With snowy mountain views, charmingly historic towns, and some of the best ski resorts in the world, Colorado is a bona fide winter wonderland. Travelers from across the world flock to Colorado’s Rocky Mountains to get their fill of the season’s beautiful scenery and extreme sports.
But what if you’re not the skiing type? Don’t worry—Colorado still has plenty for you to do. Whether you’re looking for something thrilling or relaxing, find your ideal vacation with this guide on how to plan a vacation in Colorado for non-skiers.
Things To Do
Colorado has just about every winter activity you can imagine. Even if you avoid the slopes, there’s still plenty of fun to be had in and around the mountains. Of course, you can always enjoy your downtime by visiting local shops and restaurants, exploring local museums and parks, or simply curling up by a cozy fire in your hotel room. Discover some of our favorite non-skiing activities below.
Oh, what fun it is to ride in a Colorado sleigh. Sleigh rides are a charmingly classic Colorado activity that anyone can enjoy. Take a horse-drawn sleigh and explore the town and its beautiful surrounding landscapes in the most relaxing way possible. Snuggle up with blankets and steaming mugs of cocoa to make this ride truly special. You can even find sleigh rides complete with dinner and a show at popular Colorado destinations like Steamboat Springs and Frisco.
What better way to conquer Colorado’s wilderness than on a thrilling snowmobile ride? If you’re into an adrenaline rush without the skis, you’ve got to try snowmobiling. You don’t even need experience, as many ski resorts and other mountain destinations offer beginner tours of well-maintained trails. Experience the rush of soaring down a mountain, powder flying, as you master your own snowmobile. For a longer adventure, check out the snowmobile tours set up by destinations like Winter Park and Leadville.
Sledding and Tubing
Want the thrill of the slopes without the hassle of skis? Connect with your inner child and soar down the mountain on the numerous sledding and tubing trails across Colorado. Most resorts offer sledding hills alongside their ski slopes, so choose your favorite, grab the kids, and revel in that feeling of joy as you fly down the hill together.
Places To Go
Colorado is home to plenty of incredible ski resorts, but there’s much more than skiing in and around those amazing destinations. Want to visit Colorado but not sure where to start? See if any of these fantastic Colorado towns catch your attention.
Soak Up the Fun at Steamboat Springs
What makes Steamboat Springs such a worthwhile destination? The answer is in the name—the gorgeous natural hot springs! Strawberry Park Hot Springs are located close to town. Here you’ll find a naturally luxurious spring nestled in the stunning alpine forests. If you want a rewarding adventure, hike the trail up to the springs before sinking into the wonderfully warm waters.
Of course, there’s much more to Steamboat Springs. From the local bowling alley and restaurants to dogsledding and hot air balloon rides, you’ll never run out of things to do here.
Experience a Vibrant Young Culture in Durango
Durango is home to Fort Lewis College, making it an energetic college town full of art, culture, and so much more. Experience some of Colorado’s finest craft brewing at Ska Brewing, dive into the Old West at Diamond Belle Saloon, or explore one of the town’s 30 art galleries. Durango is also a jumping-off point for the infamous Durango & Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad. If you’re a history buff, a train enthusiast, or simply want one of the best scenic experiences of the mountains, you must add the railroad to your itinerary.
Extra Tips for Planning Your Vacation
Do you already have a destination in mind? Don’t start packing yet. A lot of planning goes into a successful vacation, but preparing for your trip doesn’t have to be stressful—even when you’re visiting world-famous locations in beautiful Colorado. Keep these tips and tricks for how to plan a vacation in Colorado for non-skiers in mind as you prepare to embark on the adventure of a lifetime.
Colorado is a popular vacation destination. If you want a place in the fun, it’s a good idea to book ahead as much as possible. While winter is an off season for a lot of places, tourism continues to boom through the cold months in Colorado. Remember that holidays and weekends fill up fast, in addition to being more crowded. You’ll have to book your trip early if you want the best lodging and transportation available. Booking early also gets you better deals, especially if you’re particular about staying in the mountain resorts.
Plan Transportation Carefully
Driving through the snow is never fun, but driving through the snowy mountains can be its own level of stress. While you can’t control the weather, you can prepare yourself for whatever nature throws at you by planning your transportation ahead of time. If you’re driving, keep an eye on the weather leading up to your trip and look for alternate routes in case you need to take a detour. It also helps to give yourself a bit of flexibility with your travel time. Planning an extra day for travel can keep your trip on track even if you get stuck in the snow for a while.
Resort vs. Rental
Even if you’re not skiing, there’s plenty to do at Colorado’s ski resorts. The biggest question, though, is whether you should stay at those resorts. With luxurious amenities, plenty of space, and a convenient location in the heart of all the winter fun, it’s no wonder why so many people try to book a room at their favorite vacation resort.
However, there are plenty of benefits to choosing a vacation rental through sites like Airbnb or VRBO. Rentals are great for larger groups, and they also give you better control over your lodging. You get to choose where exactly you stay and what kind of lodging you want, and you can even make your own meals in your rental’s kitchen. Finally, rentals are often more affordable than resorts.
No matter which choice speaks to you, be sure to plan ahead so that you can book the perfect place without stressing about finding something last minute.
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