15+ Amazing National Parks near Las Vegas to explore now

Valley of Fire Scenic Drive

Las Vegas might be famous for its gambling and nightlife but the Sin City is also the perfect outdoor destination for nature lovers.

There are several amazing national parks near Las Vegas including Zion National Park, Grand Canyon National Park, and Death Valley National Park.

Las Vegas makes the perfect base for planning a road trip around the American Southwest.

Whether you want to see the popular national parks or explore underrated attractions such as White Sands National Park and Four Corners Monument, Las Vegas is the perfect starting point.

Here’s an epic list of bucket list worthy national and state parks, national forests, stunning national recreation areas near Las Vegas to visit this summer.

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Here are the best national parks near Las Vegas to plan your next road trip.

Death Valley National Park, California

Death Valley National Park, located on the California Nevada border, has stark desert beauty and rich history.

This national park is the closest national park near Las Vegas and a perfect day trip away from Sin City.

Death Valley is also the largest national park in the lower 48 states.

Death Valley has an extreme environment: it is the hottest and driest place in North America.

The park is famous for its unique landscapes including the Badwater Basin, colorful Artists Palette drive, and the Mesquite Flats Sand Dunes.

Learn about the mining operations at the Harmony Borax Works Trail, see the iconic salt flats, and spot the desert wildlife including the desert bighorn sheep, desert tortoises, jackrabbits, and a variety of reptiles.

In spring the park blooms with the wildflowers and is incredibly beautiful to visit. 

Death Valley is also an international dark sky park and a favorite for stargazing.

Best Place to Stay – Stovepipe Wells Village Hotel

Death Valley National Park superbloom in California
Death Valley National Park superbloom in California

Zion National Park, Utah

Looking for an incredible oasis in the middle of the Southern Utah desert? Head to Zion!

Zion National Park is, without a doubt, one of the most popular national parks to visit around Las Vegas.

Zion National Park is known for its wonderful hikes, beautiful landscapes, and plenty of opportunities to see wildlife.

The famous Narrows Trail through the Virgin River and the vivid colors of the red sandstone canyon are what make Zion National Park stand out from the other national parks in America.

The Zion Narrows Trail takes you along the bed of the Virgin River to the narrowest and most colorful sections of the canyon.

Most of the time, you’ll be hiking in knee-deep water with tall sandstone walls closing in on you.

The Narrows is a truly unique experience.

Angel’s Landing is the most famous hike in Zion National Park and also the most crowded one.

This trail has many switchbacks and requires hikers to scramble over rocks.

In the final climb, you’ll be hiking along a narrow ridge perched high above the valley.

The trail passes too close to cliff edges however there are railings and chains in this challenging stretch to hold onto.

From the top of Angel’s Landing, you’ll get an incredible 360-degree panoramic view of all of Zion National Park.

Zion also has many great hikes that are popular with visitors including Observation Point trail, Emerald Pool trail, and more.

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Zion National Park View from top of the Angels Landing trail
Zion National Park View from top of the Angels Landing trail

Joshua Tree National Park, California

Joshua Tree National Park, located just over 3 hours from Las Vegas, is one of the most unique California national parks.

It is known for its bare rock formations, stark landscapes, and the iconic Joshua Tree.

Joshua Tree draws nature lovers from around the world to its desert habitats.

The park can be easily visited on a road trip from Las Vegas. 

There are many things to do in Joshua Tree for visitors.

You can go on a hike to see the rugged rock formations or the palm oases that grow in the desert.

Visitors also like to look at the twisting Joshua trees up close and photograph them in the backdrop of the bare desert.

The Cholla Cactus Garden and Ocotillo patches are also popular for their unique flora and fauna.

Barker Dam Trail in Joshua Tree National Park is an easy 1.5-mile track where you can spot wildlife at the namesake dam and see pictograms.

For something a little more challenging, try climbing Ryan Mountain.

This Joshua Tree National Park hike can take up to 3 hours but the views from the top are worthwhile.

Alternatively, drive to the panorama lookout at Keys View.

At 5185 feet tall, you’ll be spoiled by views of the Indio Hills, Coachella Valley, Palm Springs, and even Signal Mountain in Mexico from the top of Keys View.

You can also clearly see the San Andreas faultline from the viewpoint in Joshua Tree National Park.

Joshua Tree National Park also has a dark night sky and camping in the park is amazing.

One of the best campsites to stay in Joshua Tree National Park is the Indian Cove Campground.

The campsites are located next to the boulders and Joshua trees and have great views of the desert. 

Best Place to Stay – Indian Cove Campsite

By Oksana & Max from Drink Tea & Travel

Campground with RVs at Joshua Tree National Park, California
Campground with RVs at Joshua Tree National Park, California

Grand Canyon National park, Arizona

Grand Canyon National Park is one of the most visited national parks near Las Vegas.

This natural wonder is on the bucket list of many visitors to the United States and the first one that comes to mind when you think of national parks close to Vegas.

The vast and deep canyon with its multitude of rock layers, geological formations, and hiking trails has been fascinating explorers for centuries.

The Grand Canyon National Park occupies a vast area – roughly about 1902 sq miles – and can be reached via two different entrances: the north rim and the south rim.

The south rim is located 252 miles away and can be reached by a 4.5 hrs drive.

Many viewpoints located along the south rim offer iconic views of the vast canyon carved by the Colorado River.

Visitors can find a variety of amenities at the Grand Canyon Village including dining, lodging, camping, museums, and visitor centers.

Also Read: Arizona Road Trip Itinerary

Grand Canyon Northern Rim is located about 268 miles from Las Vegas, so approximately a 5-hour drive one-way.

The north rim is visited by fewer people and looks significantly different than the south rim.

It has fewer amenities than the south rim and is inaccessible during winter. 

Visitors can experience the true ruggedness of the canyon at the north rim and it is a favorite with advanced hikers.

Best Place to Stay – Bright Angel Lodge, South Rim or Grand Canyon Lodge, North Rim 

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Photo of Grand Canyon National Park at sunset
Grand Canyon National Park at sunset

Bryce Canyon National Park, Utah

Located in Southern Utah, Bryce Canyon National Park is a great place to visit from Las Vegas.

It is located just 4 hours away and is a fairy tale landscape of vivid red hoodoo rock formations.

These spire-shaped rocks were formed due to years and years of weathering due to wind, water, and snow.

The red sandstone looks even more vivid and bright crimson at sunrise and sunset making this the best time to visit Bryce Canyon National Park. 

One of the top places to visit inside the National Park is Bryce amphitheater.

This vast depression is filled with hoodoos and is the best place to see their expanse.

You can hike along the Rim Trail to see the rock formations from above or hike down into the amphitheater to see the hoodoos up close from below.

Hike along the Navajo Loop Trail and the Queen’s Garden Trail to see the most interesting rock formations. 

During the winter Bryce Canyon National Park may be covered with snow, making late spring to fall the best time to visit the park.

Visitors can also drive along Highway 12 which is the Bryce Canyon Scenic Drive to explore the National Park.

Many trailheads and 13 scenic overlooks are located along the 38-mile long drive.

Some of the best overlooks include Sunrise Point, Sunset Point, Inspiration Point, and Bryce Point. 

Best Place to Stay – Bryce Canyon Log Cabins

Also Read: Las Vegas Zion Bryce Grand Canyon Road Trip Itinerary

Bryce Canyon National Park Thor’s Hammer (Photo Credit – Pixabay / skeeze)

Great Basin National Park, Nevada

Great Basin National Park is located in eastern Nevada near the Utah state line.

It is the only national park in Nevada and one of the least visited in the country.

The drive to the park lasts four and a half hours on lonely roads but the journey is worth it.

Located in the Great Basin desert, the national park has a beautiful landscape of ancient conifers and abundant wildlife. 

The aromatic shrub, sagebrush, covers the low lying hills and stretches throughout the valley.

At higher elevations, you will find the tall trees of pines, mahogany, firs, and junipers while the aspens grow on the tallest peaks. 

Visitors to the park can drive the 12 miles long Wheeler Peak Scenic Drive to Wheeler Peak.

This is the main scenic road in the park.

The mountainous road winds up the South Snake ranges and has amazing overlooks over the Great Basin desert.

Many trailheads are also located along the drive.

At the end is Wheeler Peak. With an altitude of 13,000 feet, this is one of the popular attractions of the park.

It is a great spot for adventure lovers that want to climb up the trail to the summit. 

When visiting Great Basin National Park, visitors can also tour the Lehman caves and see ancient bristlecone pine tree groves in the forests surrounding the park.

Besides the amazing scenery, the national park also has camping, photography, biking, fishing, and other interesting things to do and places to visit including Stellar Lake. 

Best Place to Stay – Stargazer Inn in Baker, Nevada

Wheeler Peak in Great Basin
Wheeler Peak in Great Basin

Capitol Reef National Park, Utah

Capitol Reef National Park is a hidden gem in the Utah desert. 

It is filled with unique geological features including monoliths, domes, and sandstone cliffs. 

The park has a unique rock formation with white sandstone domes that resembles the US Capitol building in Washington DC and earns the park its unique name. 

Getting to the park from Las Vegas takes about 5 hours and is possible throughout the year with the shortest route being through Interstate 15. 

The most accessible section of the park is the Fruita region which has orchards and a scenic drive. 

Capitol Reef Park’s several geological features make it an interesting park to explore whether you are visiting for a half-day or an entire weekend.

Lake Mead National Recreation Area, Nevada

Lake Mead National Recreation Area is very close to Las Vegas and is one of the most famous outdoor things to do in the city. 

