10 Loveliest Small Towns to Visit in Colorado This Summer

If you’re looking for the perfect summer getaway, Colorado’s stunning mountains, charming ski resorts, and endless outdoor activities make it an ideal destination. Here are ten small towns in Colorado that you absolutely must visit to experience their unique charm, culture, and natural beauty.


Palisade, located in Mesa County, is famous for its agricultural roots, boasting numerous wineries and vineyards. The town’s lively downtown area features delightful restaurants, boutiques, and bakeries.

Be sure to check out the Palisade Sunday Farmer’s Market for fresh produce and handmade crafts. Adventure seekers can tackle the Palisade Plunge, a 32-mile downhill trail with breathtaking scenery.


Telluride, a former Victorian mining town, is rich in history and has a vibrant arts scene. Visit the Telluride Historical Museum and catch a show at the historic Sheridan Opera House. The stunning outdoors offer fantastic hiking, such as the Jud Wiebe Trail, which provides incredible views of the Telluride ski resort.


Dinosaur is a quiet town perfect for scenic drives and desert wilderness adventures. Named after the Dinosaur National Monument, it features the Sand Canyon Trail for hiking, biking, and horseback riding. If you prefer a more relaxed experience, drive along the Harpers Corner Scenic Drive to soak in the views without leaving your car.

Grand Lake

Grand Lake, a small community in Grand County, serves as a gateway to Rocky Mountain National Park. It’s an excellent spot for hiking, with attractions like Adam Falls. Dive into the town’s history and culture by visiting the Rocky Mountain Repertory Theater and the Kauffman House Museum.


Nestled in the foothills of Vail Mountain, this alpine community offers stunning scenery and outdoor activities. Explore the Betty Ford Alpine Gardens and enjoy a gondola ride at Eagle Bahn Gondola for panoramic views. Vail also boasts indoor attractions like the Gerald R. Ford Amphitheater, which hosts captivating live performances.


Aspen is renowned for its world-class ski resorts, but it’s equally charming in the summer. Visit the serene John Denver Sanctuary and the Aspen Art Museum for contemporary art exhibits. The historic Wheeler Opera House offers a range of theatrical performances, adding to the town’s cultural allure.

Buena Vista

Buena Vista lives up to its name with spectacular views of the Colorado backcountry. Enjoy outdoor activities at McPhelemy Park and explore trails like the Collegiate Peaks Overlook. The vibrant downtown area features restaurants, coffee shops, and the Buena Vista Heritage Museum, showcasing local history.


Near Mesa Verde National Park, Mancos blends natural beauty with a bustling arts community. Explore Mancos State Park for fishing, hiking, and camping. The town’s galleries, such as Kilgore American Indian Art and Artisans of Mancos, offer a wonderful assortment of classic art.


Leadville, perched at over 10,000 feet above sea level, offers sweeping views and a delightful downtown area with museums and entertainment venues. A scenic tour on the Leadville Railroad is a must, along with a visit to the National Mining Hall of Fame Museum to learn about the town’s mining heritage.

Manitou Springs

This resort city near Colorado Springs is a popular summer getaway with attractions like Cave of the Winds Mountain Park and Manitou Springs Penny Arcade. Visit the Miramont Castle Museum for a glimpse into the town’s history, and enjoy the family-friendly atmosphere.


While Denver and Colorado Springs are popular destinations, Colorado’s small towns offer a unique blend of scenic beauty, cultural richness, and classic hospitality. Explore these charming locales for an authentic and unforgettable summer experience in the Centennial State.

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