Everyone loves summer, particularly in Colorado. The days are long, the nights are warm, and you can perfect your farmer’s tan while hiking or rafting or riding your bike or just imbibing a fruity drink on the patio. At least until a couple of weeks into the season, when you find yourself sitting on the couch with your air-conditioning cranked, watching television reruns while your inner child whines, “I’m bored.”

But there’s no need for that with our handy guide to summer in Colorado, which includes road trips that will take you past some of this state’s most weird and wonderful attractions. Or you can stay right here in Denver and enjoy the Denver County Fair, a brand-new event a century in the making, complete with pie-baking contests and skateboard rodeos.

Or you can look through our listings and create your own staycation. Colorado might be known around the rest of the country for its powder stashes and terrain parks, but those of us smart enough to live here year-round know better: This state blooms in the summertime, with festivals and parties filling up those hot days and cool nights. Outdoorsy types won't want to miss the FIBArk Whitewater Festival (June 15-19) or the Denver Oyster Urban Adventure Race (August 27); history buffs can get their blast from the past at Buffalo Bill Days (July 27-31) or Logger Days in South Fork (July 15-17) or Madam Lou Bunch Day and Brass Bed Race in Central City (June 18); heritage fanatics can fly their colors at the Colorado Irish Festival (July 8-10) or the German Biergarten Festival (July 18); music-lovers can enjoy the Colorado Symphony Orchestra playing along with Chicago (July 24), Bone Thugs-N-Harmony (June 23) or one of the many concerts scheduled in the nation's premier outdoor venue, Red Rocks; and artsy types can fill in the blanks at the Telluride Plein Air Festival (June 28-July 4) or the always-popular Cherry Creek Arts Festival (July 2-4). So what are you waiting for? Lace up your hiking boots, fire up your GPS and go find an adventure right outside your door. See you in September.

Our Summer Guide 2011 stories:

- After years of false starts, the Denver County Fair is making its debut

- All's fair in Colorado this summer

- A tour of our state's weird - and wonderful - attractions

For updated listings throughout the summer, go to Summer Guide Events. For more information, call 303-296-7744.
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