When we first moved to Denver a couple of years ago, one of the things that struck me was how far it actually was from other cities. Denver is sort of nestled away on its own, but there are some great weekend trips waiting for you if you are willing to drive a bit.
Rapid City, South Dakota
Seeing Mount Rushmore is something that we quickly added to our list when we realized that it was less than seven hours away from Denver. The drive to Rapid City is beautiful and full of historical stops. We stopped just outside of Cheyenne to see the Oregon Trail ruts. When we were just outside of Rapid City, we stopped at the Mammoth Site. Over 60 mammoths have been discovered at this site and if you are lucky you will see them working the dig while you visit.
While in Rapid City, we went to Mount Rushmore. We drove through Custer State Park and had to sit in our car for about half an hour as a large herd of buffalo wandered in and out of the cars as they crossed the road. We had the best steaks at the Alpine Inn and we learned about the Crazy Horse Monument. There was so much more that we could have done but we ran out of time.
See my post about what to do on a three day trip to Rapid City.
Glenwood Springs, Colorado
Glenwood Springs is less than three hours from Denver without traffic and it is lovely. We often talk about just driving over for the day but we haven’t tried it yet. I could spend the entire long weekend sitting in the Glenwood Springs and renewing my body and spirit but there is so much more to do.
The Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park is worth a visit just to ride the alpine slide on the side of the mountain. You can tour the caverns, ride some rides, and play some games. We visited in the summertime, but some day I would like to go in the winter so that we can see it covered with snow.
See my post about what to do on a three day trip to Glenwood Springs.
Albuquerque, New Mexico
Albuquerque is about a six hour drive south of Denver. We spent three days in Albuquerque and during that time we squeezed in some hikes, saw petroglyphs, and learned all about hot air balloons. We also did a self-guided tour of all the Breaking Bad film spots. My kids weren’t very interested in this part but luckily we had lots of other fun stops. We took the Sandia Tramway up the mountain and it was almost as scary as the one we took in Switzerland. The views are worth it though so I am glad that I swallowed my fear and went. I am so glad we stopped at the International Balloon Museum. We spent way more time exploring than I had allotted for but we were having too much fun.
See my post about what to do on a three day trip to Albuquerque.