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Best Things to Do in Buena Vista in the Summer

A family whitewater rafting in browns canyon national monument. Rafting is the most popular summer activity in Breckenridge.

Best Things to Do in Buena Vista in the Summer

Buena Vista, Colorado is a charming mountain town surrounded by 14,000 foot peaks and the Arkansas River Valley. It is a fun summer destination that has activities for everyone including relaxing hot springs, a historic Main Street with shopping and dining, and outdoor adventures for the whole family.

World Class Whitewater Rafting

Buena Vista is one of the best destinations in Colorado for outdoor recreation. One incredible activity to add to your Buena Vista bucket list is whitewater rafting. The Arkansas River is home to some of the best rafting and fishing in the country! There are different opportunities to get on the river for every skill level from beginner to the highest level rapids. Performance Tours Rafting offers the most popular rafting trip through Browns Canyon National Monument and is one of the top Colorado rafting trips with exciting, but not overwhelming, rapids that are family-friendly and appropriate for beginners and seasoned rafters alike. 

Hiking and Backpacking Paradise

Buena Vista is home to the highest concentration of 14ers and some of the most incredible hiking and backpacking in the state! Take in the majestic views surrounded by the Collegiate Peaks and Sangre de Cristo mountain ranges. You can check out waterfalls on Browns Creek Falls Trail and alpine lakes on the Harvard Trail. Whether you are looking for a nice walk by the Arkansas River or a backpacking trip on the infamous Colorado trail, you are sure to find your footing in BV.

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Mountain Biking Mecca

Mountain bikers from all over the state flock to Buena Vista to ride the legendary trails. There is abundant terrain for all skill levels from Half Gentlemans Loop to Broken Boyfriend Loop. Buena Vista, CO offers a variety of mountain biking trails for all skill levels. Hop on your bike and start exploring the endless trails!

Scenic Drives

Buena Vista is centrally located in Colorado making it the perfect home base to check out some of the most scenic drives in the state. Independence Pass is a historic and scenic byway that travels over the Continental Divide from Leadville to Aspen. At an elevation of 12,095, the views are unmatched. Cottonwood Pass also offers some of the most breathtaking overlooks you can find. Connecting Buena Vista to Crested Butte, the pass boasts 360 vantage points of the Sawatch and Collegiate Peak Mountain Ranges. Make a day of it and stop and smell the wildflowers around every turn.

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Water Activities

Stay cool during the dog days of summer on the water! Stand up paddleboarding is an exciting water activity the whole family can enjoy. Grab your SUP board and head up to Twin Lakes or Clear Creek Reservoir and enjoy the sunshine and crisp Rocky Mountain air. If you need to borrow gear, CKS River Supply has paddleboards for rent. Fishing is another incredible way to spend an afternoon in Buena Vista, especially fly fishing. Make sure you have a fishing license and head to one of the many mountain lakes or streams with abundant trout. The experts at Ark Anglers will tell you what’s biting.

Explore Colorado’s Rich Mining History

Colorado is home to over 1500 ghost towns! The gold mining boom and bust of the late 1800s left behind incredible pieces of art and history. St. Elmo is one of the most well-known and best-preserved ghost towns in Colorado and is a must see during your visit. You can learn more about the rich mining history and fun facts about the wild west at the Buena Vista Heritage Museum. It is located in the old courthouse and has a model railroad with hidden characters for the whole family to enjoy!

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Summer Fun For The Whole Family

Check out Buena Vista’s family-friendly summer events including Gold Rush Days. Celebrate fun for all ages with live music, burro races, and an artisan vendor village. You can explore the many local parks and set up a picnic! McPhelemy Park hosts a farmers market and concerts in the park during the summer. The Buena Vista River Park has a disc golf course, pump track, dog park, skate park, soccer fields, and is right next to the Arkansas River. You can also soak up the sun at one of Buena Vista’s three natural hot springs. Mt. Princeton Hot Springs Resort has beautiful views, creekside pools, a historic bath house, and a water slide. Finish up your day at one of the last drive-in movie theaters in the country. The Comanche Drive in Theatre brings all the nostalgia and a show under the stars!

Shopping and Dining on Historic Main Street

Buena Vista is a small town with a big vibe! Stop in Eddyline Brewery for wood fired pizzas and local craft brew. The Buena Viking has the best burgers in town, maybe the world, and you can cap off your day with a drink in the old jailhouse or enjoy a craft cocktail at the Deerhammer Distillery. Hi-Lonesome Boutique will deck you out in desert-mountain wares and Sundog Colorado had one of a kind vintage clothing.

Explore The Spirit of Colorado in Buena Vista

Buena Vista is home to incredible scenery, a charming downtown, relaxing hot springs, and some of the best outdoor activities in the state. Do not miss the adventures and authentic Colorado experience this beautiful mountain-town has to offer. Call Performance Tours Rafting today to plan your getaway for memories that will last a lifetime!