Salida, CO located in the Southwest Rocky Mountains, is a picturesque town that thrives on art, locally sourced restaurants, and outdoor adventure. A trip to Salida can easily be filled with whitewater rafting, mountain climbing, great restaurants, and hours spent learning about the local culture and history.
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1.Monarch Scenic Tram
Located at 11,312 feet in elevation, the Monarch Crest Scenic Tramway and accompanying Gift Shop are a key feature of Monarch Pass, a scenic region located along the Continental Divide, near the Sawatch Mountain Range. The tramway originally began operations in 1966 and is maintained as the longest running, and oldest, tramway in the State of Colorado. The ride takes passengers over 12,000 feet in elevation, providing stunning panoramic views of mountains, valleys, and even Pikes Peak when the weather is clear. Surrounding the tramway are plenty of hiking and biking trails, and even benches for guests to rest on while taking it all in.
24500 US-50, Salida, CO 81201, Phone: 719-539-4091
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Situated in Salida proper, the Riverside Park is an ideal destination for quality outdoor family time without too much of a commute. There are many winding paths through the park to push a stroller or pull a wagon on, as well as a variety of exciting playground features for kids to exhaust themselves on. Throughout the year there are various concerts at the bandshell, events being held in the pavillions, and even occasional weddings along the river. For those interested there is a climbing wall, public restrooms, and picnic tables that offer a place to have a meal or snack in the middle of a fun day.
410 W. Hwy 50, Salida, Colorado 81201, Phone: 719-539-6738
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© Ruslan Kudrin/stock.adobe.com
Monarch Mountain is a local favorite ski and snowboard destination, catering to skill levels of all varieties. From Cat Skiing to back country tree runs, easy rolling beginner terrain to technically challenging black diamonds, and everything in between, Monarch Mountain can accommodate the entire family. For those who don’t enjoy traversing the slopes, there is even on mountain tubing with a diverse selection of tracks to enjoy. The Monarch Mountain village has everything visitors could want, from food to ski shops, hotels, and more. To learn about the newest snow reports be sure to check out their website or contact them by telephone.
123 N F St, Salida, CO 81201, Phone: 719-530-5000
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4.Vino Salida Wine Cellars
© Vino Salida Wine Cellars
Vino Salida Wine Cellars was founded to showcase the abilities of Colorado grown grapes, and Steve Flynn, the head Winemaker and Founder, takes pride in his work. At Vino Salida guests can sample a collection of wines, including whites, reds, and dessert, both in single glasses as well as flights. While tasting guests are surrounded by rolling mountainside hills, distant vistas, and the knowledge that they are drinking a locally sourced product. Every year Vino Salida welcomes the community to their special Autumn Equinox foot-stomp event, both to produce new wines and to celebrate the harvest season in general.
10495 Co Rd 120, Poncha Springs, CO, 81242, Phone: 719-539-6299
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5.The Bungled Jungle
© The Bungled Jungle
Unique art can be found throughout Salida, but nothing quite compares to the works of Pat Landreth and Suzanne Montano at The Bungled Jungle. They are artists who create wild, wacky, and colorful sculptures, each one being completely unique and made without molds, and each one being a one of a kind production. Their process typically begins with metal, wood, or plastic, and from there they build up compounding layers of rubber, plastic, metal, plaster, and even clay. A typical creation takes between two weeks to over a month, with each piece ending up with around 13 separate layers of materials used.
132 West 1st Street, Salida, CO 81201, Phone: 719-539-3759
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Experience the thrills of climbing cliff faces, whizzing through valleys, and teetering on sheer edges while being supported by state-of-the-art technology and safety equipment at Captain Zipline. There are a few ways to enjoy the day at this Salida attraction, the main way being to take on the Via Ferrata courses, Italian for “Iron Road”, these courses allow guests to experience exclusive routes, climbs, and ziplines that are otherwise inaccessible to the public. The other attraction is a modern ropes course that is fun for the whole family, comprised of many challenging and entertaining layers and paths, and the perfect opportunity for picturesque action shots.
