Must-Do Weekend Getaways from Denver, Colorado

Feeling the need for an escape from the hustle and bustle of Denver? The central location of the Mile High City makes it ideal for exploring the surrounding region. So, pack those bags and head into the great wide yonder on some of these alluring weekend getaways from Denver, Colorado!

From majestic mountain ranges offering world-class skiing to pristine national forests perfect for hiking, biking, and camping, there are some incredible places to explore near Colorado’s capital city.

Marvel at incredible red rock formations in Colorado Springs and massive sandstone arches in Moab in Utah. Enjoy world-class skiing and snowboarding in charming mountain towns like Steamboat Springs and Aspen, and hike to the top of the world on the Trail Ridge Road in Rocky Mountain National Park.

Soak away your cares in the warm geothermal pools in Glenwood Springs and head into the Sangre de Cristo foothills of New Mexico for a culture kick in Sante Fe.

Ready to explore Colorado’s spectacular landscapes beyond its biggest city? Start planning your adventures with this complete guide to the best weekend trips from Denver, Colorado!

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Colorado Springs, CO

If you’re looking for a hassle-free weekend sojourn from Denver, Colorado Springs is ideal. Located 70 miles south of Denver, this charming city boasts a unique blend of natural wonders, outdoor adventures, and cultural attractions. With its laid-back ambiance and friendly locals, it’s a great place to experience the beauty of the Rocky Mountains while you recharge.

One of the must-visit Colorado Springs attractions is the Garden of the Gods, a spectacular natural red rock formation that offers fantastic hiking trails and picturesque viewpoints. Another iconic destination is Pikes Peak. Whether you drive up the scenic Pikes Peak Highway or hike one of the trails, reaching the summit rewards you with breathtaking panoramic views of the Rocky Mountains. It’s an experience not to be missed!

Garden of the Gods in June

A visit to the United States Air Force Academy is a must for history buffs. The campus is not only architecturally impressive but also home to the renowned Cadet Chapel. Take a stroll around and learn about the academy’s history and mission at one of the must-see museums in Colorado Springs.

If you’re into art, the Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center in Downtown Colorado Springs offers a diverse visual and performing arts collection. You can explore traditional and contemporary works showcasing the region’s artistic creativity.

You’ll find various accommodations in & around Colorado Springs, from luxurious resorts to budget-friendly chain hotels and cozy bed-and-breakfasts.

Although Colorado Springs is one of the most popular day trips from Denver, it’s even better as a weekend getaway. Remember: Colorado Springs is at a higher altitude than Denver. Take it easy on the first day to acclimate and avoid altitude sickness.

Where to stay

Garden of the Gods Club & Resort

Garden of the Gods Club & Resort

Experience a lavish retreat at Garden of the Gods Club & Resort in Colorado Springs. Enjoy amazing red rock views from stylish rooms and suites with top-notch amenities. Indulge in five-star facilities, including a world-class spa, two swimming pools, tennis courts, and a fitness center. Tee off on a premier golf course or explore the iconic Garden of the Gods Park.

Rocky Mountain National Park, CO

Rocky Mountain National Park is a haven for outdoor lovers and adventurers. About 70 miles northwest of Denver in the heart of the Colorado Rockies, this pristine wilderness is well worth the two-hour drive for an incredible weekend getaway.

Spanning over 415 square miles, Rocky Mountain National Park is a national treasure with towering peaks, alpine meadows, and crystalline lakes that form the backdrop for various outdoor adventures. The Trail Ridge Road winds through the park, taking you to heights that seem to touch the sky. From this vantage point, the vistas are simply breathtaking, showcasing the grandeur of the Rocky Mountains.

Rocky Mountain National Park

Hikers can explore a network of trails catering to all skill levels. Marvel at the mirror-like waters of Bear Lake, challenge yourself with the iconic Longs Peak hike, or wander through meadows adorned with wildflowers.

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Wildlife roams freely here. Keep an eye out for elk, mule deer, bighorn sheep, and smaller critters like marmots and pikas. Birdwatchers will be rewarded with the sight of majestic eagles and elusive ptarmigans.

You’ll find various lodging options both within and near the park. Inside the park, you can enjoy rustic camping experiences. If you prefer more comfort, Estes Park offers a range of lodges, cabins, and resorts.

