On August 1, 1876, President Ulysses S. Grant signed a proclamation admitting Colorado as a state of the U.S. Considered the state’s birthday, August 1 is now known as Colorado Day, providing an opportunity for us to celebrate our beloved state.
Since its “birth,” the Centennial State has evolved into a haven for outdoor enthusiasts, craft beer aficionados, dog lovers, hikers, bikers, skiers, families, artists, and everyone in between. There’s plenty to celebrate about Colorado all year long, but on our birthday, we like to go all out.
Here are a few ways to celebrate Colorado Day this August 1, which falls on a Sunday this year! Spend the day exploring Colorado’s beautiful terrain, supporting its local businesses, and learning all about its history.
Every corner of Colorado is rich with history, as its human history dates back more than 14,000 years. And here in Fort Collins, there are plenty of places you go to learn more about our varied history, from the 1879 Avery House to the 1883 Water Works. Plus, many other museums in the state offer free admission on Colorado Day, including the History Colorado Center in Denver. Make a little road trip south to spend an afternoon immersed in history!
One of the best ways to show your love and appreciation for our state is by exploring its trails, rivers, lakes and mountains. And boy, do we have plenty of the above! There are so many opportunities for outdoor recreation in Northern Colorado, from rock climbing to hiking and swimming to kayaking. And if you’re looking for a day of non-stop adventure and natural beauty, just head to Rocky Mountain National Park — here’s everything you can do while you’re there!
If you’re overwhelmed by the options for outdoor recreation in Colorado, simply head to a state park! Each Colorado Day, our state parks celebrate by offering free admission. This year, they are waiving entrance fees on Monday, August 2, so consider taking a day off work to explore a state park near you. Here’s a map of all Colorado State Parks, but if you’re staying in Northern Colorado, one of the best is Boyd Lake State Park in Loveland. Use our guide to enhance your visit to this massive park!
While airplanes allow us to reach far-off destinations in a matter of hours, there’s nothing like exploring an area by car. Not to mention, there is so much to see right here in Colorado, from towering peaks to deep canyons, and sparkling lakes to winding rivers. Swap your plane tickets for a full tank of gas and hit the pavement for the Colorado road trip of a lifetime!
We created an extensive (and ambitious!) itinerary circling the western portion of the state, starting and ending in Fort Collins, so you could see as much of beautiful Colorado as possible. You can complete the loop in just seven days if you only have a week to spare, or you can take a more leisurely pace and draw it out over the course of several weeks. And if your schedule doesn’t allow, each destination on this list is worthy of a long weekend getaway, too. It’s really up to you!
While our country is packed with plenty of exciting sites and attractions, there are a few things you can only find in Colorado! Spend the day exploring our state’s most unique and unusual attractions, like the Anasazi Ruins, the Dry Mesa Dinosaur Quarry, or the Colorado Gators Reptile Park. Then, top off the day by eating a meal Colorado is known for! Rocky Mountain Oysters, anyone?
From its beautiful scenery to its wonderful businesses and attractions, Colorado has given us so much. One of the best ways to give back is by supporting small businesses, which stimulates the local economy and supports our neighbors. On August 1, go out of your way to shop entirely from local businesses and dine at local restaurants. If you live in Fort Collins, some of the city’s best local businesses reside in Old Town — here’s how you can spend a full day in Old Town Fort Collins!
Support small businesses all year long by signing up for a subscription box to receive regular shipments of the latest goods and gadgets — all made by local businesses. And Colorado has quite a few to choose from! Get to know the variety of subscription boxes in Colorado, shipping everything from lemonade mixers to candles, and craft beer to flowers. Becoming a subscriber is an excellent way to support small businesses and makers — while also getting some unique items for your home (without having to leave the house!).
We hope you have a fun day exploring and celebrating our wonderful state!