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2019 Summer Vacation in Colorado: 75+ ideas for families

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New activities, events, attractions, lodging offerings and more are the buzz this summer in Colorado. From spray fountains to waterfalls to Colorado’s best beaches, we have you covered with these fabulous features:

Family travel: Top 8 Family Vacations

Guide to Denver’s Splash Parks and Spray Fountains

Best Hikes for Kids in the Denver area

Where to pull of I-70 when you’re stuck in traffic (fun activities and restaurants)

10 Beautiful Places in Colorado You Didn’t Know About

Borrow a Colorado State Parks Pass from Your Library

Yurt Village at Snow Mountain Ranch is Star-lit Fun

Cool Off This Summer at Colorado’s Best Beaches

A Local’s Guide to Gunnison’s Magical Summers

Best Denver-area Parks for Beginner Trail Runners (and hikers)

10 of Colorado’s most scenic waterfall hikes

Throughout the state, visitors and locals are invited to experience what’s new. From exciting new events like the women’s only Colorado Classic cycling race and the Web.com Tour Event at the new TPC Colorado Golf Course to thrilling recreational pursuits including the opening of several new whitewater adventure parks and new biking and hiking trails, along with highly anticipated lodging openings including the W Aspen and Gaylord Rockies in Aurora, Colorado is the place to be for an unforgettable summer vacation.Following is a sampling of what’s new for spring and summer 2019.

EXCITING NEW EVENTS, FESTIVALS AND ANNIVERSARIES

Aspen Celebrates the Bauhaus Centennial in 2019: Numerous local organizations will collaborate on events to celebrate the 100-year anniversary of the modernist art school, honor its impact on Aspen and reignite the creative power that began a century ago. The celebration will commemorate the influence of the Bauhaus revealing the many ways that it continues to inspire area artists, designers, architects, musicians and thinkers.

Denver Union Station History Tours : Learn more about the unique history of Denver’s landmark train station, which is home to 14 Colorado restaurants & retailers, 600+ pieces of Western art & luxurious Crawford Hotel Denver Union Station History Tours every Thursday – Monday, with tours available on Friday, Saturday & Sunday at 1 p.m. & 4 p.m. and Thursday & Monday at 4 p.m. At the end of the 60 minute tour, all participants are invited to enjoy a complimentary Wibby Brewing Union Station Helles Lager, Denver Union Station’s new signature beer, or a glass of house red or white wine or a non-alcoholic beverage at The Terminal Bar.

C Lazy U Saddles Up for its 100th Anniversary in 2019: Known for its genuine service and legendary western hospitality, C Lazy U luxury guest ranch will celebrate its 100th anniversary in 2019. The ranch will be offering special packages, an exclusive partnership with a local Colorado whiskey maker and much more.
 
Fine Arts Center (FAC) Celebrates its 100th Anniversary in 2019: The Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center is gearing up for its 100th anniversary with a year’s worth of spectacular arts programming. The celebration will honor its rich history with art exhibitions celebrating instructors, students and influencers of the Broadmoor Art Academy, pop-up one-act plays, en plein air and printmaking workshops and more.
 
Minturn Celebrates 115 Years in 2019: Settled over half a century before the resort communities that surround it, the Town of Minturn was incorporated in 1904, making it one of Eagle County’s oldest towns. To mark the occasion, anniversary events will be held throughout the year.
 
The Royal Gorge Bridge & Park Celebrates its 90th Anniversary in 2019: The Royal Gorge Bridge in Cañon City, the highest suspension bridge in America, will celebrate its 90th anniversary in 2019. Special boards with wood-burned guest signatures will be installed as replacement planks throughout the year.
 
Leonardo da Vinci: 500 Years of Genius at the Denver Museum of Nature and Science, March 1-August 25, 2019: Leonardo da Vinci: 500 Years of Genius, is the most comprehensive exhibition about da Vinci ever presented. Dozens of replicas of da Vinci’s machine inventions, built using his detailed codices, reveal how his fundamental scientific and artistic principles continue to impact the world today. In addition, the exhibition will feature the fascinating Secrets of the Mona Lisa exhibit, with super-magnified visual examinations and the only 360-degree replica ever made of the iconic painting.
 
