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Stellar Colorado Swimming Holes

Stellar Colorado Swimming Holes
6 days

Nothing beats the heat like a sun-splashed swimming hole — the perfect place to take in Colorado’s most dazzling landscapes and revel in the best of season with all of your favorite people. Find out what makes summer on our lakes and waterways so special by following a water-activity-focused itinerary featuring some of the state’s best swimming holes and a handful of other favorite warm-weather pastimes.

Day 1
Activity

Swimming at Jackson Lake

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Jackson Lake State Park features a large reservoir with sandy beaches and 240 campsites. The water is shallow and warms up quickly in the summer. Swimming is allowed on the west shore out to the no wake buoys.
Lunch

All About The Smoke BBQ

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Since 2015, All About The Smoke BBQ has built a thriving barbeque business and a catering operation in Fort Morgan, Colorado. The business is locally owned and family run. Read More
Activity

Boating at Jackson Lake

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Jackson Lake is an “Oasis on the Plains” for all types of splash-worthy fun, including boating, fishing, sailboarding and water skiing.
Dinner

The Mav Kitchen & Tap House

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Welcome to The Mav Kitchen & Tap House, Fort Morgan's premier dining destination.

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Activity

Queen's Lounge

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Live music and dancing in a casual atmosphere in the heart of Fort Morgan. Take note of the infamous toilet seats that decorate the historic bar’s walls, which once served as the grand lobby of the Queen Hotel, opened in 1930.
Lodging

Hampton Inn Fort Morgan

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As the most recognized name in the industry, travelers all over the world have been saying “Take me to the Hilton” for almost a century. Read More
Day 2

Insider's Tip

Fuel Up for the Drive: Grab a complimentary breakfast at the Hampton Inn Fort Morgan before making your way to Fort Collins.
Activity

Swimming at Horsetooth Reservoir

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Just west of Fort Collins, 6.5 miles of water beckons visitors to come out and play! Surrounded by 1,900 acres of public lands, this reservoir has it all: fishing, boating, camping, picnicking, swimming, scuba diving, rock climbing and water skiing.
Lunch

Avuncular Bob's Beerhouse

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Cozy Ft. Collins, CO taphouse, sharing 20 brews and fresh food with our Northern Colorado neighbors from 11am -10pm daily. Read More
Activity

Kayaking the Cache la Poudre River

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Convenient access, clear water, challenging rapids and beautiful scenery make the Cache la Poudre a river-runner’s paradise May through September. Kayaks are suitable on various stretches of the river; just make sure you use an experienced commercial outfitter. From Class I all the way to Class V, we have rapids for every age and ability.

Insider's Tip

Get the Gear: Rent a kayak, canoe or stand-up paddleboard from a local outfitter like Mountain Whitewater or Harding Kayak Rentals
Dinner

The Farmhouse at Jessup Farm

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Set in a 133 year-old building, The Farmhouse at Jessup Farm is a casual restaurant focused on elevated country and healthy farm fare. Read More
Activity

New Belgium Brewing Company

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New Belgium Brewing is a craft brewery well know for their Fat Tire, Ranger IPA, Sunshine Wheat, Blue Paddle, Shift and a litany of other beers both seasonal and complex for the beer geek in you... Read More

Insider's Tip

Movie Night: If you’re visiting on a Thursday, check the events calendar on New Belgium’s website to see if there’s a Bike-In Cinema event that evening. Riders spread out on blankets beneath the stars to sip beers and watch a flick. Bike rentals are available through Fort Collins Bike Share.
Lodging

The Elizabeth Hotel

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The Elizabeth Hotel is where Fort Collins comes together. Situated in the center of Old Town, the cornerstone of Firehouse Alley, our Fort Collins hotel is the beat of the city's heart.... Read More

Day 3
Breakfast

Harbinger Coffee

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Quality coffee and quality service unite for a life-changing coffee experience at Harbinger Coffee in Fort Collins, Colorado. Read More

Insider's Tip

Drive South: Your next stop is Cherry Creek State Park in Aurora, a city in the Denver area.
Activity

Swimming at Cherry Creek Reservoir

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Welcome to Denver’s natural and spacious backyard playground. Open seasonally in the summer, the sandy beach at Cherry Creek State Park has a roped-off swimming area that is a great place for water play. There is a bathhouse with restrooms located at the beach for convenience.
Lunch

Cherry Cricket

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We've been slinging brews, burgers and good times since 1945. Very little has changed insde the neighborhodd's favorite spot.

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Activity

Whitewater Paddling in Confluence Park

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Where Cherry Creek and the South Platte River meet and mingle, you'll find the unique and scenic Confluence Park. Watch kayakers brave the rapids on custom-designed chutes, sunbathe on the sandy banks and enjoy panoramic views of downtown Denver.

Insider's Tip

Get the Gear: Rent a kayak or stand-up paddleboard from Denver’s Confluence Kayaks.
Dinner

The Denver Central Market

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Denver Central Market brings a gourmet food emporium and community meeting place to the heart of Colorado's capital city.

