Last week my family and I went on our summer vacation. Because times are tough we skipped the usual vacation spots like Disney, Florida and Mexico and stayed in our own state of Colorado. We drove to Steamboat Springs, which is about 200 miles northwest of Denver. Steamboat Springs is well known as Ski Town USA in the winter, but it offers plenty of cheap things to do with your family in the summer. By choosing to stay in Colorado we had a cheap family vacation and still had quality time with the family.
We stayed in a timeshare resort called Worldmark by Wyndham, which is located just off highway 40 at the base of the ski mountain. If you don’t have access to a timeshare, there are plenty of accommodations in Steamboat from hotels to condo rentals. Because summer is the off-season, many of these accommodations are very affordable.
Steamboat Springs is a beautiful mountain town with terrific scenery and natural wonders. If you are on a budget there are many things to do that are very affordable.
Trying to stay on a budget we decided we would spend some of our time riding bikes as a family. We also chose to bring our own bikes to save more money. If you don’t have a bike or don’t want to bring your own, there are several places in Steamboat that will rent you a bicycle for one or even a tandem bike.
We spent one day riding bikes down the Yampa River. Steamboat Springs has a scenic trail running along the river. With all the rain Colorado has had this year, the river was full and as we rode we watched others kayaking and tubing down the river. The trail allowed us to ride bikes safely with our children, away from the streets and traffic.
We stopped for ice cream at Mountain View Car Wash, which is located right on the bike path. I know it sounds like a strange place for ice cream but they have great soft serve as well as hot dogs and smoothies. There are plenty of places to stop along the path including a park at the end. We had a great time, got some exercise and saw the town for very little money.
On day two we visited Old Town Hot Springs. This is a great place for a family to spend the day and it is very reasonable. In addition to seven pools, large waterslides and a fitness center, they also have a wonderful kiddy area for little ones. My 2-year-old loved it. If you look for coupons that are found in most accommodations and stores, you will find two for one slide deals and $2.00 off adult admission. If you want to eat while your there they also have a snack bar with hot dogs, pizza and other various items. We spent most of our day here and had a great time. If you go make sure you wear sunscreen as the sun at high altitude burns you quick.
There were many things to do in Steamboat in the summer that we did not do this trip. Many of these activities are free or very affordable. Here is a short list of some of the available activities:
Hiking to Fish Creek Falls Kayaking and tubing on the Yampa River Guided and un-guided fishing Horseback riding Gondola Rides to the top of Steamboat Mountain Bowling Ice Skating Golfing Strawberry Park Hot Springs
Trying to spend time with the family during these hard economic times is tough. Steamboat Springs offered our family a chance to have a great time with the family and save a lot of money doing it. If you would like to see photographs of our family trip and read about other money saving activities, visit my blog.