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Summer Trip with Kids - Vail? Breck? Durango?

Old Apr 27th, 2004, 07:39 PM
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Summer Trip with Kids - Vail? Breck? Durango?

Looking for advice for a family of 4 - 13 year old girl and 10 year old boy, for a week in July. I loved travelling through Colorado in my 20's - Ouray/Durango/Boulder/Aspen. They say they don't like hiking just for the "beauty" - but I need help convincing them how much fun we could have. I remember Durango/Ouray as being beautiful, quaint, but not lots to do - but don't remember how far apart everything is. Could we do Denver/Vail/Durango in 1 week or is that too much driving? Any successful family trips to share? Suggestions? Thanks so much!
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Old Apr 27th, 2004, 11:18 PM
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You could do Denver/Vail/Durango in one week, if you want. The last time I went to Durango, about 8 years ago, I wasn't thrilled (also thought there wasn't much to do), but lots of people like it (the narrow gauge railroad, and all that).

I'd skip Denver and focus on the mountains, unless you or your kids really want to experience a medium-sized city.

In the Breck/Vail area, you could take many hikes TO somewhere (that's what my kids like) - to waterfalls, lakes, old mining camps and ghost towns.

In addition, you could go bike riding (level ground), or take a chair lift up and ride mountain bikes down, alpine slide, gondola, fishing, white-water rafting, horseback riding. There's a shorter railroad ride in Leadville, and a good mining museum (if you're interested in history). Hot springs in Glenwood Springs (and Steamboat Springs, if you want to head north).

You could spend some time in Rocky Mountain National Park, too.

If anybody likes shopping, Vail has more expensive stuff, of course, and there's an outlet mall in Dillon/Silverthorne.

In any of the locations, you can find lodging at reasonable prices within walking distance of town (Vail, Breck, Durango), and walk to shops and restaurants.

If you're going to go all the way to Durango, you might consider pressing on a bit further, to Mesa Verde. That's a one-of-a-kind destination.

Have a good time - Colorado's a great state!
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Old Apr 28th, 2004, 05:13 AM
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If you are going over the 4th, make it a point to check out the fireworks at Grand Lake. It's on the western edge of RMNP. NW of Denver. They are the best in the state. However, leave plenty of time to get out of town if you don't stay there!! I was there 5 years ago, and traffic didn't move-literally-for 4 hours after fireworks!!! Unbelievable!! the firweorks were awesome. Also stopped at Berthoud Pass, and for $5 we rode a ski lift to the top, where we wandered around for a couple hours. Great photo op! Have a great time-you'll love it!!
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Old Apr 28th, 2004, 06:00 AM
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We spent a week in Vail when our children were those ages. We rented mountain bikes and spent a lot of time doing that, went to Piney Ridge Ranch and canoed, rode horses and walked around, hiked Quandry Peak near Breck (14k feet), hiked to lost lake, picnic'd, walked around vail, took a hayride to Beano's for dinner, played mini-golf, swam, played frisbee golf at the top of Vail Mountain. Fun week and plenty to do without leaving Vail. If this is in July make sure to reserve bikes early - they do run out.
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Old Apr 28th, 2004, 08:16 AM
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nibos, I would consider Breck over Vail for families. I would suggest looking at Keystone too. Keystone is more of a "resort" with all activities available on site, horseback riding, white water rafting ( trips for all levels), golf, biking, hiking, outdoor movies. It makes for an easy stress free vacation and is an easy drive over swan mtn to Breckenridge for a day at the Alpine Slide area. Kids will love it.

look at www.summitnet.com for area wide events and lodging look at www.snow.com for links to Breck, Keystone and Vail. Summer is a great time to visit you can easily find a 2 bed condo for under 100.00 a night at both Keystone and Breck.
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Old Apr 28th, 2004, 08:21 AM
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coskier - thanks for reminding me: the rafting around Vail//Breck is great. we took a full day trip that was awesome. Stayed at Vail Racquet Club in a 2 bedroom condo for about $100/night. Nice outdoor pool, on bus route, weight room and tennis courts.
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Old Apr 28th, 2004, 12:10 PM
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Last July we spent 1 week in Pagosa Springs, about 1/2 hr. east of Durango. We have 3 boys, ages 8, 10 and 14. We had tons of great things to fill our week: Mesa Verde (my favorite!), white water rafting, horse back riding in the mountains, hot springs in Pagosa Springs, train to Silverton and we loved Durango! Tavellyn lives there and may post with more ideas. We really enjoyed SW Co.
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Old Apr 28th, 2004, 01:20 PM
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I hadn't chimed in yet because it didn't sound like people were too interested in Durango, but after BBear's endorsement of the area, I topped a thread called Durango, CO - Information wanted. My response on that thread includes the things our family (kids 11 and 14) likes to do, or what we wish we could do.

My husband and I took the train as far as Cascade Canyon last Saturday, and enjoyed the ride. I think it starts trips all the way to Silverton around May 8. I talked to someone on the train who paid for her drtinks with wet money. She said she'd just gone rafting, and had a great time.
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