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Summer Vacation: 75+ of Colorado’s Best Events, Unparalleled Adventures & Unique Lodging Offerings

Summer Vacation:  75+ of Colorado’s Best Events, Unparalleled Adventures & Unique Lodging Offerings
Colorado is gearing up for an unforgettable summer filled with new offerings for visitors. From cutting-edge activities, such as Vail Resorts’ innovative Epic Discovery expanding to Breckenridge and the new Colorado National Park Tour, to exciting hotel and restaurant openings and unique packages and experiences, Colorado is filled with summer fun just waiting to be explored. Following is a sampling of what’s new this summer in Colorado. For more information on Colorado, visit

Enticing New Attractions, Activities & Adventures:

Animas River Whitewater Park Expands: Located just south of downtown Durango, the Animas River Whitewater Park recently underwent an expansion that includes the addition of a fish ladder, a bypass channel and several fun new water features.

Breckenridge Walking Tour & Photography Workshop: This tour, lead by internationally recognized photographer Louie Traub,  will take guests on a walking journey of Breckenridge while providing them with the opportunity to photograph historical buildings and artifacts, the thriving creative arts district and incredible mountain vistas.

Canyoning Adventures Now Offered in Ouray: Canyoning Colorado will offer canyoning/canyoneering descents and trainings in the quaint mountain town of Ouray, which has been frequented by seasoned canyoners for years due to its abundance of canyons and waterfalls.

Classic Palisade Wine Country Guided Bike Tour: Indulge your appetite for supreme wines and incomparable cycling, and discover the true beauty of Colorado’s Western Slope. Pedal quiet country roads into the heart of Colorado Wine Country. Enjoy private wine tastings, tours and lunch.

Colorado National Park Tour: Travelers now have a convenient new way to explore the varied landscapes and experiences of Colorado’s four stunning National Parks. The Colorado National Parks Tour takes road trippers from Denver on a seven- to 10-day route into all four National Parks and the Colorado National Monument with additional National Park Service stops along the way.

The Denver Zoo Debuts Tiger Exhibit: Located on almost a full acre on the southeastern edge of the park, The Edge tiger exhibit will bring guests closer than ever to the Zoo’s Amur tigers. The expansive, open space will also offer several unique ways to safely connect with these magnificent creatures and to see them from multiple perspectives in yards that mimic their native habitat.

Epic Discovery Comes to Breckenridge Ski Resort: Vail Resorts’ innovative summer offering, Epic Discovery, arrives in Breckenridge in summer 2017 with interactive exploration zones, story stakes, animal ability experiences, climbing wall, Ariel Adventure Tour, zip lines and more. The summer expansion, combined with the existing activities like the Mountain Coaster and Alpine Slides, connect all ages with the national forests in an active, fun and engaging way.

Four New Natural Areas Opened in Fort Collins: Four new Natural Areas have been added to Fort Collins’ network of 41 sites: two will open in 2017 – Goose Hollow and Tanglewood; two are in planning stages – Soaring Vista and Flores del Sol. Natural Areas offer exceptional bird watching, and many enable regular raptor and wildlife.

Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park’s New Haunted Mine Drop: New for summer 2017, the Haunted Mine Drop will leave guests breathless as they drop approximately 100 feet on the only drop ride in the world that goes down inside a mountain.

Lazy B Chuckwagon and Western Show Announces Reopening: The tradition of the Lazy B Chuckwagon dinner and Western show lives on from its opening in the early 1960s. The “new” Lazy B is the spirit, enthusiasm, passion and hard work of the past, combined with the exceptional staff and new talent committed to create unforgettable memories and music.

Lily Farm Fresh Skin Care Opens Organic Farm Center: Lily Farm Fresh Skin Care was the first skin care company in the world to offer farm fresh skin care products. The new Lily’s Organic Farm Center will be home to Lily Farm Fresh Skin Care’s USDA-certified farm and laboratory and will act as a venue for special events. The retail Farm Center Store will carry Lily Farm Fresh Skin Care products as well as other locally made organic items.

Loveland Offers New Bike & Brews Tour: Tap into Colorado’s epic cycling opportunities and taste the flavor of  local craft brews on the new Loveland Bike & Brews Guided Day Tour. Participants will discover why Loveland is an up and coming destination for beer aficionados.

Ouray Hot Springs Pool Undergoes Major Renovation: The 90-year-old Ouray Hot Springs Pool & Fitness Center is undergoing a major renovation and will unveil the modern improvements in May 2017. In operation since 1927, the Ouray Hot Springs Pool has been the Southwest region’s premier destination for relaxation and amazing views.

Outlaw Mountain Coaster Opens in Steamboat: Steamboat is working with world-class manufacturer Wiegand to install the Outlaw Mountain Coaster, the longest coaster in North America. Expected to operate year-round, the mountain coaster will descend more than 400 vertical feet with a riding length of more than 3,500 linear feet.

