Colorado in May: 3 Top Colorado Destinations

Travel advisor Francesca Iannaccone in a white top
Curated By

Francesca Iannaccone

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  • Colorado

  • Aspen

  • Denver

  • Vail

  • Arts & Culture

  • Adventure Travel

  • Active Travel

  • Shopping

  • Entertainment

  • Outdoors

  • Sightseeing

The Great Sand Dunes of Colorado from across a dim-lit field with snow-capped mountains in the far distance and heavy cloud cover (photo by Colin Lloyd)
Curator’s statement

Colorado, (Aspen in particular), is such a special place for its year round beauty and outdoor adventures. From skiing in the winder, white water rafting in the spring, Biking and hiking in the summer, Colorado never disappoints. I have wonderful personal memories at The Little Nell in Aspen and I can't recommend it enough!

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Where to stay in Colorado

The Little Nell

At the base of Ajax Mountain, Aspen’s only ski-in/ski-out hotel is the spot for a lively après scene, top people watching and personalized service.

Fora Perks
  • $100 hotel / resort credit.

  • Breakfast daily.

  • Upgrade & extended check-in/out whenever possible.

Four Seasons Resort and Residences Vail

Exquisite luxury resort at the base of Vail Mountain boasting a refined restaurant, indoor and outdoor hot tubs and picturesque mountain views.

Fora Perks
  • When you book Four Seasons through Fora, you will enjoy exclusive Four Seasons Preferred Partner benefits. Your advisor will be pleased to give you more details.

Thompson Denver - A Hyatt Hotel

Vibrant downtown hotel with chic style and a French restaurant all within a short walk from the historic Union Station, Coors Field and the buzzy bars and restaurants of the Dairy Block.

Fora Perks
  • Property credit.

  • Daily breakfast for two.

  • Upgrade & extended check-in/out, whenever possible.

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Things to do in Colorado

green grass at the entrance of a hotel in the colorado canyon

Trail Riding: Explore Garden of the Gods on Horseback

Enjoy a guided horseback ride through the iconic Garden of the Gods in Colorado Springs. Discover towering red rock formations and breathtaking landscapes while experiencing the beauty of nature from a unique perspective.

Wildflower Hiking: Trek the Maroon Bells Scenic Trail

Take a hike along the Maroon Bells Scenic Trail near Aspen, renowned for its stunning wildflower displays in May. The vibrant colors against the backdrop of snow-capped peaks create a picturesque scene.

Spring Skiing: Hit the Slopes in Aspen

While the traditional ski season may be winding down, some slopes in Aspen remain open in May, offering a unique opportunity for spring skiing. Enjoy the thrill of carving through the snow amid beautiful mountain scenery.

Festival Exploration: Attend the Denver Arts Festival

Immerse yourself in the thriving arts scene at the Denver Arts Festival. Held annually in May, this event showcases a diverse range of artworks from both local and national artists, providing a cultural feast for attendees.

Gondola Ride: Soak in Scenic Views in Vail

Take a scenic gondola ride in Vail, providing panoramic views of the Gore Range and surrounding mountains. This relaxing journey offers a bird's-eye view of the stunning alpine landscapes.

Botanical Gardens Visit: Discover Spring Blooms in Denver

Wander through the Denver Botanic Gardens and witness the explosion of spring blooms. The diverse collection of flowers and plants creates a colorful and fragrant experience in the heart of the city.

Historic Train Journey: Ride the Durango & Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad

Embark on a historic train journey on the Durango & Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad. This scenic ride offers spectacular views of the Animas River and the San Juan Mountains, providing a nostalgic adventure through Colorado's history.

Culinary Exploration: Indulge in Aspen's Food and Wine Classic

Attend the renowned Aspen Food and Wine Classic held in May. Experience culinary delights as top chefs showcase their skills, and savor exquisite dishes paired with fine wines in the heart of Aspen.

River Rafting: Navigate the Arkansas River

For an adrenaline-filled adventure, try river rafting on the Arkansas River. May is an excellent time to experience the thrill of navigating rapids while surrounded by the scenic beauty of the Colorado wilderness.

Cultural Festivity: Join the Boulder Creek Festival

Participate in the Boulder Creek Festival, a lively celebration held over Memorial Day weekend. Enjoy live music, food, and a variety of activities, creating a festive atmosphere along the Boulder Creek

Day Trips:

Aspen White Water Adventure: A Day on the Roaring Fork River
Embark on an exhilarating day trip from Aspen for a white-water rafting adventure on the scenic Roaring Fork River. Immerse yourself in the breathtaking beauty of the Colorado Rockies while navigating thrilling rapids and enjoying the serenity of the surrounding wilderness.

Places to eat & drink in Colorado

Three donuts in a box with hot beverage disposable cup on the side.

Frasca Food and Wine (Boulder):
Experience fine dining with a focus on Italian cuisine at Frasca Food and Wine in Boulder. The restaurant offers an extensive wine list to complement its exquisite dishes, providing a sophisticated culinary experience.

Root Down (Denver):
Located in the trendy Highland neighborhood of Denver, Root Down offers a farm-to-table menu with a creative twist. Enjoy eclectic dishes made from locally sourced ingredients in a vibrant and environmentally conscious atmosphere.

Flagstaff House Restaurant (Boulder):
Perched on Flagstaff Mountain, the Flagstaff House Restaurant offers stunning views of Boulder. Indulge in a high-end dining experience with a diverse menu and an extensive wine list, making it an ideal spot for a special evening.

Guard and Grace (Denver):
For a modern steakhouse experience, visit Guard and Grace in downtown Denver. The restaurant features an open dining space with a butcher shop feel, offering a variety of prime steaks and creative small plates.

The Kitchen (Aspen):
Enjoy farm-to-table dining at The Kitchen in Aspen. With a commitment to using locally sourced, organic ingredients, this restaurant provides a cozy and inviting atmosphere, perfect for a casual yet refined meal.

Element 47 at The Little Nell (Aspen):
Located in the luxurious Little Nell hotel, Element 47 offers a sophisticated dining experience in Aspen. Indulge in contemporary American cuisine crafted with locally sourced ingredients, complemented by an extensive wine list.

Elway's (Vail):
Named after the legendary Broncos quarterback, Elway's in Vail is a classic steakhouse with a mountain resort touch. Savor prime steaks and fresh seafood while enjoying the upscale yet relaxed ambiance.

Avery Brewing Company (Boulder):
For craft beer enthusiasts, Avery Brewing Company in Boulder is a must-visit. Sample a variety of innovative and flavorful beers in their spacious taproom, and pair your brews with tasty dishes from the on-site kitchen.

Rioja (Denver):
Located in Larimer Square, Rioja is a Mediterranean-inspired restaurant in Denver offering a diverse menu of creative dishes. With a focus on seasonal and locally sourced ingredients, Rioja provides a delightful dining experience in a stylish setting.

Need to Know

Looking for more travel inspiration? Check out Alyson Krapfl's guide, The Best of Denver Guide.

Travel advisor Francesca Iannaccone in a white top

Travel Advisor

Francesca Iannaccone

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This guide is part of our ongoing series on travel to Colorado.