Having passed through the hands of Spain and France, Colorado was bought by the United States in 1803 as part of the Louisiana Purchase. In pursuit of farming opportunities, pioneers flocked to the frontier by the thousands, traveling in covered wagons, finding only the native Plains’ Indians as existing inhabitants.

Today, this quietly friendly part of the state pays tribute to all its former and present inhabitants with myriad festivals, museums and rodeos. The natural history is preserved in Pawnee National Grassland, where it’s possible to see native wildlife, such as pronghorn (antelope), fox and hawks, near the 300-foot-tall Pawnee Buttes.

And no matter what you’re expecting when you get to northeastern Colorado, count on picturesque vistas, star-filled night skies and the friendliest of folks.

Use the articles and city pages below for ideas on things to do as you plan your next vacation to Colorado's Northeast region.