We Coloradans are lucky to have so much beauty and an array of outdoor activities to enjoy right here in the state. To inspire you to get out there, we’ve created a list of six refreshing vacay spots you can visit this summer—whether you head out for a weekend getaway or a long stay.
Far enough from downtown to feel “away” but close enough that you’ll hit check-in before the kids can mutter the first, “Are we there yet?”, the 85-acre Gaylord Rockies Resort and Spa provides an action-packed escape for families. The vibe is elevated mountain lodge with stunning mountain views and modern rooms, but the Gaylord is totally family-friendly.
With all the activities the Gaylord offers, you can also park the car and stay put. Arapahoe Springs is the resort’s impressive waterpark complex, which includes indoor and outdoor pools, three waterslides, a lazy river, and private poolside cabanas, all providing some much-needed relief from the summer heat. After the family takes a dip in the pool, grab a bite to eat at Arapahoe Springs Bar & Grill, just steps away from the outdoor pool and lazy river.
This summer, little travelers can participate in hotel activities like scavenger hunts, pool movie nights, cooking classes, and pirate and arts and crafts. Young guests will also dig the live, interactive Pirates & Princesses Academy show, which takes them into a fantasy world of musical tales and adventure. Be sure to call the hotel ahead to confirm that the activity you’re interested in is still happening.
Ready to go: Rates start at $274/night.
Overlooking the Buena Vista Whitewater Park, the Surf Hotel offers a boutique travel experience with sprawling views of the water and the Rockies. The luxe property sits between old town Buena Vista and the Arkansas River, and is just a short walk away from a small downtown which flaunts local breweries, shops, and family-friendly restaurants. Ideal for an adults-only getaway or a family trip, the Surf Hotel offers a relaxing atmosphere for every type of vacationer.
Buena Vista offers a variety of outdoor activities like hiking, biking, fly fishing, kayaking, rafting, and rock climbing. After a day packed with adventure, enjoy a refreshing cocktail, like the cucumber gimlet, along with dinner at Wesley & Rose, the hotel’s quaint restaurant. The restaurant is open nightly from 4 p.m. to 9 p.m. and on Sundays from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. for brunch. Take-out is also available if you’d rather enjoy your food and drinks in your room.
Another noteworthy mention: The Surf Hotel has a sister property, the Surf Chateau, which is located right next door. If you’re looking for a more unique stay, one of the cottages or rooms at the Chateau might be more up your alley.
Ready to go: Rates start at $315/night.
The century-old Broadmoor in Colorado Springs is set on a stunning, 5,000-acre property. It boasts a private lake, two championship golf courses, an award-winning spa and fitness center, five tennis courts, a zip line, 23 retail boutiques, 10 restaurants, and more. Near the property, guests can also enjoy hiking and biking, fly fishing, falconry, horseback riding, archery, and canoeing in Cheyenne Lake.
If you’d rather slow down, the Spa at the Broadmoor offers services like facials and massages, and guests can access the sauna, steam room, and hot tubs for some extra self-care. There are three pools on the property, two of which are outdoors. Fitness classes, ranging from yoga to aquafit, are also being offered, but if you’d rather just lounge poolside, we wouldn’t blame you.
Ready to go: With 784 rooms, suites, and cottages, there is something for couples to large families. Rates start at $500/night.
Located in downtown Crested Butte, Scarp Ridge Lodge is within walking distance of restaurants and shopping, yet allows easy access to the Gunnison National Forest and the gorgeous Crested Butte wilderness. While staying close to the lodge, you can go stand-up paddleboarding, white water rafting, hiking, rock climbing, and more.
Scarp Ridge Lodge is similar to a home, with an open floor plan, stocked kitchen and pantry, and welcoming decor. The property offers an intimate, nature-infused getaway for all ages, whether you’re headed there for a family vacation or a retreat with friends. The lodge holds up to 20 people and can be rented by room or bought out entirely for private vacays. Guests have access to an open kitchen and snacks on the property at any time, but expect freshly brewed coffee and a chef-prepared breakfast each morning to fuel you for a day of alpine activities.
Sip a craft Colorado beer or enjoy a glass of wine in the bar while you watch a movie on the drop-down projector screen in the shared media room. For guests who are hoping to be more active, take a swim in the indoor saltwater pool or break a sweat in the gym. After a workout, recover in the sauna, then end the day stargazing from the rooftop hot tub.
Ready to go: All-inclusive rates start at $520/night.
Looking for an even more intimate getaway? Consider a private vacation rental. These two properties from Airbnb are standouts when it comes to vacationing in Colorado. They both have unique character and charm, while offering completely different experiences.
These two rentals are owned by designated Superhosts—meaning they’re known for providing extraordinary experiences for their guests. (If these two are booked the week you want to travel, look for the Superhost designation when you review other rentals.)
The two-bedroom, two-and-a-half bathroom condominium features a large private outdoor hot tub, an open concept living space, fully equipped kitchen, and a spacious deck with sweeping views of Snowmass. Once you arrive on the property, there’s really no reason to venture off too far, making it the ideal vacation spot for those who just want to kick back and relax.
Ready to go: Sleeps five. Rates start at $307/night.
Spend the night adjacent to Sleeping Ute Mountain in the historic McElmo Canyon. This stunning cliff house is located just 40 minutes from Mesa Verde National Park and 20 minutes from the town of Cortez. Architecture and nature lovers alike will swoon over the house, which was built right into the red rock cliff wall of a private canyon alcove.
Although the property is secluded, it features comfortable amenities like a full kitchen, living space, high-speed internet, and music streaming services. The only thing that you won’t find in the house is a TV, as the owners hope to encourage guests to explore the great Southwest instead of kicking back with a movie. Go hiking, biking, horseback riding, or camping in the property’s tipi while taking in the unforgettable canyon views. The memories you’ll make out in the wild will last for years to come.
Ready to go: Sleeps four. Rates start at $224/night.