This content is sponsored by Echo Canyon Rafting, Royal Gorge Cabins, and Royal Gorge Adventure Park. All opinions are my own.
Exploring Cañon City Colorado: 48 Hours of Family Fun
Last Summer we had an epic vacation from our home in Austin all the way to Salida, Colorado and back. We packed so much fun into the road trip there and back that honestly it felt like we were on 3 different trips. One of our favorite stops was in Cañon City, Colorado. Just an hour outside of our final destination we stopped and spent an amazing 48 hours of family fun and adventuring. When you are exploring Cañon City there is a little bit of something for everyone in the family. Have an adventurer- gotcha covered, Museum lover- so covered, amusement parks, check that off the list too! I can not wait to share with you call that Cañon City has to offer your family.
Cañon City Colorado: Where to stay
During our last hotel stay we were woken up repeatedly until the wee hours of the morning by someone either jumping or running above our heads. Which is why hotels are my least place to stay when traveling. I was over the moon thrilled when we came across the amazing Royal Gorge Cabins for our overnight stay in Cañon City. The Royal Gorge Cabins have a variety of cabins and luxury glamping accommodations to choose from. The glamping tents are so amazing and plush looking (I got a private tour when we arrived) I think they would be so perfect for a couples get away or even a family with 1-2 children. I think my kids would love the tent camping concept while I would love the glamping concept.
For our night with them we stayed in the beautiful cabins that sit along the property. I know what you are thinking. Tiny log cabins with no decor and minimal accommodations, well let me tell you these are no such thing. These cabins could easily be something you see on the cover of a magazine for luxury cabins. The upstairs consisted of a larger bedroom and bathroom, while downstairs consisted of 1 bedroom with a huge bed and a bathroom, as well as a full functioning kitchen that was stocked with everything we needed, a comfy living room, fireplace and big screen TV. The back porch had chairs to sit and enjoy the quiet and there was a community fire pit with games.
Cañon City Colorado: What to Do
Echo Canyon Expeditions- Rafting Big Horn Sheep Canyon: This is priority number 1 for Bill and he was so excited to find out that John was old enough to accompany him. We spent the morning exploring the expedition headquarters. The kids had a blast trying on all of the safety gear and getting comfortable in it before it was time for Bill and John to get on the water. We had fun talking about all the different parts of a raft and just getting excited about their first rafting trip together. When it was time for the they’re group to depart we watched them board the bus with a few tears from Mary who REALLY wanted to go with them. When we came back to pic them up a few hours later the smiles were from ear to ear. They had an amazing time, just the right amount of adventure, rapids and excitement to make their first trip together amazing. We were able to pick up a tiny USB drive (shaped like a white water raft of course) that held all the pictures from the rafts GoPro camera. Overall Echo Canyon Expeditions had great guides, reasonable prices and a variety of trips that would fit any skill level or desired trip length.
Royal Gorge Adventure Park: If you’re wanting to experience the Royal Gorge but don’t want to get wet, Royal Gorge Adventure Park is a great option. High above the river at you can walk across the Royal Gorge Bridge (the highest bridge in the US) which is 955 feet high. Every state is represented on the bridge with it’s name and flag. We had fun finding Texas and snapping a family picture in front of it. The kids loved the Tommy Knocker play area and water feature. We rode the gondola across the gorge and Bill got crazy and did the zip-line across! From the bridge you can see the Royal Gorge Railroad as is snakes along next to the river and if you watch closely you’ll spot a few rafts coming down river as well. A great family adventure. Some of the rides do have height and or weigh min. so makes sure to check out their website before you visit.
Prison Museum: While this may seem like an odd choice for most, you have to remember that the hubs works in corrections so it was a bit interesting I have to admit. We even snagged a deal on tickets through Groupon. It was a really cool museum. The museum itself is housed in an older women’s facility that is next to a currently functioning correctional facility. You’ll learn the history of capital punishment in Colorado as well as see one of the first gas chambers. One f the neat things about the museum was that each display was featured inside of a cell, giving you a realistic feel for the space that each inmate was in. Prisoner’s art work is on display in the original cafeteria and you can learn about various levels of security for different facilities throughout the state. Don’t forget to snap a picture behind bars while you’re there.
Royal Gorge Railroad: Another great way to see the beautiful river and gorge, the Royal Gorge Railroad is a family owned business that is based out of Canon City. We did not ride the train during this trip, but we did visit the depot, check out the trains and even spotted them from high above the tracks while we were on the Royal Gorge bridge. You can select tickets for a glass topped car, coach seats or the club class in a dinning car. There are breakfast/lunch and dinner trains and even some special event train rides to choose from. Make sure to check their schedule online and to book tickets.
Farmers Market: Every Saturday morning during the warmer months right in the middle of town the Canon City Farmer’s Market is set up. Everything from fresh produce, flowers, handmade crafts, artisan soaps and so much more. We snagged some yummy baked goods and enjoyed fun live music.
Royal Gorge Dinosaur Experience: We never pass up an opportunity to visit anything Dinosaur related as we have big fans. The Dinosaur Experience had indoor and outdoor fun to enjoy for all ages. First we toured the inside of the experience, 10,000 square feet of exhibit space dedicated to dinosaur-age creatures that once lived in that area of Colorado. Then we headed outside to the Dinosaur Wild Walk where animated dinosaurs met us along our trek with noise and motion. The kids REALLY loved this part of the experience. After our walk we grabbed a snack in the shaded sand pits where the kids could dig for buried dino bones and we had a front row seat to the amazing ropes course.
Gem Stone Mining: Right down the road from the Royal Gorge Cabins is the coolest gem stone shop. Any and everything you could think of is beautifully overflowing form rustic old mining carts. If you have a collector I know you will find something there they will love. I got the most bang for my buck and purchased the bucket of gem stones. We made our way out to the water feature and started sifting through out gem stone filled sand. The kids loved discovering the various stones and there were plenty enough for them to share their riches. The shop also sells a variety of fossils, arrowheads and other treasures.
Cañon City Colorado: Where to Eat
An out of the box burger joint, the Owl Cigar Store was a fun surprise. The service was great, the seats were filled and the food was yum. After we finished our dinner we made out way to the back and played a game of pool with the kids, which they loved and giggled the entire time.