When planning a vacation to Colorado, it can be hard to know where to start. The western US state has a diverse variety of things to do, with deserts, canyons, and snowy mountains. Visit Rocky Mountain National Park or Mesa Verde National Park, or check out a vibrant city filled with fun for the whole family. With so much to do in the Centennial State, where should you go on your Colorado vacation?
We've compiled five of the best cities to visit in Colorado: Colorado Springs, Denver, Vail, Estes Park, and Boulder. Each has something different to offer— a relaxing getaway, a ski retreat, vibrant nightlife— that will guarantee a memorable vacation.
Things to do on vacation in Colorado Springs
Colorado Springs sits at the eastern foot of the Rocky Mountains, and truly has something for everyone. Nature lovers will adore the beautiful hiking trails, Garden of the Gods park with red sandstone formations, and the cog railway that leads to the stunning 14,114-ft. summit. Families should not miss a trip to Cheyenne Mountain Zoo, a high-altitude zoo that features giraffe feeding, and the Peterson Air & Space Museum. Downtown Colorado Springs offers shopping, dining, museums, parks, festivals and events.
Where to stay in Colorado Springs
A Colorado Springs home with plenty of space for the family is important, so everyone has room to spread out. Staying in a home that is fully equipped with a stocked kitchen, books, toys and games, and beach gear can make all the difference in having a hassle-free vacation. With plenty of home exchanges in Colorado Springs choose from, you'll be all set to enjoy an affordable, relaxing vacation.
Things to do on vacation in Denver
History buffs will love visiting the capital of Colorado. Denver is home to the Denver Art Museum and the home of Titanic survivor Molly Brown. The botanical gardens, zoo, aquarium, and museum of nature and science are also sites not to miss while in Denver. Catch a show at Red Rocks Park and Amphitheatre, a historic entertainment venue in a beautiful natural setting, and don't forget to try some of Denver's most iconic culinary dishes (Rocky Mountain oysters, anyone?).
Where to stay in Denver
When you're looking for vacation accommodations in Denver, being close to the action is a must. After a long day of adventuring, return to a home that is stocked with everything you need to be comfortable and relaxed.
Things to do on vacation in Vail
Vail is a small town at the base of Vail Mountain, known for its skiing and snowboarding slopes. Winter sports fans should make sure to visit the Colorado Snowsports Museum Hall Of Fame. During the summer, golfing, fly fishing, hiking, and cultural festivals reign supreme. From a scenic gondola ride to snowshoeing to enjoying a cocktail around a fire pit, Vail is packed with things to do on vacation.
Where to stay in Vail
Vail can be an expensive place to stay on vacation, costing around $3,500 for a week at an Airbnb. So choose vacation accommodations that won't break the bank by staying in a HomeExchange. An annual HomeExchange membership is just $150, so you can enjoy a year of unlimited house swaps for the price of one night in a hotel.
Planning a ski trip in Vail? Every year, our members save thousands of dollars and have unforgettable experiences when they use HomeExchange for their ski vacations. Since you'll save money on accommodations, you can afford to prolong your ski trip, invest in new snow gear or treat yourself to some gourmet hot chocolate, so you'll have an amazing Vail vacation.
Things to do on vacation in Estes Park
Located in northern Colorado, Estes Park is a town at the base of Rocky Mountain National Park. The town is an ideal destination for outdoorsy travelers, boasting miles of beautiful hiking trails, wildlife including elk and bears, and river rafting. Don't skip downtown Estes Park, and support a local business by visiting a pub or buying some handcrafted clothing, jewelry, or outdoor gear. Most importantly, visit nearby Rocky Mountain National Park and Trail Ridge Road for breathtaking views.
Where to stay in Estes Park
An Estes Park home in nature, close to everything, will make your vacation memorable and hassle-free. Opt to stay in a home that is fully equipped with a stocked kitchen and beach gear, and get tips from locals about the best things to do in the area.
Things to do on vacation in Boulder
Whether you choose to hike, mountain bike, river tube, or just picnic in the Flatirons park, Boulder allows you to experience nature at its finest. Foodies will enjoy the variety of food trucks and craft beer tastings, and those longing to get in the water should spend an afternoon at Boulder Reservoir.
Where to stay in Boulder
When looking for vacation accommodations in Boulder, look for a family-friendly home conveniently close to mountains or downtown so you don't have to do much driving during your vacation. Make sure to gather tips from locals about the hidden gems in the area so you don't miss out on the best the city has to offer.
Budget-friendly Colorado vacation rental alternatives
Finding vacation accommodations in Colorado can also be a challenge, especially on a budget. Hotels or Airbnbs can cost thousands of dollars for just a week. So choose vacation accommodations that won't break the bank by staying in a HomeExchange. An annual HomeExchange membership is just $150, so you can enjoy a year of unlimited house swaps for the price of one night in a hotel. Then you can spend your vacation budget on experiences rather than accommodations!
In 2019, a family of five traveled for for 138 days of the year and saved more than $30,000. The couple accomplished these massive savings using HomeExchange, a home swap website that offers unlimited free accommodations with membership. Read their story to learn more and find out how you can travel the world on a budget too.