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On an 80-mile chunk of Colorado’s Front Range, the three metropolitan areas covered in this guide are home to almost three-quarters of the state’s population and a good deal of its attractions. Among Denver (Colorado’s economic and political capital), Boulder (its intellectual one), and Colorado Springs (the first resort town in the West), there are destinations of every kind. Whereas many visitors use the area as a springboard to the resorts and national parks of the High Rockies, others find there is enough to do down below to make a 1- or 2-week vacation out of it, with the occasional foray into the great outdoors for good measure.

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