Colorado is the perfect destination for an extra-special weekend getaway, especially since it’s home to numerous exciting cities and nature spots. Admire panoramic views of the sweeping, majestic Rocky Mountains, and plan an afternoon hike and picnic. Book a stay at a gorgeous Colorado vacation rental near a historic national park to conveniently enjoy the great outdoors. Here are eight of the most romantic weekend getaway locations in Colorado.

1. Loveland

Source: Flickr/Scott McLeod

Loveland, dubbed as the ‘Sweetheart City’ and known nationwide for its Valentine’s Day Love Stamp Program, is near the college town of Fort Collins in northern Colorado. Rent a charmingly restored 1903 Victorian cottage for your love nest, or snuggle together in a neighborhood home just minutes from hiking in the Rocky Mountain National Park. A visit to the Sweetheart City Winery is a great opportunity to sample some local wines while checking out original oil paintings inspired by a trip to Tuscany. Voted by locals as one of the most romantic places in Loveland, South Shore Parkway is certain to aid in a stolen kiss or two. Sample small plates and incredible desserts at Door 222 Food and Drink, a downtown gem not to be missed.

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2. Colorado Springs

Source: Flickr/Christian Collins

Colorado Springs, nestled at the foot of the majestic Rocky Mountains, offers spectacular scenery and amazing opportunities for a private, quiet, and romantic getaway. Book a murder mystery or wine and dinner trip in the Scenic Vista dome car on the Royal Gorge Railroad. This glass-topped car skims along the base of the narrow canyon along the Arkansas River. For an intimate view of the astonishing grandeur of this area, spend some time at the Royal Gorge Bridge and Park soaring in a gondola or on a zipline. For a bonus adrenaline rush, take a hand-in-hand stroll over the quarter-mile Bridge, suspended 955 feet over the tumbling river. Stop for breakfast or lunch at the French-inspired La Baguette Bakery and Cafe and enjoy a seasonally inspired menu. Share some sweet and savory fondue dipping sauces over an amorous dinner in the intimate interior of The Mona Lisa.

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3. Estes Park

Source: Flickr/Pete Sheffield

Known for its prominence in the movie ‘The Shining,’ the historic Stanley Hotel is the centerpiece of Estes Park. But for a more secluded, romantic stay, choose an intimate place like the Dunraven Inn, where a friendly and casual ambiance puts a soul at rest. If you’re looking for a place in the woods with fabulous mountain views and a warmly bubbling jetted tub that’s just a short walk to town, choose a Prospect cabin. Just outside the door of your vacation rental and along the scenic drives, you’ll catch wildlife frolicking in the fresh air.

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4. Frisco

Source: Flickr/Rennett Stowe

Located 17 miles from the Winter Park ski resort and 16 miles from Vail, Frisco is the perfect small-town getaway. You can relive life as a miner in the Old West at Frisco’s historic park and museum or take a mountain bike ride that takes you over 55 miles of paved pathways. Strap on snowshoes or cross-country skis for a turn around the Frisco Nordic Center. During the summer, paddle or motor out to the Sentinel Island from the Frisco Bay Marina. Rent a cozy condo at Mountainside, or consider renting a lovely house on the Blue River. Warm up the evening with delicious farm-to-table fusion fare Italian-style at Bagalis Frisco.

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5. Idaho Springs

Source: Flickr/Bradley Gordon

Settle into a cozy log cabin on Chicago Creek in Idaho Springs. An iconic historical marker, a water wheel that powered a stamp mill, is visible from US 6 and US 40. Idaho Springs abounds with places to hike, ride, view wildlife, or do some birding. In the winter, take some easy ski runs at the Echo Mountain Resort. Drive up the 14-mile-long Mount Evans road, the highest paved road in America, and enjoy the surrounding landscapes from 14,200 feet above sea level. When it’s time to relax, head over to the geothermal springs and caves at Indian Springs Resort.

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6. Niwot

Source: Flickr/Ken Lund

At one time, Niwot was an important hunting and fishing area for American Indians. A railroad extension followed the arrival of Gold Rush miners, and many of the original buildings are part of Old Town in the National Historic District. Located 9 miles from Niwot, the Boulder Reservoir is a popular spot for swimming, boating, and fishing, and there are extensive trails to hike or bike throughout the area. Book your stay at the tranquil Niwot Inn and Spa, or choose a rural escape, like a fully restored 1890s farmhouse where a creekside bike path connects you to the cottonwood-shaded Pearl Street in Boulder. Enjoy a romantic evening at Colterra Food & Wine or the popular Sugarbeet in nearby Longmont.

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7. Aspen

Source: Flickr/mark gallagher

Aspen is a lovely town, best known for phenomenal skiing, but Aspen offers a host of other outdoor activities, such as cycling, hiking, kayaking, fly fishing, and horseback riding. Celebrate your romantic connection with a spectacular hot air balloon ride over the four mountain areas of Buttermilk, Snowmass, Aspen, and Aspen Highlands at sunrise or sunset while sipping champagne and indulging in chocolate-covered strawberries. Pamper each other with a customized couple’s massage at the Remede Spa at the St. Regis Hotel, then luxuriate in the hot tub where three waterfalls tumble down a stone wall. Enjoy some French cuisine and ample wine choices at the Rustique Bistro.

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8. Dolores

Source: Flickr/ALAN SCHMIERER

Tucked deep in the San Juan Mountains in southwestern Colorado, this carefully restored 19th-century ghost town and natural spa is surprisingly well appointed. The rugged, old-timey building exteriors hide high-end features such as cathedral ceilings, air conditioning, and gas fireplaces. Dolores has four parks and a peaceful bike trail that takes peddlers along the tumultuous Dolores River. You can enjoy hands-on exhibits and a nature hike at the Anasazi Heritage Center, or explore an exact replica of the original narrow-gauge rail car, the Galloping Goose. Share a romantic meal with tasty cocktails at Sophia’s Bistro.

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