This time of the year always seems to arrive so quickly and it’s an unfortunate reminder that the end of summer is almost here. I can’t help but to also reflect on the considerable moments this summer has brought me in just three short months. The best I can recall have been spent on the road, out of state, and back to the basics of shared memories with family and friends. Traveling has always given me a sort of serenity in its ability to remove me physically and mentally from all that comes with the replication of a habitual normalcy.
This summer I finally got to visit Colorado, which has been on my bucket list for years. If you’ve ever been then you can probably imagine how the sheer beauty of such a place would influence me to completely disconnect from my own little world at home, but even more so for my own consistent wish to go.
I never imagined going to Colorado in the winter so the idea of staying in Breckenridge didn’t seem any different than if deciding to stay in Denver during June. The one thing that did matter was engulfing myself in the pure comfort of open air and being as close to nature as I could possibly get. My advice: If you’re ever in need of a grounded reminder to the essence of your being, get a little closer to the environment. For me, Father’s Day is always a motivation to find a place that compels that feeling in me.
But of course, you can’t visit Colorado without also stopping in Denver. The flight arrived early enough that roaming around Denver was essential to buy time before checking in but not too early that stopping for a beer seemed unreasonable. And so begins the 5 reasons to consider visiting Colorado in the summer over the winter.
- Coors Brewery | Okay to be fair, this is just a little outside Denver, but still, you get the point. Which is, beer. Located in Golden, Colorado, the Coors brewery is tucked away in the scenic history of this golden town. I may need to make post ranking breweries, but for the landscape, this was worth driving out of Denver to see. The free tour comes with 3 beers of your choice and sure it’s a place you could easily visit in the winter but perhaps it’s better golden.
Driving from Denver to Golden and then to Breckenridge was like a mini vacation all in itself and there are just some things you miss when you don’t get there by driving. Like I’ve mentioned I’ve never been to Colorado in the winter and although I’m sure it’s just as beautiful I can’t imagine what driving through it must be like. Discovering Colorado with the possibility to drive around it made it that much sweeter and I highly recommend renting a car.
2. Enjoy it like the locals | One of my favorite bars in Breckenridge was more about the experience than anything. I guess you could say the same thing about the town as well. The first bar I went to I made a point to ask for suggestions for dinner, drinks, events, etc. The bartender here was one so helpful to suggest his favorite places and my favorite part was when the point he made to “enjoy it like the locals.” Which essentially is exactly what I wanted to do. You see when you visit places, towns, and cities at the same time everyone else is you miss getting to experience a place the way those who love it most do. We made a point to visit every spot he indicated we’d be able to witness that and I will say it was exactly what I wanted. Take a vacation where you get to understand why people live there in the times when it’s quiet, I promise it’s the best time to go.
3. Hiking | The number of things I was able to check off my bucket list while on this trip was quite satisfying. If you ever plan a trip and want to go hiking I highly recommend using the All Trails App it’s perfect for getting maps of hiking trails, the difficulty level of trail, and lengths. The Mohawk Lakes Trail was such a beautiful and secluded trail. Over 8 miles and a 2k elevation gain it was everything I was hoping to unravel on my first hike. I will say that elevation sickness is no joke and be sure to have water and snacks for the trip. I remember exactly what it felt to finally make it to this point of the trail and I don’t know if it was the elevation or my complete awe but I had to stop and take it in. Nothing will compare to seeing this in person and I hope I get to do it again. The higher we got the water turned to snow and I watched it as it melts in my hand in the middle of June which felt like another world. I can’t put into words the ways I enjoyed a summer backdrop to this winter interior but I can assure you it’s a thing to uncover.
4. Sip at the Summit | The drive to Vail was its own adventure and a new vacation the minute I arrived. One thing the summer in vail brings, Sip at the Summit. The highest altitude beer tasting in the country and as enjoyable as the beers being served. This was such a fun event that incorporated the experience of a gondola ride, with the beers of Colorado, to the views you don’t want to miss at 10k ft. high. Even in the middle of June, I could feel the crisp mountain air and there are just some experiences you can’t put a price tag on.
5. Garden of the Gods | There was one touristy thing I wanted to do on this trip and that was to go to the Garden of the God’s. *Spoiler alert: the non-touristy things I got to do have had the greatest impression on my memory than the ones I thought I had to see.* With that being said the magnitude of this place and these natural landmarks are truly Godly. An exploration best suited for the summer months this adventure in Colorado Springs gave me a whole new side to see in Colorado and I assure you it’s one you won’t want to miss.
Another awesome part about getting your own car in Colorado? Stumbling through the little town of South Park with a landmark you might otherwise miss if the town was any larger. It’s these moments of spontaneity that bring joy to my heart and clarity for my soul. Sometimes it doesn’t matter what you plan in life the opposite still meets you somewhere along the way. So why not forget the plans, ditch the traditional, and discover the oddity of reality that so many are trying to avoid. There’s a calm familiarity with the simplicity I’m learning to pursue.
Perhaps Colorado is meant for vacationing in the winter but it was these moments of my own summer that reminded me to break away from the replication of my own norms to get reacquainted with opportunities.