As a compact individual who is incapable of getting car sick, road trips are my time to shine. I’m an experienced traveler with high morale and a certifiably adept co-pilot. It’s my pleasure to find good music, handle light business tasks, and tend to the food needs of my driver. Below are my three favorite Colorado destinations from the passenger seat. May they inspire you to plan at least one summer road trip!

Day Trip
A drive to Evergreen is one of the quickest ways to get into the mountains for an afternoon of play. There is so much to do whether you want to shop, hike, or eat. In Idledale, on the way to Evergreen, Lair o’ The Bear Park has nine hiking trails of varying intensity and some perfect spots next to Bear Creek if you just want to get your feet wet. Further down CO-74 (which becomes Bear Creek Road), after passing through Kittredge, you’ll drive through Evergreen’s epicenter. They have the perfect assortment of restaurants and stores. Head to Beau Jo’s Pizza for a mountain staple, or try Kiki’s Fresh Bowls if you’re in the mood for lighter fare. Evergreen Lake offers boating and paddleboarding and is only one mile down Bear Creek Road. Pick your watercraft and traverse the lake with friends – a good workout and a really great way to spend an hour. This quick trip fulfills your every need for a splash of adventure and is less than an hour away from Denver.

3 Hour Drive
Steamboat Springs is ideal for a nice vacation with a moderate road trip. A scenic and fun-filled drive takes you away from reality and to your Home away from Home. There is an abundance of ways to frolic outdoors with over 60 hiking trails, serene fishing spots, and places for kayaking. For food, there are restaurants of all shapes and sizes serving breakfast, lunch, and dinner. The natural hot springs are best saved for after the sun goes down. Everything feels so relaxing, and the illusion of privacy is provided – free of charge – by the darkness. There are plenty of mountain paradise accommodations for a few nights on Airbnb.

This is also a great place to go during the winter months if you like to ski. Plenty of seasonal businesses open near the hill, making for a completely different experience.

6 Hour Drive (If You Like Speeding)
What feels like the longest road trip known to man is one of the most gorgeous Colorado destinations. The mountainside drive to Telluride is breathtaking, especially if you’re traveling while the leaves are changing in September (perhaps this is more of an end-of-summer retreat). Upon arrival, you’ll see just why we recommend this trip. This town is stunning! In terms of activities, there are plenty of exciting things to do at the stores and restaurants downtown. Check out Brown Dog Pizza or GNAR for unique tacos. For some time outside, there are spectacular views at the top of Bear Creek Trail. Sit under a waterfall and take in nature from the best vantage point in the city. Later on, you can ride the gondola up to the bustling Mountain Village. There are places to bike, hike, climb, shop, and eat. What more could you ask for?

If you are going to drive over 200 miles, you might as well take your coat off and get comfortable. There is a plethora of places to stay in Telluride, from public land (free to camp on) to 5-star hotels. Speaking from experience, you may want to get a reservation if you choose to stay at a campsite over the weekend. If you arrive even slightly later than noon, most places are full for the night.

Happy exploring! Please share your experiences with us on Facebook. We’d love to see where the road takes you this summer!