Colorado Holiday & Tourism Guide

Colorado Holiday & Tourism Guide
Colorado's prime location in the Rocky Mountains makes it the perfect, four-season destination for the outdoor enthusiast. The state also has a rich and exciting history, which provides a fascinating back story for many of its towns and cities. Aside from its endless menu of outdoor activities, many Colorado towns have become meccas for artists, musicians, actors, writers and dancers. As such, the state offers a multifaceted vacation, especially during the holidays.

July 4th at Pikes Peak

In 1893, Katharine Lee Bates, an English literature professor at Wellesley College traveled to Colorado Springs for a lecture tour. While she was there, a visit to Pikes Peak inspired her to write "America the Beautiful." A journal called "The Congregationalist" published her poem on July 4, 1895. Since then, many locals and visitors come to Pikes Peak every July 4 to commemorate the event. Some take the cog railroad to the summit of Pikes Peak and hike down. Others hike up the trail and take the cog railway down the mountain. Keep in mind that the hike is 13 miles each way. Pikes Peak has a base elevation of 7,400 feet and a summit of 14,110 feet. Visitors from sea level should spend a few days acclimating before attempting the hike. There's also a July 4th Colorado Philharmonic Orchestra concert in Memorial Park, which is located near Pikes Peak. Fireworks add to the drama of the concert, which usually begins at about 6:30pm.

Memorial Park, Colorado Springs
1605 E. Pikes Peak Ave
Colorado Springs, CO
(719) 385-5940

Halloween and Early Season Skiing in Breckenridge

Both the Loveland and the Arapahoe Basin Ski areas open in mid to late October. Breckenridge and Keystone open in early November. While these early season ski conditions are not always optimal, the Breckenridge Halloween celebration is always worth the trip. It's held at the Briggle House, located on Harris Street in Breckenridge. At the turn of the century, William Briggle was a banker, and Katie Briggle was a music teacher. Their home is now a Victorian museum. On Halloween, guides from the Breckenridge Heritage Alliance dress up as famous characters from Colorado's haunted history, and open up the Briggle home for a Halloween party. The event is preceded by a Halloween Parade down Main Street. In addition to the Briggle House party, other Harris Street residents decorate their homes for Halloween, and allow children to visit for trick-or-treating.

William H. Briggle House
104 North Harris St.
Breckenridge, CO 80424
(970) 453-9767

Rosh Hashanah Winter Park Retreat

Adventure Rabbi Jamie Korngold is one of the most interesting people in the Colorado outdoor-enthusiast community because of his Jewish-themed retreats at various mountains in Colorado. The Rosh Hashanah retreat takes place during the Jewish New Year, which usually happens in late September. It takes place at the Snow Mountain Ranch in Winter Park, Colorado and involves hiking, biking, yoga and prayer. The day begins with an easy morning hike to the prayer site. After an outdoor service, participants can choose between an outdoor yoga class, a nature photography workshop, mountain biking and various types of lectures. On the second day, there's a running event, as well as various hiking opportunities.

Adventure Rabbi
5353 Manhattan Circle, Suite 103
Boulder, CO 80303
(303) 417-6200, ext. 10

Thanksgiving at Copper Mountain

On the day after Thanksgiving, Copper Mountain gives you the chance to enjoy skiing and snowboarding and work off some of those extra calories. The Leftover Yam and Jive Turkey Rail Jam is open to amateur and professional freestyle skiers and snowboarders. It takes place at the American Eagle Jib Park, which is located in Center Village. The event begins at 12:30 p.m. Prizes are awarded to the top three male and female competitors. Past prizes have included $250 for first place, $150 for second place, $50 for third and a Rome snowboard for best trick. Participants are judged by members of the Copper Mountain Freeride Team, and are rated on their form, as well as the complexity of the tricks.

Those who are more interested in burning calories than performing tricks can register for the Gobbler Chase 5 kilometer snowshoe race, which begins in Burning Stones Plaza in Central Village. After the race, Copper Mountain restaurants will provide participants with turkey, hot cider and pumpkin fudge. Redfeather Snowshoes offers free snowshoe demos.

Copper Colorado
Copper Mountain Resort
PO Box 3001
209 Ten Mile Circle
Copper Mountain, CO 80443
(866) 841-2481

Valentine's Day at Loveland

It seems appropriate that a mountain called Loveland would have a Valentine's Day celebration. Thus, on Feb. 14, couples can either get married or renew their vows in a group ceremony that is performed on the mountain. After the ceremony, couples and their guests ski down for a huge party at the base lodge.

PO Box 899
Georgetown, CO 80444
(303) 569-3203

Christmas in Vail

During the Christmas season, the Vail Cascade Resort in Vail, Colorado, serves up an exciting menu of Christmas activities, which include gingerbread house-making, cooking demonstrations, photos with Santa and a New Year's Eve torchlight parade down the mountain, which is performed by Vail's top ski instructors. Vail offers terrain for all levels, a superb ski school and a gondola, which is much appreciated on cold winter days.

Vail Cascade Resort & Spa
1300 Westhaven Drive
Vail, CO 81657
(800) 282-4183

Article Written By Lisa Mercer

In 1999, Lisa Mercer’s fitness, travel and skiing expertise inspired a writing career. Her books include "Open Your Heart with Winter Fitness" and "101 Women's Fitness Tips." Her articles have appeared in "Aspen Magazine," "HerSports," "32 Degrees," "Pregnancy Magazine" and "Wired." Mercer has a Bachelor of Arts in psychology from the City College of New York.

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