The Western Slope has plenty of charms, including being a dinosaur mecca with plenty of hands-on science, and is the heart of Colorado’s agricultural region. At the Museum of Western Colorado’s Dinosaur Journey, visitors can get up close and personal with dinosaur skeletons, a working paleontology lab and realistic robotic dinosaurs. Dedicated to “putting science in the hands of kids,” the Western Colorado Math and Science Center features interactive exhibits in biology, physics, earth and space science, and electronics. From June through October, orchards are laden with some of the sweetest harvests around: cherries, grapes, apples, plums, pears, apricots and peaches. Take an orchard tour or check out the myriad of roadside stands selling fresh produce, jams and ciders. For great biking or strolling, the Colorado Riverfront Trail winds for more than 18 miles through the city of Grand Junction’s picnic grounds, botanical garden, protected wetlands and fishing pier. Buy one/get one free passes are available for six major attractions from the Grand Junction Visitors Center. This “Map to Adventure” includes Dinosaur Journey, Museum of the West, Cross Orchards, the John McConnell Math & Science Center, The Art Center and the Western Colorado Botanical Gardens.
The Experience: Located in a Western ghost town in the Rockies, Dunton Hot Springs is the rustic escape for families that want to experience the great outdoors without compromising luxury or comfort. Dunton offers perma-tents, tepees, and cabins for lodging. This remote destination hotel will get you off the beaten path and out of your comfort zone in the best, most luxurious way possible.
A home base for travelers visiting the Rocky Mountain National Park, Estes Park is less than a 2-hour drive from Denver. The park offers 355 miles of hiking trails paired with stunning vistas and landscapes, from snow-capped mountains to picturesque lakes and valleys, where those who crave adventure will find a myriad of outdoor adventures. Estes Park itself is a great area to explore, as visitors can meander the Riverwalk in Downtown Estes Park or hop on the Estes Park Aerial Tramway to the top of a small peak. Estes Park boasts a variety of shopping and dining experiences, while movie enthusiasts will want to stop by the world famous Stanley Hotel that was the inspiration behind Stephen King’s “The Shining.”
In Michigan, more than half of the 24,313 accommodations are house rentals, which represent 53.55% of its available accommodations. In addition, these properties have a median size of 1,840 ft² as well as cost, on average, $332 a night. Moreover, these properties are optimal for 8 as that is the average number of vacationers house rentals can host in Michigan. If you are searching for another type of accommodation, you can look for many other offers, such as hotel rooms, which are the other very popular type of property in Michigan. While house rentals in Michigan have an average size of 1,840 ft², hotel rooms have an average size of 420 ft².
If you make the quick jaunt to Denver’s neighbor-to-the-north, start with the Fort Collins Museum of Discovery. Debuting in November 2012, the museum features over interactive 100 exhibits and activities such as the Music & Sound Lab, where physics, technology, history and hands-on playing and composing lead to inspiration. The Environmental Learning Center is a 212-acre site comprised of four distinct ecosystems – wetlands, riparian, cottonwood forest and prairie – and offers plenty of programs for kids. The Rocky Mountain Raptor Program takes in injured birds of prey, and welcomes visitors interested in their rehabilitation and release. Want a free ride? The Fort Collins Bike Library loans bicycles to visitors and residents, from one hour to seven days, at no charge.
Tucked deep in the San Juan Mountains in southwestern Colorado, this carefully restored 19th-century ghost town and natural spa is surprisingly well appointed. The rugged, old-timey building exteriors hide high-end features such as cathedral ceilings, air conditioning, and gas fireplaces. Dolores has four parks and a peaceful bike trail that takes peddlers along the tumultuous Dolores River. You can enjoy hands-on exhibits and a nature hike at the Anasazi Heritage Center, or explore an exact replica of the original narrow-gauge rail car, the Galloping Goose. Share a romantic meal with tasty cocktails at Sophia’s Bistro.
