Although Colorado is landlocked within the central western United States, it also offers ample opportunities for waterfront recreation due to a number of natural and manmade lakes and swimming beaches. Acclaimed fishing areas also abound, including prime salmon fishing areas at Blue Mesa Reservoir.
1. Boulder Reservoir
2. Blue Mesa Reservoir
3. Medano Creek
4. Beaches Near Me: Chatfield State Park
5. Colorado Beaches: Grand Lake
6. Cherry Creek State Park Beach
7. Beach Near Me: Jackson Lake State Park
8. Horsetooth Reservoir
9. Dillon Reservoir
10. Ridgway State Park
11. John Martin Reservoir State Park
12. Best Colorado Beaches: Ruedi Reservoir
13. Steamboat Lake State Park Beach
14. Colorado Beaches: Aurora Reservoir
15. North Star Nature Preserve
The 15 Best Colorado Beaches, Reservoirs and Lakes near me today according to local experts:
- 1. Boulder Reservoir
- 2. Blue Mesa Reservoir
- 3. Medano Creek
- 4. Beaches Near Me: Chatfield State Park
- 5. Colorado Beaches: Grand Lake
- 6. Cherry Creek State Park Beach
- 7. Beach Near Me: Jackson Lake State Park
- 8. Horsetooth Reservoir
- 9. Dillon Reservoir
- 10. Ridgway State Park
- 11. John Martin Reservoir State Park
- 12. Best Colorado Beaches: Ruedi Reservoir
- 13. Steamboat Lake State Park Beach
- 14. Colorado Beaches: Aurora Reservoir
- 15. North Star Nature Preserve
More Ideas in Colorado: Pikes Peak
The Pikes Peak region of Colorado is full of family friendly vacation attractions and mountainous exploration. Visitors can experience culturally rich history or adrenaline rushing excitement at attractions that bring in thousands of visitors annually. Pikes Peak is found in the Rocky Mountains with Colorado Springs at its base. The mountain is 14,000 feet above sea level and the region offers many different family attractions on and surrounding the mountain and peak.
About Pikes Peak
Pikes Peak was discovered in the 1700’s and is also near to Old Colorado City, Manitou Springs, Cripple Creek, Denver, and Canon City.
Visitors can take the 19-mile journey from top to bottom in a car on the Pikes Peak Highway which takes about 1.5 hours, by train which is the most popular, on a bike, or by hiking. The Train is a 3.5-hour round trip climb on the Broadmoor Pikes Peak Cog Railway that goes up 14,000 feet. Bicycling can be done with a tour group from the top of the peak or individuals may bike using the highway. There are many miles of hiking with easy to strenuous levels for hikers to summit the mountain. Hiking can take anywhere from 8 hours to 2 days. Three lakes are available for fishing from May to October with many picnicking areas available off the 19 miles Pikes Peak Highway as well.
Visitors should remember to dress is layers. The top of the mountain is at least 30 degrees cooler than the base. To summit Pikes Peak is for experienced climbers. Altitude sickness is possible and all hikers should be aware of the proper gear needed for a climb.
Attractions at Pikes Peak
There are many attractions at pikes Peak that each have their own hours of operation and ticketing requirements. While many attractions are free and open year-round, some restrictions and ADA accessibility may be different from place to place. Each of the Pikes Peak attractions has a website and is detailed on the Pikes Peak website on hours of operation and cost of admission if there is one.
Broadmoore Pikes Peak Cog Railway- The highest cog railway in the world winds up Pikes Peak 14,115 feet past waterfalls, and through the forests. This three-hour round trip operates all year round with reservations suggested. Trains are not heated but remain at 50-60 degrees.
Cave of the Winds Mountain Park- Spend an afternoon touring the caves discovered in 1881 in Colorado Springs. One of the highest show caves in the United States at 7,000 feet, the Cave of the Winds offers three tours, rides, and views of the canyon.
Cheyenne Mountain Zoo- The only mountain zoo in America, this zoo has over 750 animals for visitors to enjoy with many interactive experiences offered.
Broadmoor Seven Falls- This outdoor adventure land just had renovations to bring a fine dining restaurant, zip lines, and other upgrades to the park. Visitors can hike to the waterfall, pan for gold, see exhibits and visit the gift shop here.
