Colorado

The US state of Colorado is a paradise for mountain enthusiasts and nature lovers and is also known as the new Silicon Valley. We take you on a breathtaking journey through the Centennial State - from the Rocky Mountains to Denver.

Colorado: Pretty colorful and close to the sky

If it's your first time traveling to Colorado, take it slow. Some places are so far above sea level that you'll have to get used to the thin air.

Once your body has processed the shock, Colorado will absolutely wow you with its breathtaking scenery and unique diversity.

Colorado facts

Capital: Denver
Area: 269,601 km²
Population: about 5.8 million
Location: Central western
Nickname: The Centennial State
State animal: Rocky Mountain Bighorn sheep
Time zone: UTC−7 (MST) UTC−6 (MDT)

Colorado: location & population

The US state of Colorado is assigned to the west of the USA but lies quite centrally on the map. Seven other US states surround the Centennial State, namely Wyoming, Nebraska, Kansas, Oklahoma, New Mexico, Arizona, and Utah.

A unique map feature of Colorado is its rectilinear squareness, making the "Four Corners" in the southwest possible. At this monument, Arizona, New Mexico, Utah, and Colorado meet at one point. This allows a person to be in all four states at the same time.

Colorado is the only state in the US that lies entirely 1,000 m above sea level. Most of the Colorado population ("Coloradans") lives along the "Front Range," a mountain range that runs north to south as a foothill of the Rocky Mountains.

About 95 % of Colorado's residents are US citizens, while about 10 % were born outside the country. The majority of these immigrants are from Latin America. Other significant immigrant groups come from Germany, Africa, and Asia.

Colorado's indigenous inhabitants, including Apache, Comanche, Cheyenne, Pueblo, Shoshone, and Ute, make up only about 1 % of the population.

The biggest cities in Colorado

Some cities are world-famous, even though they are relatively small. This is true, for example, for Aspen, a vacation and skiing paradise. However, with its population of only about 8,000, it can't begin to keep up with the largest cities in Colorado:

City Population
Denver 727,000
Colorado Springs 478,000
Aurora 379,000
Fort Collins 170,000

According to the US Census, the city of Aurora has the highest percentage of immigrants in the state at 20 %, followed closely by Denver at 15 %.

Climate and nature in Colorado

In Colorado, summers are warm, and winters are full of snow. In short, it's a gorgeous continental climate. However, there can be extreme temperature differences between day and night.

In addition, you have to expect solid thunderstorms and hail in Colorado or even blizzards on cold days. What is remarkable is the clear, fresh air in the higher regions, strikingly different from the city air in Denver.

Colorado is the most mountainous state in the entire USA and is mainly characterized by the Rocky Mountains. However, there are also vast prairies and desert areas with an authentic western flair.

The wildlife in Colorado is awe-inspiring, with bighorn sheep, mountain lions, black bears, prairie dogs, wapiti deer, bison, and many other wild creatures. You can also meet wild horses in many places.

Best time to visit Colorado

Whether it's hiking, fishing, paddling, skiing, or an exciting city break, Colorado is a dream destination any time of year.

Colorado in summer

July and August are the peak season in Colorado. At that time, you have to expect full parks with summer temperatures, so extending your travel time to June or September might be a good idea. If you stay a little longer in the Centennial State, you can see Colorado's forests glowing in their most beautiful colors during Indian Summer.

Colorado in winter

Colorado's ski season begins in late November and lasts into spring. However, there's more to do in the frozen Western state than standing on the boards: from dog sledding to fun sled adventures to ice wall climbing on frozen waterfalls, there's something for every winter fan in Colorado.

How to get to Colorado

When flying to Colorado from Europe, you will be traveling between 13 and 18 hours and have at least one stopover. From Asia and Africa, your trip to Colorado can take as long as 20-30 hours.

The main airports in Colorado are:

  • Denver International Airport
  • City of Colorado Springs Municipal Airport
  • Aspen/Pitkin County Airport (Sardy Field)

The cheapest flights - no matter where you start - land on the biggest airport in Denver. From Europe, you pay between €500 and €800 for the flight. Offers are available, for example, from American Airlines, Delta Air Lines, and United Airlines.

Colorado entry permit

Don't forget: If you are not a US citizen or Green Card holder, you will need a US visa or ESTA to enter the US.

ESTA – visa-free to the USA

With an ESTA, you can stay 90 days visa-free in the USA. Apply online now!

Colorado airport transfer

If you took one of the cheaper flights to Denver International Airport, you could use the following transfer options after landing:

Taxicab

Several cab companies serve the Denver metropolitan area and surrounding counties. Some companies even offer rides to other locations in Colorado. For a cab ride downtown, you'll pay about $56, and to Boulder, for example, it's about $90. Lyft and Uber rideshare services are also available to you at Denver International Airport. You'll find them on Level 5 of the airport. Just follow the signs after collecting your luggage.

