As a destination that draws travellers to experience its mountainous landscapes, national parks and outdoor activities, Colorado is investing in sustainable tourism initiatives to ensure the state offers unforgettable experiences to visitors in the future. As we reflect on the international year of sustainable tourism, as declared by the United Nations, there are myriad ways in which visitors can enjoy Colorado with a good conscience.
- ETuk Denver has brought economical rides to the Mile High City with a complimentary shuttle service running each Saturday to a number of independent craft breweries, cideries and wineries in the trendy RiNo district, and each Thursday night along the Broadway corridor. etukride.com
- Denver’s A-line train service last year introduced a direct line to the city’s Union Station from Denver International Airport, lessening traffic in to the city from the popular international hub. An Amtrak winter service to Winter Park is also available from Union Station, enabling visitors from the UK to efficiently twin a city break and ski holiday without needing to rent a car. rtd-denver.com / www.amtrak.com
- Aspen, Colorado is one of three destinations in the USA that promotes its natural resources by refraining from using more electricity than they can create themselves. Using 100% renewable energy, a local coal plant provides electricity to the renowned ski town, which uses recycled methane, as well as wind power accounting for 53% of the energy. aspenchamber.org
- The Colorado Historic Hot Springs Loop has been developed by Colorado Tourism Office, to encourage visitors to explore the state’s time-honoured tradition to enhance wellness, which dates back to the Ute Indians. A 720-mile loop encompassing 19 hot spring destinations, includes the world’s largest mineral hot springs pool, vapour caves and hot pots. Incorporating Buena Vista, Glenwood Springs, Ouray, Pagosa Springs, Ridgway, Salida and Steamboat Springs, the initiative has exemplified regions coming together to create a new offering using natural resources without building new attractions for tourism. colorado.com/hotspringsloop
- Travellers can join the tiny home movement and escape to WeeCasa, a new tiny home hotel in Lyons, Colorado. With just 135 square feet of charm and character, these casas utilise the space in the simplest and most efficient way possible. A gateway town to Rocky Mountain National Park, adventures in Lyons include climbing, hiking, fly fishing, mountain biking and whitewater kayaking. From $139 per night. weecasa.com
- Often referred to as the happiest city in the USA, most recently by National Geographic Traveller, Boulder has a city-wide zero waste initiative with several sustainable accommodation options. Briar Rose Bed & Breakfast is a zero-waste house run by a Zen monk and his wife, who do the organic breakfast shop by bike – the mode of transport used by all its employees. The first member of the Green Hotel Association in Boulder, the hotel uses mulches to conserve water, cuts its lawns with a human-powered reel mower, plants its own vegetation and provides with filtered water in rooms rather than plastic bottles. briarrosebb.com
- A short distance from Denver, Devil’s Thumb Ranch is an eco-luxe ranch resort and spa that is environmentally sensitive year-round. The ranch incorporates a geothermal radiant heating system to warm the buildings, pool and hot tubs using the earth’s natural resources. There is a variety of off-grid accommodation options for guests, including three rustic cabins tucked away in the woods – ideal for a digital detox. The Ranch House Restaurant sources its food from sustainable and locally farmed produce, fish, meat and game (85% from Colorado sources), including its own Ranch raised pure bred Wagyu beef. devilsthumbranch.com
- Visitors to Colorado can enjoy a taste of its western roots with a ranch stay at Ranchlands‘ Zapata Ranch and Chico Basin Ranch. Both properties offer extensive nature programmes and the opportunity to experience life on a working cattle ranch. Ranchlands promotes conservation across both Colorado ranches, including the restoration of vegetation and wildlife ecologies and providing habitats for endangered species. These goals are met with memorable experiences for guests such as taking a horseback ride through fields of a conservation species of 2,000 grazing bison. The ranches have developed a programme of nature-inspired workshops available to guests, including a natural horsemanship experience with two-time World Champion Extreme Cowboy, Cameron Schryver, teaching visitors how to move cattle on a ranch in accordance to a grazing plan. This experience takes place from 6-11 May 2018 at Chico Basin Ranch and 16 – 23 September 2018 at Zapata Ranch. A Naturalist and Painting Workshop with artist Rachel Pohl and ecologist Charles Post will provide visitors with a deeper understanding of the landscape through trail rides and exploring the ranch, with guidance for sketching. Both workshops cost $2,700, including all meals, activities and a private furnished tent. ranchlands.com
Colorado is a year-round destination offering unparalleled adventure and recreational activities, an abundant arts scene, Western heritage, distinctive cuisine and 25 renowned ski resort areas. The state’s diverse landscape boasts natural hot springs, the headwaters of four major rivers, numerous peaceful lakes and reservoirs, 11 national parks and monuments and 58 mountain peaks that top 14,000 feet, known as ‘Fourteeners’. Colorado is the gateway to the West with direct flights from the UK to Denver served by British Airways and indirect with Icelandair. Norwegian introduced direct flights to Denver from London Gatwick in September 2017, with a twice-weekly service which increased to three-times-weekly this winter, and from 25 March 2018, United will launch a daily direct route from London Heathrow.
Further information can be found at www.colorado.com
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