Labor Day is just around the corner – if you haven’t made your plans yet it’s not too late to plan an unforgettable long weekend escape. Of course, you’ll need to get on that sooner rather than later to avoid disappointment. The Rocky Mountain State offers some fabulous getaways, with early September one of the best times to be there. These ideas are sure to get you motivated to start packing now.
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Aspen (Hotel Prices & Photos)
Aspen is not only one of Colorado’s most beautiful mountain towns, spending Labor Day weekend here offers the chance to attend a wealth of events and activities, from music festivals to sampling delicious local fare and all sorts of outdoor adventures. The 7th Annual Rocky Mountain Oyster Festival will be hosted on September 3rd at the Ajax Tavern, featuring a raw bar, BBQ and other foods as well as wine, beer, live music and dancing. The world-renowned Jazz Aspen Snowmass, which will take place on August 31st through September 2nd, including performances by Lionel Richie, Jack Johnson, and more.
Rocky Mountain National Park (Hotel Prices & Photos)
Early September is a wonderful time to hike the remote trails in Rocky Mountain National Park. There are over 350 miles of trails that crisscross the vast park, linking alpine lakes, jagged peaks, waterfalls, dense pine forests and rocky tundra, which means you’re bound to find out where you’re more likely to spot wildlife than other humans. The park is home to everything from deer and elk to moose and bighorn sheep. In the eastern gateway town of Estes Park, the annual arts and crafts show will be hosted as well, showcasing more than 100 artisans offering unique handcrafted items.
Glenwood Springs (Hotel Prices & Photos)
Glenwood Springs offers a wealth of attractions to enjoy over Labor Day Weekend, including the world’s largest hot spring pool, which includes two water slides. It’s also home to Glenwood Caverns, the only theme park in the country that sits on top of a mountain. It features an alpine coaster, a haunted mine drop, the Cliffhanger roller coaster, and the Giant Canyon Swing, among other thrill rides. Nearby, enjoy the area’s spectacular scenery by hiking to nearby Hanging Lake, a serene pool renowned for its cascading waterfalls and strikingly clear azure waters.
Steamboat Springs (Hotel Prices & Photos)
This beautiful northern Colorado town offers lots to do year-round. The Yampa River runs right through offering activities on the water while the surrounding mountains provide miles of scenic hiking and mountain biking trails. There are dozens of hot springs to soak in after a day of adventure throughout the area, including Old Town Hot Springs, right in the heart of town. Over Labor Day weekend you can also attend the Wild West Air Fest which features vintage aircraft like a World War II Navy bomber and 1944 Beechcraft D-17S. There are rodeos that draw some of the world’s top pro bull riders and all sorts of tasty food and drink.
Great Sand Dunes and Alamosa (Hotel Prices & Photos)
The Great Sand Dunes are massive, covering the majority of the 150,000 acres in the San Luis Valley offering the opportunity to hike the country’s tallest dune, Star Dune, at 750 feet. This is also one of the few spots in the U.S. to go sand-boarding or sand-sledding too. Plus the 38th annual Early Iron Festival will be hosted in nearby Alamosa, featuring over 600 vintage vehicles as well as music and parties to attend.
Copper Country Music Fest, Copper Mountain (Hotel Prices & Photos)
If you’re into country music and magnificent mountain scenery, head to Copper Mountain. While it’s famous for its world-class skiing and boarding, Labor Day brings the free Copper Country gala, which includes live entertainment throughout the weekend. This is where you’ll get to hear aspiring country music performers – perhaps discovering your new favorite artist as it includes a final competition where the best get the opportunity to launch an exciting career. The event also includes an arts and crafts festival if you want to get a head start on your holiday shopping.
Durango (Hotel Prices & Photos)
Located in the southwest corner of the state, Durango is a historic town that retains a touch of the Wild West, renowned for its outdoor adventures and popular attractions like the Durango & Silverton Narrow Gauge Railwood, an 1800s steam train that travels 50 miles to the tiny town of Silverton and back. Look forward to fishing, rafting, tubing and more on the Animas River, and hiking and biking in the surrounding San Juan Mountain Range. On Friday and Saturday over Labor Day weekend, you can also join in the street parties featuring live music, food and beer.
Breckenridge (Hotel Prices & Photos)
Many consider Breckenridge the place to be in Colorado over Labor Day weekend, a time when as many as 10,000 little rubber ducks float down the Blue River while thousands of spectators watch, willing their tiny ducks to move quickly downstream and win the race, which includes some serious prizes, like a week-long vacation at a destination chosen by the winner. This photogenic town offers lots of other things to do too, including checking out the many Victorian-era buildings that line its streets, taking hot air balloon rides and enjoying the thrill of whitewater rafting.
Nathrop and Mount Princeton Hot Springs Resort (Prices & Photos)
The tiny town of Nathrop is surrounded by stunning Rocky Mountain scenery and home to Mount Princeton Hot Springs Resort which hosts hot springs that sit within natural, rocky surroundings as well as human-created pools, all heated by wonderfully soothing geothermal water. There are pools for splashing around and having fun as well as pools for unwinding and experiencing the healing power of the rich, warm mineral waters. The resort also includes a fine dining restaurant, bars, a beer garden, yoga and fitness classes. The onsite spa has an impressive menu of massage, body treatments, facials, acupuncture, private soaks like the mud or lavender salt soak, and much more. There’s lots to do in the area if you want to get out an explore, including hiking and biking as well as attractions in the nearby towns of Buena Vista and Salida, home to unique shops, art galleries, breweries, distilleries and a winery.