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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 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. The free itinerary tool is indispensable for organizing your trip.

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ATV Tours Colorado

Get ready to explore the great outdoors and discover the beauty of the Rocky
Mountains in a unique and exciting way. Our tours are for adventure seekers
of all skill levels. Each group is provided an expert guide who will walk you
through proper operation of the equipment so you can have a safe and
unforgettable journey.

You can choose from a one hour or two hour guided experience that navigates
the historic Silver City Trail into the backcountry of Colorado. With our
top-of-the-line ATVs and safety gear, you can feel confident, and focus on
the stunning views and exciting terrain you will encounter on your ride!

Our tours are great for groups of any size! Reservations are available online
or by calling us directly!

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Georgetown Loop Bridge

Georgetown Loop Scenic Train

The Georgetown Loop Railroad®

The Georgetown Loop Scenic Train runs every day from May through mid-October and most days through early January. The train ride is 1 hour and 15 minutes long. Their scheduled opening day for 2023 is April 8th. They offer an endless list of special event trains and a variety of fares. Passengers will enjoy spectacular views of the mountains, which are accompanied by the incredible feeling of stepping back into another time when the railroad ruled, mining was a way of life, & outlaws littered the land. Hear fascinating stories and learn about the history of the train and mining in the early days. It’s all part of the Georgetown Loop experience.

Purchase Tickets ~ Call: 1-888-456-6777 ~ Email: info@historicrailadventures.com

Located only 45 miles from Denver and is nestled high in the rocky mountains.

The Georgetown Loop

The Georgetown Loop Railroad is a narrow gauge heritage railroad located in Clear Creek County right off Interstate 70 in Colorado. The “Loop” runs between the communities of Georgetown and Silver Plume. The total Georgetown Loop distance is 4.5 miles and ascends an elevation of 640 feet through very mountainous terrain. The train ride is full of stunning mountain vistas, thrilling crossings of high trestle bridges, and curvy cuts through the forest.

Passengers can board the train at Silver Plume and Devils Gate depots.

The Georgetown Railroad Service

Coach Class

Charter a Train

The Georgetown Loop Train makes it possible to Charter a train. Give them a call 1-888-456-6777 to make special arrangements and to reserve your train. Chartered trains are perfect for large functions such as corporate events, weddings, or private parties.

Special Event Trains

The Georgetown Train is notorious for its many special event trains. They have special trains for every season and holiday. Their winter Holiday Train is their hallmark and an all-out effort, featuring a spectacular lighted forest and Santa Land experience. Plus, special treats, storytelling, and gifts for the kids.

Mining Tours & Gold Panning

Parlor Class Georgetown Loop

Experience “The Silver Queen of the Rockies” with a mine and gold panning tour. There are 3 choices of mining tours. Each tour takes participants into historic mines. Participants will be guided, shown ore veins, and told stories about the early mining days. Natural features will be pointed out, and learn about spooky miners’ superstitions and ghost stories.

Georgetown Loop Classes of Fare

Coach Class

The Georgetown Loop coach cars are heated and enclosed in the winter but return to open-air cars in the summer and fall. These cars feature bench seating, and some cars are wheelchair accessible. Coach Class cars are available all season.

Parlor Class – only available during the Holiday Train (Nov-Jan) Tahoe car Georgetown Loop

Argentine, Silver Queen, and Clear Creek Cars are fully enclosed and feature tables with chair seating (2-4 guests per table). Fare includes onboard snacks and non-alcoholic drinks. Beer, wine, and special holiday cocktails are available for purchase. Some cars are wheelchair accessible.

Executive Class – only available during the Holiday Train (Nov-Jan)

The Tahoe Club Car is a fully enclosed car with upholstered booth-style seating, perfect for families and groups. Fare includes onboard snacks and non-alcoholic drinks. Beer, wine, and special holiday cocktails are available for purchase. Unfortunately, these cars are not wheelchair accessible. Staff members will provide assistance to guests with limited abilities on and off train cars.

Presidential Class – only available during the Holiday Train (Nov-Jan) Presidential Class Georgetown Loop

The Waldorf Club Car is a fully enclosed car featuring upholstered booth-style seating, elaborate victorian wood finishes, and a posh atmosphere. Fare includes onboard snacks and non-alcoholic drinks. Beer, wine, and special holiday cocktails are available for purchase. Unfortunately, these cars are not wheelchair accessible. Staff members will provide assistance to guests with limited abilities on and off train cars.

