My wife and I are going to be in Denver on business for a week in early May, and we're thinking about adding a short vacation (3 days or so) to the trip. We've never been to Colorado. We'd like to visit a mountain town within driving distance of Denver. We're looking for a charming town in a very scenic location, with good dining options, opportunities for lite hiking and possibly other lite outdoor activities, and some low key nightlife (ideally with some live music). Funds are not unlimited and we like to save money where we can, but we may be a able to splurge a bit to make this trip as enjoyable as possible (we won't be on a strict budget).
The scenery around Telluride looks breathtaking in the pictures and video I've seen. Unfortunately, Telluride is too far from Denver for us. Are there any comparable towns close to Denver?
Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.