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6 Magnificent Ways to Enjoy Colorado’s Fleeting Summer Season



We hate to remind you, but the summer is almost over here in Colorado. Make sure you enjoy every ounce the season has to offer with these six fun-filled activities around the state, from stargazing and waterfalls to picnic spots and drive-in movies.

1. BEST STARGAZING:
Fort Collins 

Each month, volunteers from the Northern Colorado Astronomical Society provide telescopes and share knowledge about stars, planets, and galaxies at the Fossil Creek Reservoir Natural Area in Fort Collins (days vary by month). It’s a free and easy way to school yourself on the drama unfolding in the night sky. naturetracker.fcgov.com

2. BEST WATERFALL EXCURSION
Town of Ouray

World renowned for winter ice climbing, Ouray’s frozen cliffs become spectacular waterfalls in the spring. Three of the teeny town’s waterfalls are easily accessible via a hike or short drive: Box Canyon Lodge, Cascade Falls, and Bear Creek Falls, which was recently outfitted with a viewing stand on the water. For more info, Rich Avery, owner and proprietor of Box Canyon Falls, runs an up-to-date website on the town’s falls: info.boxcanyonouray.com.


Photo courtesy of Blue Lake Ranch

3. BEST GARDEN ESCAPE:
Blue Lake Ranch, Herperus

Originally a Norwegian homestead, this 16-room bed-and-breakfast sits on 200 secluded acres. Each suite, casita, and cabin offers views of lush xeriscape, flower, and vegetable gardens, as well as the surrounding La Plata Mountains. The gardens double as classrooms, too—guests can partake in harvesting heirloom flower seeds in the fall or assist with the annual Iris Sale in June. bluelakeranch.com

4. BEST PICNIC SPOT:
Aspen Meadows, Aspen

After a morning ride on bikes provided by Aspen Meadows Resort, pack your lunch and head to Aspen Meadows’ ⅔-acre green paradise. While you’re there, check out Herbert Bayer’s Grass Mound—his first earth sculpture and the first of the earthworks movement—and the Marble Garden. In warmer months, the lawn plays host to numerous events including concerts and farm-to-picnic dinners. aspenmeadows.com

5. BEST URBAN SUNSET
Coohills, Denver

Tucked neatly in the heart of downtown Denver next to the historic railroad bridge over Cherry Creek is the European-inspired Coohills. Grab a General Sherman’s Old Fashioned and an order of frites at happy hour and head directly to the lounge on the mountain-facing outdoor terrace. Foliage lines the 50-seat patio decorated with umbrella-topped tables, setting the scene for one of downtown’s ultimate sunset vantage points. coohills.com

6. BEST DRIVE-IN:
Comanche, Buena Vista

With the towering Buffalo Peaks as the backdrop, Comanche Drive-In Theatre—built in 1966 by John and Pearl Groy—plays new-run films along with some classics like American Grafitti each summer.  The projection of the film accompanied by a bag of real-butter popcorn with sold onsite equals old-school perfection. Shows run May through September. comanchedrivein.com

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