I was recently contacted via email by a woman from Arkansas who is planning a trip to Colorado this July. She wanted to know about some off-the-beaten path locations that would be ideal for a multi-generational family trip that included ages ranging from 6 to 60.
I gave her four recommendations, including Grand Lake and Glenwood Springs, two destinations I’ve written extensively about here on HeidiTown. However, there were two other locations I told her about that have received less attention in the last year, so I decided to turn them into posts.
Recommendation #1: Fairplay, Colorado
This is a very small town, but they have one of the best museums in Colorado. The South Park City Museum is actually a collection of authentic buildings that were moved to this location from around the region. The buildings were arranged to depict a real mining town in the 1800s.
This museum would be wonderful for a multi-generational family trip. For children this is a chance to see living history; a past that they can actually walk through and touch. If there are history lovers in your family, this is an incredible opportunity to get up close and personal with Colorado’s mining past.
Some weekends they have re-enactors on the property, and they always have re-enactors during Living History Days, occurring August 9-10, 2014.
Burro Days in Fairplay is always on the last weekend in July. It’s a family-friendly festival featuring a donkey race that re-enacts the prospectors racing to the hills to lay a claim for a mine. Today, it’s a real race with professional athletes and their donkeys. The start of the race is an absolute hoot, and is the highlight of the weekend.
Fairplay and South Park City is a chance to experience Colorado’s Wild West history in a small community where that spirit is still alive and well.
There’s not a lot of lodging in Fairplay, but I would recommend the Hand Hotel – as I have stayed there in the past. It’s not fancy, but filled with character and lots ghosts, if you are into that sort of thing.
Here are some past articles I’ve written on Fairplay:
The Mayor Visits a Museum – South Park City
Read Part Two of this two part post.
Golden is great for multi-generational families. Grandparents and kiddos especially enjoy the Colorado Railroad Museum. The Clear Creek walking paths are gorgeous and easy to navigate and there are lots of fun festivals all summer. Hope to see you again this year! 🙂
You are absolutely right, Joy! Golden would be great place for a family traveling in a large, multi-generational pack. 🙂 The benefit of Golden is that it’s not off-the-beaten path and so easy for people to enjoy if they are visiting the Front Range and don’t want to drive too far away from Denver. Golden feels hidden away, but it’s so close! I think that’s one of the things that makes it a unique Colorado destination.
Great post. Every time I read about one of your trips I am reminded that even as a Colorado Native I have so many cities to visit and explore in my state! :O)
I love CO! My kids (and my parents) would like these.