But 45 minutes from Aurora is the answer to everything: Idaho Springs.
So head to that always-under-appreciated spot on the windy mountain plains: Fairplay. And get your butt there on the last weekend in July, when Burro Days descends on the tiny town in Park County.
Casting for fly fishing takes practice and technique, and knot-tying keeps lures on the line, so make sure you have a basis for both of those and rent/buy a rod based on your level of interest. Colorado provides everything you need from there.
Next time you are up for an adventure, fight the natural inclination to head west to the mountains and point your car to the far south and west of the metro area and head to Mesa Verde National Park and the Four Corners monument.
The Rocky Mountain Challenge has been a staple of summer in Aurora since its advent in 2000, when it got a small start at North Middle School. It’s grown in size and popularity so much that it needed bigger digs and now is set at the city’s beautifully maintained Aurora Sports Park, using its vast array of green fields to its advantage.
If fighting off bugs to watch a flick outdoors is not so much your thing, you’re in luck because Denver’s most historic cemetery is also home to the Fairmount Mausoleum, which features the largest private collection of stained glass in the city of Denver and one of the largest in the state.
Then again, neither is the final 1,000-foot slog required to summit any of the state’s 14,000-foot peaks. Resorting to a happy medium is fine
From Spring Hill Golf Course in Aurora, the paved trail follows the oddly curvy and circuitous route that pioneers completed in 1883 as one of the sole sources of agricultural irrigation water when everything outside of what is now the Auraria Campus was wide open prairie.
And while we have those travelers to thank for the arrival of decidedly-fancy hotels like the Hyatt Regency, Aloft, Wooley’s Inn and Suites and the soon-to-be-built Gaylord Rockies, locals can enjoy those spots, too — whether for a stay in a suite or a drink at a swank hotel bar.
The Stanley Marketplace, a 100,000-square-foot mecca of food, drink and retail, is on schedule to open in the defunct Stanley Aviation Factory at 2501 Dallas St. later this summer, officially usurping the Gaylord Rockies manmade lazy river as the wildest thing to hit Aurora in the past 20 years.