Beyond an area's basic tourist attractions are lesser known venues and activities. Here are a few to make your central Colorado visit even more memorable:
Leadville, Buena Vista and Salida have local breweries, distilleries or wineries. These home-grown establishments welcome local and visitor alike.
The Salida Hot Springs Aquatic Center may look like an ordinary indoor swimming pool, but in fact is Colorado's largest indoor hot springs.
To enjoy the Arkansas River from shore, visit Buena Vista's River Park and South Main for gentle walking paths, picnic tables, mountain views, wildflowers, flocks of swallows catching insects in the evening, and a myriad of places to watch fishing, rafting, and kayaking, especially by kayak play holes. Salida's Riverside Park is also a good place to get near the water.
Play a round of disc golf at Buena Vista's course near the River Park.
Lose the crowds and lower your bills by skiing the smaller areas of Ski Cooper northwest of Leadville and Monarch Ski Area west of Salida on US 50.
Historic Camp Hale outside Leadville was home to the famed 10th Mountain Division and now mostly lies within in the White River National Forest. Camping is available. Informational signs throughout and monuments there and at Ski Cooper bring history alive.
Browns Pass Trail/Denny Creek Trailhead is the place to be for cross country skiing, snowshoeing and snowmobiling. Take CR 306 west from downtown Buena Vista. If the snow isn't too deep, the road is open to Denny Creek; otherwise, it's closed at the Avalanche Creek Trailhead.