That’s NOT what I expected to say about our travel to Colorado. Or sleeping in a YMCA!
This past summer we decided to use our $2000 in flight vouchers to head to Colorado for the first time. The rocky mountains are not the first place you think of for an accessible vacation, but we sure love to see the National Parks. (plus, we gotta use our free national park passes, am I right??) Our first leg of the trip was to fly into Denver, grab the rental car, eat dinner downtown, and drive to the YMCA of the Rockies. We planned to spend a long weekend before heading on to other parts of the state.
I had no idea then that I would long to spend an entire vacation at the YMCA of the Rockies!
In fact, I was really hesitant to stay at a YMCA at all. The first time I googled hotels, B&Bs and cabin rentals I was confused by the YMCA listing showing up. I don’t know about you, but the Y is where I picture sweaty bodies working out at budget prices. (And then I picture ridiculous wedding reception dancing…you do, too, yes?!) The last thing I want to do is sleep there.
However, time and again the reviews were stellar. I decided to look into it further.
There aren’t a whole lot of places to stay in the Rocky Mountains’ Estes Park area to begin with…let alone accessible. The YMCA of the Rockies have multiple accessible rooms and cabins. The whole venue is accessible, including: the lodge, cafeteria, pool, rec areas, arts and crafts building, and so on. Our room was actually spacious and the bathroom was ideal.
And the view is NOT to be missed!
You actually can not miss it. It’s All around you! The entrance to Rocky Mountain National Park is literally down the road from the YMCA of the Rockies! It is breathtaking!
With the entrance to the National Park so close it is easy access into the Rocky Mountain National Park.
We were able to enjoy the sites in no time. We drove a wonderful scenic road, accessed some beautiful trails, and saw plenty of wild life. Lake Estes is another quick drive the other direction where we rented a pontoon and took in some shopping. But more on that in another post!
And herein lies the problem…
There’s so much to do around the YMCA of the Rocky Mountains that we needed more time to also enjoy the venue itself!
Regrettably, we did not have time to enjoy the beautiful pool, mini golf, or skating rink. We never took in a guest speaker or s’mores at a campfire. We DID run to the arts and crafts center the last morning, before checking out, where the girls enjoyed a session of tie dying. But even that was bitter sweet because they had to choose one quick activity from rooms full of options! We were so impressed with how many staff there were to assist with the crafts…and how pleasant and genuinely friendly they were. After some conversations, we quickly discovered the staff were truly enjoying their work at the YMCA resort, and it showed!
Although we were excited to see more of Colorado, we left while longing to stay.
I knew it was a winning location when my twenty-something daughter and I schemed how to come back. I am convinced we should make it a full family vacation and rent one of the accessible cabins and she…
She was dreaming of returning as a nurse for a summer season.
The twins were scheming to come back soon to finish more of the crafts on display!
And my husband joined me in a fantasy of living in a community like the YMCA of the Rockies where most everything is accessible with paved paths, friendly assistance, unending activities, and natural beauty.
Find more information about the Y HERE
And don’t forget, you may be able to get a free YMCA membership with your disability insurance…and Y members get a reduced hotel rate!! Woot Woot!