1500 Co Rd 45, Salida, CO 81201, Phone: 719-207-4947
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© Alexey Achepovsky/stock.adobe.com
Salida’s premier local rafting company, Independent Whitewater operates on the Arkansas River and offers a large assortment of trips for all rafting skill levels and interests. For a relaxed beginner trip, guests are advised to book a Scenic Float, which will take them through gorgeous valleys at a slow pace without any strenuous activity. Guests seeking a bit of a more interactive experience should book the Browns Canyon route, ideal for beginners to intermediate rafters, which conquers class III rapids while travelling through spectacular scenery. There are, of course, higher skill level trips available, but it is recommended that only experienced rafters consider them.
10830 CO Rd. 165, Salida, CO 81201, Phone: 800-428-1479
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8.Granite Mountain Outfitters
When it comes to summer and fall time outdoor activities, Granite Mountain Outfitters is a must visit for equestrian and camping enthusiasts. They specialize in western outdoor and ranch fun intended for families, individuals, and couples, and provide horseback rides and camping experiences deep in the mountains. Granite Mountain Outfitters is staffed by experienced wranglers who handle their native horses with expertise. Whether guests want a one hour, two hour, half day, or full day ride, Granite Mountain Outfitters is an adventure they are sure to remember for a long time.
45000 US Hwy 285, Villa Grove, CO 81155, Phone: 719-530-0480
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© Tomasz Zajda/stock.adobe.com
The Spiral Drive in Salida is well known be locals and beloved by visitors for its unique driving experience and breathtaking vistas offered at the top. The drive consists of a road that leads out of town and leads passengers in a literal spiral, climbing a small peak, eventually leading to a retired fire lookout station. From this station guests can see in all directions around Salida, with mountain peaks glistening every which way. Be sure to stop and take a close look at the colorfully painted tree alongside the road, it is a piece of art that was created by Curtis Killom, a local artists and business owner.
Spiral DrSalida, CO 81201
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10.Salida Hot Springs
Being both the largest indoor hot springs in North America, as well as the only publicly operated facility within 100-miles of Salida is no small feat, but the Salida Hot Springs earns both titles. Using locally sourced hot underground spring water from high in the Rocky Mountains, the hot springs are able to allow guests to soak in fresh spring water without putting a strain on the environment. The facilities include a 75 foot, 6 lane pool in conjunction with a smaller leisure pool, the larger of which is kept at about 84 degrees throughout the year. The smaller leisure pool is warmer, kept at approximately 98 degrees.
410 W Rainbow Blvd, Salida, CO 81201, Phone: 719-539-6738
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11.The Maverick Potter
© The Maverick Potter
Being a family owned shop, The Maverick Potter knows all about entertaining families and providing value for their time spent. They are officially a studio space that showcases both in house artists, like Mark and Suzanne Rittman, as well as upwards of 36 local and regional artists as well. Their studio space is spacious, naturally lit, and filled with both functional as well as decorative pottery. Families will be happy to know that interactive pottery nights are held throughout each month, allowing parents, children, and interested individuals to paint their own custom selected pottery to take home with them.
119 F St, Salida, CO 81201, Phone: 719-539-5112
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© Salida Museum
The Salida Museum was originally founded by thanks in part to a generous donation from Harriet Alexander, after her death in 1971. Harriet Alexander has a long history in Salida, from opening and running stores to running for local office, being an all around great samaritan, and more. The Salida Museum exists in her honor as a place to cherish local culture, preserve local history and artifacts, and give visitors a chance to learn about Salida in general. The museum helps safeguard many locally significant artifacts that played a key part in local history, and it also provides research outlets for local students.
