10 Top-Rated Attractions to Visit in Colorado

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10 Top-Rated Attractions to Visit in Colorado


By Beth Buehler


Don’t forget to add attractions to visit when planning a Colorado meeting or event that involves selling people on the value of attending. It can be helpful when there are some sprinkles and frosting on the cake. While sometimes this can be local festivals that tie into a group’s vibe, it also can be attractions that are conducive for both meeting and socializing. I’ve assembled a list of 10 top-rated attractions to visit in Colorado to get the idea train rolling.


Just a quick disclaimer that this isn’t based on surveys or Google data but more from my knowledge growing up in Colorado, writing about the state for the past 20-plus years, and enjoying these attractions to visit when you bring a group.


Denver Art Museum – Founded in 1893 as the Denver Artists’ Club, the Denver Art Museum is one of the largest art museums between Chicago and the West Coast. The museum hosts traveling exhibitions and has more than 70,000 works of art in 12 collections that span the globe. The Denver Art Museum unveiled its reimagined campus in 2021, a project that better linked the Frederic C. Hamilton Building, totally renovated the Lanny & Sharon Martin Building, and constructed the new Anna & John J. Sie Welcome Center. Groups can meet amongst the art with 11 indoor and five outdoor spaces available for booking, with the campus able to host 10 to 10,000 for a gathering. While there are numerous hotels in downtown Denver to choose from, two of the newest are The Slate Denver and Thompson Denver.


National Parks – Colorado has four national parks sprinkled throughout the state. The closest to the Front Range is Rocky Mountain National Park in Estes Park, which is an ideal pairing with YMCA of the Rockies Estes Park Center or The Ridgeline Hotel. Mesa Verde National Park is about 35 miles from Durango, while Black Canyon of the Gunnison is east of Montrose and Great Sand Dunes National Park & Preserve is near Alamosa.

The Broadmoor Manitou & Pikes Peak Cog Railway, courtesy Visit Colorado Springs

Historic Railroads – Here is another bonus with more than one attraction under a Top 10 item. Colorado has its fair share of railroads that date back many years and are frequently connected to the state’s rich mining history. Some are closer to popular meeting destinations like the Durango & Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad that links two communities that have both function space and accommodations; The Broadmoor Manitou & Pikes Peak Cog Railway in Manitou Springs near Colorado Springs; and Royal Gorge Route Railroad that departs from Cañon City and offers fine dining en route.


Cripple Creek & Victor Narrow Gauge Railroad, Cumbres & Toltec Scenic Railroad, Georgetown Loop Railroad, and Leadville Colorado & Southern Railroad also are fun options. The Leadville trains offers fall foliage rides and barbecue events, while planners can add mine tours and gold panning to Georgetown Loop Railroad excursions. While it’s not a historic railroad, Amtrak’s California Zephyr route doesn’t involve riding in historic train cars but it travels through Glenwood Springs and stops not far from the iconic Hotel Colorado for a nice train and hotel pairing with hot springs across the street.


Olympic & Paralympic Legacy – Colorado Springs is synonymous with training and celebrating world-class athletes. The U.S. Olympic & Paralympic Training Center and Olympic & Paralympic Training Museum both offer outstanding options for groups, including experiences, function space and more. If you’re lucky, meet a medalist or athlete in training.

Snowmass Village in winter, courtesy Jeremy Swanson/Snowmass Tourism

Ski Towns – With 28 ski areas, Colorado is home to ski destinations that are on many attendees’ bucket lists. Combine top-notch meeting and event venues with Rocky Mountain activities like skiing, snowboarding, snowshoeing, dog sledding, ice skating and a full range of fair-weather options in well-known ski towns like Aspen, Snowmass Village, Steamboat Springs and Vail. If you want to combine several ski areas in one incentive trip or meeting agenda, head to Summit County, home to Arapahoe Basin, Breckenridge, Copper Mountain and Keystone.


Red Rocks Park & Amphitheatre – It doesn’t get much more iconic in the music world than Red Rocks Amphitheatre, located west of Denver in Morrison. Not only can you rent the venue for private events, check the concert schedule and dates for Yoga on the Rocks and Film on the Rocks for easy group entertainment.

Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park Kings Row Cave Tour, courtesy Visit Glenwood Springs

Amusement Parks – When families are along for a gathering or you have a team that loves exhilaration, go to Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park, America’s only mountaintop theme park in Glenwood Springs, and Elitch Gardens Theme & Water Park in Denver. Both have meeting and event space and a wide variety of fun options for all ages and courage levels.


Zoos – While we’re on the topic of including families in meeting agendas, mentioning the Denver Zoo and Cheyenne Mountain Zoo in Colorado Springs is a must. Both offer animal experiences and quality function space, and I’m a big fan of the giraffe feeding at Cheyenne Mountain Zoo, the highest elevation zoo in the U.S. It’s hard to beat gathering when breaks mean wandering among the animals.


Breweries – Colorado is one of the top beer-producing states in the union. While there are breweries in many of Colorado’s destinations, two that are notable for groups are Coors in Golden and New Belgium Brewing in Fort Collins. Going on tours, sampling and learning about the history of these two Colorado institutions will put hops in attendees’ steps.


Western Slope Wineries – Did you know that Colorado continues to make its name and products known in the U.S. wine industry? Many of the state’s wineries are based on the Western Slope in Palisade and Grand Junction with additional options on the Front Range in Denver, Loveland and more. An ideal lodging, wine tasting and meeting combination is Wine Country Inn and sister winery Grande River Vineyards in Palisade, which is located east of Grand Junction.


Whether you are working these 10 top-rated attractions to visit in Colorado into a meeting or incentive trip agenda or are providing leisure ideas for before or after a gathering, the Centennial State offers all sorts of options to consider.


Top Photo: Enjoying Colorado wine, courtesy Visit Palisade


Colorado native Beth Buehler has been editor of Colorado Meetings + Events magazine for 18 years, helped launch Mountain Meetings magazine, and is on the team introducing Southwest Meetings + Events. She has planned numerous meetings and events and enjoys exploring Colorado.