Swiss-style resort in Vail, CO. Image credit Andriy Blokhin via Shutterstock.

9 Small Towns in Colorado to Visit for a Weekend Getaway

Colorado overflows with a breathtaking blend of exciting cities, mountain towns, and vast valleys, chock full of beautiful scenery, scrumptious food, and friendly communities. From the serene lakeviews of Evergreen to the charmed and historic downtown of Telluride, Colorado hosts an endless selection of unforgettable small towns.

When planning a weekend getaway, whether it is only two days or an extended holiday, Colorado boasts some of the best towns for adventuring and relaxing, all rolled into one.


A view of Ridgway, Colorado from Colorado State Highway 62 above the town
A view of Ridgway, Colorado from Colorado State Highway 62 above the town, By Jeffrey Beall - Own work, CC BY 4.0, Wikimedia Commons

Ridgway is one of Colorado's most unique towns, home to an artistic community and pristine alpine beauty. Ridgway State Park is two miles outside of town, home to a serene reservoir off the Uncompahgre River, where travelers enjoy camping, hiking, and kayaking.

Ridgway is an International Dark Sky Community, meaning on a clear night, visitors may look to the twinkling skies and spot anywhere from four to eight meteors per hour. Along with a magical night of stargazing, travelers may enjoy the great outdoors by renting a bike, going fly fishing, or touring the Escarpment Trail. Aside from camping, the MTN Lodge Ridgway is a great spot to get cozy overnight on a weekend getaway.


The gorgeous town of Telluride, Colorado.
The gorgeous town of Telluride, Colorado.

Telluride is one of the friendliest towns in the Rockies and sits just under an hour south of Ridgway. Once a Victorian mining town, the area currently houses the ever-so-popular ski-and-golf resort, Premier Mountain Resort.

For those looking to delve into the town's storied past, wander the historic district, which contains unique architectural gems such as the Sheridan Opera House and the Telluride Historical Museum. The free gondola ride to the Mountain Village is an essential stop for views of the highest concentration of 13,000- and 14,000-foot peaks in North America, alongside shopping such as Telluride Resort Store and dining like Allred's Restaurant. The Inn at Lost Creek is an excellent location to delve into the beauty of Telluride's Mountain Village.

Grand Lake

Aerial view of Grand Lake, Colorado
Aerial view of Grand Lake, Colorado

The town of Grand Lake sits on the shores of its namesake lake, which happens to be the largest lake in Colorado with a surface area of 507 acres. Canoeing and kayaking are some of the most popular activities in the area, as is hiking along the breathtaking Trail Ridge Road. The town is just 1 mile from Rocky Mountain National Park, which serves as a beautiful backdrop and an excellent excursion for one day of any weekend trip to the area. For those looking to extend their stay and awake to the shimmering lake and the sharp peaks of the mountainscape, check out destinations such as the Mountain Lakes Lodge, Not Forgotten Cabin, and Winding River Resort.


Bear Creek Road, the Main Street in Evergreen, Colorado.
Bear Creek Road, the Main Street in Evergreen, Colorado. Image credit: Chris Light, via Wikimedia Commons.

Evergreen is one of the best small towns in Colorado to chill out, just 40 minutes from the bustling city of Denver. Evergreen sits along the shoreline of Evergreen Lake, where travelers enjoy paddle boarding and boating in summer, as well as ice skating and fishing in winter. An excursion to Jefferson County Open Space is a great way to enjoy the fresh air, delving into activities such as camping, fishing, and hiking. Evergreen's downtown bursts with excitement as well, home to dining spots like Beau Jo's Colorado Style Pizza, unique boutiques such as Bain Lake Antiques, and charming havens for an extended stay such as Alpen Way Chalet Mountain Lodge.

Steamboat Springs

Valley in Steamboat Springs Colorado. Destination for both Summer and Winter tourism activities.
Valley in Steamboat Springs Colorado. Destination for both Summer and Winter tourism activities.

