20 Amazing Reasons to Spend Your Summer in Colorado

20 Amazing Reasons to Spend Your Summer in Colorado

No beach? No problem.

Colorado may be a landlocked state, but that doesn't mean it lacks a bounty of summer activities. Whether you venture to the front range to visit the capital city, head west into the Rockies or fly south for the sand dunes, Colorado is packed with a variety of adventures. To celebrate this wondrous state and all it has to offer, I've rounded up some of the greatest parts of a Coloradan summer. It's time to forgo the classic costal beach vacation and think about escaping to the Mile High State.

1. Having a picturesque view of the Rocky Mountains practically anywhere you go on the front range is incredible. Since Colorado is at a higher elevation it always seems closer to the clouds which makes the skies even more beautiful when the warm weather comes around.

2. When the skies turn into a firey display over the mountains at sunset. As I mentioned above, being closer to the clouds has its benefits, especially when it looks like you are living in a painting.

3. No matter the day, hour or physical ability, everybody goes hiking.

Literally everyone.

Even dogs. I mean just look at that adventurous, majestic puppy.

4. Driving into the mountains without the fear of driving in snow. Or the fear of road closures because of snow.

5. There’s still traffic, but instead of ski busses it’s people going up to kayak, mountain bike, river raft or enjoy some down time in one of our many mountain resorts and charming mountain villages.

6. The snow melt has caused water levels to rise in the lakes which draws a bounty of boats and kayaks on the water. Being landlocked doesn't seem so bad when you have 360 views of the Rockies right from the water. Who needs a beach?!

7. Wildlife emerges from the long winter and these majestic creatures start casually roaming around us humans. It may not be safe to approach the wildlife, but it is incredibly beautiful to witness from a safe distance.

8. You can finally (safely) visit the most magical place in Colorado. Hanging Lake is a hiking trail located in Glenwood Canyon and is rated as difficult, but if you feel equipped for the hike it is very much worth the effort and view.

9. Go visit the most photographed spot in Colorado: Maroon Bells. Located in Aspen, this special destination is rated as the most visited spot in Colorado for its stunning Aspen Grooves, crystal clear lakes and rivers and picturesque view of the Maroon Bells fourteener.

10. You can finally bust out those hammocks that have been collecting dust in your closet and place them in questionable places around the Rockies. Nothing says summer like swinging in your hammock, but Coloradans take it to the next level by setting up their hammocks in scenic overlooks around the state.

11. And after all these hikes, head into downtown Denver to grab some much needed Voodoo doughnuts. This company is exclusively in Oregon and Colorado which draws many out of town visitors and their quirky-yet-wildly delicious doughnuts that keep people coming back.

12. While you’re in Denver you might as well catch a Rockies game at Coors Field. In recent years, the park has added a rooftop dining area that serves up restaurant-quality meals and drinks while overlooking the game and downtown Denver. If you're more a baseball purist then opt for seats closer to the action and get a panoramic view of the Rockies.

13. Then grab some lunch at Larimer Square. This street is placed in the historic district of downtown Denver and offers high-end cuisine or casual taverns that all serve outdoor dining so you can enjoy the iconic Colorado sunshine.

14. Check out some amazing street art at the Denver Chalk Art Festival. Even though this festival is only held on specific dates, Denver has emerging artists showing their work all around the town, so check out some local galleries or even some graffitied buildings.

15. Drive up to Estes Park to visit the famed Stanley Hotel which was the inspiration for Stephen King's book "The Shining." You can walk around the main grounds, enjoy lunch at its in-hotel restaurant and go on one of their notorious ghost tours. Or, you know, don’t go. I’m not scared or anything...

16. Head south to the Great Sand Dunes National Park which is iconic for its diverse landscape of Rocky Mountains overlooking an expansive sandy landscape. Be mindful of the summer heat in the southern parts of Colorado, especially when walking across mounds of sand. This means packing the recommended clothing, extra water and hiking gear before adventuring to the dunes.

17. For a more relaxing time in the summer weather, head up to Aspen for the legendary Aspen Food and Wine Festival. Enjoy the mountain air while mingling with celebrity chefs and eating dishes that will no doubt bring out the foodie in you.

18. If you're wanting a more low-key foodie event then head up North to The Taste of Fort Collins. Local food vendors, breweries and notable musicians gather together in the quaint college town of Fort Collins for this weekend festival. It's a food truck frenzy and concert series located right against the Rocky Mountains.

19. For a uniquely scenic area and acclaimed year-round foodie town head to Boulder, Colorado. Famed for its Flatiron mountain ranges, nationally ranked college campus and notorious Pearl Street Mall, Boulder offers everything for the outdoorsy and urban individual. Hike Chautauqua Park up to the first Flatiron overlooking the cit, or spend the day tubing down the Boulder Creek. Grab a bite to eat on Pearl Street during sunset for a truly magnificent summer night.

20. Ahh, the crème de la crème of nationally recognized Colorado attractions: Red Rocks Amphitheater. This location has been the spot of historic musical performances and continues to hold headlining artists year after year. While this spot is popular year-round for concerts, the summer offers additional events such as Yoga on the Rocks and Film on the Rocks.

There's no doubt that Colorado is a year-round beautiful state that is full of indoor and outdoor activities, but many people underestimate the mile high country for its landlocked location. Hopefully the reasons listed above have opened the minds of those considering a summer vacation in Colorado, or reminded natives of why their state is supreme in the summer.
Cover Image Credit: Blaine Harrington Photography

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10 Things I Threw Out AFTER Freshman Year Of College

Guess half the stuff on your packing list doesn't really matter

I spent the entire summer before my freshman year of college so WORRIED.