Echo Canyon River- This outdoor river adventure offers quiet family floats and white-water riptides for those looking for a rafting experience. Half-day to multi-day trips are offered with lodging options from camping to cabins available.
Gardens of the Gods Trading Post- Found near the Balanced Rock at the Garden of the Gods, the Trading Post has existed for over 100 years and features almost 100,000 items for sale from souvenirs to handcrafted jewelry, and artisanal crafts. There is also a café with an outdoor patio, Coffee shop, ice creamery, and mining adventure for kids. The Trading Post is also leashed pet friendly!
Historic Cripple Creek- This town is just west of Colorado Springs at the base of the mountain and is an old west mining town featuring trains, museums, casinos, a gold mine, and heritage center. The Cripple Creek Ice Fest is held annually in February and showcases an ice bar with liquor for adults, ice sculptures, and ice treats.
Historic Manitou Springs- Known for their numerous mineral springs that produce drinking water, this popular tourist spot is at the foot of Pikes Peak and is an arts community with a downtown area lined with galleries, locally owned cafés and restaurants. The town is also host to beer and wine festivals, Carnivale, and many other charming festivities.
Historic Old Colorado City- This more modern town at the base of the mountain is home to shopping centers, fine dining, art galleries, and locally sponsored farmers markets, summer concerts, and art festivals.
Manitou Cliff Dwellings- These Anasazi cliff dwellings are more than 700 years old and can be touched and explored by visitors. Next door there is a pueblo that houses the Anasazi museum and gift shop. This museum was built as a replica of the architectural style of the Pueblo Indians who were kin to the Anasazi.
Ghost Town Museum- Found in Colorado Springs, this preserved old west town dates to the late 1800’s and early 20th century. This indoor attraction is a unique way to experience the history of Colorado Springs and the region of the Rocky Mountains. Private events can be hosted here.
North Pole-Santa’s Workshop- Christmas is all year around at the North Pole on Pikes Peak. This amusement park is Christmas themed and visitors can meet Santa, Mrs. Clause and the elves of course. There are over 24 rides, live animals, and village shops, all decorated for Christmas. Admission includes unlimited rides.
Royal Gorge Bridge & Park- Visiting this park is ideal for thrill seekers. One of the highest suspension bridges in the world, the Royal Gorge Bridge Park offers activities such as gondola rides, a visitor center, cade, an outdoor play center, carousel, the World Scariest Skycoaster and a zipline that is the highest in North America. This Park is open year-round and hosts an after dark concert series for adults as well as several other special events.
Cripple Creek and Victor Narrow Gauge Railroad- This locomotive ride is one hour long and tours behind the mountain through Cripple Creek, a gold rush town and past many historic mines.
Iron Springs Melodrama and Dinner Theater- This production is held inside the Iron Springs Chateau and brings back the days of vaudeville performance with a three-course dinner. Reservations are needed.
May Natural History Museum- This Natural History Museum features more than 8,000 insects which are part of one of the largest private collections in the world. This museum is nicknamed the “Bug Museum” and has been an attraction in Colorado Springs for over 80 years.
Miramont Castle Museum- This Manitou Springs museum preserves the Victorian era heritage of the region through exhibits and artifacts that detail the history of life in the late 19th century. A Victorian style tea is offered daily. Reservations are required.
Mollie Kathleen Gold Mine- An elevator takes visitors underground to explore this mine that was discovered in 1891 producing gold ore 100 stories below Cripple Creek. This is the only 1,000-foot vertical shaft gold mine tour in the country and is one hour in length. The Hard Rock Diner is on site for dining. The mine is not ADA accessible.
ProRodeo Hall of Fame- Open daily from 9am to 5pm in Colorado Springs, the ProRodeo Hall of Fame details the history and legends of the professional rodeo circuit, Hall of Champion inductees which includes over 300 rodeo contestants, clowns, and contractors. The Museum was opened in 1979 and preserves the legacy of the cowboy and cultural and competitive rodeo.
Space Foundation Discovery Center- Located near Garden of the Gods, the Space Foundation is the regions only science and technology attraction offering programs for the entire family focused on space and STEAM exhibits.
