How much time you choose to spend at any of these destinations depends on what you want do—there are historic sites, recreational activities, and many other attractions in each. While these places are each relatively close to Denver , they are in opposite directions along the Front Range and it’s not practical to do more than one in a day.
Whether you choose to take the Ski Train  to Winter Park Ski Resort  or make the drive to Eldora Mountain Ski Resort  or even farther to Vail , you can still be back in Denver for dinner after a day on the slopes. There are summer activities at each of the resorts and in the surrounding towns and lodging rates are much lower than in the winter high season.
At less than 30 miles away Boulder  is close enough to zip up for a quick meal, but also has enough to offer to make a day of it. Central City and Blackhawk  are of more interest in the summer during opera season—especially true if you are not going there to gamble. They are only a 30-minute drive from downtown. You can drive through these old mining towns en route to Rocky Mountain National Park , and come back through Boulder.
It’s not possible to see all of the sights in both Colorado Springs  and Manitou Springs  in one day, so it’s best to just pick one or two things to do in the area or plan a whole weekend to see and do more. Though there is bus service from Denver, it’s ideal if you have your own car to visit these towns, which are about a one-hour drive from downtown.
The Great Stupa of Dharmakaya  at the Shambhala Mountain Center  northwest of Fort Collins is the farthest excursion from Denver included in this travel guide, and probably the least familiar to most readers. It is a place for quiet contemplation, though it is like a small village. While portions of the drive are scenic, plan to spend as much time driving as being there, if you do the trip in one day. The drive is just over two hours, longer if you go straight from the airport.
When venturing out during winter months, get the latest road conditions from the Colorado Department of Transportation at www.cotrip.org  or by dialing 511. At the same time that it’s dry and sunny in Denver  there can be near-blizzard conditions and closed mountain passes. Remember, if you are going to pursue any recreational activities solo, be sure to always tell someone else where you are headed and when you plan to return.