Rocky Mountain National Park Expansion: At the end of 2016, a 42-acre piece of commercial property located within the park boundaries came under the protection of the National Park Service. The Cascade Cottages property was the largest privately owned land inside the park, and the land is now open for park visitors to enjoy.
Royal Gorge Dinosaur Experience Additions in Canon City: New for summer 2017, the Royal Gorge Dinosaur Experience is working on the installation of what will be the most complete full-scale stegosaurus cast in the world made from bones found near Canon City. A second new exhibit will feature a “time wall” that brings to life the story of evolution through the periods and the outdoor adventure ropes course will see the addition of new elements.

Soaring Adventures Course at the Broadmoor: Experience the thrill of soaring over steep drops, unique rock formations and jagged cliffs, and across Seven Falls Canyon on the new Fins Course at The Broadmoor in Colorado Springs. This course also features several custom-built suspension bridges and a controlled 180-foot rappel to the canyon floor at the end.

Telluride Golf Club Expands Practice Facility: This season, the club will direct a major expansion of the practice facility designed by noted course architect Ken Kavanaugh. Enhancements also will be made to some holes and club amenities.

Tesoro Cultural Center Introduces New Living History Experience: Tesoro Cultural Center introduces its new Living History Experience programming, available to the public starting June 1, 2017. Hosted on the grounds of The Fort restaurant in Morrison, Tesoro’s Living History Experience will feature historical interpreters, short films, award-winning artists and hands-on activities for adults and children alike.

Exciting New Events, Festivals & Anniversaries:

Estes Park Celebrates its Centennial: The town of Estes Park will celebrate its 100th birthday in 2017. The town was established on April 17, 1917, and boasts several historic landmarks, attractions and lodges to visit along with exploring the scenic beauty of Rocky Mountain National Park. 

Slow Food Nations, July 14-16, 2017: Slow Food USA and Slow Food International will launch their first U.S. Slow Food event, Slow Food Nations in Denver July 14-16, 2017. Slow Food Nations will combine the energy of a street food festival, gravitas of a food systems conference and inspiration of a cultural exchange.

Velorama Festival and Colorado Classic Pro Cycling, August 10-13, 2017:  Pro bicycle racing returns to Colorado with the Colorado Classic, and in Denver, a new companion music, food and crafts festival dubbed “Velorama.” The race includes heats in Colorado Springs and Breckenridge and finishes in the RiNo Arts District in Denver where the Velorama Festival will be in high gear and will include headliner music, cycling events, craft beer, local food and a unique marketplace.

Yoga On The Mountain Debuts in Snowmass, August 11-13, 2017: The three-day festival will feature over 60 diverse yoga classes. To complement the wide variety of yoga offerings, the festival will also feature music, meditation, personal discussions, hikes, parties, vendors, and more.

Outerbike Comes to Crested Butte, August 18-20, 2017: Outerbike, the biggest mountain bike demo on earth, comes to the Rocky Mountains for the first time ever showcasing Crested Butte and the Gunnison Valley’s 750 miles of mountain bike trails. Visitors can demo as many of the latest and greatest bikes as possible, or bring their own bike and enjoy the trails.

New and Unique Summer Lodging Packages:

The Broadmoor Fly Fishing Camp to Offer Cattle Drive Experiences: New this summer at The Broadmoor Fly Fishing Camp, a private fishing retreat in Colorado with more than five miles of river frontage, guests will be able to spend time wrangling more than trout. The Broadmoor Fly Fishing Camp will begin offering half-day cattle drive experiences on a working cattle ranch located on several thousand acres in the high country of South Park, Colorado.

Brown Palace Hotel Celebrates 125 Years: This August, Denver’s Brown Palace Hotel and Spa will celebrate its 125th anniversary with special offerings and events all year long including a 125th Anniversary Hotel Package that includes overnight legendary accommodations, $125 hotel credit and a collectable 125th anniversary amenity.

Cattle Drive Week at Sylvandale Dude & Guest Ranch: A six-night stay dude ranch adventure, running July 2-8 and 9-15, includes a hands-on cattle drive of Sylvandale’s beef herd to the Colorado high country. Package includes lodging, meals, daytime activities and evening entertainment.

Epitourean Culinary Adventures in the Heart of the Rocky Mountains: This week-long culinary experience will be based in Snowmass with visits to a working dairy farm, cider mill, distillery, brewery and even a cooking class in neighboring Aspen. The experience also features a side dish of adventure as culinary delights will be accessed on foot, hybrid bikes and customized Jeeps.