Steamboat Springs, one of Colorado's most beautiful small towns, sits in the state's Yampa Valley, home to the Howelsen Hill ski area and the Steamboat ski resort. Apart from its exhilarating slopes to which many skiers escape each year, the town houses inviting hot springs that contain mineral water, said to have healing and rejuvenating properties, perfect for a relaxing weekend away. Those in search of refreshments may stop by Mahogany Ridge Brewery & Grill or Storm Peak Brewing Company, while Zephyr Helicopter Company offers scenic helicopter tours ideal for those looking for adventure. Enjoy a lovely vacation in the Steamboat Springs KOA Campground, The Porches, or Rabbit Ears Motel.

Cripple Creek

Downtown Cripple Creek, Colorado
Downtown Cripple Creek, Colorado, By David Shankbone - Own work, CC BY 3.0, Wikimedia Commons

Cripple Creek is one of the most unforgettable small towns in the Rockies, home to a rich gold-mining history and plenty of scenic attractions. One of the most popular destinations is Crag's Head Trail, which traverses through a group of rock pinnacle formations, as well as the beautiful Gold Belt Scenic Highway, and the fossil-filled Florissant Fossil Beds National Monument. There are also nine casinos, ideal for visitors who are feeling lucky, such as Bronco Billy's, Century Casino, and Colorado Grande Casino and Hotel. Be sure to delve into the town's history at the Cripple Creek Heritage Center. Stay in the town's heart at one of its most beautiful lodging opportunities, such as Alpine Vista Retreat, Arrowhead High Chateau, or Carr House.

Buena Vista

Aerial view of Buena Vista, Colorado
Aerial view of Buena Vista, Colorado

The small town of Buena Vista comes alive in summer, but it is a lovely destination for a weekend getaway no matter the time of year. The mountain town is chock full of hot springs ideal for a revitalizing soak, exciting hiking trails along the Sawatch mountain range, and rafting and fishing along the sparkling Arkansas River. Though there are plenty of warm weather activities, winter visitors may enjoy cross-country skiing or snowshoeing, snowmobiling, and dog-sledding in the picturesque snow-covered Monarch Mountain. For the true mountain town experience, enjoy a weekend in Good View Campground, Merrifield Homestead Cabins, and Vista Court Cabins.


Overlooking Vail, Colorado.
Overlooking Vail, Colorado.

Vail is one of the most quaint small towns in Colorado, situated within the White River National Forest and at the base of Vail Mountain. The town is home to the massive Vail Ski Resort, where visitors enjoy winter activities such as skiing, snowboarding, and sipping hot cocoa. The alpine scenery offers a breathtaking backdrop to all the joy the town brings, such as the Vail Dance Festival, sleigh rides, and a day spent wandering the beautiful Vail Village, home to plenty of Bavarian-inspired architecture. To enjoy the town's excitement all weekend, visit Gravity Haus Vail, One Willow Bridge Road, or Manor Vail Lodge.


Silverton's historic downtown
Silverton's historic downtown. Image credit Brad Pict via

Silverton is one of the most gorgeous Rocky Mountain towns, nestled in the heart of the San Juan Mountains. For those with an interest in the town's storied past, check out Old Hundred Gold Mine Tour or Mayflower Gold Mill, while Avalanche Brewing Co. and Golden Block Brewery offer plenty of refreshments. For adventurers, the Silverton Mountain offers plenty of hiking and biking trails, while Kendall Mountain Ski Area is the ideal location to strap on some skis and head out on the slopes. Travelers may enjoy a weekend in the Grand Imperial Hotel, Benson Lodge, or Villa Dallavalle Hotel.

Enjoy A Weekend in Colorado!

For those in search of everything from a relaxing and revitalizing spa experience to an exhilarating mountain adventure, Colorado offers some of the best destinations for a weekend getaway. Whether you fly into town or drive through from a nearby city, endless adventure awaits in the Centennial State. Take in the gorgeous fall colors of Vail, trek along the beautiful Cripple Creek, or find a moment or two of pure relaxation in Steamboat Springs. Wherever you visit, a weekend in Colorado will ensure that you are primed and ready to take on the week to come!

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