Pack your weed, grab some snacks, and head out to the strangest places this state has to offer
Buckle up, road warriors! It’s time to ditch those boring flights this Spring Break and bring back the good ol’ days of road trips. Get ready to blast some tunes, light up some spliffs (provided you’re not in the driver’s seat, of course) and munch on snacks as you hit the highways in search of quirky attractions that will transport you to a bygone era.
Colorado is the place to be if you’re looking for some serious throwback vibes. From giant roadside sculptures to funky museums, there’s no shortage of kooky sights to add to your Insta-worthy collection. Not only will you snap some cool pics, but you’ll also be tickling off your tourist bucket list like a pro.
So rev up your engines, pack your bags, and get ready for an adventure that will make you feel like a kid again. Because let’s face it, who needs first-class when you can have a front-row seat to some of the wackiest, most iconic pieces of Americana history? Hop in and let’s hit the road!
Are you ready to take your road trip to the next level? Buckle up, because we’re headed down the Cosmic Highway — aka the ultimate destination for all you space-loving, alien-hunting, X-Files binge-watch-ers out there.
Nestled in the heart of Colorado’s Great Sand Dunes National Park and Preserve, this stretch of State Highway 17 is a hotspot for extraterrestrial activity. That’s right, folks — we’re talking UFO sightings galore! And if you’re lucky enough, you might just catch a glimpse of little green men (or women, we don’t discriminate) cruising through the cosmos.
But wait, there’s more! As you cruise along this interstellar highway, you’ll come across a 10-foot-tall watch tower that’s perfect for spotting flying saucers and otherworldly phenomena. And even if you don’t happen to see any ETs, the tower offers some killer views of the surrounding area from its high elevation.
And when you’re not busy scanning the skies, there’s plenty to keep you occupied. Check out the Healing Garden, where you can rejuvenate your mind and body with the power of Mother Nature. Or, if you’re feeling brave, pitch a tent and spend the night in this remote area. Who knows what kind of intergalactic visitors might drop by to say hi?
So pack your bags, grab your tin foil hats, and get ready for a trip that’s out of this world. The Cosmic Highway is waiting for you!
The Sasquatch Outpost
Forget what you’ve heard about Bigfoot being a mythical creature that only exists in the minds of conspiracy theorists and cryptozoologists. The truth is out there, my friends — and it’s waiting for you at the Bigfoot emporium in Bailey, Colorado.
Run by the dynamic duo of Jim and Daphne Myers, this store is a one-stop-shop for all your squatchy needs. Whether you’re a seasoned outdoorsman or a total newbie to the world of Bigfoot hunting, they’ve got you covered with everything from camping gear to hiking supplies. And if you’re lucky enough to spot the elusive creature in the wild, you can celebrate in style with their selection of squatchy swag, including T-shirts, signs, and mugs.
But wait, there’s more! The Myers have also opened an on-site museum dedicated to all things Sasquatch. Here, you can geek out over eyewitness accounts and get up close and personal with a life-size replica of the big guy himself. And if that’s not enough to satisfy your appetite for the weird and wacky, head down the road to the Coney Island Boardwalk for a quick bite. It’s an iconic roadside hot-dog stand that’s been serving up delicious dogs for decades.
So what are you waiting for? Whether you’re a true believer or a skeptic looking for a good time, the Bigfoot emporium in Bailey is the place to be. Who knows, you just might be the one to crack the case and prove once and for all that Bigfoot is real. Or at least, you’ll come away with a killer T-shirt and some unforgettable memories.
Museum of Colorado Prisons
Canon City, CO
Are you ready to get locked up in a blast from the past? Head over to the Museum of Colorado Prisons in Cañon City for a glimpse into the dark and gritty history of the state’s correctional system.
Housed in a real-life cell block that was once the Women’s Correctional Facility (built way back in 1935), this museum takes you on a haunting journey through the past. Take an audio tour through 32 cells and discover the secrets and stories of some of Colorado’s most notorious inmates. From famous bank robbers to murderous psychopaths, you’ll hear it all.
But that’s not all! The museum is chock-full of exhibits and artifacts that will give you chills down your spine. Check out the former gas chamber (yes, you read that right) and learn about the controversial history of capital punishment in Colorado. And if you’re feeling brave, peek into the recreated cell of a death row inmate and try to imagine what it would be like to spend your last days on earth in a cramped, windowless room.
