Where to take a road trip to from Denver

Denver, Colorado, is an exciting place, but there's plenty of adventure to be found outside the city limits, too. Fortunately, much of that excitement can be found with a simple road trip from Denver in any direction. Whether you're looking for something family-friendly or more adult-oriented, you won't have any trouble finding a top destination. Here are the top 10 places to go with a road trip from Denver.

1. Find adventure with a trip to Breckenridge

Driving time from Denver: 1.5 hours Distance from Denver: 80 miles

The town of Breckenridge is a paradise for those looking for outdoor adventure. With Copper Mountain and Grays Peak located nearby, you'll find no shortage of hiking trails and mountain paths to traverse. Of course, the town itself is plenty fun as well, with specialty craft shops and fulfilling dining options with enough variety for everyone.

2. Explore the peaks by driving from Denver to Vail

Driving time from Denver: 1.5 hours Distance from Denver: 90 miles

If you're looking for an unforgettable adventure, driving from Denver to Vail is sure to deliver. In this community, you'll find high mountain peaks including the largest ski mountain in the state. The town itself is fascinating as well, especially if you take in the unique architecture of the Lionshead District that will make you feel like you're in an old city in Europe.

3. Explore Grand Lake for waterfront fun

Driving time from Denver: 2 hours Distance from Denver: 100 miles

The town of Grand Lake is modest and quaint, yet it has many offerings for travelers who visit on a road trip from Denver. The eponymous Grand Lake offers extensive aquatic opportunities, whether you're interested in going for a swim, fishing, or venturing out in the water on a boat. It's the biggest lake in the state, so you won't find anything else quite like it in Colorado.

4. Trek the Rockies in Aspen

Driving time from Denver: 3 hours Distance from Denver: 150 miles

The city of Aspen is known widely for its skiing opportunities thanks to its orientation within the Sawatch Range and Elk Mountains. Apart from skiing, you'll also find extensive hiking and mountain biking opportunities in the area, especially if you visit during the summer. Within the town itself, you'll find a more refined selection of shops and restaurants than you might expect.

5. Take it easy with a road trip to Steamboat Springs

Driving time from Denver: 2.5 hours Distance from Denver: 150 miles

If you're looking to relax on your road trip from Denver, Steamboat Springs may be the best destination. Here, you'll find relaxing hot springs that let you soak in the water while you're surrounded by scenic mountain views. Of course, you can also explore those views from the seat of a bike as you ride through the various trails in the area.

6. Find a fun town in Fort Collins

Driving time from Denver: 1 hour Distance from Denver: 60 miles

After a short road trip from Denver to the north, you can find yourself in the town of Fort Collins. Most of the local culture is focused around the university, so you can expect a positive, youthful energy in the community. That also means there will be plenty of shows to see and breweries to visit if you're looking for a more adult-oriented experience.

7. Explore all-season attractions in Telluride

Driving time from Denver: 6 hours Distance from Denver: 330 miles

The town of Telluride is home to fun all year long, so you don't have to restrict your road trip from Denver to a specific time of year. While the ski hills are certainly popular during the winter, summer visitors can enjoy mountain biking and hiking. In fact, there are over 30 different hiking trails in the area with varying difficulties, so you can simply enjoy the sights or seriously challenge yourself.

8. Explore natural wonders in Colorado Springs

Driving time from Denver: 1 hour Distance from Denver: 60 miles

Colorado Springs is home to a multitude of natural wonders. This is most prominently seen in its Garden of the Gods Park where you'll find impressive towering rock formations. Additionally, you can trek to Pikes Peak if you're looking for a satisfying hike. Don't forget to check out the local culture as well with a trip to the fine arts center.

9. Enjoy winter fun in Crested Butte

Driving time from Denver: 4 hours Distance from Denver: 220 miles

When you're looking for a road trip from Denver in the winter, Crested Butte is one of the best destinations. You'll find skiing opportunities, of course, but that's just the beginning. This town is also home to numerous outdoor adventures like biking and hiking. You can even go horseback riding for a whole new perspective on the natural splendor of the area.

10. Visit 'The City Different' in Santa Fe

Driving time from Denver: 5.5 hours Distance from Denver: 390 miles

The city of Santa Fe, New Mexico, is home to seemingly endless things to do all year long. You can ski in the winter or peruse the Santa Fe International Folk Art Market during the summer. Most of the area's appeal lies in the plaza in the downtown area. Even so, the Sangre de Cristo Mountains are appealing for outdoor adventurers, especially during the beginning of fall when the leaves turn yellow.