From purple mountain majesties to fruited plains, Colorado has something for everyone to enjoy.
Our vast open spaces and 58 mountain peaks higher than 14,000 feet in elevation (the most of any state), rich mining history, Spanish heritage, Native American past, agriculture and cultural diversity, makes it a place you’ll want to visit again and again.
The Territory of Colorado was established in 1861 and in 1876, was admitted into the Union as the 38th state. The region has been inhabited by Native Americans for over 13,000 years, and the eastern edge of the Rocky Mountains was a major migration route for early peoples who settled throughout the Americas. The word “Colorado” comes from the Spanish word for “colored red” and Colorado residents are known as “Coloradans”.
Our state flower is the Rocky Mountain blue columbine, known for its beauty and versatility. Our state animal is the Rocky Mountain big horn sheep, able to navigate steep and rocky slopes. The state tree is the Colorado blue spruce, known for its soft blueish tinted pine needles. Here you’ll also find places where dinosaurs walked with the stegosaurus being designated the state inanimate insignia.
The state flag includes four colors with a large C in the middle: Blue represents the skies, gold for sunshine, white the snow capped mountains, and red representing the earth.
Due to our diverse terrain, many productions have filmed on location in Colorado. Westerns have been favorite choices including classics like True Grit, The Searchers, Cat Ballou and Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid. The availability of historic military forts, historic trains in operation, and old ghost towns, have contributed to the film industry’s interest in the state. The extensive scenic highways and mountain passes also are used frequently for commercials and online streaming movie productions. Many Colorado landmarks have been featured in films, such as Estes Park’s Stanley Hotel in Dumb and Dumber and The Shining. The Pikes Peak Highway was used in Furious 7 sequences. According to the Colorado Office of Film and Television, over 400 films have been shot in Colorado.
Convenient airport access is provided, not only into Denver International Airport, but there is great service at our state’s regional airports including Colorado Springs, Grand Junction and Durango. So, check before you travel to find the most convenient and best deals if you’re arriving by plane. If you’re traveling by car, there are 13 of Colorado’s 26 byways designated by the U.S. Secretary of Transportation as America’s Byways®, designating Colorado with more national designations than any other state.
Colorado is also known for its many festivals and special events. You will have an opportunity to catch a film, music, ice sculpture, balloon, peach, apple and wine festival or visit the many farmers markets for the freshest Pueblo Chiles and specialty local produce. Colorado is also proud of our many breweries, distilleries, and wineries that add to the agricultural industry. Colorado wineries have produced top national and international award winners and the grape growing regions contain the highest elevation vineyards in the United States. Most of the vineyards are located in the Grand Valley in and around Grand Junction, in Mesa County. Wine Enthusiast magazine named the Grand Valley one of the Top Ten wine travel destinations in the world. Brewpubs are sprinkled throughout the state, so be sure to ask for the local brews when you stop for a refreshment. Distilleries are also making their mark in Colorado using locally grown ingredients.
Agriculture is one of the state’s primary economic drivers, with cattle and Colorado beef topping the list. In addition, you’ll see local produce such as Rocky Ford cantaloupe, fingerling potatoes from the San Luis Valley, peaches from Palisade, or Colorado lamb as well-known selections. Our state’s dining options are extensive and many farm-to-table restaurants offer fresh ingredients to tempt your taste buds.
If it’s a park you’re looking for, there is no shortage here. Coloradans have an appreciation for the great outdoors and our state’s history. Four designated National Parks include Rocky Mountain National Park near Estes Park, Mesa Verde National Park near Cortez and Durango, Great Sand Dunes National Park and Preserve near Alamosa and Black Canyon of the Gunnison near Montrose and Gunnison. There are also thousands of acres of U.S. Forest access and 42 State Parks as well as historic forts, museums and locally designated city and county parks and open spaces to enjoy, such as Colorado Springs’ Garden of the Gods Park.
Winter brings downhill and cross country skiing, snowboarding, ice skating, snowmobiling and more. Spring and Summer offer cultural and outdoor adventures that match interests focusing on live music and dance or outdoor activities like rock climbing, horseback riding, whitewater rafting, or zip-lining. Fall brings fabulous changing and quaking aspen leaves, known for their golden colors. The Million Dollar Highway, in the southwest, is named not only for the rich mining history, but the beauty of the landscape, especially vibrant during the fall season. Whatever season you travel, there are activities and adventures to please and Bed & Breakfast Innkeepers of Colorado member inns are ready to help you plan your visit to Colorado.