5 Last-Minute Day Trips and Vacation Ideas Before Back to School!
Updated: Aug 2, 2020
Its August, the summer is wrapping itself up, the afternoons bring rain and a slightly earlier golden hour, and back-to-school ads are plaguing your Facebook feed. If you have children preK-12, chances are you rarely end a sentence with something other than a question mark these days. Things are... uncertain. What a better time, than in these uncertain times, to take a (super safe) day/weekend trip with the family! You've arrived at the right blog post - below, find a list of our top five day and weekend getaway spots! Bring your masks!
Though their Wildflower Festival has been cancelled this year, Gunnison Valley and the town of Crested Butte are now open to the public, with over 2 million acres of public lands for folks to explore outdoors. Hike the trails, photograph and identify wildflowers, and enjoy the local cuisine and shops on Elk Avenue. July and August are the peak season for blooming wildflowers, so now is the perfect time to take a trip!
Photo courtesy of gunnisoncrestedbutte.com.
Strap your inner tubes, kayaks, and canoes to the roof and head just 30 minutes west on US-6 or I-70. Golden, CO's Clear Creek in the heart of town is open to water sports lovers this summer. Head to Golden City Brewery's patio for a craft brew after a day on the water, or enjoy an iced-coffee or tea at Higher Grounds Cafe. Woody's Pizza and Table Mountain Inn are great places to stop for dinner or happy hour. And the best part - they all have patios so you can safely social distance and enjoy the warm summer air. Don't have a tube? Adventure West is the hot spot in town for tube rentals!
Drive north to the city of Loveland for both a bustling art scene, and some laid-back lake time. Loveland is home to outdoor sculpture parks and over 20 galleries, and is starting to garner some exciting new development. The new Foundry area feels like a mini Belmar and has a wonderful public plaza and movie/dinner/draft theatre. Benson Sculpture Garden along Lake Loveland is a wonderful place to spend the day, wandering over 10 acres of eclectic sculptures. There's plenty of spots to picnic, playgrounds, and even an amphitheater. Lake Loveland's swim beach area is now open, with restrictions of 6-foot physical distancing and limits on group size to 10 or fewer.
What are real estate prices like in Loveland? Prices are increasing and it's a great time to get in. Our team loves working in Loveland, and we would be happy to help you look at a new home, retirement home, lake house, or second home there. Learn more about Loveland.
Photo: Mark Morris at visitlovelandco.org.
4. Pikes Peak
Drive down to Colorado Springs for the day and experience the awe-inspiring views of Pikes Peak. The entrance is located just 15 minutes west of the city, off Highway 24. Journey to the summit on Pikes Peak Highway, while enjoying various hiking trails and picnic areas along your route. If going by car, plan for your round trip summit journey to take 2-3 hours. Due to limited parking at the summit, there is also an option to take the complimentary shuttle up the mountain from either Devil's Playground or Glen Cove, so be sure to reserve a spot before making the trip down south.
Eldorado Canyon, located just southwest of Boulder, and is open sunrise to sunset daily. Hike and rock-climb amidst the sandstone rocks and cliffs, sit and picnic by the South Boulder Creek, or go for a scenic drive through the canyon. Though parking capacity is often reached throughout the day on the weekends, Eldorado Canyon offers a shuttle service from the city of Boulder into the canyon. Masks are required to ride the shuttle for humans 11-years-old and up. The Eldo Shuttle also provides access to the Fowler Trail, which is wheelchair accessible.
Colorado remains to operate in the Safer at Home phase. Make sure to check the city & county policies for limiting the spread of COVID-19. Mask-wearing is mandatory in all indoor public places throughout Colorado state, and outdoor policies will vary by county.