The Best Places to Vacation with Kids this Summer in Colorado

Meagan ButlerMay 11, 2022

The Best Places to Vacation with Kids this Summer in Colorado

Colorado is one of the best places in the nation for outdoor activities during the summer. Where other parts of the country have high humidity levels and scorching temperatures, Colorado warms up during the day and cools off at night, especially in the mountainous region of the state. Since Colorado’s high elevation and low humidity keeps the mosquitos and other bugs relatively at bay, it’s no wonder that people flock to the Centennial State for outdoor activities such as boating, hiking, mountain biking, paddling, and camping. The best places to vacation with kids in Colorado are scattered across the state, and no matter where you go, you and your family are sure to have a memorable and adventurous time. 

The Best Places to Vacation with Kids in Colorado Springs

brown rocky mountain under white sky during daytime

If you are looking for a place to visit that has both city activities as well as outdoor activities, Colorado Springs is a must-visit destination. The city, nestled along the Front Range of the Rocky Mountains, rests in the shadows of Pikes Peak, the mountain that inspired the song, America the Beautiful. The mountainous landscape ends in the city, and feathers out in stark contrast to the prairie grass and flat terrain of the Eastern Plains. 

The best place to vacation with kids in the city is the Great Wolf Lodge. The Great Wolf Lodge is a waterpark lodge created for kids (or kids-at-heart). It has mini-golf, a climbing wall, a ropes course, and even a kid-sized bowling alley. After spending a few days inside, take a trip to the United States Air Force Academy where you can see Cadet Chapel, which is a U.S National Historic Landmark, or park your car and go for a hike, walk, or bike ride along any of the Academy’s nine recreational trails. While you still have your outdoor shoes on, head south to the city’s red rocks, the Garden of the Gods. The Garden of the Gods, a registered National Natural Landmark, has miles of trails that intertwine with the red sandstone formations like the Kissing Camels. The park has hiking trails, biking trails, and even off-road trails, and guests can rent bikes, electric bikes, or take a self-guided walk. The Garden of the Gods also has a Junior Ranger program and other fun educational programs created just for kids. Before heading out of town, plan to stay one more day and explore the Cheyenne Mountain Zoo, one of the top 10 zoos in North America. If you plan to stay in Colorado Springs for more than a night, we recommend renting an RV and staying at Cheyenne Mountain State Park, which is just minutes away from the zoo.

Family Vacation Spots in the San Luis Valley

desert field

The San Luis Valley, flanked by the Sangre de Cristo Mountains, is an area of the state that recreation lovers must not miss. While most of the San Luis Valley is made up of small towns, mountain passes, and open ranges, one of the state’s most memorable features, the Great Sand Dunes, rests in the middle of these tiny towns.  

Start your outdoor excursion by staying a night or two at Lathrop State Park, which has RV camping, golfing, fishing, boating, and other recreational activities that both kids and adults will love. After camping, point the rig towards Great Sand Dunes National Park and Preserve. Before you get to the park, stop at Colorado Gators Reptile Park, where kids and wanna-be-kids can learn about gators or earn a gator-handling certificate. After you’ve had your fill of reptiles, head toward the giant mountain of sand. We recommend staying overnight for at least one sunset and sunrise, and because Great Sand Dunes National Park and Preserve has an RV campground, you can witness the sunrise and sunset from the window of your RV or campervan. The park has plenty of outdoor areas to explore, and of course, the dunes. Rent a sandboard from one of the local retailers and spend your day surfing the soft-sand waves. 

Colorado Vacation with Kids Near Durango

man walking beside locomotive train

Durango, located in the four-corners area of the state, is the heart of outdoor recreational activity, scenic drives, and Colorado history. Make Durango your home base, and explore different parts of Colorado known for both mountains and mesas. There is so much to see and do in the southwestern area of the state; it’s no wonder some people call it one of Colorado’s best family vacation spots. 

Begin your trip with a tour on the Durango Train. The train takes off at the depot, where there is a kid-friendly train museum, heads through steep and curvy, tree-lined mountain passes, and ends in the historic mining town of Silverton. The next day, rent an off-road vehicle or off-road RV and explore some of Colorado’s ghost towns. While you’re out exploring, stop at any of the area’s scenic lakes or rivers, and see how many fish you and the kids can catch for dinner. If you want a day of downtime, walk the town of Ouray, the Switzerland of America, and then stop at the Ouray Hot Springs, family-friendly hot springs with soak and play areas for all ages. There are still many places to explore once you get back to your home base of Durango. If the kids love ancient history, head to Mesa Verde National Park, which is home to some of the most spectacular and in-tact Ancestral Puebloan Cliff Dwellings. 

The Best Places to Vacation with Kids in the Colorado Rocky Mountains

two men sitting on rock

The Colorado Rocky Mountains line the entire western portion of the state of Colorado, and the alpine lakes, fast-moving rivers, scenic mountain passes, and lush green valleys offer outdoor lovers of all ages so much to see and do, that it’s almost impossible to experience everything in one trip. To get the most out of it all, consider renting an RV or taking your own family-friendly motorhome to some of Colorado’s best places to vacation with kids in the state. 

If you and the kids love mountain biking, gondola rides, and exploring ski resorts in the summertime, take your RV to the towns of Breckenridge or Keystone. In Keystone, visit the Keystone Resort for kid-friendly activities like kayaking, paddle boating, canoeing, biking, and even horseback riding. The Breckenridge Resort also has fun family activities in the summer, ranging from gondola rides, scenic hiking, and biking to ziplining and summertime-alpine sliding. As you make your way back toward Denver, don’t forget to plan a stop in Georgetown. Like most mountain towns, Georgetown has plenty of hiking, biking, and camping opportunities, but what puts Georgetown on the map is the Georgetown Loop Railroad, where families can ride the train, pan for gold, and even take a gold mine tour.

Summer in Colorado, Anyone?

If the family is itching for an RV adventure, you can’t go wrong with a drive to Colorado. Any of these kid-friendly Colorado locations will give your kids the summer fun they want and the vacation you deserve.

Meagan Butler is a freelance creative content writer and editor and an advocate for solo female RVing. Meg is based out of the Denver area and travels in her Airstream Basecamp with her two Cavalier King Charles Spaniels, Teddy and Pippa. When she's not adventuring, she's spending time with her husband and writing for her RV blog, Her Fine Mess.

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