Last week the family vacation blog was clued in about seven cities with favorable fall hotel rates, a gift to parents with the luxury of traveling at will with non-school age kids. I don’t have that luxury, but if I did, my first choice hands down would be Denver.
Not only is Denver's average daily hotel rate 10 percent lower than it was last fall, but prices tend to drop anyway immediately after the city's summer high season. If you’re looking for a little luxe for less, check out our top-rated Denver hotel, Brown Palace, running such deals as the Kids in the City package (promo code MKTCKC) from $229 per night, including breakfast for two daily as well as a $15 per night room credit.
Autumn also happens to be a lovely time to walk around Denver. In September and October the mile-high city has fall foliage of its own (take that, New England) and finding worthy family fun is like shooting fish in a barrel, a simile that is not meant to disparage the Downtown Aquarium. Should you go, the whimsically titled “Swim with the Fish!” snorkeling session ($75 per person, minimum age 6) would prove quite memorable, especially for the cynical older kids (and grown-ups) in your brood who may feel that aquariums are so over.
Given that the weather ought to be cooperating, fall is also optimal for a stroll through the Denver Botanic Gardens, but if the temperature or altitude is somehow not suiting you, it’s worth ducking indoors to let your Titanic aficionados explore the Molly Brown House Museum. And if you can snag a reservation time at the U.S. Mint, don’t pass up the chance to show your kids how certain pennies got that tiny “D” on their heads.
Staying with the idea that you might be taking a fall getaway with older kids – say, college grads who still expect you to pay for everything – Denver excels in giving families the chance to bike together.
The Denver Community Bikes or B-Cycles bike sharing system, with dozens of bike-rental stations throughout downtown, permits you to rent a bike for up to 24 hours for a mere six bucks (longer rentals with corresponding rates are available). Bikes are one-size-fits-all, with seats adjusting to riders ranging in height from 5’ to over 6 feet.
If Denver can’t quite contain your biking ambitions, consider a side trip to the Winter Park Ski Resort (accessible by train from Union Station) whose Trestle Bike Park remains open through September 25. Even if you miss the end of the resort’s biking window, it’s worth checking out Winter Park and its sweet village during the pre-ski season.
See our Denver Travel Guide for more trip-planning information, then use our Travel Search price comparison tool to find the lowest rates and travel deals on hotels, flights, vacation packages, and more.