Family Vacation 2012 - Castle Rock,CO

Updated on November 03, 2011
M.C. asks from Castle Rock, CO
20 answers

Hi Mamas!

We are wanting to do a special family vacation in 2012 and are trying to find a place that is fun, affordable and awesome. We have thought about a cruise, but being business owners we don't like the idea of being unreachable by telephone (or reachable at an extremely expensive cost). Another thought was Yellowstone.

Where have you been on a family vacation that has been special to your family? Where is the best place to stay, what are the best things to do? We love to be outdoors and live in the Denver area.

Thank you in advance for your response!


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answers from San Francisco on

Yosemite is my family's favorite place. It is absolutely stunning! But good luck getting a reservation. Maybe you could shoot for 2013.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Dallas on

We lovehave been to Disney World and Merdel Beach and loved them BOTH!!!! There is so much to do at both places.

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answers from Los Angeles on

We went to Kauai (north shore) this past summer and it was absolutely wonderful!! Found a gorgeous and clean home to rent through and since I booked 9 months in advance, the owner knocked the nightly rate down to $150/night. What a bargain! The beaches there are spectacular, the hikes, the boat trips, rafting ... it was a blast and our daughter loved it. And so relaxing. Hawaiians really know how to keep their islands clean, too. You never see any trash laying on the ground. I particularly love that. :)

2 moms found this helpful


answers from San Francisco on

San Diego,Ca is gorgeous and there are lots of fun things to do...Balboa Park,Sea World, Lego Land, San Diego Zoo and much more.

We have come to the conclusion in our home that our kids don't even want all the fun theme park stuff.. We splurged a few years back and took them to Disneyland for the first time and went all out. All they wanted to do was stay at our Disney themed hotel and swim. THey love the hotel pool and the beach.

So we have started to plan our vacations around those two things. It has made our vacations less of a hassle,less expensive and more centered around cheap family fun! Camping is always fun too. We are planning to rent an R.V. in a few years and travel the West Coast for a week or games all along the way while going to State Parks and beaches etc

Good luck and best wishes at having fabulous vacation in 2012!

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answers from New York on

Well if you did not live in the Denver area I would say Drowsy Water
Ranch in Granby. Best vacation ever. However, I think you would want
to go a bit further. The Canadian Rockies are absolutely gorgeous!!!!
Banff, Jasper, Lake Louise, Calgary that entire area is heaven on earth. Lots to do. That is up there with our dude ranch vacation. Two of the
best vacations EVER!!!!! I have a good contact in Canada if you would
be interested. Just send me a message.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Cleveland on

North Myrtle Beach! It's very family oriented and so fun and relaxing. My favorite family vacation by far!

1 mom found this helpful


answers from San Francisco on

Depending upon the ages of your kids, Washington, DC can be really fun (we went when I was in 8th grade - LOVED it!). We also went to New England in the fall one time - there is so much you can do there. The Freedom Trail, Old Ironsides, Sturbridge Village, etc. Plus the breathtaking fall foliage. For an outdoor vacation, how about Lake Tahoe? Or go skiing in Utah, you're not too far from there and could even drive.

For our family, we just had a stay-cation in San Francisco and did all the touristy stuff we would never do otherwise - the wharf, Alcatraz, cable cars. And then the stuff we really love, but don't do enough of: Academy of Science, DeYoung Museum, SFMOMA, Exploratorium. And then there's the food and shopping... :) We had a lot of fun!

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Kansas City on

I've only been to San Diego once but it was so nice! The weather is always gorgeous and there was quite a bit to do. My cousin took her kids to Lego Land all the time and it was a favorite destination for them! My kids are still on the young side but we hope to got there soon! They also have Sea World and world reknowned zoo, plus...THE BEACH!! A beach always makes me happy! ;)

Also, just a note about cruises, we went on one last year and activated our international calling since we didn't take our kids and I think it was only $1.99/minute, which is expensive, but not that bad if you keep your calls short. I'm not sure how many calls you'd get a day and if you own your own business it may not be worth it as you said, but cruises are super fun!

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answers from Dallas on

our best has been San Antonio. Sea World, Fiesta Texas, River Walk, Riplesys Believe it or Not, The Alamo, The Zoo, SUnken Gardens, Natural Bridge Caverns Wildlife Drive Through. It's an awesome family fun vacation. Just dont go when it's hot cuz it's CRAZY hot,.



answers from Salt Lake City on

Disneyland. We did a very cheap trip by watching prices on line, bringing our own food and drinks. We stayed at a good neighbor hotel that had free breakfast for the kids.



answers from Colorado Springs on

If you are wanting a beach area, Destin, FL with white sand beaches is beautiful. I haven't been there is several years, so really can't say where to stay. Same for South Padre, TX.
If you are wanting to stay near a lake in the mountains, lake Vallecito just north of Bayfield, CO. is beautiful. We rented a cabin & rented a pantoon boat to cruise the lake(the boat had a gas grill on it to cook lunch). We also went on a trail ride. Very convenient to Durango for the Silverton train ride, 4 corners & the cliff dwellings. Branson, MO is suppose to be really a fun family place also.




answers from Lafayette on

Yellowstone and the Tetons...not too far, gorgeous.

