Hello, I am new to tripadvisor but am loving it. This is my first post to the forum and I am looking for some suggestions.
Last year my wife and I and the girls 3 and 6 took a road trip from Fort Worth to visit some family near Provo, UT. We were going to take more of a 'as the crow flies' approach, but decided it would be nicer to travel through the Rockies. We loved Colorado so much that we are coming back this year. This year instead of all the driving and zipping by at break neck speed through the mountains on I70 we are taking it slow and spending 9 days in Colorado. I have already booked all our hotels. Last year we had long drives and just not enough time to do things. (One day we managed to wake up in Denver, travel through the mountains, stop at Grand Junction for Colorado National Monument and still arrive in Springville UT by dinner. That was a beast of a day)
This year I plotted all our hotels in short 1 hour or so increments around the state. I am now trying to fill those days with activites for the family. I have several of the days later in the trip filled in already based on what we did last year and want to do this year. There are several days though that are pretty much empty because we don't know what's around or what's best.
Our trip will be during the last week of July. On day 5 we'll wake up in Denver and get started early around 7am and then only have to drive as far as Avon, where we have our hotel booked. So we need to fill the day with something to do in between Denver and Avon. We need suggestions. At this point we will have done RMNP the day before. We were thinking Winterpark to go ride the alpine slide and other stuff there, but what other things are around? Are there fun things to do in Vail? Silverthorne area? Trails, waterfalls, etc.?
We like museums and history as long as there's some hands on stuff that's interesting for the kids (they'll be 4 and 7 when we travel). We like scenic walks and trails as long as they aren't to strenuous or long. Trails similar to the Maroon Bells trail in Aspen would be perfect. Waterfalls are a plus, wildlife is a plus.
I can hike all day, but it's only a matter of time before I hear 'how much further' from behind me.
Also a huge factor is cost! We like cheap or free. We'll already be spending over $1500 for lodging, gas, food, and that's on a super strict budget.
Any suggestions you can give for our second trip to this area? Last year I70 through the mountains was just a blur.