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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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Brew at the Zoo presented by Three Corners Connector

Pueblo’s favorite festival is back for its 7th year! Pueblo Zoos Brew at the Zoo presented by Three Corners Connector is back with more vendors, food trucks, live music and fun!
New this year – VIP TICKETS! These limited tickets include early entrance at 1pm, an exclusive goodie bag with an etched glass, tasting glass and pretzel necklace.
This is a rain or shine event. Tickets are non-refundable and non-transferrable, available online only. No tickets sold at the gate on the day of the event. Must be 21+ to purchase tickets and attend. No kids, strollers or dogs.

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Brew at the Zoo

Brew at the Zoo

Pueblo’s favorite festival is back for 2023! Saturday, April 29, 2-6pm. Sample Colorado brews and spirits while strolling through the beautiful grounds of the Pueblo Zoo. Yard games, food trucks, and live music. Early Bird pricing ($35 member, $40 non-member) available thru March 19. Must be 21+ to attend, no kids or dogs. Tickets available at –

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Senior Week presented by Health Solutions

Senior Week presented by Health Solutions

The Pueblo Zoo is honoring our community’s senior citizens September 12-16, 2022, by providing one week of FREE admission to all seniors 65+, and a variety of activities and goodies all week long. Interested in sponsoring? Contact Patrice – or 719-561-1452 ext 106 For Senior Safari on Wednesday, Sept. 14 Seating is first come, first serve.
If you would like to reserve tables, there is a $25 fee, please complete the registration form by Friday, Sept. 9. Monday sponsored by Clear Springs Health Essentials. Tuesday sponsored by Melanie Sena Insurance. Wednesday sponsored by Health Solutions. Thursday sponsored by Humana. Friday sponsored by SRDA.

Pueblo Chamber of Commerce

GreenHorn Mountain

Pueblo is your home base to your next Colorado adventure. Just southwest of Pueblo, you can find the hidden gem of Greenhorn Mountain. Reaching the top of the North Peak takes about an hour and once you reach the summit you will find breathtaking views of the Sangre de Cristo Mountains to your west and Pikes Peak to your north. Visit Pueblo and add this amazing view to your Colorado bucket list!


In the heart of downtown Pueblo, you will find the Historic Arkansas Riverwalk. Stroll the 1 mile long channel and explore over 54 art pieces, take a boat ride, eat and drink like a local or shop historic Union Ave for a unique treasure. The Pueblo Riverwalk is the perfect destination for family and pooch friendly fun or romantic alone time with a special someone.

Pueblo Chile

True foodie’s want to be in the know of all things unique and tasty. Pueblo Green chile is only grown in the rich soil of the Arkansas River Valley in Pueblo County, and Puebloans eat it on everything! Pueblo’s signature dish, The Slopper, is an open-faced cheeseburger smothered in Pueblo green chili sauce. Featured on Food Network and Major League Eating, this is MUST TRY as you eat your way through Southern Colorado!

Neon Alley

Are you looking to boost your Social Media status, or just looking for your next note worthy selfie? Known as the “Greatest Collection of Neon Signs in a one-block area east of the Las Vegas Strip and west of Times Square”, Pueblo’s Neon Alley offers that one-of-a-kind backdrop. Not for your average junk yard cat, this Alley is one part eclectic (and electric!) museum and one part public arts project.

Aviation Museum

Known as the Home of Heroes, Pueblo, CO is also home to one of the largest aviation museums in the state. The Pueblo Weisbrod Aircraft Museum spans over 85,000 square feet and nearly a hundred years of military and aviation history, boosting military uniforms, personal effects, weapons, and other artifacts from all branches of the U.S. military, including allies and enemies! Explore and appreciate military history in Pueblo!

River Surfing

Pueblo, Colorado has one of the best whitewater parks in the state for river surfing. As summer snowmelt runs down the Rockies to Pueblo, it starts to flood the Arkansas River with Activity. The area has lured kayakers, boaters, water-skiers and surfers alike! Located in the heart of downtown, It’s no wonder Pueblo is quickly turning into Colorado’s top surfing destination.

National Parks Free Entrance Day

Come experience the national parks! On four days in 2018, all National Park Service sites that charge an entrance fee will offer free admission to everyone.

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First Friday Art Walk

First Friday Art Walk

This FREE event showcases all of our galleries and is the opening night for a new exhibition by Pueblo favorite Kim Mackey. Light refresments and entertainment. Sponsored by Black Hills Energy. Advance timed tickets and masks are required.

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