The area comprises over 1.5 million acres and has a stunning landscape of the Nevada desert, mountains, valleys, and the blue lake. 

There are plenty of scenic drives and hiking trails all around the lake. 

Of course, water sports are the #1 popular activity in the region. 

Visitors can go swimming, launch their pontoons and boats, canoe, and kayak to hidden beaches, as well as fish for many species that call the lake home. 

Many campgrounds are also located around Lake Mead and camping is a popular activity.

Yosemite National Park, California

Many people plan a trip around Nevada and Eastern California by visiting the beautiful Yosemite National Park from Las Vegas.

This is one of the top-visited and most beautiful national parks in the country and the scenic route via Highway 395 is amazing to drive.

The time to drive this road is late spring through fall when the Lee Vinings Road to Yosemite is open. 

Since you will be entering the popular national park by its back door, you will encounter fewer crowds.

You will be treated to outstanding views of the crystal clear Mercer River and the wildflower-filled Tuolumne Meadows.

The park is also popular for its wildlife. You will also be able to spot bears, deer, and coyotes.

Enjoy hiking to far-flung places in the park and enjoy trails like Mirror Lake loop and the Mist Trail. 

However, Yosemite Valley is where the hub of tourist attractions within the National Park is located.

The valley has all kinds of amenities from a visitor center and ranger-led tours to scenic drives like the one to Glacier Point.

The valley is bounded by the granite peaks of Half Dome and El Capitan and is a fantastic place.

The park’s famous waterfall, the Yosemite Falls is located in the valley.

Beyond the valley, Yosemite is also famous for its Giant Sequoia tree groves. 

Best Place to Stay – The Pines Resort near Bass Lake

Also Read: Ultimate California Road Trip Itinerary

Mesa Verde National Park, Colorado

Mesa Verde National Park in southwest Colorado, while 8 hours away from Las Vegas, is a pretty popular attraction.

The road to Mesa Verde passes through many attractions such as Zion National Park, Lake Powell, Antelope Canyons, Monument Valley, and Four Corners Monument making it a spectacular road trip.

The national park is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and a must for history and archeology buffs. 

The park is home to very well preserved cliff dwellings that belonged to the Ancestral Pueblo people.

The indigenous people built entire villages on the cliff faces at Mesa Verde to protect them from weather and enemies.

Archaeological sites at the national park consist of a total of 4,000+ cliff dwellings.

The on-site museum has several exhibits depicting the lifestyle of the native people.

One of the stunning dwelling structures is the Cliff Palace which has over 150 rooms, 23 kivas, and several towers.

Visitors can see the Cliff Palace on a guided tour.

For those up to the adventure, a must is the one-hour long ranger-led Balcony House Tour.

This cliff dwelling has 40 rooms and visitors need to climb up and down staircases, ladders, and stone steps, descend into a canyon, and crawl through a tunnel to see the entire abode.

After seeing the dwellings and the museum, explore the landscape of the national park.

Drive along the Mesa Top Loop Road to see cliff dwellings and overlooks including the panoramic Sun Point Overlook.

The park also contains petroglyphs; hike the Petroglyph point trail to see them. 

Best Place to Stay – Holiday Inn Express Mesa Verde / Cortez

Point Lookout at Mesa Verde National Park
Point Lookout at Mesa Verde National Park

Arches National Park, Utah

Arches National Park offers a stunning natural landscape of vivid colors and unique landforms to its visitors.

Located in northwestern Utah, the park is known for its over 2000 naturally occurring arches.

The bright red sandstone arches stand out among other geological forms like giant bare boulders, majestic fins, windows, and pinnacles.

The road trip from Las Vegas to the park is about 530 miles but the drive passes along many other Utah parks and can be easily done as a multi-day road trip.

The famed red rock arches are as delightful to see up close as they look in the pictures.

The national park also has many trails of varying difficulties to see the most popular rock formations.

The park colors are most magnificent at sunset; partly because the red sandstone color looks even more bright at that time and partly because of the low pollution and great air quality within the park.

The night sky also looks amazing and capturing the galaxy against a natural arch is every photographer’s dream.

Some of the most famous arches and rock formations include Delicate Arch, Landscape Arch in Devil’s Garden, the Balanced Rock formation, Double Arch and Corona Arch.

Drive the scenic drives to enjoy views of the La Sal Mountains and the Window Section.

For a spectacular view of various arches connected by hiking trails within the park, go to the Devil’s Garden.

Camping in the park is one of the best ways to fully explore the park’s grounds.

Best Place to Stay – Red Cliffs Lodge in Moab

Double Arch in Arches National Park, Utah
Double Arch in Arches National Park, Utah

Best State Parks near Las Vegas

Valley of Fire State Park, Nevada 

Valley of Fire State Park is a recreation area and nature preserve 50 miles (about a one hour drive) northeast of Las Vegas.

The park is primarily known for its eye-catching red Aztec sandstone formations but is also home to a collection of ancient petroglyphs and petrified trees. 

Valley of Fire is best enjoyed by taking a scenic drive through the park.

There are two scenic drives in the park – the Valley of Fire Highway and the White Domes Road.

The latter is six miles long and more scenic than the main highway.

Along both the drives, there are trailheads, viewpoints, and colorful rock formations.

Some of the must-see rock formations are Elephant Rock and Balancing Rock.

Another great way to enjoy the colorful landscape and stunning vistas is by hiking through the state park.

There are several hiking trails of various lengths and difficulties that are worth exploring; most of the popular trails are located along the scenic routes.

Good short trails to complete on your first visit are White Domes Loop, Fire Wave Trail, Pink Canyon, and Mouse’s Tank.

On the Mouse’s Tank trail, you can see ancient Native American petroglyphs.

Camping is another popular activity at Valley of Fire State Park.

The park has two campgrounds and both have great views of the rock formations.

All campsites are first-come, first-served, and can often be full.

If you’re unable to get a campsite, you can still enjoy a day trip to the park.

Best Place to Stay- Atlatl Campground

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Valley of Fire Scenic Drive
Valley of Fire Scenic Drive

Snow Canyon State Park, Utah

Snow Canyon is one of the most beautiful state parks in Utah.

It’s known for its red and white sandstone cliffs, which provide a stunning backdrop to the green fields and trees below.

The park offers plenty of activities for visitors, including hiking, biking, camping, and horseback riding.

It’s also a great place to observe nature, with more than 300 species of plants and animals calling Snow Canyon home.

Whether you’re looking for a day trip or a weekend getaway, Snow Canyon is well worth your time!

Lake Havasu State Park, Arizona

Lake Havasu State Park is located near Lake Havasu City, Arizona.

Comprising the scenic shoreline of Lake Havasu, there are plenty of things to do in this unique tourist attraction.

A highlight of the park is the white sand beach along the lakeshore that is at odds with the surrounding desert landscape.

The state park also has a grassy picnic area and has spectacular views of the mountain ranges and lake at sunset. 

The park has hiking trails and campgrounds for outdoor lovers.

The most popular hike is the Mojave Sunset Trail.

Water enthusiasts will enjoy swimming along the shores and launching boats in the lake.

Kayaking and canoeing are also popular here.

Another unique attraction located outside the state park is the London Bridge in Lake Havasu City.

This is the Old London Bridge which when replaced by a new bridge was transported piece by piece from London to Lake Havasu City and rebuilt here.

It is a fun attraction to visit while nearby. 

Best Place to Stay – London Bridge Resort in Lake Havasu City

Lake Havasu State Park, Arizona
Lake Havasu State Park, Arizona

Best natural attractions other than national or state parks close to Las Vegas

Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area, Nevada 

If you have less time, then the Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area is your best bet for closest national parks near Las Vegas.

It is located just 30 minutes – 15 miles – away from the Las Vegas Strip and lies in Nevada’s Mojave desert.

Although the canyon is close to Las Vegas there is virtually no cell phone reception inside the park and you are instantly drawn into nature.

Outdoor lovers love Red Rock Canyon for many reasons.

The large red rock formations inside the park look stunning against the desert landscape.

Visitors are often taken aback by how beautiful the desert can really be.

It is oftentimes a forgotten part of our ecosystem, but a visit to the Red Rock Canyon will garner a new appreciation for the desert.

The visitor’s center has information about the desert and exhibits to learn more about the ecosystem and animals that survive there.

You can also see Desert Tortoises in their live habitats.

After enjoying the exhibits in the visitor’s center, it is time to drive the scenic loop road to see the beauty of the canyon.

If you do not plan to hike or make frequent stops, the 13-mile route will take 30 – 35 minutes.

If you plan to stop at the pullouts and trailheads, plan to spend at least 2 hours here.

For avid hikers, there are over 25 hiking trails of varying difficulty that explore the buttes, chimneys, and other features of the canyon.

Besides hiking trails and scenic drives, Red Rock Canyon is popular for biking and rock climbing.

Where to stay: Wyndham Desert Blue Las Vegas

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Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area near Las Vegas, Nevada
Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area near Las Vegas, Nevada

Tule Springs Fossil Bed National Monument, Nevada

Located just north of Sin City, the Tule Springs Fossil Bed National Monument is home to some of the best preserved Ice Age fossils in North America.

Visitors can see bones from mammoths, camels, horses and other extinct creatures that roamed the area over 10,000 years ago at Tule Springs Fossil Beds.

The monument is open year-round, and offers a variety of interpretive programs for visitors of all ages.

Skywalk glass observation bridge at Grand Canyon West Rim
Skywalk glass observation bridge at Grand Canyon West Rim

Antelope Canyons, Arizona

Antelope Canyon in Page, Arizona is one of the best natural wonders in the world.