So if you’re looking for a unique and unforgettable experience, make your way to the Museum of Colorado Prisons. Just be warned: you might never see the justice system the same way again.
Colorado Gators Reptile Park
Looking for a place where you can get up close and personal with some of the most fearsome creatures on the planet? Look no further than the Colorado Ga-tors Reptile Park in Mosca.
This park has a wild origin story: it was originally a tilapia fish farm. But somewhere along the way, the owners realized that what they really wanted was to swim with the gators. And so, they started taking in alligators, snakes, lizards, and tortoises from all over the world. The result? A sanctuary that’s equal parts terrifying and awe-inspiring.
But don’t worry, it’s not all about being scared out of your wits. At the Colorado Gators Reptile Park, you can also learn about the animals and their ecosystem. And if you’re feeling adventurous, you can sign up for a class on reptile handling. Or, if you’re feeling really brave, you can try your hand at gator wrestling (yes, you read that right). Don’t worry, it’s all documented by a photographer, so you can show off to your friends back home.
So if you’re looking for a truly unique experience, make your way to the Colorado Gators Reptile Park. Just remember to keep your fingers and toes inside the car at all times. The gators are always hungry for a snack.
Do you love beer? Do you love castles? Do you love weird stuff? If you answered yes to any of those questions, you need to check out Cano’s Castle in Antonito.
This is no ordinary castle – it’s made entirely out of beer cans and other scrap metal. And we’re not talking a little beer can sculpture here. We’re talking multiple structures that have been under construction since the 1980s, expanding upwards over time. It’s like a never-ending fever dream of metal and aluminum.
But the best part? You can actually go inside! Explore the twisting corridors and see how many beer cans you can count. It’s like a boozy version of Where’s Waldo. And if you’re lucky, you might even run into the creator himself – Cano, a.k.a. the Mad King of Beer Cans.
So if you’re looking for a one-of-a-kind experience, head on over to Cano’s Castle. You won’t find anything else like it in the world. And who knows, you might even be inspired to start building your own beer can palace. The possibili-ties are endless!
Looking for a prehistoric adventure that doesn’t involve dodging velocirap-tors or getting eaten by a T-Rex? Head on over to Junkrassic Park in Cheraw!
This outdoor gallery features over 80 sculptures made entirely out of recycled farm implements. You’ll see everything from majestic animals to hilarious
pun-filled figures like John L. Weigh (a weightlifter made out of old farm equip-ment). And don’t miss the “Awful Tier” – an oil tower spoofing the famous Parisian landmark, the Eiffel Tower.
But the real highlight of Junkrassic Park is the chance to see metal dinosaurs in their natural habitat. That’s right, you’ll come face to face with a Triceratops made out of old plows, a Stegosaurus crafted from discarded tools, and even a towering Brachiosaurus composed of rusty metal scraps.
So if you’re looking for a fun and quirky detour on your road trip, be sure to swing by Junkrassic Park. It’s like Jurassic Park, but with less danger and more puns. And who knows, you might even discover your new favorite pre-historic creature (we’re rooting for the Utahraptor-if!).
Key collection at Seven Keys Lodge
Estes Park, CO
If you’re a fan of keys (and who isn’t?), you won’t want to miss the Seven Keys Lodge in Estes Park. This former Bald-pate Inn has a secret stash that’s sure to unlock your interest – the largest public key collection in the world!
But how did this impressive collection come to be? Well, in the early days of the inn, the owners gave a key to each visitor as a token of their stay. But as time went on, the tradition evolved and guests began donating their own interesting keys back to the inn. It quickly turned into a friendly competition of sorts, with visitors vying to see who could donate the most unique key.
Fast forward to today and the Seven Keys Lodge boasts a collection of over 30,000 keys from all over the world. From keys to Mozart’s wine cellar, to keys from Westminster Abbey and even the Pentagon, this collection has it all. And if you think that’s impressive, just wait until you see the intricate key-themed artwork on display throughout the lodge.
So if you’re looking for a one-of-a-kind attraction that’s sure to unlock your sense of wonder, head to the Seven Keys Lodge. It’s the perfect place to key up and explore the world’s most unique collection of keys – and who knows, you might even find the key to your heart (or at least to your hotel room).