New Southwest Chief Bicycle & Comedy Festival Launches in Trinidad, May 2-5, 2019: The first ever Southwest Chief Bicycle and Comedy Festival follows the route of Amtrak’s Southwest Chief and will stop at the route’s center station in May. A gem of southwest Colorado, Trinidad is a hub for gravel cycling and a perfect stop for the Southwest Chief Bicycle & Comedy Festival.
 
OHV Adventure Rally Comes to Rangely, May 3-5, 2019: The new Rangely Off-Highway Vehicle (OHV) Adventure Rally is the perfect event for travelers looking for a unique trail riding experience this spring. The event will feature more than 10 trails for free-riding along with guided rides and an OHV Rodeo where riders can participate in speed and tactical challenges to win prizes.
 
The Boulder Beer Chase, June 15, 2019: The Boulder Beer Chase is a new 1-day, 6-person relay of 55 miles, consisting of 12 legs of varying distance (3-6 miles per leg). The course starts in Fort Collins at Odell Brewing and finishes at Boulder Beer Company with exchange points at amazing craft breweries along the way.  
 
Web.com Announces New Golf Event at TPC Colorado, July 8-14, 2019: The new TPC Colorado golf course in Berthoud will host a new Web.com Tour event this summer. The Web.com Tour is the top developmental circuit for the PGA Tour. The tournament has been dubbed the TPC Colorado Championship at Heron Lakes and will include 156 players vying for a $600,000 purse.
 
Colorado Classic Becomes Women’s Only Bike Race, Aug. 22-25, 2019: The 2019 Colorado Classic will become the only women’s stand-alone stage race in the Western Hemisphere on the Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI) calendar and USA Cycling’s Pro Road Tour, while raising the bar for pro women’s cycling around the world. The four-stage road race will bring some of the best female teams and cyclists in the world to the state and will offer unprecedented financial support to female athletes including a prize purse nearly four times the 2018 women’s purse.

ENTICING NEW ATTRACTIONS, ACTIVITIES AND ADVENTURES 

Canyons of the Ancients Guest Ranch Offers New Archeology Program: New for summer 2019, guests of the historic Canyons of the Ancients Guest Ranch can partake in a new archaeology program and join a local rockologist who is excavating a village on the property for a tour of the excavation site and to learn about the ancient people who lived in this area.
 
Cave of the Winds Mountain Park Opens New Via Ferrata in Manitou Springs: A new, two-hour guided rock climbing adventure at Cave of the Winds allows guests to scale limestone cliffs and mountains that are miles above the canyon floor.
 
Cheyenne Mountain State Park’s Dixon Trail to Open: After nearly a decade of planning, Colorado Springs’ newest trail to the top of Cheyenne Mountain is now open to the public. Mainly constructed by volunteers, the trek navigates 914 meters of elevation gain and provides a challenging hike in the upper section as well as easier options for hiking, biking and horseback riding near the trailhead.
 
New Water’s Edge Exhibit to Open at Cheyenne Mountain Zoo: New this summer at Cheyenne Mountain Zoo, America’s only mountain zoo, the Water’s Edge: Africa exhibit will offer guests the opportunity to hang on a beach with penguins, cross a suspension bridge over hippos and view an island full of tapirs.
 
The Crested Butte Center for the Arts Unveils New Expansion: The Crested Butte Center for The Arts is undergoing a large expansion project, slated to open summer 2019. The new space will include a new Alpenglow outdoor stage, five class and rehearsal rooms, four art studios, a new visual arts gallery and a culinary instruction and catering kitchen.
 
Eagle River Park to Open in Full: Slated to open in spring 2019, this 4.3-acre park includes a new world-class whitewater park that will provide a venue for whitewater competitions and events. The Eagle River Park project wraps along the Eagle River near the Eagle County Fair and Rodeo Grounds and Chambers Park.
 
