If you’re looking for a great road trip and an unforgettable, inspiring and educational family vacation, visit Mesa Verde National Park in the heart of Colorado and revel in its red rock splendor.
Aramark, concessionaire to many of America’s national parks, is promoting the many Colorado family adventures at this park for the peak summer season, in order to encourage visitors of all ages. But until then, there are great savings to be had.
A UNESCO World Cultural Heritage Site, Mesa Verde National Park is the first national park set aside to celebrate works of man. It’s located in the Four Corners area of the state, making it less accessible than other parks but much less crowded too.
Kid-friendly activities include a “Mesa Verde Tour” to explore the Ancestral Pueblo Cliff Dwellings, and the “700 Year Tour” guided by trained rangers from the National Park Service. Kids and parents can climb the ladders at Balcony House to view the canyon and experience the way the indigenous people entered and exited their cliffside homes circa 1200. Everyone in the family will be able to explore the Native American’s history and architecture, as well as their artistry and agricultural practices at the site.
Lodging options include the Sundance Bear Lodge (866/529-2480) in nearby Mancos, Colorado along the San Juan Skyway. This rustic choice has three separate buildings that can sleep a total of 20 people if you’re caravanning to the park. There is a Western style three-bedroom house, a romantic log cabin (both accept pets) and a lodge with hotel-like services. From here, in addition to nearby Mesa Verde, you can visit the Ute Tribal Park and ride the colorful, historic Durango Silverton train. Skiers in your group can visit Telluride, Purgatory, or Wolf Creek Pass.
Doloroes Mountain Inn is about 20 minutes away, and promises affordable, clean, smoke-free family suites. They also have free high speed internet, and heat and A/C, all walking distance from a number of restaurants. For more hotel suggestions, see Popular Hotels in Mesa Verde National Park.
Among the Aramark choices, there’s the Morefield Campground with good facilities and camping sites. The all-you-can-eat pancake breakfast at Morefield Campground is offered everyday during peak season.
Throughout the year, Aramark Parks and Resorts, the park’s concessionaire, is expanding its “sustainable cuisine” initiative by offering prix-fixe menus at all restaurants in Mesa Verde National Park. Even if gas prices are high again, you’ll get a break from them on family meals. For more information on these offers, visit the Mesa Verde National Park site.
Take the kids on a family field trip to celebrate Colorado’s natural beauty with our guide to the Mesa Verde region.
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