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Colorado is all about the mountains. At elevations of 11,000 to 14,000 feet, from the Rockies in the north to the San Juans in the southwest, the peaks have created multibillion-dollar tourism industries, with world-class ski resorts such as Aspen and Vail and more diverse outdoor phenomena like snowboarding, rock-climbing, ice-climbing, mountain-biking and extreme-sports festivals. But the state is far more than a framework for ski bums — Boulder is an aggressively liberal, environmentalist country unto itself, centered on the downtown, red-brick Pearl Street Mall, while Denver continues its downtown renaissance, offering the Colorado ...

Colorado is all about the mountains. At elevations of 11,000 to 14,000 feet, from the Rockies in the north to the San Juans in the southwest, the peaks have created multibillion-dollar tourism industries, with world-class ski resorts such as Aspen and Vail and more diverse outdoor phenomena like snowboarding, rock-climbing, ice-climbing, mountain-biking and extreme-sports festivals. But the state is far more than a framework for ski bums — Boulder is an aggressively liberal, environmentalist country unto itself, centered on the downtown, red-brick Pearl Street Mall, while Denver continues its downtown renaissance, offering the Colorado Rockies baseball team and the Elitch Gardens amusement park at the heart of the city, plus zoos, parks and trails on the outskirts.

Then there are the friendly hippie bars of Telluride; the Durango & Silverton Narrow-Gauge Railway; a dinosaur monument (!) in the northwest corner; the classic Broadmoor hotel in conservative Colorado Springs; and historic Native American monuments such as Four Corners in the southwest and Summit Springs Battlefield on the Eastern Plains. Truly, Colorado has enough prime attractions to satisfy even the most sophisticated lover of the outdoors and all things urban.

Steve Knopper
About the Expert

Steve Knopper is the Denver-based author of Moon Handbooks Colorado as well as a contributor to numerous Fodor's city guides.

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Steve Knopper for Triporati

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