best places to visit in colorado

If you like clean mountain air, hiking, and seeing the wonders of nature, then look no further than Colorado. Colorado has so many spectacular attractions that will amaze you. Its is a beautiful state in the edge of the Rocky Mountains close to the sky. It’s one of best places in the United States and one of the most popular destination in the world for things like rock climbing, and skiing.  There is more to see than just mountains!  

What are the best places to visit in Colorado you ask?  

rockymtnrefl.com

rockymtnrefl.com

1. Garden of the Gods is one of the most wonderful scenic views that I have seen in my life. With amazing huge boulder formations playfully placed by nature it is easy to see how it got its name.  Garden of the Gods is free with lots of parking areas that are sometimes not enough for the hundreds of families visiting each weekend. This is also a perfect place to go rock climbing.

 

 

royal gorge

royal gorge

 

2. Royal Gorge is in little known Colorado town called Cañon City.  Royal Gorge National Park features an amazing suspension bridge that is almost 1000 feet above the Arkansas river.  Adjacent to the Arkansas River is the Royal Gorge Route Railroad.  This is an amazing place to take the family.

    

3. the-inclineThe Incline in Manitou Springs is a local attraction that would definitely have more tourists if they knew about it.  It is a hiking trail with an incline with a steady steep grade of 60 – 68% going 1 mile straight up.  It is a heck of a workout and definitely not for the unfit.

4. Pikes Peak has a train that will take you up the mountain.  It is called the Cog Railway.  It is so high up that you will actually feel dizzy from lack of oxygen.

 

 

red rock canyon

red rock canyon

5. Red Rock Canyon is less of a challenge than the Incline or Barr Trail, however if you are not careful you can become lost in its many paths and trails.  There is a lot of area there and it is very scenic.  You can see a lot of Colorado Springs from the top of the the trail and see lots of grazing deer on the way.

 

 

old colorado springs

old colorado springs

6. Old Colorado Springs is a very cool place to visit especially if you like local art collections and authentic Mom and Pops Shops.  There are a lot of historical buildings. You can also try the wonderful restaurants there.  We went to one called Uchenna Restaurants that served authentic Ehtiopean food!  Uchenna is rated one of the best in town and you could taste why.

 

manitou cool places colorado

manitou cool places colorado

7. Manitou Springs is a place best for kids in Colorado I would say.  It has many shops selling ice creams, home made chocolates, taffies and variety of flavored pop corns. Manitou springs also have many restaurants and old Arcade games. There are special events on Valentines Day, St Patricks day, Christmas, Halloween and other US holidays.

 

 

What we did not mention in this post were the many top skiing destination in Colorado.  You can check those out here  http://news.travel.aol.com/2010/11/18/10-best-colorado-ski-resorts/

 

Hikes in colorado Barr Trail

One of our favorite things to do when we travel is to hike and explore so Colorado is a gold mine for this!!  Barr Trail is one of the best trails in Colorado Springs/Manitou Springs.  If you are looking for a challenging walk (or run) up a mountain pass then Barr Trail is for you.

Once you get about one mile into the trail you can see a large part of Manitou Springs below.  If you arrive early enough you can see a beautiful sunset shining into Pikes Forrest.  You get crisp and clean mountain air.  The sight is a glimpse into what birds must experience far away and above it all.  It is safe enough to take adolescent kids but probably too much for anyone younger than about 8 years old.

Bar Trail

Bar Trail

Although the total length of Barr Trail is 21 km (13 Miles), most people only do the first few miles that is parallel with the Incline, another popular trail in the Manitou Springs area.  The trail goes through Pikes National forest, pass Barr Camp and ends at the top of Pikes Peak.  The total trail goes up 7800 feet.

Barr is used for the Pikes Peak Marathon which goes as far as Barr Camp and back.  Barr trail is great to just walk for exercise.  Its fun to run down but you have to be careful since the path gets pretty steep and uneven.  Depending on when you go it can be hard to find parking.  It costs $5 for the privilege of parking next to the mouth of the trail.  You do have the option of parking for free about a half a mile or more away in Manitou.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Living Expense Comparison: Philippines and US

As soon as I arrived in the US, the first thing that popped in my head was the living expenses.  I was aware that the convenience of my new life in the United States would not come cheap.  I knew that the prices would be way higher than the Philippines.  Here are a few comparisons between Philippines and the US.

