Ten Hidden Gems To Try For Unexpected And Lesser-Known Colorado Travel This Winter, 2017/18

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For Winter Season, the Colorado Tourism Office Brings A New Collection of Inspiring Travel Ideas Via Its Online Trip-building Platform, The Colorado Field Guide

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A change of the seasons brings with it new travel experiences and sensations for Colorado. Favorite mountain towns and landscapes transform from golden autumnal hues with white dustings of winter snow as Ullr arrives. For this winter season, the Colorado Tourism Office brings a new collection of inspiring travel ideas via its online trip-building platform, the Colorado Field Guide, which is designed to take travelers off the well-trodden path and into new corners of the state where untapped and lesser-known experiences are for the taking. Those journeys into more intimate rural towns provide different encounters with history and learning: first-hand landscapes to admire, emerging outdoor recreation experiences, or re-imagined cultural events and destinations.

Here’s ten lesser-known gems to inspire intrepid adventures and experiential journeys in Colorado this winter:

1.    The Tank Center for Sonic Arts is one of Colorado’s most imaginative music venues. This former water tank in Rangely began its secret life as a recording studio for local musicians who crowdfunded to save the tank from being sold for scrap. Take a winter road trip along the Flat Tops Trail Scenic Byway through lush river valleys and wild west towns and enjoy a concert or show at this unique space. As featured in Flat Tops Wilderness: Meeker & Rangely Field Guide.

2.    Southern Colorado Repertory Theatre is Southern Colorado’s theatrical jewel, offering a year-round theater program for downtown Trinidad. A small-town cultural night out can be the highlight of a journey through Spanish Peaks Country of Walsenburg, La Veta and Trinidad, which is one of Colorado’s richest areas for western history, museums and institutions. As featured in Spanish Peaks Country: Walsenburg, La Veta, Trinidad and More Field Guide.

3.    Barrel and Kettle-Aged Sour Beers Whether leaf-peeping for the fall or skiing the region’s resorts, the Southwestern Colorado local craft beverage trail offers fantastic detours and pit-stops including a new specialty brewer, Wild Edge Collective which specialize in Sours. As featured in Explore The Crafted Beverages of Southwest Colorado Field Guide.

4.    Family-Friendly St Vrain Cidery: While this local cidery features 24 hard ciders on tap, it offers a full range of non-alcoholic beverages and has games available making it a great base to enjoy a libation on a family visit. As featured in Family Fun in Longmont for Fall & Winter Field Guide.

5.    Craft and Class with Mancos School of the West: When you enroll in a class or workshop at Mancos School of the West, you’ve embarked on a journey into an inspiring landscape of creativity. Learn skills from artistic masters in mediums ranging from iron work to mosaic, photography to fibers. As featured in the Explore Mesa Verde Country in Winter Field Guide.

6.    Ice Skating at North Ponds Park: There’s plenty of fun to be had that’s off the slopes. Amenities include a warming hut, restrooms, parking, and access to the best true pond skating in Summit County. Bring your own skates. As featured in the Snowy Days in Silverthorne Field Guide.

7.    Ice Climbing at Rifle Mountain Park: If you're feeling adventurous, Rifle Mountain Park features world-famous rock climbing and ice climbing opportunities. Rifle Mountain Park, a narrow box canyon, located just 13 miles north of Rifle, serves as one of Americas premier sport climbing destinations. As featured in To Ski or not to Ski in Glenwood Springs and Rifle Field Guide.

8.    Aspen Center for Environmental Studies Snowshoe Tours: During the winter months, ACES offers a variety of daily programs at spectacular locations around Aspen and Snowmass. Join an ACES Naturalist for daily guided snowshoe tours on top of Aspen Mountain, at Snowmass, and at Ashcroft, or hop on a Naturalist-guided ski tour at Snowmass. As featured in Winter Wonderland in Snowmass Field Guide.

9.    Fat Bike Cement Creek Trail: Groomed 10’ wide, there may be a divider in the middle, but the Cement Creek drainage is a great example of shared use and user harmony. As featured in Crested Butte Winter with No Lifts Field Guide.

10.    Jessup Farm Artisan Village: Jessup Farm brings to life the farmstead of one of Fort Collins’ early settlers. Neighbors gather and friends drop by for coffee, a bite to eat, a little shopping, and more. As featured in Days of Fun in the C ache la Poudre River National Heritage Area Field Guide.

For more trip-planning itineraries and hidden gem-inspiration, visit http://www.colorado.com/fieldguide

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Sarah-Jane Johnson

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