NORDP 2017 Annual Research Development Conference

Tips for Visitors

  • Stay hydrated!  A “humid” day in Colorado is one where the relative humidity rises above 30%. You’re likely to need about twice as much water per day in Colorado as you would drink at home. You may also want to bring some nasal saline spray and eyedrops.
  • Pack for the sun.  The drier air means the sky looks more blue in Colorado—but the altitude means we get about 25% less UV protection. Be sure to pack sunglasses, sunscreen, and lip balm.
  • Watch your physical activity.  The effects of exercise are heightened here. If you normally run 10 miles a day at home, try 6 miles in Denver.
  • Get adequate rest.  Going short on sleep, when combined with the effects of altitude, can give rise to headaches.
  • Monitor alcohol intake.  In our thinner air, golf balls go about 10% farther…and so do cocktails. We recommend that you go easy on the alcohol in the mountains, as its effects will feel stronger here.
  • Eat foods high in potassium.  Foods such as broccoli, bananas, avocado, cantaloupe, celery, greens, bran, chocolate, granola, dates, dried fruit, potatoes and tomatoes will help replenish electrolytes by balancing salt intake (especially important if you have low electrolytes, and also because you’ll be drinking more water in the dry climate).
  • Dress in layers.  Especially in the spring and fall, warm days often give way to cool nights. And on cooler days, while you may feel warm when you’re in the sun, once you get into a shaded area (or when the sun dips behind the mountains in the afternoon), it becomes quite chilly. Also, if you’re planning any side trips into the mountains proper, be aware that the temperature drops by three degrees, on average, for each 1,000 feet in altitude gain. It may be 75 at the hotel, but if you’re going up to 10,000 feet or higher, temperatures could be in the 40s. Check the weather forecast a couple of days before your trip begins, and pack accordingly.

Things to Do

Colorado is packed full of things to do year-round. From family attractions, national parks and outdoor adventure to cosmopolitan cities and welcoming towns, these Colorado vacation ideas will fill your trip itinerary to overflowing.

More Attractions

Arts & Culture


Colorado’s music, dance, theater and visual arts organizations are known for presenting popular masterpieces and innovative new works year-round. The state’s long tradition of stellar cultural events, performing arts series and art festivals ensure there are plenty of things to do and ways to be entertained during a Colorado vacation. See all arts and culture.


train through mountains

Compile a list of Colorado’s top attractions and things to do, and your Colorado vacation itinerary is practically built for you. How many of these attractions can you fit in one Colorado trip? Watch the ziplining video. See all Colorado attractions.

Colorado History & Heritage


Some of the best things to do on a Colorado vacation revolve around its ancient and historic past. Once roamed by might dinosaurs, then formed by native people, westward exploration and expansion, Colorado historic sites and landmarks are waiting to be discovered. See all history and heritage listings.

Food & Drink

food plate

Let’s make it official: Colorado is an amazing place to eat and drink. With nearly 200 craft breweries, 100-plus wineries, 40 distilleries and a growing list of award-winning chefs opening restaurants, your culinary Colorado vacation will be a rich one. See all food and drink.

Adventure Sports

ATV at mountain food

With millions of rugged acres, many people come to Colorado with adventure vacations and activities on their minds — and they do not leave disappointed. Warm weather finds folks hitting thousands of miles of Rocky Mountain trails for ATVing, four wheeling, mountain biking, backpacking and climbing Colorado’s 14ers (54 peaks rising more than 14,000 above sea level). See all adventure sports.

Outdoor Activities

biking at foot of mountains

The perfect time to get outdoors in Colorado is all the time. No matter the season, our mountains, wilderness areas, Colorado State Parks, national parks, scenic byways, lakes and rivers beckon those looking for unparalleled scenic beauty and perhaps a little adventure. See all outdoor activities.

Scenic Beauty

mountain scenery

Few locations in Colorado will put you more than a few minutes’ drive from a quintessentially beautiful Colorado scene and the dozens of ways to experience them year-round — a scenic overlook on one of the state’s 25 scenic and historic byways (11 of which are designated America’s Byways), wildlife watching in one of 10 Colorado national parks and monuments, mountain biking or hiking thousands of acres of national forest, or a snowshoe trek through one of 42 Colorado State Parks. See Colorado's scenic beauty.

Water Activities

boats on lake

The first signs of spring in Colorado serve as a signal to those who love the outdoors: the snow in the high country is about to start melting and come rushing down to many of our rivers and lakes. That fact of gravity means it’s time to book a Colorado whitewater rafting trip, begin mapping out fish-flush waters and dust off the family motorboat, canoe, kayak or jetski. See all water activities listings.