Going off the beaten-path sometimes creates the most authentic connections and memories when traveling. Looking at an old favorite with new eyes and perspective can bring out the best in an often-visited location. Or, perhaps for the most well-traveled visitor to Colorado, time giving back to a non-profit or supporting the environment creates a new sense of appreciation for the outdoors and public lands. The Colorado Field Guide brings fresh exploratory ideas and opportunities to visitors this summer with new look-and-feel planning tools and more inspiration from all corners of the state.
Here are eight ways to use the Colorado Field Guide to get to the lesser-known, travel like a local, and experience the unexpected on a Colorado visit this summer:
Plan Your Getaway: Build A Trip by Length, Region, City, Season or Activity. Heading to Colorado but for how many days? Looking for art galleries or hiking trails? Trying to avoid the usual hot spots and discover something new? The Colorado Field Guide homepage has a handy search criteria, so travelers can check out different itinerary ideas based on journey time or direction of travel. Each itinerary comes with recommended lodging and dining suggestions and is packed with daily activities. Search the full breadth of diverse activities for inspiration or pair unheard-of activities in a destination: stargazing to golf, wine tasting to hunting, mine tours to zip lining.
(Wisdom Rides Tour in Merino, CO)
New Reasons to Visit the Well Known.
Visitors have a new lens to look at Denver, Boulder, Aspen, and Telluride with the Colorado Field Guide’s “Top Chef” itinerary. Rich in homegrown ingredients, nationally recognized chefs and a thriving maker culture, it’s no wonder Bravo set its latest season of “Top Chef” in breathtaking (and delicious) destinations in Colorado. Visitors can experience Season 15’s highlights on this flavor-packed tour of the celebrated culinary scenes in four of the towns featured as locations in the show, starting with the Mile High City. Want more? Check out the Field Guide itinerary: Follow Top Chef Season 15 In Colorado: Inspired By Food & Wine Magazine
Places You Haven’t Heard Of. The Colorado Field Guide is the best place to dig for new destinations and regional road trips. Never heard of Sterling, Colorado? It just so happens to be home to Parts and Labor, the only brewery east of the 1-25 corridor. Despite being a small mom and pop brewery, the brews are already getting wide recognition, having been featured in Food & Wine Magazine as one of the top 25 breweries in the state. Parts & Labor is known for their wheat beers, which are produced from wheat grown just 5 miles from the brewery. Want more? Check out the Field Guide itinerary: Peaceful Plains: Explore Sterling & Logan County itinerary. Or try a new region: Northwest Colorado’s Grand Mesa is one of the largest flat-top mountains in the world, and its landscape sets it apart from much of the rest of Colorado — that so many lakes can be found so close together is a bit of an anomaly in this high-altitude state. Alexander Lake Lodge in Cedaredge is the perfect home base for activities and exploration of the area. Want more? Check out the Field Guide itinerary: 3 Days, 300 Lakes & 3 Scenic Trails On The Grand Mesa
(Mesa Lakes Lodge)
First-Timer’s Guide to…
Get the ultimate bucket list on a destination as a first-timer. The Colorado Field Guide includes the best dining, where to stay, and the highlights of outdoor recreation or culture, plus events visitors won’t want to miss. Fruita is well-known for as one of Colorado’s leading mountain biking destinations, but the Field Guide offers a broader insight of activities to check out, including local parks and public lands worth hiking, or local farms such as Moon Farms that offers tours of its petting zoo, plus the important scoop on where to get the best tacos in town. Want more? Check out the Field Guide itinerary: A Fruita Experience.
Learn About Regional Voluntourism Opportunities.
The Colorado Field Guide has partnered with Volunteers for Outdoor Colorado
to connect visitors with ways to care for the state’s natural resources. A downloadable app features a calendar of volunteering events taking place in local towns and regions, such as river clean-ups and trail building, as well as task lists and inspiration for giving back. Visitors can collect points to earn badges via the app.
Travel Like a Local with Insider’s Tips.
It’s the locals who are in the know, and the Field Guide has tapped its sources to get the low-down so visitors get to bag a unique view or exciting activity. A must-see road trip in Southwest Colorado takes visitors via the canyon-clinging stretch of spectacular roadway between Silverton, Durango and Ouray called “The Million Dollar Highway” either because it cost so much to build, the amount of gold ore that remained in the roadway’s fill or the figurative price for those amazing San Juan Mountain views. The insider tip recommends lunch in the trees at Soaring Treetop Adventures
, where visitors can enjoy a four-course gourmet lunch on a suspended platform overlooking the beautiful Animas River. Want more? Check out the Field Guide itinerary: Adventure & History: Million Dollar Highway
New Ways to Road Trip.
A novel way to look at Colorado’s mountain towns is through the lens of creative arts and culture. Colorado’s new Creative Corridor runs through a handful of the state’s Certified Creative Districts, including Carbondale, the North Fork Valley, Crested Butte, Ridgway and Salida — not to mention stunning landscapes, restaurants serving locally sourced menus and the spirit of the arts around every corner. Want more? Check out the Field Guide itinerary: Colorado Creative Corridor.
Search for the Hidden Gems.
Nestled in western Colorado’s North Fork Valley, Hotchkiss, Crawford, and Paonia offer access to some of the state’s greatest natural treasures and activities. Explore landmarks like Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park, partake in quintessential pastimes like fly-fishing, hiking, and wine tasting, and enjoy Rocky Mountain hospitality at its finest. Cozy up on a porch swing at The Stone House Inn for some primo stargazing, or take a drive up to the Needle Rock trailhead—where artificial light is nonexistent—another incredible stargazing locale. Want more? Check out the Field Guide itinerary: North Fork Valley Tour.