In 2017, Colorado had a record number of visitors – 86 million. The tourists spent almost $21 billion within the state. This record marked the eighth consecutive year of incredible growth, in stark contrast to the 2009 recession. According to Cathy Ritter, director of the Colorado Tourism Office, “Colorado has been emerging as a national destination over the past five or six years, and we’re continuing to carve out our share of the marketable leisure travelers in the U.S.”

The Denver metro area is the most popular tourist site. More than half of vacationers last year spent at least some time in there, while 40% of leisure visitors went to the mountain towns and ski resorts, including the northern Front Range. Nearly half a million people took the drive up the Pikes Peak Highway to the summit. So what is the key to the stunning success?

1. The spectacular beauty

Colorado has breathtaking views and it is densely studded with picturesque areas. The Rocky Mountains are simply majestic and visitors may enjoy diverse activities, such as cross-country skiing, hiking, and horseback riding. The Arapaho National Recreation Area is a perfectly scenic place for hiking, with magnificent views, impressive wildlife, and facilities for boating and fishing.

2. The history

Some of the local sites date to prehistoric times. For example, The Dinosaur National Monument has 1,500 dinosaur fossils, in addition to petroglyphs and canyon ecosystems. The Hovenweep National Monument shows six villages of Ancestral Puebloan people that are eight centuries old. Colorado is the perfect place for a real taste of history.

3. Skiing

The Western Slope ski resorts with their comprehensive facilities are among the best in the world. For example, Winter Park Resort has three peaks perfect for snowboarding and skiing enthusiasts.

4. Spas

After a day of active pastime, you will love a soothing spa session. Here, you will find outdoor treatment rooms, which allow you to relax while breathing fresh mountain air and listening to the sound of nature in the middle of a scenic meadow.

5. Beer

Colorado is called the Napa Valley of Beer for a good reason. It has over 200 breweries, from mass producers like Miller Coors to microbreweries such as Fat Tire and Flying Dog Brewery. There are always special seasonal selections to savor.

6. The weather

Some places are warm all year, others are famous for spectacular representation of the four seasons. Colorado enjoys it all, from the spring bloom of wildflowers to the rays of summer sun, from the colors of fall to the snowy wonderland of winter. The weather is unpredictable, and you may catch all seasons in one day!

7. Accessibility

The state is easily accessed via several highways, and it has one of the largest airports in the U.S. A major hub for domestic and international travel, Denver International Airport welcomes United, Delta, Southwest, and Frontier flights every day.