Here’s our list of the best drivable getaways and staycations in Colorado.
A Road Trip Adventure To Salida, Colorado
A Weekend Getaway To Colorado Springs, Colorado
Multi-Day Rafting Trips On The Arkansas River
Exploring Rocky Mountain National Park
There are plenty of things to do right in your own backyard to escape the crowds and provide some relief from the hustle and bustle of daily life. Switching gears to a drivable getaway (pun intended) may be the best option for your group or family. That’s why we’ve compiled our favorite destinations to stay and play in Colorado!
1. A Road Trip Adventure To Salida, Colorado
Salida, CO dubbed as “The Heart of the Rockies” is nestled in the Arkansas Valley just east of the towering Collegiate peaks. Salida is a small quintessential Colorado Mountain town. This town has a population of about only 6,000 people but offers an abundance of outdoor recreational opportunities.
Located only 2 hours from the Colorado Springs and 2.5 hours from Denver, Salida is just far enough away that it does not see the weekend traffic like Summit County does from the metropolitan areas, offering a great uncrowded getaway that is not too far from home.
If searching for fresh air, open space, a good dose of nature with all the amenities of home, then Salida is your ticket. Salida has more hiking and biking trail options than one could explore in months, like the Colorado Trail, Monarch Crest Trail, and all of the Salida Mountain Trails to name a few. The town is also home to world-class whitewater opportunities on the Arkansas River, including Browns Canyon National Monument, Bighorn Sheep Canyon and the Royal Gorge rafting sections.
If you are up for climbing 14,000 ft peaks, there are 12 peaks near town and 14 in the county which is the highest concentration in Colorado. There are also a few hot springs in the area including the state’s largest indoor springs in Salida, Mt Princeton and our favorite less know Joyful Journey Hot Springs located on the other side of Poncha Pass. If wanting to explore some National Monuments there is Browns Canyon and the Great Sand Dunes within an hour or so drive from town.
For lodging, you will be able to find many VRBO rentals, BnB’s and some historic places like the Salida Palace Hotel. There are no big resorts or hotels here but many nice local options to choose from. With Salida centrally located to many activities and attractions, this is one of our favorite spots for a staycation in Colorado.
2. A Weekend Getaway To Colorado Springs, Colorado
Colorado Springs, CO is located on the Front Range of Colorado and is the second-largest city in the state. While this city is on a larger scale it does not feel like a big metropolitan area as it is spread out while offering the most expansive range of activities, attractions and lodging opportunities in Colorado.
New for 2020 is the United States Olympic and Paralympic Museum that is a must-see and is one of the most accessible and interactive museums to visit in the US. Within Colorado Springs you will be able to experience the great nightlife, local craft breweries, Broadway-worthy theaters, gourmet dining, and unique local retail shops.
If looking for something a little bit wild check out the Cheyenne Mountain Zoo which is America’s only mountain zoo and is home to more than 900 animals and 200 species. Perhaps an outdoor experience is more your pace! Check out the Manitou Incline, Garden of the Gods, Seven Falls, Pikes Peak or even rafting the Royal Gorge which is within close distance to town.
For those interested in something a little more exciting, we recommend a Royal Gorge rafting trip. The Royal Gorge is renowned as one of North America’s most challenging and exciting whitewater river sections. You’ll experience class III-IV rapids while paddling through a 1,000-foot canyon. Choose whitewater rafting Colorado Springs as part of your getaway and you’ll never forget it!
There are also many lodging options for staycations in Colorado but we highly recommend the Cheyenne Mountain Resort. Known for its breathtaking mountain views, exceptional accommodations, fine dining and a wide variety of activities you may not even want to leave this staycation site. One of the best parts of this resort is its 35-acre private lake with one of the state’s biggest beaches. There aren’t too many better places to be while on a staycation, sitting on a sandy beach and staring at a beautiful backdrop of the Colorado Rocky Mountains.
3. Multi-Day Rafting Trips On The Arkansas River
In need of distance and seclusion? One of our favorite staycations in Colorado is a multi-day river rafting trip with Arkansas River Tours. We can put together a customized itinerary for a private tour for your family and friends. ART is an easy 1-hour drive from Colorado Springs and 2.5 hours from Denver. Once you arrive, we will share our most valued passion, rafting, and camping on the Arkansas. Rafting the Arkansas River is a great way to escape the crowds, get fresh mountain air and rejuvenate the soul in nature. Choose from our most popular trips! A day of Bighorn Sheep Canyon rafting, Browns Canyon Rafting, or Royal Gorge whitewater rafting will surely be the thrill you are looking for.
Your guides will not only safely navigate through world-class Colorado whitewater but they will also keep you entertained and cook delicious hearty meals riverside each day. Based on your group’s needs and wants, we will craft an amazing Colorado experience right in your own back yard.
4. Exploring Rocky Mountain National Park
Our last option for staycations in Colorado is visiting Rocky Mountain National Park which is only a 2-hour drive from Denver. When visiting the park you can make your staycation site camping inside the park, in the small town of Granby to the west or small town of Estes Park to the east. All of these places are great options to stay and provide quick access to all of the park’s treasures.
Within RMNP wildlife sightings are a common everyday experience and you could see anything from Elk, Deer, Bighorn Sheep, Moose, Bear, Coyote, Fox, Marmot to various bird species. You can also go fishing, horseback riding, river rafting, visit hot springs, and explore more than 300 miles of trails. We think the best thing about this park is that you can easily escape into the deep wilderness and reconnect with nature with just a short hike.
The natural beauty of the park is breathtaking and only being a few hours from Denver, you can transport yourself into another world without much effort. Family time unplugged is needed for everyone from time to time especially this coming summer and we think this is a great option experience with your family and friends.
The Best Drivable Getaways & Staycations In Colorado
For the perfect multi-day whitewater rafting trip in Colorado, please book online or contact us about our brand new private trips. Arkansas River Tours is your premier Colorado whitewater rafting outfitter. We can’t wait to see you on the river!