1. Food. Surprisingly, whenever we eat fast food it is pretty cheap.  For example a burger is about the same price in PH.  Back in Ph, a $3 burger is actually more expensive than eating a healthier meal.  In the US, eating healthier is more expensive.  In the Philippines, we choose to eat the healthy meals rather than junk food filled with lots of carbohydrates.  The grocery store prices are MUCH better than the Philippines when you consider the amount Americans make. In the US, you can get cheap food in Walmart or pay a dollar more to shop at Safeway and King Soopers for better quality of produce.

living-expense-comparison

  • Spices – $3.00 – $5.00.I seen few for $0.88 (Walmart) for very average quality
  • Pork (lean) – $ 3.00 – $ 4.00 per pound
  • Chicken drumstick – $ 2.00 per pound
  • Sausage – $ 5.00
  • A dozen eggs (large)- $ 1.50 – $ 2.00 (Same price as PH)
  • Beef – $ 4.00 per pound

2. Kitchen Utensils.  Utensils in the US are way more expensive however there is great variety.  Bed Bath and Beyond has good quality stuff for much higher costs.  If you want to get high quality pretty utensils you should go there.  However, if you are not particular or just want something decent, Walmart has cheap goods. There are also cheap laddles in Dollar store but cant recommend buying from there. They do not last long.

living-expense-comparison

  • Ladle (good quality) for $3.00 – $5.00  walmart
  • Non stick pots or pans – $14.00 -$25.00 walmart

In the Philippines, you don’t have this kind of variety but you can get that same quality for half that price. The higher quality products you would find in ”Bed Bath and Beyond” does not have a match of price in PH. The Philippines prices for pots ($10- $30) which I thought were expensive are nothing compared to what we have to pay in the US.

3. Apartment. Cost of living in States for an apartment depend on the population, market value and economy of the area.  Here in Colorado, you can get a decent apartment for $800.00. I seen very simple not nice apartment online for $600.  An Apartment for these prices in the Philippines is a luxury estate.  You can live in a decent hotel for 800/month in the Philippines.living-expense-comparison-2

4. Clothes.  Wow, the clothing prices in the US shocked me. I thought the branded clothing in PH were expensive but they are not.  In the Philippines you can get a good quality women’s shirt for $15.00, but in the US that might get you a t-shirt. In the Philippines a top brand such as “Jag jeans” you can get for $25, but here you might be able to get average jeans for that amount:living-expense-comparison

  • Burlington Coats- $50.00- $200.00
  • T-shirt for men – $ 10.00- $ 30.00 (Walmart)
  • Polo shirts – $60.00 and above (Kohls)
  • Shirts for women – $ 7.00 – 40.00 (ROSS)

5. Furniture.  As mentioned above, the quality of furniture you can get for a good price is amazing in America.  I would recommend American Furniture Warehouse if you have one in your area.  Walmart has terrible to low quality furniture so I cannot recommend buying it from there if you intend to keep it for a while.  Places like American Furniture Warehouse also have flat rate delivery of $69.00 for no limitation of furniture you will buy.

afwonline.com $500.00

afwonline.com $500.00

  • Leather sofa recliner – $549.00 – American Furniture Warehouse
  • Dining Table – $ 600.00 but its so worth it. Durable and pretty.
  • Tv Rack – $150.00 – American Furniture Warehouse

While you can find this level of quality in the Philippines, it is so expensive that only the rich can afford it.

6. Appliances.  Appliances in the Philippines are average quality and there is only 1 year warranty on most of them.  In the US, you have places like Walmart and Target that offer huge selections on top appliances. Target has good appliances for sale. However, Walmart has better variety. Both offer 3 year plan warranty to get your appliance and electronics covered and will actually replace the appliance on the spot if you have the receipt and bring it back within 30 days.living-expense-comparison

7.  Gas . Average price cost of gas now in the US is $ 2.00 per gallon. Ph average price would be $1 per liter.  living-expense-comparison

1 gallon = 3.78 liters.

Therefore gas in PH is way more expensive which makes the prices of other products costly.

