Great Sand Dunes National Park- A few hours south from Cañon City will take you to this fascinating and inspiring park. Towering sand dunes as far as the eye can see offer hours of entertainment as you explore the rolling hills, flowing creek (visit in May or June for the best chance to see flowing water), and the visitor’s center. Kids can even earn their Junior Rangers badge! The park has a campground and is a perfect place to get away from the lights, hustle, and bustle of everyday life. That’s what your Colorado Vacation is all about, right? Additional overnight accommodations are located nearby.
If you are planning a romantic trip, ask for one of the Mediterranean suites which have two-person whirlpool tubs. For the basketball players in the family, Tall Rooms with extra-long beds and heightened showerheads are also available. Panzano is a 210-seat Italian restaurant serving a selection of gourmet dishes. The hotel is located in the heart of Denver's central business district and is within easy walking distance of 16th Street Mall, lower downtown and Larimer Square. Rates start at around $115 per night.
Plan a romantic getaway or a family vacation to one of the top Colorado destinations including Boulder, Aspen, Denver, Colorado Springs, Fort Collins, Steamboat Springs, Estes Park, Telluride, Durango and Crested Butte. Whether you are looking to get away to the mountains or spend your weekend enjoying attractions in a fun city, there are many family-friendly vacation ideas and romantic getaways in Colorado.
Glacial geology in Rocky Mountain National Park can be seen from the mountain peaks to the valley floors. Ice is a powerful sculptor of this natural environment and large masses of moving ice are the most powerful tools. Telltale marks of giant glaciers can be seen all throughout the park. Streams and glaciations during the Quaternary period cut through the older sediment, creating mesa tops and alluvial plains, and revealing the present Rocky Mountains. The glaciation removed as much as 5,000 feet (1,500 m) of sedimentary rocks from earlier inland sea deposits. This erosion exposed the basement rock of the Ancestral Rockies. Evidence of the uplifting and erosion can be found on the way to Rocky Mountain National Park in the hogbacks of the Front Range foothills. Many sedimentary rocks from the Paleozoic and Mesozoic eras exist in the basins surrounding the park.
Home to the Lake Superior, Lake Michigan, Lake Huron, and part of Lake Erie, Michigan is rich in natural vegetation and beauty. Families looking for an adventure should explore the Upper Peninsula region that houses famous natural attractions such as the Porcupine Mountains, Pictured Rocks, Mackinac Island, Isle Royale, Tahquamenon Falls, and the Seney National Wildlife Refuge. Then there is the heavenly Lower Peninsula region with its placid lakes, rivers, forests, sand dunes and beaches. Canoeing, fishing, sailing, and motorboating are popular activities. You'll love returning to your Michigan cabin rental to unwind after an action-packed day exploring.
Observing wildlife is one of the most popular activities in the Rockies. A drive through the park at dusk during the summer is sure to guarantee viewing of herds of elk and mule deer. And throughout the rest of the year, moose, bighorn sheep, black bears, coyotes, cougars, eagles, hawks and scores of smaller animals like pikas and marmots delight wildlife-watchers of all ages.
This 5-bedroom residence features a stunning family room with a massive gas fireplace and a professional chef’s kitchen with dining area and breakfast nook. No expense was spared on the multi-zone sound system and other electronics throughout the home. Guests can settle into the cozy library/TV room or be blown away by the mineshaft themed cinema with a state-of-the-art digital projector and 11.1-point channel sound and hundreds of first-run movies and TV – all complimentary!
Take a 7.5 mile hike on the Yampa River Core Trail along this picturesque river, and then jump into one of the hot pools at the Strawberry Park Hot Springs. Tread of Pioneers Museum tells the story of Steamboat Springs past and is located in a beautiful Queen Anne-style Victorian house. Take a ride with the Steamboat Scenic Gondola up the slopes of Mount Werner for some spectacular views of the area.
With relaxing hot springs, haunting ghost towns, outdoor adventures, breathtaking views, gourmet dining, romantic scenery, and hip hotels, Colorado is high on our travel bucket list. No matter what time of year you go or how many times you visit, a Colorado vacation will always make you appreciate nature and challenge your comfort zone. And with an endless array of activities from powder-skiing to river-rafting, it's the ideal backdrop for a getaway with friends, romantic escape, or family trip. Click through to see some of the most breathtaking places to visit in the state (and the whole world), and then start planning your Colorado vacations.