Shuttle bus

If you're staying at one of Denver's surrounding hotels, you can take advantage of the convenient hotel shuttles that will pick you up at Jeppesen Terminal Level 5. To find out if your hotel has a shuttle service, give them a call. Another option is to use the regular shared-ride shuttles or to reserve a Mountain Carrier to take you to various ski and resort areas in Colorado. There are about 20 providers you can contact through the Denver International Airport website.

Public Transportation

The A-Line commuter rail, operated by the Regional Transportation District (RTD), provides convenient transportation between the airport and downtown. The 37 km ride to Downtown Denver Union Station takes about 40 minutes and costs $10.50 (the airport fare is as much as a day pass).

Other options

Do you need total flexibility? That's only understandable because Colorado is an excellent place for a road trip in a rental car. There are more than ten major car rental companies at Denver International Airport, and they even offer shuttle services of their own to their locations on the airport grounds. Like all shuttles, these start at the Jeppesen Terminal on Level 5.

National Parks in Colorado

Colorado is all about the Rocky Mountains. Yet, the quiet desert areas and impressive canyons of the Centennial State are not to be sneezed at. Here are the most beautiful places in Colorado:

Rocky Mountain National Park

On your way through the impressive landscape of the Rocky Mountains, you will meet moose, relax at crystal clear lakes, and marvel at rushing waterfalls. This place is pure relaxation! Treat yourself to a night in one of the beautiful park resorts with alpine flair. In the Rocky Mountains National Park, you can drive in your car to more than 4,000 m altitudes, making a trip to the "Rockies" a very comfortable experience. For hikers, there are also shuttle buses.

Mesa Verde National Park

Mesa Verde National Park is one of the richest archaeological sites in the world. Get a park ranger and take a tour to see the well-preserved rock dwellings of pre-Columbian Anasazi tribes. Attention, you should be physically fit because you can only get to the ancient rock dwellings on foot and via several ladders. If necessary, you will have to settle for the more distant observation deck. You can book the guided tour for $5 at the park entrance.

Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park

A bit off the beaten path, the Black Canyon of the Gunnison is located in mountainous western Colorado. To fully enjoy the 30 km long canyon with its 12 perfectly located viewing platforms, you should plan a day trip. You can also skip half of it by choosing one of the two sides (south or north). Tip: The South Rim Trail offers spectacular views.

Great Sand Dunes National Park

Boy, that's a lot of sand! Great Sand Dunes National Park and Preserve in southern Colorado is home to the highest dunes in the United States. A hike up the dunes is exhausting, but the views are worth it - especially at sunrise or sunset! The imposing Sangre de Cristo Mountains crown this surreal landscape. Tip: Take a surfboard for the descent.

Top 10 sightseeing highlights in Colorado

The following places in Colorado are must-sees and should be on your travel list:

  • Rocky Mountain National Park
  • Mesa Verde National Park
  • Great Sand Dunes National Park
  • Black Canyon of the Gunnison
  • Garden of the Gods
  • Denver Art Museum
  • Breckenridge Ski Resort
  • Red Rocks Colorado
  • Copper Mountain
  • Pikes Peak

Colorado city trips

Colorado was founded at the height of the gold rush. Many of the towns of that era have since turned into "ghost towns," while others have become business capitals and tourist hotspots. Here are our Colorado city highlights:

Booking.com

City highlights Denver

Denver is also called the "Mile High City" because it is precisely one mile above sea level. A vibrant metropolis, Denver is full of culture, art, great food, and music. Its proximity to the Rocky Mountains is also convenient for mountain excursions.

These are the places you should see in Denver:

  • Denver Botanic Gardens
  • Mount Evans
  • Denver Museum of Nature & Science
  • Denver Art Museum
  • Red Rocks Colorado

City highlights Colorado Springs

Colorado Springs is one of the most elevated cities in the US, and it has several mineral springs. So if you want to relieve some stress, pay a visit to the hot springs. The city is also a great base for rafting trips and hiking. These are the places you shouldn't miss in Colorado Springs:

  • Garden of the Gods
  • Red Rock Canyon
  • Glen Eyrie Castle
  • The Broadmoor Seven Falls
  • Cave of the Winds Mountain Park

City highlights Aspen

Those who go to Aspen are the ones who have money. The small town with megalomania even has its own airport. According to the Forbes Institute, Aspen is the wealthiest city in the USA. However, it is best known as a ski resort for high society and an attractive luxury vacation spot for people who want to treat themselves. These are the places you should see in Aspen:

  • Maroon Bells
  • Independence Pass
  • The John Denver Sanctuary
  • Aspen Mountain Ski Resort
  • Aspen Highlands Ski Resort

City highlights Boulder

Eine echte Überraschung erlebst du in der Studentenstadt Boulder: Hier tobt richtig You'll be in for a real surprise in the college town of Boulder: life is blustering here because many young people are forging their career plans in the high-tech industry or research at an altitude of 1,655 m. As a result, you'll find many lively pubs, small cafés, and stores full of quirky ideas.

