13 Best Things to Do in Colorado for Young Adults: Cool Activities for Millenials and Gen Z

by Flora
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Are you looking for fun things to do in Colorado for young adults? Here’s our ultimate bucket list of cool and unique attractions for millennials and Gen Z-ers. So let’s dive into these amazing places to hang out in Colorado.

Looking for epic Colorado adventures? You’ve found them! We’ve got 13 top picks just for young adults. Think of this as your go-to guide for all things fun in Colorado.

Colorado’s all about wild beauty and big thrills. It’s got mountains that touch the sky, cities buzzing with energy, and a vibe that’s just different. Whether you’re here for a quick trip or a long haul, you’re in for a treat. Outdoorsy types, culture vultures, and everyone in between, get ready.

So, what’s on the list? We’re talking about hitting the trails in Rocky Mountain National Park, catching vibes in Denver, and much more. Colorado’s calling – let’s get to exploring!

The best things to do in Paris for young adults right now

Best things to do in Colorado for young adults

Ready to find the coolest spots in Colorado for young adults? Whether Colorado’s your backyard or you’re just cruising through, this guide’s your golden ticket to the state’s ultimate adventures. Let’s jump right in!

1. Explore Rocky Mountain National Park

If you’re in Colorado and skip Rocky Mountain National Park, you’re missing out big time. It’s the ultimate spot for young adults who love the thrill of the outdoors, crave breathtaking views, and want to immerse themselves in nature.

This park is an adventurer’s dream. Take Coloradaro’s best lake, Emerald Lake Trail, for example, one of the park’s most popular and accessible hikes. This hike offers a relatively easy walk that leads you to stunning alpine lakes, each more beautiful than the last. It’s the perfect introduction to the park’s natural beauty, suitable for all fitness levels.

Rocky Mountain National Park is the ultimate destination for young adults who seek outdoor thrills and immersion in nature.
Rocky Mountain National Park is the ultimate destination for young adults who seek outdoor thrills and immersion in nature.

But the adventure doesn’t stop there. The park is a haven for wildlife watching. From elk grazing in meadows to bighorn sheep navigating rocky ridges, the wildlife here is as wild as the landscape. Just remember to keep a safe distance – these animals are not for petting!

A little insider advice: the park fills up fast, especially during the summer months. To avoid the crowds, consider visiting in the shoulder seasons of spring or fall. And don’t forget, you’ll need a timed entry permit during peak visitation periods, so make sure to plan ahead.

2. Enjoy a concert at Red Rocks Amphitheatre

Imagine listening to your favorite band under the stars, surrounded by towering red rock formations. That’s exactly what you get at Red Rocks Amphitheatre, making it one of the most unique things to do with friends in Colorado. This venue is all about experiencing a concert in one of the most awe-inspiring settings on the planet.

Carved into the natural landscape, it offers acoustics that are as impressive as the views. Whether you’re catching a world-famous band or discovering a new favorite artist, the atmosphere here is electric. And with the Denver skyline twinkling in the distance, it’s a visual treat, too.

Enjoy favorite bands under stars, surrounded by towering red rocks at Red Rocks Amphitheatre—a unique Colorado experience.
Enjoy favorite bands under stars, surrounded by towering red rocks at Red Rocks Amphitheatre—a unique Colorado experience.

But the fun doesn’t stop with the music. Arrive early to explore the surrounding park. Hike the trails, visit the Colorado Music Hall of Fame, and snap some photos that’ll make your friends wish they’d tagged along.

So, check the schedule, pick a show, and get ready for an evening that’ll top your list of memorable moments. It’s easy to see why this is one of the coolest things to do in CO for young people!

3. Go on an adventure in Vail

When you think of Vail, you might picture snow-covered slopes and cozy ski lodges. But here’s a little secret: Vail is just as thrilling in the summer as it is in the winter, making it one of the top things to do in Colorado year-round.

In the winter, Vail’s world-class ski slopes are the main draw. With miles of terrain for all levels, it’s a snow lover’s paradise. But as the snow melts, Vail transforms. The mountains bloom with wildflowers, and the ski trails become hiking and mountain biking paths with breathtaking views.

Vail's year-round allure makes it a top destination for young adults in Colorado, offering thrilling experiences in every season.
Vail’s year-round allure makes it a top destination for young adults in Colorado, offering thrilling experiences in every season.

