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Colorado Summer

Colorado Summer Vacation Planning

Colorado Summer Vacation Planning, the best season

If you're planning a Colorado summer vacation, you have come to the right place. A Colorado summer vacation is the best time of year to visit this glorious state. The Mountain West is the most geographically diverse region in the United States, and with that comes natural wonders to be explored. A Colorado summer road trip starts with finding destinations that meet your expectations, planning scenic routes through the mountains, and locating all those fun family activities along the way. Use our FREE itinerary tool to start planning and organizing your summer vacation.

Colorado National and State Parks

Colorado has 42 state parks, 4 National Parks, 11 national forests, and 42 wilderness areas, each showcasing different parts of our great state, from the eastern plains to the highest peaks. That adds up to 43.3% of Colorado classified as public land, and what amazing land it is! These parks and forests are popular attractions during the Colorado summer, and fortunately, they are spread out across the state. You can easily visit one or more during your scenic road trip. State Parks offer various amenities for camping and feature attractions such as a gorgeous mountain lake, hiking trails, and much more. Learn more about National and State Parks.

Colorado summer vacation Alpine Events

Colorado Summer Culture, Festivals, Local Events

As you travel through the state, you will encounter many cultural events and festivals (events calendar).

  • Check the concert calendar and find an outdoor concert or nearby live music. Red Rocks Amphitheater is always a fantastic place to watch a show.
  • Consider a brewery tour such as the Coors Factory Brewery Tour in Golden or the Breckenridge Brewery Tour. Winery tours are also popular.
  • Catch a game at the Coors Field, home of the Rockies, in Denver.
  • Many mountain communities have regular art walks or exhibits going on.
  • The Colorado Pro Rodeo Tour is a popular cultural event with scheduled rodeos throughout the state.
  • Stop at a nearby Farmers Market. Beyond all those mountains lie very fertile valleys. Colorado produces many fresh vegetables, fruits, meats, and artisan crafts. Palisade peaches are a favorite.
  • If you enjoy participating in local athletic events, search your favorite mountain community for whatever type of race or event you would like to participate in. You will surely find something (mountain biking, running, golf tournaments…, etc.).

colorado summer vacation things to do with kids

Family Fun Colorado Vacation Planning - things to do with kids

If family fun is what you’re after, Colorado is the place to be. You might say that family entertainment is the state’s specialty. Mountain resort towns (ski resorts) are your-round these days, featuring gondola and chairlift access mountain biking and hiking trails. You will also find mountainside adventure parks in these same locations, adding to the fun with various kids activities such as bungee trampolines, put-put golf, adventure park-type challenge courses, mountain slides, and more. Nearby mountain communities have even more fun things to do with kids such as guided tours, state parks, and dedicated adventure parks.

Whitewater Rafting, Lakes, Water Parks, Adventure Parks and more

Getting wet during the Colorado summer season is widespread and easily attainable. With abundant mountain lakes, whitewater rivers, and water parks across the state, you can easily add this to your vacation planing. The popularity of adventure parks has created variations that include adventure packages, which combine water fun with other types of adventure.

  • Whitewater rafting is a super fun family adventure. You can easily find rafting companies that provide trips to match the group size and ability level.
  • Try ziplining across Colorado’s stunning landscape. Many zipline companies now offer adventure packages.
  • Water parks are another great summer way to cool down. Check out Elitch Gardens and Water World, both in Denver, which are super fun.
  • Stop at the Frisco Adventure Park, located in Frisco next to Lake Dillon. It is a family-friendly center with lots of family activities.
  • Visit one of Colorado’s many lakes. The larger lakes have marinas with boat rentals, allowing activities like water skiing and jet skiing, sailing, SUPs, fishing, and more.
  • Take a guided horseback ride. Horseback riding is found near mountain resorts or popular destinations like Estes Park.
  • Schedule a group off-road tour, a great way to build memories and see the fantastic sights.
  • Visit a state park. Parks are found throughout the state. These unique parks feature family entertainment such as beaches, picnic sites, boat rentals, fishing, hiking & biking trails, and more.

