With mountains seemingly ripped from storybooks, Southern Colorado sets the stage for a perfect romantic getaway. Whether you’re content with cozying up in a quiet cottage or believe nothing brings two people together like a little adventure, a Southern Colorado vacation has plenty to offer for couples.
If you have just one weekend to stay in Southern Colorado, the trick is making the most of your time—and maximizing your experience. Here are our suggestions for what to do during a weekend getaway to Westcliffe, Colorado:
Soak in the Mount Princeton Hot Springs: With hot springs pools naturally heated to 100 degrees or more all year, the Mount Princeton Hot Springs Resort is a perfect place to gaze out at the surrounding mountains—or into your partner’s eyes. (We’re particularly fond of the creekside pools!) Located 66 scenic miles northwest of Westcliffe, this makes for a perfect day trip rounded out by a dinner in one of Salida’s many wonderful restaurants.
Pack a picnic for the Rainbow Trail: If you want to take in the beautiful scenery of the Sangre de Christos without the commitment of a major hike, the Rainbow Trail is a perfect option. Although some opt to backpack their way through its entire 100-mile parallel run to the mountains, the Rainbow Trail is also a great out-and-back option that allows you to pick your ideal hiking distance without the strain of significant vertical gain. And with wildflowers and idyllic woodlands, it is a perfect setting for a picnic.
Check out Bishop Castle: When you’re trying to romance your king or queen, what’s better than visiting Southern Colorado’s own castle? Hailed as the “largest self-built caste in the United States,” this truly unique, 16-story structure has been work in progress by Jim Bishop since the late 1960s. Although it isn’t entirely clean cut—from the construction to the political signs that adorn the property—it is a sight to be seen. (Plus, the stained glass in the chapel rooms is downright gorgeous.)
Take in the world-renowned starry skies: Imaging cozying up beneath a blanket while gazing up at a sky filled with more stars than you knew possible. It’s a common occurrence near Westcliffe and Silver Cliff, which were certified as an International Dark Sky Place in 2015—earning them the distinctions as the highest elevation towns with that honor. To enhance the experience, you can even book the Smokey Jack Observatory in Westcliffe for some professional astronomical assistance.