Strawberry Creek Cabin is a beautiful log retreat located in Beaver Creek’s most exclusive neighborhood. Take in the dramatic views of Beaver Creek as you cozy up in front of the fireplace in the living room or cook in the gourmet kitchen. The interior features designer decor, comfortable layout, and an amazing art collection. Enjoy the outdoor fire pit and hot tub on the private back patio overlooking the ski runs. Ski-in/ski-out access via the Settler’s Way run is just steps away.
Dream Lake is one of the most-photographed lakes and is also noted for its winter snowshoeing. Emerald Lake is located directly below the saddle between Hallett Peak and Flattop Mountain, only a short hike beyond Dream Lake. The shore of Lake Haiyaha (a Native American word for "big rocks") is surrounded by boulders along with ancient, twisted and picturesque pine trees growing out of rock crevices. Nymph Lake is named for the yellow lily, Nymphaea polysepala, on its surface. Lake Helene is at the head of Odessa Gorge, east of Notchtop Mountain. Two Rivers Lake is found along the hike to Odessa Lake from Bear Lake, and has one backcountry campsite. The Cub Lake trail passes Big Thompson River, flowery meadows, and stands of pine and aspen trees. Ice and deep snow are present during the winter, requiring the use of skis or snowshoes.
Located in southwestern Colorado, close to the Four Corners Monument where Colorado, New Mexico, Arizona and Utah meet, Durango is perfectly positioned for sightseeing and year-round outdoor activities. The town also has a vibrant art scene and you can spend many happy hours visiting a fascinating array of art galleries and live theater attractions.
Another benefit of staying in an Estes Park lodging is the proximity to a number of diverse restaurants. Everyone on your vacation will be sure to find something appealing. Try Himalayan Curry & Kebob, which offers authentic Indian food, or Nepal's Cafe for Nepalese food. Pasta lovers should pay a visit to Mama Rose's, with all manner of Italian dishes accompanied by an extensive offering of wine, beer, and spirits. Mama Rose's is also great for diners with food allergies or those who are vegetarian, vegan, or gluten-free.
Situated on Vail Square, The Arrabelle sets the standard for luxurious lodging, while its jaw-dropping setting reflects the romantic heritage and ambiance of the European Alps. Here you’ll find architectural touches of Salzburg, Innsbruck and Prague, along with high-end amenities such as personal butler service, ski valet and even grocery delivery. Look forward to heading to the rooftop for laps in the pool and soaking in the whirlpool together while taking in magnificent Rocky Mountain views. You can also relax and unwind together while indulging in treatments at the property’s RockResorts Spa, which offers even more stunning Rockies vistas. Each one of the spacious suites host impressive features like a living room area with a fireplace, ideal for toasting to your new life together while cuddling up next to its warmth.
ItineraryThis is a typical itinerary for this productStop At: Images of Rocky Mountain National Park, Estes Park, ColoradoEnjoy winter in all its beauty and head for the mountains on this incredible 8-hour tour to Rocky Mountain National Park. Around each corner are breathtaking views, alpine lakes and wildlife in a serene setting. Wintertime is the perfect to head to the park as the snow capped mountains are truly breathtaking with the peace and tranquility the mountains have to offer.Duration: 5 hours
Some of the highlights along the way are the towns of Silverton, Ouray, and Telluride. Set at more than 9,300 feet and surrounded by mountains, Silverton has one main street with a few shops and restaurants. In summer, it can be ridiculously busy, but in winter, most of the establishments are closed, and the place can feel like a ghost town. On the edge of town, Silverton Mountain is an old school ski "resort" with great backcountry downhill skiing for advanced skiiers. Ouray, with a sign at the main lookout calling it the "Switzerland of America," is another mountain town, known for its hot springs. If you choose to do the Skyway, you can stop in at Telluride. Known for the Telluride Ski Resort, this is one of the most beautiful mountain towns in America, with a traditional main street and gorgeous mountain scenery. You can take a free gondola up the mountain for a better look over the area.