Georgetown loop trestle bridge

History of the Georgetown Train

The Georgetown Loop was originally part of the larger line, the Colorado Central Railroad, and was constructed in the 1870s and 1880s by the Georgetown, Breckenridge and Leadville Railway. These railroads were facilitating the Colorado Gold Rush and the silver boom. More specifically, the “Loop” was used to haul silver ore from mines at Silver Plume.

The “Loop “ portion of the line was the crown segment, crossing the gorge on a 95-foot high trestle.

In 1893, the Colorado and Southern Railway took over the line and operated it for passengers and freight until 1938. During part of this time, the “Loop” connected with the Argentine Central Railway in Silver Plume. Tourists were able to continue onward to the summit of Mount McClellan.

The survival of the Georgetown Loop as a scenic train was due to the Colorado Historical Society and their ability to negotiate mining claim donations and track and ties donated by the Union Pacific Railroad that helped rebuild the high bridge in the 1970s. Although the “Loop” hasn’t been without turmoil. In the 2000s, The Colorado Historical Society awarded the operation contract to Railstar, Inc. (away from the original operator, Georgetown Loop Railroad, Inc.), which ultimately drove the train into near destruction. In 2009 the Colorado Historical Society terminated the contract with Railstar and awarded it to a local Georgetown businessman. The train is now called the Historic Rail Adventures LLC. It has been operating successfully to this day.

Georgetown Loop lighted forest

 

 

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Special Promotion!

A lot of the mountains are closing up for the season but Loveland is staying open until Sunday, May 8.  Loveland is now offering a special promotion for season pass holders from other mountains.  Show your 2015/2016 season pass from any mountain and get a Loveland lift ticket for only $38! Offer valid through Closing Day 2016.

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Slacker Half Marathon / Relay / 4-Mile Race

Slacker Half Marathon / Relay / 4-Mile Race

The highest downhill half marathon in the country and possibly the highest downhill 4-Mile!It is the perfect race for the serious runner looking for a fast time and for the novice runner building up confidence! Slacker is our attempt at the oxymoron, because everyone knows if you can run a half marathon, much less at 10,000 feet, YOU ARE NOT A SLACKER!

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Snowy Colorado Mountains

Colorado Destinations

Unique Colorado Destination

Colorado’s cities and towns are as diverse and beautiful as its landscape.

The culturally rich city of Denver and the quiet mountain escape of Aspen are all attractive Colorado destinations. Colorado has a vacation destination for everyone. Are the high mountain peaks calling your name? Get to know Colorado and plan your trip to check off everything on your bucket list. Rafting, skiing, hiking, art shows, concerts, mountain biking, cycling, dining, fishing, mountain retreats, exploring nature, and much more. Coloradoinfo.com has divided Colorado into 3 regions. Each of these regions represents unique characteristics and proximity.

View our interactive regional map of Colorado to take a closer look and find the locations you want to visit.
Order a free Colorado vacation planning guide to help you find the perfect vacation spot!

Colorado destinations - Gunnison National Forest

The Central Mountains

The heart of the Rocky Mountains spans the state north to south, and is home to the highest elevated cities and towns in the country, which feature over two dozen ski resorts. This region is Colorado’s gem for world-famous ski areas, mountain lifestyle, and activities.

The Rockies Playground, recently named by the Colorado Tourism Office, is the most central region of the Rocky Mountains and includes some of Colorado’s most famous resort towns. Due to their close proximity and popularity as ski resorts, the name was chosen to appeal to potential tourists. This region’s towns include Vail, Aspen, Breckenridge, Winter Park, Glenwood Springs, Dillon and Leadville. However, significant resort towns lie north and south of the playground region, including Steamboat Springs in north-central Colorado. Resort towns in south-central Colorado include: Crested Butte, Monarch, Del Norte, Powderhorn and Wolf Creek. The Central Mountains region captures almost all of the mountain towns north to south, aside from Telluride and Durango.

The Central Mountains region includes several spectacular national forests.national forest in Colorado

All of which include amazing mountain scenery, wildlife, trail systems, nearby camping and towns. From north to south:

The Front Range & Plains

A way of referring to how the plains of Colorado meet the eastern slope of the continental divide.

