If your idea of a stimulating getaway includes sampling a resort’s full list of umbrella drinks and reading half of a Dan Brown novel between naps on the beach, well, don’t stress it. But for some people, the best vacations are those that challenge the mind—and maybe the body, too.
From exotic scientific field trips to alumni-association lectures at the Louvre, educational travel is among the hottest segments of the vacation biz. These trips recreate the energy and excitement of a study-abroad program in college, without the dull lectures and final exams. But you don’t have to voyage to Europe to mix vacation with education. Whether you’ve got a City Slickers dream of punching dogies on the open range or an Indiana Jones fantasy involving archaeological treasures, you’ll find that Colorado and the surrounding states offer plenty of learning escapades.
Of course, a holiday shouldn’t be all work and no play. While some of the trips described in the next 10 pages are decidedly not a day at the beach—you won’t encounter any treasure-hunting Nazis, but snakes are a real possibility—you’ll also find plenty of opportunities to relax. After all, this is supposed to be vacation.