Memorial Day weekend might be the unofficial start of summer, but you can beat the heat by taking a getaway trip to Colorado. From major cities and national parks to patriotic parades and hiking in the Rocky Mountains, there’s something fun for everyone in this exciting state. Book a stay at a Colorado vacation rental for an unforgettable getaway. To get you started with your itinerary, take a look at the most noteworthy Memorial Day weekend getaway spots in Colorado.

1. Denver

The Mile High City celebrate the Memorial Day holiday with lots of fun activities. Tap your toes and enjoy the music at the annual Denver Day of Rock at 16th Street pedestrian mall. This area becomes a block party with more than a dozen bands playing, food trucks, and vendors. Scream on the thrill rides at the Elitch Gardens Theme and Water Park in the downtown area. If the weather is warm, bring your swimsuit to zoom down the slides. The Veterans Memorial Day Tribute at POF Hall is an annual event to honor Colorado’s fallen service men and includes a ceremony, storytelling, and family activities.

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2. Aspen

Source: Flickr/Nan Palmero

Although the ski season is over, Aspen provides a myriad of outdoor activities to take advantage of as summer unofficially kicks off. Bring your mountain bikes to spend the day at the Snowmass Bike Park that offers a slew of paths, curves, and terrain to give you a thrilling ride down the mountain. Stop by the Aspen Center for Environmental Studies and sign up for one of the free nature walks. A naturalist guides you on your outdoor journey pointing out flowers, trees, and other points of interest along the way.

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3. Durango

Source: Flickr/Woody Hibbard

Slow down and relax with a low-key weekend in Durango. See the cliff dwellings when you go hiking in the Mesa Verde National Park. Several of the rocks along the Petroglyph Point Trail were painted by Native American tribes. Sit back and watch the lush greenery and wildflowers drift by as you ride on the Durango and Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad. Spend an hour or so visiting the shops in Silverton before returning to Durango. The Powerhouse Science Center has interactive exhibits for adults and children to learn about science.

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4. Boulder

Source: Flickr/Ken Lund

Show off your patriotic spirit in Boulder. At the Grand Lake Memorial Day Parade and Ceremony, watch veterans, bands, and dancers go by and then enjoy live music afterward. Get in shape for summer with the BolderBoulder 10k that starts early on Monday morning. If you don’t feel like running, you can walk the 10k while your kids cheer you on. The Boulder Creek Festival extends over the entire weekend with nine distinct areas, hundreds of vendors, and family activities to keep everyone entertained.

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5. Crested Butte

Source: Flickr/Larry Lamsa

Find a vacation rental close to the historic downtown center in Crested Butte. The downtown area features historic buildings painted in bright colors, eclectic shops, and restaurants. Head over to the Nordic Center for one last winter hurrah and don ice skates to practice your spins on the indoor rink. Young kids love learning through play at The Trailhead Children’s Museum. Sign up for a day on the water with SUP Adventures. This tour group takes you to Emerald Lake, Taylor Park Lake, or the Blue Mesa Reservoir, and provides paddle boards for your trip around the shorelines.

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6. Estes Park

Source: Flickr/doktor x

A weekend in Estes Park puts you in the perfect space to explore the Rocky Mountains National Park. Start with a stop at the visitor’s center, where your kids can join the Junior Ranger Program and sign up for one of the guided walks. Starting Saturday morning, visit the Annual Art Market on Bond Street. More than 90 local and regional artists display and sell their work in various mediums. See wildflowers and plants starting to bloom when you take the family horseback riding at Sombrero Ranches Inc.

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7. Colorado Springs

Source: Flickr/H. Michael Miley

Colorado Springs hosts a variety of activities over the Memorial Day weekend, including live music concerts at Old Colorado City, where you can tap your feet or do a little dancing. The annual Territory Days festival lasts all weekend and features live music, children’s activities, food trucks, and vendors. Put on your hiking boots and spend a day at the Garden of the Gods. This local park is home to stunning rock formations and miles of walking trails. View and feed the giraffes at the Cheyenne Mountain Zoo, one of the few high-altitude zoos.

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8. Grand Junction

Source: Flickr/Joanna Lee Osborn

On the western side of the state, Grand Junction offers a wonderful holiday weekend experience. Steadfast Steed Mustang Sanctuary provides your family with a three-hour experience with tamed mustangs that once ran wild. Learn all about the care of these animals during your visit. Check the schedule and buy tickets for the Western Colorado Dragway to watch cars racing to the finish line. Kids love visiting the Eureka! McConnell Science Museum and trying all of the hands-on exhibits to learn more about science.

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9. Steamboat Springs

Source: Flickr/Ken Lund

Mountain air is sweeter in Steamboat Springs even when skiing is done for the season. See for miles around an enjoy an amazing view by signing up for a ride with Wild West Hot Air Balloon Adventures. Your flight lasts about 45 minutes and includes cookies, juice, pastry, and hot beverages. The Outlaw Mountain Coaster is popular all year long. Riders zoom down the mountain in an individual car and control the speed. Soak away all your stress and cares at Strawberry Park Hot Springs with Sweet Pea Tours.

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