One thing I love about work travel – getting to explore so many amazing places! One thing that can sometimes make work travel stink…have limited time to explore those amazing places. After all, it is called a “work trip” for a reason, you have to work! But, I always make it happen. Whether it’s a simple walk around a new city, a hike through nature, or a meal at a local restaurant, I do my best to see what I can in the time I have.
Colorado is a place I have been lucky to visit now several times for work (my day job is a training consultant for a software company), and it’s a place that has endless spaces – gorgeous ones – to explore. I have written about some of my Colorado adventures before (here & here), but this time I wanted to give you a guide for a short stay, like I often have to do. If you will be in the Rocky Mountain state anytime soon, I hope this guide, and my tips, on what to do with only 3 days in Colorado, will help you plan the vacation of a lifetime…even if it’s a short one!
- Fly into Denver – It’s the biggest airport in the state, meaning it’s easier to find direct flights there from many U.S. cities. This will give you more time for fun.
- See the Capital City of Denver – Since you will already be flying into Denver, see all that they have to offer. Denver has some really cool neighborhoods, making it a very unique city. Each neighborhood truly has it’s own distinct feeling, making one city seem like many. There are lots of delicious restaurants, trendy boutiques, festivals, sporting events and more. A couple of the neighborhoods I recommend exploring are LODO, City Park and Highlands.
- LODO is right in the heart of downtown, situated around the famed Union Station. It’s a really neat building to see and a wonderful example of how travel from the past has stayed alive today. It’s a mix of office spaces, residential buildings and quirky hotels. There are tons and tons of restaurants within a few block radius, all with special offerings. (The Kitchen at Union Station is a great farm to table restaurant with a ton of gluten free options – for my fellow GF’ers!)
- City Park as you could guess from the name is a park! It’s lush and beautiful and just outside the city. Not only is it a nice green space right in Denver, it’s also a neighborhood perfect for families. The Denver Zoo and the Musuem of Nature and Science are located here. On top of that, there are two lakes, sporting fields, an IMAX, historical monuments, and so much more.
- Highlands is the place to go if shopping and sipping cocktails is more your style. They have so many cute boutiques in this neighborhood you’ll need to make sure you have rented a car big enough for all your new purchases! Plus, lots of bars, restaurants and book stores to entertain you between purchases.
- Get Outside the City – It is the Rocky Mountain state after all, so go see them! Depending on the time of year you’re visiting will affect the activites you might do. But regardless of season, your options are pretty endless. During winter you can of course ski, snowboard and snowshoe. In the fall you can take a scenic drive and just enjoy the changing leaves and the beautiful colors. In spring or summer you can hike, raft and mountain bike. If you’re not into outdoor adventures, anytime of year you can explore little mountain towns, like Vail, Glenwood Springs or Aspen, where you can enjoy spas and natural hot springs, great restaurants and shopping.
- Vail – If you will be staying in Vail, I highly recommend the recently renovated Hotel Talisa. It’s a beautiful luxury property, in the Marriott family, that sits at the base of the mountain next to a babbling brook. They have stunning rooms, access to a full service gym and spa and offer fun nightly events, like champagne toasts and s’mores by the fire.
- Glenwood Springs – This is an old school Colorado town, that is straight off the pages of a classic western novel. One thing I enjoy most about this town are the natural hot springs! They have a few options for hot springs spas and pool, both of which have stunning mountain views.
- Aspen – You don’t have to be a millionaire or a celebrity to enjoy this posh town. There are lots of restaurants and shops you can enjoy, outdoor adventures to be had, and beautiful scenery to take in. See more of my Aspen recommendations here.
Well, there you have it, three days in Colorado! You can make it as jam-packed or as laid back as you like. Whichever route you go, and whatever places you choose to see, you can be guaranteed you will have a great time.
Signed with Style,