Rafting, hot springs, zip line tours, and other summer adventures in central Colorado

Colorado is a popular family vacation destination year-round, but these hidden gems are best known for summer adventures. Check out this list of family vacation ideas near Buena Vista, Salida and Cañon City, before you plan your trip to Colorado this summer.

1. Whitewater Rafting

Family vacation ideas in Central Colorado: Whitewater rafting.
Colorado’s Arkansas River offers some of the best whitewater in the country. Rafting locations at Browns Canyon National Monument and at the Royal Gorge make for a great day trip from Colorado Springs, Denver and Summit County. Be sure to book in advance with a professional river outfitter like River Runners.

  • 40% off full days
  • Raft May 14 – Labor Day
  • Promo code: RAFT40
  • Offer expires February 15, 2016


2. Hot Springs

Family vacation ideas in Colorado: Hot Springs
Central Colorado is known for hot springs and cool adventures. Mount Princeton Hot Springs Resort, Cottonwood Hot Springs, and Salida Hot Springs are all within a scenic drive from just about any Colorado vacation destination.

3. Zip Line Tours

Family vacation ideas in Colorado: Zip line tours.
Not all zip line tours are equal and Captain Zipline near Salida, Colorado is hard to beat. Package your Colorado rafting trip with a half-day zip line tour or challenge one of Colorado’s first and largest aerial adventure parks.

3. Royal Gorge Bridge and Park

Family Vacation Ideas in Colorado: The Royal Gorge Bridge and Park.
The Royal Gorge Bridge & Park is bigger and better than ever – just two years after a devastating fire nearly destroyed the historic Colorado attraction. The highest suspension bridge in North America still stands, but the zip line across the Royal Gorge, the Royal Rush Sky Coaster, and gondolas from rim to rim will really test your nerves.

4. Royal Gorge Route Railroad

Family vacation ideas in Colorado: The Royal Gorge Route Railroad.
Take a trip back in time through one Colorado’s deepest canyons. Grand geology and intriguing human history are just part of the experience on the Royal Gorge Route Railroad. Raft and rail packages can be booked through River Runners.

5. Trail Rides

Family vacation ideas in Colorado: Horseback riding.
A Colorado trail ride on horseback is the original mountain adventure. Half-day, all-day and sunset tours are sure to capture the imagination of kids and adults. Book a paddle and saddle package through River Runners.

Other ideas?

Do you have family vacation ideas in Colorado? Let us know in the comments.