Mt Rushmore, S dakota area

We did a car trip from Denver to Moab...lots of dinosaurs offerings on the way if your little ones are into that



answers from Provo on

If you need to be reachable, then you might want to reconsider Yellowstone. There's no cell service in most of the park. Take a look at your cell service provider's map and you'll see a great big hole where Yellowstone and Grand Teton are. It's nice for getting away and actually enjoying a vacation, but it makes you unreachable. And, the maps are accurate. We were there this past August for 10 days. It was awesome, the parks are both fantastic, but there really is no cell service in most of the park. If you don't have to be immediately reachable (meaning people could leave you a message and then you could get back to them when you get back to camp/hotel that night) then Yellowstone would work for you.
If you go, check out the Jr Ranger program. Our 6 year old did it and he's very proud of his badge.



answers from Denver on

I saw a couple of people mention San Diego, CA. We went this year and had a blast - my kids didn't want to leave. The weather was fantastic. We purchased a special ticket package that included Sea World, the San Diego Zoo and the Safari (unlimited access for 5 days). We took a special tour at Sea World and got to pet sharks (small ones) and feed the sea turtles. We rode a double decker bus at the San Diego Zoo to get a feel for the zoo before we started walking around. The Safari is huge, but worth it. They also offer different "touring" packages. We also went to the marina, close to the airport, and took an awesome tour with a land/water bus. The kids thought it was so cool that we were riding on a bus that converted into a boat. We got to see seals and even a dolphin in a nearby military training area. If you go to the marina you can't miss the bus/boat. The kids also had fun splashing around the many beaches. We wish we had more time to explore San Diego and the surrounding areas (heard La Jolla beaches were great).


answers from Philadelphia on

well since the worlds giong to end, maybe you'll get a good price=) J. kidding=) no seriously maybe you will get a good price, i mean a lot of people believe in 2012 they cant e buying vacations right?



answers from Provo on

Either Yellowstone or Arches National Monument in eastern Utah are great, inexpensive, and outdoors.


answers from Houston on

Grand Canyon, our kids actually enjoyed it.



answers from Denver on

Haven't read all the other responses yet, but we went to a place called the Great Wolf Lodge in Grapevine TX. It is a huge huge huge indoor water park hotel with 8 story water slides with a wave pool, amazing toddler slide and a great elementary age area. There are also great activities throughout the hotel for the kids to get engaged in as well as specialty rooms designed just for kids. VERY cool!! Totally recommend it.


answers from Salt Lake City on

How old are your kids? That would make a huge difference in where you should go.

Bryce Canyon National Park (in central/southern Utah) is one of my favorites. There are some great smaller hikes (I did them while pregnant) and some longer ones. It is higher in elevation, so going in mid-summer isn't going to be as hot as if you were to go to Moab/Arches/Canyonlands National Park. If it were me, and I had 10 days or so, I'd choose to go in early June & hit all of those. Go over on I-70, hit Bryce Canyon, then go on down to Moab & go to Arches & Canyonlands. There are some fun family hikes in Arches & lots of beautiful dirt road scenery in Canyonlands. Then, if you've got some extra time, hit Mesa Verde on the way home.

We were just in Moab/Arches a few weeks ago & did some smaller hikes (we have a 6 YO girl & a 3 YO boy). We're planning on going to both Bryce Canyon & Mesa Verde next year.

Also, the Grand Canyon is AMAZING & BEAUTIFUL, but if you've got smaller kids I would wait until they're a bit older & you can trust that they won't go too close to the edge, since at some of the lookouts, there isn't much in the way of guardrails/fences to keep you from falling off. (My son LOVES to throw rocks, so we're waiting until that phase passes & I won't be a nervous wreck with him wanting to get close to the edge to throw the biggest rock he can find into the giant abyss!)

Yellowstone is also amazing & beautiful, but like somebody else posted, you won't get much cell service in the middle of the park. We went when I was 8 months pregnant & my daughter was 3 & she hiked all over with her dad. She loved all the animals & the geysers & stuff.

Last summer (2010) we went to the Oregon Coast & had a fabulous time. The weather was chillier than we would have liked, but it rarely gets above the mid 60's there. We found shells, sand dollars, made sand castles, flew kites, explored tide pools, & just sat around and watched the waves roll in. It was one of the best vacations we've taken so far! It is a bit of a drive for us (18 hrs to the coast), but worth it! We broke it up into 2 days, staying in Pendelton, OR a night.

Also on our list are the Giant Redwood & Sequoia forests. Maybe next year... since we've already got 2 other vacations planned.

Good luck & have fun deciding!




answers from St. Louis on

the Smoky Mts &, love it.

Branson, MO is our go-to for quick vacations/wkends.

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