The Best of Recreation 2021

From biking to skiing and golfing to sightseeing, here are the best places to recreate in the state

Best Attraction Front Range Red Rocks

Best Place to Mountain Bike

Winter Park Resort

With more than 600 miles of trails to choose from, it doesn’t matter if you are an experienced cyclist or a newcomer to the sport.

Winter Park has mountain biking trails for everyone. For those looking for an extra dose of adrenaline, the Trestle Bike Park is the place for you.

You’ll face steep-banked turns and big dirt jumps as you navigate more than 40 miles of downhill terrain.

Full-day passes to Trestle are $60 for adults and $50 for children and members of the military.

Runners-up

Best Casino

Black Hawk

We can only assume voters for Colorado’s best casino simply enjoy heading to Black Hawk and deciding where to go from there.

The leading vote-getter was “Black Hawk Casino.” There is no such place by that name, but there are numerous casinos in Black Hawk that make the drive worthwhile.

The leading vote-getter for a specific venue was Century Casinos in Central City, followed by Ameristar Casino Resort & Spa in Black Hawk.

Runners-up

Best Place to Play Hooky

Denver Zoo

What better way to take a much deserved, or self-determined day away from responsibility than by checking out lions, penguins and other creatures and habitats at the Denver Zoo.

Looking to learn a little on your day off? The Denver Zoo aims to educate its audiences in becoming environmental thinkers and learners and perhaps most importantly to become champions for wildlife.

“We believe that every learner in our community deserves the opportunity to tap into their natural curiosity, to engage in awe-inspiring learning experiences and to develop their inner-scientists,” the Denver Zoo’s website states.

Runners-up

Best Place to Ski

Aspen Snowmass Ski Resort

Snowmass, Aspen Mountain & Highlands and Buttermilk make up the mountains that the Aspen Skiing Co. operates where skiers and snowboarders have access to 362 trails over 5,527 acres through just one lift ticket.

Snowmass alone has 150 miles of trails for you to experience. And with 53% of trails in the intermediate or lower levels, Snowmass has options for people of all abilities.

Whether it is Snowmass or one of the other mountains, Aspen provides a skiing experience that has yet to find an equivalent.

Runners-up

Best Attraction for Impressing Visitors to Denver

Red Rocks Park and Amphitheatre

A hallmark of Colorado tourism, the Red Rocks Park and Amphitheatre never fails to drop jaws.

Whether it be the lights pumping as your favorite band takes the stage, or your lungs bursting after running up the fabled stairs, Red Rocks will certainly keep you entertained.

There are few places where you can take in the ancient natural beauty of Colorado while still marveling at the Denver skyline.

“All around you are 738 total acres of deer, dinosaurs, pines and prairies, geological wonders and spectacular vistas,” the park points out on its website.

Runners-up

Best Attraction for Impressing Visitors to the Eastern Plains

Wild Animal Sanctuary

First and foremost, the Wild Animal Sanctuary is not a zoo, rather a place where the focus is on the animals, not the people.

Rescued animals are cared for at the Sanctuary and are able to roam freely in large habitats more akin to their wild habitat.

With more than 170,000 annual visitors, the Sanctuary aims to use its popularity to educate those who visit about the Captive Wildlife Crisis.

Viewing these animals is done safely and respectfully from atop the Sanctuary’s elevated walkway, which spans more than 1.5 miles.

Best Attraction for Impressing Visitors to the Western Slope

Colorado National Monument

Imposing rock towers, winding canyons and picturesque red rocks reside within the umbrella of the Colorado National Monument as the allure of the American West’s natural beauty is brought to life.

Take a drive down the 23-mile Rim Rock Drive, where you’ll encounter sheer canyon cliffs, views atop the mesas and perhaps a bighorn sheep or a soaring eagle.

If you can’t make it to the park in person, be sure to check out the virtual tour on the park’s website.

Runners-up

Best Golf Course, Private

Sanctuary Golf Course

To play a course that can have views of Pikes Peak to the South and Longs Peak to the North on a clear day, you must be invited or a guest at one of the charity events hosted every year.

Since the course’s inception, more than 510 charity events that have raised more than $112 million.

“Play is limited not by membership, but by linking tournaments and other events to the support of charitable organizations devoted to the arts, children, health care and crisis management,” the company says.

Runners-up

Best Golf Course, Public (TIE)

Red Hawk Ridge Golf Course

Featuring dramatic elevation change and bluegrass fairways that juxtapose scrub oaks to the side, the Red Hawk Ridge Golf course aims to provide a course with affordable prices and country club conditions.

Offering a nine and 18-hole ladies league, a coed league and a competitive men’s league, Red Hawk Ridge will have a place for you whether you are a casual golfer or a competitive one.

Looking to up your game? Red Hawk Ridge also has a staff of PGA certified instructors available for lessons.

The Ridge at Castle Pines

With four sets of tees ranging from 5,000 to more than 7,000 yards, The Ridge at Castle Pines has a course that players of every ability can enjoy.

Located just south of Denver, the course has provided golfers with a top-tier Troon Golf-managed facility since 1997.

Although a public course, The Ridge also offers group packages ranging anywhere from 12-32 players that is sure to create a unique experience while you play through views overlooking the Castle Rock valley.

Runners-up

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This article is part of the 2021 Best of Colorado Business Choice Awards. Explore all the winners and finalists:
PROFESSIONAL SERVICES | TECHNOLOGY & ELECTRONICSTRANSPORTATION | FINANCE
FOOD & BEVERAGE | LODGING & ACCOMMODATIONS | MAINTENANCE| REAL ESTATE
HEALTH | PERSONAL FULFILLMENTLIFESTYLE | OFFICE | RECREATION
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