Things to Do Near Denver This Summer
Only twenty-four minutes from Denver by bus, National Renewable Energy Laboratory, or NREL, is an interesting place to visit. Image courtesy of NREL/DOE.
Denver, Colorado is a vibrant city with plenty to offer on its own. But if you’re looking for something to do within a bus ride’s distance of Denver, there’s a wealth of options only hours (sometimes minutes) away. Denver is close to some of the most beautiful national parks in the nation, as well as plentiful recreational opportunities. Here are just a few of the activities that are only a charter bus ride away from Denver.
Garden of the Gods
A National Natural Landmark since 1971, the Garden of the Gods is a public park famous for its spectacular red rock formations. Geologic forces have altered the rock formations so that the history of the planet can be seen in the stone itself: erosion, glaciation, and changes dating back to the Pleistocene Ice Age. The beautiful natural displays of balanced rocks and stony spires have made the Garden of the Gods a popular destination for hikers, rock climbers, mountain bikers, and horseback riders. The visitor’s center contains a wealth of educational exhibits showcasing the park’s attributes, from minerals to local wildlife, and there are guided tours and nature hikes available for booking. Garden of the Gods is about an hour and fifteen minutes from Denver by charter bus.
While many flock to the town of Steamboat Springs in the winter for the skiing, the town is also a great summer destination. The nearby Yampa river offers ample opportunities for water enthusiasts to get their fun on, from rafting and tubing to fishing. The first weekend of June is devoted to the Steamboat Springs Yampa River Festival, which includes a “kayak rodeo,” upstream slalom races, and the Crazy River Dog Contest, where trained dogs fetch sticks from the Yampa. A bus trip to Steamboat Springs is a little under three hours in air-conditioned comfort.
National Renewable Energy Laboratory
Only twenty-four minutes from Denver by bus, National Renewable Energy Laboratory, or NREL, performs research on energy efficiency and renewable energy under contract from the U.S. government. The laboratory houses some of the premier research facilities in the country, such as the National Wind Technology Center, the National Bioenergy Center, and the Science and Technology Facility, where research is conducted on solar cells and nanotechnology. Though the facilities are not open to the public, you can book a visit to the facilities to take a walking tour, attend a lunch lecture, or participate in educational programs from 4th grade to college level.
Rocky Mountain National Park
If you’re excited to get away from the city and out into nature, there’s no place better than Rocky Mountain National Park: 265,000 acres of alpine lakes, forests, tundra, and breathtaking mountain views. With such a vast amount of open space available, Rocky Mountain National Park has something for everyone. Hikers and nature lovers can take strenuous back-country trails or stick to the paved paths. Climbers flock to Lumpy Ridge and Longs peak yearly to test their mettle on the rock face. Fishing and camping are common in the summer, while visitors often go cross-country skiing in the winter. You can get from Denver to Rocky Mountain National Park by bus in about ninety minutes.
Great Sand Dunes National Park
If serene lakes and mountain tundra aren’t your speed, you could always visit the mountains of sand at the Great Sand Dunes National Park and Preserve, a little under four hours by bus from Denver. Visitors can sled down the dunes, spot the wildlife, or just enjoy one of its most famous features: the quiet. According to a study conducted by the National Park Service, Great Sand Dunes is the quietest park in the U.S. Wildlife enthusiasts will enjoy the preserve aspects of the park: it’s home to over two hundred species of birds and insects.
Interested in making your next stay in Denver memorable? Want to coordinate a one-of-a-kind day trip for your next family get-together or corporate meeting? Metropolitan Shuttle has you covered. Call us at 1-866-556-3545 or contact us today for a free quote.