Neighborhood Guide: Main Street Buena Vista

In the heart of the Upper Arkansas River Valley at an elevation of nearly 8,000 feet, you will find the intersection of country charm and mountain immersion. Buena Vista, meaning “beautiful view” in Spanish, is a utopia for outdoor and dining enthusiasts.

Main Street Buena Vista
Illustration by Emily Burrowes.

1. The Cellar on Railroad

The tapas and wine bar presents solely small production wines. This space is perfect for an intimate seating to enjoy organic and sustainably-sourced fare. The delectable small plates are curated with seasonal ingredients to proudly pair with every glass.

2. The Inn at Railroad + Main

The quaint home-away-from-home has 13 intimate rooms, carefully curated to be rustic and relaxing. The building was constructed in the 1800s and has been fully restored with added boutique and modern comfort aesthetics.

3. The Trailhead

Browse and buy from the legendary equipment, clothing, and accessory store. Chat with the knowledgeable staff about their favorite local hikes and visit the Trailblazer blog. Conveniently connected to the store is Simple Eatery where you can fuel up for your adventure with classics such as locally made elk burgers and chicken sandwiches.

4. The Slammer Saloon

Taste the essence of the wild, wild west at BV’s historic jailhouse turned watering hole. The menu features an array of American whiskeys, a dozen rotating tap beers, over 100 hand-picked bottles of bourbon, curated wine, ciders, and more.

5. The Loft Orpheum Theater

The town’s original theater, built in the 1900s, still stands. The venue hosts concerts, weddings, and private events of your choice. The space features a stage, dance floor, warming kitchen for caterers, bar, and suites designed for a bride and groom.

6. House Rock Kitchen

Eating just got more eventful. The restaurant’s outdoor courtyard encloses a bocce court, sand horseshoe pit, frisbee golf tee, putting discs, Giant Jenga, and a kids zone. The food is fast casual and made from scratch. Top it off with a locally sourced beer or kombucha on tap.

7. Barbara Whippler Trailhead

Begin your journey at the River Walk bridge and choose your own adventure. Trails range from beginner to advanced for hikers and cyclists. The trails guide you with anecdotal signs about the valley’s discovery.

8. Buena Vista Whitewater Park

Bike, hike, climb, paddleboard, kayak, and raft on the Arkansas River. Bask in water at the permanent public parkland, and challenge your watersport skills on man-made rapid structures. Let your stress melt away with ample parking, changing rooms, and beaches to set up home base for the afternoon.