DENVER — There’s nothing quite like summer in Colorado. It’s definitely a top four season.

From wildflowers to festivals to amazing afternoons on a brewery patio, this is a season that most definitely reminds us why this state is an incredible place to live.

Here's a look at how to make the most of it: 

Red Rocks

Red Rocks Amphitheatre sunrise thinkstock GETTY 2
Getty Images/iStockphoto

There’s nothing quite like spending a summer night listening to music or watching a movie at Red Rocks. Of course, this can come with snow (it happened at both a Florence and the Machine AND ABBA tribute show) in May, as well as hail (which is inevitable).

You can find our list of who’s playing Red Rocks here: on9news.tv/2yjxlOy

And for the Film on the Rocks schedule (if a concert is too aggressive), click/tap here: on9news.tv/2X46UXd

The venue is also open before concerts for general exploring … or working out, if you’re the type of person who likes to go up and down stairs for fun.

You can find a full list of rules and regulations here: redrocksonline.com

Hitting the trails 

Close up of hiker boots trekking in the mountains at the sunrise with copy space hiking hiker boots
Getty Images/iStockphoto

Hundreds upon thousands of people will take to Colorado’s countless miles of trails this summer. From seasoned veterans to newbies, everyone should enjoy what the outdoors has to offer … albeit safely, since it is the wilderness, after all.

To begin, pick a route and make sure someone knows where you’re going. The state recently released the Colorado Trail Explorer app, which allows visitors to see what’s available. You can access the app here: trails.colorado.gov

RELATED: Colorado releases free app with maps of public land trails

Once you’ve picked your route, be ready for the conditions. This means picking the right shoes (if it’s a technical downhill trail, you’ll need better traction than your tennis shoes), as well as bringing multiple layers to be prepared for rapidly changing weather.

Also bring plenty of water and food – but doing so also means packing in your trash. The biggest piece of trail etiquette to remember is: “Leave no trace.” That means not leaving apple cores on trails, bringing plants with you and ensuring that wildlife stays just that: wild.

Riders exploring the trails in the North Fruita Desert.
Riders exploring the trails in the North Fruita Desert.
Amanda Kesting, KUSA

Also, pick up after your pets. This is something that needs to be said although arguably it shouldn’t be.

Finally, know that there are all sorts of users on the trails and no, you aren’t entitled to special treatment. Everyone should yield to horses, and bicyclists should yield to hikers and runners. For the most part, yield to those heading uphill, although nothing is a hard-and-fast rule. Treat everyone with respect, and good interactions will come from there.

For a closer look at how not to be a jerk, click/tap here: on9news.tv/2JzZcRF

If you’re doing it safely, there’s nothing better than to explore Colorado! Here’s a look at some of our recommendations:

9 Colorado hikes that probably won't be a snowy, muddy mess

9 scenic places to kayak in Colorado this summer

Best (kinda hard) Colorado hikes to see wildflowers 

The best places to see Colorado's spring flowers

Fairy Forest is a delightful hike for toddlers

9 kid-friendly hikes within a two-hour (or less) drive from Denver

Secret hikes in Rocky Mountain National Park

The best Colorado hikes to try this summer

Boating

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Blue Mesa Reservoir.
KUSA FILE PHOTO

For a pretty dry, land-locked state, Colorado has some pretty amazing boating. For instance, you can do everything from explore the Arkansas River Headwaters Recreation Area to a multitude of smaller, high altitude reservoirs. 

You can find a list of places where you can boat here: bit.ly/2TRceL9

And we love you, Colorado, which means that we want you to boat safely. Here's a guide to doing just that: on9news.tv/2HyT4ac

Have fun out there! 

Road tripping

Looking out on those massive red cliffs at Colorado National Monument.
Looking out on those massive red cliffs at Colorado National Monument.
Amanda Kesting, KUSA

In a state with everything from desert to cities to high mountain passes to a vast prairie, one would be remiss not to take a long trip to see what it has to offer. 

Each week, 9NEWS' digital team heads to a different town to check out what makes it unique for our weekly 9Neighborhoods series. You can see an interactive guide of where we've been to plan your next trip below:

Mobile users click/tap here. 

Reporter Liz Kotalik also highlighted some of the oddest locations in Colorado, if you're a fan of tourist trips. Check those out here: on9news.tv/2WpPPKg

If you're looking for something outside the box, check out a "weird and wonderful" spot to stay in Colorado (there's even a UFO tower): on9news.tv/2wjfG7W

And, our digital team picked some of their favorite 9Neighborhoods over the years. You can read their recommendations here: on9news.tv/2EpHeNp

Things to do

Levitt Pavilion Denver
Levitt Pavilion Denver

If you're bored during the summer in Colorado, you're not trying hard enough. 

To keep your kids entertained on a rainy day, check out these summer movie discounts for kids: on9news.tv/2VXk8bO

And, if you can't swing the expensive tickets at Red Rocks, head to Levitt Pavilion in Denver's Ruby Hill park for a free show by a local act: on9news.tv/30ARAUp

There's even stuff to do at the airport, for what it's worth: on9news.tv/2M1Z8vV

And, you don't have to pay for a water park to keep cool: on9news.tv/2WlhBb2

There's also this ... we'll just leave it here: on9news.tv/2EvJFy9

We'll also be writing about activities and concert announcements every day. Check those out in the 9NEWS Colorado Guide: on9news.tv/2Oy3aNv

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