Photo by Mars Plex on Unsplash
As summer ends and the back-to-school season looms in full swing, it's time to seize the last opportunity for a vacation. Weekend getaways are great for busy families, and we are lucky to live in Colorado, where adventure is always around the corner.
Below, I list five great and not-too-far destinations nearby. And if you're in Aurora, Colorado, you're in luck! We provide excellent vehicle maintenance services at Aurora AutoPros and want to help you make the most of your weekend adventures.
Without further ado, let's embark on a journey to explore some incredible places near Aurora and throughout Colorado that offer unforgettable last-minute vacations.
1. Rocky Mountain National Park: An Alpine Paradise
Rocky Mountain National Park is a haven for nature enthusiasts and adventure seekers. Just a short drive from Aurora, this national park boasts stunning alpine landscapes, abundant wildlife, and many outdoor activities.
- Hiking: Choose from various hiking trails suitable for all skill levels. Don't miss the iconic hike to Alberta Falls or the more challenging Longs Peak trail.
- Wildlife Watching: Watch for majestic elk, bighorn sheep, and even elusive black bears.
- Scenic Drives: Cruise along the Trail Ridge Road, the highest continuous paved road in the United States, for breathtaking vistas.
Why reinvent the wheel? Rocky Mountain National Park is an excellent go-to for your weekend getaways! Don’t forget to visit Aurora AutoPros before heading out. Those mountain roads require your car to be in tip-top shape!
2. Garden of the Gods: A Geological Marvel
Want to experience nature after being stuck in the office? Located near Colorado Springs, the Garden of the Gods is a surreal landscape of towering sandstone formations that defy explanation.
- Nature Walks: Take a leisurely stroll on one of the designated walking paths, and marvel at the unique rock formations like the Balanced Rock and the Three Graces.
- Rock Climbing: For the more adventurous souls, rock climbing is a thrilling way to experience the park's grandeur.
- Visitor Center: Learn about the geological history and Native American legends associated with the Garden of the Gods.
Afterward, you can explore Colorado Springs or other nearby gems (Larkspur is nearby, too!).
3. Estes Park: Gateway to Adventure
This destination is a classic, but classics are well-loved for a reason, right? Nestled in the mountains, Estes Park is an inviting town with many activities for everyone. If you’ve done Estes before, try one of the following to liven up your trip:
- Stanley Hotel: Visit the historic Stanley Hotel, famous for inspiring Stephen King's "The Shining."
- Lake Estes: Enjoy a peaceful day by the lake, rent a kayak, or go fishing.
- Estes Aerial Tramway: Take a scenic tram ride to the summit of Prospect Mountain for breathtaking views.
And, with the colors of all the trees changing, you’ll probably have your best photo opportunities yet!
4. Great Sand Dunes National Park: Desert in the Mountains
Do you want to go somewhere close-ish that looks like an entirely different world? Prepare to be amazed by the surreal landscape of the Great Sand Dunes National Park, home to the tallest dunes in North America. You can simply marvel in it’s glory, or partake in one of these activities:
- Sandboarding and Sledding: Rent a sandboard or sled and slide down the dunes for an exhilarating experience.
- Medano Creek: During certain times of the year, the shallow Medano Creek offers a beach-like oasis for relaxation.
- Hiking: Explore the dunes on foot, or embark on the challenging hike to the top of High Dune.
Remember to get your vehicle checked out before heading to this destination: it’s a few hours away, and some roads are a bit beaten-up. Tire tread and proper alignment will be vital for this option!
5. Denver: The Mile High City
Want to get away but don’t want to drive for more than twenty minutes? As Colorado's vibrant capital city, Denver offers a perfect blend of urban excitement and natural beauty. When was the last time you viewed Denver through the eyes of a tourist? Here are a few ideas:
- Denver Botanic Gardens: Escape the city buzz and immerse yourself in the serenity of the botanical gardens.
- Museum of Nature & Science: Explore fascinating exhibits and learn about Colorado's rich natural history. The museum also has many night and weekend events that may be worth checking out. Wednesday, September 6th, and Monday, September 18th, are free days!
- The Denver Art Museum: The Denver Art Museum is an exceptional choice for art enthusiasts and cultural seekers. Renowned for its diverse and extensive collection, the museum offers a captivating journey through various artistic styles and periods. From classic masterpieces to contemporary works, visitors can immerse themselves in a rich tapestry of creativity.
The best part about this option is you can be home in time for supper!
Ready To Vacation? Visit Us First!
Don't miss the chance to explore Colorado's stunning destinations before the snow graces us. Whether you prefer alpine adventures, geological marvels, or urban experiences, there's something for everyone. And while you're planning your trip, remember to get your vehicle checked and serviced at Aurora AutoPros for a worry-free journey.
If you need maintenance, please schedule an appointment with Aurora AutoPros as soon as possible. We look forward to seeing you soon. Also, we invite you to follow us on Facebook and our social media channels; and see what engaging, entertaining, educational, and fun things we share with our community.