Every state in the US has uncommon pit stops and hidden gems. Colorado is no exception. Yes, the state has the popular Rocky mountains and lots of great hiking trails and camping sites, but read on for a few out of the ordinary stops you might want to add to your bucket list.

Bishop Castle- Rye, Colorado

bishop_castle_colorado
courtesy of www.bishopcastle.org

Who says traveling to Europe is the only way us Americans would ever be able to visit a castle? If you’re in total awe of castles and their stunning appeal but maybe can’t quite make it across the Atlantic Ocean, Bishop Castle should satisfy your medievalesque fix. It was Jim Bishop who started to construct a simple one room cottage for him and his wife in 1969. Now, the site is known as one of the biggest self-built castles in the United States.

Standing at 160 feet tall, the castle has tons of unique features, from enormous churchlike windows to a fire breathing dragon on display. The cool thing? Jim is still adding on to the fortress and doesn’t plan to stop anytime soon.

Want to visit Bishop Castle? Admission is free and it’s open 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

 

Fifty-Two 80s- Denver, Colorado

52_80s_colorado
courtesy of fiftytwo80s

Maybe castles aren’t your thing. Understandable. Why not take a trip back in time to the 80s for some nostalgia? (Pac-Man, anyone?) Denver, Colorado is the home of a modern antique shop called Fifty-Two 80s. Step inside and you’ll find yourself fully submersed in 80s and 90s trinkets, board games, video games, VHS movies, records and anything else from the decade. Some visitors may find old toys they used to have or memorabilia from cartoons they used to watch on Saturday mornings. Others can only imagine what the 80s were like, but this store makes it easy!

Also, check out their TOTALLY RAD website! http://the80sareawesome.com/

 

Baldplate Inn Key Collection- Estes Park, Colorado

baldplate_inn_key_collection_Colorado
courtesy of www.waymarking.com

Who knew a massive collection of keys could be so fascinating? Though most of them are donated from guests at the hotel, the Baldplate Inn Key Collection houses over 20,000 keys from all over the world, including Westminster Abbey, one of the White House bathrooms and Frankenstein’s Castle (last mention of castles, I promise).

The idea to put together a collection of keys came from a the novel Seven Keys to Baldplate by Earl Derr Biggers, who realized the Inn was very similar to the fictitious one in his book. So much so that he decided to name it the real Baldplate Inn.

Given closer inspection, you’ll find keys to dressing rooms of celebrities and you can probably find a piano key or two lurking around the Inn. You can even donate keys of yours, if you wish.

Cutty’s Hayden Creek Resort- Coaldale, Colorado

cuttys_hayden_creek_
courtesy of campcolorado.com

If you find being outdoors more soothing on a vacation or even if you’re just stopping for the night, Cutty’s Hayden Creek Resort may be the place for you. Whether you have your own RV or you plan to stay at one of their cozy cabins, Cutty’s has activities for all ages including white water rafting, hiking trails, fishing, horseback riding and miniature golf.

You can take from Cutty’s what you will. Want an action packed vacation full of thrills from white water rafting? Go to Cutty’s. Want to escape from the hustle and bustle and get some peace and quiet in the mountains for a weekend? Go to Cutty’s.

Last Dollar Road- Ridgeway, Colorado

last-dollar-road-sunrise
courtesy of www.santomarco.com

A beautiful scenery is the best way to get a vacation started or end it as you’re leaving the area.  Last Dollar Road is a destination in Colorado that offers picture perfect images and winding roads that many say is the most beautiful they’ve ever seen.

It’s a great off road trip for beginners regardless of the season (as long as there’s no snow on the ground and you have a high clearance vehicle). The Aspen trees, clear skies and blooming flowers make it the perfect destination for a half day trip. Don’t forget to pack a lunch and some snacks!

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