Take Your Pick
Boulder, CO
The Copper Cowboy
Pearl Street Mall - The place to go in Boulder for eating, drinking, shopping and people watching is the Pearl Street Mall. Don't let the "mall" part fool you; unlike the normal cookie cutter strip malls, this outdoor shopping district is made up of locally owned stores and eateries. On any given day you will find musicians, magicians and a host of entertaining characters performing for tips. Located near the University of Colorado at Boulder, the students invigorate the streets with an energy only a college campus can. Just a few short blocks from the mall, at 1619 Pine Street, is the house used for the exterior shots of the "Mork & Mindy" show. Na-Nu, Na-Nu.
Canon City, CO
Royal Gorgeous
Royal Gorge Bridge - Towering 1,053 feet above the Arkansas River is the Royal Gorge Bridge. Built in 1929, the Royal Gorge Bridge is even today, the tallest suspension bridge in the world. Often called the Grand Canyon of the Arkansas River, the gorge offers spectacular red rock canyons views with near vertical cliff walls. In addition to the bridge, visitors can cross the gorge on the aerial tram or descend to the bottom on the incline railway. There are dozens of attractions including a petting zoo, carousel, visitor center, and Royal Rush Skycoaster. The Skycoaster allows riders to swing over the edge of the gorge from a 100 foot tower. Scary!!!
Colorado Springs, CO
Behind the Hogbacks
Garden of the Gods - Located just west of Colorado Springs is the awe-inspiring sandstone formations of the Garden of the Gods. Ancient rock sea beds that once laid flat are now pushed to the sky forming cliff walls called hogbacks, balanced rocks and arches. The park is free to enter and contains roads for driving, areas for picnics, rocks for climbing and trails for horseback riding, biking and hiking. The Visitor Center at the park offers has an entertaining and educational film on the formation of the Garden. For photo-monkeys, the best time for pictures is in the early morning when the sun lights up Pikes Peak just behind the rust colored hogbacks.
Colorado Springs, CO
America the Beautiful
Pikes Peak - Standing 14,110 feet, Pikes Peak isn't the tallest mountain in Colorado but it is the most visited. In fact, it is the most visited mountain in the US and the second most visited in the world (behind Mt. Fuji in Japan). The reason it is so popular is the beautiful views looking up at it and the beautiful views looking down from it. The mountain is so inspiring; it prompted Katherine Lee Bates to write the poem/song "America the Beautiful". A plaque near the summit commemorates her words penned in 1893. There are three ways to reach the top, by train using the Cog Railway, by car driving the Pikes Peak Highway or by foot climbing the Barr Trail. The Barr Trail is the trail used by marathon monkeys for the Pikes Peak Marathon held each August.
Cripple Creek, CO
One of the Best Mines Tours
Mollie Kathleen Gold Mine - Discovered by Mollie Kathleen Gortner in 1891, the Mollie Kathleen Gold Mine produced millions of dollars worth of gold and now hosts a fascinating tour. It's the only tour in the world open to the public that starts with an authentic 1,000 foot vertical shaft elevator. Then witness demonstrations of working air hammers and ore loading machines, and ride an air powered train though the mine shaft. The Mollie Kathleen is a real mine and when gold goes above $1,500 an ounce it may be re-opened. In fact, mining is still done in the area and you can feel the concussion of blasts happening miles away. You might not discover gold on the tour, but you can head to downtown Cripple Creek and strike it rich in one of the casinos.
Denver, CO
Mmmm Minty
Denver Mint Tour - There are four mint locations in the USA, San Francisco, West Point, Philadelphia and Denver and only the later two offer tours. On the Denver Mint Tour you can see the machines that stamp out the millions of pennies and nickels for you to lose in your couch. In fact, the Denver Mint produces more coins than any other facility in the world, so there is a good chance a "D" is stamped on one of the coins in your pocket. This is a secured facility, advanced reservations are required and you have to be there 15 minutes early.
