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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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Summer in Summit County

Summer in Summit County, Colorado

Welcome to Summer in Summit County and one of  ‘Colorado’s Favorite Playgrounds!’ Blessed with a central location in the heart of the Colorado Rockies, Summit County encompasses the inviting towns of Keystone, Dillon, Frisco, Silverthorne, Copper Mountain, Heeney, and Breckenridge.

Summit County Summertime

Our historic towns have much to offer for all ages during the summer months. Celebrate the history of these National Historic Districts and stroll down our Main Streets while enjoying the one-of-a-kind architecture, unique shopping, and dining options.

Summer in Summit County Standouts

Find many unique lodging opportunities for romantic getaways, family vacations, and weekend adventures with friends. Summit County has many options to suit any family, group, couple, or individual.

summer in summmit county

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Bluegrass on The Arkansas

Bluegrass on The Arkansas

Near the headwaters of the Arkansas River in Salida, Colorado, you will find a delightful venue for your holiday weekend and an opportunity to enjoy bluegrass music, food, drink, and fun for all ages.Bluegrass on the Arkansas, an annual fund raiser for the Rotary Club of Salida, will be back Memorial Day Weekend May 27th and 28th this year. Our thanks go out to everyone who helped make the 2022 show an awesome success!!This is a FREE event that our community has enjoyed for 20 years that draws visitors to and locals the same. In addition to an exciting two days of bluegrass bands, both local and from out of town, we are having food trucks for your convenience and enjoyment. Rotarians will again be pouring SoulCraft beer from the beer truck and hoping to supply sustainable, reusable cups for the event. A Bouncy House will be available for kids on Sunday and nonalcoholic beverages (as well as wine and hard spritzers) will be available. Come join us in supporting Salida Rotary and enjoying BlueGrass on the Arkansas at Riverside Park: all make this a fun weekend.This event is the main fundraiser for the Rotary Club of Salida. We are proud to help the youth of our community not only by providing vocational and scholastic scholarships but also by giving to other local nonprofits throughout Chaffee County. All proceeds of the event go to support our seniors and community organizations who work hard to make a difference.

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Cañon City royal gorge bridge

Canon City

Travel to Canon City, Colorado

Tucked into the folds and bluffs of the Arkansas Valley in south central Colorado, Canon City boasts the nickname of “The Climate Capital of Colorado” due to the mild climate. The relaxed pace of the region’s quaint small towns, spectacular scenery, year-round outdoor activities, The Royal Gorge Park & Bridge, and The Arkansas River, which flows through the region, make this the perfect vacation destination. Request a FREE Vacation Guide.

Favorite Things to Do in the Royal Gorge Region

  • Royal Gorge Bridge and Park – a must-see and do experience. Cross America’s highest suspension bridge and participate in the other features offered at the park.
  • Whitewater rafting through the Royal Gorge Canyon – a very popular way to see and experience all the wonders of the Royal Gorge Canyon and the Arkansas River.
  • Jeep Tours – The Royal Gorge Region is an amazing place to travel through. Featuring a high alpine desert landscape and a plethora of off-road routes.
  • Royal Gorge Scenic Train – climb onboard the original transcontinental passenger train from the early 1900s.
  • The Winery at Holy Cross Abbey – voted “Best Front Range Tasting Room” by Colorado Vine. The wine-tasting room is open daily.
  • Mountain Biking & Hiking – are understated activities but many exceptional miles of trails await.

Cañon City Downtown Canon City

About Canon City and Regional Attractions

Family fun starts with a memorable ride on the Royal Gorge Route Railroad, one of the most scenic train rides in the world. The historic tracks follow the Arkansas River through the Royal Gorge Canyon, with views of the bridge from below. The whole family will enjoy exploring the unique rock formations and historic dinosaur sites. Leisure seekers will delight in the one-of-a-kind galleries, renowned antiquing, wine tasting, golfing, and fishing.

Canon City is home to The Royal Gorge, which has a width of 50 feet at the base of the gorge and a few hundred feet at its top, with a depth of 1,200 feet; the 10-mile-long canyon is a stunning natural wonder. 1929, one of the world’s highest suspension bridges was built over the Grand Gorge. The Royal Gorge Bridge has a quarter-mile long span and hangs 1,053 feet above the gorge. The bridge is one of Colorado’s most popular attractions.

