Downtown Salida is about a mile away from the motel. You can obviously reach it by car, but it’s an easy bike ride down the Monarch Spur trail too. If you plan on drinking, consider taking a ride with Mountain Taxi or sometimes you can catch a random Uber. For larger groups, check out Colorado Adventure Tours.
Salida has its fair share of great shops like Howl Mercantile, Faye & Maye, Ruby Blues, Drift & Amble , Wanderlust Road, the Honey Boutique, The Crystal Shop and more. We've also stumbled across some great finds at the local antique and rummage shops along Highway 50 and downtown.
Take a Tintype Portrait Photo
Want to look like an old west badass? Tim Brown Photography does tintype photos just like they did over 100 years ago.
Take a Downtown Ghost Tour
Take a tour of Salida’s sordid and sometimes occult past with the newly introduced ‘Darkside of Salida’ tour.
Become a Pinball Wizard
Fun Street Family Arcade lets you test your mettle at Galaga, skee ball and other arcades. This is a great bad weather option (or really just whenever).
It’s recently been updated, but you'll swear you stepped into the set of Stranger Things: Super Bowl Lanes
Treat Your Furry Friend Right
Salida probably has more dogs than people, so make sure you treat your pet right! We like Alpha Dog Care for pet boarding, Gone to the Dogs for gear and grooming, and Loyal Dukes Dog Park for letting the hellions run wild!
Make Some Smoke Signals
We know why you are really here... And don't be surprised if you bump into your friend's mom at the local dispensary. There are at least 4 to choose from in Salida - we like the folks at Tenderfoot Health Collective.
Take a Scenic Drive
Sometimes you just don't want to leave the comfort of your heated car seats, and for that we suggest a trip up Cottonwood Pass. Or if you have decent car clearance (or you got the extended coverage on your rental) drive to the old mining town of St Elmo or check out the Continental Divide up Marshall Pass.
Explore the San Luis Valley
Our neighbors to the south like to keep to themselves, but it's well worth the hour+ drive to explore the valley. Visit the Great Sand Dunes National Park, balance your energy in Crestone, or soak in some lithium-laden hot springs. This is a great part of the world if you truly want to feel small.
Catch a Classic at a Drive-In Theater
The Comanche Drive-In is an awesome Summer experience (open May through Fall). It's about a 30 minute drive but totally worth the trek. Check out their site for times/etc.
A Few Other Ideas
- Check out the Royal Gorge
- Hike a section of the Colorado Trail
- Hike (or drive) up S-Mountain
- Walk along the river in town
- Catch a show at The Steamplant
Climb a 14er
We haver more 14ers outside our door than just about any spot in Colorado. Try Shavano, Princeton, Yale, Harvard, Elbert and many more. 14ers.com is a great site to explore for routes and trailheads. Check out Salida Mountain Sports or The Trailhead in BV for gear and maps. There are also tons of more mild (and often more scenic) hikes like the Greens Creek, Lost Lake and Waterdog Lakes.
Go Ride a Bike
There is a reason you see so many bikes here - we have tons of amazing mountain biking just about year round. Talk to the folks at Absolute Bikes or Subculture Cyclery and they can get you set up with a nice rental, show you some local trails or even get you set up with a shuttle to the world famous Monarch Crest Trail.
Soak Your Tired Bones
There are at least 4 public hot springs within an hours drive of the motel. Mt Princeton is the most popular, but don't forget about Cottonwood Hot Springs, Joyful Journey and Valley View if you are a little more adventurous.
Raft the Arkansas
The Arkansas River runs right through town and from June through August the river offers something for all abilities. We like RMOC for guided trips. Browns Canyon is the classic trip, but try the Numbers or the Royal Gorge for something more sporty.
Arkanglers is about three doors down from the motel and has the scoop on the latest hatches as well as guided float and wade trips in the area.
Try Your Luck at SUP
There is a fun, fairly mild whitewater park that runs through town. Rent a stand up paddle board or an tube at Surf Salida downtown. They rent a good selection of gear from Badfish, another awesome Salida company.
Get Your Caffeine Fix
While we serve a pretty good cup of coffee in our lobby (we serve Huckleberry), if you need something at 5am or a fancy roast with a little more kick, check out Sacred Grounds (they also usually have some good baked items) or Cafe Dawn and Howl Mercantile downtown.
Start Your Day
While we have coffee, tea, fruit and yogurt in the lobby starting at 7:30, sometimes you need a little more to get you going. For that we suggest Seasons Cafe or Shallots. They have a wide variety of options to suit just about every taste and dietary restriction. If you are looking for a classic diner and you have the hunger of several above average humans, then Patio Pancake is the breakfast spot for you. Pro tip: if you get the 'full order' breakfast burrito, your plate will come with TWO burritos...ask us how we know! Also, be sure to check out Little Red Hen Bakery for some of the best fresh-baked goods around, Gathering Grounds for healthy fare or Mo Burrito for grab-and-go breakfast burritos.
Fill Your Belly
For a small town, Salida has some great spots to refuel after a day in the woods (or a few too many the night before, as the case may be). Our favorite spot for dinner is The Fritz...just go. It's small creative plates that range from comfort food to things you'd never think you'd find in the Rockies. Beyond the two great pizza joints outlined below, Currents has a great stroganoff and french dip. For lunch, we can't get enough of the sandwiches at Sweeties, and their other restaurant, Mo Burrito, serves up some fast-casual Mexican fare. Finally, you probably passed this nondescript metal building without noticing it, but Thai Mini Cafe in Poncha Springs is a total hidden gem. The nicest staff and some tasty curries and noodle dishes. Just don't mistake it for the OTHER Thai place. And, yes, there are two Thai places in the town of 750.
Also try: 50 Burger, Little Red Hen Bakery, Little Cambodia, Boathouse Cantina and Las Camelinas
Eat Some Pizza
Everyone has an opinion as to who has the best pizza in town. So try both and make an informed decision. Visit Moonlight Pizza on a Thursday for some 2 for 1 margaritas and massive pies, or dip your thin crust in some home made spicy olive oil at Amicas. Either way, your stomach will thank you.
Drink an Adult Beverage
For a small town we definitely have our fair share of locally crafted booze. Try Elevation, Hubbub and Moonlight for beer and Wood's Distillery for something a little harder. And for those who think beer is for the masses, Vino Salida is just down the road. If you want a place with the game on the TV, we like Benson's Tavern. Just across the street you'll find the infamous Victoria Bar - always fun for some shuffle board and you'll be sure of some great people watching. Oh, and one time we walked in there to a fully costumed Star Wars-themed band playing to a packed dance floor. When was the last time you saw a Millennium Falcon bass guitar?