, flowers, and benches to sit on while taking in the vistas. Nearby is the Riverwalk, a gorgeous park with a sculpture garden. Movie buffs should visit the Stanley Hotel: it’s what inspired Stephen King’s horror classic The Shining(1974). You can do so with Culture Trip as part of our specially curated eight-day Colorado and Utah tour.
Known as the Silver Queen of the Rockies, Georgetown is another mountain idyll with a mining background. Nestled in the Clear Creek Canyon, this tiny Victorian village features a historic business district with red sandstone sidewalks, specialty shops and eateries. The Hamill House Museum gives insight into residential living in 19th-century Georgetown, complete with furniture and landscaping. Other must-do activities include taking a ride on an old-time steam locomotive and a visit to the Hotel de Paris Museum. The scenic Georgetown Lake is also nearby for fun outdoor adventures.
Home to eight natural fountains, Manitou Springs draws tourists looking to improve their health and wellness. The town attracts art lovers far and wide with galleries, sculpture displays, music and theater. For history buffs, architectural gems abound, including the historic Miramont Castle, a Victorian museum with nine different architectural styles. For those seeking good eats and treasures, the Historic District is a must-visit. It’s got stunningly restored buildings housing galleries, boutiques, restaurants and more.
Named after Ouray – a chief of the Ute people – this town is surrounded by gorgeous scenery. The mountain community is known not only for breathtaking vistas, but also sulfur-free hot springs in which you can soak and relax. There’s also an incredible ice park where you can go climbing. Discover picturesque Victorian architecture around town that’s been beautifully restored.
A hotspot for year-round recreational activities and world-class skiing, Telluride is nestled in a canyon surrounded by rising mountains. The area is a former mining camp full of colorful Victorian homes. Other historical buildings include an 1896 miners’ hospital that now houses the Telluride Historical Museum. Downtown is perfect for strolling, since it features galleries, bars, stores and restaurants in clapboard storefronts.
Once a popular trading post on the Santa Fe Trail, Trinidad is a historic charmer in southeastern Colorado. The town was established in 1876 and it’s a great spot for art aficionados. It’s designated as a Colorado Creative District, having attracted talented residents, including plein air artists, for years. Beauty abounds everywhere, from the downtown area featuring brick-lined streets and Victorian buildings to the great outdoors. Must-visit places include the A.R. Mitchell Museum, which displays more than 350 paintings by western artists, as well as Native American art and artefacts. Plus there’s the Trinidad History Museum, which includes the Bloom Mansion.
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meet our Local Insider
HOW LONG HAVE YOU BEEN A GUIDE?
WHAT DO YOU LOVE ABOUT YOUR JOB?
It's the personal contact, the personal experiences. I love meeting people from all over the world... I really like getting to know everyone and feeling like I'm traveling with a group of friends.
WHAT DESTINATION IS ON YOUR TRAVEL BUCKET-LIST?
I have so many places on my list, but I would really lobe to go to Africa. I consider myself an “adventure girl” and Africa feels like the ULTIMATE adventure!
Every CULTURE TRIP Small-group adventure is led by a Local Insider just like Hanna.
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Since you are here, we would like to share our vision for the future of travel - and the direction Culture Trip is moving in.
Culture Trip launched in 2011 with a simple yet passionate mission: to inspire people to go beyond their boundaries and experience what makes a place, its people and its culture special and meaningful — and this is still in our DNA today. We are proud that, for more than a decade, millions like you have trusted our award-winning recommendations by people who deeply understand what makes certain places and communities so special.
Increasingly we believe the world needs more meaningful, real-life connections between curious travellers keen to explore the world in a more responsible way. That is why we have intensively curated a collection of premium small-group trips as an invitation to meet and connect with new, like-minded people for once-in-a-lifetime experiences in three categories: Culture Trips, Rail Trips and Private Trips. Our Trips are suitable for both solo travelers, couples and friends who want to explore the world together.
Culture Trips are deeply immersive 5 to 16 days itineraries, that combine authentic local experiences, exciting activities and 4-5* accommodation to look forward to at the end of each day. Our Rail Trips are our most planet-friendly itineraries that invite you to take the scenic route, relax whilst getting under the skin of a destination. Our Private Trips are fully tailored itineraries, curated by our Travel Experts specifically for you, your friends or your family.
We know that many of you worry about the environmental impact of travel and are looking for ways of expanding horizons in ways that do minimal harm - and may even bring benefits. We are committed to go as far as possible in curating our trips with care for the planet. That is why all of our trips are flightless in destination, fully carbon offset - and we have ambitious plans to be net zero in the very near future.