Where to stay

Rams Horn Village Resort

Rams Horn Village Resort

Snuggle up in homey log cabins with mountain-style furnishings at this relaxed resort in Estes Park. Enjoy a home-away-from-home feel with kitchens, dining rooms, and living rooms with fireplaces. Relax on private decks with BBQs, hammocks, and picnic tables. Facilities include a seasonal outdoor heated pool, hot tubs, picnic areas with BBQs, and a kid’s playground.

Breckenridge, CO

If you’re looking for a year-round playground with spectacular natural beauty and a vibrant atmosphere, head to Breckenridge. Eighty miles west of Denver, this picturesque Colorado mountain town is an enchanting escape with a delightful blend of outdoor adventures and small-town charm.

Breckenridge is a treasure trove of attractions and activities for all seasons. During winter, Breck transforms into a winter wonderland, boasting world-class skiing and snowboarding on its renowned slopes. The Breckenridge Ski Resort offers a variety of runs suitable for beginners to expert skiers and snowboarders.

Sawmill Reservoir in Four O'Clock

In the warmer months, hiking and mountain biking take center stage. Explore scenic trails like the Boreas Pass for panoramic views of the surrounding peaks, or take a leisurely stroll through the historic downtown area.

Main Street is a hub of activity year-round, offering boutique shopping, art galleries, and a diverse culinary scene. Don’t miss the chance to explore the Breckenridge Arts District, a vibrant hub of creativity and one of the coolest places to visit in Breckenridge.

Lodging options in Breckenridge vary from cozy cabins and rustic retreats to modern lodges and upscale resorts.

Where to stay

Marriott's Mountain Valley Lodge

Marriott’s Mountain Valley Lodge at Breckenridge

A few miles from the Breckenridge Ski Resort, Marriott’s Mountain Valley Lodge at Breckenridge offers cozy studio and one-bedroom villas with kitchens, balconies, and mountain views. Unwind in a heated outdoor pool and a hot tub, and enjoy BBQs in the garden. If hiking and skiing aren’t enough exercise, hit the 24/7 fitness center.

Steamboat Springs, CO

Slightly further afield in northern Colorado’s Yampa Valley is the charming mountain town of Steamboat Springs. Originally a summer resort that drew visitors to the area’s geothermal hot springs, Ski Town, USA, as locals fondly call it, is a haven for outdoor enthusiasts.

Whether chasing adventure or craving relaxation, this mountain town delivers an unforgettable experience. In winter, the city transforms into a winter wonderland with its renowned Steamboat Ski Resort, offering world-class skiing and snowboarding across its legendary slopes.

Steamboat Springs

Come summer, the Yampa River beckons for water adventures like kayaking and tubing. The area is dotted with hiking and mountain biking trails, such as the Yampa River Core Trail, perfect for exploring the region’s natural beauty.

Strawberry Park Hot Springs offers a soothing retreat, allowing you to unwind amidst natural thermal pools. It’s an enchanting experience, especially under a starry sky.

Steamboat Springs offers various lodging choices, from cozy cabins to upscale resorts. Opt for a charming bed and breakfast for a homey feel, or consider staying at a full-service hotel for added convenience.

Where to stay

Residence Inn by Marriott

Residence Inn by Marriott Steamboat Springs

Just steps from the slopes, Residence Inn by Marriott Steamboat Springs is conveniently located for enjoying skiing in winter and hiking in summer. Spacious suites have en-suite bathrooms and modern amenities. Relish complimentary breakfast and unwind by the fireplace in the evening. Stay connected with free Wi-Fi.

Glenwood Springs, CO

Nestled in the rugged Rocky Mountains, surrounded by the vast White River National Forest, Glenwood Springs is a resort city known for its hot springs. Situated 160 miles west of Denver, ‘The Land of Water’ offers a blend of relaxation, adventure, and natural beauty.

Spend a few hours soaking in the geothermal waters of the Glenwood Hot Springs Pool for the ultimate relaxation and rejuvenation. Continue your pampering at the adjacent Spa of the Rockies with various wellness treatments.

Glenwood Hot Springs Pool

Perched atop Iron Mountain, the Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park offers thrilling rides and cave tours for adventure-seekers. The Haunted Mine Drop and Alpine Coaster are must-see Glenwood Springs attractions, and the guided cave tours reveal other-worldly formations.

