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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.

Sandstone Creek Club

Family oriented property with fantastic pool and spa, game room, exercise room, recquetball court and library.  Full front desk and concierge service.  Ride our courtesy shuttle to and from the slopes.  All Village and Lionshead restaurants accessible via the club’s shuttle (winter only) or the Town ov Vail free bus.

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New Year’s Eve at Studio CR

Prepare to step into the world of disco decadence, lights, and extravagance as we invite you to relive the iconic magic of the Studio 54 era. Welcome the new year with an evening of immersing yourself in a sensory experience you won’t forget. A maze of rooms filled with DJs, magicians, dancers, and interactive entertainment awaits you.
Enjoy entertainment including DJ Sunnfors, ETHNO – Jeff Franca of Thievery Corporation, drag queens, disco dancers, mirror ladies, magicians and more!
Passed appetizers, champagne toast, and passed dessert included with tickets. Drinks available for purchase.
Transport yourself back in time to the glory days of Studio 54 and dress to impress in your finest disco attire: think sparkles, feathers, bell bottoms etc.
To purchase a VIP table (which includes VIP entrance, tickets, interactive 360 video shoot, & champagne) email miranda@chasingrabbitsvail.com.

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Revely Tree Lighting

Join us to light up the village at Sunbird Park in Lionshead! There will be an outdoor ice skating performance, live music and a special appearance of a special jovial, bearded guest.

Vail Stables

Conveniently located 1 mile NW of downtown Vail, Colorado,

our rustic, little outfit offers something for everyone.

Claim your all-access pass through the beautiful backcountry of the Rockies on horseback.  The trails are truly awe-inspiring with wide-open scenic views, and dense Aspen glades with lush green undergrowth that includes giant Cow Parsnip with their large, delicate flower.

The rides are a mix of adventure, relaxation and quiet for the ultimate horse experience in the mountains including wildlife sightings, singing birds, lush green Aspen glades with their quaking leaves and blankets of wildflowers under blue, blue Vail skies.  The horses are gentle, yet perky.  The guides are knowledgable and quiet, yet engaged.

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Vail Jazz Party

Vail Jazz Party

The 29th Annual Vail Jazz Party will return August 31 – September 4, 2023. The grand finale of both the Vail Jazz Festival and the beautiful Colorado summer season, the Vail Jazz Party features a jam-packed lineup with several headliners that join together to play in group performances, multi-artist jam sessions, and inspiring tributes to jazz legends. The Party is hosted by the Vail Jazz Faculty Sextet, featuring John Clayton, Dick Oatts, Terell Stafford, Wycliffe Gordon, Bill Cunliffe, and Lewis Nash. Now in it’s 29th year, the Vail Jazz Party has cemented its reputation as the premier Labor Day weekend event!

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Mikaela87

Mikaela87

Join the Celebration 
Mikaela Shiffrin now has the most wins of any athlete in Alpine World Cup history breaking Sweden’s Ingemar Stenmark’s past record of 86 World Cup victories! Whether you are an alpine enthusiast, Miki superfan, or Eagle County local — help us celebrate this moment in ski racing history.

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Kids Adventure Games

Kids Adventure Games

What started as a backyard fun obstacle course for a few kids turned into a nationwide ADVENTURE RACE series spanning over a decade thanks to a dedicated team of outdoor professionals, who put on a n Eco Challenge/Mountain Games – style race for kids.Now in its 14th year, the Kids Adventure Games is returning to Vail Village August 10-14, 2023. Stepping into tomorrow with extra appreciation for our environment, teamwork, grit & confidence., with an awesome partner & community of friends. This experience truly does last a life time.In teams of two, participants compete together by bike, in water and on foot through a 2.5-4 mile course featuring up to 15 man made and natural obstacles. Races are limited to 130 teams per day. The Kids Adventure Games is more than a race, it’s an event for the whole family to enjoy!

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Taste of Vail

Taste of Vail

During the annual event, upwards of 10,000 people can “Taste the Vail Valley lifestyle,” which showcases Vail’s world-famous resort village set against dramatic mountain vistas. Participants at the Taste of Vail experience the Vail Valley’s world-class restaurants, fine wine poured by winemakers and winery owners from top wineries around the globe, along with interactive seminars, an auction and dance, the Colorado Tasting on the streets of Vail, and more.Taste of Vail is here to promote the Vail lifestyle via the community’s ever-evolving food and beverage assets. This is done through the organization’s iconic food and wine event in the spring, along with additional activities throughout the year designed to support and elevate the community. We will have guest chefs this year to enhance the food and wine experience.

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Vail Skating Festival Ice Spectacular

Vail Skating Festival Ice Spectacular

This 70 minute, ticketed, high energy ice show entertains every guest with great popular and holiday themed music. This year features Nathan Chen in his only Colorado appearance since his 2022 Olympic Victory! Also starring 4 additional Olympians, including Kaitlin Hawayek and Jean-Luc Baker, plus Seasoned Ice Skating Professionals.Located at Dobson Ice Area, 6:30pm-8:00pmTickets on sale now, this event will sell out!

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