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Drink in the Scenery of Central Colorado

Drink in the Scenery of Central Colorado
3 days

Hit the mountain, byway and water trails around Buena Vista, Salida, Nathrop and Poncha Springs, with plenty of stops along the way for tasty treats and locally crafted beverages. 

Sustainability Activity

Help Chaffee County Search & Rescue:

Purchase a CORSAR card to help benefit search and rescue, and cover costs in the event of an emergency. You can also opt to travel midweek to avoid traffic. And don't drink and drive — get a crew together and book a shuttle with Colorado Adventure Tours (they have a limo license so you can have beers en route).

Day 1
Activity

Hike the Colorado trail

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From Denver head south on Hwy. 285 towards Fairplay and take in the scenery at the top of Kenosha Pass. A quick hike will put you on the Colorado Trail to stretch your legs.

Insider's Tip

Post-Hike Pit Stop:

Stop for a quick beer at South Park Brewing in Fairplay before heading to Buena Vista.

Lunch

Simple Eatery & Spoon-It-Up

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Stop in for for a great burger, soup or salad. Also an all-natural frozen-yogurt bar where you choose your flavor and then top it off with more than 35 toppings.

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Insider's Tip

Go Shopping Next Door:

Do some shopping at the adjoining Trailhead; they have a great selection of outerwear and climbing gear. 

Activity

CKS Main Street Rentals

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Kayaks, cruiser bikes, stand-up paddleboards, rafts, and many more rentals for Buena Vista-area adventure.

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Insider's Tip

Choose Your Activity at CKS:

Depending on your mood, choose from a tandem towny bike and cruise Buena Vista while putting your relationship to the test or take it to the next level and try out a Honda Ruckus. If it's not too chilly, rent a stand-up paddleboard and head up the road to Cottonwood Lake for some mellow flat water paddling and beautiful views. If climbing is your thing, get some beta from the trailhead and head out to some of the climbing routes five minutes from downtown Buena Vista.

Dinner

Princeton Club Restaurant at Mt. Princeton Hot Springs Resort

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The quintessential Colorado dining experience is in the heart of our historic resort campus at the Princeton Club restaurant. Conveniently located in our main lodge you can treat yourself to a... Read More
Activity

Mount Princeton Hot Springs Resort

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These Colorado hot springs are located in Nathrop, Colorado between the towns of Buena Vista and Read More

Insider's Tip

Stay the Night:

Book a room at Mt. Princeton Hot Springs Resort. If you're traveling in a group, try to secure a cabin, but they book out well in advance.

Day 2
Breakfast

Princeton Club Restaurant at Mt. Princeton Hot Springs Resort

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The quintessential Colorado dining experience is in the heart of our historic resort campus at the Princeton Club restaurant. Conveniently located in our main lodge you can treat yourself to a... Read More
Activity

St. Elmo Ghost Town

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It is said that St. Elmo's population rode the last train out of town and never came back.

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Insider's Tip

Peek into the Past:

Drive up to the historic ghost town of St. Elmo to stroll around. To burn more calories, hike up the Alpine Tunnel trail and smell the wildflowers while getting heckled by marmots (don't steal their raspberries).

Lunch

Boathouse Cantina

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We serve fresh organic and local produce and there is no doubt that you can taste the difference! Sit next to the river and sip on one of our house engineered specialty cocktails or try a local wine. Read More

Insider's Tip

Drive to Salida:

Head to Salida to grab lunch and take in the river views at the Boathouse Cantina (the hand-battered Red Bird Farm chicken strips rock). For the beer nerds, they might have Pliny or Blind Pig on tap in addition to numerous local and Colorado craft beers. 

Activity

BYOB

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Bring your own bike or rent one from Absolute Bikes in downtown Salida. Get all the necessary trail information there, and head out and ride the trails on "S" mountain (they are all really well marked and maintained). For a real lung burner, ride the Monarch Crest (modify plans for an early start if you ride the crest to avoid afternoon storms).
Dinner

Moonlight Pizza and Brewpub

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A community center need only serve great pizza. We take pride in the freshness of our dough and veggies. Our dough was made today. It wasn't made in Topeka, frozen, shipped here, and warmed up.... Read More

Insider's Tip

Pie & Brew: Opt for a T-guns pizza (a local favorite) and some of their house-brewed beers. The Mexi-Lager or Cream Ale pair well with the pie.

Bike to the Beer

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Ride that bike you rented from Absolute up the Rodeo Run Trail (3.5 miles) to Elevation Beer Co. in Poncha Springs for a flight of beers. Local tip: If you buy an Elevation Beer Co. T-shirt, they will buy you a beer, and happy hour is Monday–Thursday 3–6pm. They have a food truck if you already burned off that T-guns (unlikely). Plus, Elevation Beer Co. is a member of The Conservation Alliance and donates a portion of it's annual revenue to the protection of and access to America's public lands. Drink great beer for a great cause.
Lodging

Simple Lodge & Hostel of Salida

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Like a budget B&B. Private rooms, bunk beds, kitchen. Sleeps 20 or more. Great for groups. Read More
Day 3
Breakfast

The Patio Pancake Place

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The Patio Pancake Place strives to deliver the best in wholesome breakfast & lunch fare.

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Activity

Relaxing Drive

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After you have recovered from the Frankie, take a relaxing drive up Monarch Pass for some great Aspen viewing and be sure to ride the scenic tram at the top of the pass.
Lunch

Elevation Beer Company

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We all had the same dream of starting a brewery that brewed the highest quality barrel aged and specialty beers we could imagine. At the same time we all dreamed of living in an area of Colorado... Read More

Insider's Tip

Grilled Cheesin': If you are still hungry after the Frankie, head down the Monarch Pass and back to Elevation Beer Co. for a BYO grilled cheese from Sonny's food truck and some more amazing beers, and grab a six pack to go while you frisbee golf. Be sure to stop by Vino Salida in Poncha Springs to try some local wine as well.
Activity

Poncha Springs Disc Golf Course

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The course is located on 20 acres in the South Park, and promises to challenge golfers of every skill level with ominous hazards and wicked doglegs. Read More
Dinner

Mo Burrito

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Burritos, bowls, tacos, salads, nachos, quesadillas and much more, with tasty extras like spice-ranch pickled onions, handmade salsa and more. Read More
Activity

Wood's High Mountain Distillery

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We produce small-batch Handcrafted spirits Tenderfoot Whiskey, Alpine Rye Whiskey, Treeline Gin and "Barrel Rested" Treeline Gin, Mountain Hopped Gin and Fleur de Sureau Elderflower Liqueur! ... Read More

Insider's Tip

Drink with Locals: Walk over to Wood's High Mountain Distillery for a finely crafted cocktail and chat with the mayor of Salida, who started the distillery, about spirits and town history. He's the guy with the beard and Patagonia jacket who can ski, paddle, bike and whiskey better than you.
Lodging

Creekside Chalets and Cabins

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Each of our charming cabins sleep 6-10 people and have a full kitchen, open living room with vaulted ceilings, Internet, gas fireplace & a private hot tub. We are just minutes from Monarch... Read More