As summer starts to wind 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 special 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 2023:
Try Stand Up Paddleboarding
Cool off this summer with one of the most popular water sports in the state: stand-up paddleboarding (SUP). SUP involves standing on top of a large surf-like board while using a long handheld paddle to navigate the waters. Gaining quite a bit of popularity over recent years, it’s a fun alternative to boating or canoeing at Colorado’s lakes and reservoirs.
While there are plenty of spots to choose from such as Chatfield Reservoir, Cherry Creek State Park, Boulder Reservoir, and Horsetooth Reservoir, there are also several others throughout the state that make for a great day of SUPing. Here are a few notable ones:
- Blue Mesa Reservoir – A massive reservoir located near Durango that offers nearly 100 miles of shoreline and numerous scenic outlooks.
- 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.
- Lake Pueblo State Park – The state park is home to a large reservoir with plenty of room for paddling. Plus, with its unique rocky shoreline, there’s plenty to admire from your board.
- Lake San Cristobal – Located near Lake City, this pristine lake offers some of the calmest, bluest waters around.
Check out a few of our other favorite places to SUP in the Centennial State.
Catch a drive-in movie
Experience a bit of nostalgia on Friday nights at the drive-in. In total, there are seven remaining drive-ins in the state of Colorado. Enjoy the last bit of summer evenings and catch a movie at one of these unique theatres.
- 88 Drive-in Theatre (Denver)
- Best Western Movie Manor (Monte Vista)
- Comanche Drive-in (Buena Vista)
- Holiday Twin Drive-in (Fort Collins)
- Mesa Drive-in (Pueblo)
- Star Drive-in Theatre (Montrose)
- Tru Vu Drive-in (Delta)
Free admission at State Parks
Colorado is home to over 40 state parks located all throughout the state. The natural beauty is preserved and free for all to see on Black Friday each year. Take advantage of Colorado Day with a morning or afternoon of exploring a local state park. Many spots have auto roads around certain sections, allowing you to soak up much of the park’s beauty from parking areas and short walks that are suitable for the whole family.
When: Monday, August 7th, 2023
Pick peaches in Palisade
Colorado may not be known for the abundance of fruit it grows, but we are certainly proud of the peaches that come from the bountiful farms in Palisade. Found along the Western Slope near Grand Junction, the town is home to numerous farms, orchards, and vineyards that grow everything from wine-producing grapes to the juiciest peaches around.
The entire harvest season runs from late June to early October. While you can purchase Palisade peaches from almost any grocery store or at your local farmer’s market, one of the most memorable ways is to pick your own. Choose from over 30 farms in the area, where you can schedule a time to stroll the fields and find the perfect peaches.
Palisade Peach Festival
Running for over 50 years, celebrate the annual harvest season with the Palisade Peach Festival. The peach party hosts numerous local vendors, live music, a car show, a parade, and of course all the juicy fruit you could ever want.
Where: Palisade, Colorado
When: Fri-Sat, August 18 – 19, 2023
Free Day at the National Parks
To help celebrate the passing of the Great American Outdoors Act, visitors will enjoy free entrance to all of Colorado’s national parks on August 4, 2023. The historic act was passed in 2020 and provided funding to national parks and other public lands to improve their recreation opportunities. Every year the parks celebrate by waiving the entrance fees on one of the five free days offered yearly.
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
Rock out at Red Rocks
The ultimate summer experience in the Centennial State isn’t complete without a visit to Red Rocks Amphitheatre. Whether you are looking to listen to some talented artists or maybe get a staircase workout in, Red Rocks offers the perfect space for either.
Stretch it out while taking in the beautiful scenery that lays before you with the Yoga on the Rocks summer series or enjoy a movie during Film on the Rocks. August marks the end of the movie showings and classes taught by local instructors, so be sure to snag tickets to either (or both!).
Savor the 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 nearby farmers’ markets, grocery stores, and local roadside stands.
These cantaloupes are said to be the best in the world. This is due to the growing conditions combination of extremely hot days, cool nights, and fresh water from the nearby Arkansas River. Explore more of the famous foods from Colorado.
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.