By: Sara Noll
Nothing beats waking up to the sound of the turquoise waters crashing and the swaying of tropical trees in the humid breeze. A cold drink in your hand and grains of sand stuck in between your toes. The warm sun makes you forget about the Colorado snow. The perfect spring break destination feels a little something like this but might be way too good to be true. Not going to the Bahamas for spring break? Me either. Although we might not be able to escape the bipolar weather of Colorado, you can still look to make the most of your few but valuable days off. Where can you adventure to make this a successful spring break?
Cheyenne Mountain Zoo
The Cheyenne Mountain Zoo is the perfect place to spend the day interacting with animals who come from all over the world. Home to America’s only mountain zoo, the Cheyenne Mountain Zoo is tucked away in the mountainside and overlooks the south side of Colorado Springs. Take a ride on the Mountaineer Sky Ride to catch breathtaking panorama views of the city.
About 90 miles northeast of Denver, Estes Park sits in the heart of the Rocky Mountains. Visit Estes Park to explore the Colorado Rockies and experience the beauty of nature. Whether you want to live it all in a day or stay as long as reality will let you, there is a plethora events, lodging, and activities to choose from. Mostly known for its outdoor enjoyment, you can ride a bike, take a fly-fishing lesson, rent a jeep, play mini-golf, go wildlife watching, or even take a ride on a go-kart.
Garden of the Gods
Garden of the Gods Park is a National Natural Landmark in Colorado Springs known for its magnificent views of red rock formations. With a background of Pikes Peak, it is one of Colorado’s most photographed views. Activities within the park include guided walks, many paths for hiking and biking, horseback riding, bird watching, and rock climbing. Find an activity you enjoy doing in Colorado’s natural beauties.
Outside of the mountains, rivers, and natural beauties Colorado has to offer, Glenwood Springs is unique in its own way. Along with the hiking, fishing, climbing, rafting, and skiing, Glenwood Springs is known as the home of the hot springs. Located here is the Glenwood Hot Springs Pool, the world’s largest hot spring pool, producing over 3.5 million gallons of water per day at 122 degrees. In addition, located along the Colorado River is 16 mineral hot spring pools called the Iron Mountain Hot Springs. The hot springs is the place to rejuvenate and soak in a great wellness experience.
After visiting the hot springs, experience another kind of water in this same geographical area. On the edge of Glenwood Canyon cliffs is the crystal-clear turquoise lake and waterfalls known as Hanging Lake. The journey is a steep, mile long hike but leads to a very rewarding destination that is much different than many other things we see in Colorado which makes Glenwood Springs such a popular tourist destination.
If the Colorado weather is feeling nice, grab some friends and make a day out of a trip to the unique community of Manitou Spring. By choosing the Manitou Incline as a day destination, you will get fresh air and a good workout in. The incline is about a mile long but climbs 2,000 vertical feet. The time it takes to hike up the incline ranges from anywhere between 20 minutes and a little over an hour but will take a little longer coming back down. This is an activity that takes a couple hours. Be prepared with proper attire, plenty of water, and the motivation to make it up and down the incline.
If you are not completely over the Colorado cold yet, Monarch Mountain has extended their ski season until April 21st due to the abundant amount of snow this past year. In addition to skiing and snowboarding, Monarch is also offering cat skiing and tubing. Spring skiing is a unique experience that mixes snow and sun for a great day on the slopes.
After hitting the slopes, treat yourself to a relaxing hot springs experience. While not as large as Glenwood Springs, Mt Princeton offers a unique experience tucked neatly near the Chalk Cliffs. This easy to find location is between Salida and Buena Vista in the small town of Nathrop, Colorado. Mt Princeton includes amenities like a natural hot pool and spa but also the opportunity to relax in the river and enjoy the warm water while feeling the sunshine on your face. Stay the night at the Mount Princeton Resort and have access to the hot springs whenever you please.
In the heart of Denver is one of the city’s most popular event venues, the Pepsi Center. Make a trip to Denver and catch any variety of sporting events taking place:
Saturday, March 16 @ 7:00 p.m.
Denver Nuggets vs. Indiana Pacers
Sunday, March 17 @ 1:00 p.m.
Colorado Avalanche vs. New Jersey Devils
Saturday, March 23 @ 1:00 p.m.
Colorado Avalanche vs. Chicago Blackhawks
Saturday, March 23 @ 7:00 p.m.
Colorado Mammoth vs. Vancouver Stealth
Any of these popular Colorado destinations allow you to enjoy the beauty and resources found uniquely in our very own state for a spring break adventure. All of these great spring break destinations have lodging, restaurants, and a variety of activities near-by. And if an adventure isn’t on your Spring Break “to do” list, add these ideas to your bucket list for a future experience. Take advantage of your precious time off and do as much as you can. Enjoy!