Travel website Expedia.com has named Mesa Verde National Park one of the “55 Most Breathtaking Destinations in the World,” alongside places such as Paris and Rio de Janeiro.
Expedia travel writer Kohleun Adamson included Mesa Verde in a May 28 feature that recommended “photo-ready” travel destinations all over the world. It was one of two Colorado destinations on the list, along with the ski resort town of Aspen. Adamson described the park’s Ancestral Puebloan cliff dwellings as “hauntingly beautiful against the backdrop of Colorado’s high desert.”
In an email, she said she consulted other travel writers in an effort to find beautiful tourist destinations for the list, but Mesa Verde was one of her own choices. Growing up in the Southwest, she said she often visited the park with her family and has fond memories of it.
“As a kid, I was in awe of the Ancestral Puebloan cliff dwellings and the endless blue sky over the desert,” she said. “As an adult, I appreciate the ruins and the unspoiled landscape in a new way.”
The list was international and varied, including famous places like Venice, Italy, and less well-known places like Minnehaha Falls, Minnesota.
Cristy Brown, Mesa Verde’s public information officer, said she was excited to hear about the park’s inclusion.
“We have visitors who come from all over the world,” she said. “I think we offer something unique, in that people can go into the cliff dwellings and see a culture that thrived here so long ago.”
Tourist traffic at the park has increased this year, she said, partly due to a mild winter that kept the roads accessible for longer than usual.
Expedia is a travel company with several websites that promote deals on airplane tickets, hotels and other travel needs around the world. Its Viewfinder blog, where Adamson’s list was published, features regular articles on worldwide destinations by the company’s travel writers.
Mesa Verde National Park is hosting several events for “Wildflower Week,” which lasts through June 9. Also through June 9, students from University of Colorado Boulder will be giving hands-on presentations about the natural history of Mesa Verde around the park. More information about the park can be found at www.nps.gov/meve.