The Best Places to Vacation with Kids this Summer in Colorado
During the summer, Colorado stands out as one of the premier destinations in the country for outdoor pursuits. In contrast to other regions grappling with stifling heat and excessive humidity, Colorado experiences pleasant daytime warmth followed by refreshing cooling at night.
This effect is particularly pronounced in the mountainous stretches of the state. The state’s notable elevation and relatively low humidity work together to keep mosquitoes and other bothersome insects under control. Unsurprisingly, this draws a multitude of individuals to the Centennial State, all seeking to engage in a range of outdoor activities including but not limited to boating, hiking, mountain biking, paddling, and camping.
The state offers an array of excellent locations for family vacations, spanning its entirety. Regardless of your chosen destination, you and your loved ones are certain to craft indelible memories and partake in thrilling adventures.
Durango, located in the four-corners area of the state, is the heart of outdoor recreational activity, scenic drives, and Colorado history. Make Outdoorsy Bayfield your home base, and explore different parts of Colorado known for both mountains and mesas. There is so much to see and do in the southwestern area of the state; it’s no wonder some people call it one of Colorado’s best family vacation spots.
Begin your trip with a tour on the Durango Train. The train takes off at the depot, where there is a kid-friendly train museum, heads through steep and curvy, tree-lined mountain passes, and ends in the historic mining town of Silverton. The next day, rent an off-road vehicle or off-road RV and explore some of Colorado’s ghost towns. While you’re out exploring, stop at any of the area’s scenic lakes or rivers, and see how many fish you and the kids can catch for dinner. If you want a day of downtime, walk the town of Ouray, the Switzerland of America, and then stop at the Ouray Hot Springs, family-friendly hot springs with soak and play areas for all ages.
There are still many places to explore once you get back to your home base of Durango. If the kids love ancient history, head to Mesa Verde National Park, which is home to some of the most spectacular and in-tact Ancestral Puebloan Cliff Dwellings.
If you are looking for a place to visit that has both city activities as well as outdoor activities, Colorado Springs is a must-visit destination. The city, nestled along the Front Range of the Rocky Mountains, rests in the shadows of Pikes Peak, the mountain that inspired the song, America the Beautiful. The mountainous landscape ends in the city, and feathers out in stark contrast to the prairie grass and flat terrain of the Eastern Plains.
The best place to vacation with kids in the city is the Great Wolf Lodge. The Great Wolf Lodge is a waterpark lodge created for kids (or kids-at-heart). It has mini-golf, a climbing wall, a ropes course, and even a kid-sized bowling alley. After spending a few days inside, take a trip to the United States Air Force Academy where you can see Cadet Chapel, which is a U.S National Historic Landmark, or park your car and go for a hike, walk, or bike ride along any of the Academy’s nine recreational trails. While you still have your outdoor shoes on, head south to the city’s red rocks, the Garden of the Gods. The Garden of the Gods, a registered National Natural Landmark, has miles of trails that intertwine with the red sandstone formations like the Kissing Camels. The park has hiking trails, biking trails, and even off-road trails, and guests can rent bikes, electric bikes, or take a self-guided walk. The Garden of the Gods also has a Junior Ranger program and other fun educational programs created just for kids. Before heading out of town, plan to stay one more day and explore the Cheyenne Mountain Zoo, one of the top 10 zoos in North America. If you plan to stay in Colorado Springs for more than a night, we recommend renting an RV and staying at Cheyenne Mountain State Park, which is just minutes away from the zoo.
The San Luis Valley, flanked by the Sangre de Cristo Mountains, is an area of the state that recreation lovers must not miss. While most of the San Luis Valley is made up of small towns, mountain passes, and open ranges, one of the state’s most memorable features, the Great Sand Dunes, rests in the middle of these tiny towns.
Start your outdoor excursion by staying a night or two at Lathrop State Park, which has RV camping, golfing, fishing, boating, and other recreational activities that both kids and adults will love. After camping, point the rig towards Great Sand Dunes National Park and Preserve. Before you get to the park, stop at Colorado Gators Reptile Park, where kids and wanna-be-kids can learn about gators or earn a gator-handling certificate. After you’ve had your fill of reptiles, head toward the giant mountain of sand. We recommend staying overnight for at least one sunset and sunrise, and because Great Sand Dunes National Park and Preserve has an RV campground, you can witness the sunrise and sunset from the window of your RV or campervan. The park has plenty of outdoor areas to explore, and of course, the dunes. Rent a sandboard from one of the local retailers and spend your day surfing the soft-sand waves.
The Colorado Rocky Mountains line the entire western portion of the state of Colorado, and the alpine lakes, fast-moving rivers, scenic mountain passes, and lush green valleys offer outdoor lovers of all ages so much to see and do, that it’s almost impossible to experience everything in one trip. To get the most out of it all, consider renting an RV or taking your own family-friendly motorhome to some of Colorado’s best places to vacation with kids in the state.
If you and the kids love mountain biking, gondola rides, and exploring ski resorts in the summertime, take your RV to the towns of Breckenridge or Keystone. In Keystone, visit the Keystone Resort for kid-friendly activities like kayaking, paddle boating, canoeing, biking, and even horseback riding. The Breckenridge Resort also has fun family activities in the summer, ranging from gondola rides, scenic hiking, and biking to ziplining and summertime-alpine sliding. As you make your way back toward Denver, don’t forget to plan a stop in Georgetown. Like most mountain towns, Georgetown has plenty of hiking, biking, and camping opportunities, but what puts Georgetown on the map is the Georgetown Loop Railroad, where families can ride the train, pan for gold, and even take a gold mine tour.
If the family is itching for an RV adventure, you can’t go wrong with a drive to Colorado. Any of these kid-friendly Colorado locations will give your kids the summer fun they want and the vacation you deserve.
And you can even have a rental RV delivered right to you at Outdoorsy Bayfield to start your adventure with us and roll from there.