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colorado family travel guide

Colorado Family Travel Guide

My family is lucky to call Colorado home. This state is beautiful, the people are interesting, well educated, healthy, and there is so much to do here.

Most travelers arrive via Denver, either by car or flight. Summit County, Colorado is the first stop up and over the Continental Divide in the Rocky Mountains, and is packed with plenty to do in the summer and in the winter.

colorado map

Exploring Colorado’s mountains should be on every family’s bucket list.

Top Things to See and Do in Colorado

Skiing is a great sport. It’s one of the few sports that almost anyone of any age can enjoy. But not all ski hills are created equal. If you’re looking for a family getaway to the mountains this winter, it’s important to find a hill that offers family-friendly accommodations, is easy to navigate, offers a range of terrain and some fun apres-ski activities. Too much to ask? Nope! Colorado has some of the best family-friendly ski resorts in America.

For example, Copper Mountain, a laid-back ski resort located about 75 miles from Denver, is an experience built for true lovers of the mountains. We had an excellent experience at the Copper Mountain Ski and Ride School. Especially with their early season ski school deals, it’s a great opportunity to get the kids into a lesson so you can spend the day exploring all the terrain of this fabulous ski resort! And while you’re there, don’t miss spending a few hours at Woodward, where kids of all ages can learn the basics of free-skiing via trampolines, foam pits and jumps!

For many Colorado ski families, Frisco is often the place for an emergency potty break after a long and slow car journey stuck in skier traffic up I-70 or over Vail pass. But this cute little mountain town is much more than just a highway rest stop. If you stop here be sure to grab a meal at The Rio Grande Mexican Restaurant!

And if you’re heading through Frisco, Colorado why not try out the tubing park! Tubing in Frisco Colorado is a great way to spend a morning if you’re looking for something else to do in the mountains this winter besides ski. And we love downtown Frisco, which is full of great restaurants and shopping too.

If you are planning a family ski vacation at Keystone Mountain, don’t miss the ice castle at the top of the hill and ice skating at the bottom.

Nordic, or cross country, skiing is a community of passionate athletes eager to share this sport with newbies. I recently learned how to enjoy cross-country skiing thanks to the wonderful staff at the Breckenridge Nordic Ski Center, I’m a convert for life! Here’s why.

Don’t miss the Keystone Sleigh Rider Dinner where you can explore an untouched side of the mountain and enjoy a cozy meal in an 1800’s log cabin. I can’t think of a better way to end a fabulous family day at Keystone Resort Colorado.

And while Colorado’s Rocky Mountains are well known for their epic skiing and cozy mountain towns during the winter, Summit County Colorado is also a magical place to bring the family for a fun summer weekend. Here are the best things to do in Summit County Colorado in the summer.

Mesa Verde is perhaps the most inspiring and educational of all the Native American ancient dwellings. In fact, this archaeological area is one of the best preserved in the world. People lived here between 1,400 and 700 years ago. Today, Mesa Verde National Park protects over 4,000 known archeological sites, including a staggering 600 cliff dwellings, and most these are open for viewing and exploring by the public. Here’s what you need to know about exploring Mesa Verde with kids.

Colorado Family Travel Tips

If you’re lucky enough to live here in Colorado, or if you’re looking to book a Colorado family travel ski vacation this year, here are nine tried-and-true tips that will save you a TON of stress as you head up into the mountains with your family this year.

Most out-of-state travelers fly in and out of Denver International Airport (DIA) for their Colorado ski vacation. If you are planning on getting as much time as possible in on the slopes, you will not need a rental car. So go ahead and book a shuttle from Denver to Vail or other Colorado ski areas to start your ski trip quickly and safely!

Where to Stay in Colorado

Whether you ski or not, a weekend away at the Ritz-Carlton Bachelor Gulch, part of the Vail-owned Beaver Creek ski resort, is an absolutely divine getaway.

And for an affordable family ski vacation, consider Copper Mountain. Combining a big Rocky Mountain ski adventure with accessible terrain for skiers and riders of all levels, Copper Mountain is ideal for families. Here are just a few reasons why your family should consider a ski getaway at Copper Mountain this year.

Family ski trips are about eating, and finding a great place to spend the night, and having fun things to do when the sun goes down, and a great ski school, and delicious food and amazing mountain views. And yes, skiing too. See for yourself why Keystone Resort is the best family ski resort in Colorado.

Want to explore more of the USA as a family? Check out my Arizona Family Travel Guide here. 

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family travel in arizona

Arizona Family Travel Guide

“Night poured over the desert. It came suddenly, in purple. In the clear air, the stars drilled down out of the sky, reminding any thoughtful watcher that it is in the deserts and high places that religions are generated.”

I love this quote by Terry Prachett about the desert. Growing up in the midwestern United States, humid and speckled with lakes, the dry, seemingly dead desert landscape always fascinated me.

