While envisioning your Southern Colorado trip, it’s likely that your head is chock-full of all of the breathtaking things you’ll see. The soaring peaks, the copious amount of wildlife, big and small, and general wonderment that the beauty of nature provides. Well, your mind isn’t wrong. Our little piece of heaven is one of the most beautiful areas in the country and the scenery will surely exceed your expectations. What you might not expect is the incredible arts and culture that you’ll experience.
From art inspired by the history of the region to modern pieces of exquisite beauty, Southern Colorado has it all. Yet, the town that has fully embraced its art community and has visitors flocking specifically for the art and the rich culture that is Salida. While Salida means “exit” in Spanish, the majority of people that come through don’t want to leave. Learn a little bit more about this incredible town and the art and culture it provides in this blog, and if you haven’t already then book your room at The Lamp Post Lodge or The Hillside Colorado Cottages so that you can take a mountain vacation and be in the heart of Southern Colorado!
Haven for Artists
Salida almost became a completely different town than what it is now. During the 1980’s, the town had serious talks about taking down some of the historic brick buildings downtown in order to make room for strip-malls as well as chain restaurants and stores. Thankfully, they went a different route and opted to preserve the buildings, which has given Salida the distinction of having the largest historic downtown district in the entire state! This careful consideration of history and the beauty of the buildings has brought artists from all over to become part of its art community.
Art Is All Around You
The art isn’t only found in galleries (however, there are a ton for you to visit, here’s a list), but all across town! Just walking around you will see incredible murals adorning the aforementioned historic building, and you’ll see sculptures along the riverwalk and concerts at Riverside Park. The city has truly embraced its culture and the art community, and this is immediately apparent when you visit.
Monthly Gallery Tours
If you time your Colorado vacation just right, you’ll be able to easily tour all of the galleries that Salida has to offer. Each and every month, the local artists and galleries hold a “Second Saturday Gallery Tour” where each gallery opens their doors to the public to see their work, and there are also areas for inspiring artists to showcase their work. Not only will you see the work of seasoned photographers and painters, but also sculptors, jewelers, potters, and more!
When you want to rest your weary feet from all of the exploring and art sightseeing, you can relax and enjoy another artform, that of crafting and distilling alcohol. Drop by Soulcraft Brewing for a beer or visit Wood’s High Mountain Distillery to sample some whiskey, gin, and more! If you’re more inclined to sip a glass of wine, then make sure to stop into The Biker & The Baker.