November 1  |  Our Communities


50 Things to Add to Your Colorado Bucket List

There are so many must-do, must-eat, must-drink, must-see things in Colorado, the real trick is narrowing it down. We could make a bucket list of 5280 things, but we don’t want to overwhelm anyone.

So locals, tourists, day trippers gather around! Check off the things you’ve already done and take note of the things you still have to do. With something for every season in sunny Colorado, there’s no shortage of activities — or food and drink and selfie spots. Enjoy!

 

1. Drink a Colorado craft beer

Colorado Craft beer Black Shirt Brewing

Photo courtesy of Black Shirt Brewing and Todd Williams

There’s a reason Colorado is home to the annual Great American Beer Festival. Check out The Best Local Beers in 10 Colorado Cities and The Ultimate Guide to Fort Collins Craft Breweries because Fort Collins is the craft beer capital, after all (and it’s home to the Colorado Brewers’ Festival).

 

2. Eat a Rocky Mountain Oyster

Google it first, then track down a dish thanks to Eater Denver’s Where to Eat Rocky Mountain Oysters, a Classic Denver Dish. You can even taste the Rocky Mountain Oyster Stout from Wynkoop Brewing!

 

3. Eat a Palisade Peach

But it’s not just beer and bull parts we’re famous for. During the summer, it’ll be easy to track down a famous Palisade Peach — especially if you attend the annual Fort Collins Peach Festival!

 

4. Visit Garden of the Gods

Garden of the Gods Colorado Springs

Voted the #1 City Park in the USA, at this Colorado Springs spot, you can climb, hike, hop on a Jeep tour, and gaze at the awe-inspiring, towering sandstone rock formations against a backdrop of snow-capped peaks.

 

5. Climb the Manitou Incline

Sure, you’ll get a workout, but it’s really just to say you did it. Bring plenty of water!

 

6. Stay at a dude ranch

Get a taste for the true western pioneering spirit! Track down the state’s best here: 12 Dude Ranches in Colorado You’ll Be Dreaming of this Summer.

 

7. Go backpacking

Backpacking in Colorado

You don’t have to be an athlete to live here, but you do have to go on a hike or two. Grab your pack for an extended trip, study A Beginner’s Guide to Backpacking in Northern Colorado, and check out 8 Colorado Backpacking Experiences that Should Be on Your Bucket List.

 

8. Ride the rails

There’s no better place to see the stunning, mountainous Colorado sights than from a fun, historic train. Hop on Georgetown Loop Railroad, Durango & Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad, or Pikes Peak Cog Railway.

 

9. See the Crystal Mill

Highlighted on our list, 12 of the Best Places to View Colorado’s Fall Color, the Crystal Mill above Marble, Colorado is one of the most photographed spots in the country.

 

10. Hike a fourteener

Colorado has 58 mountain peaks exceeding 14,000 feet — the most of any state. So you should probably climb one. Here’s a list of all of them!

 

11. Go skiing

World class skiing doesn’t even begin to describe our snow-capped mountains, but it will have to work here. Check out Colorado Ski Country Bragging Rights and a list of resorts statewide here.

 

12. Get a cone at Little Man Ice Cream

Little Man Ice cream Denver Colorado

Photo courtesy of Little Man Ice Cream

It’s served out of an iconic 28-foot-tall cream can; you can’t miss it. The team also runs Sweet Cooie’s Ice Cream in Denver, Constellation Ice Cream in Stapleton and Churn Ice Cream in Fort Collins.

 

13. Tour Coors Brewery in Golden

People come from all over the world to tour Golden’s famed brewery. At the end of the free tour, you get a few samples as well!

 

14. Tour New Belgium Brewery in Fort Collins

If craft beer is more your speed, head to Northern Colorado to tour New Belgium, one of the nation’s most well-known and well-loved craft breweries. Check the tour schedule before you go!

 

15. Take the Stranahan whiskey tour

For something a little harder, venture on this tour in the heart of Denver!

 

16. Tour Celestial Seasonings in Boulder

Don’t worry, it’s not all craft beer and distilled spirits in Colorado. Check out this nationally-famous tea company that started right in Boulder! Get more details on the tour here.

 

17. Hop on two wheels

Fort Collins’ motto is bikes, beers and bands and Winter Park is Mountain Bike Capital USA so at some point, you’ll probably find yourself on two wheels.

 

18. Sip a cocktail at Union Station

Union Station Denver Colorado

Denver’s 100-year-old train station is home to some of the city’s best restaurants, bars, ice cream shops, bookstores and, you guessed it, trains!

 

19. See a show at Red Rocks

It’s known across the globe as one of the best outdoor music venues on Earth. While you’re here, you should probably see a show or two. Check out the schedule here.

 

20. Visit Horsetooth Reservoir

This Northern Colorado landmark lands on multiple lists of Colorado’s most stunning locations. Minutes from Downtown Fort Collins, it offers, swimming, hiking, boating and more!

 

21. Cheer on CSU (or CU) at the Rocky Mountain Showdown

We’re a little partial to the Fort Collins university, but this annual event lets both Colorado state schools face head to head in one of the most exciting football events every year. It even takes place at Denver’s Sports Authority Field at Mile High!

 

22. Head to the hills

The Rocky Mountains and the historic towns nestled amongst them are Colorado’s most charming locales. For a preview, peruse 22 Colorado Mountain Towns You Have to Visit This Winter.

 

23. Try out cross-country skiing

We’re not staying off the hiking trails just because a little snow falls!

 

24. Visit Rocky Mountain National Park

Rocky Mountain National Park Colorado

It’s on just about every list of the country’s most beautiful National Parks, so it’s worth the quick trip to Northern Colorado.  

