Colorado’s Brilliant Foliage, Special Events and Activities Celebrate the Fall Season

DENVER (Sept. 1, 2011) – Foodies and foliage watchers will revel in Colorado this fall, as the state brews up some amazing fall festivals and activities.  Whether by raft, foot, zip-line or bike, there are dozens of ways to explore fall foliage and tastes in Colorado. Colorado towns offer up some unusual festivals native to each region every fall, including elk-watching festivals and chili cook-offs, while backcountry areas boast the best ways to experience fall foliage. During the time that the weather turns from summer to winter, Colorado offers something for every palate.

Treat yourself to good eats, autumn-only activities and refreshing drinks this fall at one of Colorado’s many fall festivals, which are listed below.

Eating and Drinking:

•    Applefest (October 1–2) Cedaredge celebrates the apple harvest with more than 150 local vendors gathering to showcase their shiny, crisp apple bounty. This agricultural area also features a classic car and tractor show, bands and much more.

•    Vail Restaurant Month’s Family Week (October 3–9) features a vintage family vacation “remixed” for today.  Enjoy family activities including “Little Foodies in the Kitchen” featuring cooking classes, parties and much more.

•    Celtic Fest and Oktoberfest (October 7–8) in Carbondale features beer, brats and bagpipes with live German bands and entertainment.

•    Cider Days (October 1–2) in Lakewood honors the region’s architectural heritage with this homage to fresh-pressed, organic cider. Entertainment includes the largest antique and vintage tractor pull, petting zoo, wagon rides and more.

•    The 3rd Annual Fall Harvest Brewfest (October 15) in Fort Collins features more than 20 craft breweries and craft beer-inspired local food pairings to help visitors find their “inner beer enthusiast.”  All attendees receive an official 5 oz. Fall Harvest Brewfest tasting glass, which will include unlimited tastings from participating breweries.  Guests can also check out samples from local food vendors to mix and match with their favorite brews.

Adventure Activities:

•    Elk Fest (October 1–2) The people of Estes Park share their home with elk and gather at the edge of Rocky Mountain National Park during the start of mating season for a chance to spot these wild beauties. Visitors can learn about elk behavior, witness performances by American Indians and participate in bugling contests.

•    Get settled in a saddle for Horseback Riding on Kelly Lake Trail in State Forest, one of Colorado’s 42 State Parks. With an elevation gain of 2,000 ft., bringing you to 8,505 ft. of elevation, this trail provides high alpine lakes and endless scenic views.

•    Drive along the Rainbow Route, a picturesque course that takes trail-goers from Ouray to Silverton, Durango, Rico, Telluride, Ridgway and loops back to Ouray, will delight your eyes with its aspen and pine forests, meadows, cascading waterfalls and majestic wildlife. Find out where else to experience a color-drenched drive at Colorado.com.

•    Rafting and Jeep Tours in Durango will let you experience 7,000 ft. of fall colors. This exciting trip takes you into Class II-III rapids on the Lower Animas River and includes a tour of old mining ghost towns and panoramic views in a 4WD vehicle.

•    Zip-Line Tours in Crested Butte allow you the adventure of whizzing above the tops of golden aspen trees. The tour lasts two hours, complete with an opening hike and various zip lines to explore peak to peak.

•    Mountain Biking at Devil’s Thumb Ranch Resort or Trestle Bike Park at Winter Park Resort allow for all skill levels to enjoy the fall foliage during a thrill ride. These resorts boast meadows and vistas with 5,000 acres at Devil’s Thumb and 33 miles at Trestle Bike Park to explore at your own pace.

ABOUT COLORADO

Colorado is a four-season destination offering unparalleled adventure and recreational pursuits, a thriving arts scene, a rich cultural heritage, flavorful cuisine, 26 renowned ski areas and resorts. The state's breathtaking scenic landscape boasts natural hot springs, the headwaters of seven major rivers, many peaceful lakes and reservoirs, 54 mountain peaks that top 14,000 feet and 12 national parks, monuments and historic sites. For more information or a copy of the 2011 Colorado Official State Vacation Guide, visit www.COLORADO.com or call 1-800-COLORADO. Media are invited to visit the Colorado Media Room at www.COLORADO.com/media-room for story ideas, press releases, press kits, and high-resolution, downloadable photos and video for editorial use. Follow Colorado on Twitter at www.twitter.com/colorado or become a Colorado Facebook fan at www.facebook.com/visitcolorado.
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