Colorado is a dream vacation destination for anyone who loves the outdoors. In the winter months, the ski resort towns such as Aspen and Steamboat Springs are bustling with skiers, families, and couples enjoying a fun weekend getaway. During the summer, visitors and locals take on the great hiking trails in Rocky Mountains National Park. As for accommodations, there are plenty of cozy Colorado vacation rentals to choose from. Enjoy a suite in a trendy Denver condo, or a rustic cabin at the base of the ski slopes in Breckenridge. When choosing a place to escape for the weekend, the possibilities in Colorado are endless. Check out this list of awesome weekend getaway spots in this beautiful state.

1. Denver

denver city park

Enjoy the hustle and bustle of city life with a vacation rental in Denver, the Mile High City. The Denver Art Museum features a permanent collection of Western and regional artwork, and the Denver Museum of Nature and Science is a great place to learn more about the natural world. During the spring or summer, stop by Denver Botanic Garden to see all the plants and flowers in bloom. Kids love spending time at Elitch Gardens Theme Park, with its thrilling rides and tasty carnival foods. Indulge in a little retail therapy at the 16th Street Mall, and at the end of the day, check out the local food scene at Acorn, which offers a new spin on American favorites, or head to Rioja to enjoy authentic Mediterranean eats.

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2. Durango

durango steam train

Six hours south of Denver and three and half hours north of Albuquerque, Durango is a quaint western town with a rich railroad history. Book tickets on the Durango and Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad to enjoy 45 minutes of breathtaking scenery as the train makes its way to Silverton. Be sure to tour the museum attached to the station when you return. Mesa Verde National Park offers tours of the Ancestral Puebloan cliff dwellings with rock drawings. Learn more about the local history at the Animas Museum inside an old school. Take a walk along the main street to get a little shopping done at Dreams of Tibet or Rio Grande Trading Co. Head to Grassburger for a quick, healthy bite, or visit Chimayo Stone Fired Kitchen for a hearty sit-down meal.

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3. Steamboat Springs

winter landscape in steamboat springs
Source: Flickr/Dustin Tinney

With the nickname Ski Town, USA, Steamboat Springs is a must-visit vacation destination for snow bunnies. Land in Denver and enjoy the three-hour drive through the mountains to this tiny town, and stop for dinner at Mahogany Ridge Brewery and Grill with its upscale bar food and locally-crafted suds. Rent your skis and snowboards from Ski and Sport, and they’ll deliver your boots, poles, and skis to your vacation rental. Steamboat Snowmobile Tours can take your group out into the wild blue yonder to explore the natural beauty of this white world. When you’re ready to eat, enjoy a Ragnar’s Sleigh Ride Dinner that starts with a sleigh ride and ends with a five-course meal.

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4. Breckenridge

breckenridge colorado

Less than two hours from Denver sits the charming former mining town of Breckenridge. In the winter months, people flock to this resort town to enjoy days of skiing on the pristine slopes at the Breckenridge Ski Resort. Kids love spending an afternoon at the Mountain Top Children’s Museum, which features many hands-on activities. In the summer months, practice your golf swing at the Breckenridge Golf Club with 27 holes for individuals all skill levels. Take the fun lovers to Peak 8 Fun Park. Enjoy a tram ride to the top of the mountain, where you can ride on the mountain coaster. Finish the day with dinner at Relish, offering mountain views and locally-sourced wild game main dishes.

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5. Estes Park

longs peak winter

Your Estes Park vacation rental puts you at the entrance to the Rocky Mountains National Park, where you can enjoy hiking, cross-country skiing, and mountain biking. Take a ride on the Estes Park Aerial Tramway during the spring or summer for stunning views of the area. If you crave excitement, then Open Air Adventure Park is the place. There, you can try tightrope walking or ride on zip lines and swinging bridges. Watch a rodeo, or take in the scenery on horseback at Sombrero Ranch. In the area, you can get your fill of shopping at the Village Store of Estes and Thirty Below Leather. Mama Rose’s offers amazing Italian dishes and seating with views of the river.

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6. Aspen

maroon bells aspen

Hobnob with the rich and famous with a long weekend in Aspen, just a couple of hours outside of Denver. Snowmass Ski Resort has trails for all level skiers along with equipment rental and lessons. In the spring and summer, take the Silver Queen Gondola to the top of Ajax Mountain. You can enjoy the scenery on the 14-minute ride to the top, take a yoga class, try the Eurobungy trampoline, and enjoy live music on the weekends. The Aspen Brewing Company offers a tour of their facilities that ends in the tasting room, where you can find a new favorite beer. In the evening, stop by Aspen Hickory House for outstanding barbecue and ribs.

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7. Colorado Springs

pikes peak

Colorado Springs offers stunning views in all directions from the Rocky Mountains on one side and the plains on the other. This small town offers wonderful hiking experiences for nature lovers. At the Garden of the Gods visitor’s center, sign up for one of the walks that includes a knowledgeable guide. After a long day of hiking, stop by King’s Chef Diner for its iconic green chili. Take the kids to the Cheyenne Mountain Zoo, one of the few high altitude zoos in the world, to see the more than 700 animals and feed the giraffes.

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8. Boulder

boulder colorado front range

At the foot of the mountains, you find the town of Boulder with vacation rentals where you can enjoy the views from the deck with your morning coffee. In the warmer months, take an afternoon to shop at the Pearl Street Mall with Earthbound Trading Company and Odd Molly shops. In the winter months, you can go ice skating at the mall’s outdoor rink. Stop by the Boulder Museum of Contemporary Art to see its permanent collection or current visiting exhibit. For an educational experience, head to Fiske Planetarium to learn all about the stars.

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