Snow-capped peaks, ridiculous rock formations, arid deserts, rushing rivers, glittering lakes, ancient canyons, cascading waterfalls, scenic byways and expansive forests. Colorado literally has it all—well, except for the beach, though we promise you won’t miss it. Without picking favorites, it’s pretty fair to say that the Centennial State is second to none in the natural scenery department. (Ok, perhaps it’s tied with California, but that feels like an argument for another day.)
So how would one go about selecting the prettiest spots when the list of contenders goes on forever? Good question. It wasn’t easy, but we managed to do it. We relied on info from trusted travel guides and blogs, the official Colorado tourism site, as well as various polls citing Colorado as one of the best states in the U.S. From charming small towns and national parks to ski resorts, monuments and a legendary music venue, these are the most beautiful places in Colorado to check out ASAP.