Colorado Summer Vacation Royal Gorge Dinosaur Experience

Dinosaurs and Historical Vacation Planning Stops

Colorado Summer Dinosaur Sites

Colorado is rich in history and has many interesting historical sites worth visiting along your family's summer road trip. If you’re planning to visit the Royal Gorge Region, add a stop at one of these exciting dinosaur fossil preserves or museums:

  • The Royal Gorge Regional History Museum, see fossils, dinosaur bones, and a complete Stegosaurus replica skeleton.
  • Garden Park Fossil Area - a 3,600-acre area rich with fossils.
  • Indian Springs Trace Fossil Site - see tracks left by prehistoric creatures.
  • Include Skyline Drive as part of your summer road trip - view fossils and more tracks.

Dinosaur National Monument in NW Colorado is a unique geographical place with dinosaur remains from 100 million years ago. This area is rich in fossils and early pioneer history.

Historical Colorado Road Trip

Many of Colorado’s mountain towns developed during the Gold Rush era, coinciding with the cattle companies' open-range days. These two significant Western development events are seen in the Colorado we know today. Check out the local mountain town museums to learn more about how early settlers lived and made a living.

Denver Museums

Dever has 51 unique museums, ranging from children-focused to more traditional centers, such as the Museum of Nature & Science, Black American West Museum, and the Museum of Contemporary Art Denver.

Colorado Summer Vacation georgetown loop train

Sightseeing a Perfect Family and Friends Activity

When you arrive in Colorado, sightseeing begins, as the mountain landscapes will instantly captivate you. However, getting deep into roads less traveled or passing through dramatic landscapes can be done in various ways. Sightseeing tours are a wonderful way to share memories with family and friends. If getting an eye full is what you’re after, here are some recommended sightseeing options:

  • Take a scenic train ride. Not only will you pass through dramatic mountain landscapes, but you will also learn about Colorado’s mining era. These trains are perfect activities for kids as they often feature hands-on mine exploration, storytelling, and special holiday trains.
  • Sign up for an off-road tour. Guided jeep tours will travel on original mining roads (maintained) through rugged terrain and pass by dramatic vistas—a fun family and friends activity.
  • While in one of Colorado’s resort towns, you can buy a ticket for a gondola ride or a chairlift ride and get a bird's-eye view of the forest and surrounding landscapes. You can also hike or bike at the top and stop in for lunch.
  • Include a scenic byway in your Colorado summer road trip. Stop at historical sites, check out ghost towns, and camp along the way.

Summer Vacation Rest and Relaxation

A Colorado summer vacation can be a chance to rest and rejuvenate your soul. Health and wellness retreats and experiences are growing in popularity. Visiting one or several of Colorado’s natural hot springs is a favorite place to recharge. The soothing, hot mineral waters will revitalize your being. Many of these natural springs have been developed into full-service spas that combine experiences such as massage, meditation, and spa services and provide on-site lodging.

Colorado Summer Vacation Hot Springs

Some of Colorado’s favorite places to explore and enjoy your summer vacation are places that have big attractions such as:

  • Rocky Mountain National Park (RMNP) is a favorite national park with various camping options, extensive hiking trails, and educational experiences.
  • Estes Park is a beautiful mountain town beside RMNP, the gateway to Trail Ridge Road, Grand Lake, and Lake Granby.
  • The Royal Gorge Region has attractions like the Royal Gorge Bridge and Park, Royal Gorge whitewater rafting, and the Royal Gorge Scenic Train.
  • Mesa Verda National Park in southwest Colorado offers a spectacular look into the Ancestral Pueblo people. Visitors can call, walk, drive, or take a tour through the park.

A Colorado Summer Vacation Planning and more

There are many more amazing places and things to do on your Colorado Summer Vacation, and hopefully, you will make discoveries along your journey. Planning your summer vacation starts with finding destinations and activities that interest you and crafting your summer road trip route to facilitate these visits. If finding kids activities is a primary focus please check out this article specifically about kids activities in Colorado. Please use the free itinerary tool as you will find it indispensable for organizing your trip.

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Chalk Lines and Vines

Save the date for Arapahoe County’s fourth annual spring wine and chalk art festival, held outdoors at the Arapahoe County Fairgrounds. The 21+ event includes wine samples from 15+ Colorado wineries, live chalk art, bands throughout the day, local vendors, sip ‘n paint, croquet, and more. Bring a picnic or hit the food trucks!

Tickets are $30 early bird until March 1 (limited supply!), $40 general admission online, $50 onsite, $10 designated driver. VIP tickets ($100 Early Bird/ $120 GA) include heavy hors d’oeuvres and wine by the glass!