It’s a sandstone slot canyon located in Navajo Nation.

The slot canyon, formed due to weathering, is famous for the swirling patterns in red canyon walls.

Antelope Canyon is actually composed of two separate slot canyons – Upper Antelope Canyon and Lower Antelope Canyon.

Though both the canyons are equally stunning, travelers mostly prefer Upper over Lower because of the unique light beams phenomenon seen in the Upper Antelope Canyon.

Visitors need to plan their visit to the Upper Antelope Canyon at the right time of the year and day to see the beautiful light beams stream through the canyon.

The light rays look incredible during April and October from 10 am to 12 pm.

Lower Antelope Canyon is more narrow than the upper canyon and the hike through the canyon is more strenuous.

The lower canyon also has unusual and beautiful patterns.

It is popular between 12 pm to 1 pm as it looks vivid and gorgeous in the afternoon light.

Navajo Nation manages Antelope Canyon and they can be seen via guided tours only.

There are separate tour operators for the Upper and Lower canyons.

Make sure to book in advance, especially if you plan to visit during the peak season.

Whichever slot canyon you choose to visit, you will be awe-struck by the vivid colors that change with the light.

The entire experience is other-worldly and makes Antelope Canyons one of the best places to visit near Las Vegas.

Best Places to Stay – Days Inn & Suites by Wyndham Page Lake Powell

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Antelope Canyons in Page Arizona
Antelope Canyons in Page Arizona

Best Place to Stay – Hat Rock Inn

We hope you liked our epic guide to the best natural areas, scenic state parks, national monuments, attractions located on tribal reservations, and famous national parks to visit near Las Vegas.

Did we miss out on any famous natural attraction or hidden gem near Sin City?

Let us know in the comments.

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Maroon Bells, Aspen Colorado

Are you planning to road trip Colorado? There are many attractions worth adding to your Colorado itinerary including the stunning Rockies, beautiful towns like Aspen, hot springs, and cultural attractions including Mesa Verde National Park. Plan the ultimate road trip around these attractions using our flexible Colorado trip planner. You might also like our post on the Best Things to do in Colorado. 

Welcome to our Colorado road trip planner!

For many years, the only part of Colorado that we had visited was the Four Corners National Monument.

And then, we went on a memorable Colorado road trip that had us wishing, why hadn’t we visited the state sooner?! 

Colorado is truly beautiful and colorful.

Also Read: Denver to Mt. Ruhsmore, South Dakota road trip

It has everything from mountain scenery, hot springs, sand dunes, ancient dwellings, romantic railroads, trendy city life in Denver, charming mountain towns like Aspen, and even breweries! 

It turns golden in the fall and comes alive in the spring and summer when wildflowers bloom on mountain slopes.

But Colorado is most fun in winter when you can go snowshoeing, sledding, skiing, and snowmobiling.

A Colorado road trip is always spectacular and among the best road trips you can take, year-round. 

Colorado is home to 4 national park sites: Rocky Mountain National Park, the Great Sand Dunes National Park, Mesa Verde National Park, and Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park.

We have designed this road trip itinerary such that you can visit all 4 of them in one Colorado National Parks road trip. 

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10 Day Colorado itinerary

Denver – 2 Days

Denver is popularly called the Mile High City because of its high elevation.

It makes the ideal city to fly into and begin your Colorado road trip from Denver.

It is well connected by air to most major cities and is the hub for Frontier, a low-cost carrier.

That means cheap tickets to Denver are often available.

We have scored deals for as low as $70 round-trip from Houston and recommend starting your epic road trip from Denver. 

Things to do in Denver

Denver is famous for its food and art scene. Art lovers should visit the Denver Art Museum.

This striking building has a stunning collection of artwork from around the world.

Along with famous paintings, you will also find historic sculptures and artifacts from around the world. 

If you are visiting Denver with kids, then see the enormous dinosaur skeletons at the Denver Museum of Nature and Science.

The museum also has many other interesting exhibits including gold nuggets found in Colorado and a planetarium. 

Other popular things to do include the Denver Botanic Gardens, Denver Zoo, and Coors Field, home to the Colorado Rockies baseball team.

Denver also has plenty of free attractions for budget travelers. 

Spend a romantic evening walking under the twinkling lights of Larimer Square.

The beautiful Colorado State Capitol can be seen on a free guided tour on weekends.

The Denver Public Library building is a beautiful structure while the pedestrian 16th Street Mall is a beautiful example of landscape architecture.

Read about other Denver attractions including the Union Station and the famous Blue Bear in our post on Best Things to do in Denver.

Downtown Denver, Colorado at Twilight
Downtown Denver, Colorado at Twilight

Optional: Red Rock Amphitheatre and Golden

For a day trip on your 2nd day, consider visiting the Red Rocks Amphitheatre.

This concert venue is famous for its acoustics and the striking red sandstone formations.

If you can, try to attend a summer concert at the amphitheater – it is an exhilarating experience to see rock bands perform in a beautiful location. 

Nearby you will find Dinosaur Ridge where you can see fossils and footprints of many dinosaurs including Stegosaurus and Apatosaurus.

The Coors Brewery in Golden is free to visit, has samples included, and can be easily seen with Red Rock amphitheater and Dinosaur Ridge for an ultimate day trip.

Red Rocks Amphitheatre near Denver, Colorado
Red Rocks Amphitheatre near Denver, Colorado

Optional: Boulder and Loveland

Another option for a day trip! Boulder is located on the foothills of the Rocky Mountains, north of Denver.

It makes a great day trip from the city.

Boulder is most famous for its craggy rock formations known as the Flatirons.

Visitors can hike along several trails in the flatiron formations. 

Pearl Street Mall, a pedestrian mall located in historic Downtown, is a great place to go for people watching, boutique shopping, souvenir hunting, and dining.

It also has many art galleries and cafes. Boulder History Museum and the Farmers Market are also popular places to visit. 

If you love drinking tea, then you should definitely visit Celestial Seasonings.

This tea factory is located in Boulder and offers free factory tours for its visitors.

At the end of the tour, you can also sample many teas and purchase your favorites.

Loveland, located near Boulder, is also worth a visit for their gigantic love sculpture.

They are also famous for their Valentine re-mailing program and an outdoor sculpture garden.

Loveland makes a great Valentine’s Day getaway.

You can read more in our post on Best Things to do in Loveland, Colorado. 

A view of Flatirons in Boulder Colorado
A view of Flatirons in Boulder Colorado

Rocky Mountain National Park – 2 Days

After exploring Denver, leave for Colorado’s famous Rocky Mountain National Park.

The park’s eastern gateway city is Estes Park, a delightful mountain town surrounded by mountains and wildlife.

The park has spectacular scenery and is a must for outdoor enthusiasts and nature lovers. 

Once near the Rocky Mountains, you have a few options.

You can either spend a day in Estes Park or Grand Lake and a day in Rocky Mountain National Park or spend both days in the National Park.

We recommend spending some time in all three destinations and have listed attractions for all here.

This itinerary makes for a perfect Colorado summer road trip as the national park is blooming with wildflowers during the season. 

Things to do in Estes Park

Estes Park is the perfect gateway to stay and explore Colorado’s famous Rocky Mountain National Park.

Estes Park is located less than an hour away from the eastern entrance to the park.

It offers access to the most popular national park attractions on the eastern side of the Continental Divide, making it popular to visit even during the winter.  

The town itself is charming and considered among the best small towns in America.

It has many attractions including the Visitor Center, Estes Park Museum, Rocky Mountain Conservancy and Art Center.

You can also tour the famous Stanley Hotel, which served as the inspiration for the Overlook Hotel in Stephen King’s book ‘The Shining’. 

The main street in Estes Park is called Elkhorn Avenue.

We recommend walking along this street to explore candy stores, taffy shops, art galleries, and boutique stores.

This is also where you need to visit to rent outdoor gear for the park. 

Another popular attraction is the Estes Park Riverwalk which starts at the Visitor Center and follows the Fall River through the town.

Also must visit is Lake Estes where you can see many elk grazing around the shore. 

To read more about all the attractions in Estes Park including distilleries and wineries, read our post on 20 Delightful Things to do in Estes Park

Estes Park, Colorado
Estes Park, Colorado

Things to do in Rocky Mountain National Park

Rocky Mountain National Park is one of the most popular National Parks in the country.

The park has good wildlife sightings, many miles of hiking trails, beautiful mountain lakes, scenic drives, and many activities to satisfy outdoor enthusiasts. 

The most popular roads in the park are Bear Lake Road, Fall River Road, Peak to Peak Scenic Byway, and the Trail Ridge Road.

We recommend visiting Bear Lake Road, Fall River Road, and the attractions along the roads on your first day in the National Park. 

To reach Bear Lake Road, you will need to enter Rocky Mountain National Park through the Beaver Meadows Entrance from Estes Park.

Bear Lake Road has amazing views of the Continental Divide peaks.

You can also often spot a large elk herd near Moraine Park. 

Our favorite stop on Fall River Road is the Alluvial Fan trail, where you can hike to see giant boulders that washed down the mountain slopes in a major flood.

This is an easy hike and good for all skill levels. Posing on top of the giant boulders is popular with visitors. 

On your second day inside the Rocky Mountain National Park, drive the Trail Ridge Road.

This road has panoramic views over the national park and is stunning to drive.

There are many hikes and lookout points along the Trail Ridge road.

One of the most famous lookout points is Many Parks Curve Overlook.

From here, you can see a beautiful 360 view of the area.

