When it’s time to get away for a few days or take an extended vacation, head to Colorado Springs to enjoy the fresh air and beautiful mountain views. Located in central Colorado at the foot of the Rocky Mountains, Colorado Springs offers your family an ideal vacation spot, allowing you to enjoy nature while still offering all the perks of a large city. Inside this city are several distinct neighborhoods, and close to the city, you’ll find a few smaller communities that offer great places to stay. Here’s a quick look at the 12 best Colorado Springs vacation rental locations.

1. Downtown Colorado Springs

Find a vacation rental in the thick of things when you choose the downtown Colorado Springs neighborhood. Spend your days enjoying the local shops and restaurants, or catch a performance of the Colorado Springs Philharmonic. On the first Friday of each month, you and your family can spend an evening taking part in the Art Walk, where you can explore local art galleries and meet some of the artists.

2. Northeast Colorado Springs

With the University of Colorado Springs located in the area, this neighborhood offers a young and hip vibe, with shopping, dining, and an active bar and music scene. Take the 4.4-mile loop inside the Pulpit Rock Park inside this neighborhood to stretch your legs and soak up the amazing views, or visit the Austin Bluffs Open Space to check out the distinctive rock formations.

3. East Colorado Springs

Relax and unwind in the mostly residential neighborhood of East Colorado Springs. Golf lovers in the family can spend the day on the links at the Patty Jewett Municipal Golf Course. At Palmer Park, your family can spend the day hiking or biking around the park’s 737 acres. Enjoy stunning views and take some photos from this park that’s settled on a mesa above the downtown area.

4. Pleasant Valley

Each evening, take a stroll along the tree-lined streets of this family oriented neighborhood. The Pleasant Valley sits to the northwest of downtown, which is just a short drive away from all the museums and activities in the downtown area. Take the kids to Westmoor Park to play on the playground, and then enjoy a family picnic in the covered picnic area.

5. Cascade-Chipita Park

Just to the northwest of Colorado Springs is the small community of Cascade-Chipita Park, where you and your family can find a vacation rental with plenty of wide open spaces for your kids to run around and play. Spend days riding your bike or hiking around the area. On nights when you’re not cooking, hop in the car and drive to Colorado Springs for dinner, which is just a short drive away.

6. Woodland Park

A little further northwest of Colorado Springs is Woodland Park, an area on the outskirts of town where your family can settle into a single family home or cabin. While here, learn all about dinosaurs at the Rocky Mountain Dinosaur Resource Center. This center has many fossils and exhibits, and it provides extensive information about dinosaurs that once roamed the Woodland Park area of the United States.

7. Divide

Less than half an hour west of Colorado Springs is the town of Divide, with its stunning views of Pike’s Peak. While vacationing in this area, you can hike or bike through local trails or go horseback riding in the Mueller State Park. Take the family to the Florissant Fossil Beds National Monument to gaze at the stumps of massive redwoods that feature the fossilized remains of insects and plant life from the prehistoric period.

8. Lake George

Spend your days fishing when you find a cabin along Lake George or the surrounding area. If you’re lucky, you or one of the kids might catch one of the large trouts living in the lake. Take the kids to Eleven Mile State Park for a day of hiking, or take them cross country skiing if you’re vacationing during the colder months. This area offers the laid back vacation you’ve been dreaming about.

9. Fountain

Drive south from Colorado Springs to find an affordable vacation rental in Fountain, where you can kick back and relax. When you’re in the mood for fun, hop in the car to catch a show in the city. Spend a day at the Pikes Peak International Raceway with the daredevils in your family, and take a class in driving a race car. During the summer months, go to Aga Park to cool off under the water fountains, or head over to Fountain Creek, cast your rod in the water, and enjoy an afternoon of fishing.

10. Monument

North of Colorado Springs sits the community of Monument. Gasp in amazement at the unique design of the United States Air Force Academy Cadet Chapel when you visit Monument. Located on 27-acres, the Western Museum of Mining & Industry teaches your kids about the history mining in the town. Hike, bike, or horseback ride through Fox Run Regional Park to explore all the wonders in the area.

11. Larkspur

Each summer, Larkspur serves as the home of the Colorado Renaissance Festival, where you and your family can eat a turkey leg, watch a jousting match, or dress like you live in 16th century England. Practice your golf swing at the Golf Club at Bear Dance, known for its luxury clubhouse featuring a restaurant where you can dine or enjoy drinks after playing 18 holes.

12. Castle Rock

Castle Rock hosts the Douglas County Fair in the fall months. When the weather is sunny, take your family to Phillip S. Miller Park to listen to a live music concert or Mitchell Gulch Park to spend the day hiking or rock climbing. If you need a little retail therapy, stop by the Outlets at Castle Rock.