Looking to escape the bustle of daily life with a fun day trip? The area around Centennial features a wide array of nearby places perfect to explore with the kids. Let Crème de la Crème of Centennial, CO take the guesswork out of planning your next family adventure with this list of day trips you need to try.
“Boulder County Colorado” used with permission via CC BY 2.0 by G Yancy
Not only does Boulder offer a great combination of city life and nature-based activities, but it’s also only about 45 minutes away from Centennial. In other words, if you’re looking for a great day trip, Boulder should sit near the top of your list.
If your family is into outdoor recreation activities, you’ll want to check out Boulder’s Chautauqua Park. From there, you can access the Open Space Mountain Park trails, which offer plenty of opportunities for kids to interact with nature. Your kids can also play in the park itself thanks to open turf. Of course, you’ll want to take in the view of the Flatirons while you’re here.
Downtown Boulder also offers plenty of opportunities for fun. Take a family stroll and stop into some of the many restaurants, breweries, and shops, or enjoy a free tour of the Celestial Seasonings Tea Factory.
All in all, Boulder has something for everyone, making it a great choice for an easy-to-access day trip from Centennial. From its bike paths and hiking trails to its reputation as a culinary destination, Boulder makes planning a fun-filled family day easy. Better yet, you can enjoy it all in a picturesque city surrounded by mountains.
Deckers and Pine Area
Combine Deckers and Pine if you want to enjoy an abundance of outdoor recreational activities without traveling far from home. The area has great fishing, so if you’re looking to plan a family fishing trip, you’ll want to add these towns and the surrounding area to your list.
Pine Valley Ranch Park offers a great place to start, especially if you’re introducing young children to fishing. You’ll find a small pond here perfect for beginners, as well as a variety of hiking trails with a range of difficulty levels.
Go south of Pine to the North Fork South Platte River for more fishing. This is a prime spot for reeling in rainbow and brown trout. Continue further south and you’ll hit Deckers, another Colorado location famed for its amazing — you guessed it — fishing. South Platte River and Cheesman Lake also boast tons of trout. If you’re looking for hiking, biking, or bird-watching opportunities, the area around Deckers also features a range of trails.
Pikes Peak Region
Seeking a laid-back day? You can’t go wrong with a trip to the Pikes Peak region. Stunning natural surroundings make this area a must-see when it comes to day trips close to home.
One option is Cave of the Winds Mountain Park, home to a huge network of caves beckoning for exploration. You can book various tours here, including the Discovery Tour ideal for families. This 45-minute tour through the electrically lit portion of the caves costs $23 for people 13 years old and older and $17 for kids between 4 and 12. Kiddos 3 years old and younger can join the tour for free.
Pikes Peak itself is known for its challenging climbing opportunities, but you don’t have to cross the famous mountain off your list if your brood isn’t into climbing. You can also travel along Pikes Peak Highway to reach the summit without ever leaving your vehicle.
Rocky Mountain National Park
People across the globe make the trek to Rocky Mountain National Park, so residents of Centennial are particularly lucky. In less than two hours, you can make the drive out to see this natural wonder. The park is open 24 hours a day, 365 days a year (with certain exceptions for road and facilities closures), making it super easy to plan a day trip with the family here.
Once you arrive, you can look forward to 415 square miles of breathtaking mountainous terrain. That includes 300 miles of trails for hiking! Another must-see highlight of Rocky Mountain National Park is Longs Peak, a gorgeous mountain complete with challenging climbing. The park also boasts more than 100 peaks reaching 11,000 feet or higher. Don’t forget Trail Ridge Road, which offers views of the Rocky Mountains from 12,000 feet up. Just keep in mind that weather conditions here can get extreme, so Trail Ridge Road and some other offerings aren’t accessible when Colorado’s cold winter months hit.
If you love Rocky Mountain National Park after your day trip, you might consider coming back for camping. The park offers both conventional camping and wilderness possibilities. You’ll also find great fishing and an abundance of wildlife to watch out for.
You can expect to pay $25 for a one-day pass for a motorcycle or regular automobile. You can also buy a per-person one-day pass, which covers walk-ins and bicycles, for $15. If you think you might plan multiple day trips to this amazing spot, you might want to go for the $70 annual pass instead.
Though Summit County is famous for some of the best skiing in the United States, there’s more to the area than just skiing. You can typically make the drive here in less than two hours, so you’ll have plenty of time to check out various fun Summit County spots.
If you’re looking for walkable cities chock full of mountain-town charm and culture, you’ll want to pay a visit to Breckenridge or Frisco. In the mood for outdoor recreation? Summit County features so much to do. One option is the Mohawk Lakes trail south of Breckenridge, which offers a family-friendly hike amidst beautiful nature. Or, head over to Dillon Reservoir to rent a boat, canoe, or kayak or take in breathtaking seasonal foliage and flowers.
That wraps up Crème de la Crème of Centennial’s list of amazing day trips you can easily take from our hometown. Did we miss your family’s all-time favorite day trip? Let us know your recommendation so we can add it to our list!