Centennial Tour in CO | Best Western Hotels

  

Click or press the down arrow to select a date
ROOM 1
1  Adults
0  Children

South-Central Centennial Tour

If you’re looking for historic rodeos and railways, natural wonders and hot springs, and plenty of adventure on the Arkansas River, southern and central Colorado features cities like Colorado Springs, Pueblo, Alamosa, and more.

Colorado Springs

The Centennial State’s second largest city, Colorado Springs is set in the southern region of the Rocky Mountains. The Springs is home to the United States Air Force Academy, and several military institutes like Fort Carson and Peterson Air Force Base.

Must See

A National Natural Landmark, Garden of the Gods is a free, public park covering 1,367 acres in Colorado Springs. The park is known for stunning rock formations like Balanced Rock, Three Graces, and Cathedral Valley, and features hiking, biking, rock climbing, and horseback riding.

Be sure to visit the Garden of the Gods Visitor & Nature Center, the Garden of the Gods Trading Post, and the Rock Ledge Ranch Historic Site.

Local Guide

An eight-acre U.S. Historic district, Old Colorado City Historic Commercial District was founded in 1859 – and is listed on the U.S. National Register of Historic Places.

Today, Old Colorado City features boutique shopping, eateries, and special events like First Friday Artwalk, Blues in the Park, and Summer Farmers’ Market. Try a walking tour of the historic district, or check out the annual Giant Pumpkin Festival and Territory Days.

Outdoor

Located 10 miles west of Colorado Springs, Pikes Peak is set in Pike National Forest at over 14,000 – making it one of Colorado many “fourteeners.” A National Historic Landmark, Pikes Peak can be explored by driving the Pikes Peak Highway, grabbing a seat on the Manitou & Pike's Peak Railway, or hiking the Barr Trail.

Cañon City

Found 45 miles southwest of The Springs on State Route 115, Cañon City is known as the Climate Capital of Colorado.

Must See

Fun fact, Cañon is home to four federal and nine state penitentiaries. Why not embrace this quirky trait with a visit to the Museum of Colorado Prisons? The Colorado Prison Museum covers the Colorado Prison System history from 1871 to today – and features audio tours throughout the year.

Local Guide

This is the Centennial State, so you’ll need to take in a Colorado rodeo this summer. If passing through the Royal Gorge Region in May, check out the Apple Blossom Days and the annual Royal Gorge Rodeo. Known as Colorado's Oldest Continuous Rodeo, this CPRA rodeo is held at the Cañon City Rodeo Grounds.

Outdoor

Cañon City is set on the Arkansas River, and therefore offers whitewater rafting, nature viewing, and rock climbing. While exploring the area, be sure to see the Royal Gorge Bridge & Park.

Pueblo

Set 40 miles east of Cañon City along Interstate 25, Pueblo is home to Colorado State University-Pueblo and the Colorado State Fair. A unique city, Pueblo features a mild climate within the Front Range Urban Corridor, and is known for its steel-centric history.

Must See

Pueblo is set on the Arkansas River and Fountain Creek, and therefore features the Historic Arkansas River Project. Be sure to trek the Arkansas River Walk, and explore the Union Avenue Historic Commercial District – a U.S. Historic district.

Local Guide

For a historic look at early Steel City, check out the Steelworks Museum of Industry & Culture – housed within the former Colorado Fuel & Iron Company’s Minnequa Steel Works Office Building & Dispensary.

Check out the CF&I Mine Rescue Car Number One, or see exhibits like Story of Steel, CF&I Through Time, and the Source of Steel.

Outdoor

Covering over 10,000 acres, Lake Pueblo State Park is ideal for wildlife viewing, water recreation, and hiking. Created by the Pueblo Dam, Lake Pueblo features swimming, fishing, boating, and 60 miles of shoreline.

Walsenburg

From Pueblo, continue south on I-25 for 50 miles until you reach Walsenburg, a historic and history town ideal for a family trip.

Must See

Head west slightly on the Highway of The Legends until you reach La Veta and the Fort Francisco Museum. This 1862 original adobe mall features special event, historic exhibits, and a gift shop from Memorial Day to Labor Day.

Local Guide

Walsenburg Wild Waters is a great little water park set in Walsenburg. Also open from Memorial Day to Labor Day, WWW features 30-foot waterslides, a great diving board, and a zero-entry pool.

Outdoor

Colorado’s first state park, Lathrop State Park encompasses Martin Lake and Horseshoe Lake, plus the nine-hole Walsenburg Golf Course. Set on more than 150,000 acres, Lathrop State Park offers boating, hiking, beach lounging, fishing, and way more.

Alamosa

About 75 miles west of Walsenburg on Highway 160, Alamosa is located in the San Luis Valley. This lively southern Colorado city is home to Adams State University, the San Luis Valley History Museum, Colorado Gator Farm, Alamosa Round-up Rodeo, and more.

Must See

Set just north of Alamosa, Great Sand Dunes National Monument spans 85,000 acres with plenty of need-see – hear – sites. Check out Zapata Falls and of course, the amazing dunes all while keeping in mind this is supposed to be one the nation’s quietest national parks.

Local Guide

Running May through October, the Cumbres & Toltec Scenic Railroad was established in 1880. This historic Colorado railroad departs daily from Antonito – just south of Alamosa – and turns back in Chama, New Mexico.

Outdoor

Alamosa also features the Blanca Vista Park, ideal for nature viewing, hiking, biking, picnicking, and golfing. Hit the Cattails Golf Course, the Little Bear Trail, Crestone Trail, and more.

Monte Vista

Just northwest of Alamosa, Monte Vista features even more to see and do in the San Luis Valley.

Must See

The Spanish Peak National Historic Trail cuts right through Monte Vista – and once connected Santa Fe to Los Angeles. The original path can still be seen on the Old Spanish Trail – making it a must for history and Old West fans.

Local Guide

Here’s another Colorado rodeo. Head to the Ski Hi Complex in late July for the annual Ski Hi Stampede – held since 1919 and said to be Colorado’s oldest pro rodeo.

Outdoor

Found in Wolf Creek Pass, the Wolf Creek Ski Area offers 1,600 skiable acres at 11,904 feet. Wolf Creek features 77 ski trails – including the two-mile Navajo Trail– plus hiking trails and cross country skiing.

Buena Vista

Set 100 miles north of Monte Vista along Highway 285, Buena Vista is located amongst the Collegiate Peaks in the San Isabel National Forest.

Must See

Make your way upstairs at the Chaffee County Courthouse for the Buena Vista Heritage Museum – plus other area museums like Buena Vista Depot Transportation Museum, Turner Farm, and the St. Elmo Schoolhouse. Associated events include the Mushroom Festival and seasonal cemetery tours.

Local Guide

Held in mid July at the Buena Vista Rodeo Grounds, the annual Collegiate Peaks Stampede Rodeo is another Old West experience for Colorado travelers. Since 1922, this CPRA rodeo has had good, games, and great rodeo events.

Outdoor

This is rafting country. Get ready for a whitewater excursion on the Arkansas River thanks to dozens of adventure companies in the area.

 

From Buena Vista, it’s a very scenic, two-hour drive back to Colorado Springs. Head east on Highway 24 through Pike National Forest.