Blake Walsh

21 Best Things to Do in Buena Vista, CO

  • Published 2023/02/24

Buena Vista translates to ‘Good View,’ and no wonder why this town of Colorado is referred to as such.

The stunning views of this eclectic town are the key factor that attracts tourists year after year.

In every season, the city becomes more stunning.

This gives you ample opportunities to enjoy hiking, biking, strolling, or water adventures.

Known for its wilderness and great landscapes, Buena Vista is adored by tourists.

This alluring corner of America is an ideal place if you wish to stay away from the crowds and be closer to nature.

The number of activities here is endless, making it a super fun place to be at.

Let’s look at the top 21 things that you can do while you are in Buena Vista, Colorado.

Explore the Buena Vista Heritage Museum

Visiting this historically significant museum is one of the top things to do while you are in Colorado.

The ideal way to explore this place is by hiring a tour guide.

This ensures that you go back home with vast information on the relics of this museum.

Accordingly, the train is something that you should not miss while you are here.

The miniature train models impersonate the local areas and train routes of Buena Vista.

Ran by a non-profit organization to preserve the history of the area, the Buena Vista Heritage Museum is an iconic location to explore in the town.

Events are hosted at this place from time to time, including wine tasting, a tour of the cemetery, and more.

Visit the Buena Vista Whitewater Park

The waters of Buena Vista Whitewater Park

Scott Cummings /

One of the best places to try river-rafting in the United States is the Arkansas River, which flows through this stunning town.

Buena Vista Whitewater Park allows you to enjoy this activity for an ultimate adrenaline rush.

You can take the required gear on rent from any local vendor.

This is an ideal spot for beginners and experts.

The different structures and length of the park give sufficient opportunities to everyone for perfecting this sport.

There is ample space even for beginners trying their luck to get better.

So buckle up your paddle boats or kayaks and let the water embrace you.

Taste Wine at Deerhammer Distilling Company

Deerhammer distillery is a spot in Buena Vista that can’t be missed at any cost.

The owner of this distilling company offers you a tour of this amazing local craft shop in the most hospitable way.

We are sure that you can’t resist buying a handful of bottles of delectable wines once you are here.

Apart from wine, you can also taste rich whiskey on the outdoor patio.

A food truck in the vicinity can help you curb your hunger in case the beverage increase the rumble in your stomach.

What makes this place amazing and its whiskeys exceptional?

The care that the creators put in giving finesse to these bottles.

Made in small batches and with glacial water, the beverages created at Deerhammer Distilling Company are nothing short of a work of art.

Take a Dip at the Cottonwood Hot Springs

Located a little far from the main town, Cottonwood hot spring is the ideal way to enjoy the wonders of nature.

These geothermal pools contain naturally heated mineral water.

This place is accessible every day and is open for accommodating guests all year round.

By renting a room here, you can get free access to these amazing hot water pools, nearby cabins, and a dry sauna.

It is believed that these hot water springs are therapeutic and medicinal in nature.

These geothermal mineral spas are everything that you need at the end of the day.

You will need a pass to enjoy the warmth of these amazing geothermal pools.

This pass is valid for an entire day.

Stepping out from this property for some time and coming back for another dip later in the day is totally doable here.

Inspect the Beauty of Cottonwood Lake

Daytime view of Cottonwood Lake

Jesse Stephens /

Cottonwood Lake is an ideal and one of the top places to be at when you are in the town.

This lake is a little far from the main city but is still easily accessible.

You are going to get some mouth-dropping picturesque views because the place is surrounded by mountains.

Luckily enough, you won’t need to hike or hire a guide to reach this spectacular place.

There are a plethora of activities that you can partake in while you are here.

You can either use the shade for enjoying a relaxed picnic day, or you can hike deeper in the woods.

When winter season hits the town, the lake freezes and is used for ice fishing, ice hockey, and other interesting activities by tourists and locals alike.

Be Bold at Browns Canyon Adventure Park

Buena Vista hordes a lot of activities that can keep your blood pumping for a long time while you are in the town.

Welcome to the Browns Canyon Adventure Park, where you can indulge in an obstacle course, rope course, zip line, rafting, and a lot more.

The place is located on the banks of the Arkansas River, adding stunning scenery while you are giving your heart and soul to pass all the courses.

The staff here is friendly and boosts your morale while you are struggling under dirt and sweat.

Planning ahead is the best way to enjoy the Browns Canyon Adventure Park.

Are you ready for the adventure?

Relish the Collegiate Peaks

Daytime at Collegiate Peaks

Steve Lagreca /

The scenic beauty of collegiate peaks and historic byway stretches for 57 miles (91.73 km).

It is an ideal place for enjoying a long drive.

While you are driving through this road, you can see great mountain backdrops and important local sites.

Hikers at Collegiate Peaks

Gary Reinwald /

Make sure you stop by to relax and enjoy amazing views.

