Canon City

It's unlikely you'll visit the Royal Gorge without a stop in nearby Cañon City. And although the gorge sports the nation's highest suspension bridge, dangling more than 1,000 feet above the crashing Arkansas River below, that's not the only reason to visit this city in south-central Colorado. River rafting is a huge attraction here, and it doesn't get any more exciting than a trip through the Royal Gorge. Walkable downtown Cañon City has shops, restaurants, cafes and a public-art program that make a pleasant space to while away the day. The Fremont Center for the Arts hosts exhibits and events exploring local arts and history. Or experience the region’s delicious apples and other local bounties at farmers’ markets and farm stores. Treasure hunters beeline to Florence, a lovely nearby town with extensive antique shopping, art galleries and specialty shops. The new Royal Gorge Dinosaur Experience brings ancient history to life with science-focused interactive displays, full-scale dinosaur fossil casts and hands-on exhibits with real dinosaur fossils.