Day Trips from Denver

Sometimes when I am stressed with school, work, and internship it is helpful to take a day trip to appreciate the awesome things that this location has to offer.  Here are some suggestions to get you started.
 
1) Garden of the Gods
It is only about an hour away and it is free.  It is a must see park in Colorado and has lots of great hikes for all different levels of ability.
 
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2) Boulder 
Take advantage of your free RTD services, jump on the BV, and bus yourself up to Boulder.  One of my favorite things about Boulder is the amazing happy hours, food happy hours that is.  While dining in Boulder can be a bit pricey at times many Boulder restaurants have created happy hour menus that cater to people on a budget.  Two of my favorites are The Med and Brasserie Ten Ten.  They are both located near Pearl Street Mall where you can stroll around afterwards working off everything you ate. 
 
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3) Hanging Lakes 
If you are up for a long day then this is one for you.  It is quite a drive but totally worth it.
It is between a 2-3 hour drive and can be made into a 2 day trip if you aren’t up for driving there and back in one day.  I would recommend doing this day trip in the fall when the trees are changing colors and the mountains are gorgeous.  It makes the drive seem much shorter.  Hanging Lakes isn’t a hike for the faint of heart but if you take it slow most people should be able to do it.  It is a short but steep hike up to a gorgeous lake and waterfall.  It you are a geology fanatic you may want to look at the unique rocks around the area as well. 
 
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4) Rocky Mountain National Park
It is between a 1-2 hour drive.  Again, it is a great place for camping if you want to make it a two day trip.  There are endless opportunities at Rocky Mountain National Park.  Stopping by the visitor’s center is a great way to start.  The park rangers are very helpful in recommending a trail or pointing you in the direction of where wildlife has been spotted that day.  If you aren’t the hiking type you can drive right up Trail Ridge Road and get spectacular views with barely having to move your feet.
 
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5) Fort Collins
Fort Collins is a little over an hour north of Denver.  There are a lot of fun things to do in Fort Collins.  There are lots of little shops, restaurants, and breweries around the area.  You could also hit up the drive in theater to end the night.
 
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