Sep 7, 2022 - Things to Do

Where to eat, play and stay in Buena Vista, 2.5 hours from Denver

view of the mountains with buildings and river in the foreground
Stay at the Surf Hotel. Photo: Surf Hotel

Buena Vista, the gateway to the Collegiate Peaks and the Arkansas River, is home to some of the most stunning views in Colorado.

  • Here's what to do, where to eat, drink and stay.
Where to stay

1. Surf Hotel

Enjoy a luxe escape at this boutique hotel overlooking the rushing rapids of a nearby whitewater park. Or book a stone cottage at sister property Surf Chateau.

  • Features: Mountain views, weddings and events, onsite restaurant and ballroom, located near Buena Vista Whitewater Park and downtown Buena Vista
  • Rate: $190+ per night at the hotel
  • Address: 1012 Front Loop in Buena Vista
entryway with sign that reads Surf Hotel
Photo: Brandon Lopez, courtesy of Surf Hotel
lobby view of surf hotel with brick fireplace
Photo: Surf Hotel

2. Mt. Princeton Hot Springs Resort

Plan your next family vacation or relaxing getaway at this 70-acre resort perched 8,250 feet above sea level.

  • Features: Hot springs, spa treatments, fitness classes, bike rentals, ski or snow shoe rentals, onsite dining options
  • Rate: $165+ per night
  • Address: 15870 County Rd. 162 in Nathrop

3. Trails End Overlook

This newly built Airbnb boasts gorgeous mountain views and is tucked right off Main Street.

  • Features: Private upstairs unit with queen bed, family-friendly bunk bed and trundle bed, fully stocked kitchen, WiFi, free parking on premises
  • Rate: 237+ per night
  • Location: Near downtown Buena Vista
modern kitchen with sleek amenities
Photo courtesy of Airbnb
living room with mountain views
Photo courtesy of Airbnb
exterior of airbnb that's free-standing
Photo courtesy of Airbnb
Where to eat

1. House Rock Kitchen and Bar

Come for fresh, healthy eats and a great outdoor patio.

  • Hours: Monday and Tuesday, Friday-Sunday 11am-9pm, (closed Wednesday and Thursday)
  • Address: 421 E. Main St. in Buena Vista
back patio of House Rock Kitchen and Bar
Gather in the backyard. Photo: House Rock Kitchen
Beer on tap
Beers on tap. Photo: House Rock Kitchen

2. Buena Viking

Grab Colorado-grown burgers from this food truck parked behind the Roastery Cafe.

  • Hours: Wednesday-Sunday 11am-8pm from early May through October (closed Monday and Tuesday)
  • Address: 413 E. Main St. in Buena Vista
a row of towering burgers with lots of veggies
Towering burgers. Photo: Buena Viking

3. Eddyline Restaurant

Stop by the Southmain location for great pizza post-hike or raft trip.

  • Hours: Sunday, Tuesday-Thursday 11:30am-8pm, Friday and Saturday 11am-9pm (closed Monday)
  • Address: 926 S. Main St. in Buena Vista
What to do

1. Get outside

This is a Colorado adventure capital with all the best fun. Hike a 14er or take a walk along the river and riverfront park.

  • If you're craving an adrenaline rush, go rafting with River Runners. Trips start at $57+ for beginners and include all rafting gear.
Rafters on a commercial raft trip make their way down the Arkansas River on June 27, 2020 outside of Buena Vista, Colorado.
Rafters make their way down the Arkansas River. Photo: RJ Sangosti/MediaNews Group/The Denver Post via Getty Images

2. Catch a concert at the Surf Hotel

Take in live music at the hotel's picturesque Ivy Ballroom. Find an upcoming show.

people gather at a concert
Enjoy a show. Photo: Zach Mahone Photography, courtesy of Surf Hotel

3. Sit in the Mt. Princeton Hot Springs

Soak in bubbling, river rock pools open year-round. Adult day passes can be purchased onsite for $35 on weekdays and $40 on weekends.

A man reading a book at Mount Princeton Hot Springs Resort
Relax at Mount Princeton Hot Springs Resort. Photo: Hyoung Chang/The Denver Post via Getty Images
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