8. Utilities.  Basic utilities are higher in the Philippines.  It is unbelievable that a developing country where the average income is 8USD/day (2015) that basic living standards are higher than the richest country.

The cost of living in the US has come as a shock.  The level of variety and convenience is amazing.  Coming from a developing country the differences are like night and day. If you are on a budget traveling from Europe, your best bet is to stick with South East Asia.  But if you can make it to the US, it is definitely worth the trip especially if you are staying for a few months.

 

 

Cool places to visit in Colorado- Royal Gorge

As we walked across the bridge the breeze hit us in the face and made the solid steal and wood supports sway.  The magnificent height is like the scenes of a movie.  With tall walls of rock embracing the white water Arkansa river below; it is an very beautiful place.  Every angle is offers a photographic master piece.  It is hard to believe that here was a fire that destroyed the area around the Royal Gorge Bridge.  They have done an amazing job of restoring some of the services.cool-places-to-visit-in-colorado (2)

The ticket price for an adult costs $16.00USD. cool-places-to-visit-colorado And when you get in

On the way to Royal Gorge, there are shops that offer all kinds of activities you and your family can do such as river rafting, zipline, kid’s train rides, small restaurants and souvenir shops.  You will see very unique merchandise such as giant amethyst rocks.  Unfortunately, these shops are not open on Sundays.cool-places-to-visit-in-colorado

In 2013, the facilities and rides of Royal Gorge were destroyed by a wildfire.

Ninety percent of the park was gone with 48 out of 52 buildings and world class attractions destroyed on each side of the bridge. During this time, the Royal Gorge Bridge stood majestically above the rubble and was relatively unscathed except for approximately 100 boards that were scorched on the south side of the Bridge. — royalgorgebridge.com

IMG_0082

As of 2015, they are still in the process of rebuilding some of the facilities.  The new building includes a big cafe with huge deck over looking the gorge.  The building also has a souvenir shop selling shirts, mugs, necklaces, stuffed toys and a few types of rocks.  At the back of the building are benches where you can sit to relax.cool-places-to-visit-in-colorado (4)

Royal Gorge is Open at 10 o’clock in the morning and closes at 4pm, 5pm or 6pm. It changes according to month.  Please see the guide.http://www.royalgorgebridge.com/index.php/ct-menu-item-62/ct-menu-item-64

Note: As you are driving towards Royal Gorge and while you are there, you may lose cell phone reception.

cool-places-to-visit-in-colorado (7) cool-places-to-visit-in-colorado (8)

denver museum free days

Denver museum free days

Here at DimeTravel we talk a lot about traveling for cheap.  But nothing beats free!!  If you happen to be in Colorado visiting you should know that Denver Museum of Nature and Science has free days!? Yes.

We have talked about The Denver Museum of Nature and Science on a few different articles about travel to Denver, Colorado.

The Denver Museum of Nature and Science is a great place for the whole family.  The prices are reasonable for a pretty fulfilling time: 15USD for non-members and 12USD for members of the museum.denver-museum-free-days

SCFD COMMUNITY FREE DAYS

The Scientific & Cultural Facilities District is a voter-approved special district in the seven-county metro area that provides a stable source of supplemental funding to more than 300 scientific and cultural organizations inside the district’s boundaries. The SCFD collects a one-tenth of 1 percent sales-and-use tax (or one penny on every $10 spent), providing approximately $40 million each year to area cultural attractions both small and large.

denver museum free days

denver museum free days

A fee still applies to IMAX films, Planetarium shows, and temporary exhibitions. Reservations and amenities (lunchroom, coat and lunch storage, bus drop off, etc.) for school groups are not available on SCFD Community Free Days.

2015 SCFD Community Free Days

  • Monday, January 5

  • Sunday, January 25

  • Monday, March 2

  • Sunday, April 12 (Earth Day)

  • Saturday, April 25 (Día del Niño)

  • Sunday, May 31

  • Monday, June 29

  • Sunday, July 26

  • Monday, August 17

  • Sunday, September 27

  • Monday, October 19

  • Monday, November 9

denver colorado things to do

I have lived in Colorado for 10 years and I can tell you from personal experience that there are many Denver Colorado attractions and LOTS of things to do.  Denver is Colorado’s capital and most populated city so there are are COUNTLESS activities here.

