Quintessential Colorado mountain town charm, outdoor activities galore + cozy bars

As we all know, life’s daily grind can be all-consuming, which makes timely getaways all the more important.

Of course, that’s one of the glories of living in Denver — world-class mountain destinations are just a short drive away.

[See Denver’s top 5 mountain home markets

As Denver populations proliferate, many of our favorite local nooks have become crowded, so I outlined some of my favorite Colorado off-beaten-path destinations to recharge, relax and enjoy the glorious Rocky Mountain summers.

First up, magical Ouray.

Ouray — A natural oasis

Driving distance from Denver — Five hours 38 mins on good ol’ 70.

Nestled in the peaks of the Rockies, Ouray is a vibrant nature soup (yes, I did use “soup” there).

Explore the scene on foot, horseback, four-wheel drive, or drive the famous San Juan Skyway, one of America’s most scenic drives. Trust me on that one.

Ouray is truly magical — with sheer mountain cliffs bracketing the small town you feel nestled in a special place far, far away. Which, especially with the drive, you are.

Natural hot springs, sulfur-free water, and mountain basins with wildflowers and waterfalls make Ouray one of Colorado’s most iconic mountain getaways.

There’s also fly fishing, mining, museums, ghost tours, and you can also see vistas where old Hollywood westerns were filmed.

It’s easy to see why this has been such a special place for world travelers for over century; the whole place is a natural, outdoor playground!

To boot, it’s small, quaint downtown offers an abundance of comfort and bars to balance out the busy outdoor days.

Ouray highlight — Whitewater rafting

Visitors can ride the area’s wonderful Uncompahgre River on half-day or two-hour trips from outfitter RIGS.

The more adventurous can also choose inflatable kayak trips from the Ridegway-based guide service.

When out of the water, the area’s standout hikes will also amaze.

Reach out to me with any questions on other ins-and-outs of Denver living or insight into buying or selling.

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