When my parents informed me of our move from sunny Southern California to the Colorado mountains, I was completely overwhelmed and unprepared for the change. The idea of snow and the sudden change in altitude were a lot to take in. But after spending various weeks here on breaks from school, I feel I am now finally able to impart some wisdom regarding some hotspots and high places. … And no, I’m not only talking about the mountains. Denver, Colorado, is a beautiful and fresh escape from Berkeley that can inspire anyone to get outside and explore!
A place I have come to love that isn’t too far from Denver is the Cheyenne Mountain Zoo. Built on what used to be an old ski resort, this quaint little zoo features many unique and fun attractions and exhibits. Start your morning by feeding an elephant or rhinoceros, then head to the Australia Walkabout to hang with some wallabies or parakeets. Don’t forget to feed the giraffes and to check out the Mountaineer Sky Ride, a ski lift that doubles as a bird’s-eye view tour of the zoo. More information can be found here.
Looking for something to satisfy your outdoor bug? A gorgeous staple of the Colorado area is the Garden of the Gods. Explore on foot or by car and take in the sheer size and beauty of these natural rock formations. At one of Colorado’s most photographed places, making a trek through the natural phenomenon is akin to walking through a postcard. For more information, look here.
If you’re a hiking junkie, look no farther than the Hanging Lake trail in Glenwood Springs. While there is a plethora of hikes around Denver and the surrounding mountains, this one is unique in that it leads straight to this shimmering, teal reservoir. With small waterfalls spilling into the lake, this beautiful site is perfect for a warm day or an afternoon picnic. Check out more here.
When it’s too hot to be outside for too long, the city of Denver is a great place for a day trip. Featuring great restaurants, museums and shopping, this city is definitely a fun place to explore. Some highlights include the Denver Botanic Gardens, the Denver Museum of Nature and Science, and the picturesque state capitol building. The variety in attractions offers something fun for people of all tastes!
Colorado is a beautiful state with so many hidden gems. Now that I have my bearings, I definitely appreciate being able to explore all the gorgeous rural and urban sites of Denver and beyond.