If you are in Denver and cannot find things to do, then you just have not looked!  There are amusement parks, sporting events, concerts, museums, parks, resorts and world class restaurants.  If you like clubs, then you will love the night life in Denver!

denver colorado things to do

denver colorado things to do

The Denver Museum of Nature and Science is my favorite place to take my kids.  The price is reasonable for an amazing learning journey for the whole family.  It’s 15USD for non-members and 12USD for members of the museum.

There is a planetarium, a great dinosaur exhibit and lots about the species of North America and the world.  There is an incredible exhibit that explores the human body.

Elitch Gardens Theme and Waterpark is a decent amusement park in Denver.  This place

denver colorado things to do elitch gardens

denver colorado things to do elitch gardens

alone has LOTS and LOTS to do.  There are constant concerts, shows and special events hosted at Elitch Gardens.  The prices vary based on your age:  Adults – 34.99, Children – 31.99, Seniors (62+) – 29.99 (children under age 3 – FREE).  Parking will cost you 15USD.  So, all this stuff adds up but its worth doing at least once or twice.

During hot Denver summer’s check out the Elitch Garden’s Water park.  Definitely check the schedule of Elitch Garden because sometimes they are closed or have huge special events that you may not want to miss.

childrens museum

childrens museum

If you have children under 10 you may want to take them to the Children’s Museum.  Kids LOVE this place.  And the smaller they are the MORE they will enjoy it.  People don’t talk about it much, but its one of those hidden gems that kids really get a kick out of.  The children’s Art museum is great if you have small kids

 

Dave and Busters is like an adult version of Chucky Cheese, its like a play ground for adults.  With sports bars, birthday party areas, restaurants, video games for all ages.

At night Denver comes alive.  On the weekends there are so many clubs and people of all ages going out to dance and drink that its VERY hard to find parking.  If you can, it’s best to just get a hotel and walk or get a taxi around town.  It’s not impossible to find parking, but it’s going to cost you anywhere from 6-15USD for only a few hours.  You can park from night until day there for 6USD though.

 http://www.denver.org/restaurants/denver-bars-clubs/

Here are some great resources of Denver Colorado activities:

Denver Colorado things To Do

Denver OutdoorRec Hiking

Parks And Recreation – If you are into outdoor activities, here is Denver’s official site for parks and recreation.  You can browse by category (Fitness, Health, Wellness, sports) and by season:

Skiing is a BIG deal in Denver!  I must admit I have never been.  These days when I tell people I live in Colorado, they either asking me about the legalized marijuana or skiing and I don’t have any experience with either one.. seriously.. I did not inhale..

If you love to ski then you must look into checking it out if you are in the city:

http://www.winterparkresort.com/

http://www.coloradoski.com/

 

denver places to visit

 Here are a few Denver places to visit (that are worth your time)

During our trip to denver, my husband and I visited some beautiful places.  Colorado Springs and Boulder are great, but Denver is the main hub of business in the state of Colorado with more restaurant options of things to do for tourists and locals alike.  We have listed some tourist attractions that you might like.

  •  Denver Museum of Nature and Sciencedenver-places-to-visit-3Denver has a world class museum exhibiting some of the best that the natural sciences have to offer.  From sea life to the solar system and going back billions of years to the formation of the Earth, you will not be disappointed.  I was blown away by the 3D planet projection in the planetarium.  The interactive exhibits about Mar geology and space exploration stole the show for most of the kids that walked in the building.  If you are traveling to Denver with kids, the Denver Museum of Nature and Science is a MUST.  The museum also has REAL Egyptian mummies, an exhaustive dinosaur wing and a stunning display of precious metals, gems and mineral deposits.  It was an amazing experience overall and it is so worth it. You see a lot more than what you paid for. denver-nature-and-science-museumAdmission fee is $12 per person. http://www.dmns.org/ 
  • Denver Botanic Gardens.denver-places-to-visit-10Denver Botanic Gardens has a variety of plants and a spectacular glass exhibit by the famous American sculptor, Dale Chihully (that ended last November 30, 2014). The botanic garden has plenty of species of plants but it is not so lively if you go during cold season.  Some of the plants are dead or dormant in winter. It is best to go during summer. The garden is a popular attraction in Denver so expect a crowd on the weekends. The parking lot is tight so it will take time to get a parking spot. They also conduct special events such as weddings. Denver Botanic Gardens website prices of tickets is not updated as it says $12.50 (adults). Maybe it changes by season or if there are exhibits.denver-places-to-visit-5Admission fee is $15.00 for adults. http://www.botanicgardens.org/
  •  Downtown Aquarium. 
    image:zoochat.com

