This post was created in partnership with Custer County Tourism. All thoughts + opinions expressed are my own.
Travel. Let’s make a pact not to travel for the ‘gram. Let’s travel for the memories, the happiness, the escape, the breath of fresh air (literally), the nature vibes + for the time you just can’t get back. Bonus if your getaway spot is totally Instagrammable. A vacation spot I love + I think you will too is Westcliffe, Colorado in Custer County. It’s an easy drive from Denver + I’m sharing here reasons why you need to plan your next trip to Westcliffe.
As a mom of three kids, budget travel is always on my mind. My family loves Westcliffe for many reasons + budget travel is absolutely one of them. I’m sharing this first because I want you to know that vacationing in Westcliffe is absolutely doable. You can choose where you’d like to splurge as well as enjoy free activities like hiking, parks with the kids, star parties, walks, fishing, climbing, bird watching + resting + relaxing outside.
The drive into Westcliffe gets you into the nature vibes mode before your trip truly even starts. Connection to nature has so many benefits + you will absolutely get a shot of them here. Once you are in Westcliffe you will see an entire majestic mountain range of 14ers, it will blow your mind. You will feel like you are living in a postcard during your stay. There is so much to do in Westcliffe, but the view alone is absolutely worth the trip.
International Dark Sky Community
Westcliffe is the first International Dark Sky Community in the state of Colorado. On any given night, you can lay under the stars + view an incredible night sky. Bring a blanket to lay on + one to cover up with + enjoy the stars like you quite possibly have never seen before. Bonus if you visit during a Sky Party, or book your own private party. Professional, giant telescopes are available to the public during a Sky Party to view constellations + planets. My family got to see Jupiter’s rings + Jupiter’s Moons!!
Fishing. Boating. Kayaking, Canoeing, Stand Up Paddle boarding. Picnics. You name it. The DeWeese Reservoir is a must visit. Plus, if you visit during the 4th of July, you can watch the fireworks right over the reservoir. DeWeese Reservoir has nearby trails for hiking, running, biking + ATV’s. Camp at La Vista Campground.
For the Foodies
Grab a warm cooked meal at The Valley Mercantile. The menu is creative, hearty, offers allergen friendly options like nut-free, gluten-free, vegan + more. Look at my beautiful meal that was on the menu, no substitutions requested. A gluten free, vegan meal in the mountains? Yes, Please! Enjoy the family friendly atmosphere run by a family themselves. Games are available on the tables for the kids, this is a must visit.
Small Town Atmosphere
Visit during a parade, holiday or visit anytime + feel the small town cheer. Enjoy the events without the huge crowds + with the perfect mountain backdrop. Visit the 4th of July Parade, the Westcliffe Farmer’s Market, take the kids to play on the school playground or the town park + playground, the All Aboard Westcliffe Flea Market, the car show. And, you must visit the bowling alley. The bowling alley has a nostalgic feel + is so budget friendly, you might want to visit it more than once.
Explore the Downtown
Explore the downtown, grab a coffee, visit the shops, head to the Sunflower Market to pick up some organic groceries. My husband absolutely loved Sugar and Spice Bakery, I think you will, too. I loved the White Bird Emporium for coffee. I was so excited to find macadamia milk there. And, the kids were excited to find ice cream in the White Bird Emporium. While you’re exploring the downtown, look for this fun Wescliffe wall to get a shot with your family to remember the trip.
Take a hike
There is an unlimited amount of outdoor recreation in the Westcliffe, Custer County area. Click here to view the seemingly endless options for hiking, biking, camping, snowmobiling and more! We hiked the Comanche Trail, it’s a very friendly trail, even our two year old happily hiked. The views are incredible + majestic. We drove past the old Hermit Basin Ski Area on the way to our hike, it’s a neat site to see an old, abandoned ski area.
Experience the Arts
Don’t miss an experience at the Jone’s Theater. There are tons of opportunities for a rich experience while in Westcliffe.
Whatever you do while you are in Westcliffe, Colorado of Custer County, I hope travel for the memories, the happiness, the escape, the breath of fresh air (literally), the nature vibes + for the time you just can’t get back. Oh yeah + don’t forget to take some pictures!
Photography by: // © Lindsey Lee & Co.