Five must-see Colorado outdoor venues to check out this summer

It's summer in Colorado which means it's time to enjoy the outdoors before winter arrives again and the beautiful green fades to a snowy white. Summer also means the Denver-area concert calendar is packed, and thankfully, you can enjoy both mother nature and music in the same place this summer. From an intimate venue up a windy-canyon road to the most iconic venue in the country, here are our five picks for the outdoor venues you need to see a show at this summer. 1. Red Rocks If you haven't gone to a show at Red Rocks Amphitheatre, go and buy a ticket for really any show, you won't regret it. Sure, Red Rocks has the annoying pains of any big venue (terrible parking, bad crowds, random rain storms) but when you're sitting there under the mountain stars listening to beautiful sounds bouncing off the monolithic red rocks, none of that will matter. Red Rocks is a experience, a mandatory one. 2. Fiddler's Green Amphitheatre After a huge renovation, the new Fiddler's Green is definitely worth checking out. Besides getting to see big acts while lounging on the grass, this place has enough history to make any music buff swoon. Aerosmith, Bob Dylan, Elton John, and the old touring Lollapalooza have all been on that stage. It continues to host big names and is definitely worth a visit, if only to see the new features. 3. Chautauqua Auditorium Chautauqua Park is the best part of Boulder with its idyllic fields at the base of the iconic flatirons. Besides providing great hiking, Chautauqua Auditorium provides beautiful shows, often hosting Andrew Bird, a singer-songwriter as magical as the venue. While technically indoors, the minimalist barn-like structure allows the breezes and coolness of the mountain nights to pass through and makes it feel like you're under the stars (which you basically are). 4. Denver Botanic Gardens If you like walking through beautiful gardens on the way to your seats at a show, then going to the Denver Botanic Gardens is a must. Not only does this spot host great shows -- Natalie Cole just came through and St. Vincent is on her way -- but you get to browse through the gardens and enjoy the show from nature lover's paradise hidden in the middle of Denver. 5. Mishawaka Ampitheatre This spot is a bit of a drive, but it's worth the travel. First you drive up to Fort Collins, and then you can take a bus 27 miles up the canyon to the banks of the Poudre River. That's where the intimate outdoor venue overlooking both the river and the Rocky Mountains lies. It hosts a variety of shows, and Conor Oberst will be there this fall, which should be a musically gorgeous evening.

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Isa Jones is an editor in Jackson Hole; her writing has appeared all over the Internet and occasionally in print.
Contact: Isa Jones

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