Over the years we’ve had the chance to explore Arizona as a family. I quickly learned that this landscape isn’t dead at all. The desert is very much alive, and beautiful. I’ve come to love the silhouette of the saguaro cactus, the colors produced by the rising and setting of the sun, and the benefits of this healthy, dry climate.

map of arizona

Arizona is a great destination for family travel. Whether you want to escape the chill of winter, explore ancient civilizations or learn about the magical desert, there is plenty to do for families in Arizona. Read on to learn more in this Arizona family travel guide.

Top Things to See and Do Arizona

Located in the heart of the Sonoran Desert, Phoenix has consistently dry, warm weather and plenty of easy access options, making this city an ideal destination for your family to warm up this winter. Plus there are plenty of things to do in Phoenix with kids. Here are a few tips to ensure you plan the best Phoenix vacation ever for your family.

The quiet desert under the mid-day sun comes to life in the early evening. Hawks soar overhead. The sun turns they sky pink and reflects off the red rocky hills. And the saguaro cactus tower over everything. The desert is certainly one of my favorite attractions in Phoenix.

Phoenix is well-known for its magnificent desert landscape, but few people outside the area know that there are many scenic lakes within a 40-mile drive from Phoenix. Here are a few of my favorite desert lakes to explore near Phoenix.

Arizona Family Travel Tips

While most people stay away from Phoenix during this time of the year, when temperatures can exceed 110 degrees F, summer can actually be a good time to visit this part of the southwestern United States. You might actually want to consider traveling to Phoenix in the Summer. Simply follow the lead of locals to plan a fun summer getaway in Phoenix.

While there are several dining options in Scottsdale, perhaps none are more family friendly than Proof at the Four Seasons at Troon North. Don’t miss the resort’s casual and family friendly restaurant if you will be traveling in Scottsdale with kids. 

Where to Stay in Arizona

The Four Seasons Resorts Scottsdale at Troon North is a perfect family-friendly getaway.

And if you’re lucky enough to get away with your girlfriends for a weekend in Arizona, I’ve put together the perfect weekend itinerary for a girls weekend in Phoenix. Doesn’t this plan make you want to grab your girlfriends and jump on a plane today?

 

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Four Seasons Resort Scottsdale

Family-Friendly Fun at the Four Seasons Resort Scottsdale

My daughter’s cool towel upon arrival at the Four Seasons Resorts Scottsdale Troon North is one she may never forget.

Her expression was priceless. “Mmmmmm this smells good!” she remarked of the ice-cold lemongrass scented towel.

Four Seasons Resort Scottsdale

After a friendly and speedy check-in and a golf cart ride through the property, we arrived at the expansive villa. Our room was a quick walk to the pool in one direction and looked out on impressive views of Scottsdale’s Pinnacle Peak in the other direction. We were all giddy with excitement.

The kids tried on the Four Seasons signature robes and remarked at the amazing view. They sat at the desk and scribbled notes on the letterhead provided.

But all that got pretty old pretty quick. We all wanted to get to the pool as quickly as possible.

Four Seasons Resort Scottsdale at Troon North

The family-friendly pool at the Four Seasons Resort Scottsdale is most certainly the center of the resort’s scene. The adults only pool is –very sensibly – located adjacent but separate to the family pool.

You’l find plenty of swim noodles sprinkled around the pool and incredibly attentive poolside service. From umbrella positioning to providing pitchers of ice-cold water throughout the day, even in the 108F degree heat of the Arizona summer the team kept us all comfortable, cool and happy all afternoon.

Lunch at the pool was perfect. With an $8 kids menu you can’t go wrong. Even when they eat two bites of chicken strips, a square of cantaloupe and run back to the pool leaving most of the meal untouched.

Four Seasons Resort Scottsdale

And sweet touches like chocolate covered rice crispy treats, shots of smoothie and other treats delivered throughout the afternoon, and the amazing (Pinterest worthy) homemade 7-layer dip and Sangria delivered to our room while we swam (a super sweet touch!) underscored the Four Seasons reputation for high quality service.

Four Seasons Resort Scottsdale

We visited the Four Seasons Resorts Scottsdale at Troon North in July. And while it was hot, it most certainly was not unbearable. We were there to enjoy the pool and that’s exactly where we spent most of the day (when I wasn’t in the spa that is!). And with mid-week rates starting at $139 per night plus food, beverage and spa specials throughout the summer, I would definitely suggest heading here for a fun and luxurious family getaway in the summer months.

The Four Seasons Resorts Scottsdale at Troon North is a perfect family-friendly getaway.  Have you been to a Four Seasons with your family? What did you think?

 

Some or all of this trip was sponsored which may include travel and other costs. As always, opinions expressed are completely my own.

 

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