Denver, CO
Some DAM Fine Art
Denver Art Museum - The Denver Art Museum or DAM as it is affectionately known, is 350,000 square feet and two buildings (North and Hamilton) containing some of the best American Indian Art in the US. Although this monkey's favorites were the Modern and Contemporary exhibits displaying some fantastic pieces that made me laugh out loud - and unlike some museums, none of these pieces were offensive. You know how those modern artists get sometimes. The museum itself is a work of art; the brushed stainless steel exterior has sharp angled walls which house a spacious and maze-like interior.
Denver, CO
Mile High Capitol
State Capitol Building - Construction of the Colorado State Capitol Building was completed in 1894, but the brilliant gold dome wasn't added until 1908. The dome is made of 200 ounces of 24 karat gold leaf and commemorates the Colorado Gold Rush. The Colorado Capitol is the only capitol in the US having the honor of being exactly one mile above sea level. An inscription on the front steps drives this point home by stating "ONE MILE ABOVE SEA LEVEL". The grounds are filled with memorials to war heroes and the interior has some beautiful stained glass windows.
Durango, CO
All Aboard!!!
Durango Silverton Narrow Gage Railroad - The 45 miles of track between Durango and Silverton was finished in 1882 and ever since then the Durango Silverton Narrow Gage Railroad has been chugging along it. Originally created to haul silver and gold ore from the San Juan Mountains, it is now used to carry passengers and sock monkeys. The views from the passenger cars of this historic railroad are incredible. The steam engines pull you through the two million acre San Juan National Forest, winds through canyons and along ice cold Rocky Mountain streams.
Estes Park, CO
Rocky Mountain High
Rocky Mountain National Park - The Rocky Mountain National Park offers 400 square miles of the most spectacular panoramic mountain views in the US. The Trail Ridge Road (US Highway 34) is the most popular way to see the mountains by car and crosses the Continental Divide. The park also has over 360 miles of hiking trails, numerous camping areas, horseback riding, fishing and rock climbing. Whatever you decide to do, after a long day in the park, the Stanley Hotel in Estes Park is a great place to relax. It was also the inspiration of Steven King's book "The Shining". If you've never seen the movie with Jack Nicholson, it's fantastic and plays continuously at the hotel.
Florissant, CO
A Glow in the Dark Stump?
Florissant Fossil Beds National Monument - I'll admit this monkey came to Florissant Fossil Beds National Monument thinking the fossils here glowed in the dark. But, that would be spelled "fluorescent". Who knew? Anyway, what is here is a captivating meadow filled with numerous petrified sequoia tree stumps and animal fossils ranging in age from 2 to 65 million years ago. There are two interpretive trails in the park and a visitor center which details the history of the area.
Fruita, CO
Mesas of Colorado National Monument
Colorado National Monument - The Colorado National Monument is an array of deep stratified canyons, large mesas, and multi-colored landscapes. The scenic Rim Rock Drive winds around 23 miles of authentic American West landscape and through three tunnels. Along the way is The Grand Mesa, the largest Mesa in the world, Monument Canyon and the Coke Ovens, both of which are large sandstone rock formations.
Glenwood Springs, CO
Hot Springs in Colorado
Hot Springs - There aren't too many things better than natural hot springs and Colorado has a bunch. Glenwood Springs boasts the largest natural hot springs pool in the world. Here you can swim in 98 degree waters or head to the therapy pools where water temperatures are 104 degrees. If that's not hot enough for you, the vapor caves at Yampah Spa and Vapor Caves have underground steam baths reaching 125 degrees. The Springs Resort in downtown Pagosa Springs has a large variety of pools and an ice cold creek to jump in for you polar bears. And last but not least, Steamboat Springs has Old Town and Strawberry Park which are both fantastic places to soak your weary bones.
Golden, CO
Buffall Bill's Grave on Lookout Mountain
Lookout Mountain - Lying to the west and overlooking Golden is the 7,581 foot Lookout Mountain. At times it seems like the whole city is on the mountain running, biking paragliding, or picnicking. And who can blame them - from the top there are beautiful views of the surrounding area including Denver's high-rises sparking in the east. Old West icon Buffalo Bill Cody (1846-1917) is buried atop of the mountain. The Buffalo Bill Memorial Museum next to his grave contains exhibits from Buffalo Bill's life as well as American Indian artifacts. At the base of the mountain is the city of Golden with the famous Coors Brewery, Astor House Museum, and Railroad Museum.
