My family is planning a driving holiday next Summer across these three states (or maybe more?). I'm after some must-do recommendations of what we should see and do.
We're two adults and an 8 year old girl from the UK, flying into Denver in August.
Thanks so much for any tips!
I specialize in Colorado travel, so of course, I'm going to be bias. :-)
Colorado has 4 very different National Parks. I wrote about them recently. http://www.heiditown.com/2016/04/26/find-park-colorados-national-parks/
You could easily spend your 20 days in Colorado and see a huge variety of landscapes. We have mountains, plains, hot springs, lakes, rivers and wildlife galore. If you have specific questions about Colorado, I'd love to help you out!
What a treat for your daughter! Do you have a basic route in mind already?
Take full advantage of the National Parks - I would go ahead and buy a full-year pass, as it will save you money if you visit three or more parks. Lodging within the parks, however, will probably already be mostly booked for this summer. I'd also stop by the visitor's center to buy your family a National Parks Passport (a fun way to keep track of which parks you visit and when) and a Junior Ranger book.
If you're starting in Denver, I'd stay there or in Boulder and do a day trip to Rocky Mountain National Park, as well as visiting the Denver Museum of Nature and Science.
After a few days in the area, I'd head north to Cheyenne. Cheyenne has a Cheyenne Frontier Days Old West Museum. From there, you can roughly follow the Oregon Trail through Laramie, maybe making a little side trip to Independence Rock State Historic Site.
In Jackson (Wyoming), there are a couple of options for a chuck wagon dinner and a western show. Then, Grand Teton Nation Park Pathway System and Yellowstone National Park, which are both amazing.
At this point, I'm not sure how far you want to travel into Montana, but Glacier National Park is supposed to be incredible. However, that may be a trip of its own.
Finally, I'd check out the site Road Trip the World. They've been to several of the places I mentioned, with kids, which might give you guys more ideas of things to do. Have a great vacation!
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Go to the Butterfly Museum just north of Denver for a most memorable experience for your daughter. Afterwards, visit Boulder's Pearl Street Mall to window shop and dine out at the myriad of restaurants. Then hike the flat irons looming above the city. (There are many wonderful trails that go up and it's a good way to acclimatize.) You may want to just keep going north to Estes Park, however my recommendation is make your way up to the Grand Tetons in Wyoming. The most spectacular picturesque mountain range I have ever seen. It is cowboy country and Jackson Hole will have plenty of horseback riding tours. You can't go wrong. If you have time role further north to Yellowstone...good luck, have fun and be safe!