A geological marvel, the Glenwood Canyon features the Colorado River, towering cliffs, and a paved recreation path perfect for biking, hiking, rock climbing, and enjoying scenic beauty. You can also explore the breathtaking beauty of the canyon by taking a scenic drive along I-70.

You’ll find plenty of accommodation options in Glenwood Springs, from historic hotels and modern resorts to cozy bed and breakfasts with a homely feel.

Where to stay

Hotel Denver

Hotel Denver

This historic gem promises an authentic mountain experience. Nestled in the heart of downtown Glenwood Springs, this boutique hotel is a short walk from the Glenwood Springs Hot Spring Pool. Individually decorated rooms boast wooden floors, antique furnishings, and romantic four-poster beds with cozy quilts. Savor Italian cuisine at the award-winning Glenwood Canyon Brewpub, housed within the hotel.

Moab, UT

Cross state lines and head into Utah to the outdoor mecca of Moab. Located 355 miles southwest of Denver in eastern Utah, Moab is a haven for hiking, mountain biking, rock climbing, white-water rafting, and exploring national parks.

Moab is a gateway to massive red rock formations in Arches National Park, renowned for its more than 2,000 natural sandstone arches. Delicate Arch, Landscape Arch, and the Windows Section are must-see features that showcase the area’s breathtaking beauty.

Double Arch in Arches National Park

For a different adventure, delve into Canyonlands National Park with its dramatic canyons, mesas, and the Green and Colorado Rivers confluence. The Island in the Sky district is perfect for short visits and one of Moab’s must-see attractions.

Moab is a playground for adventurers. From rock climbing on its red rock formations and mountain biking on the famous Slickrock Trail to rafting and kayaking along the Colorado River, there’s an exhilarating experience for everyone.

Accommodation-wise, you can choose from campgrounds if you’re seeking an immersive outdoor experience or opt for hotels and motels in the town for comfort and convenience.

Where to stay

Moab Springs Ranch

Moab Springs Ranch

Woodsy bungalows and rustic condos adorned with modern amenities and private patios create desert allure at Moab Springs Ranch. Nestled near Arches National Park, this tranquil haven is an ideal base for exploring Arches’ iconic arches and Canyonlands’ rugged canyons. Unwind in the saltwater swimming pool and hot tub to the soothing sounds of Mill Creek.

Aspen, CO

If you’re yearning for a memorable weekend escape from Denver, Aspen is a dream destination. This enchanting mountain town 200 miles southwest of Denver is a favorite getaway for adventure seekers and those looking for luxury.

Nestled in the heart of the Rocky Mountains, Aspen boasts awe-inspiring scenery that changes with the seasons. The landscapes are a feast for the eyes, from snow-covered slopes in winter to vibrant wildflowers in summer.

Aspen’s reputation as a premier ski destination is well-deserved. Aspen Snowmass offers some of the world’s finest skiing and snowboarding opportunities, with varied terrain for all skill levels.

Beyond skiing, Aspen provides a plethora of outdoor activities. Hike through alpine meadows, mountain bike on scenic trails, go white-water rafting, or simply immerse yourself in the beauty of nature.

Crater Lake Trail

One of the most photographed spots in North America, the Maroon Bells are twin peaks surrounded by pristine wilderness. Hike or take a shuttle to this iconic location for an unforgettable experience.

The top tourist attractions in Aspen aren’t just about the outdoors. The town boasts a vibrant cultural scene with art galleries, museums, music festivals, and events celebrating creativity and intellect. Indulge in luxurious accommodations, upscale shopping, and world-class dining.

Aspen’s historic downtown exudes a charming ambiance, with Victorian architecture and a pedestrian-friendly layout. Stroll through streets lined with boutiques, art galleries, and cozy cafés.

When it comes to accommodation, luxury resorts offer opulent amenities, while cozy lodges and bed and breakfasts provide a homely feel. Vacation rentals offer the flexibility of a home-away-from-home experience.

Where to stay

Limelight Hotel in Downtown

Limelight Hotel Aspen

Expect spacious rooms, elegant amenities, and breathtaking mountain views at this hip hotel. A short walk from the Aspen Mountain ski lifts, Limelight Hotel Aspen offers a complimentary shuttle service to the airport and ski lifts, loaner bikes, and ski lockers. Relax in an outdoor pool and two hot tubs and unwind over drinks on the rooftop terrace.

