As summer starts to winds down in Colorado during the month of August, everyone looks for ways to enjoy the last few days of warm weather. By now, the snow is nearly gone in the high country, hot days are felt along the Front Range, farmers are gearing up for harvest season, and bursts of yellow fill the fields of the eastern plains.
It’s a truly unique time to experience the Centennial State, and all it has to offer. So, soak up the last bit of summer with these fun things to do in Colorado in August.
Here are some things to do in CO during August 2020:
Stand up paddle boarding
Cool off this summer with one of the most popular water sports in the state, stand up paddle boarding, or SUP. SUP is a popular water sport that involves a person standing on top of a large surf-like board, using a long handheld paddle to navigate through the waters. It has recently gained quite a bit of popularity over the years as a fun alternative to boating or canoeing at Colorado’s lakes and reservoirs.
While there are plenty of reservoirs to choose from along the Front Range, such as Chatfield Reservoir, Cherry Creek State Park, Boulder Reservoir, and Horsetooth Reservoir, there are also several other favorites throughout the state that make for a great day of SUPing. Here are a few of our favorites:
- Grand Lake – Colorado’s largest and deepest natural lake near Grand Lake, CO.
- Dillon Reservoir – Surrounded by the towns of Frisco, Silverthorne, and Dillon, the Dillon Reservoir is a favorite summertime escape.
- Blue Mesa Reservoir – A massive reservoir located near Durango that offers nearly 100 miles of shoreline and numerous scenic outlooks.
- Lake San Cristobal – located near Lake City, this pristine lake offers some of the calmest, bluest waters around.
- Lake Pueblo State Park – The state park is home to a large reservoir with plenty of room to SUP. Plus, with its unique rocky shoreline, there’s plenty to admire from your board.
Check out more of our favorite places to SUP in the Centennial State.
Experience a bit of nostalgia with Friday nights at the drive-in. In total, there are eight remaining drive-ins in the state of Colorado. Enjoy the last bit of summer evenings and drive your car to one of these Colorado drive-in theatres.
- 88 Drive-in Theatre (Denver)
- Holiday Twin Drive-in (Fort Collins)
- Mesa Drive-in (Pueblo)
- Denver Mart Drive-in (Denver)
- Tru Vu Drive-in (Delta)
- Comanche Drive-in (Buena Vista)
- Star Drive-in Theatre (Montrose)
- Best Western Movie Manor (Monte Vista)
In addition to these permanent drive-in theatres, there are also several pop-up theatres that have made an appearance this summer.
- The BIFF Drive-in – Hosted by Boulder International Film Festival at the Boulder Municipal Airport. Featuring new and classic films through September 26th.
- Dick’s Sporting Goods Park – In conjunction with the nearby community, the park will host a series of pop-up movie theatres in the parking lot. Shows are free to the public and run through August.
- Blue Starlite Drive-in – This pop-up drive-in returns to Minturn, CO for its summer movie series, which runs through to the end of August. With showings from Wednesday through Sunday, enjoy classics like Back to the Future and Batman. Tickets are available online.
Pick peaches in Palisade
Colorado may not be known for its abundance of fruit it grows, but the state is certainly proud of the peaches that come from the frutal farms in Palisade. Found along Colorado’s Western Slope, near Grand Junction, Palisade is home to numerous farms, orchards, and vineyards that grow everything from wine-producing grapes to the juiciest peaches in the state. The entire harvest season runs from late June to early October.
While you can purchase Palisade peaches from most any grocery store in the state or at your local farmer’s market, one of the best ways is to pick your own. Choose from over 30 farms in the area, where you can schedule a time to come stroll the fields and pick your own peaches.
Celebrate every year with the Palisade Peach Festival. The annual festival hosts numerous local vendors, live music, and of course all the peaches you could ever want.
Note: Due to COVID-19 the 2020 Palisade Peach Festival has been canceled.
Rocky Ford cantaloupe season
While Palisade is known for its peaches and Pueblo is known for its green chiles, Rocky Ford is best known for its cantaloupes. The harvest begins in mid-July and runs through to mid-September, with the prime time for picking in August. On average, the seasonal crops produce about four million cantaloupes to be sold to local farmers’ markets, grocery stores, and local roadside stands.
These cantaloupes are said to be the best in the world. This is all due to the combination of extremely hot days, cool nights, and freshwater from the nearby Arkansas River. Explore more of the famous foods from Colorado.
Come mid-August in Colorado, farm fields out east and near the Denver International Airport (DIA) are filled with towering sunflowers that line up row after row for a truly unique scene. Hundreds of photographers, both amateur and professional, break out their cameras for the iconic sunflower field photograph. The most popular area to photograph Colorado’s sunflower farms is near DIA.
The airport leases nearly 20,000 acres of land to farmers who grow sunflowers and other crops. These fields can be accessed via Pena Blvd, exiting 56th street, heading east. From 56th, turn left on Imboden road where the fields pop with color all the way up to 104th street.
Do note, if you do go out to photograph the sunflower fields, that these are private farms, and you are not allowed to walk through the fields, pick the sunflowers, or even touch them. Respect the farmland and keep to the perimeter of the fields. Explore some of Colorado’s other colorful wildflowers.
Free day at National parks
To help celebrate National Park Service’s birthday on August 25th, visitors will enjoy free entrance to all of Colorado’s national parks. The National Park Service was created on August 25th, 1916, and every year the parks celebrate by waiving the entrance fees to the national parks. It’s just one of the five entrance-fee free days the national park service offers every year.
Start planning your vacation at one of these Colorado National Parks:
- Rocky Mountain National Park – near Estes Park and Grand Lake
- Mesa Verde National Park – near Cortez
- Great Sand Dunes National Park – near Alamosa
- Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park – near Montrose and Crawford
Red Rocks Amphitheatre
The ultimate summer experience in Colorado isn’t complete without a visit to Red Rocks Amphitheatre. Whether you are looking to hear some music or get in a workout, Red Rocks offers the perfect space to do both. Stretch it out while taking in the beautiful scenery that lays before you with their Yoga on the Rocks summer series. With August being the last month in the series, choose form evening and day classes on Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays.
Or if you are there for the music, let the soothing sounds of Acoustic on the Rocks serenade you with a classical concert from the Colorado Symphony. It’s held nightly from Wednesday, July 29, 2020 at 7:30PM to Sunday, August 2, 2020 at 7:30PM.
For more things to do this month, be sure to check out our August events page and see what is happening in your part of the state. Remember though many festivals are likely to be cancelled or postponed due to COVID-19, so please confirm before attending any event.