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4 Days to Explore the Historic San Luis Valley

4 Days to Explore the Historic San Luis Valley
4 days
Speckled with sand dunes, 14,000-foot peaks and a variety of historic sites, the Los Caminos Antiguos Scenic Byway spans one of Colorado's most impressive landscapes.

Sustainability Activity

How to Give Back to These Special Places:

There are special places and unique vistas around nearly every Colorado corner. You can help ensure these places exist for generations to come by staying on roads and trails, keeping speeds in check, leaving campsites and picnic spots just as you found them, and following instructional signs while you’re out and about in our state

Day 1
Activity

Monte Vista National Wildlife Refuge

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In the heart of the arid San Luis Valley is a birdwatchers paradise. Lush wetlands provide year-round habitat for various birds, coyotes, deer and other wildlife. In March and September, twenty... Read More

Lunch

Ef's Restaurant

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Come in and try our green chili burger guaranteed to not disappoint... Read More
Activity

Historic Downtown Alamosa Walking Tour

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Experience the hometown feel of this historic downtown on a self-guided walking tour.  Art Deco tile and influences are visible along Main Street, and early 20th-century buildings are a nod to... Read More

Dinner

Calvillo's Mexican Restaurant

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Authentic Mexican cuisine, menu or all-day buffet, banquet room and full bar.

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Activity

The Colorado Farm Brewery

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Tilled, planted, grown, malted, milled, brewed, bottled and consumed in Alamosa.

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Lodging

Dunes Inn

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The newly renovated Dunes Inn offers personal, small-town hospitality with budget-friendly rates. It's within walking distance of Alamosa restaurants, pubs, museums and more.

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Day 2
Breakfast

Roast

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Discover Colorado's First Craft Roastery, Brewery, Restaurant. We offer house roasted Espresso & coffee, delicious food, craft beer, and unique retail. Read More
Activity

Great Sand Dunes National Park and Preserve

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Because the dunes and surrounding mountains are designated wilderness, this is a great place to enjoy unspoiled natural beauty in a variety of ways. Whether you play in Medano Creek, build a sand... Read More

Insider's Tip

Enjoy a Picnic: Plan ahead by choosing lunch goodies at an Alamosa supermarket or cafe before heading to Zapata Falls. Dine outdoors in the sunshine before heading out for a hike.
Activity

Zapata Falls Recreation Area

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Cut from the rock face by glaciers and scoured by millennia of rushing water, cold water crashes through a 30 ft. cleft in the rock walls. The falls are a half-mile hike from the parking area,... Read More

Dinner

Mile Deep Grille

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Located on the campus of Sand Dunes Recreation near Hooper off Hwy 17. This grill is known for their burgers and salads. After dinner, swing into the Greenhouse for a beverage in this adult-only... Read More

Activity

UFO Watchtower

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The watchtower is a 10-foot-tall viewing platform that takes advantage of the remote area’s high elevation. Pass the time with your eyes on the sky, checking out the Healing Garden or even camping... Read More
Lodging

Great Sand Dunes Lodge

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Come and enjoy the peace and serenity of the Great Sand Dunes National Park at the Great Sand Dunes Lodge. Relax at the foot of the majestic Sangre De Cristo mountain range during your stay at our... Read More
Day 3
Breakfast

Great Sand Dunes Oasis

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The Oasis Restaurant and Store, located at the main park entrance, is the only restaurant within 25 miles of the national park. The Oasis is open April through October. Read More
Activity

Colorado Gators Reptile Park

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Colorado Gators began in 1977 as a fish farm to raise tilapia for human consumption. The geothermal well is 2050 feet deep and 87 degrees. In 1987, the first alligators were brought in as ... Read More

Lunch

All-Gon Pizza

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Located in the heart of historic Fort Garland, our family-owned restaurant is known for fine dining, delicious home-style cooking, and comfy rustic hospitality. Read More
Activity

Fort Garland Museum & Cultural Center

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Fort Garland was built in 1858 during US expansion into the West. Visitors can explore life in an 1800s Army fort including five original adobe buildings. Learn about the Buffalo Soldiers of the... Read More

Dinner

Mrs. Rios Restaurant & Thai Kitchen

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If you're after amazing Thai food in southern Colorado, look no further than Mrs. Rios Restaurant & Thai kitchen. You'll also find an array of other entrees - including all-American hamburgers... Read More

Activity

Take a Walk

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Walk along the Plaza de San Luis de la Culebra Historic District for architecture from another time in Colorado's oldest town.
Lodging

El Convento Inn

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A former convent, this small inn is run by the the Sangre de Cristo Parish in historic San Luis, Colo. Enjoy a Southwestern motif along with kiva fireplaces in each room. Read More
Day 4
Breakfast

R&R Market

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As Colorado's oldest business, the R&R Market has operated for more than 150 years. It serves as remote San Luis' grocery store. Read More

Insider's Tip

Get Going Early: See the shrine before catching a full- or half-day trip along the Cumbres & Toltec Scenic Railroad. Lunch is served on the train for both trip lengths.
Activity

Shrine of the Stations of the Cross

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Built as an act of faith and love for the parishioners of the Sangre de Cristo Parish. Visitors can climb the half-mile trail to view fifteen bronze sculptures of Christ's passion and... Read More

Activity

Cumbres & Toltec Scenic Railroad

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USA Today readers voted Cumbres & Toltec the Best Scenic Train Ride in America. Climb aboard this National Historic Landmark for a 64-mile day trip you'll never forget. Our coal-fired steam... Read More

Dinner

Locavores

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Locavores serves fresh, inspired food at our fast-casual restaurant in Alamosa, Colorado. Every day in the store we roast our own meats and prepare fresh ingredients – including our famous sauces. Read More
Activity

San Luis Valley Brewing

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Offers the finest in craft brews and fine food in an inviting atmosphere. Read More
Lodging

Hampton Inn Alamosa, CO

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Here at the Hampton Inn Alamosa, we're passionate about taking good care of you. That's why we offer a broad range of services and amenities to make your stay exceptional. We pamper our guests... Read More