Road-Trip to ColoradoPosted: May 23, 2014
A year ago, James and I took a fantastic road trip on Memorial Day weekend to Denver, Colorado for a wedding of close friends. We wanted to take the opportunity to visit other attractions in that general direction, so we decided to drive over, and then fly back to Los Angeles after the wedding. Even though James and I don’t love spending long stretches of time in a car, this has by far been the best road trip that we have taken. Over the course of just two days we visited some of this nation’s most beautiful natural attractions: The Grand Canyon, Monument Valley, Arches National Park, not to mention the gorgeous views of the Rocky Mountains as we approached Denver.
We got a rental car and started the trip on a Friday morning; destination Grand Canyon. It took about 8 hours to get to the national park, and it was everything we could have hoped for.
The views looked like they were out of a postcard, no matter which way you turned, or what time of day it was.
After a few hours oohing and aahing at the Grand Canyon, it was time to get back on the road and head towards our hotel in Kayenta, Arizona.
We woke up early the next morning to witness the sun rising over the awe-inspiring Monument Valley. As we drove through the valley we kept taking photos along the way, and stopped a couple of times to get out of the car and take in the scenery.
A few hours out of Monument Valley, we made it to Arches National Park in Utah. We knew that the park would be absolutely amazing, but we did not expect for there to be so much of it!
It would take us days to go through the whole thing, so we chose a few sites on the map to visit, and each one was unique and incredible.
Walking through the arches, massive structures untouched by man or machine, was a surreal experience.
After several hours at Arches National Park, we headed toward Denver. Luckily, we were able to enjoy the Rocky Mountain views leading into Colorado, and there was even snow by the road in late May.
Once we got into the Denver metropolitan area, we checked into our hotel in Lakewood, CO that celebrates the area’s rich history of dinosaur discoveries.
The next morning we focused on exploring the city of Denver before heading to our friends’ wedding in the evening. One of our first stops was taking this penny back to its home, the U.S. Mint. Unfortunately, since it was a Sunday, and a holiday the following day, we were unable to actually take a tour.
Not too far from the Mint was Denver’s City and County Building. James tried knocking on their door, but they were also closed.
We also walked up to Union Station in LoDo, only to find that we couldn’t enter because of construction.
On our last day in Denver before flying back to Los Angeles, we had a few hours to kill, so we decided to do some more exploring. Following the lead of the hotel owners, who we got to meet the previous morning, we went to Dinosaur Ridge just a few miles away from the city. There we were able to take a fun tour up the ridge showcasing several dinosaur fossils and tracks.
After several suggestions to go there from local wedding guests, we drove up to the Red Rocks Amphitheater. Located between enormous rock boulders, this amphitheater is the most unique outdoor concert venue I have ever seen in person. There was no event going on at the time, so we were able to go into the theater and enjoy the calming views.
We thoroughly enjoyed our Memorial Day weekend last year. We had a fantastic time visiting national parks, exploring a beautiful city, and celebrating with our friends. We definitely want to take this trip again someday.