The Best of Recreation 2022
From biking to skiing and golfing to sightseeing, here are the best places to recreate in the state
Best Annual Festival
GREAT AMERICAN BEER FESTIVAL
Awarding 290 medals to 265 breweries in 2021, the Great American Beer Festival lives up to its title of “World’s Largest Commercial Beer Competition.” Returning to the Colorado Convention Center in October for the festival’s 40th anniversary, the GABF promises an experience that blends tasting, judging and enjoying of all things beer.
The festival has a history of its tickets getting snapped up. So, keep your eye on the calendar, as tickets go on sale to the public July 13.
Best Place to Mountain Bike
COPPER MOUNTAIN SKI RESORT
Although known for its ski facilities, Copper Mountain’s summer alter ego of a mountain biking haven should receive equal praise. With eight different moun-tain-biking-only trails, enthusiasts can test themselves on a wide range of difficulties. The American Eagle lift is open daily in the summer, but bikers will need to wait until the weekend to use the Woodward Express lift. Don’t have your own equipment? Cop-per Mountain offers multiple bike rental options.
Best Place to Play Hooky
What better way to take your mind off work than by spending a day at the Denver Zoo? With tickets just $20 for adults throughout the zoo’s summer season, the zoo is one of the cheaper ways to occupy a couple of hours in the Denver area. Viewing the animal exhibits is just one of the many ways you can learn and engage with all that the Denver Zoo has to offer. With various informational animal talks and feeding sessions, visitors can participate in a new experience on every visit.
Best Place to Ski
BRECKENRIDGE SKI RESORT
Breckenridge’s 187 trails over 2,908 skiable acres gives visitors of all skill levels an opportunity to explore one of Colorado’s most beautiful areas. One of the stops on the winter circuit of Mountain Dew’s Dew Tour, Breckenridge’s partnership with the company goes far beyond the extreme-sports event as they have created terrain features out of recycled materials to support Vail Resorts’ goal of zero waste to landfill by 2030.
Best Attraction for Impressing Visitors – Denver
RED ROCKS AMPHITHEATER
Whether you are visiting Colorado for the first time or returning like an old friend, Red Rocks Amphitheater will never fail to take your breath away. With an ever-rotating events schedule ranging from yoga to comedy shows, DJs to high school graduations, Red Rocks captivates with its unmatched setting and whatever entertainment is onstage.
Interested in learning about those who have taken the stage here? Visit the Red Rocks Hall of Fame located onsite to visit – or revisit iconic performers over the years.
Best Attraction for Impressing Visitors – Eastern Plains
THE WILD ANIMAL SANCTUARY
Over its 40-plus-year history, the Wild Animal Sanctuary in Keenesburg has taken in more than 1,000 animals, providing vast enclosures to replicate their natural habitats and promote animal welfare rather than create another tourist trap at the expense of the animals themselves.
“Every lion, tiger, bear, wolf and other animal living at the Sanctuary was rescued from an illegal or abusive situation,” the organization says. “Visiting the Sanctuary is a privilege and requires serious commitment by people in order to be part of the solution to the captive wildlife crisis.”
Best Attraction for Impressing Visitors – Western Colorado
COLORADO NATIONAL MONUMENT
The sandstone towers dotting the Colorado National Monument are part of a daunting landscape that welcomes the many annual visitors of the park. For those brave enough, the canyons present beautiful features just waiting to be climbed. For those more inclined to stay on the ground, the park also has hiking, camping and biking options. Be wary, as while you explore you may be accompanied by some desert bighorn sheep, mountain lions or other animals that call this environment home.
Best Golf Course – Private
THE CLUB AT INVERNESS
The Club at Inverness is a private course, but its membership options pro-mote a wide range of involvement for potential members. All options allow members access to highly sought-after tee times well in advance, with the Platinum membership choice giving members booking options a week in advance.
The course itself is challenging yet accommodating. As the club’s website says, “The course requires strategy and a thoughtful approach thanks to the gentle but unforgiving slopes, rolling hills and deep bunkers.”
Best Golf Course – Public
FOSSIL TRACE GOLF CLUB
Wanting to play a beautiful mountain golf course and making the drive up to a beautiful mountain golf course are two very different things. Fortunately for Denverites, just 20 minutes from the city is Fossil Trace Golf Club where, the club says, “Golfers can experience a mountain course feel in an urban setting.”
Open to the public since 2003, Fossil Trace offers play for between $110 and $130 on weekdays for a round of 18, with that price range increasing to a maximum of $150 for a weekend round.
Play the night away at one of Monarch Casino Resort & Spa’s gaming options throughout its 60,000 square feet of gaming space. Try your luck on one of the 900-plus slot machines or camp around a blackjack table.
Table games aren’t your speed? Wander over to Monarch’s state-of-the-art Sportsbook with plenty of options for you to watch and wager on your favorite games.