Summer in Vail is an outdoor enthusiast’s dream. Try your hand at fly fishing in crystal-clear mountain streams or take a scenic gondola ride to the top of the mountain for a picnic with a view. And for the adrenaline junkies, there’s zip-lining, white water rafting, and even paragliding.

Don’t forget about Vail’s vibrant village. There’s always something happening, whether it’s a music festival, an art show, or a farmers’ market. Vail’s popularity isn’t a secret, so accommodations can fill up fast, especially in peak seasons. Book early to snag the best spots.

Whether you’re carving down the slopes or biking up a mountain, Vail offers an adventure for every season.

4. Arkansas River Rafting with River Runners

When it comes to exciting things to do in Colorado for young adults, tackling the Arkansas River’s rapids with River Runners is an absolute must. This top-rated rafting company offers an unforgettable blend of thrills, stunning scenery, and that refreshing splash of river water.

River Runners is renowned for their rafting trips that cater to all levels. Whether you’re looking for a gentle introduction to rafting or ready to conquer the challenging rapids of the Royal Gorge, they’ve got you covered. Their experienced guides ensure a safe and exhilarating experience, making it a perfect adventure for friends.

For young adults seeking adventure in Colorado, tackling the Arkansas River's rapids with River Runners is essential.
For young adults seeking adventure in Colorado, tackling the Arkansas River’s rapids with River Runners is essential.

Imagine the adrenaline rush as you navigate through the rapids, the teamwork as you paddle in unison, and the sense of achievement as you emerge from the river, ready to share tales of your adventure. And with the breathtaking backdrop of Colorado’s wilderness, it’s an experience that’s as scenic as it is exciting.

River Runners offers half-day trips starting around $79 per person, providing an affordable yet thrilling entry into the world of white water rafting. Full-day excursions and specialty trips are also available.

5. Garden of the Gods

This public park, free to all, showcases nature’s artistry with towering sandstone rock formations set against a backdrop of snow-capped peaks. It’s a photographer’s dream and an adventurer’s playground.

Walking through the Garden of the Gods, you’ll feel like you’ve stepped into another world. The park’s accessible trails lead you around formations with names as intriguing as their shapes—Kissing Camels, Cathedral Spires, and Balanced Rock to name a few. It’s an outdoor gallery sculpted by the elements, inviting awe and exploration.

Strolling through the Garden of the Gods, you'll sense you've entered a whole other realm.
Strolling through the Garden of the Gods, you’ll sense you’ve entered a whole other realm.

For those looking to amp up the adventure, rock climbing is a popular activity here, with permitted areas offering routes for various skill levels. Imagine scaling these natural monuments, with the world stretching out beneath you. Just be sure to check in with the visitor center for climbing regulations and best practices.

Beyond the rocks, the park is a haven for wildlife. Keep an eye out for bighorn sheep, deer, and the occasional falcon soaring overhead. And for cyclists and runners, the park’s roads offer a scenic, if challenging, route to test your endurance.

Visiting the Garden of the Gods is a reminder that doing cool stuff in Colorado doesn’t require a ticket or a reservation—just a sense of wonder and a willingness to explore.

6. Go sandboarding at Great Sand Dunes National Park

For a twist on Colorado’s mountainous adventures, head to Great Sand Dunes National Park. Sandboarding and sand sledding down the tallest dunes in North America is an experience that’s as unforgettable as it sounds.

Imagine standing atop a sea of sand, board in hand, with the Sangre de Cristo Mountains framing the horizon. The dunes here can reach heights of up to 750 feet. So get ready for a thrilling descent down their slopes. It’s a unique blend of adrenaline and natural beauty that’s hard to match.

Sandboarding and sand sledding at Great Sand Dunes National Park offer an unforgettable and thrilling experience.
Sandboarding and sand sledding at Great Sand Dunes National Park offer an unforgettable and thrilling experience.

Sandboarding at Great Sand Dunes is accessible to everyone.Local outfitters around the park rent out the specially designed boards and sleds that glide on sand, making it easy to get equipped for your adventure. Prices for rentals vary, but the experience is priceless.

Beyond the thrill of the descent, the park itself is a marvel of nature. After your sandboarding adventure, take the time to explore the park’s trails, splash in the Medano Creek, or simply enjoy the surreal beauty of this unique ecosystem.

