In our last post, we gave you some exhilarating and memorable activities that you could do at the Royal Gorge while you are lodging in Westcliffe. From guiding yourself down the rushing rapids of the Arkansas River whitewater rafting, enjoying a delicious meal while taking in the scenery on the Royal Gorge Route Train, to riding the highest zip line in America, and more. But soon after writing the blog, we immediately started thinking about all of the wonderful things to do around the Royal Gorge that we forgot to mention. And as your online Southern Colorado travel guide, we’d be remiss not to add these other options for you to enjoy!
Ideal for entertaining and educating the young ones on your family vacation to Southern Colorado, the Royal Gorge Dinosaur Experience is ideal for any budding paleontologists or dinosaur enthusiasts. From full-scale dinosaur fossil casts to real fossils and animatronic dinosaur exhibits, this incredible educational area has so many things to do and explore that you could make a whole day of it!
At the Kids’ Dig, your younger child will be able to discover cast fossils on their own, fueling their desire to learn. And during the Dinosaur Wild Walk, they will feel like they’ve found themselves in a land before time with life-size animatronic dinosaurs that can actually track your movement! They also have a museum with over 10,000 square feet of exhibits that showcase the dinosaurs that once roamed Colorado. And as a bonus, there is also a ropes course that any child will certainly find exciting. The Royal Gorge Dinosaur Experience is a must if your traveling with the kiddos.
Maybe not quite down the young one’s alley, but another fascinating and educational place to visit in Canon City (just east of the Royal Gorge), is the Museum of Colorado Prisons. Attached to a stone wall and armed towers of the Colorado Territorial Correctional Facility, which has been in operations since 1871, visitors will be able to view and learn from exhibits that cover over 140 years of the Colorado Prison System. While some might initially find it morbid to visit prison museum, even the most skeptical visitors soon realize that the rich history is quite intriguing. Since its opening in 1988, the Museum of Colorado Prisons has had over 200,000 visitors to the museum. If you can believe it, there’s even a gift shop!
Along with white water rafting, the areas surrounding the Royal Gorge are known nationwide for the countless trails meant for ATV tours. Texas Creek, the area in which you’d be riding, is known as the All Terrain Vehicle Capital of Colorado, so you’re sure to have a great time! These tours are meant for riders of all ages and experience, from beginners to those accustomed to ATV’s. You’re even able to book a tour for up to six hours to truly explore the wondrous area that Canon City has to offer. Just try not to smile as your zooming around in one of the most beautiful spots in Southern Colorado! Look through available tours now!
So, you’ve toured the Royal Gorge by land and water, that’s got to be it, right? Wrong! Soar above the canyon in million-dollar, air-conditioned helicopter and see what the eagles see! During your helicopter tour, you’ll be able to see as far as the eye can see and truly get an understanding of the immense scope of the canyon, as well as how beautiful Southern Colorado is. From a simple tour above the Royal Gorge Bridge to a trip all the way to Pike’s Peak and back, it will be an adventure you won’t soon forget.
The Winery at Holy Cross Abbey
We understand if you feel a little overwhelmed after some of these activities, so this last recommendation is a way to wind down. You know what pairs well with adventure? Wine, of course! The Winery at Holy Cross Abbey is found amongst the Wet Mountains and was established in 2002. Since then, their delicious wines and beautiful locations have attracted wine enthusiasts from all across the world. We see no better way to end your Southern Colorado experience than sipping some delectable wine and enjoying the view.
We’re not going to lie, there are more things for you to do in this area that we still haven’t covered, but that’s not a terrible problem to have! Whether on a family mountain getaway, a trip to clear your own head and enjoy the nature that Southern Colorado has to offer, or a romantic retreat with your loved one, our little slice of heaven has activities for people young and old, outdoor enthusiasts and those that just want to soak in the scenery with a glass of wine. We hope we’ve given you at least an idea of the countless things you can do when you stay in Southern Colorado. For lodging in Westcliffe, you won’t find a better place to lay your weary head after a day full of excitement than the Hillside Colorado Cottages or the Lamp Post Lodge. Book now and continue to follow our blog for even more things to do while staying here.