Farm to Flame Exclusive Package Introduces Four Seasons Guests to 7X Ranch: Those with an appetite for exploratory eating and drinking will enjoy the Four Seasons Resort Vail’s curated Farm to Flame experience. The comprehensive itinerary includes a private helicopter ride to 7X Ranch in Hotchkiss, an intimate dining experience at Flame’s Chef’s Table and shipments of 7X beef directly to guest’s homes.

The Hotel Telluride’s ‘Crack a Coors on Wilson Peak’ Package Returns: This three-night package includes a private, guided tour by the San Juan Outdoor School to the summit of Wilson Peak, the inspiration for the mountain on Coors packaging. At the apex, guests enjoy a picnic lunch and have the opportunity to crack open a Coors. The package also includes daily breakfast for two and spa treatments.

Ranchlands Camp Experience Available at Chico Basin and Zapata Ranch: New for 2017, Ranchland Camps are based out of extraordinary tent camps that place guests in the heart of each ranch. Experiences are singular to each location and focus on a special theme unique to that property, taking guests into the core of ranch life. Tent camps come complete with hot showers, beds and specially prepared meals.

The St. Regis Aspen Resort’s Mala Creation and River Blessing with Seeds of Remembrance: The Mala Creation and River Blessing with Seeds of Remembrance is a new, next generation wellness experience from The St. Regis Aspen Resort. It includes a one-on-one consultation and river blessing experience from Alexa Webster, founder of Seeds of Remembrance as well as healthy fare.

New Lodging Properties:

Buffalo Lodge Bicycle Resort to Open: This vintage bicycle-themed hotel with amenities and activities suited to the needs of cyclists provides a haven for relaxation and connection. Located on a popular designated bike route connecting Colorado Springs and Manitou Springs, the property is close to countless miles of biking trails. Rooms are bicycle themed and clinics will soon be offered.

Dunton Town House Opens in Telluride: The recently opened Dunton Town House is a beautiful five bedroom bed & breakfast in the historic mining town of Telluride. After a day of exploring Telluride, visitors return to charming rooms decorated with European fabrics and custom furnishings.

Echo Canyon River Expeditions Adds Luxury Cabins and Glamping Tents: The nine luxury cabins are designed to maximize the southwest-facing views of the Sangre de Cristo Mountains with plenty of outdoor living space and a double-sided gas fireplace that can be enjoyed inside and outside. Cabins can accommodate up to six people.
The Eleven Experience Debuts Taylor River Lodge: Eleven Experience has officially unveiled Taylor River Lodge, a quintessential Colorado mountain retreat with rustic yet chic cabins situated on a pristine trout fishing and rafting river. Tucked away in the Taylor Canyon just outside of Almont, Taylor River Lodge offers guests unparalleled bespoke adventures and exclusive access to the area’s best fly fishing, whitewater rafting, rock climbing, hiking and more.  

The Glamping Co. Offer’s Glamping Yurt Experiences: By partnering with private landowners and the U.S. Forest Service, Glamping Co. offers beautiful and comfortable yurt accommodations and provides unique educational and recreational experiences for guests to enjoy.

The Great Wolf Lodge Comes to Colorado Springs: Thrill seekers will find all the water slide drops, loops and spin outs they crave at Colorado Springs’ first indoor water park resort. Little ones will delight in the geysers, waves and spray features of the zero-depth entry pools. Experience resort activities including bowling, a kid’s spa, interactive adventure games, an indoor high flyin’ ropes course, nightly Story Time and more. Even bedtime is unique with oversize suites featuring wolf dens and cabins with bunk beds.

Hotel Born, to Open in Denver’s Union Station Neighborhood: Slated to open in early April 2017, Kimpton’s Hotel Born brings together local influences and sophisticated design to create the perfect urban refuge. Hotel Born features original pieces by local Denver artists and will be home to two of Denver’s most highly anticipated new restaurants including Tavernetta by Frasca.
Hotel Indigo to Debut in Denver: Opened in January 2017 and anchoring downtown Denver’s thriving Union Station neighborhood, Hotel Indigo Denver delivers a refreshing and inviting guest experience that is truly reflective of the Mile High City.
The Maven to Open in Denver: The Maven, a vibrant independent hotel concept, will open in spring 2017 in Dairy Block, Denver’s most innovative new urbandevelopment. The Maven will feature an energetic lobby and will celebrate local talents with a rotating collection of creative art and handmade products. Adjacent to the hotel will be Kachina Southwestern Grill.
The Ramble Hotel to Open in Denver: The Ramble Hotel, an independently owned, three-story hotel will open in late 2017 with 50 guestrooms; an intimate theatre and bar; an independently owned restaurant; and a marquee lobby bar, Death & Co Denver. The bar marks the first outpost outside of its original location in New York’s East Village.
SunMountain Shala Opens in Manitou Springs: Located in Manitou Springs at the base of Pikes Peak, the SunMountain Shala Wellness B&B is the perfect location for a retreat or weekend getaway. The site features three historic homes situated on six acres of terraced gardens, complete with walking and meditation trails and stunning views of the surrounding mountains.