Idaho Springs, CO
Gold Mines of Idaho Springs
Agro and Phoenix Gold Mines - Founded in 1859 by prospectors, Idaho Springs was the epicenter of the Colorado Gold Rush. Two mines host tours in the area, the Argo Gold Mine and Phoenix Gold Mine. The Argo Gold Mine located on the east side of town was once the largest mill of its type in the world. The Phoenix Gold Mine, a few miles southwest of the city, offers a nice guided tour by an authentic miner. The city of Idaho Springs itself has a quant and well-preserved downtown with an original 1800s Victorian architecture.
Manassa, CO
Birthplace of the Manassa Mauler
Jack Dempsey Museum - Jack Dempsey (1895-1983) held the title of Heavy Weight Champion of the World from 1919 to 1926. Although he is probably most remembered for the fight he lost. Known as "The Long Count Fight", Jack Dempsey knocked down the defending world champion Gene Tunney in a title rematch fight. Tunney was on the ground for 13 seconds, but because Jack didn't go to his corner for a full 4 seconds, the referee delayed the count. The Jack Dempsey Museum contains artifacts and photos of Jack's life and is housed in the 600 square foot cabin in which the "Manassa Mauler" was born.
Manitou Springs, CO
God's Underground Gift to Colorado
Cave of the Winds - A time capsule inside the Cave of the Winds calls this "God's Underground Gift to Colorado". The naturally formed limestone cavern was first opened in the 1880s and has been awing visitors ever since. Stalactites, stalagmites, and "frozen waterfalls" that took millions of years to form are all on display. The caverns can be explored by guided lantern tours or traditional lighted tours. When you're done at the caves, visit the Manitou Springs Cliff Dwellings just down the street. These 700 year-old American Indian dwellings are great because you are able to freely walk through them.
Mesa Verde National Park, CO
Cliff Palace From Above
Mesa Verde National Park - From around 600 A.D. to 1200 A.D. Ancestral Puebloans (sometimes called Anasazis) lived in Mesa Verde and created some of the most spectacular stone villages in North America. The largest of these structures is the 200 room cliff dwelling known as Cliff Palace. Ranger guided tours of Cliff Palace, Balcony House, and Chapin Mesa are fantastic, giving the history of the ancient people and how they lived. Established in 1906, Mesa Verde National Park contains over 4,000 archeological sites and 600 cliff dwellings in its 81 square miles. The Chapin Mesa Museum in the park exhibits pottery, artifacts, dioramas and a half hour introductory film.
Mosca, CO
Grab a Sled and Let's Hit the Dunes
Great Sand Dunes National Park - Great Sand Dunes National Park is located on the southwestern end of the Sangre de Cristo Mountains and contains the tallest sand dunes in North America. These 750 foot tall dunes were deposited here over thousands of years by favorable winds and streams from the nearby mountains. The park is a haven for wildlife including Rocky Mountain bighorn sheep, black bear and elk. Visitors can get wild too. Sledding down these enormous dunes is great fun, and when you're done you can jump in one of the cool mountain streams.
Pueblo, CO
Rosemount Museum
Rosemount Museum - The Rosemount Museum was originally a 37 room, 24,000 square foot Romanesque style mansion built in 1893 for John and Margaret Thatcher. The marvelous feature of the museum is that almost all of the furnishings are original. This includes decorative items, art, hand-woven rugs, window treatments as well as the furniture. After an hour long tour enjoy the wonderful food at the Carriage House Restaurant near the located at the foot of the museum.
Vail, CO
Colorado Skiing
Skiing - Colorado is known for its premiere ski resorts and has become a Mecca for downhill enthusiasts. Vail is one of the largest single-mountain ski areas in the US, with thousands of acres of free-ride terrain, nearly 200 marked trails and several bowls and terrain parks. But you can throw a dart at the map of Colorado and hit a great ski town. Aspen is known for being the destination of jet-setters, Telluride is where the jet-setter's trust fund children ski and party, Copper Mountain, Breckenridge, Wolf Creek, Winter Park, and Keystone are all gorgeous places with fantastic skiing. One of the best things about these places is the large number of runs - you can ski all day and each time take a different way down.