406½ W Rainbow Blvd Salida, CO 81201-2236, Phone: 719-539-7483
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13.Arkansas Headwaters Recreation Area
The Arkansas Headwaters Recreation Area was originally established in 1998 in order to preserve local wildlife and natural features, it consists of nearly 10 square miles, and is open daily from 8am until 5pm during the week, with varying weekend hours. It is often described as one of the United States’ most popular locations for whitewater rafting and kayaking. The Arkansas River is filled with plenty of challenging rapids, and is even home to a world-class fishery. In addition to water adventures, visitors to this recreation area can partake in hiking, camping, wildlife watching, mountain biking, and even rock climbing.
307 W Sackett Ave, Salida, CO 81201, Phone: 719-539-7289
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14.Browns Canyon National Monument
The Browns Canyon National Monument was only officially nationally recognized in 2015, but has been a well loved local destination for many, many years. There are many things that make this monument special, the easiest to spot being the 21,500 acres of preserved land filled with rivers, canyons, and forest. In addition, the Arkansas River winds its way through the monument lands, showcasing granite faces and colorful outcrops of rocks. Guests can hike, camp, kayak, bike, snowshoe, cross-country ski, and more on these lands at their leisure, and they are advised to always keep an eye out because these lands are home to black bears, elk, bobcats, falcons, and other exciting wildlife.
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15.Salida Walking Tours
A lot of tourists who visit European cities often enjoy the large array of walking tours available to learn about local history and events, something which is often missing in cities located in the United States. Salida, though, is lucky enough to enjoy the presence of the Salida Walking Tours company, which has been offering interactive walking tours for many years. With a variety of tours to choose from, each focused on different parts of Salida’s history or city location, Salida Walking Tours is confident enough that guests will love their experience that they offer a 100% money back guarantee for anyone who isn’t satisfied.
291 N F St Salida, Chaffee County 81201, Phone: 719-497-9444
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16.Mountain Spirit Winery
© Mountain Spirit Winery
Originally opened in 1995 by Terry and Michael Barkett, Mountain Spirit Winery is a family owned and operated winery that is located in the Upper Arkansas River Valley region. They specialize in producing premium wines on their five acres of farmland, and rely on the expertise of their chief winemaker, Andrew Ritchie, to bring educational expertise to the business. They allow guests to come for tours of the winery, as well as operate a tasting room where visitors can sample all of the wines before deciding on whether or not to purchase a bottle. For specific questions on vintages, wine varieties in stock, and rotating tour and tasting room hours contact Mountain Spirit Winery by telephone or email.
8046 West US Hwy 50, Salida, CO 81201, Phone: 719-539-7848
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© Gallery 150
With an emphasis on local artists, Gallery 150 strives to make art more accessible to the general public by featuring both wearable and non wearable pieces. The gallery is located in downtown Salida, and was originally opened in 1998 by artist and goldworking friends. Salida has always had a thriving artists community, and is sometimes rated as one of the top small art towns in the United States, which is why it is no surprise that in 2007 Gallery 150 doubled their floorspace. For visitors to Salida who are looking to take a piece of this historic and artistically influential town home with them, Gallery 150 may be just the spot to check out.
150 West First Street, Salida CO. 81201, Phone: 719-539-2971
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18.Sweetie's Sandwich Shop
© Sweetie's Sandwich Shop
While exploring downtown Salida there are plenty of food options for visitors and locals to enjoy, but one that sets itself apart from the rest through pure uniqueness is Sweetie’s Sandwich Shop, which offers over 60 original artisan sandwiches. Sweetie’s has been in business since 2012 and was founded by Rob and Sarah Gartzman, and in addition to sandwiches they also sell pastries and seasonally themed soups and salads. With plenty of local recognition under their belt, like winning awards for Best Lunch, Best Dessert, Friendliest Staff, and more, it is no surprise that Sweetie’s continues to draw lunchtime crowds.
124 F St, Salida, CO 81201, Phone: 719-539-4248
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Most well known for being a community tap house and cook-from-scratch kitchen, Amicas is a local restaurant who has taken their success and used it to help local charities and organizations. At Amicas guests can expect pizzas, sandwiches, artisan salads, and more when they order from the front counter from a weekly rotating menu with seasonal specials. Amicas focuses on sourcing local ingredients and has been serving Salida for over a decade. On top of eating delicious food, guests will leave Amicas knowing that their purchase helped support a local restaurant that takes pride in providing summer and school lunch programs for the Boys and Girls Club of Salida.