The road also offers beautiful views of the Mummy Range of the Rockies.

The road is especially scenic in summer when wildflowers bloom all around you. 

If you are visiting between Memorial Day and September end, then the Trail Ridge Road is usually open and you can drive all the way across the Continental Divide to Grand Lake, the western gateway city for Rocky Mountain National Park. 

Rocky Mountains National Park, Colorado
Rocky Mountains National Park, Colorado

Things to do in Grand Lake

Grand Lake is the western gateway to Rocky Mountain National Park and its Alpine Visitor Center.

The distance between Estes Park and Grand Lake is about 50 miles long and takes about 2 to 3 hours depending on how many stops you take.

Located on the shores of Grand Lake and adjacent to Shadow Mountain Lake, this charming mountain town has plenty of attractions for all visitors.

We recommend taking a walking tour of the town and its historic structures including the wooden boardwalks. 

In the summer, water sports on the lake are a great way to cool down in the heat.

Grand Lake is the biggest lake in Colorado and is popular with kayakers, paddleboarders, and swimmers.

You can relax on the sandy beaches by its shore or rent a pontoon to spend a day on the water. 

In the winter, Grand Lake is a popular skiing and snowboarding destination.

Granby Ranch ski resort is one of the top ski resorts in Colorado.

Other popular winter activities include snowmobiling, snowshoeing, snow tubing, ice skating, and ice fishing.

Rocky Mountain National Park in winter

If you are visiting Colorado in winter or even in early spring, then you will find that the park is a winter wonderland.

The most popular activities in the park include skiing, snowshoeing, and hiking to frozen waterfalls.

This is a truly wonderful time to visit the park. 

Bear Lake is completely frozen and you can snowshoe or even go hiking in regular winter hiking boots around the lake.

Hidden Valley Sleigh Area on Trail Ridge Road is open and fun for skiers and sleighers of all ages. 

Trail Ridge Road itself is open only till Many Parks Curve Overlook in winter.

If you are visiting when the road is closed, then you can’t reach Grand Lake.

During this time we recommend taking the beautiful Peak to Peak Scenic Byway while exiting the park.

Drive along the byway towards Mt. Evans and take I-70 towards Breckenridge.

Some of the important attractions along the Peak to Peak Scenic Byway include Lily Lake, Longs Peak Scenic Byway, and the charming town of Nederland.

Whichever road you use to exit Rocky Mountain National Park, we recommend driving towards Mt. Evans / Breckenridge / Aspen for your next destination. 

Optional: Mt. Evans – 1 Day

If you are driving the Peak to Peak Scenic Byway during summer and have extra time, drive up Mt. Evans Scenic Byway to the famous”fourteener” peak of Mt. Evans.

A fourteener is basically a mountain peak with an elevation of 14,000 feet or more.

The Byway is open just from Memorial Day to Labor Day. 

Mt. Evans Scenic Byway is the highest paved road in America and is worth the trip.

The road can be dangerous to drive with switchbacks and turns.

The temperature drop at the top is staggering and we recommend carrying jackets even during summer.

This road is closed during the winter. 

The Byway begins at Idaho Springs which is at an elevation of 7526 feet and climbs up over 7000 feet to the peak in the distance of 28 miles.

You will need roughly an hour to drive the Byway.

The views from the drive are superb: you have a bird’s eye view over the Rockies and can spot a range of wildlife, wildflowers, and more.

The Continental Divide peaks can also be seen very well from the drive. 

The main attractions of the drive are Echo Lake, Mt. Goliath Natural Area, and Summit Lake.

Echo Lake, located at 10500 feet has picnic tables and is great to take a rest and acclimatize to the air.

At Mt. Goliath you can see protected bristlecone pine trees while at Summit Lake you can admire one of the highest lakes in the country.

At the top, you need to hike the last few feet on foot to reach the summit. The views from here are beautiful. 

There are two most important things to remember about the Byway: the air is very thin at the top, so take your time and keep sipping water to replenish the oxygen.

The other thing is that (as we mentioned before) Mt. Evans is always cold, so be sure to layer up and bring a jacket. On the way down, drive slowly and follow warning signs. 

After seeing Mt. Evans you can proceed to Aspen or take another break in Breckenridge, Colorado.

Optional: Hot Sulphur Springs and Frisco

If you are driving from Grand Lake towards Aspen or Breckenridge, then you will pass Hot Sulphur Springs.

This quiet town is most famous for its hot springs.

There is nothing better than soaking in the mineral springs followed by a spa massage after a day of skiing or snowshoeing.  

Another pit stop just before reaching Breckenridge is Frisco.

This small town is located less than 30 minutes away from 6 of Colorado’s most popular ski resorts making it very popular in the winter.

In summer, Frisco is popular for hiking and water activities.

Stroll through the charming Downtown, go thrifting, and step inside pubs and breweries. 

Hot Sulphur Springs Colorado
Hot Sulphur Springs Colorado

Optional: Breckenridge  – 1 Day

Breckenridge is one of America’s most popular ski towns.

Breckenridge’s resorts offer excellent skiing for all levels.

Other winter activities include dog sledding, snowshoeing, and ice fishing.

Breckenridge’s distillery is also popular to visit in the winter.

The town also has winter events including a snow sculpture competition. 

In summer, Breckenridge is a beautiful mountain town filled with outdoor activities.

Popular summer activities include hiking, fishing, searching for wildflowers and wildlife, camping, boating, and white water rafting.

You should also drive down the Boreas Pass Road, a 20-mile long scenic route that follows the Pacific Railroad.

It is particularly beautiful in the fall when the Aspens turn color.

Whichever season you visit, you must see Breckenridge Main Street.

This area is part of the Breckenridge National Historic District.

Breckenridge started as a mining town and on Main Street, you can see many historic landmarks and buildings from the Victorian times.

We recommend spending at least a day or two in Breckenridge to get a feel of the town.

Breckinridge Skyline Colorado
Breckinridge Skyline Colorado

Optional: Vail

Or instead of Grand Lake or Winter Park or Breckenridge, you can also choose to visit Vail.

Located within the White River National Forest, Vail is home to the Vail Ski Resort and has been Colorado’s top ski destination for decades.

But there are many other things to do in Vail besides skiing. 

Other popular winter activities include snowboarding, playing in the snow, sleighing, snowmobiling, snowshoeing, and taking in the dramatic winter landscape.

The holiday decorations make Vail postcard-perfect in the winter. 

In the summer, you can explore Vail Village and the adjacent Lionshead Village.

The architecture is distinctly European and shopping opportunities abound throughout the town.

Take a trip in the Vail gondola, which was the first gondola in the US!

Aspen and Maroon Bells – 1 Day

Finally, it’s time for the highlight of your Colorado road trip – Aspen and Maroon Bells area! 

Aspen located high up in the Rockies is a charming ski resort town. It offers year-round fun and is exceptionally popular during the holiday season.

Maroon Bells is the highlight of any trip to Colorado and ideally, you should not leave Colorado without visiting it. 

If you plan a winter Colorado road trip around skiing, then you will be delighted with Aspen.

The town is surrounded by 4 amazing ski areas, the most popular of which is Snowmass ski resorts.

Aspen is perfect for beginner to expert skiers.

The town also looks very pretty in the holiday season when lights and decor like wreaths and holiday displays are seen all over the town. 

In summer, you must take the beautiful scenic drive to Independence Pass.

This scenic road follows the peaks of the Continental Divide and is one of the highest roads in America.

The scenery all around is breathtaking and the short hike to the overlook has jaw-dropping views of the Continental Divide. 

Another essential in Aspen: taking the Silver Queen gondola up to  Aspen Mountain!

The views as you travel up to the top are breathtaking and the facilities at the top are worth the rather pricey tickets.

Downtown Aspen is also delightful for a stroll.

See the historic Wheeler Opera House and explore the charming buildings. 

Iconic Maroon Bells has the honor of being the most photographed place in Colorado.

The twin peaks of Maroon Bells are among Colorado’s fourteeners. The craggy, jagged peaks rising towards the sky, colorful mountain slopes, and placid Maroon Lake at the foothills all together make Maroon Bells one of the most beautiful places to visit in the USA. 

This spot is a photographer’s paradise, especially at sunrise and sunset. If you plan to visit Maroon Bells during these peak hours, we recommend arriving well in advance as the crowds can be overwhelming. Maroon Bells is also popular for hiking, wildlife watching, and camping. 

If you have the time, consider taking a trip to Glenwood Springs in Roaring Fork Valley. Located about an hour’s drive northwest of Aspen, Glenwood Springs is famous for its natural hot springs. Here you can relax and soak in the bubbling hot spring pools and be thrilled to know that even President Teddy Roosevelt came here to relax!  

Maroon Bells, Aspen Colorado
Maroon Bells, Aspen Colorado

Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park – 1 Day

Located in the Western part of the state, Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park is one of the most underrated national parks in Colorado. The Park has a spectacular dramatic landscape and is full of steep cliffs, sharp spires, and valleys that seem to disappear into their own depths. A product of weathering and erosion carried out by the Gunnison River, Black Canyon is beautiful in its stunning wilderness. 

The National Park has stunning scenic drives and hiking trails along the rim to explore its beauty. The rim trails are of varying difficulty level: many are family-friendly and great for kids including the Cedar Point Nature Trail on South Rim. One essential trail is the Painted Wall View trail which has great views of the canyon walls.

We recommend driving along both the South Rim Road and North Rim Road to see different views of the canyon. Drive along the scenic hairpin bends of the East Portal Road towards the Gunnison River. The view of the canyon walls as you descend into the canyon is fantastic. 

