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By David De Lalio

ArrowHead Golf Course, Colorado. Credit: Richard Saxon

ArrowHead Golf Course, Colorado. Credit: Richard Saxon

Like many people who live in Colorado, I came here with a plan to spend a year “checking it out.” Nine years later and I’ve met my wife, had 3 children, bought a home — all but cementing that I’m here to stay.  What’s kept me here all these years?  It’s definitely got something to do with Colorado’s extraordinary outdoor activities, and I’m not just talking about our world-class skiing: From its mountains to its rivers, Colorado summers are quite amazing, too, with beautiful dry weather and outdoor activities galore. If you’re looking for a cheap and active summer vacation, Colorado has it all –and for a lot less.

Colorado Rockies. Credit: Jon Hurd

Colorado Rockies. Credit: Jon Hurd

Top 4 Colorado summer vacation adventures

1. Weren’t they in the World Series? Yes, the Colorado Rockies made the World Series for the first time in franchise history in 2008.  This team plays out of Coors Field in Denver, right in the heart of LoDo (the Lower Downtown historic district for those who don’t know).  Surrounded by great bars and restaurants, this hip area is a great place to spend an afternoon.  One of my favorite hotels is the Hotel Teatro, located near the Denver Center for the Performing Arts.  For a great meal, try the Vesta Dipping Grill, with unique Colorado fare.

2. Fast or slow? That’s what you’ll be asking yourself as you head over to the Buena Vista area, home of the Arkansas River rapids for some great white water rafting.  Beginners can choose a calm half day on the river’s scenic ride, while those like me seeking more heart pounding action can ride on some of the fastest rapids in the nation.  Book early though,

Arkansas River, Colorado. Credit: Doc Artemis

Arkansas River, Colorado. Credit: Doc Artemis

because the best months are those when the snow is melting the fastest, which tends to be late May into June.  The Super 8 Buena Vista has super cheap hotel deals, and is a recipient of the National Hospitality Award.

3. Where did my ball go? Due to the low humidity and high elevation in Colorado, your golf ball will fly about 20 yards further than in high humidity areas; many experts say to plan for a club and a half difference. The added bonus: the courses are beautiful and surrounded by mountains, offering a unique serenity not always found at more popular golf destinations.  Those looking for a cheap hotel with their golf outing need look no further than The Inverness Hotel and Conference Center in Englewood,  which has a top notch hotel next to a PGA championship par-70, 7,026-yard Preston Maxwell course.

Emmy Lou Harris and Fanny Flowers, Telluride Bluegrass Festival. Credit: dwayne

Emmy Lou Harris and Danny Flowers, Telluride Bluegrass Festival. Credit: dwayne

4. Wine and dine, catch a flick, or watch a jam band? The abundance of festivals in Colorado is staggering.  From Denver to Telluride, we have it all covered, and the savvy customer can find great hotel deals.  Aspen is home to the Food and Wine Classic in June, an annual event showcasing some of the world’s top talent in the culinary universe.  Telluride hosts the Blues and Brews Festival, a showcase of the best microbreweries in the area and top blues band talent, and the Telluride Bluegrass Festival every year.  The Excelsior Café in Telluride is one of my favorite restaurants in Colorado, with fresh Colorado fare including river trout, and reasonable prices.  For agreat stay, try The Hotel Telluride, a boutique hotel located downtown.  There are also several film festivals to keep the avid movie buff up to snuff.

Book your Colorado vacation now for great savings

Book your trip by May 30, 2010 and you can save up to 30% off during our CheapTickets special savecation promotion. You’ll also find that Rockies games are cheap through June, while golfing is cheapest before June.  Hotels near the most popular festivals sell out space early, so again, it’s a best to book quickly for the cheapest rates and best availability.

David De Lalio is the Senior Market Manager for the Mountain Region and 5 year veteran for Orbitz Worldwide. A world traveler by the time he was 13, and an avid skier by the age of 7, travel has been his passion almost his entire life.

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