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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.

Royal Gorge RV Resort

Conveniently located in the heart of Royal Gorge country. Big Rig Friendly, shaded, full hook-up RV and tent sites, and luxury cabins with views of the Sangre De Cristo mountains.

The Frisson Ensemble

Fremont County Community Concert Association presents an evening of music with the Frisson Ensemble on Tuesday, February 21st, at 7 pm in the Canon City H.S. Lou Del Pizzo Auditorium, 1313 College Avenue, Canon City.Frisson features the best and brightest of classical music’s stars! The group showcases emerging young artists as well as seasoned professionals and has skyrocketed to become America’s hottest new classical group from New York City. They are known for performing a wide variety of genres and styles including classical, popular, folk and jazz. Their “American Tribute Tour” will feature beloved music from Gershwin and Cole Porter, melodies from Appalachian Spring, American themes from Dvorak’s music, ragtime from Scott Joplin and perhaps a Stephen Foster song.The ensemble performs in over 25 cities annually including appearances in such diverse venues as the Morgan Library and Museum in New York City, the Da Camera Society in Los Angeles and at the Bermuda Festival. Frisson comes from the French word meaning “a shiver or a thrill, a sudden feeling of excitement.” And thrill you they will! Led by oboist Thomas Gallant, the young virtuosos play with life, zest and virtuosity!Tickets at the door are $20. Complimentary admission for students through age 18 when accompanied by a member. For additional information and videos about this and future concerts, visit and or call Marty at 719-275-5950.

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After Midnight Jazz Band

After Midnight Jazz Band

Fremont County Community Concert Association presents an afternoon of jazz performed by After Midnight Jazz Band on Sunday, January 22nd, at 3 pm. 
Award winning clarinetist Roger Campbell leads the hottest jazz band since the Swing Era! Colorado’s Premier Swing Band is the only sextet featured in the Colorado Music Hall of Fame at Red Rocks! Swinging hard-since 1999, this extraordinary group of musicians has performed hundreds of concerts around the country for jazz festivals, clubs, summer concerts, weddings and more. Their infectious music is guaranteed to get you dancing, swinging and smiling!After Midnight’s sound and style is modeled after the Benny Goodman Sextet (widely regarded as the best small jazz group of all time), but with a sophisticated and vintage vibe. Their hard driving swing is refreshing and infectious, inspiring dancers and bringing toe-tapping joy to listeners of all ages. This music is incredibly difficult to play, and they enjoy making it look and sound effortless. After Midnight’s repertoire incorporates music from Benny Goodman, Artie Shaw and Lionel Hampton to Nat King Cole, Frank Sinatra and Tony Bennett. They’ve also recorded eight great albums!Their instrumentation is unlike any other band in the region and very few in the world — they feature Clarinet, Vibraphone, Piano, Bass, Guitar and Drums. What’s a Vibraphone? It’s a lot like bells or marimba but has vibrato when you hit the metal bars.They’ve been fortunate to work with some of the best “chick” singers around including Lannie Garrett, Rehka Ohal, Jodi Renee, Wende Harston, Lisa Bell, Deejha Marie, and Joni Janak. They have even worked with actress Lea Thompson and her daughter Madelyn Deutch!Tickets at the door are $20. Complimentary admission for students through age 18 when accompanied by a member. For additional information and videos about this and future concerts, visit and, their Facebook page “After Midnight Jazz Band” or call Marty at 719-275-5950.

Jeeyoon Kim, Classical Pianist

The Fremont County Community Concert Association will present its second concert of the season on Thursday, November 3rd, at 7 P.M. in the Canon City H.S. Auditorium, 1313 College Ave. Award-winning classical pianist Jeeyoon Kim will perform. Ms. Kim has delighted audiences across the United States and the world with her combination of sensitive artistry, broad emotional range, impeccable technique and engaging and innovative concert experiences, including beautiful videos to complement the music. From the start of her career, beginning with her celebrated 2016 debut album, “10 More Minutes”, Jeeyoon has thrilled classical music fans with her artful performances.Jeeyoon began studying the piano when she was just four years old, and her love of music propelled her through her undergraduate studies in piano performance in her native Korea. After moving to the United States, she received her Master of Music and Doctor of Musical Arts in Piano Performance with Distinction from Indiana University’s renowned Jacobs School of Music.In pursuit of a deeper understanding of music education, she earned a second master’s degree in piano pedagogy from Butler University where she concurrently served as a faculty member. As a testament to Jeeyoon’s abilities as an educator, she was recognized with the ‘Top Music Teacher Award’ from Steinway & Sons for three consecutive years from 2016 to 2018. She was also a Double Gold Medal winner for Emerging Artist and Instrumentalist at the Global Music Awards in 2018.Jeeyoon has shared her fresh perspective on classical piano performance with audiences at venues such as Carnegie Hall in New York City, the Chamber Music Society in San Francisco and Stradivari Society in Chicago. Her fast-growing podcast, Journey through Classical Piano, is dedicated to helping people of all musical tastes and backgrounds discover the beauty of classical music. Its 15-minute episodes feature concert-like musical experiences and in-depth exploration of classical compositions.Jeeyoon is an art activist, author, educator, public speaker, podcaster and award-winning performer. August 2021 she published her first book, “Whenever You’re Ready”, offering readers a personal glimpse into her life. This self-help book in a concert-style structure shares wisdom and insights gained from Jeeyoon’s musical experiences. After a successful reception throughout North America and Europe, the book was also published in South Korea in June of 2022, translated into Korean by the author herself. Jeeyoon Kim currently resides in San Diego where she happily practices her piano daily, maintains a studio full of dedicated piano students, and surfs each morning at sunrise.Season memberships: $60 for this and three other varied concerts. Tickets at the door: $20. Complimentary admission for students 18 and under when accompanied by a member. For additional info see or call Marty at (719) 275-5950.

Harvest Fest

Wine, artisans, food, and entertainment come together the last weekend of September at the annual Harvest Festival on the grounds at the Winery at Holy Cross Abbey.This is a wonderful way to spend a beautiful fall day. Discover the Abbey Winery’s award-winning wines including the limited release of Harvest Fest’s Riesling. Enjoy food selections from local produce and cheeses to wood-fired pizzas, fajitas, roasted chilies, and freshly baked breads.This event is on Saturday from 10-6 pm and Sunday from 10-5 pm. The event is free but wine tasting is $10 which includes a commemorative logo wine glass and 4 tasting tickets totaling 4 ounces of wine. Additionally, tasting tickets can be purchased ($5 for 4 tickets) and bottle service is available. No reservations are necessary.This event is not pet-friendly and only service animals are allowed entry.

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The Alex Meixner Duo

The Alex Meixner Duo

Friday, April 29th, at 7 p.m., in the Canon City H.S. auditorium, 1313 College Avenue, accordion wizard Alex Meixner and his talented guitarist, Rory Hoffman, return to Canon City to offer an energetic, fun-filled performance. Alex knows how to make his instrument sing and dance with joy and enthusiasm and brings his audiences right along on a musical journey through all kinds of music. He has performed traditional ethnic music since he was four years old and has extensive experience in a wide variety of musical genres – everything from classical to jazz to pop music from around the world. Alex Meixner is a Grammy-nomination musician with performances on more than 50 albums, including 17 where he was the bandleader or soloist.Tickets are $20 for the concert and will be available at the door prior to the concert. Students 18 and under receive complimentary admission. For additional information and video clips of these performers, visit, call Marty (719-275-5950) or visit the performers’ websites.

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