First summer in Colorado? Here is what you need to do

Attend a concert at Red Rocks Amphitheater

It is number one of everyone’s list. There is nothing quite like it. Natural acoustics, a breathtaking view and an energy unlike any other. Musicians dream of playing this venue, and we are lucky enough to have it right here in our backyard.


Photo by: Randi Mattox

Check out their calendar on their website:

Go paddle boarding

Colorado has its fair share of beautiful lakes, so choose one. Paddle boarding has become the new big thing. Because of this, many lakes offer rentals, including Inlet Bay Marina right here in Fort Collins at Horsetooth Reservoir. Check it out, get a tan and have a fun new way to get a workout in this summer.

Paddle boarding is a great way to keep in shape for winter sports like skiing. Photo courtesy of Saga70 Wikimedia commons

Paddle board rentals at Horsetooth can be found at:

Watch a game at Coors Field

Nothing says summer like beer and baseball. With the field’s latest add-on of The Rooftop, you can now hang out and be as social as you want while watching the game. If you are keeping a budget, then check out the RockPile seats. Bleachers and baseball scream summer too.

Coors Field at Sunset.
Photo By: Mikaela Antonelli

Tickets can be found on:

Go camping

Whether you are camping in an RV, in tents or under the stars, it is sure to be a good time either way. Grab your friends and go on a road trip somewhere in the mountains. These are the summer memories you will keep. Horsetooth is always a viable option as well. However, it tends to get pretty busy in the summer especially on weekends, so book ahead of time and do not forget your sunscreen.

Photo by: Randi Mattox

Do the Manitou Incline.


Your legs may be Jell-O by the end of it, but the view and the sense of accomplishment makes it worth while. It is a great summer workout, a good way to get a tan and a fun way to meet people. Everyone cheers each other on with each step going closer to the top. Getting an early start is crucial in order to get a parking spot and to beat the summer heat before it meets a retched high for the day. Drink plenty of water. While it is slightly less than a mile hike, it has over 2,700 stairs, which ultimately end up gaining more than 2,000 feet in elevation.

Get out there:

Spend some time in the parks around Downtown Denver

We Coloradoans sure love to run off to the mountains every chance we get, but we also have some beautiful city parks that should grab your attention. Check out Washington Park, or as most people in Denver call it, “Wash Park.” It is a great place to picnic, play volleyball or just watch the ducks. Almost every night in the summer, the boathouse is booked for events such as weddings and anniversary parties. The upbeat energy is just contagious. Kids love the wooden and steel playground here while and families and friends keep themselves entertained with pedal boat and surrey rentals. It is a park that people just keep coming back to.

Check out those rentals at:

Grab an ice cream at Bonnie Brae Ice Cream

After your time at Washington Park, head on over to Bonnie Brae. The line is always out the door as it is a summer staple in Denver and well worth the wait. Enjoy your ice cream and the summer weather by sitting at the tables outside and taking in the aesthetic and ambiance.

The salted caramel ice cream cone.

Take a look:


Summer gets busy for all of us. We run around trying to cram as much fun and adventure into our schedules as possible that sometimes we just forget to relax and take it all in. Grab your hammock and venture out into the wilderness or your own backyard and just be.

Blake Haag lays on his hammock in front of the Lory Student Center following the recent beautiful weather in Fort Collins.

Tube in the river

Cool off from the heat and relax by floating down the river with friends. Check out Clear Creek in Golden, and make sure conditions and weather are good. This is time better spent in nature than hanging out at a water park with hundreds of other people and nonstop noise.

(Tubing/Courtesy By Mike Spille-Wikimedia)

Check it out:

Get lost, figuratively, in Rocky Mountain National Forest

Drive, hike and wander about. Rocky Mountain National Forest is beautiful year round, but it is overwhelmingly green and alive in the summer months.  It is just begging to be explored. Get lunch or dinner in Estes Park when your day is over and make sure to keep nature just as serene as when you found it.

Freshman zoology student Lydia Fairburn (left) and freshman undeclared student Alex Gregg (right) hike to Horsetooth Falls on Sunday afternoon.

Check out hikes, lakes, hours and passes here:

Collegian reporter Adelayde Dahlin can be reached at or on Twitter @addsss_.