Come meet your neighbors and enjoy fun, laid back vibes. Tickets and information at   

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Denver Rock Orchestra Presents: Ladies of the 80s

Denver Rock Orchestra is a female-founded 501c3 nonprofit orchestra celebrating popular music by combining the high art of the orchestral sonic experience and the toe-tapping, body-shaking, guitar-smashing catharsis that can only come from turning the dial up to eleven. Denver Rock orchestra is totally psyched to celebrate Women’s History Month at The People’s Building with “Ladies of the 80s”! Grab your best neon leotard, throw on your leg warmers, and join us for some choice music featuring 80s female rock & pop legends Pat Benatar, Tina Turner, Joan Jett, Madonna, and more. This is one rad throwback party you don’t want to miss!

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Denver Rock Orchestra Presents: Ladies of the 80s

Denver Rock Orchestra is a female-founded 501c3 nonprofit orchestra celebrating popular music by combining the high art of the orchestral sonic experience and the toe-tapping, body-shaking, guitar-smashing catharsis that can only come from turning the dial up to eleven. Denver Rock orchestra is totally psyched to celebrate Women’s History Month at The People’s Building with “Ladies of the 80s”! Grab your best neon leotard, throw on your leg warmers, and join us for some choice music featuring 80s female rock & pop legends Pat Benatar, Tina Turner, Joan Jett, Madonna, and more. This is one rad throwback party you don’t want to miss!

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Park Meadows Mall

Park Meadows Mall

About Park Meadows Mall

Park Meadows Mall is Colorado’s biggest shopping mall, located just 5 miles from Denver and 40 minutes from Colorado Springs. It features 185 stores and restaurants, from the largest selection of athletic apparel stores to the best in branded fashion and dining. Enjoy the unique Grand Mountain Lodge architecture and artwork by Colorado artists.

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Spiritually Speaking: Talk and Gallery-style Psychic Medium Reading

Spiritually Speaking: Talk and Gallery-style Psychic Medium Reading

An intriguing 60-minute Talk with Chicago-based Author, Emmy-award winning journalist, and Spiritual Humorist, Jenniffer Weigel. Jen’s talk will be about manifesting and opening up your intuition. Followed by a 90-minute gallery-style reading with a surprise guest medium from Long Island NY. This will be followed by a 90-minute gallery-style reading by a surprise guest psychic medium from Long Island, NY.Date: Sunday, October 1st
Event Time: 2PM – 5PM
Tickets: $90 per person
Event produced by Red Envelope Productions.
Learn more about Jenniffer Weigel at jenweigel.comStanley Marketplace (east entrance, 2nd floor community event space)
2501 N. Dallas Street
Aurora, CO 80010

3rd Pickle Paddle Par

JOIN US for an amazing day of friendly competition. Teams of two will test their skills at Pickleball, 9 holes of PAR 3 Golf, and Paddling across the pool in an inter-tube (optional). It’s sure to be one of the funnest events of 2023! Participants will enjoy lunch, competition, auction, beverages and poolside dinner with awards for the best scores.

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Arapahoe County Fair

Arapahoe County Fair

Come out for good ol’ fashioned family fun at the 117th annual Arapahoe County Fair. Included with Fair admission ($25): parking, unlimited carnival rides, fireworks, rodeos, concerts, petting farm, tractor pulls, 4-H exhibits, and so much more! So bring on the FUN, and we’ll see you at the FAIR! Details and tickets at

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DYAO Presents: American Landscape

DYAO Presents: American Landscape

Bring your own blankets/chairs and grab a bite to eat at your favorite Stanley Marketplace eatery. Then, relax in the grass and enjoy a FREE OUTDOOR CONCERT of the premier youth orchestra in Colorado, the Denver Young Artists Orchestra’s YAO!YAO is headed to California for a summer tour and performance at Walt Disney Concert Hall. This kick-off concert will not be one to miss! Expect repertoire from composers such as John Williams, Stravinsky, and more!

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Hot Jazz Jamboree

Hot Jazz Jamboree

Join us for a 2-day event featuring the Jazz Era! Learn a vintage swing dance. Listen and dance to live music. Watch exciting performances. All at the glorious Gaylord Rockies Resort. This event is brought to you by Community Minded Dance and Adams County Arts funding. Details on the website!

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