    image:zoochat.com

    Denver downtown aquarium features an impressive array of sea creatures and habitats that will be pretty hard to find anywhere else in the Rocky Mountains. They also offer a dining experience where you eat a delicious meal while watching a mermaid show. Its fun and exciting to see! Food is expensive with very little options.  Like the museums, the aquarium also gives military and senior discounts as well as free parking after 6 pm when you dine in the restaurant. Ticket price for adults (12-64) is $ 17.99, didn’t know a 12 yrs old is already an adult. lol!

    http://www.aquariumrestaurants.com/downtownaquariumdenver/exhibits.asp

  •  Elitch Gardens Theme Park.
    image:bravetracks.org

    image:bravetracks.org

    If you are looking for thrills, then Elitch Gardens is the place to go.  It’s great for families. It consists of 70 acres of land with all kinds of rides for small kids, teens and adults.  Tickets ranges from $31.99/per person and above and can also be purchased online before the day of your adventure. Within the theme park you can expect to have decent dining, expensive shopping, concerts and special events.                   http://www.elitchgardens.com/plan-a-visit/tickets/

  •  Downtown bars.
    denver-places-to-visit-9

    image:nightclub.com

    Looking for a cool place to chill out and have a Colorado brewed beer?  Go to downtown Denver at night.  What was surprising to me is that there are marijuana stores around the area.  Colorado has legalized weed so it is okay to sell it openly (with some controlled substance restrictions, of course).  Its very common to see stores that look like pharmacies except with a green cross logo and bars on the windows.  The most important thing I have learned is that my ID must be carried everywhere.  We could not go inside the bar because I forgot my ID. Too bad but better luck next time 🙂

  •  Sports Authority Field at Mile High.denver-places-to-visit-97686 If you are into sports then you might want to check out a football game.. American Football.  Its huge in Denver.  Sports Authority Field is home of the Denver Broncos.  It is a giant stadium that can accommodate thousands of people for the event.  Even if you are not into sports, its an amazing sight to see!

Denver is beautiful and there are many things to do.  Whether you are visiting just to sight see, ride roller coasters, or go to a game and drink beer, there is really something for everyone.  There are so many things we did not mention!

colorado vacation destinations

Colorado is internationally famous for the skiing/snowboarding, rock climbing, hiking and winter sports.  For this reason Colorado vacation destinations are not only in the two biggest cities: Denver and Colorado Springs but also Aspen and the rocky mountains.

colorado vacation destination aspen-mountain

colorado vacation destination aspen-mountain

Aspen – “With four world-class mountains within the area, Aspen boasts the most diverse selection of terrain and on-snow experiences in Colorado. The best part is: A ski pass is valid at all four of our mountains!” 

I remember being in Australia and receiving the obligatory question, “Where are you from in the US?”

My typical answer: “I am from California, but living in Colorado.”  To which the young Aussie replied, “Oh, I love Colorado.  I was on vacation there and lived in Aspen working at a sky resort.

colorado vacation destinations Rocky Mountains

Colorado vacation destinations Rocky Mountains

Rocky Mountains – Colorado has the MOST 14,000+ foot mountains in the United States.  It has a total of 53 mountains over 14,000 feet (4200 meter mountains)!  For this reason, Colorado is a mountain climber paradise.  Half the state is the “rockiest” part of the rocky mountains.  It has the highest average elevation of any state.

Rocky Mountain National Park is located in Colorado.  Rocky Mountain National Park is ALL mountains with inspiring skylines, beautiful wildflowers, abundant with multiday backpack trips and climbing adventurers for every level of hiker.

 

 

 

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