Where to Play in Colorado Now
The Best of Colorado 2018 – Recreation
BEST PLACE TO MOUNTAIN BIKE
With more than 600 miles of trails and two downhill bike parks, Winter Park makes a strong case for the title Mountain Bike Capital USA. The resort offers everything from family-friendly rides to hard-core single track and everything between. Winter Park also hosts numerous bike races and events all summers, including the Mountain Bike Capital Weekend and the Mavic Haute Route Rockies. There are also plenty of local outfitters who suit visitors up for their mountain-biking adventures.
BEST PLACE TO PLAY HOOKY
People who feel guilty about playing hooky for an entire day could spend just a couple of hours at Topgolf to blow off steam. Topgolf blends technology and entertainment, golfers and non-golfers to create an experience that makes socializing a sport. Topgolf venues feature high-tech, climate-controlled hitting bays and a chef-inspired menu. The average group of four people usually spends about two hours at a Topgolf venue.
ROCKY MOUNTAIN NATIONAL PARK, ESTES PARK
BEST PLACE TO SKI
With 3,081 acres of terrain divided into seven territories, Winter Park Resort has something for everyone. There's everything from groomers to black diamonds in the Winter Park Territory and world-class glad skiing in the Eagle Wind Territory. Panoramic Bow skiing can be found in the Parsenn Bow Territory and jumps in the Terrain Park Territory. Find a powder stash in the Vasquez Ridge Territory or try the steeps and deeps of the Cirque Territory. Then, of course, there are the world-famous bumps at Mary Jane Territory.
BEST ATTRACTION FOR IMPRESSING VISITORS
Red Rocks Park, in Morrison is timeless.
"The venue looks and feels much like it has for its entire 77-year venue history," says Brian Kitts, Red Rocks spokesman. "So, whether someone is visiting as a paid concert-goer, as a fitness enthusiast, or visiting for the museum experience, Red Rocks offers a uniquely Colorado experience."
New this year are updated food and beverage selections with a focus on local products including New Belgium and Coors beers and Stranahan's whiskey. Also, there will be new morning workout options, giving the fittest of locals and additional way to impress visitors.
DENVER CENTER FOR THE PERFORMING ARTS
DENVER MUSEUM OF NATURE AND SCIENCE
BEST ATTRACTION – EASTERN PLAINS
Go ahead, say it: lions and tigers and bears … The Wild Animal Sanctuary is the largest carnivore sanctuary in the world and specializes in rehabilitating these three animals along with wolves and other rescued captive wildlife so they can be released into large natural habitats to live and roam freely. Visitors to the Sanctuary, near Keenesburg, can see and experience wildlife in a unique and immersive manner by traversing a 1.5-mile-long elevated walkway that spans over many of the animals' habitats.
BEST ATTRACTION – WESTERN SLOPE
Colorado National Monument, near Fruita, is known for its towering monoliths and canyon panorama. Visitors can experience sheer-walled, red rock canyons along the twists and turns of Rim Rock Drive, and also see bighorn sheep and eagles. Colorado National Monument hosts presentations on bats, juniper trees and other nature-y topics. For runners looking for one of the most challenging marathons in the country, there is the Rim Rock marathon in November.
ROCKY MOUNTAIN NATIONAL PARK ESTES PARK
BEST ATTRACTION – GOLF COURSE – PRIVATE
Cherry Hills Country Club, founded in 1922, was named for the cherry orchard located on the club's grounds. It was designed by William Flynn, who was from Philadelphia and who was paid $4,500 (which, according to an internet inflation calculator, would be worth about $64,000 today). The first hole has a claim to fame: It is where "Arnold Palmer drove the green in the final round of the 1960 U.S. Open to come from seven shots behind to win his only U.S. Open," according to the club website.
BEST ATTRACTION – GOLF COURSE – PUBLIC
Denver Golf Parks and Recreation has several golf courses in the Denver Metro area. Willis Case Golf Course is located northwest of Denver in the Berkeley neighborhood. There is a new clubhouse, a pro shop and Katie's Course Junior Course. There is even a loyalty card program, and golfers can get a waived green fee when they accumulate 400 points.