Ahead of the unofficial start of summer – Memorial Day, in just over a week – two Colorado travels experts shared some ideas for summer getaways that don’t require paying extra for leg room.

Lindsey Koehler edits the Getaways and Great Outdoors sections of 5280 Magazine. And Debi Boucher is a freelance travel writer and photographer, based in Colorado Springs, who contributes to EnCompass, the AAA Colorado magazine.

Here are some of their suggestions for summer:

The Alpine Loop

Boucher says she's going for the wildflowers, and to photograph old mining ruins along the way. The Loop winds near Ouray, Lake City and Silverton, and over two 12,000 foot passes. Learn more about the area in a Colorado Matters interview from 2010. 

Rocky Mountain National Park

It's a classic, but Koehler says it might be underappreciated by Coloradans who are used to seeing beauty all around them. 5280 Magazine is working on a special 14-page spread for an upcoming issue. Until then, Koehler suggests staying in Grand Lake on the West side of the park. It's the back door for people who live on the Front Range, but Koehler says it's worth it.

State Forest State Park

Boucher calls this one of her favorite state parks in Colorado, in no small part because it gives you a good chance to see a moose – something that's rare here. Colorado Parks & Wildlife says about 600 moose call this area home.
Cresto Ranch
For a feature in this month's 5280 magazine, Koehler traveled to Dolores to explore this luxury camping experience. At Cresto Ranch, visitors stay in canvas tents, eat gourmet meals in a farmhouse lodge and have access to mountain bikes and fly fishing lessons. But it will cost you: one night for two people is at least $1,400.