While Colorado offers plenty of luxurious places to vacation in, you’ll find a number of bargains for fun and inexpensive experiences in the Rocky Mountain State too. With lower room rates, you may be able to enjoy activities you wouldn’t have normally been able to afford like whitewater rafting, horseback riding or skiing. Or, pocket that extra money and enjoy the many free options for an unforgettable vacation that won’t break the bank.
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Steamboat Springs is famous for its skiing, but it offers a whole lot more, including hot springs, popular after a day out on the slopes or any time of the year. By staying at Strawberry Park Hot Springs you can enjoy relatively cheap accommodation rates that include access to the multiple large stone-lined soaking pools with sandy bottoms and natural rock sides that separate them. Located just outside town in a high mountain valley, you can choose from unique options like covered wagons for just $70 for two people per night, a renovated train caboose with a gas fireplace, rustic cabins or tent sites.
There are a ton of free and cheap things to do in Fort Collins, and the Fernweh Inn & Hostel offers shared and private rooms starting at just $34 a night. Bikes are available to borrow, and you’ll get coffee, tea and snacks to fuel your adventures too. Hike or fish at nearby Horsetooth Reservoir, enjoy a free brewery tour at New Belgium, and at night, head to the Aggie Theatre where you can usually catch a show for less than $15.
Mount Princeton Hot Springs Resort is surrounded by gorgeous Rocky Mountain scenery and offers the total vacation destination, with everything you need right on the property. Accommodations range from lodge rooms to luxurious cabins, starting at just $140 a night, with the pools included in room rates. The property offers both natural hot springs and human-created pools that are all heated by geothermal water, as well as an extensive spa that provides massage, body treatments, facials, acupuncture, private soaks and more. There’s also a restaurant on site with a menu focused on fresh ingredients, including local produce; bars and a beer garden.
The Leland House and Rochester Hotel are small, family-owned historic hotels with an authentic Western theme. Rooms at the Rochester Hotel are themed after Westerns that were filmed in the area, while the Leland House features local memorabilia, biographies and photos of important historical figures. Rooms start at $159 a night and include a complimentary gourmet breakfast, free Cruiser bike rentals, Aveda products and Wi-Fi. You’ll not only have easy access to the many delights this charming mountain town offers but outdoor activities like whitewater rafting, fishing, kayaking, mountain biking, hiking, skiing and snowboarding.
If you’re seeking a romantic mountain getaway at a value price, Taharaa Mountain Lodge in Estes Park is just minutes from the entrance to Rocky Mountain National Park and offers breathtaking views of the surrounding peaks. Every room and suite, starting at less than $200 a night, boasts floor-to-ceiling windows, a cozy fireplace and a panoramic outdoor deck for enjoying those incredible vistas and the fresh mountain air. A delicious breakfast and happy hour every evening are included. The lodge also includes a sauna and offers pampering treatments like hot stone massage and facials.
The Historic Delaware Hotel offers a “time capsule of the Victorian West,” in the country’s highest elevated town, Leadville, which sits at 10,152 feet, surrounded by dramatic mountain peaks. Rooms start at just $109 a night and you’ll be in the heart of what was once one of the richest, longest-lived and bawdiest mining boomtowns, with 70 square blocks of the downtown area designated as a National Historic Landmark of Victorian architecture. There IS a wide range of shops, eateries and historic attractions, along with a host of outdoor adventure to enjoy.
The Viking Lodge offers traditional European-style lodging with rustic Nordic rooms and more traditional alpine rooms, all at affordable rates starting at $59 a night in downtown Winter Park. All rooms include mini-refrigerators, and some feature lofts and kitchens too. Ideal for a budget-friendly ski vacation, there is an onsite ski rental shop as well as a fireplace for gatherings, a sauna, hot tub, ski lockers and a game room with ping pong, pool and other games.
Rooms at this historic hotel and RV park start at only $85 a night. Originally opened as a hospital in 1901, in the 1960s it reopened as a grand Victorian hotel with antique furnishings – each guest room has its own unique decor, and on the door is the name of how the particular room may have been used when it was a hospital. You’ll find plenty of modern amenities too, including flat-screen TVs with satellite and Wi-Fi. The property includes a children’s play area, volleyball, badminton, crochet, horseshoes and corn hole, as well as complimentary shuttles to gaming, shopping and dining in downtown Cripple Creek.
Just seven miles from Cripple Creek, step into Victor and you’ll feel as if you’ve stepped into the late 19th-century. There are no grand casinos here, but there are lots of period buildings, like the Victor Daily Record newspaper office, the Masonic Hall and trolley depot. The 1899 Victor Hotel is still open for business, complete with its beautiful Victorian-style lobby and authentic bird cage elevator – and, rooms start at only $70 a night. Visit the Lowell Thomas Museum to learn about the man who made Lawrence of Arabia famous. Thomas was known around the world as an adventurer and writer and grew up in this little mountain town. You can also enjoy strolling the steep streets to view homes that date back to Victor’s early mining days as well as hike and bike historic mining trails that wind past various old mining structures.