Apart from exploring this great spot, you can also go fishing in the Arkansas River that flows on the other side of the road.

With all these things to do and awe-inspiring mountain range views, this experience is going to last a lifetime.

View of snow-covered Collegiate Peaks

Paul Brady Photography /

Hike Through the Kroenke Lake Trail

The town is filled with great hiking trails spread in different locations.

These trails come with different modes of difficulty.

There are numerous trails that you can try, which offer great views of the nearby valleys and other stunning backdrops.

The Kroenke lake trail is a well-marked 9-miles (14-km) long pathway that takes you to Kroenke Lake.

It is an ideal trail for moderate-level hikers, so if you’ve just started going on hikes, this might be a worthy pick to experience hiking in Buena Vista.

Apart from this, you can also try other activities in the vicinity, such as fishing, camping, and backpacking for the ultimate outdoor expedition in the city.

Visit St. Elmo Ghost Town

Buildings at St.Elmo Ghost Town

Nina B /

If you are someone who loves to explore abandoned towns or buildings, then St.

Elmo Ghost town is the right place for you to visit.

Abandoned in the 1950s, this ghost town had only a few places, and some of them are still intact.

Old buildings at St. Elmo Ghost Town

Barnes Ian /

Restoration work is carried out here from time to time, allowing visitors to enjoy the authenticity of this location.

You can enjoy fishing in the creek that runs through this ghost town and an eerie sense of quiet and solitude while you are here.

A log house at St.Elmo Ghost Town

Barnes Ian /

Enjoy the Views From Midland Hill

We will be honest with you: the hike to the top of Midland hill is a little difficult and steep.

However, the view that you get on reaching the top compensates for the harsh hike.

This trail is over 4 miles (8 km) long and is a great way to spot some natural wildlife.

You can use this trail for simply hiking to the top or for mountain biking.

If you are a regular hiker and have no difficulty with tough trails, then Midland Hill is the perfect spot for you to explore.

Survey the Comanche Drive-in Theater

The grounds of Comanche Drive-in Theater

Jeffrey Beall, CC BY 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Enjoy the drive-in movie theater under the blue skies of Buena Vista, which is one of the main recreational activities for locals in town.

During the summer months, you can find an endless row of cars parked in this drive-in theater.

What makes this experience great is the sheer amount of beauty that surrounds this place, adding up more value to the movie night.

You can enjoy different delicacies from the snack bar that is located nearby for an absolutely fun evening.

Examine the Area of South Main Town Square

Located near the Arkansas River, South Main Town Square is the best place if you wish to gel up with locals.

The place is important for both locals and tourists because a variety of events are hosted here time and again.

From concerts to recreational events, the square is a scintillating hub for locals.

While you are here, make sure that you take out time to walk alongside the river and enjoy the calm noises of the running stream.

Go Mountain Biking at Barbara Whipple Trail

Do you need to be surrounded by nature while being on a hike?

We recommend you a place that perfectly suits your need: the Barbara Whipple Trail.

It is a 3.3-mile loop trail, making it an ideal location for mountain biking.

Interestingly enough, this location is named after a local artist going by the same name who was the owner of an art gallery that is located in the main city.

Enjoy the Midland Tunnels

View of the Midland Tunnels

Nolabob, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

You can simply drive by this historically significant place in Buena Vista, Midland Tunnel.

It is a gorgeous place to stop by for a simple camp trip or for hiking through the small trails that are available here.

Located nearby the Arkansas River, the place is easily accessible and should definitely be included in your things-to-do list in Buena Vista.

The amazing formation of rocks and a deep sense of adventure quotient runs high in this place.

It is a great stretch of road for an unforgettable experience.

Try Cheese at Jumpin’ Good Goat Dairy

You won’t regret missing this great and unique dairy that is nestled in this town.

A variety of goat cheese is produced and displayed at this family-owned dairy, selling artisan goat cheese since 2008.

The quality of the cheese is so good that you can’t stop yourself from buying some blocks and rolls.

You should indulge in this tasting experience that is made from all-natural ingredients.

Don’t want to buy the cheese?

Well, you can enjoy a guided tour to understand the making of it.

Visiting this place adds a unique experience, which can only be had in Buena Vista.

Have Fun at Fly Fishing Trips

Another interesting and unique thing that you can try in Buena Vista is going for a fly fishing trip.

Sounds fancy, right?

While you are in the town, you can get a guided tour for a full or half-day to experience flying fish courses.

The guided tours help you to get the most remarkable experience as they help you with the right tools, guidelines, timings, areas, and more.

So, make sure that you do mark this item off your list while you are in the town.

You get everything here, from resorts to remote corners, nothing is too far and unavailable here.

So, start planning this exciting trip today.

