Having grown up in Colorado, this was shockingly my first trip to Glenwood Springs. It was also the kids’ and my husband’s first time as well, and let me tell you, it did not disappoint! The most gorgeous backdrop, relaxing pool atmosphere at the hot springs, and plenty of other activities made for the perfect family destination.
The Road Trip and Travel Tips
We headed for Glenwood midday Friday and with a little under a three hour drive, our timing was our only complaint for the weekend. We definitely could have spent an extra full day or two. There were sledding hills, shopping, restaurants, and other activities we did not have the chance to tap into. As far as surviving a longer car ride with small children, I do have three tips.
- Leave during nap time: Whenever we drive to the mountains, we make an effort to hit up Chick-Fil-A for lunch, let the kids play, and then hit the road at the same time they normally nap. This makes for a very pleasant first half of the ride for the parents (since the kids are out cold 😴).
- Travel tray table and color wonder sets: Super convenient way for your children to color without making a mess or play with other small toys.
- Car headrest mount for tablet: We purchased this just for this trip and it was a game changer. With two kids interested in watching movies and only one tablet, it was the perfect (cheap) solution to keep everyone happy. The holder easily mounts onto your car headrest, extends to be in the middle of the front seats, and can fit any device including your iPhone or any type of tablet.
If all else fails, making a snack and icee pit stop seems to work pretty well. 😉
Lodging and Food
There are several beautiful and historic hotels in Glenwood Springs. Since we spent the weekend with another family and we all have young kids, we opted for a VRBO instead of a hotel. However, if you are looking for a hotel near the hot springs, the two most popular places to stay are the Hotel Colorado and the Glenwood Springs Lodge (your stay here includes entrance to the hot springs).
If you’re like us and prefer the VRBO life, I cannot recommend ours enough. It was fully stocked with the essentials, had dishes for the kids, great decor, and plenty of rooms with comfy beds. Only a three minute drive to the hot springs and right in the middle of the shops and restaurants. https://www.vrbo.com/1317560
Since we knew we’d be pushing the kids’ moods with late bedtimes and lots of activity, we opted for eating in rather than trying out the local cuisine. We planned the meals together and my girlfriend from the other family graciously picked up all of the groceries on her way up the mountain. This worked perfectly for us and the kids were super happy to not be cooped up in a restaurant. I, however, can’t wait to go back for an adult trip and eat out for every meal!
We did make it out for one treat – ice cream at Kaleidoscoops. Super delicious!
What We Did
Since we didn’t have a ton of time in Glenwood, we wanted to take advantage of the main attraction which is obviously the natural hot springs pool! After a low key Friday night, we hit the pool when it opened at 9am Saturday. While the smell (and taste) took some getting used to for the kids, it was all together magical. There are two pools – one super warm and one super hot. The kids loved the warm pool and thought the steam coming off it was too cool. I loved the picturesque backdrop and the relaxing nature of the hot springs in general. The kids made it about two hours before it was home for lunch and naps. After nap time was when we went for ice cream and then headed back to the hot springs pool. The entry fee was slightly expensive, so it was very nice that it was a day pass and we were able to get our money’s worth by coming back in the evening. Plus, the beauty of the hot springs at night can not be beat!
Saturday after the pool was movie night and on Sunday we headed out early to beat the traffic. All in all, it was an extremely fun, relaxing, and recharging weekend getaway. While I’d like to go back and spend more time in Glenwood, any chance to experience something new with my family is an amazing experience in my book. Ask any questions in the comments and happy adventuring!