Summer is almost upon us and with summer comes family vacations. This year, why not consider something a little different? Indeed, instead of traveling to the same old spots, maybe it’s time to look for something a bit more out of the way, quirky or downright silly. We’ve compiled a list of some of the oddest vacation towns in Colorado. Colorado is a state well known for its beauty, winter sports and festivals. In this article we’ve worked to find vacation spots which offered up a taste of the odd and strange, the most unusual towns in Colorado.
10. Morrison, Colorado: Dinosaurs, Tiny Town, and Red Rocks Amphitheatre
Where else can you go where you can spend the day examining dinosaur fossils and the night watching a concert? Morrison, Colorado that’s where. Indeed, Morrison is rich with oddities which make it that much more fun than most towns. Dinosaur Ridge is one of the world’s best known places to tour dino fossils. Whereas Red Rocks Amphitheatre is one of the world’s best known places to view concerts. Then there’s Tiny Town. Tiny Town is fun for children and children at heart. It’s made up of around 100 buildings, all 1/6 scale. They also have a miniature train to ride for the kiddies.
9. Manitou Springs, Colorado: Home of Quirky Festivals
Any of you in the mood for a fruit cake toss? Well, if you are it just so happens you can find just what you’re looking for in Manitou Springs. This small town in Colorado is known for its odd and strange festivals and events which occur year round. For instance, October has the Emma Crawford Coffin Races, June has a wine festival, August has a Pikes Peak Hill Climb, and February has the Mumbo Jumbo Carnival and Parade. There’s also some great attractions which include the Manitou Cliff dwellings, Garden of the Gods Trading Post and Miramont Castle Museum.
8. Fort Collins, Colorado: UFO Sightings, Breweries and Swetsville Zoo
For some, Fort Collins is Colorado’s next biggest tourist trap. This town is a great place to visit, filled with unusual things to see and do. Those who adore craft beer will be thrilled to know that Fort Collins has more than enough craft breweries to satiate anyones taste buds. There’s also the famous Swetsville Zoo. The zoo doesn’t exactly house animals, instead it is home to metal sculptures of various design and characters. For those who are adventurous at heart, Fort Collins also offers several Scavenger tours, Ghost tours, and yes there have been UFO sightings here as well. Last but not least, Fort Collins has a pigeon express. That’s right, homing pigeons are used to facilitate film developing for tourists who prefer film over digital. Run by Rocky Mountain Adventures, the pigeons have little backpacks which deliver and return developed film!
7. Uptop, Colorado: A Revitalized Ghost Town You Can Buy for $1 Million Dollars
The town Uptop, Colorado is perfect for those who are into Wild West towns. It has a museum, a saloon, a wild west styled, one room school. Uptop is 42 acres of historical awe for those of you interested in the wild west. Established in 1877, Uptop isn’t your usual ghost town. Here, the buildings are maintained in peak condition through the combined efforts of Debra Lathrop and Dianne Law. According to Lathrop, “We thought we were going to open a retreat center, so we were looking for land that came with the water and the mineral rights. Someone showed us Uptop, and we said, This is it.” Today, you can purchase this revitalized Colorado ghost town for just $1 million dollars.
6. Cripple Creek, Colorado: The World’s Greatest Gold Camp
Cripple Creek is another of those historic mining towns in Colorado. Known as the “World’s Greatest Gold Camp” back in the day, Cripple Creek was as lawless a town as they come. Fortunately for you history buffs, the town is still in operation, albeit with a much smaller population, and keeps itself busy by entertaining tourists by enacting gunplay and other staged events at places like the Butte Theater. In fact, if visiting historic mines is a thing, you can check out the Mollie Kathleen Gold Mine. There, you and yours can dip over 1,000 feet below the surface and into one of their original goldmines from the 1800’s.
