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Best Staycation Ideas in Denver & Boulder

Best Staycation Ideas in Denver and Boulder 2023

Enjoy Home Sweet Home This Summer

Right now, a round-trip plane ticket to London will run you about $1,100 per person. Then, there’s the added cost of a hotel, food and activities. It’s no wonder that staycations are becoming such a popular option.

If you prefer to actually stay at home, you can get through that pile of books you've been meaning to read, try out some easy DIY home upgrades, or set up a tent in the backyard and enjoy your own great outdoors. 

Of course, there’s so much to see and do in the Denver and Boulder areas! And with a staycation, there’s no need to pack a bag or arrive at DIA seventeen hours before a flight just to get through the security line. You can simply head out your front door and begin exploring.

Stay a night or two at a boutique hotel. Go on hiking adventures. Peruse nearby farmer's markets or unique museums. Take a brewery or distillery tour. Rejuvenate your senses at a day spa.

And don’t forget to enjoy some of Denver and Boulder’s best restaurants with outdoor seating

If you’re looking for the best staycation ideas in Denver and Boulder, let’s dive in.

Master the Stay-at-Home Staycation

There’s absolutely nothing wrong with hunkering down at home. And once you’re done with your Netflix binge, there are all kinds of things you can do, including some easy projects. A few ideas:

  • Create a Gallery Wall: Transform a blank wall into an awesome display of artwork and photos. Choose a theme or mix and match various frames and sizes for an eclectic look. Experiment with different arrangements before nailing them to the wall.

  • Upgrade Cabinet Hardware: Give your kitchen or bathroom cabinets a fresh look by replacing the handles and knobs. Choose modern or vintage styles to match your decor. It's a simple update that can make a big difference.

  • Paint an Accent Wall: Pick a wall in a room that could use a pop of color and paint it an accent shade. It's a quick and affordable way to add visual interest and create a focal point. Experiment with different colors and patterns to find what suits your taste.

  • Create a Vertical Garden: Use a pallet, hanging planters, or a wall-mounted system to display your favorite plants. This DIY project not only creates a lush focal feature but also maximizes space. Plant flowers, succulents, or perhaps, your favorite kitchen herbs.

  • Revamp Light Fixtures: Update outdated light fixtures with modern designs. Replace old shades and add decorative elements. Swap out builder-grade ceiling lights for a fan. Just be sure to turn off the power before working on any electrical components!

If projects sound like work, you could also try backyard camping! While some effort is needed to get set up, you can then relax with a cold one and maybe take a nap. In the evening, you can grill up some hot dogs, then roast marshmallows over your fire pit and enjoy epic s’more making.

Best of all, backyard camping gives you access to a proper bathroom, and you can bring all the pillows and blankets you need to create a comfy, cozy tent bed. 

While you’re camping out, don’t forget to turn off your phones or leave them in the house. Instead, play cornhole or go on a scavenger hunt. Tell ghost stories or set up a projector and screen to watch classic movies. Board games and stargazing are also classic camping activities!

Check Out the Best of the Boutique Hotel Scene

If you want to venture beyond home, there's no need to wander far. And by saving on airfare to another country, you might have enough budget to try out more intriguing options right here along the Front Range. 

In Denver

  • Brown Palace Hotel and Spa: A downtown institution since 1892, this iconic Denver hotel features timeless architecture, luxe rooms, and a renowned spa. They even have afternoon tea service.
  • The Source Hotel: With sleek, modern rooms and an attached market hall, you can take a dip in the pool, browse shops, have dinner at Safta, and then enjoy stellar views from the rooftop bar.  

Look into these spots, too:

The Maven at Dairy Block
The Crawford Hotel
Hotel Indigo
The Halcyon in Cherry Creek
The Patterson Inn
The Ramble Hotel

In Boulder

  • St Julien Hotel & Spa: Nestled in the heart of Boulder, this renowned hotel offers mountain views, a full-service spa, fine dining options, and proximity to great shops and dining at Pearl Street Mall. 
  • Basecamp Boulder: Inspired by the concept of camping, the hotel features rustic-chic rooms, outdoor fire pits (s’mores kits available for purchase), and a lively communal atmosphere.

