There are many great places to go in the summer. After all, with school out, and the weather warm, this is the travelling season. But of all the places I’ve been in the summer, Colorado is still my favorite. The warm days, cool nights, and limitless menu of activities make this a great place live – and vacation. The low humidity and relative absence of bugs like mosquitoes and biting flies that inhabit my original home state of Michigan make it so much more fun to be outside!
While sightseeing is always high on the list of vacation activities (there are a lot of sights to see!), there are many activities that are always fun, and could be considered more ‘any day’ activities. To name a few:
- Hiking – almost anywhere in Colorado there are fantastic hikes to take, from 15 minute ‘perspective’ walks to 3 day back country excursions. The hardest part is picking one, but the Trails and Open Space Coalition has a nice online reference as a beginning point
- Fishing – whether it be streams or reservoirs, from a boat or from shore, there are plenty of places to fish, some just minutes from home. The Pikes Peak Highway takes you to North Catamount Resevoir, owned by the city of Colorado Springs and not far at all, as an example.
- Boating – while we don’t have as many lakes as some states, there are some nice ones, and you can’t beat the scenery! Pueblo State Park is a popular spot about an hour from the Springs
- White Water Rafting – the spring surge is just subsiding, and there are some GREAT rafting trips to be had. The Arkansas River is the closest to Colorado Springs, about a 2 hour drive to some great summer fun, near Buena Vista. Echo Canyon River Expeditions is one of the many rafting companies on the Arkansas. The Colorado River through Glenwood Canyon is one we’ve done as a family, what a blast!
- Biking – Colorado Springs has lots of biking trails, both suburban as well as technical mountain biking trails, and the nearby Pike National Forest has even more. Many mountain towns have great bike paths to enjoy the scenery from as well. Like hiking, the hard part is picking one, there are so many! Here is a link to the City of Colorado Springs Bike Trails map
- Baseball – The Colorado Rockies are always entertaining (in Denver), but Colorado Springs AAA Sky Sox, the Rockies farm club, provide a great afternoon or evening at the ball park as well.
- Golf – There are lots of courses in the area, varying in difficulty, character, access and green fees. Regardless of which course you play, the mountain backdrop makes it fun, and most golfers enjoy the 10-15% altitude advantage on their drives as well. Not that it ever helps me, but I just play for fun 🙂
- Amusement and Water Parks – while Colorado Springs is a little short on this kind of fun, downtown Denver offers Elitch’s with both rides and a water park, and Water World north of Denver is pretty fun on a hot day as well.
Colorado vacation fun is best ordered around the weather. Mornings usually start cool and sunny, but afternoons can be pretty warm if a thunderstorm doesn’t come along to cool it off, and if it does, you don’t necessarily want to be out in an exposed place. Mountain hiking above the tree line is particularly treacherous if a thunderstorm comes up.
So come to come to Colorado Springs for a summer vacation! While there are plenty of tourist things to do, the rest of the stuff is so good, it will make you want to live here!