Keep the Summer Fun Going: 10 Hidden Gem Day Trips Near Denver
posted by: Mile High Mamas
It ain’t over ’til it’s over.
Summer may be winding down but to help you power through your final moments of entertaining, camping and exploring, we’ve partnered with Energizer® to bring you 10 Hidden Gem Day Trips Near Denver.
Whether you’re using Energizer’s LED headlight for nighttime explorations, or you’re throwing a simple barbecue and lighting the night with Energizer Fusion All-in-One Lights, we’ve got summer fun covered and here’s why:
· The 3-in-1 flashlight is portable and powerful, making it the perfect accessory for your trips near and far.
· With the headlamp, you can keep both hands free whether you’re playing a game of a flashlight tag or starting a campfire.
Energizer products can help make summer a breeze as you discover great attractions, authentic Old West experiences, sightseeing opportunities and quaint mountain towns just a short drive from The Mile High City.
Because don’t we all wish we had the longevity of the Energizer Bunny to pack in all this fun before returning to school!?
Buffalo Herd Nature Preserve
Get up close and personal with a herd of buffalo just a short, 20-minute drive from downtown Denver. The Buffalo Herd Nature Preserve is maintained by the city in a natural setting, and the buffalo are direct descendants of the last wild herd in America. It’s also a perfect spot for picnics. Swing by nearby Lookout Mountain Nature Center and Buffalo Bill Museum and Grave for some fantastic views overlooking the city as well as education.
Maintained by Denver Botanic Gardens, Mount Goliath is a mountain peak section of the Mount Evans area, offering a trail that winds through subalpine and alpine areas. This is a trail of contrasts — awesome Rocky Mountain vistas of Great Divide peaks; delicate floral treasures; wind-sculpted, ancient bristlecone pines; cold summit winds and gentle summer breezes. Be sure to also stroll around nearby Echo Lake Park and grab a slice of pie of a souvenir from the charming Echo Lake Lodge Restaurant.
National Renewable Energy Laboratory
Speaking of energy, the National Renewable Energy Lab Visitors Center in Golden showcases technologies that can save energy, improve the environment and lower the cost of energy bills. Take a self-guided tour through the interactive exhibit hall and learn about energy from the sun, wind, biomass and other sources of renewable energy.
Georgetown is a delightful Victorian village set in a spectacular mountain valley with 200 restored buildings from the 1870s. The main street is lined with shops and restaurants, and many of the old homes have been turned into antique stores. The Georgetown Loop Railroad takes riders on narrow-gauge steam locomotives curling down a mountain ledge, at one point crossing over a 90-foot-high trestle.
In an easy, 40-minute-or-so drive, you can escape to the pine-scented mountain hamlet of Evergreen. A lovely, trail-ringed alpine lake is located right in town, with excellent paddleboarding and kayaking in the summer and ice skating in the winter. The picturesque downtown is tucked between rocky canyon walls, and offers a promenade of shops, galleries and eateries. Spend the day golfing, hiking beautiful nature trails (our favorites are Alderfer/Three Sisters or Chief Mountain), touring small local museums, relaxing at day spas or catching a local theater performance with Evergreen Players.
Colorado Railroad Museum
Housed in a replica of a 1880s-style depot, the Colorado Railroad Museum in Golden is a delight for train-lovers of all ages. Enjoy thousands of rare photographs, artifacts and documents illustrating the colorful histories of the railroads that have served the state for more than 125 years. Then head outside to explore 15 acres of sprawling grounds with more than 100 narrow- and standard-gauge locomotives, cars and other rolling stock.
Rocky Mountain Arsenal National Wildlife Refuge
The Rocky Mountain Arsenal National Wildlife Refuge, one of the most fascinating ecological sites in the country, has made a remarkable transformation from a former site of chemical weapon manufacturing into one of the premier urban national wildlife refuges in the United States. Since the 1990s the site has welcomed visitors who now come to spot 330 species of migratory and resident wildlife and enjoy activities such as wildlife watching, photography, nature programs and fishing.
The gateway town to Rocky Mountain National Park, Estes Park is worth a visit on your way to or from the park, thanks to its charming mountain-town Main Street (with dozens of shops and restaurants) and the historic Stanley Hotel, the inspiration for the haunted Overlook Hotel in Stephen King’s The Shining. When you’re en route to Estes Park, don’t forget to stop in Lyons where you’ll find delicious pies, jams and ciders at Colorado Cherry Company and the Lyons Soda Fountain and Bakery serves up authentic phosphates and malts.
Boulder is one of the best staycations on the Front Range because you feel like you’ve landed on another planet! Take a free tour at the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR) and be sure to follow the adjacent nature trail that will connect with an extensive network leading to the Colorado Chautauqua where you’ll find gorgeous outdoor eating at the Dining Hall and fabulous concerts at the Chautauqua Auditorium, which is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. (Don’t forget to take your Energizer handheld light for the walk!) Pearl Street in downtown Boulder is renowned for its eclectic mix of boutiques and people. If you’re visiting on a Saturday, the Boulder Saturday Farmer’s Market is not to be missed.
Denver Botanic Gardens at Chatfield
Denver Botanic Gardens at Chatfield is a picturesque nature preserve among the grasslands, ponds and cottonwood banks of Deer Creek. Highlights include nature trails, a wildlife observation area, display gardens, educational exhibits, a historical farm, a 19th-century one-room schoolhouse, working beehives and picnic areas.
Energizer powers outdoor entertaining throughout the summer—from holidays to family barbecues. How are you keeping the fun going?
In partnership with Energizer®. All opinions are our own.