Mesa Verde National Park was awarded the title of best cultural attraction among 13 western states by Sunset magazine’s first ever 2015 Travel Awards program! The new program aims to promote western travel, recognizing achievements and excellence within the tourism industry. More specifically, the best cultural attraction award honors facilities that provide an opportunity to experience art, music or learning in unique and dynamic ways.
“We’re delighted that Mesa Verde National Park has been honored as the best cultural attraction in the West,” said Bruce Fears, the Principal Executive Officer and President of Aramark Corp. “The park offers a unique combination of rich history, natural beauty and outdoor adventure for visitors to enjoy.”
Mesa Verde National Park was established in 1906 by President Theodore Roosevelt. The park was the first of its kind, as it aimed to “preserve the works of man”, the Ancestral Puebloans that inhabited the area between 550 A.D. and 1300 A.D. Today, there are over 7,200 archaeological sites and hold some of the best preserved ruins located in North America!
According to Sunset’s description of Mesa Verde, “In the dramatic high desert of southwest Colorado, Mesa Verde seems custom-built for bucket lists: a series of mysteriously abandoned, beautifully preserved pueblos that reflect the daily life, religious traditions, and architectural achievements of the Ancestral Puebloans.”
The park offers exploration and learning opportunities fit for the entire family! The 700 Years Tour is the most popular and sought after guided tour within the park. Participants are introduced to Ancestral Puebloans architectural, horticultural, cultural and religious dimensions of their Southwestern lifestyles. Guided tours are often times more favorable while visiting Mesa Verde National Park, as park rangers must accompany all individuals choosing to enter the cliff dwellings.
An abundant number of trails are available for the more adventurous groups. Set out on a long day hike or follow a couple shorter trails to explore surrounding petroglyphs, archaeological sites and breathtaking views! Don’t forget to stop by the different art exhibits, gift shops and museums for a final educational experience before ending a great day in the park! For more information on Mesa Verde National Park, visit http://www.visitmesaverde.com/.