Enjoy the Great Outdoors at Arkansas River Rim Campground

Arkansas River Rim Campground is a picturesque campground that will uplift your senses and make you experience the natural beauty of Colorado.

The campground is situated on the banks of the Arkansas River, offering breathtaking views of the surrounding mountains and a full-on experience of its natural beauty.

It is a perfect spot for outdoor enthusiasts looking for a peaceful and relaxing camping experience without having to go far and wide.

The campground offers spacious campsites for tents and RVs, along with picnic tables and fire rings to add to what is already a cozy and comfortable outdoor vibe.

Several amenities are also available, including a bathhouse, laundry facilities, and a camp store stocked with essentials.

The Arkansas River Rim Campground is the perfect escape from the realities of life and enjoy the fresh tranquility of the mountain air.

Adventure seekers are in for a treat, as the campground provides easy access to several outdoor activities, including hiking, trekking, fishing, and other water activities.

The Arkansas River is especially famous for its world-class whitewater rafting, with the campground offering guided rafting tours for those looking to explore the river.

With its stunning views, excellent amenities, and endless outdoor activities, Arkansas River Rim Campground is a must-visit destination for outdoor lovers.

Explore the Historic Beaver Falls Bridge

Beaver Falls Bridge is a historic bridge located in Buena Vista, Colorado, and is a popular attraction for both history buffs and architecture enthusiasts.

Built in 1951, this historic bridge spans the Arkansas River and provides great views of the area.

The bridge is still in use today and is a unique way to experience the history of the area while enjoying the outdoors.

Visitors can walk across the bridge to experience its unique architecture and learn about its history.

The bridge is also an excellent spot for photos and offers amazing views of the surrounding landscape.

For those looking for outdoor adventures, the Arkansas River is a popular destination for rafting and kayaking, and the Beaver Falls Bridge is a great starting point for those adventures.

Visitors can also stroll along the river, go fishing, or have a picnic on the riverbanks.

Tee Off at Collegiate Peaks Golf Course

Collegiate Peaks Golf Course is a popular attraction in Buena Vista, Colorado, for golfers looking for a relaxing round of golf.

It is a public 9-hole golf course that offers stunning views of the surrounding mountains.

The course is known for its challenging layout and unique features, including a natural spring that runs through the fairway on the 4th hole.

Collegiate Peaks Golf Course is an excellent place for both experienced and novice golfers.

The well-maintained course features fast greens and tight fairways, making it an exciting challenge for all types of players

In addition to the golf course, there is a driving range and practice area where visitors can work on their swings.

The scenic location and challenging course make Collegiate Peaks Golf Course a must-visit attraction for any Buena Vista golf enthusiast.

The course offers a fun and memorable experience that will leave you wanting to come back for more.

Go On an Outdoor Adventure at Browns Canyon National Monument

Welcome sign of Browns Canyon National Monument

Gregory Kempers /

Make your way to Browns Canyon National Monument, where adventure and natural beauty await you!

Located 8.1 miles south of downtown Buena Vista, this protected area of public lands is the perfect destination for outdoor enthusiasts and nature lovers alike.

Browns Canyon National Park features breathtaking views of rugged canyons, woody hills, and granite cliffs.

Explore various points of interest within the 21,586-acre area.

You can hike along the Arkansas River or explore the area’s many trails.

Browns Canyon is also a popular spot for your favorite outdoor activities, including camping, fishing, white water rafting, rock climbing, and much more.

You should also keep your eyes peeled for the diverse wildlife that roams these grounds, including the majestic bighorn sheep and elusive mountain lions.

So, Whether you’re seeking an adrenaline rush or a peaceful escape to nature, Browns Canyon National Monument is the ideal place for your next Colorado adventure.

Get Your Coffee Fix at the Buena Vista Roastery Cafe

With Colorado’s chilly climate, it’s no surprise that a cup of hot coffee is always a welcome treat.

When you’re in Buena Vista, the best place to get your coffee fix is at the Buena Vista Roastery Cafe.

Buena Vista, the Buena Vista Roastery Cafe, is a beloved coffee shop in downtown Buena Vista’s heart.

Known for its exceptional coffee, friendly atmosphere, and beautiful mountain views, this cafe is a must-visit destination for anyone traveling to Buena Vista.

The cafe roasts its beans, ensuring every coffee cup is fresh and delicious.

Visitors can choose from various coffee drinks, teas, and pastries—all made with high-quality ingredients.

The cafe’s cozy ambiance and outdoor patio provide the perfect setting to relax and take in the stunning views of the surrounding mountains.

In addition to serving great coffee, the Buena Vista Roastery Cafe is also committed to sustainable and ethical practices, making it a socially responsible choice for conscientious travelers.

So whether you’re in town for a day of hiking or just passing through, be sure to stop by the Buena Vista Roastery Cafe for a delicious cup of coffee and a memorable experience in the heart of Colorado.

© All rights reserved.