For experienced hikers, rock climbers, and kayakers, the Inner Canyon holds special attractions. You need a wilderness permit to access this area and need to be experienced and prepared to explore here. The Inner Canyon is truly remote and recommended only for expert outdoor explorers. You can climb down to the river, go rock climbing up the canyon walls, or even go rafting in the water. 

Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park also has abundant wildlife. On a visit, you can spot mule deer, elk, bighorn sheep, coyotes, and even an occasional mountain lion or black bear! Other activities in the park include fishing, camping, and stargazing. Many of the park activities, the North Rim Road, and certain parts of the South Rim Road are closed in the winter so we recommend looking at the park website before planning a winter trip. 

A tourist gazing at the Granite Cliffs of the Black Canyon
A tourist gazing at the Granite Cliffs of the Black Canyon

Optional: Telluride – 1 Day

Telluride is a charming small town set in the Colorado Rockies. Located in the southwest part of the state, Telluride is also one of the most popular ski resorts in Colorado. It has world-class ski slopes and has hundreds of trails for all difficulty levels. The Telluride ski resort offers family fun during the winter. 

Telluride has an interesting history. It has its origins as a small Victorian mining town. Its historic downtown district has several well-preserved buildings in the Late Victorian and Gothic Revival style of architecture. Several of them are located on and around Colorado Street, the main street of Telluride.

Some of the prominent landmarks to watch out for include the Telluride Historical Museum, New Sheridan Hotel, Sheridan Opera House, San Miguel County Courthouse, St Patrick’s Catholic Church, and The Rio Grande Southern Railway Depot. We recommend taking a self-guided walk through the historic buildings and understanding Telluride’s history. 

Telluride also enjoys a unique location. It is located inside a box canyon and is surrounded by steep mountain slopes. The hills surrounding Telluride look breathtaking in the fall when leaves change color. For a beautiful panoramic view of the area, we recommend taking the Telluride Gondola up to the pretty European style town, Mountain Village. The ride is over 10 minutes long and offers one of a kind experience year-round. 

The 365 foot tall Bridal Veil Falls are another primary highlight of Telluride. The hike to the fall is a bit steep but pleasant and worth the effort. Telluride has many other popular hiking trails including Bear Creek Trail, Jud Wiebe Trail, and the Telluride Trail. For a tranquil walk, consider visiting the Town Park. 

Mesa Verde National Park – 1 Day

Mesa Verde National Park located in Southwest Colorado is one of America’s UNESCO World Heritage Sites. The park is famous for its unique history and has been home to the Anasazi Indians and their striking cliff dwellings for thousands of years. 

Touring these extremely well-preserved cliff dwellings is one of the highlights of Mesa Verde National Park. There are over 4000 archeological sites inside the park however only a few of them are open to the public on ranger-led guided tours. The two most famous dwellings are Cliff Palace and Balcony House. 

Cliff Palace is vast and immense and has over 150 rooms. The Balcony House has 40 rooms and is also amazing to see. The tours involve climbing down steps and ladders, so wear hiking boots and be prepared for an adventure. Tickets to both the time tours have to be purchased separately and well in advance of your visit. 

We also recommend hiking in Mesa Verde National Park. The hikes will take you deep within the canyons and the protected ecosystems of the park. Petroglyph Point Trail is one of the popular trails. It is around 2.5 miles round-trip and leads to many petroglyphs created by the Anasazi people. 

Another must-see site inside the park is the Chapin Mesa Museum. Here you will find archeological remains, interactive exhibits, historic information, and Native American arts and crafts. The museum is an excellent place to learn about the pueblo culture. 

We also recommend driving along Mesa Verde’s scenic drives: Mesa Top Loop and Cliff Palace Loop. Along the drives, you will find archeological sites, trailheads, overlooks, and stunning landscapes. The best time to visit Mesa Verde is during summer to fall, we recommend checking the park for closures during winter. 

Point Lookout at Mesa Verde National Park
Point Lookout at Mesa Verde National Park

Optional: Durango – 1 Day

After visiting Mesa Verde National Park, you can either head to Great Sand Dunes National Park or take a detour to Durango or Pagosa Springs. 

Durango is one of the popular places to visit in Colorado for multiple reasons.

The charming town has something to offer for all types of tourists: whether you are an outdoor enthusiast or cultural traveler. In winter, it is famous for the Purgatory Ski Resort. 

The #1 tourist attraction in Durango is the Silverton-Durango Railroad.

This narrow-gauge route is very scenic and offers breathtaking panoramas as it travels through a narrow canyon.

The train has vintage carriages and an authentic steam engine, adding to the fun of the ride.

Keep aside an entire day to enjoy this spectacular train ride. 

The town of Durango itself is pretty charming. A major part of it is preserved as the historic district and dates back to the late 19th century. On a stroll along Main Avenue, you can see several historic buildings including the grand Strater Hotel among other landmark buildings. Also worth visiting is the free Railroad Museum. 

If you have extra time, consider driving along the San Juan Scenic Byway which connects Durango to Telluride. The 230 miles road crosses three mountain passes, goes through the San Juan National Forest, and offers some of the best views in Colorado. A part of the road from Silverton to Ouray is known as the Million Dollar Highway. 

Alternatively, after visiting Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park, you can also drive the San Juan Scenic Byway from Telluride to Durango, and then visit Mesa Verde National Park before heading back to Colorado Springs.

San Juan Scenic Byway between Telluride and Durango, Colorado
San Juan Scenic Byway between Telluride and Durango, Colorado

Optional: Pagosa Springs – 1 Day

Located in the San Juan Mountain ranges, Pagosa Springs is one of the most underrated towns in Colorado.

With its hot springs, hiking trails, wilderness areas, waterfalls, lakes, fishing, camping, mountain biking, and more, Pagosa Springs is a paradise for outdoor lovers. 

After spending a day outdoors, you can relax in the hot springs and visit the area’s breweries.

If it gets too hot, you can spend the day cooling off in the San Juan River.

The river runs through downtown and is popular for river tubing, kayaking, and fishing. 

While in Pagosa Springs, we recommend taking the ride to Treasure Falls.

Not only is this 100-foot tall waterfall beautiful, but the route itself is super scenic.

The views from West Fork Valley Overlook are incredible while at Wolf Creek Pass, you are right on top of the Continental Divide! 

Great Sand Dunes National Park – 1 Day

One of the highlights of a Colorado road trip is the suddenness with which the landscape changes.

Nowhere is this more prominent than in the Great Sand Dunes National Park. 

Colorado’s Great Sand Dunes National Park has some of the highest and tallest sand dunes in America.

The tallest dune here, Star Dune, is over 750 feet high! One of the favorite visitor activities in the park is to climb to the top of the sand dunes and sled down its slopes. Be sure to rent sleds or sand boards in Alameda, which is the gateway town for the park prior to your visit. 

The sand dunes are also popular with photographers. The ripples look striking against the sand and photograph really well. To take the best photographs, either hike to the top of the tallest dunes or hike really deep into the dunes to where the ripples are undisturbed by human feet. The dunes look especially beautiful at sunset when the sand glows under the orange sky. 

The park also has picnic tables, well-maintained hiking trails, campgrounds, and spectacular scenic drives. Because of its remote location away from most major cities, the park also has great stargazing opportunities. 

If you have a true 4WD vehicle, then you must definitely drive the Medano Pass Road. This primitive road is 22 miles long and full of soft sand, so even AWDs get stuck here. The road has many creek crossings, goes along primitive campsites, and takes you deeper into the wilderness. 

If you visit in spring or early summer, then the Medano Creek will be flowing which transforms the park into a water park for the kids! We recommend taking swimsuits and towels during this time. The kids can enjoy splashing in the water and building sandcastles. 

The park basically feels like a giant beach, especially when the Medano Creek is flowing and provides a fun experience for the whole family. In spite of this, Great Sand Dunes National Park continues to be one of the less-visited national parks in the country, and you are guaranteed a crowd-free time! 

Colorado Springs – 2 Days

Colorado Springs is a must-stop on any Colorado road trip for its stunning natural beauty. It is located on the Front Range of the Rocky Mountains and is just 1.5 hrs away from Denver. You will find a range of cultural as well as natural attractions in Colorado Springs, hence we recommend spending a minimum of 2 days in this resort city. 

One of the must-visit attractions here is the Garden of the Gods. This nature area is famous for its unique red sandstone formations and is extremely photogenic. We recommend driving the scenic drive and doing a few hikes to explore the beautiful landscape. If possible, visit the Garden of the Gods during the golden hours of sunlight or sunset for epic photos. While you are there, visit the Rock Ledge Ranch Historic area. 

The second most visited attraction in Colorado Springs is Pikes Peak mountain. To reach the summit, you need to drive along the Pikes Peak Highway, a 19-mile scenic drive with multiple pullouts, lakes, and picnic areas. From the parking lot, you can take a shuttle to the peak or better, take the Pike’s Peak Cog Railway to the top. This is the highest railway in the country and has the most frequent runs during the summer season. 

Garden Of The Gods Colorado
Garden Of The Gods Colorado

7 Day Colorado Road Trip

Our one week Colorado itinerary is perfect if you have just about 7 days to see the state. With just 7 days in hand, we would recommend focusing on Denver and the surrounding area of Colorado Springs. 

Spend a couple of days in Denver, enjoy the downtown and museums, and have lunch at the city’s finest restaurants. Then spend a day either in Boulder or Golden followed by a couple of days in Rocky Mountain National Park. 