The Bug Museum
Colorado Springs, CO
Prepare to be bugged out by the May Natural History Museum, also known as “The Bug Museum.” It’s home to over 100,000 creepy crawlies from all over the world, handpicked by the founder, James May, who spent a whopping 80 years scouring the globe for the most unique and fascinating bug specimens.
Located in Colorado Springs, this museum is a wonderland of insect exotica. You can get up close and personal with a nine-inch scorpion from Africa, marvel at the world’s largest purple tarantulas, and explore a world of butterflies, beetles, and other bugs that are sure to make your skin crawl.
If you’re into bugs, this is the ultimate destination. And if you’re not into bugs, well, it’s still worth a visit just to see what you’ve been missing. Who knows, you might even leave with a newfound appreciation for the fascinating world of creepy crawlies!
Lee Maxwell Washing Machine Museum
Looking for a unique way to spend a day in Colorado? Look no further than the Lee Maxwell Washing Machine Museum, where you’ll find over 1,000 vintage washing machines that will spin you right round like a record, baby!
Nestled in the town of Eaton near Fort Collins, this museum is the brainchild of Lee Maxwell, a man with a passion for all things washing machine-related. He’s collected machines from every state in the US and many from around the world, earning him the Guinness World Record for the “Largest Washing Machine Collection” in 2000.
But this isn’t your typical dusty old mu-seum. Here, you can marvel at the evolution of washing machines throughout the ages, from hand-cranked wringers to vintage models with intricate designs. You might even recognize some of the machines from your grandma’s basement.
To view this one-of-a-kind collection, an appointment is necessary by phone or email. Don’t miss your chance to spin, rinse, and repeat at the Lee Maxwell Washing Machine Museum!
Step into a time machine and travel back to the good old days of Saturday morning cartoons at Fifty-Two 80’s! Nestled in a cozy antiques district in southern Denver, this vintage shop is packed to the rafters with a collection of items that’ll take you on a nostalgic journey through the 80s and 90s.
You’ll find yourself surrounded by toys, clothes, and memorabilia that’ll bring back a flood of memories, both good and cringe-worthy. Rockers with big hair thrash on the TV while Ghostbusters II plays on another. Trading cards for Cabbage Patch Kids, Garbage Pail Kids, and New Kids on the Block fill boxes upon boxes, and vintage Pepsi cans, Pac-Man, Care Bears, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, and Atari are just a few of the other colorful cultural icons and nostalgic fads that are crammed into every inch of the store.
With over 4,500 items in their collection, the owners of Fifty-Two 80’s have turned their shop into a pop culture museum that’ll leave you feeling like a kid again. You’ll find everything from pinball machines, action figures, stuffed toys, shot glasses, cardboard cutouts, pins, posters, puzzles, board games, cassette tapes, video game cartridges, and Halloween masks. You name it, they’ve got it!
And if you’re feeling peckish, they even have Jurassic Park cereal for sale, so you can relive your childhood while crunching away. So, bring your wallet, your nostalgia, and your love for all things 80s and 90s to Fifty-Two 80’s and be prepared to lose track of time!
Petrified Wood Gas Station
Looking for a fossilized gas station? Uh, sure. Why wouldn’t you be?
If you’re stoned and looking to get more, er, stoned (and you aren’t the one who’s driving, obviously), then you should look no further than the Petrified Wood Gas Station in Lamar! Built in 1932, this gas station made of petrified wood is a blast from the prehistoric past.
And while it no longer serves up gasoline, it does house offices for a car dealership – so you can still fill up on four-wheeled fossils. This unique spot in Colorado is a true gem, made entirely of materials that are over 175 million years old.
So come for the cars, stay for the stones, and get ready to fuel up on some seriously ancient vibes.
Best Western Movie Manor
Monte Vista, CO
Are you ready for a motel experience like no other? Look no further than the Best Western Movie Manor in Monte Vista, where guests can watch movies from the comfort of their rooms! That’s right, every May through September, you can catch a flick and snuggle up in your cozy abode while the action unfolds on the big screen just outside. And don’t worry about missing any dialogue – in-room sound lets you hear every word.
But the fun doesn’t stop there. Take a short walk from your room and you’ll find the drive-in theater itself, complete with its classic snack shack. It’s like stepping back in time to the golden age of drive-ins, with the vintage screen lighting up the night sky and the smell of buttery popcorn wafting through the air.
So why settle for a boring old motel when you can have an unforgettable movie experience at the Best Western Movie Manor? Book your room now and get ready to be entertained all night long!