New Iron Mountain Tramway to Debut at Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park: Slated in to open in mid-March 2019, the new detachable Mountain Tramway at Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park will have 44 cabins and will be able to transport 1,000 guests per hour to and from the mountain-top theme park. The enclosed cabins have floor-to-ceiling windows on all sides that offer panoramic views of the surrounding Rocky Mountains.
 
Mesa Verde Country Launches New Farm & Ranch Tours: New for 2019, visitors are invited to discover what life on a farm is like as they taste the flavors of the region through Mesa Verde Country’s new farm and ranch tours. These experiential tours explain how farmers live and work the land to produce crops and other crafts.
 
Mesa Verde National Park Receives Rockefeller’s Native American Art Treasures: The Estate of David Rockefeller recently donated 115 works of art to Mesa Verde National Park. The collection had been locked in a Rockefeller family home in Maine for nearly 100 years. Much of the art in the collection was purchased from living artists during family trips the Rockefellers took in the 1920s and 1930s.
 
New Poudre River Whitewater Park to Open: Slated to open late summer 2019, and located on the river just north of Old Town in the booming river district, the new Poudre River Whitewater Park will include a boulder-lined boat chute, rock features, holes for kayaking, stand-up paddleboarding (SUP), tubing and shallow play along the shore.
 
Roll Massif Announces New American Sportive Series: Roll Massif features eight road, gravel, and mountain biking events throughout Colorado. While it includes big-name road rides like the Copper Triangle, Elephant Rock and Tour of the Moon, it also includes two new gravel events, Wild Horse Gravel in De Beque and Crooked Gravel in Winter Park.
 
Royal Gorge Bridge & Park to Open New Via Ferrata: The Royal Gorge Bridge & Park will debut a new Via Ferrata on the granite walls of the Royal Gorge for summer 2019.  Guests will be halfway down into the Royal Gorge when they start climbing on what will be a unique lifetime experience.
 
Telluride Ski Resort Unveils New Bike Park: Partnering with Gravity Logic, Telluride Ski Resort will debut a new bike park in June 2019. The bike park will showcase miles of gravity-fed flow trails, smooth sweeping turns on a rain absorbent surface and arching bridges. The terrain will include new freestyle trails and enhancements to the existing technical and cross-country trails.
 
U.S. Air Force Academy Planetarium To Reopen: Coming in 2019, the U.S. Air Force Academy will be reopening its planetarium to the public. Closed since 2004, the new facility will be known as the Planetarium & STEM Center. Visitors can experience fighter pilot and robot explorers, laser entertainment and more.
 

NEW LODGING PROPERTIES AND MAJOR RENOVATIONS: 

Fort Collins’ Armstrong Hotel Debuts Remodel: An Old Town Fort Collins landmark, the iconic Armstrong Hotel will debut a new remodel in April 2019 that will feature nine new guest rooms, an expanded lobby and refreshed interior.
 
ColoRADo Adventure Hostel Opens in Colorado Springs: Opened in late-2018, this 55-bed hostel is the first hostel in Colorado Springs. Serving the explorers and adventurers coming to the Pikes Peak Region, this hostel offers a mix of shared accommodation and private rooms, social common areas, daily events and excursions.
 
Critter Mountain Ranch Opens in Dolores: Critter Mountain Ranch guest house is located near a working alpaca ranch and sits on 40 acres surrounded by gorgeous views. Guests can explore the nearby nature center and trails or schedule time with the ranch manager to learn the alpaca ranching ropes.
 
New Dark Skies Vacation Homes In Custer County: New for summer 2019,  travelers can visit Colorado’s only International Dark Sky Designated Community of Westcliffe and Silver Cliff and experience a Dark Skies Vacation through a new vacation company of the same name that offers guests the opportunity to book a home and enjoy guided tours of the state’s brightest stars.
 