Look into these spots, too:

Hotel Boulderado
Chautauqua Cottages
Bradley Boulder Inn
A-Lodge Boulder
Briar Rose Bed & Breakfast
Niwot Inn & Spa

Next Level Accommodations

If you want something completely different and perhaps, a little spooky, look no further than The Stanely Hotel in Estes Park. A beautiful and historic property located in a fantastic mountain town, this supposedly haunted hotel inspired Stephen King to write his infamous novel, The Shining.

Things to See and Do in Denver and Boulder

Here are just a few ideas to get you started on an adventure right in your area. Whether you prefer to kick back in the sun or broaden your horizons at a unique museum, there are plenty of options available, no plane ticket needed. 


Treat yourself to a day of relaxation and rejuvenation at one of the many day spas in the area. 

  • Woodhouse Spa Denver: Known for its tranquil ambiance and exceptional services, treatments include therapeutic massages, organic facials, manicures, pedicures, body scrubs and more.
  • Spavia Boulder: Relax and enjoy a variety of massages, facials, body treatments, and skin care options. If you love how you feel after, there’s a membership program for ongoing pampering.

Look into these spots, too:

The Oxford Club, Spa & Salon, Denver
The Spa at the Brown Palace, Denver
Denver Beer Spa
Elixir Mind Body Massage, Denver 
Spa at St. Julien, Boulder
The Dragontree Spa, Boulder
Blue Skies Massage & Wellness, Longmont
The Little Massage Shop, Northglenn

If you’d rather venture beyond the Denver and Boulder areas to enjoy a relaxing and rejuvenating dip in natural hot springs, check out our list of must-experience locations in Colorado. 


Beyond some of the more well-known museums, there are plenty of unique places to explore.

  • Kirkland Museum of Fine & Decorative Art, Denver: Known for its eclectic collection, the museum features decorative art, including furniture, ceramics, glassware, and paintings. With works from the late 19th century to the present, visitors can see the evolution of artistic styles and design.
  • Dougherty Museum, Longmont: Peruse an extensive collection of vintage cars, motorcycles, and other forms of transportation. The museum offers a glimpse into the evolution of automotive design and engineering, showcasing beautifully restored vehicles from various eras.

Look into these spots, too:

Colorado Railroad Museum, Golden
Media Archaeology Lab, Boulder
Forney Transportation Museum, Denver
Mines Museum of Earth Science, Golden
Lee Maxwell Washing Machine Museum, Eaton
Even more places to explore


While Colorado might be landlocked, there are plenty of ways to get out on the water here. Just be sure to check in on conditions, parking and fees before you go!

In Boulder and North

  • Boulder Reservoir: This 700-acre reservoir and rec area has a fantastic beach, complete with lifeguards. You can also bring your SUP, kayak, canoe and fishing gear. There’s lots to do here!
  • Union Reservoir, Longmont: Take a swim at the beach, then rent a kayak, canoe, or paddleboard right on-site. It’s also one of the best windsurfing spots in northern Colorado if that’s your jam.

Look into these spots, too:

Boulder Creek
Viele Lake
McIntosh Lake, Longmont
Thomas Reservoir, Erie
Harper Lake, Louisville
Waneka Lake Park, Lafayette

In Denver Metro

  • Aurora Reservoir, Aurora: Open now through Labor Day, the swim beach is a great spot to relax. Paddleboards and kayaks are also available to rent, or bring your own non-motorized vessel.
  • Chatfield State Park, Littleton: A great spot for in-town camping, the beach is open all summer long. You can also fish, canoe or kayak— even take your jet ski or power boat out for a spin. 

Look into these spots, too:

Cherry Creek State Park, Aurora
Evergreen Lake Park, Evergreen
Sloan’s Lake Park, Denver
Bear Creek Lake Park, Lakewood
Barr Lake State Park, Brighton

As you can see, a summer staycation can be a fun adventure and cost a lot less than traipsing across the globe. And whether you choose to explore the city or enjoy a stay-at-home retreat, there are endless ways to have fun and create unforgettable memories.

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