Food and Beverage Offerings Debut:

IV by Brother Luck Debuts in Colorado Springs: Celebrity chef, Brother Luck, announces his newest project, IV by Brother Luck, will open in Spring 2017. IV by Brother Luck will feature a menu of new American fare with a focus on the historical cuisine of the four corners region.

Aspen Kitchen opens Rickhouse Social:  New for 2017, Rickhouse Social is a convivial and comfortable gathering spot offering Breckenridge Distillery programs and products designed for whiskey aficionados and celebration seekers alike.

Axe and the Oak Opens in Colorado Springs: Now open in Ivywild School, Axe and the Oak whiskey is handcrafted and distilled in Colorado Springs by four friends using raw materials sourced from a family farm. This small batch whiskey represents a bridge between the storied history of the spirit and the promise of new horizons.

Breckenridge Distillery Restaurant Opens: Chef Daniel O’Brien (the Top Chef contestant behind Washington D.C.’s Seasonal Pantry) is leading the way on the intimate and modern farm-to-table experience at the Breckenridge Distillery. The kitchen features an open chef’s tasting bar and they’re dedicated to a whole animal process.
Crafted Beverages of Southwest Colorado Celebrates Region’s Craft Beverage Producers: Crafted Beverages of Southwest Colorado is a new marketing campaign dedicated to promote the region’s 30+ independent breweries, wineries, and distilleries connected by iconic scenic byways and trail systems.
Drink RiNo Collective: Beginning Saturdays in January 2017, DRiNk RiNo, a collective comprised of Denver’s River North neighborhood craft beverage providers, are offering free ETuk Denver rides to participating independent craft breweries, cideries and wineries in RiNo.
 Frank Bonanno to Unveil French 75 in Downtown Denver: Celebrated chef Frank Bonanno will open French 75 this spring in downtown Denver. The casual Parisian-inspired bistro will blur the lines between the bar and the kitchen, giving guests a front seat to the craft of the cooks and the bartenders.

Ginger & Baker to Open in Fort Collins Feeder Supply: The historic Fort Collins Feeder Supply building is on-track to become a foodie haven when it opens as Ginger & Baker this spring, replete with a coffee and pie shop, two restaurants, as well as a small retail store, wine cellar, tasting room, and teaching kitchen.

Hearth & Dram to Open in Denver’s Union Station Neighborhood: Hearth & Dram opened its doors in mid-January 2017, in the bustling Union Station area. It features rustic American fare that is both adventurous and approachable, paired with the largest whiskey selection in Downtown Denver.

Liberty Bar Opens in Telluride: Opened February 2017, Liberty Bar brings a luxury lounge and sophistication aspect to Telluride that hasn’t been available in the past. Live music, open mic nights, DJs and a Thursday Night Book Club are some of the entertainment plans for the new bar.

PlumpJack Group Brings Successful Formula to Pendulum: Pendulum, a new modern, upscale restaurant opens in the heart of Vail Village this winter features innovative American cuisine accented with Latin influences.

Stanley Marketplace Debuts: Officially opening in early 2017, Stanley is no ordinary marketplace. It is a community of like-minded businesses and people who believe in doing things differently, sustainably, creatively and with more than the bottom line in mind. It is an adaptive reuse community hub, home to a park, beer hall and more.

TacoParty to Open in Grand Junction: Celebrated chef Josh Nirenberg of Bin 707 Foodbar is opening a new concept on Colorado’s Western Slope this spring. Scheduled for a March 2017 opening, TacoParty will be a 50-seat, quick-service taco shop with a farm-to-table ethos and will feature a revolving menu of appetizers, salads and daily taco specials along with soft serve ice cream.
Ultreia Opens in Denver’s Historic Union Station: Coming to Denver’s historic Union Station in early 2017, James Beard Best Chef Southwest Jennifer Jasinski will open Ultreia in the building’s Great Hall. Based on the shared plate pinxtos (pronounced peen chos) and tapas of the Iberian peninsula countries of Spain and Portugal.
Amber Johnson
Author: Amber Johnson

Amber is the founder and editor of Mile High Mamas, travel writer and former columnist for The Denver Post. She is a passionate community builder and loves the outdoors. She has two awesome teens and is happily married to a man obsessed with growing The Great Pumpkin.

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Amber is the founder and editor of Mile High Mamas, travel writer and former columnist for The Denver Post. She is a passionate community builder and loves the outdoors. She has two awesome teens and is happily married to a man obsessed with growing The Great Pumpkin.

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