Western Museum of Mining and Industry- Visitors to the Western Museum of Mining and Industry learn about how mining as impacted health, food, economy and industry since 1890. Hands on exhibits over 27 acres of replica mines and mills are presented with family exploration days, lectures, workshops, and special exhibits rotated.
Garden of the Gods- This outdoor park is 1364 acres with 19 rock formation and 12 hiking trails that can be enjoyed by the public. Considered one of the top geological wonders in the United States, this site is one of the top visitor attractions in Colorado and includes an activity playground, with equine and bike trails, native American art galleries and the Trading Post. Garden of the Gods is pet friendly and can be seen by car as well. Rock climbing is allowed but climbers must register with the Visitor Center and proper climbing gear must be worn. Entrance to this attraction is always free.
Lodging at Pikes Peak
There are many different lodging opportunities at Pikes Peak from camp grounds, RV parks, cabins, hotels and Inns. Each of the towns including Colorado Springs, Manitou Springs, and Canon City have Many options for hotel accommodations while there are more primitive options available on the mountain. There are a few on mountain resorts—The Broadmoor, Hotel Elegante, Lakeside Cottages, Rocky Mountain Lodge and cabins, and Green Mountain Falls Resorts on Pikes Peak Mountain as well.
More Ideas in Colorado: Cave of the Winds
Cave of the Winds was discovered in 1881, and has been one Colorado's leading attractions for over a century. Visitors can explore fascinating caverns, experience total darkness, and wonder at stunning formations that have been around for hundreds of thousands of years. With three cave tours, kid-friendly activities, and daring attractions atop William Canyon, Cave of the Winds is a great source of adventure. While the amazing cave tours draw many guests, the more thrilling attractions, such as the Bat-a-Pult Zip Line, the Williams Canyon aerial dive ride, the Terror-dactyl, and the Wind Walker Challenge Course, are worth the visit as well.
The educational, easy 45-minute Discovery Tour is a great option for families and beginning cavers. Knowledgeable guides answer visitors' questions as they lead them under the mountain through twisting paths, discussing cave geology and history. Visitors will duck beneath Fat Man's Misery, view the Temple of Silence, and marvel at the Giant's Bleeding Heart. The Discovery cave tour is an amazing Colorado experience.
The Lantern Tour provides visitors with a rugged cave adventure that gives them the opportunity to experience the thrilling journey of early explorers. Guests will journey deep into the Manitou Grand Caverns during the tour, exploring formations and passageways lit only by hand-held lanterns. Along the way, guides will tell ghost stories and folklore, as well as the Cave of the Winds Mountain Park's history. Visitors will feel like they've gone back in time as they walk through the barely lit Fairy Bridal Chambers and Marble Hall.
The Caving 101 Tour at Cave of the Winds explores undeveloped areas of the Manitou Grand Caverns by crawling and climbing through passageways only lit by a flashlight. Both visitors and locals alike around Colorado Springs will enjoy this unique underground adventure. Guests interested in the Caving 101 Tour need to reserve their spots at least two days in advance.
Wind Walker Challenge Course
Adventure and thrilling fun are combined at Cave of the Winds in the one-of-a-kind Wind Walker Challenge Course, an obstacle course that spans three stories. Balanced on top of the edge of Williams Canyon, featuring a 600-foot drop, the course thrills guests with a maze of ladders, ropes, and steel beams.
Visitors can experience the thrill of flying through the sky aboard the Bat-A-Pult. The epic aerial ride sends guests from the rafters of the Pavilion on a round-trip, 1200-foot flight at speeds of almost 40 mph along the breathtaking Williams Canyon. Younger guests can experience the ride with their mom or dad by their side.
Terror-dactyl is the first ride of its kind, with none like it in the world. This ride is definitely one that will give guests a rush of adrenaline as it sits on the end of the Williams Canyon's 200-foot cliff. Visitors with the courage to ride the Terror-dactyl will be sent more than 150 feet at speeds of almost 100 mph into the canyon.
100 Cave of the Winds Road, Manitou Springs, Colorado, Phone: 719-685-5444