Colorado is beautiful in any season, but fall is a special kind of spectacular as the state's aspen trees turn golden across the mountains.
Whether you prefer to be on the western slope, in the hustle and bustle of the city, across the eastern plains, or in the foothills, there are dozens of fall festivals to enjoy this one-of-a-kind season in Colorful Colorado.
While not a festival perse, heading to Kebler Pass is one of the prime places to see Colorado's trees of gold near Hunnison/Crested Butte. Details.
Salida Bike Fest - Sept. 14-16
West of Colorado Springs, the Salida Bike Fest celebrates everything you can pedal. The kickoff party Friday night has live music at local brewery Soulcraft, and you can ride right on through the brewery itself. The rest of the weekend has bike races and rides of all kinds and even a parade on Sunday. Details.
Colorado Mountain Wine Fest - Sept. 14-17
Take a relaxing drive across the western slope and spend a weekend in Palisade, Colorado, for the Colorado Mountain Winefest. Food and wine pairings, lovely mountain views, changing fall colors, and local vendors are just a few of the attractions available over the long weekend celebrating local wine. Details.
Downtown Boulder Fall Fest - Sept. 15-17
Celebrate the imminent arrival of fall with a trip to Boulder for their annual Fall Fest along the Pearl Street Mall. Filled with arts and crafts, live music, kids' activities and a beer/wine/margarita (!!) garden, the three-day tribute to the changing seasons offers plenty of fun in the beautiful foothills setting of Boulder. Details.
Telluride Blues and Brews Festival - Sept. 15-17
Live music in one of Colorado's most eclectic (and high end) small towns. The Telluride Blues and Brews festival is an iconic event in the community, bringing big name bands and singer/songwriters to the box canyon of Telluride. Music lovers can camp, drink, and enjoy the sounds of the live music in an atmosphere unlike nearly anything else in the state. 3-day passes are sold out, but some tickets remain for Friday and Saturday night. Details.
Loveland Oktoberfest - Sept. 15-16
Held at Grimm Brothers Brewery, enjoy fresh brews, friends, fun, and even a Barbarian dinner. Details.
Parker Oktoberfest - Sept. 15-17
For a family-friendly German festival, head south to Parker for their 12th annual event in O'Brien Park. German food, bands, dancing, and of course, Paulaner Beer, highlight the local festival. Details.
Pueblo Oktoberfest - Sept. 15-16
Held in the depot, Pueblo's 27th annual Oktoberfest promises live entertainment, beer tastings, brats, chili wraps, and arts and crafts vendors. Details.
Summerset Festival - Sept. 16
The largest fundraising event for the Foothills Parks and Recreation District celebrates the setting of summer and the transition to fall with craft beer tastings, non-profit and craft exhibitors, food, and a vintage car show. Details.
Steamboat OktoberWest - Sept. 15-16
Beer and beef. That about sums up Steamboat Springs' OktoberWest festival with more than 40 brewers, local food, and festivities to keep you out perhaps a bit past your bedtime. Join the event's kickoff Friday night with a beer stroll through historic downtown and stay for the beef cook-off Saturday on the mountain. Details.
FORToberfest - Sept. 16
Fort Collins' last music festival of the summer has more than ten hours of free jams on the Old Town Square Stage, local beers and food. Details.
Mountain Harvest Festival - Sept. 21-24
A creative celebration in Paonia, the Mountain Harvest Festival has food, activities, and local flair found only in a small town. Bike races, grape stomps, bountiful local food, music, and kid-friendly fun highlight the week in late September in the North Fork Valley. Details.
Chile and Frioles Festival - Sept. 22-24
Bringing more than 100,000 attendees to Pueblo, the Chile and Frioles Festival celebrates wide varieties of hot peppers, chilies, and local agriculture. The weekend of fun includes road races, a jalapeno eating contest, salsa showdown and more. Details.
Oktoberfest Denver - Sept. 22-23 & Sept. 29-30
The Denver Okotoberfest takes over Larimer Square between 20th and 22nd Streets, just as it has every year since 1969. Head downtown for everything from beer to dancing to DJs and happy hour specials (oh, and a yodeling competition). Details.
