Eight Great Getaways in Colorado on Labor Day Weekend

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Labor Day weekend is almost here, and you never got to take that summer road trip. It's not too late! Here are eight reasons to head for the hills this weekend.

8) Telluride Film Festival
Friday, September 4 through Monday, August 7

The Telluride Film Fest has long been an event for serious cinephiles, even though the Fest famously doesn’t announce its program in advance. The surprise cinematic selections often end up as Oscar contenders or sleeper hits, and have made many a career. The festival also produces top-notch tributes, special programs, parties, and sidebars. Although Telluride’s intimate scale means you may end up on line or sharing a picnic table with a celebrity, affordable lodging is difficult to find, events are pricey, and waits can be long even for passholders. Find more info at telluridefilmfestival.org.

7) Jazz Aspen Snowmass
Friday, September 4 through Sunday, September 6

Jimmy Cliff, No Doubt, The Fray, Lenny Kravitz. This is jazz? No matter. Jazz Aspen Snowmass long ago widened its scope to include all forms of music, and the result is a highly popular festival that gathered almost 10,000 fans last year. And 2015 is a big 25th anniversary edition. Find details at jazzaspensnowmass.org.

6) Vail Jazz Festival
Thursday, September 3 through Monday, September 7

More than three dozen great jazz players, including thirteen headliners, will be in Vail for what amounts to an amazing, immense, non-stop jam session for five days straight. Visitors such as Jeff Hamilton, John Clayton, Lewis Nash, Roberta Gambirini, George Cables and Byron Stripling will be joined by local faves including Paul Romaine. Get all the info at vailjazz.org.

5) Copper Country
Saturday, September 5 and Sunday, September 6

Heavy on the nostalgia, this festival features classic ensembles such as Orleans, Buckwheat Zydeco and the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band. Although Three Dog Night just cancelled, the festival is free — yoand u can't beat that. The resort will also stage an Arts & Artisans Festival, activities for the kids, and more. Find more at villageatcopper.com/coppercountry.

4) Oktoberfest
Beaver Creek: Saturday, September 5 and Sunday, September 6
Keystone:  Saturday, September 5

October is still weeks ago, but two resorts are offering the traditional mix of ooh-pah-pah, beer, and bratwursts over Labord Day. Caution: what you gain in recovery time you lose in drinking at altitude. Now get out there and shake your dirndl! Find more info at beavercreek.com/events-and-activities/Oktoberfest and keystonefestivals.com/festivals/Oktoberfest.

3) Four Corners Folk Festival
Pagosa Springs
Friday, September 4 through Sunday, September 6

Little Pagosa Springs has been overlooked by development so far, and its cozy vibe is enhanced by this fest. This year the lineup includes such great acoustic bands as Hot Rize; the power trio of Sarah Watkins, Sarah Jarosz and Aoife O’Donovan; the Railsplitters, the Sibleys, and many others for your pickin’ pleasure. Find details at folkwest.com.

2) Ride the Four Corners
Thursday, September 3 through Monday, September 7

This is the real deal: No mopeds allowed. If you are seriously into biker culture, Ride the Four Corners is your Valhalla. Not only can you ride across those beautiful, desolate spaces in southwest Colorado, but there will be a run to benefit veterans on Friday. The event also features live music, including zydeco’s Rockin’ Dopsie, and Ralph Dinosaur and the Fabulous Volcanoes – the latter one of the great unsung, cover bands in the region’s history. What else? Of course, the stripper-pole competition, midget wrestling, arm wrestling, a bonfire, tattoo competition, fake orgasm competition. You know the drill, and you can find out more at fourcornersmotorcyclerally.com.

1) Salida Winefest
Saturday, September 5

Wine, food, music and art — sounds civilized. The Salida Winefest only runs from 1 to 6 p.m. on Saturday, but it packs samples from a dozen winers, as well as local food, music, and arts and crafts into the afternoon. A trip to Salida could be a lovely little jaunt into a mellow afternoon — or plan a few day trip that takes advantage of all Salida's outdoor activities, too Find more info at salidawinefest.com.

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