The first day of summer may still be a few weeks away, but the unofficial start to the season—Memorial Day weekend—has come and gone, which means it’s time to start taking advantage of the warm weather. It’s not hard to find something fun to do in Colorado, but sometimes all the options can be overwhelming. We’re here to help: Here are seven ideas to make the most of those summer office hours. (Your work doesn’t offer that? It’s time for a personal day.)
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When the Big Beers, Belgians and Barleywines Festival left Vail for Breckenridge earlier this year, the Valley was left without a beer celebration. Thankfully, hop heads didn’t have to pocket their bottle openers for long: The inaugural Vail Craft Beer Classic takes place June 16–18. More than 300 beers, wine, and spirit samples will be available (pace yourself!). Liver need a break? Check out the events calendar, which includes yoga, fly fishing, and live music.
The Home Ranch in Clark is launching three adults-only harvest week events—Bikes & Brews (August 27–30), Whiskey & Fishing (August 30–September 3), and Colorado High Mountain Harvest (September 3–10)—where outdoor activities are paired with cooking demos, beer tastings, and more. The 37-year-old luxury guest ranch is situated on 4,000 acres and offers complimentary transportation to and from Steamboat Springs.
On The Water
Does anything go together better than an overnight canoe trip and imbibing local whiskey, gin, and vodka? We think not. Ouray’s KJ Wood Distillers partnered with Centennial Canoe Outfitters for a three-day canoe trip down the Gunnison River that includes tastings and mixology lessons. The 31-mile float (August 18–20, $369) is hosted by KJ owner John Wood. You’ll camp along the river, beneath towering red sandstone, and possibly hike into Dominguez Canyon, the state’s newest designated wilderness area. Side trip: Visit the Ouray Hot Springs Pool, which is celebrating its 90th birthday with newly renovated facilities.
All The Thrills
Viceroy Snowmass has come up with a truly epic way to spend a day. A sample itinerary for the hotel’s Air, Land & Stream experience looks something like this: A hearty breakfast; sunrise paragliding; lunch; guided mountain biking; and, finally, late afternoon fly fishing, after which guests join chef Will Nolan in the kitchen for a cooking lesson and the chance to dig into their fresh catch. Tip: Plan your trip to coincide with Snowmass’ first Yoga on the Mountain (August 11–13).
As if you needed another reason to book a stay at Vail’s Sonnenalp Hotel: The venue, in partnership with Wild Wellness Travel, is launching a series of four-day wellness retreats. IGNTD Nourish Your Soul (August 10–13) focuses on body and mind health, while IGNTD Women (September 28–October 1) is about finding clarity and achieving goals. Finally, the IGNTD Couples Retreat (November 16–19) aims to improve relationships and overall well-being. Prices range from $2,600 to $5,200.
Escaping into the outdoors doesn’t mean you have to leave the easy life behind. Taylor River Lodge opens for its first summer season in June. The newest Colorado property in travel and adventure company Eleven Experience’s portfolio is basically a high-end summer camp. The eight river-adjacent log cabins are rustic but well appointed. The lodge features “ninja-style hospitality,” an indoor saltwater pool, and access to any adventure guests desire (hiking, fly fishing, white-water rafting, and rock climbing).
All About Dad
In honor of Father’s Day (June 18), treat the special man in your life to a photography workshop and weekend getaway. Professional photographer Ken Redding is hosting workshops and personalized coaching sessions on Friday, June 16, and Saturday, June 17, at Gateway Canyons Resort & Spa. Only eight spots are available each day. Budding photographers of all levels are welcome, but they must have their own equipment, including a DSLR and wide-angle zoom lens. Daily breakfast and accommodations are included in the fee of $1,209 per night.