Visiting Great Sand Dunes National Park is a reminder that adventure comes in many forms, and in Colorado, the possibilities are as vast as the views.

7. Visit Mesa Verde: where history feels alive

Ever thought about time traveling? Mesa Verde National Park is as close as it gets. This place is a deep dive into the lives of the Ancestral Puebloans who called these canyons home centuries ago.

Imagine wandering through Cliff Palace. Picture this: you’re walking among ancient rooms and ceremonial pits, all built into the cliffs. The stories these walls could tell! And the tours? They’re like having a chat with history itself, revealing the daily lives and spirits of the people who lived here.

Exploring Mesa Verde is an unforgettable experience that leaves a lasting impression on young adults visiting Colorado.
Exploring Mesa Verde is an unforgettable experience that leaves a lasting impression on young adults visiting Colorado.

But Mesa Verde offers more than just its famous cliff dwellings. Take a drive on the Mesa Top Loop Road. It’s a journey through history, with access to old pit houses and villages that show you how this ancient community thrived.

Feeling adventurous? The park’s trails are your gateway to discovering hidden petroglyphs and breathtaking views. It’s the perfect blend of a physical challenge and a lesson in history.

Visiting Mesa Verde is truly unforgettable. It’s not often you get to step into the past and explore ancient ruins up close. This place sticks with you, reminding you of the incredible stories etched into our world’s landscape.

8. Chilling at Desert Reef Hot Springs

Imagine winding down from your Colorado adventures with a soak in nature’s own hot tub. Desert Reef Hot Springs is exactly that—a natural retreat where you can kick back, relax, and soak in mineral-rich waters under the open sky.

Here’s the scene: You’re lounging in warm waters, surrounded by breathtaking views that make you forget the digital world exists. Desert Reef is one of those spots where time seems to slow down, offering a peaceful escape that feels worlds away from everyday life.

Desert Reef Hot Springs provides a serene escape, inviting you to unwind and indulge in mineral-rich waters beneath the open sky.
Desert Reef Hot Springs provides a serene escape, inviting you to unwind and indulge in mineral-rich waters beneath the open sky.

This place has a super welcoming vibe, perfect for chilling solo or making new friends. And those views? You’ll want to snap a pic, but you might just decide to keep the moment all to yourself instead.

Now, for the nitty-gritty: Desert Reef is open from 10 AM to 6 PM most days, giving you plenty of time to enjoy a dip. Entry fees are around $18 for adults, making it an affordable luxury in your Colorado journey. Don’t forget your swimsuit and a towel, but be ready to leave your stresses behind.

Desert Reef Hot Springs is all about embracing the art of relaxation. Soak in the good vibes (and the warm waters), and let the beauty of Colorado wash over you.

9. Explore the Denver Art Museum

A visit to the Denver Art Museum is an expedition into the heart of human creativity. This museum is all about showcasing the stories, emotions, and genius of artists from around the world and across history.

As you step into the museum, you’re greeted by an architectural masterpiece that sets the stage for the wonders inside. The museum’s collections feature everything from Indigenous art of the Americas to cool contemporary installations.

At Denver Art Museum, each visit holds the promise of discovery, be it through special exhibitions or reimagined familiar pieces
At Denver Art Museum, each visit holds the promise of discovery, be it through special exhibitions or reimagined familiar pieces

You might find yourself marveling at a Monet or contemplating a modern sculpture that seems to defy physics! The museum is home to works by artists like Vincent van Gogh, Georgia O’Keeffe, and Winslow Homer, so you know you’re in for a treat!

General admission for Colorado residents is $13 for adults, while out-of-state visitors pay $18. However, the museum offers free admission to kids and teens under 18, making it one of the most affordable things to do in Colorado for young adults.

The Denver Art Museum is a place where each visit can offer something new, whether it’s a special exhibition or a familiar piece seen in a new light!

10. Boulder’s Pearl Street Mall

Alright, let’s talk about Boulder. Specifically, Pearl Street Mall. This place? It’s way more than just shopping. It’s like Boulder’s living room, where everyone comes to hang out, catch some street performances, and yes, maybe do a bit of shopping too.

Walking down Pearl Street is an experience in itself. You’ve got street performers that could easily be headlining their own shows, from magicians pulling off mind-bending tricks to musicians that’ll make you stop in your tracks. It’s like a festival that never ends.