Salida Parade Of Lights

Parade of Lights at 6pm Lighting of the worlds largest Christmas Tree on Christmas Mountain to follow. Holiday Park open through the Holidays Christmas Mountain will be lit until the first Sunday in January.

Christmas Mountain 5 Mile Run

Celebrate Thanksgiving weekend and the lighting of Christmas Mountain in Salida with a 5 mile race! Course begins and ends by Riverside Park in downtown Salida. Race course is very scenic and flat (around 160 feet of elevation gain) and takes place on city and county roads and gravel or concrete pedestrian paths. This event is designed for all runners, and we encourage all ages and abilities to come out! Packet pickup, post race drinks and snacks, and awards will also take place in Riverside Park in downtown Salida. Race begins at 10am, giving participants time to sleep in after Thanksgiving, and then relax with friends and family before heading back to downtown Salida for the lighting of Christmas Mountain. Festivities in town associated with this event include the annual Christmas Mountain parade, beginning at 6pm, followed by fireworks. This is one of Salida’s biggest and most celebratory nights each year. The goals of this event are to encourage health, fitness, fun, and community connection around the Thanksgiving holiday; to offer another competitive racing opportunity in Chaffee County; and to raise money during the holiday season for the Chaffee County Community Foundation. Prize money (TBD for 2022) will be offered to the top 3 W/F overall, along with the first place M/F masters runner (ages 40+). For more information or if you’re interested in sponsoring or volunteering at this event, please contact Kristy Falcon at christmasmountainrun@gmail.com.

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Leadville Train

Leadville Railroad

Leadville Train – All Aboard

326 E 7th St, Leadville, CO 80461

Leadville Train Canyon

Welcome aboard the Leadville Railroad. Join us for a Colorado adventure you will not forget. Located in the heart of the Rocky Mountains, the Leadville Railroad is a scenic train trip that provides 2 and 1/2 hours of sightseeing, relaxation, and a little glimpse back in history.

The Leadville Railroad travels north parallel the Arkansas River Valley. Gaining almost 1,000 ft. in Elevation. As you travel, spectacular views of Freemont Pass and the two tallest peaks in Colorado, Mt. Massive and Mt. Elbert, show themselves. You will travel through pine forests, aspen groves and view high alpine meadows sprinkled with an array of colorful wildflowers in mid-summer. Bring your camera to try to capture a picture of an eagle, deer, marmots, and even elk.

During the train ride, the conductor will share stories about the history of the railroad, ghost stories, and tales of the wild west. Leadville, founded in 1877, was part of the silver mining boom era and consequently embodied the dramas of strike-it-rich western towns. When the train stops at an old Steam Engine water tank, passengers are able to get off the train and explore the area. Don’t forget to tour the Caboose and Engine and meet the Engineer!

The Leadville Railroad has operated as a scenic train in Leadville, Colorado, since 1988. Their summer season starts on Memorial Day weekend and trips run through the Holidays and into April. Check out their website for details on specialty summer tours like the wildflower tour and BBQ specials. Fall photo specials, Octoberfest in the fall, and our Holiday and Winter express tours from November to April. Due to the high elevation of this train tour, it’s best to come prepared with jackets, hats, gloves, and sunscreen. Don’t forget your camera.

Leadville Train Schedule Leadville Train Caboose

The Leadville Train runs year-round, check their calendar for specific dates. The train ride is approximately 2 plus hours long.

Leadville Special Trains

The Leadville Train celebrates holidays and events throughout the year with special trains. Their winter Holiday Express Train is a seasonal favorite.

Adventure Combo Packages

Engine & Caboose Rides

Purchase a special add-on ticket for this extraordinary Leadville train experience.

Group Packages Leadville Train Engine

Leadville Train offers special pricing on groups of 20 people or more. They try and accommodate groups with discounts according to their needs. If you have questions or would like to see if your group can be accommodated, give them a call 1-866-386-3936 or contact them for more information.

 

 

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