The Foundry to Open with Hotel and Movie Theater in Loveland: Slated to open in May 2019, Loveland’s new Foundry development is an epicenter of entertainment and pays homage to Loveland’s thriving arts scene. Visitors can access a modern, full-service movie theater and a four-story, 102-room TownePlace Suites by Marriott Hotels – all anchored by an open plaza with modern art, splash park and public space.
 
Gaylord Rockies Opens in Aurora: Opened in late-2018, Gaylord Rockies Resort & Convention Center features more than 1,500 guest rooms, eight dining options, a luxurious spa and salon, diverse shops, indoor and outdoor pool, a lazy river, winding waterways and picture-perfect sunset views of the mountains.
 
Glenwood Hot Springs Resort Debuts Multi-Million Dollar Renovation: The 130-year-old Glenwood Hot Springs Resort, the world’s largest hot springs pool, will unveil a new renovation in July 2019 that will include the Adventure River, a fast-moving river with cascading tiers, boulders and extensive landscaping, and a new children’s play area with mini water slides and a splash pad.
 
The Hotel Colorado Will Begin Major Renovations in 2019: Under new ownership, Glenwood Springs’ historic Hotel Colorado is making major enhancements starting in February 2019. All guest rooms will be renovated along with the hotel’s exercise facilities and restaurants while still keeping the glory of the 125-year-old historic property.
 
Laszlo Hotel to Open in Parker: Slated to open in August 2019, the new Laszlo Hotel is a 51-room independent and locally-owned boutique hotel located in Parker that will take guests back in time to the Casablanca era, but with today’s modern conveniences. Guests of the hotel will have access to five new local restaurants.

The LUMIN Residences Open in Snowmass: The LUMIN, is the newest in ultra-luxury mountain lodging located in the heart of Colorado’s reimagined Snowmass Base Village. The LUMIN features three penthouse residences offering a comfortable alpine elegance with sophisticated furnishings and unparalleled proximity to the slopes at Snowmass Mountain via the Elk Camp Gondola and the new Snowmass Ice Rink.

Monarch Casino Black Hawk Unveils Major Renovation: Monarch Casino Black Hawk will unveil a major, multi-phase renovation this spring that includes a remodel of all guest rooms, casino areas and a new high-end spa with rooftop infinity pool overlooking the canyon and enhanced dining options.
 
Red Mountain Alpine Lodge Opens in Rugged San Juan Mountains: Opened in December 2018, Red Mountain Alpine Lodge serves as the ultimate year-round backcountry accommodation for discerning clientele. Located just north of the summit of Red Mountain Pass, RMAL sleeps 18-20 people and comes complete with gourmet eats, a bar/tavern, wood-burning sauna and more. RMAL can also be connected with the luxe Opus Hut for a European Haute Route hiking experience.
 
Redstone Castle Reopens In Carbondale: Once home to America’s sixth wealthiest person, the restored Redstone Castle in Carbondale is now a boutique hotel. The stately residence was patterned after an English manor house and built in the early 20th century by Colorado industrialist John Cleveland Osgood for his family residence. Almost every one of the 42 rooms in the stately manor boasts a Tiffany chandelier designed by Louis Tiffany just for Osgood. Guided tours of the castle are also open to the public and available six days a week.
 
Thelma Hut Debuts in the San Juan Mountains: Powered by solar energy, this brand new backcountry hut is nestled in the heart of the San Juan Mountains. Perfect for those who seek an off-grid experience with the luxuries of everyday life, Thelma Hut offers a hut host who cooks three meals daily. The hut comfortably sleeps eight and accommodates winter skiers and summertime hikers alike.
 
W Aspen and The Sky Residences at W Aspen to Open Summer 2019: Slated to open in early June 2019, the new W Hotel and Residences will offer 88 guestrooms. Conveniently located at the base of Aspen Mountain, the development will also feature a 12,000-square-foot rooftop bar and pool with expansive views of Aspen Mountain.
 
