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Summer is festival season in Colorado, and while there is probably one just down the street or around the corner, you may want to go further afield. It seems every weekend, within a few hours drive (or less), there are plenty of festivals celebrating music, food, nature, and more. So go on, hop in the car, and take a drive.
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Coloradans pair beer with many, many things, so it was just a matter of time until a festival cropped up that married it with our majestic mountains. The town of Westcliffe, in Custer County, will host the second annual Brew With a View festival. Enjoy music, food, and some of the state’s best microbrews all while gazing at the Sangre de Cristo range, which is home to five fourteeners.
When: May 31
Drive time: Just around two and a half hours
2. Bravo! Vail
There are few places where you can lay in the grass while a world-class symphony plays, but Bravo! Vail, is one of them. This year’s concert series has 40 plus performances and residences by the Dallas Symphony Orchestra, Philadelphia Orchestra, and the New York Philharmonic, all with lawn seating. Not just for adults, Bravo! also has the Little Listeners concerts and an Instrument Petting Zoo for kiddos.
When: Daily concerts June 27 to August 2. Check calendar for exact times.
Drive time: Less than two hours (assuming light traffic)
Price: There are 15 free events, but others start at $28.
Tip: If you want to catch a few, try the Lawn Pass, which is good for the whole summer.
Spend your July 4th weekend at the Pikes Peak Arts Fest, which is appropriately held in the America the Beautiful Park in Colorado Springs. The juried festival has works from more than 100 national, regional, and local artists. There will also be musical performances and hands-on art activities.
When: July 4 to July 6, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. daily
Travel time: About an hour
Explore Colorado’s wildflower capital during the weeklong Crested Butte Wildflower Festival. Every day there are organized hikes, garden tours, and photography outings to immerse you in Alpine Wallflowers and Columbines. If that is not enough adventure, try a 4×4 tour for a safari-like trip to the Paradise Divide or an edibles excursion (apparently, there are dozens of flowers you can eat.)
When: July 7 to 13
Travel time: Four hours
Price: Varies, check prices on the festival site.
Head to the high country to wine, dine, and play at the 11th annual Steamboat Wine Festival. More than 100 food artisans, wineries, breweries, distilleries, and epicurean purveyors join forces for four days of tasting and sipping events. Whether you are a foodie or novice, you are sure to find more than one session that fits your palate.
When: August 6 to 10
Travel time: Just under three hours
Price: Tickets start at $65.