With Denver as a central hub for affordable airlines like Frontier, Southwest, and JetBlue, folks flock to Colorado for a weekend getaway. The easy access to the mountains from the coastal cities makes a weekend trip all the more desirable and puts new meaning in the phrase “weekend warrior.” Here’s your perfect itinerary for a weekend getaway.

Day #1: Friday

If you hop an early morning flight from anywhere in Eastern and Central time zones, the Mountain Time zone is your friend. You can arrive at DIA by lunch, and skip off to enjoy one of three hundred days of sunshine. Go west, young (wo)man! Once you arrive in the Colorado, let your lungs adjust to breathing a mile or more above sea level. Soak up local color in Colorado’s unique mountain hamlets, and stroll through quaint shops, public parks, and engage with friendly locals who may be persuaded to share some of their secrets about hiking in the area.

[caption id="attachment_5193" align="alignright" width="300"]fall hiking Hiking in the Mount Zirkel Wilderness near Steamboat Springs, Colorado[/caption]

Continue your evening at a local brewpub, where you can sample suds from one of the 140+ craft beer breweries in the state. Make sure to choose one that serves food, as alcohol affects the lowlander more upon arrival, and don’t forget to check in on Untappd to make your friends at home jealous of the rare brews you’ll be sampling.

Day #2: Saturday

Get up early and head west. Whether you want to see a ski area in summer or a National Park, there are multiple hiking options a couple hours from the state capital. Make sure you have plenty of water and snacks - consider local brands like Honey Stinger or Bobo’s Oat Bars - and trek up into the Rockies.

After your four-hour hike, you’ll be famished and ready for a hearty lunch. Colorado grass fed beef is just the ticket, and with ranching from the northwest corner on down, you won’t eat a better burger in any other state.

Hiking at altitude is exhilarating, but is also weary on your bones. Spend the afternoon soaking in one of Colorado’s famous hot springs and rejuvenate your mind and body. Go on an adventure to your preference: want to drive a winding dirt road to the middle of nowhere and soak? Great. Prefer a health and recreation center with full facilities? We’ve got that in Steamboat Springs too. If you want to take it a step further to luxury, stay at one of the full-service hot spring resorts that come with five star meals and bathrobes.

Day #3: Sunday

[caption id="attachment_5192" align="alignright" width="300"]Fall Cruiser Bikes Cruising the Yampa River Core Trail in the Fall[/caption]

The cycling is fantastic in Colorado. The state is home to multiple races and rides each year, and you can cycle on paved river routes, take mountain bike lessons, or even cruise the Colorado Wine Trail. If cycling isn’t your thing, consider spending the morning with a “Colorado” yoga class: yoga on a stand up paddleboard or at a brewery, first beer free with admission.

After a leisurely morning, don’t forget that you cannot leave Colorado without seeing the dinosaurs. Fossils are spread all across the state that was once a shallow sea, so you are able to see everything from trilobites to the fossil of a stalwart stegosaurus. Who needs rest? You can sleep on the plane so you’re ready to hit the Monday grind after an adventure in the Centennial State.

Ready to plan your weekend getaway to Colorado? Click here to start planning today.