My first time truly “out west” and man oh man was it a goodie. We road-tripped all the way from Atlanta, Georgia, to Longmont, Colorado, to visit Blake’s brother, Alex, and wife, Melissa. While it may have seemed like the longest drive of the century, it was also such a blessing to get to spend some time with Blake’s parents and see parts of the country I’d otherwise never get to see. Plus I got to check off 12 new states! We drove through Alabama, Mississippi, Arkansas, Oklahoma, Texas, New Mexico, Colorado (of course), Kansas, Missouri, Illinois, Kentucky, and Tennessee. Whew! Now that I’ve driven through these states, I realize I never really need to go back unless all of the sudden I fall in love with flat land, plains, gambling, and endless sites of windmills, but that’s a story for another time. Let’s just say some of the states weren’t my style, but were definitely beautiful in their own way.
So, let’s talk about Colorado! I need to tell you that Colorado is amazingly beautiful. Like jaw dropping beautiful. God perfectly handcrafted these mountains and may I just say, He’s THE MAN. I mean come on, a mountain that is 14,000 feet in elevation?! How does that even happen? We visited all sorts of amazing places in Colorado and each had such a different landscape, but it was so fascinating to experience.
We started in Colorado Springs and ended up in Longmont. The further north we went, the more lush and green the state became. The further south we went, the more sandy and brown the state became. Both very different, but very beautiful in their own way. We also got to experience all four seasons–in ONE day. I’m talking sweating in 90+ degree weather and then breaking out my winter coat because it’s snowing a few hours later. No joke. This happened and made this Southern girl very confused, especially because it was the middle of June. Snow in June? On a mountain 14,000 feet up, it’s definitely possible. But, then I think back to this crazy weather day and think, wow how cool was that?! While I’m still daydreaming about how amazing this trip was and how gorgeous Colorado is, I’ll fill you in on the top five highlights from our trip.
TOP FIVE PLACES TO VISIT IN COLORADO
1. Pikes Peak Summit | Colorado Springs, CO – This is a MUST DO! It’s the highest summit of the southern Front Range of the Rocky Mountains (14,115 feet). The drive is incredible and has some of the most breathtaking views! HOWEVER; the cliffs may give you a heart attack if you’re scared of heights (like me), so get a driver who is brave and isn’t afraid of heights and the drive will be a piece of cake!
2. Garden of the Gods | Colorado Springs, CO – Love to climb on rocks, hike, and see some awesome views? This is for you. It’s amazing. Trust me, you have to go!
3. Royal Gorge Bridge | Cañon City, CO – A suspension bridge that (again) elevated my fear of heights to new proportions, but the views were so worth it. The fact that people built this bridge just amazes me! For you height lovers out there — you will be in Heaven. But for the height scaredy-cats like me, hold the railing (or a hand) tightly and you’ll be okay! I did feel very accomplished and pleased with myself when I walked across the entire bridge!
4. Vail, Colorado – Vail is a small town at the base of Vail Mountain that looks as if it’s straight out of a magazine! It’s mostly known for its ski resort, but it’s also just breathtakingly beautiful and clean! I felt like I was at Disney World or an amusement park because of its quaint architecture and design. Every building was designed together perfectly and had a similar feel. If you look up pictures of Vail on the internet, it’s even more gorgeous in person! It’s the perfect place for winter or summer sports and has the most spectacular amenities!
5. Rocky Mountain National Park – A hiker’s dream. There are stunning views everywhere you turn and animals in their natural habitat. What more could you ask for?