Paint Mines Interpretive Park(credit: Paint Mines Interpretive Park)
Whether you’re new to Colorado or you have been here for many years, there are lots of places worth exploring. From the many museums to the insanely beautiful mountains and stunning plains, you could explore a new area of Colorado every weekend and never repeat a location. If you need some inspiration for some new spots to check out, here are five hidden gems that are definitely worth a visit or two. Grab the family, plan for a weekend away and enjoy these five spots located throughout Colorado.
Denver Museum Of Miniatures, Dolls And Toys
1880 Gaylord Street
Denver, CO 80206
(303) 322-1053
www.dmmdt.org

There are lots of amazing museums in Denver but the Denver Museum of Miniatures, Dolls and Toys is really a hidden gem. It’s easy to miss this museum, located just off 18th and Gaylord, but within its walls is a huge collection of toys and miniatures sure to spark the imagination in visitors of all ages. The collection includes dolls and toys from all over the world plus small trains, cars and teddy bears, as well as lots of houses and other doll-sized items to enjoy. Bring the kids or plan a special date to enjoy wandering back in time to your own childhood at this wondrous museum.

Wings Over The Rockies Air And Space Museum
7711 E. Academy Blvd
Denver, CO 80230
(303) 360-5360
www.www.wingsmuseum.org

Speaking of amazing museums that you could easily miss, the Wings Over the Rockies museum in Lowry is another fantastic destination. You’ll find this massive 150,000 square foot hangar hidden behind lots of wonderful restaurants. Within the museum, however, is a collection of airplanes and airplane equipment worthy of the most enthusiastic aviation fan. More than three dozen historic planes live here, including many from wars throughout history. Plus, if you look hard enough, you’ll even find an actual X-Wing Fighter used in the Star Wars films. Spend some time checking out all the incredible planes and even learn a little something while you have fun.

Related: Top Tourist Destinations In Denver Worth The Hype

Bishop Castle
12705 Colorado 165
Rye, CO 81069
(719) 485-3040
www.bishopcastle.org

It started out as a self-built one-room stone cottage. Today, the massive home reaches more than 16 stories high with three cathedral windows, iron walkways and, seriously, a fire-breathing dragon. Bishop Castle is about two hours outside of Denver, but it’s totally worth the drive. Once you arrive, you’ll find this always-open and always free home open for visitors. Jim Bishop, who is still alive and building the place continuously today, has created a breathtaking testament to the power of one man and his imagination. Who knows how much more this incredible castle will change over the next few years? You’ll probably want to check back just to be sure.

Aspen/Snowmass Shrines
Aspen, Colorado 81611
www.aspensnowmassshrines.com

You’ll find lots of things on the four ski mountains of Aspen/Snowmass. Skiers and snowboarders primarily, of course, but if you keep your eyes open, you’ll find something really special. Hidden in the trees on Aspen Mountain, Aspen Highlands, Buttermilk Mountain and Snowmass are more than 100 different shrines to a number of celebrities and cultural icons. Enthusiastic fans have nailed pictures, jewelry, license plates, wind chimes and lots of other memorabilia to the trees on these mountains to honor their favorite celebrities. Among the many honored here is Hunter S. Thompson, who had a home near Snowmass. Spend some time, plot your route thoroughly and check out all these incredible hidden shrines.

Related: Top Family Gathering Outings In Denver

Paint Mines Interpretive Park
29950 Paint Mine Road
Calhan, CO 80808
(719) 520-7529
www.adm.elpasoco.com

There is no shortage of incredible views in Colorado, but this one is pretty special. Located on 750 acres, the Paint Mines Interpretive Park has evidence of human life dating back 9,000 years ago. The incredibly colorful rock formations soar above you with colors in white, orange, purple, brown and more. It’s like a coloring book brought to life. You can explore the four miles of trails with lots of signage to learn a bit about the formations around you and all the natural wonders. Just be sure to take only pictures, as this is a heavily protected site.

Deborah Flomberg is a theater professional, freelance writer and Denver native. Her work can be found at Examiner.com.

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