 

25. Jump in a swimming hole

During the summer, that is. Track down picturesque pools, creeks and hot springs with our blog post, 12 of Colorado’s Best Swimming Holes.

 

26. See a concert at The Mish

Colorado’s hidden gem next to Red Rocks, this outdoor music venue is located in Northern Colorado with the sounds of the Cache la Poudre River blending in with music from the stage.

 

27. See the Grand Canyon of Colorado

Sure we don’t have the Grand Canyon, but we do have the Black Canyon of the Gunnison — which is just as beautiful and overwhelming. Don’t believe us? Visit for yourself.

 

28. Visit Mesa Verde National Park

Mesa Verde National Park Colorado

Even if you don’t know what it is, you’ve likely seen photos of this incredible landmark.

 

29. Attend the Loveland Sculpture in the Park

America’s largest outdoor juried sculpture show and sale takes place in Loveland, Colorado every summer!

 

30. Run with the rest of us

A runner-friendly state, Colorado is home to famed races like BolderBOULDER and the Colfax Marathon. Or opt for the shorter FORTitude 10k in CSU’s brand new stadium!

 

31. Raft down the Poudre River

Colorado’s only nationally designated wild and scenic river offers some world-class rapids suited for beginners and pros alike! Local company, A Wanderlust Adventure can take you down the river with the pros!

 

32. Ride the Telluride Free Gondola

It’s free and it has one of the best views in the entire state. Need we say more?

 

33. Attend a free live music concert in Fort Collins

Bohemian Nights at NewWestFest Colorado Fort Collins music festivals

Photo courtesy of Bohemian Nights, LLC

Or any Colorado city, really, but FoCo has become famous for their free festivals — including summer’s Bohemian Nights at NewWestFest and fall’s FORToberfest.

 

34. Take a dip in a hot spring

Nature blessed Colorado with an abundance of natural, healing hot springs. Check out 18 Colorado Hot Springs You Need to Visit this Year and take a dip!

 

35. Be in four places at once

Colorado is one of the four states that make up Four Corners. Head to the southwestern corner of the state and put a limb in Colorado, Utah, Arizona and New Mexico at the same time!

 

36. Tour the Molly Brown House Museum

If you grew up in Colorado, you’ve probably been on multiple field trips to this Denver landmark. If not, head to the city and see where the Unsinkable Molly Brown lived!

 

37. Watch the sunrise from Lookout Mountain

Friends, couples, prom dates, families, athletes — they all head to Lookout Mountain in Golden, Colorado to get a view of that sunrise. 

 

38. Stay overnight at The Stanley Hotel in Estes Park

The Stanley Hotel Estes Park Colorado The Shining

The setting and inspiration for Stephen King’s The Shining, this hotel is as luxurious as it is haunted.

 

39. Grab some food with friends at Avanti Food & Beverage

Denver’s best food hall, Avanti features food and drinks from a few Colorado favorites and a rooftop deck where you can take in a view of the city skyline! It’s a great place to get a feel for our state’s foodie (and beer-loving) culture.

 

40. Ride the Royal Rush Skycoaster at Royal Gorge Bridge & Park

This one is only for the thrill-seekers!

 

41. Attend Tour de Fat in its hometown

Now a nationally-touring event, New Belgium Brewing’s Tour de Fat began right here in Colorado’s biking capital: Fort Collins.

 

42. Taste a Margarita at The Rio

With locations in Boulder, Denver, Fort Collins, Frisco, Greeley, Park Meadows and on-site at Coors Field, it’s easy to find one of the state’s favorite Mexican restaurants. They are famous for their margaritas and have a limit of three per visit.  

 

43. Eat sopapillas at Casa Bonita

Made famous by South Park, people all over the country now know about this iconic Mexican restaurant on Colfax. Stop by to see the divers, run through the year-round haunted house and taste the sopapillas for yourself!

 

44. See the Great Sand Dunes

The Great Sand Dunes National Park Colorado

Ride, drive, run and climb your way across this jaw-dropping landscape.

 

45. Hike to a waterfall

Including the most-named bucket list hike — Hanging Lake in Glenwood Springs — every trail listed in our blog post, Colorado’s 8 Best Waterfall Hikes, should be on your bucket list.

 

46. Walk in dinosaur footsteps at Dinosaur Ridge

Did you know the foothills of the Colorado Rocky Mountains once served as a beach to miles of ocean? You did if you’ve ever visited Dinosaur Ridge in Morrison, Colorado. Rated the #1 dinosaur track site in the country, you can see actual dinosaur prints, fossils and more!

 

47. Take a selfie with the big blue bear

The 40-foot big blue bear peeks inside Denver’s Colorado Convention Center. Surrounded by iconic blue trees, it’s a hotspot for selfies. And though we don’t recommend taking a selfie with Blucifer, the 32-foot tall blue mustang outside DIA is worth a visit as well.

 

48. Get a drink at My Brother’s Bar

Denver’s oldest operating bar, My Brother’s Bar has served as the regular hangout of Beat icon Neal Cassady — and you can get one of their must-try burgers as late as 1 a.m.

 

49. See Buffalo Bill’s grave

American scout, bison hunter, and showman Buffalo Bill may have been born in Iowa, but he’s buried right here on Colorado’s Lookout Mountain. Check out Buffalo Bill Museum & Grave! Then, visit Doc Holliday’s grave in Glenwood Springs while you’re at it.

 

50. Take an iconic photo at Maroon Bells

Maroon Bells Aspen Colorado

Fall, winter, spring, summer — this iconic Colorado vista is a must-see year-round. If you can make a trip during autumn, you should; there’s a reason it landed a spot on 12 of the Best Places to View Colorado’s Fall Color. Learn what to do while you’re visiting the area here.

 

How many have you checked off our Colorado bucket list?  

Let us know in the comments below!


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