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Colorado’s Most Charming Towns for a Summer Escape

Despite being one of the most popular skiing and snowboarding destinations in the country, Colorado provides a picturesque escape for travelers seeking a summer in the mountains. The pine-covered peaks, crystal clear lakes and charming villages come to life in the summer, allowing you to enjoy crisp mountain air and temperate weather. Though scattered thunderstorms are common throughout the warmest time of year, skies are predominantly sunny, allowing you to enjoy the great outdoors and all of Colorado’s adventurous activities.

From mountain biking to hiking, taking in the vibrant greenery and wild blooms in the summer is a stark but stunning contrast to the snow-covered landscape that draws so many visitors in the winter. While high-end towns like Aspen and Vail boast breathtaking surroundings and high-end restaurants and accommodations, smaller locales like Telluride offer a truly immersive and small-town mountain retreat. If you’re hoping to experience the more artsy side of Colorado, Cherry Creek is a special community in Denver that is home to unique art galleries and the Cherry Creek Arts Festival. Whether you’re looking to relax fireside under the stars at a luxury mountain resort or experience some of the best hiking in the Rockies, follow this guide to Colorado’s most charming towns for a summer escape.

Four SeasonsFour Seasons Resort at Vail Colorado.


Located at the base of Vail Mountain, this quaint valley town is surrounded by the White River National Forest, providing the perfect blend of rural and luxury living. Walk through glimmering Aspen trees on the Upper Piney River Falls trail or hike the Lost Lake Trail for epic views of Beaver Creek and the Gore Range vistas. On the weekends, indulge in French fare at Vintage before catching a concert at Vail’s Gerald R. Ford AmphitheaterMatsuhisa is the perfect place to cure your craving for sushi, but if you’re in the mood for a post-hike cocktail at sunset, grab a bar stool at Root & Flower and sip on the unique Cadillac Desert, which is a sage & citrus infused tequila martini.

Where to Stay:

The Four Seasons Resort and Residences Vail is just steps away from Vail Mountain, placing guests in the heart of nature. Enjoy unparalleled access to beautiful hiking and biking trails or take advantage of the heated pool and hot tubs. The Hythe Vail, a Luxury Collection property, offers more modern accommodations and encourages guests to unwind by the retro fireplace in the lobby or indulge in a massage at the on-site Well & Being Spa.

MadelineMadeline Hotel & Residences in Telluride.


With a population of less than 3,000, Telluride is a box canyon town with a unique history. Formerly a Victorian mining town, the tiny destination has everything from towering peaks to a charming Main Street where locals go to shop, eat, drink and mingle. The surrounding San Juan Mountains are a hotspot for hikers and mountain bikers looking to brave treacherous yet idyllic peaks, but there are also plenty of lakes and ponds where you can swim or paddle board. The panoramic, mountainous background from Main Street is out of this world, but nothing beats the views from Allred’s Restaurant. Stop by Historic Bar for a nightcap at Telluride’s oldest bar, which has remained untouched since 1895. 

Where to Stay:

Between the earthy interiors and show-stopping views, Auberge’s Madeline Hotel & Residences offers a cozy respite from the outside world. The alpine-inspired rooms and suites boast five-star comfort, while the on-site Timber Room is home to one of the coolest cocktail programs in town. For more private accommodations, book one of the luxury log cabins at Mountain Lodge Telluride.

Hotel ClioHotel Clio in Cherry Creek.

Cherry Creek

Though it is technically a neighborhood within Denver, Cherry Creek feels like its own destination entirely. In addition to its bustling shopping scene, it is also home to some of the best restaurants in Denver. Toro Latin Kitchen & Lounge is a Pan-Asian restaurant that serves innovative sushi rolls, Argentinian-style steaks, tasty tacos and more, while Blue Island Oyster Bar and Seafood serves some of the freshest seafood that you’ll find in this land-locked state. Art fanatics should pay a visit to Relévant Galleries, which showcases pieces by acclaimed photographer David Yarrow. If you visit during the first week of July, be sure to buy tickets to the Cherry Creek Arts Festival, which features over 250 juried artists. 

Where to Stay:

Hotel Clio features 193 guest rooms and six suites. Enjoy a zesty margarita in the chic lobby before walking to some of the best shopping in the area, including boutiques and big brand-name stores. Halcyon, a Hotel in Cherry Creek is another solid option that boasts a hip rooftop pool and 154 contemporary rooms and suites.

The Little NellThe Little Nell in Aspen, Colorado.


Aspen is a quintessential Colorado town known for its celebrity residents, renowned restaurants and luxurious accommodations. Though there is plenty to do in downtown Aspen, from shopping designer handbags at Prada to visiting the Aspen Art Museum, the outdoor activities are what make Aspen such a hotspot for travelers. Experience the crystal clear waters at the Stillwater section of the Roaring Fork River, which is perfect for swimming and paddle boarding. When it comes to hiking, Maroon Bells Scenic Trail lets you soak in a scene of wildflowers around Alpine Lake. Not sure where to dine? ProspectWhite House Tavern and Las Montañas should all be at the top of your list. 

Where to Stay:

There’s no shortage of lavish hotels in Aspen, but in true Auberge fashion, Hotel Jerome is one of the best. This historic hotel is a local landmark and has been around since 1889, boasting vintage vibes and antique decor that creates an elevated and transportive ambiance. The Little Nell is another award-winning property that remains Aspen’s only Forbes Five-Star and Five-Diamond resort.

The BroadmoorThe Broadmoor in Colorado Springs.

Colorado Springs

Trade in pine-covered mountains for red sandstone rocks when you visit Colorado Springs in the summer. The iconic Garden of the Gods is the most popular park in Colorado Springs, boasting more than 1,300 acres of public space. Nature lovers flock to this bucket-list sight every year, and though you can explore by foot at your leisure, you can also book a Jeep, Segway or e-bike tour. After a long day of hiking and adventuring, sit down for a dirty martini and shrimp cocktail at Bonny & Read Seafood before ending the night with stargazing. 

Where to Stay:

Between its grandiose, European-inspired exterior and its five-star service, the Broadmoor is the most lavish property in Colorado Springs. The crystal chandeliers, antique paintings and marble fireplaces in the guest rooms and suites curate a setting that is reminiscent of a palace, but with an endless array of on-property amenities like a spa, golf course and indoor and outdoor pools, you probably won’t find yourself in your room all that often. 


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