Buena Vista, Colorado
Buena Vista is Spanish for “good view,” and you’ll know why once you see this beautiful area nestled at the foot of the Continental Divide. You’ll never miss the video games you left behind. It’s quaint and quiet, perfect for shopping, enjoying strolls through town and tasting the local cuisine.
It’s also great for outdoor adventure. In summer, visitors can go kayaking, biking, hiking and zip lining. In winter, there is skiing, snow tubing and snowmobiling. Equipment is usually included in the cost of the activity or available for rent.
If you’re among the many adventure-seekers wanting to go whitewater rafting, book your reservation online ahead of time with River Runners. Or experience Buena Vista by air on the seven zip lines operated by AVA Colorado Zipline. If you’d rather keep your feet on the ground, plan to hike the Riverside Trail that travels about a half-mile along the Arkansas River and connects with the longer Whipple Trail System.
How to get there: Fly into Denver International Airport and drive about 150 miles southwest on Interstate 70 and U.S. Route 285 to Buena Vista.
Where to stay: The Best Western Vista Inn is a budget-friendly option that offers free breakfast, mountain views and a pool. The boutique Surf Hotel & Chateau has chic rooms on the banks of the Arkansas River, overlooking Buena Vista Whitewater Park.
How to Encourage Your Kids to Unplug
If you’re inspired to hit the road on a tech-free trip, you might think that shutting down digital distractions is easier said than done. These devices have become so entrenched in our lives that it can be hard to put them away — however, the rewards of unplugging on a family vacation make it worth encouraging.
First, set the example; keep yourself focused on engaging with your family and avoid checking your phone if possible. Have each family member start a travel journal, and encourage everyone to spend time each day writing down or sketching favorite memories from the day’s activities. You’ll be amazed at how sharing these new travel memories will strengthen your connection to the experiences and bring you closer together.