5. Breckenridge, Colorado: Home of Ullr, God of Snow
Breckenridge Colorado is well known for many things, such as its winter sports activities. However, did you know that it is considered by some as Colorado’s best town to spend Christmas? In fact, it’s so famous for its Christmas feel, that they filmed a good part of the Chevy Chase comedy film, National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation here. While that’s all well and good, what really makes Breckenridge unusual, is that they worship a god called Ullr. Rituals to the god Ullr occur all year around, but really get going during the winter season. For instance, in January Breckenridge celebrates Ullr Fest, a fun, quirky gathering where the townsfolk pray for more snow! Finally, while you’re there, don’t forget to stop by The Brown, a fabled bar which is known to house the ghost of a Ms. Whitney.
4. Ouray, Colorado: Where Christmas Meets Ghostly Hauntings
Can’t afford the time or money to visit Switzerland? Then taking a trip to the beautiful Colorado town of Ouray is the next best thing. Known as the “Switzerland of America”, Ouray closely represents a Swiss village, from the snowcapped mountains to charming architecture. It also stands out as one of our nations finest towns when it comes to all things Christmas. But that’s not all, Ouray is also noted for its ghostly inhabitants! Establishments such as the Western Hotel, Beaumont Hotel and the Ouray museum are just a few of the places thought to be filled with the activity of the dead and gone. In fact, you can even go on cemetery tours in Ouray.
3. Saguache, Colorado: Cannibal Alfred Packer was Jailed Here
At first glance, Saguache may look like any small town in Colorado. However, when we take a more in depth look we can see some unusual peculiarities specific to this town alone. First, there’s a 320 ranch for sale in Saguache which is an exact replica of an Old West Town. The “town” is for sale for around $4.7 million and boasts many modern amenities plus replicas of saloons, etc. But that’s not all, for you see, Saguache is where Colorado’s celebrated cannibal, Alfred Packer, was jailed. When we say celebrated, we’re not kidding. They’ve named the place where his victims were found, Cannibal Plateau. Saguache’s very own museum holds some of Packer’s memorabilia including a re-enactment of Packer in a cell. The display includes handcuffs and other such items.
2. Nederland, Colorado: Home of the Frozen Dead Guy Day Celebrations
Looking for something to fill in your calendar next March 2023? Well, why not consider visiting Nederland Colorado. This delightful small town nestled within the embrace of the Colorado Rocky Mountains just happens to be home to the body of Grandpa Bredo Morstoel. Mr. Morstoel hailed from Norway, but passed away in Nederland in 1989. it seems that Grandpa Bredo’s body has been quietly frozen, meaning he is lying in cryogenic stasis in the good town of Nederland. As such, each year the people engage in festivities called, “Frozen Dead Guy Day”. Here, people old coffin races, drink beer, take dips in freezing water called Polar Plunges, and much more
1. Crestone, Colorado: Spiritual Capital of the World and UFO Hotspot
Crestone Colorado is known as the “New Age Religious Capital of the World”. This isn’t a new conception of the area, no indeed. For you see, the area where Crestone sits has been considered sacred for thousands of years. Crestone is not only for the spiritual, but it also draws UFO sightings. There are so many UFO sightings in Crestone that a UFO Watchtower was constructed 12 miles south of the city in order to catch them all. Famed journalist Bill Moyers witnessed sagebrush simply combust, “This is the only strange and unexplainable thing that has ever happened to me in my life,’ and it happened down here in Crestone. He’s a fact-based guy. I’m just waiting for my sagebrush.” (https://gazette.com/life/peace-love-and-ufos-in-mysterious-crestone/article_734c5d51-f1b6-57b0-8d34-10c8b343a2ec.html)
There you have it, some of the most unusual towns in the great state of Colorado. Nestled amid its rugged terrain you’ll find towns which are known as the spiritual capital of the world, another which holds an annual “Frozen Dead Guy Day” celebration, and a infamous cannibal. As a state, Colorado has always been riddled with mysteries, such as those within the Denver National Airport and a huge number of UFO sightings. Is it any wonder with its gorgeous and rugged terrain, Rocky Mountain backdrop, Colorado remains one of the best vacation sites in the world today.