Best summer vacation spots in colorado for families

Summer vacation is officially here! It’s a time to relax, unwind and have fun with family and friends. It’s also the one time of year I would actually take my family out of Colorado for a vacation. There are so many awesome states and cities to visit here in the U.S. that it can be hard to narrow down which spot will be best for your travel style. So I’ve created a list of my top summer vacation spots in Colorado for families that I hope you will find helpful when planning your upcoming holiday getaway.

If you’re not a Colorado native, figuring out the best places to spend summer with your family in the Centennial state can be challenging. We have over 30 National Parks and Monuments, over 300 miles of trails, and 100s of lakes that make Colorado a heaven for outdoor adventures. So, where is the BEST place to spend the summer vacation in Colorado?

When you’re trying to feed four kids — ranging in ages from 10 down to two — packing for a trip can be a little overwhelming. Do we need to bring more sunscreen? Not forgetting swimsuits! Well, worry no more, it’s almost summer vacation, and if you are planning a trip to Colorado with kids, there are plenty of family friendly hotels, places to eat and things to do in the area that you’ll have no trouble finding your entire family’s ideal summer vacation spot.

Best summer vacation spots in Colorado

If you’re looking for a vacation spot that’s as beautiful as it is exciting, look no further than Colorado. With its endless vistas of mountains and plains, Colorado is one of the most popular states for families to visit during the summer. Whether you’re looking for an adventure-filled vacation or something more relaxing, we’ve got you covered with our list of the best summer vacation spots in Colorado for families.

1) Rocky Mountain National Park

This national park is one of the most popular tourist destinations in all of North America, and it’s easy to see why. It’s home to some of the most stunning scenery on Earth—and it’s within driving distance from Denver! At this national park, you can hike through forests and meadows full of wildflowers; explore an alpine lake; watch birds fly overhead; enjoy a picnic lunch under a canopy of trees; and more. If you’re planning a trip there this summer, be sure to bring along your camera—you’ll want to make sure you capture every moment!

2) Dinosaur Ridge Preserve

Dinosaur Ridge Preserve is one of the best places to go hiking with kids in all

Colorado is one of the best states for family vacations.

There are so many fun activities for kids and adults to do, and you can find great deals on hotels and airfare.

Here are some of the best summer vacation spots in Colorado for families:

  1. Dinosaur Ridge – This outdoor museum features life-sized dinosaurs and other prehistoric creatures from all over the world. There are also hiking trails, a play park, and picnic areas where you can spend the day exploring.
  2. Rocky Mountain National Park – You’ll want to make sure you get up early enough to see sunrise at this beautiful park before heading out on one of its many trails or river trips. The park also has plenty of scenic overlooks where you can stop and take pictures as well as hike down into valleys filled with wildflowers!
  3. Red Rocks Amphitheatre – This venue hosts concerts by national acts throughout the year but also offers free shows during certain times of year when they host local musicians that are just starting out on their careers (check their website for details). If you don’t have tickets yet but still want to check it out then pull up some lawn chairs next door at

1. Durango

The largest town in southwest Colorado, Durango is unique to the state in landscape and culture, with a thriving university (Fort Lewis College) and an incredible array of summer activities. The area is extremely tourist- and family-friendly, with summer adventures including hiking the surrounding San Juan Mountains, and water sports such as tubing, paddling, kayaking and the most popular, whitewater rafting! The Animas River Trail runs through town and gives access to gold medal waters for fishing and a white water park for water enthusiasts.

Historic downtown is packed with restaurants, family-friendly breweries, retail stores, and boutique hotels. Close to downtown is the Durango Discovery Museum for any inclement-weather days.

During the summer months, book tickets early for the Durango & Silverton Railroad. This narrow-gauge railroad is one of the most iconic in America. Departing from the downtown Durango Depot, the ride takes families through mountain passes, canyons, valleys, and past rushing streams—it’s picturesque the entire route—to Silverton, a once-thriving, high mountain mining town with an operational Main Street with restaurants and shops. Visit Durango’s tourism website to combine train tickets with a visit to nearby Mesa Verde National Park (the only U.S. national park dedicated solely to ancient civilizations) and other area attractions.

