From the world’s largest flat top mountain in Grand Mesa to the vibrant downtown of Denver, there is a lot that makes Colorado a great choice for a vacation. A Colorado vacation can encompass the splendor and vastness of the great outdoors while also offering a city slicker experience. Founded in 1879, the picturesque community of Buena Vista — which literally translates as “beautiful view”– lives up to its name and is home to more than 10 peaks over 14,000 feet high. These include mounts Yale, Harvard, Columbia, and Princeton. Climbers affectionately call them the “Fourteeners” and they are an interesting challenge for those who enjoy climbing and hiking.
With a population of under 5,000 and at an elevation of almost 8,000 feet, Buena Vista is a wonderful family getaway with gorgeous mountain views and fabulous hot springs, ideal for soaking, swimming and camping. The natural odorless hot springs are often thought to be therapeutic as well. The historic town of Buena Vista is filled with buildings representing its 120 year history and many date from the late 1800s. Just 30 minutes away is the ghost town of St. Elmo. Left over from the gold and silver mining rush, the town is very well preserved and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. It’s a fun attraction for those with an interest in the past.
The idyllic 1.1 million acre San Isabel National Forest, with its more than 700 hiking and backpacking trails, makes an exciting outdoor adventure for vacationers. Adjacent to the Forest is Cottonwood Pass with over 100 miles of snowmobile trails for those who enjoy winter adventures. Buena Vista is flanked on its Eastern side by the Arkansas river. If whitewater rafting and kayaking are more up your street, consider visiting the Arkansas Headwaters Recreation Area with its almost 150 mile of water and range of activities from bicycle trails to a fishing guide service, horseback riding trails, and other water recreation options.
Regardless of what type of sightseeing adventure you choose, Buena Vista has something for everyone and gives a real taste of Colorado and its natural and historic wonders. There are often room discounts on offer in the area, making a Colorado vacation an affordable option as well.