I also spent most of my money that summer on miscellaneous dorm stuff. I packed the car when the time finally came to move in, and spent the drive up excited and confused about what the heck was actually going on.

Freshman year came and went, and as I get ready to go back to school in just a few short weeks (!!), I'm starting to realize there's just a whole bunch of crap I just don't need.

After freshman year, I threw out:

1. Half my wardrobe.

I don't really know what I was thinking of owning 13 sweaters and 25 T-shirts in the first place. I wear the same five T-shirts until I magically find a new one that I probably got for free, and I put on jeans maybe four times. One pair is enough.

2. Half my makeup.

Following in the theme of #1, if I put on makeup, it's the same eyeliner-mascara combination as always. Sometimes I spice it up and add lipstick or eyeshadow.

3. My vacuum.


One, I basically never did it. Two, if I REALLY needed to vacuum, dorms rent out cleaning supplies.

4. Most of my photos from high school.

I didn't throw them ALL away, but most of them won't be making a return to college. Things change, people change, your friends change. And that's okay.

5. Excess school supplies.

Binders are heavy and I am lazy. I surprisingly didn't lose that many pens, so I don't need the fifty pack anymore. I could probably do without the crayons.

6. Cups/Plates/Bowls/Silverware.

Again, I am lazy. I cannot be bothered to wash dishes that often. I'll stick to water bottles and maybe one coffee cup. Paper plates/bowls can always be bought, and plastic silverware can always be stolen from different places on campus.

7. Books.

I love to read, but I really don't understand why I thought I'd have the time to actually do it. I think I read one book all year, and that's just a maybe.

8. A sewing kit.

I don't even know how to sew.

9. Excessive decorations.

It's nice to make your space feel a little more cozy, but not every inch of the wall needs to be covered.

10. Throw pillows.

At night, these cute little pillows just got tossed to the floor, and they'd sit there for days if I didn't make my bed.

Cover Image Credit: Tumblr

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10 Things To Do In Indiana To Make This Summer The Best Summer

Because let's face it, Indiana can be a pretty boring place.


Often times our summer nights in Indiana consist of bonfires, Steak and Shake, and a trip to the local Walmart because we are just so bored! Let's face the inevitable conclusion, we were all born in a dreadfully boring state. Thankfully, there are places all over the state that are just waiting to be explored this summer! Pack your car, board your friends, and hit the road to experience some awesome adventures!

1. Turkey Run State Park in Parke County.

Nichole Doty

What else can you think of other than the amazing feeling of hiking, camping, and enjoying the fresh air? With many places outside of the park to camp and stay, getting to the park is a short drive from nearby housing. The trails and beautiful sites will yield a perfect camping destination!

2. Zao Island in Valparaiso.


With Go Karts, Mini Golf, Laser Tag, a Laser Maze, Game Rooms, Batting Cages, Slides, and even an Alligator Exhibit, this destination is the one stop you have to make for the summer! With family fun all around at good prices, this place will be the one place you will want to continuously visit! Plus they have pizza, too!

3. Indiana Dunes National Park in Chesterton.


Lining Lake Michigan, the Dunes is the perfect beach destination to go on a hot summer day. With hotels and restaurants lining the park, there will always be somewhere to stay and somewhere to eat, plus all of the amazing qualities of the park, such as swimming, hiking, and soaking up the sun rays, making this destination a trip you have to make!

4. The Children’s Museum of Indianapolis in Indianapolis.


I think we can all agree that sometimes we are all kids at heart, and what better way to celebrate our "youth" than to take a visit to the Children's Museum! With exhibitions that contain Dinosaurs, an International Space Station, ways you can explore the everyday lives of Scientists, Fireworks of Glass, and many more, this is the perfect way at a decent price to spend your summer afternoon!

5. Holiday World & Splashin’ Safari in Santa Claus.


This attraction hosts a variety of themed attractions, including coasters and water coasters! As well as having a wave pool, a river, and tube slides, this attraction is the perfect location to go when you want to have fun as well as a cool down from the hot summer sun!

6. Conner Prairie in Fishers.


I don't know about you all but I LOVED when we got to go to Conner Prairie for a school field trip! Being one of the most visited outdoor museums in the country, Conner Prairie showcases the 19th-century lifestyle where you get to see 1836 Prairie Town, the William Conner House, and even experience what it was like in Indiana during the Civil War! This history destination will leave you in awe of how life used to be!

7. Bluespring Caverns in Bedford.


I was so jealous that my parents and sister got to experience these caves and I didn't! This underground river that stretches 21 miles houses many unusual and cool species, such as many amphibians, blind, and albino animals.

8. Indiana Medical History Museum in Indianapolis


This museum is an old pathology building that houses an autopsy room, amphitheater, laboratories, photo archives, as well as records from when the hospital was up and running. This cool destination is home to outdated medical equipment as well as anatomical structures that are breathtaking to see.

9. Indiana Beach Boardwalk Resort in Monticello.


This fun beach gives us a little taste of everything, from rides, games, to even walking a boardwalk. Located on Lake Shafer, this amusement park is a fun time for those who are looking for a little taste of fair life, yet can't wait until August to get it!

10. Indianapolis Zoo in Indianapolis.


Located in White River State Park, this zoo houses over 2,000 animals, all ranging from lions, elephants, and dolphins! As well as containing a botanical garden and exhibits where you can feed the animals, this zoo is a fun destination when searching for a fun break. Plus, who doesn't love visiting all the cool animals up close?

Whether you visit one or all of the destinations listed above, we have to acknowledge the fact that although Indiana can be a boring state, there are sometimes some pretty cool things we can do with an adventure around every corner!


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