Zach Zehr, an avid backcountry adventurer, spends a lot of time in Rocky Mountain National Park, which is open but operating with a limited staff since Dec. 22, 2018, due to the federal government shutdown. Because of the shutdown, the roads aren’t being plowed so much of the park is not open to vehicle traffic. Fat bikes, however, work just fine. Zehr, who is also the manager at the Estes Park Mountain Shop, and some friends rode their fat bikes to the Bear Lake Trailhead and did a backcountry ski trip in the park on Jan. 6, 2019. (Provided by Zach Zehr)
Located at the eastern foot of the Rocky Mountains, Colorado Springs has multiple attractions, ranging from museums and parks to trains and a zoo. It is within close proximity to Pikes Peak, a landmark in the Pike National Forest. The Garden of the Gods park is also located in Colorado Springs and features red sandstone formations and stunning mountain views.
Fall River provides a beautiful backdrop for our lodging resort. After your hiking, snowshoeing or back-country skiing adventure, spend an intimate evening in a luxurious Spa Suite or relax in a spacious 1 Bedroom Suite. Enjoy sounds of the river from your private cabin/condo deck. All the conveniences of home in each suite. Boulder Brook on Fall River Details
There is also plenty for you to explore in the surrounding areas. If you head south, you’ll reach Red Rocks Park, which is known for its red rock formations. Head east, and you’ll find yourself in Denver, where you can experience a taste of the city, complete with shopping and dining options. Head west, and you’ll be in the Rocky Mountains, with options to ski.
That was not my intention. We planned a trip from Florida to the Rocky Mountains of Colorado for one of my freelance writing projects, and originally scheduled a day in Denver (at 5,280 feet in elevation) to acclimate. Frontier Airlines had a different idea. I heard alternatively that our plane had a mechanical issue, that weather in the Midwest grounded the flight, and that the crew went on strike. Regardless, the airline cancelled our original flight.
The land that now houses the cozy Rustic River Cabins was originally declared a homestead of 160 acres in the Big Thompson Canyon in 1903. Through a series of owners, name changes and new buildings, it became Rustic River Cabins in 2003 and now has seven all-season, pet-friendly cabins which sleep between two and eight guests and feature a fireplace, a full kitchen and private hot tubs in five. They were originally built in the mid-1940s and offer a cozy charm that’s perfectly suited for a mountain getaway.
Most visitors to the park drive over the famous Trail Ridge Road, but other roads include Fall River Road and Bear Lake Road. The park is open every day of the year, weather permitting. Due to the extended winter season in higher elevations, Trail Ridge Road between Many Parks Curve and the Colorado River Trailhead is closed much of the year. The road is usually open again by Memorial Day and closes in mid-October, generally after Columbus Day. Fall River Road does not open until about July 4 and closes by, or in, October for vehicular traffic. Snow may also fall in sufficient quantities in higher elevations to require temporary closure of the roads into July, which is reported on the road status site.
Just a 5-minute stroll from downtown Estes Park, Fall River Village offers 66 luxury accommodations, including 60 two bedroom and two bathroom condos, a honeymoon suite, four three bedroom and four bathroom townhomes and a four bedroom townhome with panoramic views of the Continental Divide. Property amenities include a heated, outdoor pool, year-round, outdoor hot tubs, a community room, fire pit and grill areas as well as an outdoor recreation area with yard games and a hammock.
A small mining camp not so long ago, Boulder is a modern, sophisticated town at the base of the Flatirons, popular among extreme sports folks and lovers of magnificent nature of all ages. Stroll through the charming downtown with the popular Pearl Street Mall. Discover Boulder’s past at the Boulder History Museum located in the beautiful historic Harbeck-Bergheim House. Boulder Museum of Contemporary Art not only has a range of permanent and temporary exhibits, but also popular educational programs.
Head to Denver, Colorado where you can see shows, visit museums and sample new flavors at gourmet restaurants. The Curtis – a DoubleTree by Hilton is a boutique hotel with 336 innovative accommodations, a retro dining experience and a state-of-the-art fitness center. The Bigger Better Deal Rooms offer 350 square feet of living space and views of downtown Denver. There are three types of suites to choose from: a KISS Suite, a Rolling Stones Suite and a suite dedicated to the Spice Girls. Guests can also stay in a “Hyper Themed” room on each of the 13 themed floors, such as the Jimmy Buffett Suite and the Ghostbusters Suite.