This trip to Colorado was an interesting one. I’ve been there many times before, and I’ve enjoyed the experience each and every time I visit. But something was different this time (my feelings – not the state). I found myself in awe of the natural beauty of this place like no other time that I’ve traveled here, and I couldn’t get over how amazing the snow-capped peaks of the Rocky Mountains are. Of course I’ve always appreciated how nice the state of Colorado is, but it really hit me hard this time.
California and Hawaii are still (and always will be) my favorite states in the nation, but I’m pretty sure that Colorado has moved up to my number three spot, edging out Alaska for that coveted step on the podium. That’s a bold statement considering that I only spent about 16 hours here on the ground on this trip, but that was all the time it took to make me an even bigger fan than I already was.
So what’s the big deal about this place? Is it really that much better than nearly all the other US states? You bet it is – and here are 5 good reasons why:
1. Snow. In the summer.
There’s something really damn cool about being outside wearing shorts and a t-shrt while looking up at snow-covered mountain peaks off in the distance. It looks downright cold and rugged way up there, but down in the valleys the temperatures are always warm and toasty in the summertime. It’s an odd sensation to say the least, and it’s mesmerizing to just sit and watch the scenery.
2. The Front Range
Stand anywhere in Denver, and look east. Looks pretty, right? Nothing but wide open land for as far as the eye can see, and the sense of vastness is amazing. But turn around for a second. Bam!
The Rocky Mountains jolt out of the ground abruptly just west of Denver, transforming the wide open prairies into amazingly rugged terrain in an instant. There is very little transition from plains to mountains, and the way they frame the city of Denver is really unique.
The residents of Colorado take pride in their state, and it’s really easy to see. Everywhere you look, things are tidy and clean. Nothing seems out of place, and I really appreciate the respect the locals have for the place in which they live and work.
California and Hawaii share equal amounts natural beauty, but in both places it’s much more common to encounter neighborhoods and communities that look downright filthy and neglected.
4. Abundant sunshine
Despite the wild swings in climate between each season, the sun shines a lot in Colorado. In fact, the Denver area is sunny (on average) more than 300 days a year! Yes, I know that there is a lot more to this state than Denver, but the entire state is a lot less gloomy than you would expect for a place that receives so much snow in the winter time.
5. Pot commercials on TV
I nearly fell off the couch when I stumbled upon a commercial for a local bong shop while flipping through the channels on the television in my hotel room. I had completely forgotten that pot is legal in the state of Colorado, and to see advertisements for it on TV was quite amusing.
Seriously though, legalized marajuana isn’t actually one of the reasons why this state is better than yours. The fact that the government had the courage to take a stand and pass such a controversial law is what I like. That kind of progressive thinking is something that we don’t see much of anymore (sadly), and it gives the impression that Colorado isn’t as uptight as many other states. Residents may disagree with me here, but from an outsiders point of view, I think it’s very cool.
I realize that these are very subjective points, and you may not agree with me on some (or all) of them. But the state of Colorado is something that fits my personality and lifestyle pretty darn well and it was good to go back and rediscover it all over again. I definitely need to spend more time there in the future!