It doesn’t take a lot of money to give your family a fun and relaxing spring break vacation. Our favorite vacation spots are located within driving distance of Denver, Colorado. The amazing thing about these destinations is that the most expensive vacation costs us less than $400.
Glenwood Springs is a Colorado tourist town that is located approximately 160 miles west of Denver. The main attraction in Glenwood Springs is the huge, hot spring pool. Notorious characters such as Al Capone, Doc Holiday, and President Theodore Roosevelt frequented the area before it became a modern day tourist destination. There are numerous hotels and motels to stay in but I highly recommend Hotel Colorado. A family of four can comfortably stay there for about $110 a night. While you will find less expensive hotels in town, Hotel Colorado is a “must-see” destination of Glenwood Springs. My family is content spending our time between lounging in the therapeutic hot springs pool and hanging out in our quaint and comfy hotel room. We recently spent two days and one night in Glenwood Springs for $300. This included expenses for travel, accommodations, dining, and two days of swimming.
Moab, Utah is a mountain biking haven that is located approximately 350 miles west of Denver. There are mountain biking trails that fit any ability. Our favorite biking spot is the Behind the Rocks trail. If you need time away from riding, exploring Arches National Monument is a fun alternative. We camp in Moab so lodging for us is free. While there are many motels and hotels in town, I highly recommend camping; accommodations are overpriced in Moab. Also, it’s amazing to see the beautiful sunrises over the unusual rock formations from the comfort of your sleeping bag. My favorite “in town” destinations include the Poison Spider bike shop and the Moab Brewery. Our last trip to Moab cost us about $120 ($70 in gas and $50 in camping food).
Colorado Springs, Colorado is one of our “staycation” destinations. It is located approximately 70 miles south of Denver. My family enjoys packing the cooler with food then heading to Colorado Springs for a day trip. The Cave of the Winds (approximately $60 for a family of four), the Air Force Academy Visitor Center (free tour), and the Olympic Training Center (free tour) are all worth a day’s visit.
The Great Sands Dunes is a natural wonder located approximately 230 miles southwest of Denver. It features mounds and mounds of sand hills that butt up against a semi-circle of the tall, jagged Crestone Peaks (one of Colorado’s spectacular mountain ranges with peaks exceeding 14,000 feet). The dunes alone are enough to keep my kids occupied. But when the spring-time, seasonal, yet sizeable stream is running through the sand my kids never want to leave. Camp sites are $20 a night and we typically pack about $50 of food. Last year we spent approximately $60 on gas. Thus, our two day, two night vacation costs about $150.
YMCA of the Rockies (Snowy Mountain Ranch) is located approximately 80 miles northwest of Denver. While you can stay here as part of a ski get-away, this self-contained resort offers a mellow (and less expensive) alternative to the hectic, downhill ski mountain vacation. Spring-time activities include snowshoeing, cross country skiing, horseback riding, archery, a climbing wall, swimming, and basketball, to name a few. They offer craft activities out of their Craft Shop. Horseshoe pits are located throughout the grounds. One night’s stay in a room with accommodations is as low as $99 a night. A buffet-style dining hall is available every day. Breakfast costs $8 for adults and $4 for kids (6-12 years old). Dinner costs $14 for adults and $9 for kids. Kids 5 and under eat free. A two day, two night excursion will cost us approximately $400.