5 Things Only in Alamosa
You won't find these adventures anywhere else in Colorado.
This unique town in southern Colorado is home to a beach with mountain views, a huge bison herd and some of the most unique craft beer you’ll find in the state. Here are five of our favorite things that you can only do in Alamosa.
See Great Sand Dunes National Park & Preserve
At this national park, the perfect conditions came together to create an incredible sand dune field against the dramatic backdrop of the Sangre de Cristo Mountains. Don’t miss hiking or sledding on the dunes during the day, but if you want a unique perspective on this natural marvel, choose to see the park by air. Rugged Air Tours, based out of Alamosa, will take you on a tour of the San Luis Valley in a four seat plane where you can see the dunes from above.
Or, for another seldom seen view, visit the park at night. It’s an International Dark Sky Park, meaning out on the dunes you’ll experience some of the darkest skies in the world. Visit on a clear night near a new moon for your best chance of seeing the Milky Way.
Ride a Horse to North America’s Tallest Dune
Zapata Ranch spans 50,000 acres where bison roam and cattle graze. Owned by The Nature Conservancy, this unique property offers horseback rides, working ranch experiences and overnight stays. Stay at the historic lodge on property for an all-inclusive vacation where you’ll eat delicious, locally sourced food, participate in activities like guided hikes and naturalist tours and, of course, the best part of the trip: ride into the park on horseback to Star Dune, the tallest sand dunes in North America at 750 feet.
If you’re not staying at the ranch, you can book a bison tour on Thursdays and Saturdays to see the herd of 2,000 animals up close and learn how the ranch manages them for conservation.
Spend the Day at a Mountain Beach
A beach? In landlocked Colorado? In the early summer, it’s a reality at Great Sand Dunes National Park. Medano Creek flows seasonally through the dune field near Dunes Parking Lot, arriving sometime in April and drying up by July. Kids, dogs and adults alike can enjoy the creek. Bring beach chairs, sand toys and even tubes when the creek is at its peak in late May to float downstream.
After a day at the beach, head to Calvillo’s Mexican Restaurant in downtown Alamosa. Located in a bright, pink-hued building, this restaurant serves dishes from across Mexico and excellent margaritas.
Drink Farm-to-Tap Beer
Stop by Colorado Farm Brewery on Thursday, Friday and Saturday evenings to drink the world’s first truly farm-to-tap beer. The taproom is located in a barn-style structure on a working farm where the Cody family sources all the ingredients that go into their Estate: Gold beers and most of the ingredients for their other brews. The family friendly venue has a playground and often has food trucks and live music. (www.cofarmbeer.com)
See Art in Colorado’s Oldest Town
Take a walk through the Shrine of the Stations of the Cross in San Luis, Colorado’s oldest town. This outdoor path has a series of 15 bronze statues depicting different moments from the crucifixion and resurrection of Jesus by artist Huberto Maestas. At the top, you’ll arrive at a Spanish-style chapel beautifully poised in front of snow-capped peaks. Admission is free, but donations are accepted.
Learn more at Alamosa.org.