The Wyman Hotel Opens in Silverton: Opening early spring 2019, this new 16-room boutique hotel is a wonderful and modern contrast to Silverton’s rugged mountains and Wild West charm. Located on Silverton’s main street, the 1902 landmark building has been reimagined with the comforts and amenities of an urban boutique hotel and is a welcoming, thoughtfully appointed space, perfect for artists, creatives, and adventurers.

NEW AND UNIQUE LODGING PACKAGES & EXPERIENCES

Painting & Photography Classes at Chico Basin: Ranchlands Camp at Chico Basin Ranch will offer a series of painting and photography experiences throughout the spring season.  Award-winning National Geographic photographer, Stephen Alvarez, will lead an immersive, week-long photography workshop focused on wildlife and landscapes. Renowned artist Jill Soukup will lead a painting workshop focused on drawing and painting horses.
Gateway Canyons Resort & Spa Announces New All-Inclusive Casita Experience: Gateway Canyons Resort & Spa will debut a new All-Inclusive Casita Experience in June 2019.  The new All-Inclusive Casita Experience includes accommodations, round-trip airport transfers, gourmet daily meals, access to weekly onsite events, a customizable menu of recreational activities and more.
 
The Original Package Celebrates the 20th Anniversary of the Hotel Teatro: Denver’s original boutique hotel is celebrating 20 years in 2019. Book The Original package, and receive the best of Hotel Teatro including overnight accommodations for two; “Bubbles + Bubbles” amenity in-room; a custom-curated charcuterie board, courtesy of Hotel Teatro’s new Charcuterie Concierge; a “Bike + Brew” amenity, including access to the hotel’s vintage cruiser bikes, as well as a map of Denver’s best craft breweries, curated by the hotel’s Craft Beer Concierge; breakfast for two.
 
The Ramble Hotel to Offer New Denver Graffiti Package: The Ramble Hotel, located in Denver’s burgeoning River North Art District (RiNo), is offering a new Denver Graffiti Package that includes accommodations, two tickets to the Denver Graffiti Tour, a two-hour walking tour of the best street art and graffiti in Denver’s RiNo Art District, coffee to enjoy during the tour and brunch at DC/AM.
 
Vail Marriott Launches Om Boocha Wellness Experience: For an elevated wellness experience on the mountain, unwind with Vail Marriott’s weekly 50-minute Om Boocha yoga class. The restorative yoga class allows guests to center themselves, realign breathing and stretch — and afterwards cheers with a kombucha, crafted in-house, to a day well spent.

INSPIRED FOOD & BEVERAGE OFFERINGS

5030 Local Opens in Loveland: New for 2019, Peel Handcrafted Pizza and Berthoud Brewing Company are combining their talents to create 5030 Local, a collaboration concept that provides an inspired gathering place for quality local food, delicious craft beer and live music from local and national acts.
 
Beckon Opens in Denver’s RiNo Neighborhood: Opened in late-2018, Beckon is Denver’s first chef’s counter reservation-only restaurant. From the team behind the nationally lauded Call, Beckon is intimate and altogether unique for Denver with menus changing monthly that highlight local ingredients and cooking styles from Scandinavia to California.
 
Broadway Market to Open in Denver’s Golden Triangle Neighborhood: Denver’s newest food hall and community gathering place is coming to the Golden Triangle in summer 2019 with options from renowned local chefs including Paul C. Reilly, Daniel Asher and Biju Thomas.
 
Alex Seidel Opens New Chook Chicken: This new fast-casual restaurant from James Beard Award Winning Chef, Alex Seidel is a rotisserie chicken shop with counter service and comforting side dishes.
 
Crooked Stave Artisan Beer Project Returns To Its Roots: The popular Crooked Stave Artisan Beer Project is opening up a new experimental brewery and taproom in the heart of Old Town Fort Collins this spring. The taproom will have 20 taps featuring a wide range of brewers select beers, Brettanomyces (a yeast species owner Chad Yakobson studied for his Masters Thesis at Colorado State University) and barrel-aged wild and sour beers.
 
