Your Neighborhood Guide to Downtown Salida

Home to world-class recreation and a charming downtown, this riverside hamlet has something to offer adventurers and foodies alike.

Illustration by Emily Burrowes.

1. Arkansas Headwaters Recreation Area

Recognized as one of the nation’s best places to whitewater raft, the river is Salida’s calling card. Not the season for jostling among the rapids? Spend a peaceful afternoon fishing or explore the calmer waters in a kayak instead.

2. The Biker & The Baker

This versatile eatery lives up to its name, with bold brunch concoctions served up alongside delicate handmade pastries. Come early for the daringly spicy Biker Benne or stop by Thursday through Saturday evening to enjoy a selection of tantalizing small plates and desserts paired with a glass of wine on the rooftop patio.

3. Howl Mercantile & Coffee

Founded with a mission to support community artisans, this small business is your onestop shop for local goods. Sip on a specialty latte made from Colorado-roasted coffee at the espresso bar while shopping the eclectic collection of ceramics, books, and vinyl. Its sister store, the Adventure Outpost boasting outdoor apparel and gear from high-quality sustainable brands, is located just a few doors down.

4. Wood’s High Mountain Distillery

Old- and new-world techniques come together in the Wood brothers’ production of whiskey, gin, and vodka. Savor a seasonal specialty cocktail in the tasting room or book a distillery tour to see one of the world’s oldest operational stills in action, finishing the experience with a flight of gin or whiskey.

5. Salida Mountain Sports

Stock up before setting out on your next outdoor escapade. Staffed by industry experts and mountain enthusiasts alike, this retailer offers everything from gear rentals to top-of-the-line camping equipment and custom boot fittings.

6. Currents Steak And Seafood

Whether you’re in the mood for surf, turf, or both, this quaint steakhouse is the perfect way to round off the day. Grab a seat on the shaded patio and enjoy a meal of tangy tuna poke, followed by a ribeye so tender it’s sure to melt in your mouth.

7. Boathouse Cantina

There’s no better way to unwind than listening to a rippling river, margarita in hand. Situated on the Arkansas River, this family-owned establishment is a town staple, offering burgers, burritos, and tacos galore, all freshly made from sustainably sourced, organic ingredients.