Santa Fe, NM

If you’re looking for cultural immersion, artistic inspiration, or simply a change of scenery, Santa Fe delivers! Nestled in the Sangre de Cristo foothills of New Mexico, around 350 miles south of Denver, this cultural gem boasts a unique blend of cultural treasures, artistic expressions, and natural wonders.

Wander around the historic heart of the city, Santa Fe Plaza, lined with adobe buildings, galleries, shops, and restaurants. Discover the Palace of the Governors, the oldest continuously used public building in the United States, which now serves as a museum showcasing New Mexico’s rich history.

Stroll along the enchanting Canyon Road, lined with art galleries and studios showcasing diverse artistic styles, from traditional to contemporary. Visit the Georgia O’Keeffe Museum to immerse yourself in the art of this iconic American painter. One of the coolest places to visit in Santa Fe, the museum houses a collection of her masterpieces and provides insights into her life and artistic vision.

New Mexico Museum of Art

Experience the region’s flavors at the Santa Fe Farmers’ Market, where you can find fresh produce, artisanal products, and local crafts. Experience a mind-bending journey through immersive art installations at Meow Wolf’s House of Eternal Return, a blend of art, technology, and storytelling.

Hike the scenic Atalaya Mountain Trail for panoramic views of Santa Fe and the surrounding landscape. It’s a great way to enjoy the outdoors while taking in the beauty of the area.

Santa Fe has an array of lodging options charming boutique hotels to homey bed-and-breakfast spots.

Where to stay

Inn on the Alameda

Inn on the Alameda

Located within the heart of Santa Fe on a two-acre adobe compound, the Inn on the Alameda presents quintessential Santa Fe-style lodging, delectable regional dishes, and an array of facilities. A quick walk will take you to the Old Plaza and the art galleries along Canyon Road. Unwind in casita-style suites adorned with Southwestern-themed designs.

Cheyenne, WY

Head north for about 100 miles and hop across the state line into Wyoming and its charming capital city of Cheyenne. Its delightful blend of Western heritage, historic sites, and outdoor recreation makes it an ideal place for a fun-filled weekend getaway from Denver.

Cheyenne boasts a variety of attractions that celebrate its Western roots. Discover the Cheyenne Frontier Days Old West Museum, showcasing rodeo history and Western artifacts. Don’t miss the iconic Cheyenne Depot Museum, which offers insights into the city’s railroad history.

Witness the Wild West come alive during the world-renowned Cheyenne Frontier Days, an annual rodeo and Western celebration. Experience rodeo events, concerts, parades, and a vibrant carnival atmosphere.

Wyoming State Capitol

Stroll through the historic downtown district to admire the well-preserved architecture, browse boutiques, and enjoy local eateries. Marvel at the stunning architecture of the recently renovated Wyoming State Capitol and discover the history and culture of the American West through a diverse collection of artifacts, art, and exhibits at the Nelson Museum.

Relax in the serene surroundings of the Cheyenne Botanic Gardens, featuring various plants, themed gardens, and educational exhibits. Spend some time at Lions Park, where you can find picnic areas, walking paths, playgrounds, and a miniature train for children.

Venture into the surrounding nature by exploring nearby trails, such as the Hogadon Loop Trail, offering scenic vistas of the city and surrounding landscape.

Cheyenne offers a range of accommodations, from comfortable hotels and motels catering to various budgets or a cozy bed and breakfast for a personalized touch.

Staybridge Suites

Staybridge Suites Cheyenne, an IHG Hotel

Conveniently located across the road from Frontier Mall retail complex, Staybridge Suites Cheyenne, an IHG Hotel, offers contemporary studios and multi-rooms with modern amenities. Make use of an indoor pool, a hot tub, and a gym, and enjoy regular evening socials. Complimentary services include a breakfast buffet and guest laundry facilities.

Treksplorer

Ryan O'Rourke is a seasoned traveler and the founder & editor of Treksplorer, a fiercely independent guide to mid-range luxury travel for busy people. With over 20 years of extensive travel experience, Ryan has journeyed through over 50 countries, uncovering hidden gems and sharing firsthand, unsponsored insights on what to see & do and where to eat, drink & stay. Backed by his travel experience and in-depth research, Ryan’s travel advice and writing has been featured in publications like the Huffington Post and Matador Network. You can connect with Ryan on Twitter/X at @rtorourke.

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