Envy Brewing Opens in Fort Collins: Fort Collins furthers its designation as Colorado’s Craft Beer Capital with the addition of a new brewery to the southeast side of the city. Envy Brewing, which opened in February 2019, will focus on collaboration beers with plans to partner with other breweries, malt companies, local businesses and area homebrewers.
 
Fenceline Cider & Outlier Cellars Debuts in Mancos: Featuring apples that grow at the base of the La Plata Mountains, Fenceline Cider has a new taproom in downtown Mancos. The founders of the artisan cidery have a goal to “build quality cider from the apple up.”
 
New Golden Mill Food Hall to Open in Golden: From the team behind Denver’s Stanley Marketplace and lauded chef, Daniel Asher, Golden Mill Food Hall is slated to open in late 2019, and will include a  coffee shop, central bar, multiple food vendors and event and community spaces for the 6,000-square-foot location that dates back to 1865.
La Nonna Ristorante Opens in Vail: Executive Chef Simone Reatti serves up authentic Italian fare in his recently opened restaurant La Nonna Ristorante. The lively restaurant offers house-made pasta, osso buco, veal and lamb shank, lamb chop and scaloppini, to name a few favorites.
 
Upper East Side’s Le Bilboquet to Open in Cherry Creek North: Le Bilboquet, a second location of the famously exclusive New York mainstay, will open in 2019 and will be divided into a fine-dining dinner bistro and a breakfast and lunch cafe. The new bistro will be modeled after the Upper East Side original and will serve traditional and modern French fare.
 
The Way Home Debuts in Carbondale: Opened in fall 2018, The Way Home is a new restaurant in Carbondale featuring locally sourced ingredients that support regional farmers and ranchers. It also serves as a community hub.
 
Wolf’s Tailor Opens in Denver: A nod to the craftsman who fashioned sheep’s clothing for the sly wolf, The Wolf’s Tailor stitches together chef Kelly Whitaker’s collaborations and travels through Italian kitchens and Asian night markets. The menu features binchotan charcoal skewers, pastas made from house-milled grains and plant-based dishes sourced from an on-site garden.

WHATS ON TAP FOR 2020 AND BEYOND… 

Colorado Olympic Museum To Open in 2020: Opening its doors in 2020, the U.S. Olympic Museum and Hall of Fame will be an experience like no other, where the legacies of American Olympians and Paralympians get a well-deserved permanent home. This will be the most accessible and interactive museum in the country, a place where everyone can discover and share in the journeys, struggles and victories of Team USA athletes.
 
MeowWolf Comes to Denver in 2020: Santa Fe’s lauded arts and entertainment group, MeowWolf, will be opening a new immersive arts experience in Denver in late-2020. Meow Wolf is comprised of over 300 employees creating and supporting art across a variety of media including architecture, sculpture, painting, photography, video production, cross-reality (AR/VR/MR), music, audio engineering, narrative writing, costuming and performance.
 
New River Run, a Signature Sun RV Resort to Open in Granby: A new high-end resort with a wide variety of lodging styles is coming to Granby, near Winter Park. The new development, River Run, will offer furnished mountain cottages, glamping accommodations, RV facilities and tent camping set against spectacular views of the Continental Divide. Guests will have access to a wide variety of onsite amenities to keep them entertained and well-fed without ever leaving the property, including fishing, stand up paddle boarding, kayaking, mini-bowling, zero-entry pool, spa services, a tavern and events center and more.
 
Pikes Peak Cog Railway To Reopen in 2021: The Pikes Peak Cog Railway will reopen after a multi-year hiatus for repairs in 2021. The Pikes Peak Cog Railway is one of Colorado Springs’ top attractions and since 1891,  has taken thousands of people to the 14,115-foot summit of Pikes Peak.
 
For more information and travel ideas, visit www.COLORADO.com. Featured image: Matt Inden/Miles, Alpine slide at Glenwood Springs Adventure Park.
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