127 F Street, Salida, CO 81201, Phone: 719-539-5219
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20.Moonlight Pizza & Brewpub
© Moonlight Pizza & Brewpub
The Moonlight Pizza and Brewpub is one of those wonderful locations where it is easy for patrons to kick back, order a beer, and enjoy locally sourced pizza from a socially and environmentally conscious restaurant. Every Monday, Moonlight Pizza donates 10% of their total sales to local programs in Salida, everything from school groups to ski clubs, horse rescues and mentor programs, and more. On top of this, they believe that hand making all of their doughs gives them a competitive, and taste, edge of other pizza joints in Salida. Guests may be slightly confused about the lack of coasters, straws, and ice in sodas, but Moonlight Pizza and Brewpub withholds these items on purpose, all in an effort to reduce their global impact.
242 F St, Salida, CO 81201, Phone: 719-539-4277
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21.Patio Pancake Place
What originally opened and operated as a drive-in restaurant for twelve years, starting in 1964, eventually grew in popularity so much that it was necessary to expand and open what is now known as Patio Pancake Place. Since then, the restaurant has been in the Edwards Family, passed down generation to generation, both in recipes and in ownership. The Patio focuses on being a breakfast and lunch restaurant, with special emphasis on pancakes, using the same recipe from 1964. Guests to this establishment should arrive early, since it often fills up quickly due to local popularity.
640 E. Rainbow Blvd, Salida, CO 81201, Phone: 719-539-9905
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© Peter Kim/stock.adobe.com
Claiming the title of Salida’s Oldest Family Run Restaurant is no small feat, and The Bounty lives up to the claim by offering traditional, simple meals for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Whether patrons are looking to begin their day with freshly brewed coffee and a filling breakfast or snag a quick lunch during their work break, The Bounty has them covered. Families are more than welcome for any meal of the day, and groups up to fifty are also welcome with advance notice. All of this is complemented by free parking, free wi-fi internet, a full bar, and even a large outdoor seating space when the weather is agreeable.
413 W Rainbow Blvd, Salida, CO 81201, Phone: 719-539-3546
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22 Best Things to Do in Salida, Colorado
- Monarch Scenic Tram, Photo: Michal/stock.adobe.com
- Riverside Park, Photo: kishivan/stock.adobe.com
- Monarch Mountain, Photo: Ruslan Kudrin/stock.adobe.com
- Vino Salida Wine Cellars, Photo: Vino Salida Wine Cellars
- The Bungled Jungle, Photo: The Bungled Jungle
- Captain Zipline, Photo: savoieleysse/stock.adobe.com
- Independent Whitewater, Photo: Alexey Achepovsky/stock.adobe.com
- Granite Mountain Outfitters, Photo: bokan/stock.adobe.com
- Spiral Drive, Photo: Tomasz Zajda/stock.adobe.com
- Salida Hot Springs, Photo: goodluz/stock.adobe.com
- The Maverick Potter, Photo: The Maverick Potter
- Salida Museum, Photo: Salida Museum
- Arkansas Headwaters Recreation Area, Photo: steheap/stock.adobe.com
- Browns Canyon National Monument, Photo: Kathy/stock.adobe.com
- Salida Walking Tours, Photo: abrilla/stock.adobe.com
- Mountain Spirit Winery, Photo: Mountain Spirit Winery
- Gallery 150, Photo: Gallery 150
- Sweetie's Sandwich Shop, Photo: Sweetie's Sandwich Shop
- Amicas, Photo: Amicas
- Moonlight Pizza & Brewpub, Photo: Moonlight Pizza & Brewpub
- Patio Pancake Place, Photo: sebasnoo/stock.adobe.com
- The Bounty, Photo: Peter Kim/stock.adobe.com
- Cover Photo: Shelley/stock.adobe.com