The 10 Best Historical Sites in Colorado!

Colorado has a rich history full of dinosaurs, Native American peoples and frontiersman and settlers. The state has preserved many historic sites so that modern visitors can truly experience the historical magic that makes Colorado so great. From archeological pueblos to iconic railroads, these 10 most fascinating historical sites in Colorado are a must-see when visiting the colorful state. 

1. Bent's Old Fort National Historic Site, La Junta, CO

This is Colorado’s first site to gain the distinction of a National Historic Landmark. Located in La Junta, Bent’s Old Fort was built in 1833 along the historic Sante Fe Trail. This historic adobe acted as a fur trading post in the 1840s where settlers and Native Americans would meet on peaceful terms to trade. Visit the site for guided tours, demos and special events. 

2. Mesa Verde National Park, Mesa Verde, CO

Mesa Verde National Park is one of the most popular and impressive historic sites in the state. The cliff dwellings of Mesa Verde, which are pueblos made from overhanging cliffs, should not be missed. Created by ancient Pueblo peoples from A.D. 600 to A.D. 1300, the historic structures vary from one-room units to huge villages encompassing 150 rooms. A two-hour drive from Pagosa Springs, this park is a National Historic Landmark and a World Heritage Site. 

3. Lindenmeier Site, Wellington, CO

Located in Larimer County in Wellington, the Lindenmeier Site proves that there were inhabitants in North America as far back as 10,000 years ago. This National Historic Landmark is the largest site that contains the most information about early Paleo-Indian culture, also referred to as Folsom culture. Located in Soapstone Prairie Natural Area, numerous needles, beads and stone tools were found in the Lindenmeier Site, which is about three acres. 

4. Dinosaur National Monument, Dinosaur, CO

Declared a National Monument in 1915, Dinosaur National Monument is located at the border of Colorado and Utah. View over 1,500 dinosaur fossils and over 800 paleontological sites. This historic site is sure to please the dinosaur buff. 

5. Molly Brown House Museum, Denver, CO

Located in Denver, this museum was once the home of the “Unsinkable” Molly Brown. She got her nickname from surviving the Titanic. Major restorations have been made to the lavish home-turned-museum, which is visited by over 45,000 guests a year. 

6. Denver Union Station, Denver, CO

Built in 1894 Denver Union Station, designated as a historic structure, is far more exciting than your regular transportation station. Although it is a hub for Amtrak trains and Denver’s public transportation system, Denver Union Station also has shops, incredible restaurants, bars stocked with local brews and even a luxury hotel. Enjoy the gorgeous building and even take a tour of the station every Friday.

7. Rio Grande Scenic Railroad, Alamosa, CO

The Rio Grande Scenic Railroad still travels on the same historic tracks that were built in 1878. The trail runs through La Veta Pass and takes passengers through some absolutely incredible mountain scenery. However, the railroad wasn’t always for passenger trains. The railroad was actually closed to the public in the 1950s and then reopened in 2006. Enjoy a festive holiday ride or a classy dinner on the Rio Grande Scenic Railroad. 

8. Pikes Peak, Colorado Springs, CO

Pikes Peak, the 14,115-foot mountain near Colorado Springs, was actually designated as a Historic Landmark in 1961. If you don’t feel like hiking up this massive mountain, take the Pikes Peak Cog Rail up to the top any time of year. 

9. The Cadet Area at the United States Air Force Academy, Colorado Springs, CO

Named a National Historic Landmark in 2004, the Cadet Area at the United States Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs has impressive architecture and history. The most recognizable building in the Cadet Area is the Cadet Chapel, which has 17 iconic spires. The chapel alone is worth the visit to this impressive campus. 

10. Royal Gorge Railroad, Cañon City, CO

The Royal Gorge Railroad, near Cañon City, is one of Colorado’s most scenic trains and for very good reason. This railroad takes visitors through the Royal Gorge, which is a deep canyon with 1,000-foot walls carved by the Arkansas River. The historic tracks created quite a controversy between competing railroad companies more than a century ago. The rail line began passenger rides in 1880 with some intermittent pauses throughout the years. Now the railroad pleases visitors with first-class dining and incredible views. 

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Find Historical Societies, Sites & Museums Near You
Find Historical Societies, Sites & Museums Near You
224 Mountain Avenue, Berthoud, CO
Originally built in 1893 and listed on the National Register of Historic Places, Bimson’s Stone Shop also serves as the gateway to museum gro... Read More
406½ W Rainbow Blvd, Salida, CO
About Us: The City of Salida, Heart of the Rockies, lies in the headwaters of the Arkansas River valley along the east slope of the Continental Di... Read More
1750 13th Street, Boulder, CO
About :- The Boulder Museum of Contemporary Art is a dynamic venue dedicated to the presentation of significant art of our time. Through an innovat... Read More
200 4th Street, Estes Park, CO
Mission Statement The Estes Park Museum collects, interprets and preserves local history, as well as presenting exhibits, programs and events, for... Read More
511 East Main Street, Buena Vista, CO
About Us The Buena Vista Heritage Museum, located at 511 East Main Street in Buena Vista, is housed in the Old Chaffee County Courthouse which was... Read More
714 8th Street, Greeley, CO
About Us :The museum is housed in the beautiful Beaux-Arts style Greeley Tribune building built in 1929. Within the brick walls you will find amazi... Read More
503 North Lincoln Avenue, Loveland, CO
Mission The mission of the Loveland Museum/Gallery is to serve as a regional cultural center by collecting, preserving and interpreting Loveland's... Read More
502 Marion, Platteville, CO
About Us The town's collective basement will no longer hide Platteville's first fire truck. Nor its first soda fountain, an antique jukebox, an ... Read More
100 West 14th Avenue Parkway, Denver, CO
Mission: The Denver Art Museum is an educational, nonprofit resource that sparks creative thinking and expression through transformative experienc... Read More
7711 East Academy Boulevard, Denver, CO
Our MissionThe mission of Wings Over the Rockies Air & Space Museum is to educate and inspire people of all ages about aviation and space endea... Read More
2121 Children's Museum Drive, Denver, CO
The Children's Museum of Denver at Marsico Campus believes in kid-powered learning. Every day, our expertly designed exhibits and programs open doo... Read More
1326 Tremont Place, Denver, CO
The mission of the Denver Firefighters Museum is to preserve the history of the Denver Fire Department and firefighting through the collection and ... Read More
15051 East Alameda Parkway, Aurora, CO
The Aurora History Museum, the only public museum in the city of Aurora, is a community-based cultural center featuring changing history, culture, ... Read More
414 Main Street, Fort Morgan, CO
About Us: The Fort Morgan Museum has permanent and temporary exhibits that showcase the museum's collection. It also takes advantage of traveling ... Read More
502 Marion Ave, Platteville, CO
About Us: The Platteville Pioneer Museum was started in 1994 by Sally and Raymond Miller, Dorothy and Alan Brotmarkle, and Betty and Tom Harris, o... Read More
PO Box 1990, Idaho Springs, CO
History The need for the Argo Tunnel and the Argo Mill began on a cold day in January, 1859 when George A. Jackson made the first major discovery ... Read More
590 Yampa Avenue, Craig, CO
The Museum of Northwest Colorado began as the Moffat County Museum in 1964. Until 1990, it was housed in the Moffat County Courthouse. In 1991 it o... Read More
109 North Campbell Avenue, Holyoke, CO
About Phillips County was created by the State Legislature in March of 1889 and named in honor of R.O. Phillips, Secretary of the Lincoln Land Com... Read More
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