Fall Harvest Brewfest - Sept. 23
Attention, dog lovers! This fall brewfest celebrates canines and craft beer in its 9th annual Fort Collins event. Buy a ticket, support local shelters, and spend the day tasting beers and other spirits from local distilleries. Dogs are allowed at the Fall Harvest Brew Release Party on Sept. 22 at Odell. Details.
Fruita Fall Festival - Sept. 23-25
Full of arts, crafts, and food, the Fruita Fall Festival is worth a trip to the town near Grand Junction. Live music takes the stage all weekend, and you can bring the family to participate in a golf tournament, street dance, cooking contest and more. The event is free. Details.
Autumn Gold Brats and Beer - Sept. 23-24
Estes Park is the perfect backdrop for a fall festival. The Autumn Gold Festival is held on a weekend when the aspens have turned golden and the elk are bugling. Enjoy the sounds of live, local bands, stroll through vendor booths, and sip a fresh-squeezed lemonade while munching on roasted almonds. Bring the kids for some games and face painting and enjoy this special mountain town in one of its most beautiful weekends. Details.
OktoBREWfest - Sept. 29-30
Greeley's take on a German beer fest takes over historic Lincoln Park downtown the final weekend of September. Beer, brats, games and free concerts highlight the event, which has plenty of activities for active kiddos, a pie eating contest, and stein lifting contests. Oh, and there's rumored to be life-size beer pong. Details.
Oktoberquest Denver - Sept. 29-30
If fall adventures are more your style, sign up for outdoor retailer Cotopaxi's fall-themed adventure race in the Ballpark neighborhood. Teams will push themselves in the outdoors with scavenger hunts and activities ranging from food to fitness to leaf-jumping to costume contests. Sign up, download the app, grab your friends and complete the adventure! Plus, you can win gear and swag. Details.
Castle Rock Oktoberfest - Sept. 30
German food, music and dancing take over Castle Rock's Wilcox Square the last weekend in September. Bring the family for a festival that's fun for kids and kids at heart alike. Details.
Montrose Oktoberfest - Sept. 30
Costume contests, group chicken dances, polka, a stein hositing competition, local food, and lots of beer come to Montrose at their annual Oktoberfest gathering. Join the small town on the western slope for a Saturday of family fun in a beautiful fall setting. Proceeds benefit a local nonprofit that helps seniors get around. Details.
Niwot Oktoberfest - Oct. 1
Sponsored by the Niwot Rotary, the town's Oktoberfest happens in Cottonwood Square. Admission is free, and once you're in, enjoy authentic German food, dancing, pumpkin painting and of course, beer and wine. Local brewers will provide plenty of libations and kids can enjoy a bouncy castle and face painting. Details.
Punkin Chunkin - Oct. 6-8
Aurora's annual festival celebrating how far you can chuck a pumpkin is back! Join 'The Voice' finalists The Swon Brothers for live music at the festival's Friday night kickoff. Then, enjoy a fall festival and feats of pumpkin chucking strength all weekend. Details.
Durango Oktoberfest - Oct. 7
Held at Purgatory Resort, this mountain-town Oktoberfest takes over the first weekend in October. DJs, live music, costumes, local breweries, and many vendors make this festival come to life in southwestern Colorado. Details.
Berthoud Oktoberfest - Oct. 7
Vendors, German-style food, live music and polka dancing bring a taste of Germany to the small northern town of Berthoud. Enjoy local brews and family fun. Details.
Ouray Oktoberfest - Oct. 7
Every year the town hosts an Oktoberfest, and every year a Jeep is raffled off. Listen to German music, enjoy authentic food and local drinks while you hoist a beer stein and admire the lederhosen surrounding you. Details.
Cider Days - Oct. 7-8
Celebrate Lakewood's agricultural heritage with all things apple cider. Spend a day riding on a wagon, enjoying activities with the kids, and sipping all the cider you could want. Bring your best recipe to the baking challenge and enjoy live entertainment, too! Details.