Going Our Way: A family trip to Denver with an eye toward setting down roots
Who: Beth and Brian Whiteman, both age 35, and their two children, Ben, 4, and Sarah, 2, of Silver Spring
Why: Family vacation; exploring for possible relocation
When: July for one week
Budget: $5,000 to $6,000
"We want to go to Denver because we love the mountains and are considering moving there. We are looking for a fun family vacation that will give us a taste of Denver and life out West. Our interests include hiking, museums, train rides, baseball and visiting Invesco Field."
A vacation is a good way to dip your toes into a place you're considering as a new home, especially one nearly 1,700 miles to the west. That's the case with Beth and Brian Whiteman, who are thinking about relocating from the Washington area to Denver. The Mile-High City offers a sporty, outdoorsy vibe with a nice dose of urban niceties. I admit that I haven't spent much time there, as it's usually a quick stop on the way to the resort areas of Breckinridge, Vail, Keystone, etc. But from what I've seen, the city appears to be manageable, inviting and family-friendly.
Getting there is easy. Frontier offers nonstop flights from Reagan National, and United has nonstops from Washington Dulles and BWI. Fares vary considerably depending on whether a sale is on. Keep checking the airline sites, and sign up for fare notifications on sites such as Kayak and Bing (http:/
Denver has a light rail system, but renting a car will give you more freedom to explore. I've had good luck with Hotwire (http:/
Stay either in or close to downtown Denver, so you'll be central to many attractions. Although the city has plenty of high-end boutique hotels and conference-oriented properties, I'd stay at a place that offers free breakfasts, a pool and at least a refrigerator and a microwave. This will make for happier mornings with the little ones, give them a place to let off steam and allow you to keep snacks and cold drinks at the ready. Residence Inn Denver Downtown (888-526-7135, http:/
Now for the fun. Here are sites and attractions to hit:
-- Take a ride on the Platte Valley Trolley (303-458-6255, http:/