Take advantage of The Mining Exchange MX Spa Couples Retreat massage, perfect for newly married couples celebrating wedded bliss, long-time couples enjoying their anniversary, or simply a needed romantic Colorado Springs getaway. This massage also offers special add-on features including a soak in one of their Kohler VibrAcoustic Bubble Massage Chromotherapy Tubs, chocolate covered strawberries and champagne.
Surrounded on three sides by Rocky Mountain National Park, Grand Lake is aptly known as the “Western Gateway” to the Rockies. Because of its close proximity to the wilderness, it’s one of the best weekend getaways in Colorado for an itinerary full of adventure. Strap on your cross-country skis or rent a snowmobile to explore the area’s large network of trails no matter the weather. For indoor entertainment, head to the Rocky Mountain Repertory Theatre, which puts on professional shows loved by kids and parents alike.
Guest rooms at both lodge buildings are tastefully decorated and fully equipped with the necessary amenities for absolute comfort, including private bathrooms with showers and soaking tubs, stone fireplaces, and flat-screen televisions. The inn is situated within walking distance of the town’s restaurants, bars, and clubs, as well as other entertainment and events that happen on a regular basis. The Minturn Inn is located two hours from Denver.
If you’re planning to visit Breckenridge this summer, plan plenty of time to fit it all in. Local fan favorites include fishing or biking the paved trail along the Blue River, a scenic drive over Boreas Pass road accessing 1,000 miles of mountain biking across Summit County, hiking countless miles of trails or climbing a nearby “14er.” The entire family will love the Breckenridge Peak 8 Fun Park’s Gold Runner Coaster, 4X4 off-road tours, climbing wall, Alpine Superslide, hiking tours, Superputt Mini Golf and free scenic gondola rides with spectacular views of Cucumber Gulch. The 2013 Kingdom Days/Outhouse Races June 14-16, 2013 are a must. It’s not every day Outhouse Races, old-fashioned games like potato sack races, magicians, blacksmithing demos, gold panning and historic hikes are the star attractions. http://www.gobreck.com/events/kingdom-days. If you want a date night, drop the kids (ages 5-12) off at the Recreation Center Parents’ Night Out. As your kids, climb, swim and play, they won’t even notice you’re gone.
Colorado's scenic terrain draws millions of travelers looking to get swept up in its natural splendor. With a bevy of cities and towns, each with its own unique outdoor offerings, cultural attractions and general Colorado charm, it may be difficult to choose the best place for your next vacation. U.S. News took into account a number of factors, including the variety of attractions as well as the opinions of experts and travelers, to determine the Best Places to Visit in Colorado. Got a favorite? Cast your vote to help determine next year's list.
Your first stop should be the Quarry Visitors Center from where you can access the main attraction at the park, the Quarry Exhibit Hall, built over the Carnegie Dinosaur Quarry. A huge wall of windows allows in natural light, making it feel more like an excavation site than a museum. Fossils are in various states, from still encased in the stone wall to fully assembled skeletons.
After facing near extinction last century, the bighorn sheep population is currently thriving: there are roughly 300–400 of these striking animals in the park. Look for them at the aptly named Sheep Lakes from May through mid-August, when the bighorns descend to eat soil and obtain minerals not found in their high mountain habitat. Their visits generally occur between 9 a.m. and 3 p.m.
Colorado Springs lies at the eastern foot of the Rocky Mountains at an elevation of over 6,000 feet and is a springboard to some of Colorado’s best hiking trails as well as many other outdoor activities. Just a few of the energetic activities you can try include white water rafting in the Royal Gorge, hiking in the beautiful Garden of the Gods Park or cycling the Barr Trail.
Pagosa Springs is a picturesque, off-the-beaten-path destination surrounded by the San Juan National Forest. It’s an ideal spot for a Colorado weekend trip, with beautiful hiking paths, numerous hot springs, and stunning spots like Chimney Rock National Monument and Treasure Falls. Or going off-roading for another fun way to make the most of this charming town’s personality and views.
A former Victorian era mining town in the Rocky Mountains, Telluride is a charming town located in a box canyon at the base of a popular ski-and-golf resort. Some of the town’s major attractions include the historic district, which is home to landmarks like the Telluride Historical Museum and the Sheridan Opera House. Telluride is also the site of famous festivals like the Telluride Film Festival and the Telluride Bluegrass Festival.