If you want to watch a Broadway show or enjoy a museum exhibit, you will have the most options in the Front Range. The urban cities of Denver, Boulder, Fort Collins, and Colorado Springs are well known for their performing arts, museums, and cultural festivals.

Don’t Miss Front Range Colorado Destination

The Front Range region includes notable attractions such as Estes Park, the eastern gateway to Rocky Mountain National Park.

Pikes Peak, a whole family mountain attraction, lies just west of Colorado Springs. Featuring a scenic train, rafting, horseback riding and much more.

Red Rocks Amphitheatre, an amazing music venue in the foothills west of Denver.

Colorado’s Western Slope

A general way of referring to Northwest and Southwest Colorado. 

The Western Slope is a much more remote experience. Grand Junction is the largest city in the area and is often referred to as a city with a small-town feel. This high plains region is rich in agriculture, canyonlands, and warmer weather. Offering up a distinctively unique variety of Colorado destinations.

Northwest Colorado, or The Great West

Features of this area are the national parks such as Dinosaur National Park, the remote Brown’s Park, and the wild horses of the Sand Wash Basin. This area is popular with outdoor enthusiasts offering a variety of camping, RV parks, off-road vehicles, horseback riding, rafting, cycling and exploring in general. While the mountains are melting down, northwest Colorado is in full bloom.

Southwest Colorado, or The Mountain Mesas

Another very diverse region of Colorado with a mix of Colorado destinations and ski resort towns such as Telluride, and Durango. Complemented by Montrose, a very agricultural community but also rich with adventure. In the very southwest corner of Colorado is Cortez. Surrounded by big attractions such as  Mesa Verde National Park, Monument Valley . Cortez is also the gateway to the Four Corners and the Canyonlands of Utah

 

 

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Mountain Goats in Georgetown, Colorado

Georgetown

Visit Georgetown, Colorado

An easy 45-minute drive up Interstate 70 from Denver lands you smack dab in the middle of beautiful downtown Georgetown, one of Colorado’s definitive “small but mighty” attractions in the state’s many historic gold mining towns.

First established in 1859 during the Gold Rush, this mining town is tucked into a valley corridor some might call “breezy.” The elevation is 8,530 breathtaking feet above sea level.

A Historical Journey

As you stroll through Georgetown downtown’s National Historic Register District, you’ll be privy to several attractions, including the Hotel de Paris Museum, once a luxurious hotel, the restored Hamill House, an elegant reminder of Victorian times, the Firefighting Museum and the Energy Museum. Make sure to soak up some of this great history while you’re in town. Once the third-largest town in Colorado, Georgetown is now home to slightly more than 1,000 residents. Still, services are fantastic: outdoor activities include hiking, mountain biking, four-wheeling, fishing and horseback riding, and you can also tour the Lebanon Silver Mine.

Georgetown Stunning Scenic Train Ride

Check out the Georgetown Loop Scenic Narrow Gauge Railroad as well. The line connects Georgetown with nearby (and uphill) Silver Plume, gaining 640 feet in elevation during the two miles up. You’ll also cross four trestles as you travel through the steep-sided, narrow Clear Creek Canyon.

And while I-70 provides a quick route to Summit County and its four ski areas and an incredible array of outdoor activities and events. Guanella Pass (a seasonal road closes in late November, and opens on Memorial Day) is the perfect opportunity to put your car into “mosey” gear and do some serious sightseeing. You won’t regret a moment!
georgetown loop train

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Colorado Winter

Colorado Winter

Colorado's central location and 25 world-class ski resorts attract skiers and snowboarders from around the world. With convenient non-stop flights, regional airports, discount travel packages, and other means of getting around the mountains, snow enthusiasts are quickly placing Colorado at the top of their must-visit lists. Colorado's ski areas span the state, covering more than 40,000 acres of terrain beginning at the sky-scraping Continental Divide and unfolding north, south and west deep into the Centennial State's majestic mountain ranges. Learn more about skiing and snowboarding in Colorado. Colorado's world-renowned resorts and accommodating ski towns beckon travelers of all backgrounds, ages and interests, with every ski resort offering something different. From the family of four looking for lessons and a laid-back day on groomed runs to the hardcore backcountry hike-it crowd, there's a resort that will exceed expectations

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