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Top Springtime Destinations Near Denver

Colorado State UniversityFort Collins in the Spring (credit: Colorado State University)
The Spring Equinox is on March 20, kicking off the new season. When the days get longer and the weather heats up, it's time to get outside. With so many outdoor activities and breathtaking vistas, you can start scheduling all of your weekends for the next few months, but the first weekend of spring is always special. Grab your favorite buddy or go it alone, but either way, get outside and take in the fresh air. Toast the arrival of spring at one of these destinations.
Estes Park
Estes Park, CO 80517
www.visitestespark.com

Estes Park is a great destination all year 'round, but it's fun in the spring. Although it's in the mountains, where the winter may still linger, it is a fun place to go sightseeing and shopping or to check out some great restaurants. The Town recently opened its new events center and pavilion, so check out the event calendar to see what events will be available. Estes Park is also close to Eldora Ski Resort, so if you want to spend the first weekend of spring getting in some last minute skiing or snowboarding, you can as part of your weekend here.

Royal Gorge
Royal Gorge, CO 81212
www.royalgorgebridge.com

If you're not into spring skiing, then check out the views of the Royal Gorge. Located about two hours away from Denver, the Bridge and Park has a gorgeous canyon view looking out over the Arkansas River, historical information and a sky coaster ride for those who are daring. The park is also accessible from Colorado Springs, so if you want to make a weekend out of it, you can swing by Garden of the Gods on your way home. Tickets are $20 for adults, $17 for seniors and $15 for children, and there are plenty of dining options in nearby Canon City.

Fort Collins
Fort Collins, CO 80525
www.visitfortcollins.com

Most people simply associate Ft. Collins with CSU, but there is a lot of other stuff to do in the city. Not only is it home to the New Belgium Brewery, which you can tour, it also has plenty of top-notch restaurants and some pretty sightseeing destinations like Horsetooth Reservoir. With CSU out for Spring Break from March 14 - 21, you can pop up during a non-busy time. At only an hour from Denver, you can make Ft. Collins your day trip, or spend a weekend and explore the state parks and other locations near the city.

Related: Top Spring Break Destinations For College Students

Vail
Vail, CO 81657
www.visitvailvalley.com

If you just can't say goodbye to winter yet, spend the weekend in Vail. The picturesque destination is home to some incredible skiing and snowboarding, as well as restaurants and shops. Much of the Vail Village looks like a European ski town, so it's kind of like leaving the country without leaving the state. Vail also has an ice rink, bars for listening to live music, hiking, snowshoeing and much more. If you're looking for a weekend getaway in which you can check your cares at the door, this is one for you.

Glenwood Springs
Glenwood Springs, CO 81601
www.visitglenwood.com

For those who'd prefer to venture beyond Vail Pass, Glenwood Springs offers a quaint and relaxing weekend getaway. Home to the famous Hot Springs Pool, you and your family can relax there for most of the weekend, or you can venture out and check out the local scene. Attractions like the Glenwood Caverns and Adventure Park and the Yampah Spa and Vapor Caves make this a fun destination in which you won't get bored. There are also plenty of restaurants, shopping locations and historical and cultural attractions. Glenwood Springs is located about three hours west of Denver, which makes it just far enough to unplug but close enough for convenience.

Related: Top Spring Skiing Events In Colorado

Alaina Brandenburger is a freelance writer living in Denver. Her work can be found at Examiner.com.

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