Enjoy the mountain scenery in the park, go hiking and see the mountain lakes, and spot iconic Rockies wildlife including elks and deer. Drive the Trail Ridge Road and visit the gateway cities of Estes Park and Grand Lake.

Then head down to Colorado Springs and see the beautiful landscape of the Garden of the Gods. Take the cog railway up to Pikes Peak. If you have more time, then visit the Great Sand Dunes National Park.

4 Day Colorado Road Trip

Are you short on time? You can also cover the highlights of this colorful state in a 4 or 5 Day Colorado Road Trip. We recommend starting this 5 day road trip from Denver and seeing the Rockies or Colorado Springs. Spend a day or two each in the Mile High City followed by a couple of days in either Estes Park or Colorado Springs.

Another option for a 4 day itinerary is to visit the southwestern part of the state. Start your trip in Durango, drive the San Juan Scenic Byway to Telluride, and then visit the famous Mesa Verde National Park. 

For a short winter road trip, consider basing yourself in Frisco and checking out the surrounding mountain towns and ski resorts in Vail, Aspen, Durango, and Grand Lake. This makes a great trip for Christmas or Thanksgiving when the towns look straight out of a fairytale due to the holiday decor. This also makes for a great romantic Valentine’s Day Colorado road trip.  

Two to Three week Colorado Road Trip

If you have two to three weeks to spend in Colorado, then you can easily see most parts of the state. Here are some sights to add to your Colorado itinerary for a longer trip. Most of these stops are located between Grand Lake / Aspen and Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park in the western part of the state.

Hanging Lake

Hanging Lake, located in Glenwood Canyon, near Glenwood Springs is one of the most beautiful places in Colorado. The lake looks almost ephemeral with its multiple waterfalls and emerald water. To reach Hanging Lake, you need to hike a 3-miles long moderate trail. We recommend keeping aside half a day to explore Hanging Lake at your leisure. 

Hanging Lake Colorado
Hanging Lake Colorado

Glenwood Springs

Colorado’s resort city, Glenwood Springs is famous for its hot springs. The city enjoys beautiful mountain scenery due to its location in the Rocky Mountain ranges and the White River National Forest. 

Stay in the beautiful Glenwood Hot Springs Resort and enjoy a luxury spa vacation. Dine in Glenwood Springs restaurants and enjoy the charming vibe of this small town. 

Glenwood Springs is also famous for its outdoor excursions into the scenic Glenwood Canyon, hiking trails, wildlife viewing, Glenwood Caverns tours, and the kid-friendly Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park. 

White River National Forest, Colorado
White River National Forest, Colorado

Grand Junction

If you love drinking wine and touring wineries, then you are going to love Grand Junction!

Located on the western slope of the Rockies, the climate here is perfect for growing grapevines.

You can take a tour of the wineries and enjoy tastings while in Grand Junction.

Apart from the wineries, there are many things to do in Grand Junction.

Explore the charming downtown and nearby attractions including the Avalon Theatre, the Museums of Western Colorado, and the Dinosaur Journey Museum.

Also, check out the Art on the Corner outdoor sculpture gallery in downtown.

For outdoor lovers take a drive along the Grand Mesa Scenic Byway in Grand Mesa National Forest.

The drive has many overlooks and pull-outs from which you can enjoy breathtaking views.

There are also many hiking trails in the area. 

Colorado National Monument

Colorado National Monument is one of Colorado’s most photographed attractions.

The monument is famous for its iconic red and orange natural rock formations.

Located less than an hour away from Grand Junction in the small town of Fruita, Colorado National Monument is a must-visit if you are in this area.

This enchanting landscape of canyons, sandstone towers, spires, and juniper trees is best explored by driving along the Rim Rock Drive.

The route is 23 miles long and takes visitors to striking rock formations such as the Pipe Organ, Praying Hands, and Kissing Couple. 

You will also have memorable wildlife encounters in the park and can hike among the sandstone formations.

Some of the exposed rocks here are almost as old as the earth itself!

For an easy hike, go along the Devil’s Kitchen Trail; for a challenging hike that takes you close to iconic formations, try the 5 miles long Monument Canyon Trail. 

Another great National Park site to add to your Colorado road trip map after visiting Mesa Verde National Park is the Canyons of the Ancients National Monument. 

Colorado National Monument Park
Colorado National Monument Park

Canyons of the Ancients National Monument

There is something magical about the Canyons of the Ancients National Monument in southwestern Colorado. Here you will find more archeological sites than at any other place in the country. You can find cliff dwellings, petroglyphs, kivas, and ceremonial platforms. 

This area was once home to the Anasazi Indians around 1500 BC. They built elaborate multi-room cliff dwellings, similar to the ones at Mesa Verde, and also left behind many other artifacts and artwork. Start your visit at the Visitor Center and Museum and learn more about Anasazi culture. 

Lowry Pueblo is one of the most popular cliff dwellings in the park. It has 40 rooms and is fascinating to see. There are many other pueblos, hiking trails, and kivas worth seeing in the monument. Also worth visiting is the nearby Hovenweep National Monument on the Colorado Utah border. 

Four Corners Monument

If you are traveling as far as Mesa Verde and Canyons of the Ancients in southwestern Colorado, then we recommend making time for Four Corners Monument. 

This is one of the unique geographic points in the country where the 4 states of Arizona, Utah, New Mexico, and Colorado meet. There is a marker here depicting the boundaries and you can take a photo with a limb in each state! 

Visiting Four Corners Monument is a truly one of a kind experience. The shops surrounding the marker are great to purchase Native American souvenirs like dream catchers and other handicrafts. The Native fry bread that we are here has also been one of the best we have ever tasted! 

Besides these, Colorado has many other beautiful towns and places to visit including Canon City, Buena Vista, Steamboat Springs, Dinosaur National Monument, Lyons, and more.

Read our post on the Most Beautiful Places to Visit in Colorado for more ideas. 

Many times you will be close to the Utah border as you explore Colorado, and attractions such as Arches National Park will be pretty close.

If you get the temptation to continue to Utah, then you can also check our comprehensive post on the Ultimate Colorado Utah road trip itinerary. 

As you travel towards Four Corners, we definitely understand the urge to visit Monument Valley or the Grand Canyon.

Check out our Las Vegas Grand Canyon road trip itinerary to continue on an American Southwest road trip. 

Four Corners USA
Four Corners USA

We hope you liked our post on the Epic Colorado Road Trip Itinerary.

What was the favorite part of your Colorado road trip? When are you planning to visit Colorado?

Let us know in the comments!

19 Amazing Things to do in Oregon

Oregon Flag wooden sign

Planning an Oregon vacation and looking for the best places to visit in the Beaver State?

From Cannon Beach to Mt. Hood and Portland to Bend, Oregon has numerous attractions that are worth visiting at least once.

Find the best things to do and the best things to see in Oregon in this epic guide.

Oregon is one of the best states to road trip in the United States of America.

Located in the Pacific Northwest, it is known for its diverse culture, beautiful coastline, and mossy green enchanted forest vistas!

The state’s northern boundary with Washington is marked by the River Columbia while the Snake river outlines its eastern boundary with Idaho.

On its south is the state of California. Oregon has varied landscapes of sea stacks, towering mountains, tall redwoods, hot springs, and densely forested woods.

U.S Highway 101 runs parallel to the Pacific Coast in coastal Oregon and offers access to unique coastal vistas.

Fun Fact: Fur trade was a big portion of Oregon’s economy during the early times; hence the name ‘Beaver State’! Beaver is also the state animal of Oregon and protected and admired for its qualities of intelligence and ingenuity. The beaver also flies high on the flag of Oregon.

Aerial of Pacific Ocean in Oregon, Highway 101
Aerial of Pacific Ocean in Oregon, Highway 101

Oregon is also one of the most underrated states in the Western USA.

Overshadowed by the sunny beaches of California and the evergreen forests of Washington State, Oregon is not on the bucket list of that many visitors.

However, the state offers a unique range of must see Oregon attractions from the vibrant city of Portland to the breweries in Bend.

Visitors can enjoy beautiful natural attractions like the Columbia River Gorge and Cape Perpetua Scenic Area along the Oregon Coast.

The state’s eastern region has high deserts and stark landscapes while the Willamette River Valley is filled with lush wineries. 

“Oregon is an inspiration. Whether you come to it, or are born to it, you become entranced by our state’s beauty, the opportunity she affords, and the independent spirit of her citizens.”
– the late Oregon Governor Tom McCall

360 degree spherical view of the sunset on Oregon coast
360 degree spherical view of the sunset on Oregon coast

Best Things to do in Oregon State

Oregon is a year-round destination and has plenty of things to do whenever you visit.

The state is perfect for baby boomers to the millennials and should be on everyone’s travel bucket list.

In the summer, you can take scenic road trips and enjoy biking around Oregon while in winter you can snowshoe or go skiing near Mt. Hood.

Oregon has unique attractions for everyone including art lovers, foodies, beer enthusiasts, adventure lovers, and even Shakespeare fans!

Here is an epic list of things to do in the Beaver State. 

Also Read:
Portland to San Francisco Road Trip Itinerary
Best Things to do in Washington State

Explore the weird vibe of Portland

Vibrant Portland is located in the shadow of snow-capped Mount Hood.

It is known for its hip and eccentric vibe.

The city’s slogan is ‘Keep Portland Weird’ and Portland does a great job with its maple bacon doughnuts, the underground Shanghai tunnels, tiny Mills End Park which has a single tree, a haunted castle in the center of an urban forest, and eclectic stores!