Boulder's brewery scene is exceptional, with numerous spots along Pearl Street allowing you to indulge in local flavors.
Boulder’s brewery scene is exceptional, with numerous spots along Pearl Street allowing you to indulge in local flavors.

And the shops – they’re not your run-of-the-mill mall stores. We’re talking unique boutiques, quirky bookshops, and outdoor gear stores that are so Boulder. Whether you’re looking for a new read, the perfect gift, or gear for your next adventure, you’ll

Pearl Street is a goldmine of cafes, restaurants, and bars that serve up everything from quick bites to gourmet meals. Craving a craft beer? You’re in the right place. Boulder’s brewery scene is top-notch, and many spots on Pearl Street let you sip and savor the local flavors.

11. Eat your way through Denver’s famous food scene

Denver’s dining scene is a vibrant mix of flavors, styles, and atmospheres, making it a foodie’s paradise. From cozy farm-to-table spots to bustling rooftop bars, there’s something for every palate and occasion. This makes Denver one of the best places to stay in Colorado.

Fruition Restaurant is a standout for those who appreciate the farm-to-table approach. Here, the focus is on simple, yet beautifully crafted dishes that highlight the best of Colorado’s local produce. It’s the kind of place where the ingredients speak for themselves, and every meal feels like a special occasion.

Denver's dining scene boasts a vibrant mix of flavors, and styles creating a paradise for food enthusiasts.
Denver’s dining scene boasts a vibrant mix of flavors, and styles creating a paradise for food enthusiasts.

For a more eclectic dining experience, Linger takes you on a global culinary journey, all from the comfort of its trendy rooftop setting. The menu is a playful mix of international flavors, offering a little something for everyone. Plus, the views of Denver’s skyline add an extra layer of ambiance to your meal.

Denver’s culinary landscape is as diverse as the city itself, with each restaurant offering a unique glimpse into the creativity and passion of its chefs. Whether you’re in the mood for an intimate farm-to-table dinner, a rooftop cocktail hour, or a flavorful journey through Middle Eastern cuisine, Denver’s dining scene has it all.

12. Time travel through Colorado on the Durango & Silverton Train

Hop on the Durango & Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad for a truly memorable trip. It’s a full-blown leap back to the Old West, where steam engines rule and Colorado’s wild beauty unfolds right before your eyes.

The steam locomotive comes to life with a whistle that echoes off the mountains, pulling you along tracks that have seen over a century of history. The journey to Silverton? Absolutely jaw-dropping. We’re talking waterfalls, canyons, and wilderness so untouched, you’ll half expect to see cowboys riding alongside the train.

Embark on the Durango & Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad for an unforgettable journey filled with lasting memories.
Embark on the Durango & Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad for an unforgettable journey filled with lasting memories.

Silverton itself is like walking onto a movie set of an old Western. The town has kept its Victorian charm, with buildings that tell tales of the mining boom. Strolling through its streets, you’ll feel the spirit of the past lingering in the air, inviting you to explore every nook and cranny.

Riding the Durango & Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad is like being handed a ticket to witness the raw beauty and enduring spirit of the American West.

So, if you’re up for an adventure that blends stunning views with a dash of history, this train ride is calling your name.

13. Let Breckenridge be your winter wonderland

Let’s close out the list with Breckenridge, or Breck as the locals like to call it. Here, the mountains are blanketed in snow, the streets sparkle with lights, and every day is an invitation to adventure.

First off, let’s talk skiing and snowboarding. Breck is famous for it, and for good reason. Whether you’re just finding your snow legs or you’re ready to carve up some black diamonds, the slopes here have got you covered. Gliding down these mountains, you’re treated to views that’ll make your heart skip a beat. It’s not just skiing; it’s like flying with a backdrop of endless peaks.

Breckenridge is brimming with surprises for young adults, transforming every moment into a cherished memory.
Breckenridge is brimming with surprises for young adults, transforming every moment into a cherished memory.

Strolling down Main Street feels like walking through a snow globe. Cozy cafes, unique shops, and spots to warm up and chill out are around every corner. It’s the kind of place where you end up chatting with locals and leaving with new friends.

And if you think skiing is all there is to do, think again. Try snowshoeing through quiet woods, taking a sleigh ride under the stars, or catching some local culture. Breck is full of surprises that turn every moment into a memory.

The best things to do for young adults in Colorado for all types of travelers
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