Recommended Hotel: Colorado Trails Ranch

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Telluride; Courtesy Colorado Tourism Office

2. Telluride

Telluride is one of the most remote mountain towns in Colorado. However, access to the acclaimed resort and historic town is easier than ever—Telluride Regional Airport recently launched its first-ever commercial jet service, and nearby Montrose-Telluride Regional Airport airport is another easy option with shuttle services available. It’s worth the extra efforts for its unspoiled nature, no stoplights or chain stores (aside from one Starbucks on the mountain), historic Main Street, and the nation’s only free gondola transportation.

There’s a new Telluride Bike Park on the mountain in addition to hiking trails accessed via chairlifts and other base mountain choices. Over two-dozen hikes depart from right outside the main town or the Mountain Village. Bridal Veil Falls is the most popular spot to view, via foot, bike, car, or four-wheel vehicle. Telluride Outside, located at 121 W. Colorado Avenue, can arrange family fly-fishing, river rafting or paddling, 4WD tours and more.

Recommended Hotel: Madeline Hotel and Residences

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Vail Valley; Courtesy Colorado Tourism Office

3. Vail Valley

This iconic ski area now has more summer activities than winter! The resort towns of Vail, Avon, Edwards, and Beaver Creek offer more than 100 activities—mountain biking, hiking, tubing, archery, ropes courses, climbing, paddling, fishing, shopping, picnics, discovery centers, daily kids’ camps and more.

During the summer, much of the family activity is at Vail Resort. Adventure Ridge, located on the mountain, includes a four-line, 1,200-foot long zipline, two aerial ropes courses, and a kids’ zip line, kids’ ropes course, climbing wall, rebound trampoline and more. Also at the ski mountain is Gore Creek Mini Golf, and at the Lionshead base area, there’s a free bean bag toss, horseshoes and a paid slackline park where kids of all ages can test their balance at a variety of levels.

Recommended Hotel: The Grand Hyatt Vail

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Boulder; Courtesy Colorado Tourism Office

4. Boulder

Boulder stuns come summer! It’s loaded with activities, a vibrant restaurant and cultural scene, and plenty of family-friendly lodging options. The National Historic Landmark has rental cottages with 48 miles of hiking trails and thousands of acres of natural lands. The Boulder Farmers Market is also voted as one of the top in the nation and is easily accessible from the famous Street Mall, loaded with restaurants, shops, street entertainers and great people watching.

Herschel Goldberg, founder of Boulder Bike Tours, has an epic summer package where families can rent bikes and helmets (including electric bikes for adults). Bike from downtown Pearl Street to a farm for the Thursday night “Sunset Tour” with wood-fired pizza featuring veggies that are harvested that day. There’s music playing, children dancing, libations, coffee, and more. It’s the epitome of Boulder!

Recommended Hotel: Hotel Boulderado

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5. Snowmass

Snowmass has fast become one of the most exuberant, authentic summer family vacation options in Colorado. From trout hook fishing to a Treeline Trial Challenge Course, the on-mountain Lost Forest should not be missed! The adventure park is located near the Elk Camp Restaurant and offers the Canopy Run Zip Line, the Breathtaker Alpine Coaster, Rugged Ascent Climbing Wall, Aerial Approach Disc Golf, and Timber Territory Paintball. It’s truly fun for the whole family whether you prefer to take it slow and participate in disc golf, or are more of an adventurous crew willing to attempt the Treeline Trial Challenge Course.

Families can ride the Elk Camp Gondola up Snowmass Mountain where the Elk Camp Restaurant has activities including downhill biking, dinner, campfires, live music, movies, a Stryder Park and a kids’ playground on Tuesday evenings. An increasingly popular Colorado sport, standup paddleboarding can easily be done with local guides on the Roaring Fork River. Guests get creative at the Anderson Ranch Arts Center, a stellar place for kids of all ages to take workshops in sculpture, photography, painting, beading and mask-making. And, the weekly Wednesday night Snowmass Rodeo is a mix of locals and visitors, all enthralled with the Western action.

Recommended Hotel: Limelight Hotel Snowm

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