Portland has a variety of sightseeing attractions for tourists including museums, bridges, gardens, and urban parks including Washington Park.

The city’s gardens – Japanese Garden, Lan Su Chinese Garden, International Rose Test Garden – are beautiful and great for a stroll.

The world’s largest independent bookstore, Powell’s City of Books, is located in Portland. 

The beautiful Tom McCall Waterfront Park and many bridges are great for biking around the city – and Portland is known as one of the most bikeable cities in the USA.

The city is also famous for its restaurants, cafes, and food trucks and eating is one of the popular past times while in Portland.

Portland Children’s Museum, also located in Washington Park, is a must-visit for families and one of the most fun things to do in Oregon for kids.

Read our post on the Best Things to do in Portland for more information. 

Beautiful View of Portland, Oregon
Beautiful View of Portland, Oregon

Take in the beauty of the Columbia River Gorge

The Columbia River Gorge National Scenic Area is one of the best places to visit in Oregon.

It is located just half an hour away from Portland and makes the perfect day trip from the city.

The deep canyon follows the course of the Columbia River Gorge which is the boundary between Oregon and Washington.

The area attracts over 2 million visitors every year. 

The Columbia River Gorge has a lot of gorgeous waterfalls including the famous Multnomah Falls, Horsetail Falls, and Punchbowl Falls.

Hiking the waterfalls and other trails located along the gorge are a major tourist attraction of the area.

The Columbia River Gorge area also has many historic landmarks and small towns like Troutdale and Hood River. 

The best way to explore the Columbia River Gorge is via a drive along the Historic Columbia River Scenic Byway.

Most of the waterfalls and trailheads are located along the scenic byway.

Things to do in the gorge include hiking, sightseeing, camping, and bicycling. 

This is a slow shutter shot of Multnomah Falls in Autumn colors.
Multnomah Falls in Autumn colors, Oregon

Photograph the stunning Multnomah Falls

Multnomah Falls in the Columbia River Gorge deserves a special mention.

It is one of the most beautiful places to visit in the country and a must do in Oregon!

Visitors can drive along the Historic Columbia River Highway from Portland to reach the beautiful Multnomah Falls.

The waterfall is located just a 30-minute drive from the city and is a perfect day trip in Oregon. 

At a height of 620 feet, Multnomah Falls is the tallest waterfall in Oregon.

The waterfall has two drops and magnificent cascades over the cliffs.

The upper falls plunge from a height of 552 ft into a pool while the lower falls drop by a height of 69 ft.

Visitors can hike a moderate 2.2 miles trail to reach the top of the falls. 

However, the best way to see in the gorgeous falls is from the Benson Bridge which is located overlooking the first drop.

Multnomah Falls is a year-round attraction.

Falls look spectacular with the backdrop of fall foliage in autumn while some winters they freeze to form a spectacular winter wonderland.

Other attractions at the Falls include the visitor center located inside the Multnomah Falls Lodge. 

Multnomah Falls and bridge, in the Columbia River Gorge
Multnomah Falls and bridge, in the Columbia River Gorge

Hike in Mount Hood National Forest

Mount Hood is the stratovolcano that provides a beautiful backdrop to the Portland Skyline.

Mount Hood and the surrounding area are protected under the Mount Hood National Forest.

It can be easily reached in under 2 hours from Portland and the drive passes through the beautiful Columbia River Gorge.

One of the best ways to experience the Mount Hood National Forest is via the Mount Hood Scenic Loop which comprises the Historic River Columbia Scenic Byway. 

The National Forest also has many mountain lakes and hiking trails.

The Trillium Lake loop trail is 2 miles long while the Lost Lake trail passes through old-growth forest.

Another popular attraction is the Mirror Lake trail which has beautiful views of the mountain peaks.

The Timberline Lodge and ski area is a popular attraction during winter for its ski lifts and a variety of beginner and advanced ski runs.

Definitely add the winter activities to your Oregon to do list!

Mount Hood in Oregon, USA
Mount Hood in Oregon, USA

Drive the scenic Rim Drive at Crater Lake National Park

Crater Lake is the only national park in the state and a must see in Oregon for its natural beauty.

The stunning blue lake attracts visitors from all over the world to the National Park located in Eastern Oregon.

Crater Lake is one of the deepest lakes in the world and was formed by the volcanic eruption of Mount Mazama thousands of years ago.

The volcano erupted and then collapsed to form the caldera which filled with water to form Crater Lake.

The lake is 1949 feet deep and famous for its deep color and water clarity. 

Summer is the most popular time to visit the National Park as the lake is at its bluest then.

The best way to see the lake is to drive along the scenic rim drive which has beautiful views of the lake from different sides.

It has many pullouts and trailheads to get even closer to the lake.

Popular summer activities include hiking, biking, camping, and swimming in the national Park.

Visitors can take a boat tour to Wizard Island located inside Crater Lake. 

The lake doesn’t look as blue during winter but the contrast with the surrounding snow peaks is stunning.

The Crater Lake Rim Drive is closed during winter but some areas near the park are open to four-wheel-drive vehicles.

Winter activities at Mount Rainier National Park include skiing, sledding, snowshoeing, and playing in the snow. 

Crater Lake Reflection Blue Lake Morning Oregon
Crater Lake Reflection Blue Lake Morning Oregon

Understand the history of Oregon in Astoria

Astoria, a coastal seaport, is the oldest city founded in Oregon.

Astoria is strategically located on the banks of the Columbia River where it meets the Pacific Ocean.

It was the port of entry for the Pacific Northwest and one of the important cities along the coast.

Today, Astoria is a great place for a day trip or weekend getaway along the Oregon coast.

Because of its age and importance, there are many historical attractions located in Astoria.

To see murals depicting the city’s history and beautiful views, head up to the Astoria Column.

Columbia River Maritime Museum is good to learn about Astoria’s shipping, fishing, and military past.

The Flavel House Museum is famous for its period furniture and Queen Anne Victorian architecture.

In nearby Fort Clatsop, you will get information about the Lewis and Clark expedition. 

Astoria is a great place to visit for movie buffs.

Many movies have been filmed in Astoria including the 80’s classic – the Goonies, the Ring 2, Kindergarten Cop, etc.

You can get information about the movies set in the city and other parts of the state at the Oregon Film Museum located in Astoria.

The museum is set in a former jail and is a historic building.

Astoria-Megler Bridge, Astoria, Oregon
Astoria-Megler Bridge, Astoria, Oregon

See the Twilight filming locale at Cannon Beach

What to see in Oregon USA for film lovers? Head to Cannon Beach!

With its stunning sea stacks and views up the foggy coast, Cannon Beach is one of the most romantic destinations in the country.

However, you would be surprised to know that Cannon Beach is not actually the name of a beach but a coastal city in Oregon.

The city has a beautiful location between the Pacific Ocean and the mountain ranges.

The coastline here is full of gorgeous sea stacks and wide beaches.

The most popular sea stack is Haystack Rock which is 235 ft tall.

To get the most iconic view of Cannon Beach – with Haystack Rock in the focus – drive to Indian Beach in Ecola State Park.

Cannon Beach is also a popular filming locale. Many movies including the Goonies, Point Break, and Twilight were filmed here. 

There are many other things to do in the city of Cannon Beach.

Visit the Cannon Beach History Center in Museum to understand the history of the area.

Hike to the beautiful Tillamook Rock Lighthouse and enjoy the pretty views.

Explore the many art galleries in the city including Northwest by Northwest, White Bird Gallery, and Bronze Coast gallery.

Eat fresh seafood and enjoy the quintessential beach town experience. 

Looking for unusual things to do on Oregon coast? Hike to Tillamook head and enjoy views of the terrible Tilly lighthouse!

Also Read: The Ultimate Hiking Guide to Cannon Beach, Oregon

Cannon beach, Oregon
Cannon beach, Oregon

Visit the breweries in Bend

Bend, located on the Deschutes River, is a must-visit city in Oregon for craft beer lovers.

There are over 15 breweries located in and around Bend and the city even has its own Ale trail.

You will also find wineries and cideries in Bend.

Another great attraction is the High Desert Museum where you can see many exhibits about the desert environment, history, and wildlife.

Hike up to Pilot Butte to see the extinct volcano and beautiful views of Bend from above.

Bend is also the perfect getaway town for exploring Oregon outdoors.

To experience the natural volcanic landscape surrounding Bend, visit the Newberry National Volcanic Monument.

Another great option is Lava Butte where you can hike to the top of the cinder cone.

Drive along the 66 miles long Cascade Lakes Scenic byway for amazing views.

In the winter, Bend is popular for the ski resorts and snowshoe trails located in the Cascade mountains. 

Tour the Oregon State Capitol at Salem

Salem is the capital of Oregon and known for its scenic beauty.

A must visit while in the city is the Oregon State Capitol.

Visitors can take a free tour of the capitol and understand the history of the state, the state legislature, as well as see art by local artists.

Art lovers should also visit the Hallie Ford Museum of Art which has artwork by Pacific Northwest and Native American artists.

Salem has many other museums including the Bush House Museum and the Willamette Heritage Center.

Visitors can also tour the Historic Deepwood Estate, which is a gorgeous Queen Anne style mansion. 

Downtown Salem is charming and worth a quick stroll.

The city also has many gardens and parks including the vast Bush’s Pasture Park.

The Willamette Valley Cheese Company is also located in Salem and is a great place to visit for foodies.

Families love to visit Salem’s Riverfront Carousel which has beautiful wooden horses.

The city hosts the Salem Film Festival, which is one of the biggest and the best film festivals in the world.

