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Leaf Peeping, Pumpkins and Corn Mazes: Colorado Foliage Drives for Families

Autumn is just around the corner and, if you’re like most people, this is a time for celebration – especially if you plan on visiting Colorado. The leaves are bursting with color and the air is crisp and clean. From corn mazes to pumpkin festivals, here’s what you need to know about travelling here for the season.

Botanic Gardens

Pumpkin Trio 2013

Image: daryl_mitchell via Flickr

It’s not hard to find things to do on a family vacation at the Beaver Creek Resort in Colorado. One of the best things to do is to visit one of the many botanical gardens. Colorado is home to many different gardens, some of which celebrate Mexican holidays, like the Dia de los Muertos (day of the dead).

Originating over 3,000 years ago, this holiday is celebrated today in many different ways. In some areas of Colorado, entertainment includes live performances and music. There is also cultural food and drinks. During the fall, the gardens are sometimes transformed into a wonderland of lights – with more than 250 illuminated carved pumpkins and seasonal activities for guests.

Everything from tattoo painting, to scavenger hunting, to pumpkin silent auctions, to a pumpkin carver meetup, and ghost talks.

If you’re over 21, there’s the bar scene, with specialty cocktails, mocktails, beer, wine, and of course, water to sober you up.

For the kids, there’s cookie decorating and live music by local singers and songwriters.

In Denver, the botanical gardens plays host to a dinosaur-themed pumpkin display and Halloween-themed pumpkin displays, trick or treating, and costume contests for both adults and kids.

Chatfield Farms Events

If you love corn mazes, you’ll love Colorado. There are 8 acres of corn that can be viewed from two bridges in Denver. Tickets are between $13 and $12, depending on whether you’re a military personnel, student, or adult (non-student). Children get in for $10, while 2 and under are free.

Within the giant master maze are 10 separate mazes. When you get hungry, there’s plenty of food vendors that will sell you everything from funnel cakes and hot dogs to fresh lemonade and kettle corn (of course).

Buffalo Pass

Buffalo Pass is a dirt road just west of Steamboat Springs, which is lined with rows of glowing aspen groves. You can travel eight miles up toward Continental Divide and Summit Lake to see the views (which are amazing). During the fall, locals often recommend visitors hike to the Zirkel Wilderness Area – specifically, the Three Island Trail. This will take you through forests and high meadows, through vistas and past glacial-formed lakes.

It’s not for the weak of heart or body though. It’s 6.1 miles round-trip and it can be tough on those not used to hiking.

La Veta Pass

The La Veta Pass rises some 9,400 feet into the air on U.S. Route 160 in the South part of Colorado. For the armchair adventurer, it’s one of the most scenic drives in the state during the fall.

You should also check out the Rio Grande Scenic Railroad, which passes through the mountain meadows. However, make sure you’re traveling through between May and October and get ready for a hike because this area is inaccessible by vehicles.

Dallas Divide

On Colorado’s highway 62, the Dallas Divide provides one of the best road trips you’ll ever experience. It starts out near Ridgeway and expands through the Sneffels Wilderness Area. Eventually, if you follow this roadway for long enough, you’ll end up at highway 45.

Front Range Foliage

The Peak to Peak Scenic and Historic Byway is Colorado’s oldest scenic route, which was established in 1918. he byway starts in Boulder and takes you through 60 miles of road where you end up at the Rocky Mountain national Park, the Golden Gate Canyon State Park, and the Arapaho and Roosevelt National Forests and the Indian Peaks Wilderness Area.

Western Slope Colors

The Western Slope is where you’ll find the Grand Mesa, which is the world’s largest flat-top mountain. It’s also considered Colorado wine country. This area is known for its reds and whites, blended into rose’s made in Grand Junction and Palisade. The fall is the perfect time to sample some of this area’s varietals.

The San Juan Skyway

The San Juan Skyway is 236 miles, which loops through the San Juan Mountains of Southwest Colorado. Visitors get an amazing view of the fall colors native to this area, including a 70-mile stretch which is simply known as the “Million Dollar Highway.”

While you’re in the area, be sure to check out Soaring Tree Top Adventures, which will introduce you to 27 zip lines that pass by all of the pretty fall colors. Few people get to see fall like this.

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Megan is an Australian Journalist who has been travelling and blogging since 2007, with the main aim of inspiring others to embark on their own worldwide adventure. Her husband Mike is an American travel photographer, and together they have made the world their home.

Committed to bringing you the best in adventure travel from all around the globe, there is no mountain too high, and no fete too extreme! They haven’t been everywhere, but it’s on their list.

Follow their journey on Facebook, TwitterYouTube, Pinterest and Instagram.

George Black is a veteran travel planner who enjoys sharing his experiences online. His insights can be found on a diverse range of travel-related websites.

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