May 21 2009

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Colorado vacation offers family-friendly adventure

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Family-vacation-1 By Monica Randle

Our family vacation last summer was a trip to the mountains of Colorado. My son was 2.5 at the time, and although we knew he wouldn’t be able to participate in most of the traditional mountain activities, we were determined to find kid-friendly adventures we could all enjoy. At first I thought the modifications to our trip would have to be extreme, but we soon found out that there are a plenty of Colorado adventures that suit parents and kids alike.

During our stay out West, we rented a condo in Vail that provided easy walking access to the city center. In the city center we were able to rent bikes to ride around town as well as take trips up the ski lift to check out the view from Vail Mountain. Although our home base was Vail, we took many road trips to visit other areas of the state.

  • Canon City: We rode the Royal Gorge Route Railroad from Canon City (about 3 hours from Vail) for a 2-hour round-trip ride to see this beautiful gorge looking up from the railroad track that runs along the river.

  • Family-vacation Piney Lake: We brought a picnic lunch to the shores of this picturesque lake.
  • Colorado Springs: We maneuvered up the twisting, turning road that leads to the top, Pikes Peak. (At 14,110 feet, don’t forget to bring your jacket; it’s cold even in the summer). 
  • Glenwood Canyon: Hanging Lake (off I-65 just east of Glenwood Springs) is a hike we conquered without our little guy, but I think that older kids (8 and up) would be up for the challenge.
  • Estes Park: We drove across beautiful Rocky Mountain National Park to check out the wildlife and even did the easy, stroller-friendly hiking trail around scenic Bear Lake.
  • Radium: Our favorite family adventure was whitewater rafting (yes, with a 2 year old!) on the Colorado River. Our guide was incredible and had taken numerous small children out on the calm river before, so that put my mind at ease.

I can’t wait to plan our next family vacation to Colorado when our son is a little older. We want to return to Rocky Mountain National Park as well as try out some new adventures. At the top of our list for new activities is “Soaring Tree Top Adventures” which offers zip lining for ages 5-91. Accessible via the historic steam Durango & Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad, we think this will be the perfect addition to our next family adventure vacation.

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Monica is a full-time working mom to a rambunctious preschooler, Logan.
She enjoys cooking and spending time with her husband and son exploring
their Chicago northside neighborhood.

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Posted on: May 21, 2009 | Tags: | Category: Family timeCategory: Orbitz Parent PanelCategory: Sports TravelCategory: Travel Tips

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