15 Best Things to Do in Alamosa (CO)

About a four-hour drive from bustling Denver is the small city of Alamosa County, Alamosa County.

This beautiful and secluded area in the heart of the St. Louis Valley, coupled with a population of less than 10,000 people, makes it the perfect getaway for travelers who want to stay in a quaint and relaxing environment while still having access to all the amenities they need.

While the city’s main attraction is its proximity to Great Sand Dunes National Park, the city is also known for its interesting history, vibrant culture, pleasant weather, natural beauty, and stunning mountain views. The natural environment of the area offers plenty of opportunities to engage in a variety of outdoor activities in all four seasons.

There are many restaurants, cafes and shops in the historic downtown area of ​​Alamosa. Numerous festivals and events take place throughout the year, including the Rio Frio Ice Fest in January, the Rio Frio Summerfest in June and the Early Iron Festival car show in September.

Here are 15 of the best things to do in and around Alamosa, Colorado.

1. Great Sand Dunes National Park

Great Dunes National Park

An absolute must-see when visiting Alamosa is the Great Sand Dunes National Park in the San Grede-Cristo Mountains. The park has the highest sand dunes in North America.

The landscape includes sand dunes up to 750 feet high and spans 10,000 acres, providing the perfect setting for outdoor activities including picnicking, hiking and camping. It is also an ideal place for stargazing at night.

2. Alamosa National Wildlife Refuge

Alamosa National Wildlife Refuge

The Alamosa National Wildlife Refuge is a destination for wildlife lovers and bird watchers to see the migratory birds and animals that thrive in the San Luis Valley. Some of the birds that can be seen include eagles, egrets, herons, pelicans, falcons, and owls, and the 11,100-acre sanctuary features wetland habitats, meadows, and breathtaking views.

There is a trail for visitors to hike or bike, with the option of taking a self-drive tour or hiking to the Bluff Overlook.

3. Zapata Falls

Alamosa Zapata Falls

Another must-see in the Alamosa area is Zapata Falls. The best time to see this stunning attraction is after the snow melts and flows down the waterfall along the San Grede Cristo Mountains.

While the hike to the falls can be tricky, it’s worth it. Along the way, you might even spot one of the rare black swifts that nest in the area.

As if the waterfall wasn’t spectacular enough, it is surrounded by beautiful views of valleys and dunes. There are hiking and biking trails in the park.

4. Cattail Golf Course

Cattail Golf Course

The Cattail Golf Course in Alamosa offers golfers an extraordinary par 71 golf experience with 18 holes, a driving range and professional courses. All against the backdrop of beautifully maintained links, Rio Grande River, mountain views and wetlands. There is also a golf shop with equipment rentals and a full-service restaurant and bar on-site.

5. Rio Grande Scenic Railway

Rio Grande Scenic Railway

Take the Rio Grande Scenic Railroad to explore unspoiled Colorado territory that few people see. Visit almost the same unspoiled wilderness as it was hundreds of years ago, and experience what it was like during the golden age of rail travel.

Travel through beautiful landscapes including towering mountains, windswept valleys and meadows. Visit historic towns and learn about the history of railroading and mining in the area.

6. San Luis Valley Museum

San Luis Valley Museum

Visitors of all ages who want to learn more about the history and the people who shaped the Alamosa and San Luis Valley regions can do so at the San Luis Valley Museum. There are many artifacts on display, including antiques, memorabilia and pictures.

There are also exhibits about the railroad, the Native Americans who originally inhabited the area, the Hispanic pioneers, and the Japanese who settled later. Well-informed volunteers are on hand to provide more information and answer questions.

7. Splashing hot springs

splash hot spring

Splashland Hot Springs is a top historic attraction in Alamosa and a great place to spend a whole day with the whole family.

This geothermal pool and natural hot spring features three water slides and a diving board. There are also spa treatments and a variety of swimming and aerobics classes.

8. St. Louis Valley Brewing Company

St. Louis Valley Brewing Company

Some of the best craft beers in the San Luis Valley are brewed at the San Luis Valley Brewing Company in Alamosa. This family-owned business in a historic building serves a variety of craft beers including Valle Especial, Hefe Suave and Valle Caliente in its chic, cosy bar.

Skilled kitchen staff cook delicious dishes including pasta and Rocky Mountain trout. During happy hour, you can sip margaritas and homemade maraschino cream sodas.

9. UFO Watchtower

UFO Watchtower, Creston

If you’ve ever wanted to see aliens, a visit to the UFO lookout tower near Hooper may offer you that chance. Even if no aliens are present during your visit, be sure to hear stories from others who have seen and experienced strange things in the area.

If you have the guts, you can camp on site and spend the night in this spooky place, where you might see something weird with your own eyes.

10. The Holy Land of the Cross

sanctuary of the cross

About 45 minutes from Alamosa in the town of St. Louis is an inspiring display of cultural and spiritual artwork known as the Holy Land of the Cross.

Meander along the easy path leading to the mesa and admire the exquisite bronze sculptures by renowned artist Huberto Maestas. At the top, enjoy stunning views of the town.

11. Cabello’s Mexican Restaurant

Mexican restaurants in Cavelo

If you’re looking for authentic Mexican food in Alamosa, go to Calvillo’s Mexican Restaurant. The restaurant is known for its famous buffet featuring many fresh items including enchiladas, tacos, tacos, burritos and a variety of desserts.

All dishes, whether buffet or menu, are prepared using popular recipes from various regions of Mexico and cooking methods passed down by families.

12. Fort Garland Museum

Fort Garland Museum

Originally discovered in 1858, Fort Garland was primarily used as a base to protect settlers from outside attack. Today, Fort Garland is a museum located 25 miles from Alamosa. During your visit, you will see a variety of original artifacts and exhibits detailing the history of the area, fort and people.

While you’re there, take a walk around the parade grounds and explore the old buildings. If you happen to be in the area at certain times of the year, you might even be lucky enough to see a live history show held throughout the year.

13. Wet paintbrush

wet brush

If you love painting and you like to indulge in wine or beer, head over to Wet Paintbrush where you can combine the two activities for a fun and relaxing time. This sipping and painting art studio allows customers to create their own masterpieces while sipping their favorite beverage.

Even if you don’t know how to draw or paint yet, the skilled staff (who also happen to be artists) will show you some basic techniques. Meetings are held in small groups and all required materials are provided.

14. Rio Grande Farm Park

Rio Grande Farm Park

The Rio Grande Farm Park was originally developed as a place for community members to meet and learn about farming techniques and to preserve some of the green spaces in the area. This beautiful park is accessible via a pedestrian bridge directly from downtown Alamosa.

There are several walking paths in the park; along the way, you will enjoy stunning views of the nearby Sangre de Cristo mountains. Visitors can also pick apples at the on-site orchard and learn about traditional farming methods.

15. Fireworks Gallery

fireworks gallery

At Firedworks Gallery’s full-service gallery and frame shop in Alamosa, visitors can browse a variety of compelling artwork and learn about the artist who created each.

Walking through the galleries, art lovers and anyone looking for unique treasures can take home a variety of items, including paintings, sculptures, jewelry, and anything else the store owner sees fit for its mission.

The gallery also hosts a variety of events throughout the year, including exhibitions and workshops.

Where to Stay: Best Hotels in Alamosa, Colorado
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