Get wild, scared, buzzed, sweaty or impressed with any one of these 10 date ideas inspired by Colorado, courtesy of Amy Angelilli. Yay for date day trips!
The great thing about living along the Front Range is that there’s never a shortage of cool dates. Every season has its glory, and even between seasons there’s always an adventure around the next bend. Leaf peeping may be winding down and ski season hasn’t yet exploded, but that’s just fine because these dates are wonderful no matter what the weather…or the colors!
Ride the Pike’s Peak Railway
Did you know that the world’s highest cog train is less than a two-hour drive from Denver? You and your honey can climb to 14,115 feet and take in the magnificent views that inspired the song, “America the Beautiful.” Bring warm clothing as the temperature drops when you reach the top of the mountain…or don’t, and snuggle in close with your date.
Drive the Lariat Loop – National Scenic Byway
Forget the leaves! Instead, pack the car with snacks and head out for 40 miles of western adventure. The Lariat Loop has a diverse assortment of sights along the way. History: check. Nature: check. Dinosaurs: check. You can hop on the website before you go to plan your sightseeing or let the road speak to you while you tour around.
Photograph the Garden of the Gods
Explore the magical views of 300 sandstone rock formations against snow covered Pikes Peak at this National Natural Landmark; without the crowds! This is the perfect time of year to visit as the unrelenting summer sun has given way to cool fall days. If you’re looking for a backdrop for amazing couples photos, this is the spot! Bring extra batteries.
Explore Local Mining Towns
Not ready for a diamond yet? No worries. Instead, mine for fun in Colorado’s mining towns along the Route 70 corridor. Idaho Springs, Silver Plume and Georgetown have history, rock shops, mine tours and hikes that are all littered with remnants of mines. All are waiting for you in these quintessentially western small towns.
Taste Colorado Craft Beer
Colorado produces more craft beer than any other state in the country. Hallelujah! If you’ve missed pumpkin beer tasting season, you can find out what’s next from the Colorado Brewers Guild. There’s even an interactive map to get you tasting. Go slow! There are so many to try that you could turn this into a weekly outing.
Sweat It Out in Boulder
If getting the adrenaline going is more your thing, spend the day in Boulder as it’s been rated the #1 sports town in the U.S. by Outside Magazine. You can hike, bike and climb all in the same day and still have a proper happy hour and dinner. Plus, there’s always something special happening in Boulder so it’s like going on a mini vacation … call it a day-cation!
Visit the Wild Animal Sanctuary
Looking for a little lions, and tigers and bears, oh my? Head to the Wild Animal Sanctuary in Keenesburg. Located on 720 acres of rolling grassland, it features a “Mile into the Wild” walkway that stretches more than 4,800 feet, giving visitors views of more than 290 lions, tigers, bears, wolves and other large carnivores roaming freely in natural habitats. Visit as the sun is setting and you’ll be able to hear the lions roar.
Picnic at Lily Lake
If Rocky Mountain National Park seems like a big commitment type of day trip, do a quick in and out without paying any fees by visiting Lily Lake. Located six miles south of Estes Park, Lily Lake is a sweet little spot for a nature walk and a picnic lunch. The fact that it’s a little out of the way makes it the perfect date spot.
Ghost Hunt at the Stanley Hotel
Get cozy with a ghost tour or “hunt” at the Stanley Hotel. There’s a reason the hotel inspired Stephen King’s The Shining. It’s the most haunted hotel in America! The good news is that only happy ghosts live here, so even though you may have extra company on your date, they’ll be polite.
Pick up a copy of Mindy Sink’s Walking Denver and then get your walking shoes ready for 30 specially designed urban treks. With more than 300 days of sunshine, America’s fifth most “walkable” city has the ability to keep you pounding pavements all year long…in a good way!