Top Things to Do in Buena Vista

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My tennis peeps and I took a weekend getaway from Denver to Buena Vista.  We mixed up our time between outdoor activities and relaxation.  Here are some top things to do in Buena Vista,

Visit the Mount Princeton Hot Spring

The Mount Princeton Hot Springs includes lodging, springs for adults, springs for kids, a restaurant/bar and a spa and is located 9 miles south of Buena Vista.  While Marissa and I went hiking, Nicole, Sue and Ellen enjoyed a leisurely lunch and a luxurious spa treatment that they all liked.  Marissa and I joined them at the adult only pool which includes a variety of smaller “tubs” at different heating levels.  There are also pools by the river.  The locker room offers lockers, showers, and amenities.  It is a nice way to spend a relaxing day or evening in Buena Vista.

Go to the Comanche Drive In Theatre

What better way to spend a nostalgic evening than going to a drive-in movie!  The Comanche Drive In Theatre is located 3 mile west of Buena Vista off Hwy 306.  It features an older movie Friday to Tuesday and only accepts cash or check.

Go Rafting

Buena Vista is world famous for its Brown’s Canyon, recently designated a national monument, and the white water rafting along this section of the Arkansas River.  Browns Canyon Rafting provides half-day to multi-day trips through class II-III+ rapids.  The water is cold, but the scenery is beautiful!

Go Hiking (or Mountain Biking)

Buena Vista is home to the Collegiate Peaks…spectacular 14ers.  As such, several world class hikes are located all over the area.  Along with a choice of 14ers, a variety of easier trails are also accessible.  We hiked three nearby trails of different lengths and gradient that I would rank from easy to hard.  Little Rainbow Trail is a 9 mile section of a much longer trail.  This trail is easy and likely best for mountain biking.  Lost Lake Trail is short though moderately steep. Browns Pass Hartenstein Lake Trail is very steep and somewhat difficult.  For more details on these hikes, see my write up here.

Explore the Town

Buena Vista is broken up into two sections.  The old part of town is home to a variety of shops and a handful of restaurants and bars.  In the old part of town we visited House Rock Kitchen for lunch, the Jailhouse Craft Beer Bar for libations, Louie’s Ice Cream Shop for dessert, and Buena Vista Roastery Cafe for a pick-me-up all in one afternoon.  After all, we were on vacation!

We also enjoyed dinner and a local brew at Eddyline Restaurant and Brewery.  Eddyline has two locations.  We visited the restaurant on South Main and then wandered around the south part of town which included a park and a large trail system by the river.

Visit St. Elmo (A Ghost Town)

St. Elmo is a ghost town located 20 miles southwest of Buena Vista.  It was founded in 1880 and in its heyday was home to 2,000 people seeking gold and silver.  The mines shut down in the 1920’s with the discontinuation of the railroad.  Now the town features 44 old buildings, and it is popular base for visitors to four-wheel on the old mining roads.  There is also good fishing and hiking in the area.

Buena Vista is a great place for a weekend get away with a variety of things to do!  ETB

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Beth Bankhead

Former public finance professional turned award winning travel blogger and photographer sharing the earth's beauty one word and image at a time.

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