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Activity

Red Rocks Park & Amphitheatre

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See what’s playing at the famous Red Rocks Amphitheatre, home to pair of geologically formed sandstone monoliths that promote seamless acoustics for only-in-Colorado concert experiences. The open-air theater in Morrison (just 15 miles west of Denver) has charmed musicians from nearly every genre.
Lodging

Hostel Fish

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Hostel Fish is Denver's upscale boutique hostel, nestled in the heart of downtown. Design-centered and high-end amenities provided, we offer shared dormitory style rooms and private suites for... Read More

Day 4
Breakfast

Snooze

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Picture breakfast and lunch crafted from scratch recipes focusing on the highest level ingredients; a setting filled with energy and pouring over in creativity; service radiating fun and... Read More

Insider's Tip

Granby or Bust: After breakfast, drive to Granby, about 85 miles northwest of Denver. Get your camera ready — it's a scenic route that climbs into the high country.
Activity

Swimming at Shadow Mountain Lake

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With the dramatic peaks of the Rocky Mountains in the background, Shadow Mountain Lake is a high-elevation reservoir offering breathtaking views and plenty of outdoor activities, including swimming, boating and fishing.
Lunch

Maverick's Grille

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Maverick’s Grille specializes in Colorado family dining where customers can enjoy a delicious selection of steaks, chicken, burgers ... Read More
Activity

Fishing at Lake Granby

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Situated on the Colorado River, just outside of the town of Granby, Lake Granby is the third-largest body of water in Colorado. Get your Colorado fishing license — the lake is continuously stocked with trout and kokanee salmon.
Dinner

Mustachio's On The Lake

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Enjoy delicious authentic Italian food at great prices! Mustachio’s On The Lake offers lunch and dinner in a delightful family style fashion. Meals are all-inclusive featuring 3 course Italian and... Read More

Insider's Tip

Star Power: Discover sweet post-dinner stargazing spots on the shores of Shadow Mountain Lake, just a short stroll from Green Ridge Campground.
Lodging

Green Ridge Campground

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The campground is situated between the southern shore of Shadow Mountain Lake and the banks of the Colorado River, at an elevation of approximately 8,300 feet.
Day 5
Breakfast

Fat Cat Cafe

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Family owned cafe since 2006. Miss Sally and her staff are always sure to make you smile! Wonderful all you can eat buffet every Saturday and Sunday.

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Insider's Tip

Cruise to Kremmling: After breakfast in Grand Lake, drive about 40 miles to Kremmling, where you’ll hook up with Liquid Descent Rafting for a half-day whitewater-rafting excursion down the Upper Colorado River.
Activity

Colorado River Rafting with Liquid Descent

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Liquid Descent, with outposts in Kremmling and Idaho Springs, offers whitewater-rafting adventures on Clear Creek and the Colorado River. Their Upper Colorado River excursion is a great option for families or first-time paddlers looking for a scenic float trip with wildlife-spotting opportunities and mild rapids.
Lunch

Moose Cafe

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Great old school cafe. Now that's a breakfast! If your driving to Steamboat and miss this location you better turn back! Read More
Activity

Swimming at Green Mountain Reservoir

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Nestled along the Blue River on Hwy. 9 just south of Kremmling, Green Mountain Reservoir is a hot spot for camping, fishing, boating and lounging on the shore in the sunshine. Swimming access is available from multiple lakeside campgrounds, including McDonald Flats, Prairie Point and Willows.
Dinner

Rocky Mountain Bar & Grill

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Comfortable atmosphere. Swift and friendly service. Food is delicious and hot and live music is rockin'.

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Activity

Grand Adventure Brewing Company

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Situated in the heart of Colorado, at the crossroads of U.S. 40 and Highway 6, Grand Adventure Brewing Company is the new, go-to stop for all types of adventurers. Specializing in locally sourced... Read More
Lodging

Hotel Eastin

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Visit us in the wild west of your imagination here at the Hotel Eastin of Kremmling, Colorado!  Our beloved "blink and you'll miss it" town has long been dubbed a sportsman's paradise, but word is... Read More
Day 6

Insider's Tip

Breakfast in Silverthorne: On your way to Twin Lakes, stop in Silverthorne for some morning grub.
Breakfast

Sunshine Cafe

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Petite, casual eatery offering burgers & other American lunch classics, plus all-day breakfast. Read More
Activity

Swimming at Twin Lakes

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Colorado’s highest peak — 14,439-foot Mount Elbert — is reflected in the state’s two largest glacial lakes, which are flanked by a charming little village of the same name. While the lakes are situated at 9,200 feet, the cool waters are perfect for a refreshing dip on a hot day. If the water is too brisk for your taste, rent a kayak, canoe or stand-up paddleboard in town.

Insider's Tip

Lunch in Leadville: Drive about 20 miles north to Leadville — the highest incorporated city in the U.S. at 10,152 feet — to grab some afternoon eats.
Lunch

Golden Burro Cafe & Lounge

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Since 1938 it has been voted "local's favorite" over and over again, and has been featured in almost every national newspaper across the country at one time or another. It truly remains as one... Read More

Activity

Twin Lakes & Interlaken Boat Tours

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Scenic narrated tours of Twin Lakes, located among the highest peaks in Colorado. Tour includes both the upper and lower glacially formed lakes and a tour of the historic Interlaken resort, established in the late 1800's as a getaway for wealthy mining tycoons. Magnificent scenery, information about the geology of the area, wildlife, history and folklore await!
Dinner

Twin Lakes Saloon

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Located inside The Twin Lakes Inn, the Saloon serves up tasty meal choices within a true Wild West setting. Enjoy tasty appetizers, drinks and meals in the bar, sunroom, rustic dining room or patio... Read More

Insider's Tip

Toast Your Epic Adventures: Before heading back to your home for the evening at the Twin Lakes Roadhouse Lodge and Cabins, share stories of your journey over a night cap at the Twin Lakes Inn Saloon.
Lodging

Twin Lakes Roadhouse Lodge and Cabins

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Experience the peaceful, quiet of scenic Twin Lakes Village, Colorado. You decide whether it's a fly rod,lake canoe, mountain biking, hiking, or just a lazy walk around the 130 year old dirt... Read More