On the road in Colorado

There are so many US states ripe for exploration and we know there are probably several on your hit list. But how about you start off in a place where historic American culture is still and living and breathing and where the locals are proud to show you their patch? Let us take you to Colorado. Choose this immense state as your first stop on your American adventure, and be thrown into true cowboy culture. Not only is the state bursting with character, but its vast untouched natural beauty is a whole reason to visit by its self – and did we mention that there are also 300 days of sun? Our 6 night itinerary is a great starter, enriching your imagination before you jet off to another state.

Wine and dine downtown

Touchdown in Colorado’s Mile High capital to begin your all-American experience. Denver is bursting with culture waiting for you to explore; the locals love art, so you won’t be short of exciting galleries to discover. The iconic Denver Arts Museum has over 55,000 pieces for you to enjoy, from Monet to Warhol, as well as the greatest collection of Western American art in the world. Our tip: if you are here on the first Friday of the month, be sure to take part in the ‘First Friday Art Walk 6pm-9pm’ with the creative community for an evening of imaginative art, food and drink.

We’re big believers that variety is the spice of life, and there are many ways you should experience the culture here, particularly though the diverse cuisine. One of our favourites is Jim’s Gourmet Dog Cart where you can have a real rodeo feast – think rattlesnake and buffalo hot dogs. Make sure you spend your first evening in Denver amongst the lively and atmospheric bars and restaurants at Larimer Square. Famed for being the oldest block in Denver, it mixes luxury dining with historic architecture. We particularly love Corridor 44, an elegant Champagne restaurant where the attentive experts will orchestrate the perfect flavour combinations with your glass of bubbly. (It can be anything from caviar to lamb chop lollypops).

Into the Wilderness

Wake up and get ready for your second day of adventure, there is still so much to discover. This city is home to a fantastic Zoo boasting out of the ordinary experiences amongst its 82 acres. Make sure you see the crown jewels of the Zoo; the 2 mile long Toyota Elephant passage where you can watch elephants swim at their own leisure and Rhinos roll in the mud.

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After a morning exploring more of this vibrant city, it’s time to venture into the rest of the state. Just an hour and a half drive and you are in the thick of Coloradan wilderness. Burrowed beneath the 14,000ft Pikes Peak is the beautiful Colorado Springs with 194.7 square miles of adventure to be had. Stay in the Cheyenne Mountain Resort for the next few days and wake up to panoramic vistas of the Rocky Mountains. For the thrill seekers amongst you, there is the opportunity to abseil down fiery orange sandstone rock faces in the Garden of the Gods, or cool off from that summer sun whilst white water rafting down Brown Canyon. After a fun-filled action packed day, you’ll be glad to rest your head in your cosy cabin.

We think exploring an enormous and wondrous state like Colorado is best done by car, so the next day why not take a drive up Pikes Peak for the ultimate snap shot of the springs? Or take a little longer road trip and drive a few hours to the Great Sand Dunes National Reserve. Picture this, 750 ft sand dunes on a back drop of snow capped mountains. Sounds spectacular? It certainly is.

Discover a rustic retreat

We don’t think you can visit Colorado without gaining a variety of experiences. Cultural city experience? Check. Wilderness and adrenaline experience? Check. It must be time for a little bit of luxury, and there is no better place to gain some well earned relaxation than in Dunton Hot Springs. Burrowed deep into the San Juan Mountains, this hidden treasure has a maximum of 44 guests and no mobile phone signal (although there is wifi of course), so you are guaranteed tranquillity. Upon arrival to your charming cabin, you will be greeted with champagne, flowers and fruit. Let the pampering begin. Kick back and relax in the naturally warm mineral springs and take in every inch of the secluded beauty. You can breathe in that fresh alpine air whilst on your private horseback tour of the valley, before returning back to the lodge for an indulgent spa treatment of your choice. What’s more, you will be spoilt for choice at every meal, the open kitchen means everyone can enjoy watching their food being prepared by the highly trained chefs. Full on fresh air and fresh ingredients, you’ll have the best night’s sleep you can imagine. This quaint little getaway is certainly one for the bucket list.

And there you have it, a state offering you a wealth of different experiences, leaving you wanting more. The friendly, kick-back lifestyle is infectious. You’ll be hard pushed to find somewhere that offers that much variation in 6 days. But a new day means a new experience, and at Black Tomato we are all about the next journey. From Colorado you are perfectly placed to pack up and jet off to another fantastic state. If you are looking for a little more glitz, glamour and some golden beaches, fly two and a half hours west to sunny California. If you fancy a desert escape, fly a couple of hours south to Arizona for a week of intrepid biking and hiking. Or if the cowboy culture has truly captured your heart, take to the roads, and in just six hours you’ll arrive into Wyoming, a state with ranch culture though and though. But wherever you go next, you may just be leaving a little bit of your heart in Colorado.

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