Salem is located in the Willamette Valley and is a great place to explore the surrounding wineries.

State capitol building Salem Oregon
State capitol building Salem Oregon

Enjoy harvest season at the Willamette Valley Wineries

Oregon’s Willamette Valley has the perfect combination of weather, sunshine, and rainfall for wine growing.

The 150-mile long valley is home to over 500 wineries and is a popular tourist attraction.

It is located just under half an hour from Portland.

The best time to visit the Willamette Valley is during the harvest season from September to November.

The valley is especially famous for the Pinot noir grapes. 

Visitors can tour the wineries, go wine tasting, and experience traditions such as grapes stomping.

Along with the wineries Willamette Valley also has many gourmet restaurants and a diverse culinary scene.

Apart from the wineries, there are many other things to do in Willamette Valley.

The valley has many hiking trails. Biking and hot air balloon rides are also popular during the summer and fall. 

Go whale watching along the Samuel H. Boardman State Scenic Corridor

The Samuel H Boardman State Scenic corridor is a byway located between Brookings and Gold Beach on the southern Oregon coast.

All along the byway, you will have beautiful views of the Pacific Ocean and the Oregon coast.

Sunrises and sunsets along the corridor are especially scenic.

To access the byway, travel along US Highway 101.

The road is 12 miles long and passes through thick Sitka spruce forests, coastal bluffs, and hidden beaches.

While this drive is short, most of the attractions lie beyond the road.

That’s why we recommend parking at the trailheads and hiking to scenic viewpoints and geological formations.

Some of the most popular viewpoints are Cape Ferrelo Viewpoint and House Rock Viewpoint.

A must-visit attraction is the series of 7 arch rocks known as the Natural Bridges.

All along the corridor, you can spot wildlife including migrating whales. 

Also Read: Best Hiking Trails on the Oregon Coast

See the wax statues at Newport

Newport, on the Oregon coast, has its own charm.

It has an interesting mix of outdoor coastal attractions and funky cultural destinations.

Located on the Yaquina Bay,  Newport is a destination in itself and worth a weekend getaway.

Start at the Historic Bayfront district where you can walk along the water’s edge, spot sea lions, and smell the ocean.

Then take a tour of the Yaquina Head lighthouse, which is probably the most photographed lighthouse along the Oregon Coast.

Newport also has many attractions for families.

The most popular is the Oregon Coast Aquarium where kids can see harbor seals, sharks, sea turtles, sea lions, and more.

The undersea Gardens are a popular place to watch marine life while diving and snorkeling.

The Wax Works is another unique Newport attraction where you can see wax figures of celebrities, superheroes, and villains – it’s like Madame Tussauds but creepier!

Newport also has a Ripley’s Believe It or Not museum and is a great place to spend a day or two. 

Newport, Oregon, USA
Newport, Oregon, USA

Go off-roading at Oregon Dunes National Recreation Area

Located in Florence, Oregon Dunes National Recreation Area is a part of Siuslaw National Forest.

They are the largest coastal expanse of coastal sand dunes in the country and stretch for over 40 miles along the coast.

The area has really massive dunes with some dunes being over 500 feet in height.

The dunes are created over thousands of years of wind erosion on the coast.

The dunes are a major tourist attraction and people from all over the state visit the area to enjoy this unique landscape.

Popular activities include off-roading, sandboarding, hiking, and camping.

Water activities in the area include fishing and canoeing.

The dunes look beautiful at sunset and sunrise and are a paradise for photographers. 

Oregon Sand Dunes
Oregon Sand Dunes

Experience the cultural attractions of Eugene

After Portland, Eugene is the cultural heart of Oregon.

The city is known for its arts and museums.

Art lovers must visit the Jordan Schnitzer Museum of Art at the University of Oregon campus.

The museum has a vast Asian Arts, Pacific Northwestern Art, and European Art collection.

The Hult Centre for Performing Arts is home to the Eugene Opera, Eugene Concert Choir, Eugene Ballet, and Eugene Symphony.

Attending a performance at the Hult Center is one of the musts in Eugene.

Museum of Natural and Cultural History, also located on the university campus, has detailed exhibits about fossils, wildlife dioramas, etc. 

Eugene also has vast outdoor spaces and urban parks.

The largest park in the city, Alton Baker Park, has many hiking and biking trails that connect the Willamette River from both sides.

Kayaking in the park is also popular.

Hendricks Park is another garden worth visiting for its rhododendrons.

A hidden gem is the Cascade Raptor Centre, one of the most underrated places in Oregon.

The center treats and heals injured birds including eagles, hawks, and falcons.

The center is kid-friendly and loved by kids. 

See Thor’s Well at Cape Perpetua

Cape Perpetua is located 15 minutes away from Yachats on the central Oregon coast.

The natural area is a part of the Siuslaw National Forest.

There are many amazing experiences in the scenic area.

The Visitor Center has many exhibits and the rangers can guide you about hiking trails and wildlife sightings including whales, sea otters, and seals.

If you happen to be in Cape Perpetua at sunset then you will be able to see really spectacular colors in the sky. 

A must visit in the area is the Cape Perpetua Lookout.

The overlook is 800 feet high and has amazing views down the coast.

Cape Perpetua also has many great geological formations including Thor’s Well, Devil’s Churn, and Spouting Chasm.

These unique geological formations are some of the best things to see in Oregon.

The area also has many tidepools that are perfect for families looking to explore tide pool creatures.

Cape Perpetua also has many hiking trails and is one of the most fun things to do on the Oregon coast.

Dramatic sunset at Thor's Well in Cape Perpetua Scenic Area
Dramatic sunset at Thor’s Well in Cape Perpetua Scenic Area

Step inside the Oregon Caves

Oregon Caves National Monument and Preserve is located in the Siskiyou Mountains near the California-Oregon border.

This is one of the most underrated national parks destinations in the state.

The monument is located near Cave Junction.

Visitors can see the caves on a guided tour with the park rangers. 

The tours usually last for 90 minutes and on the tour, you can learn about the cave system and the geology of the area.

You will pass through the beautiful marble cave, go spelunking, walk along dark twisting passages, and see bats.

Apart from the caves, the monument also has hiking trails including the Big Tree Loop trail. 

You can see sea lions sunning themselves at the sea lion caves.

Marvel at the colorful landscape at Painted Hills

The John Day Fossil Beds National Monument is located in eastern Oregon and consists of 3 distinct park units: Painted Hills, Clarno, and Sheep Rocks.

The park preserves fossils of plants and animals that lived in the area between 5 to 45 million years ago.

The monument is named after a 19th-century fur trader John Day and is a great place to visit for history buffs. 

The monument has diverse terrains of badlands, shrublands, and desert landscapes – definitely one of the best things in Oregon for those who like off-the-beaten-path attractions.

Visitors can see a variety of fossils on the designated trails.

Many prehistoric Native American petroglyph sites are also located around the monument.

Painted Hills is definitely the most beautiful and fascinating park unit.

Here you can find colorful hills and fossil trails.

To reach Painted Hills, drive along the Journey Through Time Scenic Byway as a day trip from Bend.  

Views of the arid and colorful landscape of Painted Hills
Views of the arid and colorful landscape of Painted Hills

Step in footsteps of the pioneers in Baker City

The Oregon Trail is an over 2170 miles long route that the first settlers used to travel west from Missouri to Oregon’s Willamette Valley in the early 19th century.

The pioneers, miners, fur trappers, and homesteaders traveled on the Oregon Trail by foot or in horse wagons.

The National Oregon Trail Interpretive Center in Baker City enjoys a prominent location on Flagstaff Hill and overlooks over 6 miles of the trail. 

The center serves as an excellent museum about the Oregon Trail and is amongst the top places to see in Oregon.

It has many exhibits, interactive demonstrations, and video clips that narrate life on the historic trail.

The museum takes you back to the 1820s when the pioneers made the dangerous journey out west.

Visitors can still see the wagon ruts left by the pioneers and look at the models of mule wagons and horse carts used by them.

Because of its location in Baker City, the interpretive center is an off the beaten path attraction but well worth the visit.

We definitely recommend this amongst top things to see in Oregon for history and culture fans. 

Eat cheese and ice cream at the Tillamook Creamery

Tillamook, located on the Northern Oregon coast, is a great city to visit for one reason: The century-old Tillamook Cheese Factory!

Tillamook Cheese Factory is a top family attraction where visitors can eat ice cream, grilled cheese sandwiches, and a variety of cheeses including the famous Tillamook medium cheddar.

You can learn about the cheese-making process as you tour the factory.

Tillamook is also a cultural destination and has many museums and historic buildings. 

The coast here is a paradise for bikers, hikers, and off-roading enthusiasts.

The waters along the Tillamook Coast are excellent for fishing.

Visitors can also dig for bay clams along the shore.

Along with clamming, visitors can also go for crabbing for Dungeness crabs along the bay.

Eating the delicious clams and crabs along the coast is great fun.

You can also go bird watching and whale watching along the coast as well as spot sea otters and seals. 

Entrance to Tillamook Creamery, Oregon
For editorial purposes only – Entrance to Tillamook Creamery, Oregon

Besides these attractions, there are a number of top things to do in Oregon including events, activities, and scenic sights and should definitely be on your travel bucket list such as the Wooden Shoe Tulip Festival at the Wooden Shoe Tulip farm near Portland.

We hope you liked our list of awesome and unusual must do things in Oregon as well as the top-rated tourist attractions in the Beaver State.

Did we miss out on any of your favorite things to see and do in Oregon or any underrated attractions?

Let us know in the comments.