These are the places you should see in Boulder:

  • Flatirons
  • Colorado Chautauqua Park
  • The Boulder Dushanbe Teahouse
  • Pearl Street Mall
  • Boulder Creek Path

Colorado road trip

With its diverse nature, the spectacular Rocky Mountains, the impressive canyons, and the vast prairie and desert areas, Colorado is made for a movie-like Wild West road trip. On a 10-day round trip, you'll get a good taste of the most important places in Colorado.

Don't miss the Million Dollar Highway. This spectacular road (officially called U.S. Route 550) stretches for about 40 km in western Colorado and is one of the most scenic routes in America.

By the way, Colorado is home to more than 600 ghost towns. The creepy-beautiful relics from the time of the gold rush make great photo motifs and are places for real explorers.

To avoid nasty surprises, it's better to plan your road trip in the summer months because Colorado can catch you with a blizzard in the weirdest possible moments.

Instagram hotspots in Colorado

Colorado is chock-full of the perfect photo opportunities. Who wouldn't immediately think of their Instagram account?

Here are our top 5 Instagram hotspots in Colorado:

  • San Juan Mountains
  • Garden of the Gods Park
  • Telluride
  • Crested Butte
  • Red Rocks Amphitheatre

Colorado food highlights

Denver, Colorado's capital, is considered the birthplace of the cheeseburger. Maybe that's why the rather special cheeseburger variation "The Slopper" is one of the culinary flagships of the US state.

If you're in Colorado, try some of the following treats:

  • Rocky Mountain Oysters - Deep-fried bull testicles with cocktail sauce or pickles.
  • Denver Omelette - Hearty omelet with peppers, bacon, and cheese.
  • The Slopper - Cheeseburger drenched in chili sauce with chopped onions.

The Slopper Burger is so soft from all the chili sauce that it often has to be eaten with a spoon. Anyway, the rule in Colorado is: there can't be enough chili in the meal. The town of Pueblo hosts one of the largest green chili festivals in the USA every year.

Colorado is also famous for its delicious palisade peaches, bison burgers, Colorado lamb, and countless varieties of Colorado craft beer. Enjoy!

Colorado fun facts

You probably haven't heard these exciting facts about the US state of Colorado:

  • Colorado is the only state in history to reject the Olympics. 62% of voters shied away from the cost, pollution, and growing population.
  • Colorado has more microbreweries per capita than any other state.
  • In Aspen, it is illegal to throw a snowball at a person or building.
  • "Frozen Dead Guy Days" is an annual festival in the town of Nederland to celebrate the freezing of Bredo Morstoel. Bredo died of a heart attack back in 1989, but his family believes he can eventually be revived with "cryonic suspension."
  • Colorado is home to one of the largest preserved dinosaur tracks in the world.
  • Lakewood is home to a dinosaur hotel with dino décor, statues, bones, and historical ornaments. Lakewood is also where the first Stegosaurus and Apatosaurus bones were found.

Immigrating to Colorado

Colorado is one of the most beautiful US states to live and work in. And it's not hard at all to build a new life here.

Working in Colorado

Colorado is one of the most economically successful states in the USA. This is partly because the state's vibrant cities are attracting more and more tech companies from Silicon Valley due to California's high costs.

Amazon and Google already have locations in Colorado. In the college town of Boulder, there is even a new Google campus for 1,500 employees.

Outside of the tech industry, Colorado's major industries include agriculture, mining, tourism, construction, restaurants, and food services.

Managers, retail salespeople, and customer service representatives are always in demand here.

Living in Colorado

Colorado is known for its high quality of life and happier-than-average residents (e.g., in Boulder). But is that because of the legalization of cannabis? Surely not.

It's the perfect climate combined with perfect landscapes. We'd call Colorado a species-appropriate habitat for humans.

However, the cost of living in Colorado is higher than in the rest of the US. The difference is a whopping 28% in Denver, while in Colorado Springs, it's only about 5%.

The higher costs are usually compensated for by correspondingly high household incomes.

Coming to Colorado with a Green Card

With a Green Card, you can live and work in the United States without limits. The good news is: it's pretty easy to get a US immigrant visa through the Green Card Lottery.

Be sure to enter the US government's annual lottery, even if you're trying to get a Green Card through a US employer at the same time.

Each year, 55,000 Green Cards are raffled off to US immigrants from around the world. So sign up now - it's just a few clicks!

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