Buena Vista, Colorado Buena Vista, ColoradoSeptember 2, 2016 in Travel, USShare ThisFacebookPinterestTwitterPrintemailI consider myself lucky to be living in a state that provides almost every outdoor activity and vista that you can think of. Yes, we’re missing out on the vast horizon and salty air of the ocean. However, Colorado has so much to offer from spacious open-plains with grass grazing stock, to mammoth earthen red sand dunes (yes you can sled down them!), getting lost in the magical mystery of thick lush forests, filling your lungs up with frozen oxygen at the top of a black diamond run, peddling through wine-country (and peach country!), exploring ancient ruins and national monuments, tubing/kayaking/rafting down a myriad of rivers…all while sipping a locally crafted brew or kombucha. Because there is so much to offer just a few hours from my home in Denver, I’m starting a day-trip series dedicated to showing you the fun that is right outside your door and how to explore new places while still keeping it healthy! BUENA VISTA, COLORADO Charming Buena Vista, CO is a tiny little town just under 2.5 hours from Denver. If you take US-285, it happens to be a beautiful drive with winding roads near a rumbling river and surprising views around each corner. I brought books and magazines to read for the drive yet didn’t open any of them because I was so consumed by the beauty outside my window. FARMER’S MARKET FUN We drove up on a Sunday and upon arrival immediately noticed a farmer’s market. Whenever you see a farmer’s market in the town you’re exploring – go! It’s a great way to capture the real essence of the town, support the local economy, and get insider tips from the locals themselves. I chatted up a few vendors selling their products and walked away with some amazing produce and goods. One vendor in particular had the most gorgeous produce and he sold me on the mild sweetness of his turnips. I was not disappointed! Check out the tasting below. Another great buy was chatting up the sweetest lady from Blissful Botanica who offered up her favorite healthy eateries around town and I brought home her detox soap which I’m obsessed with. My skin is detoxing a lot these days (giving up coffee has done wonders for by body cleansing) and this detox soap has really helped purge the toxins from my skin. ALF’S BLACKSMITH After the farmer’s market we ventured down to main street and realized we took a wrong turn. When we turned around we noticed around the corner was a charming antique-like workshop and drove over immediately. Don’t veer away if something catches your eye! You can always continue on to your itinerary after exploring. We soon found that it was a modern blacksmith using old-fashioned techniques and we just had to scout out all the goods. Alf and his wife, Linda came over to greet us with a warm welcome and invited us to participate in make muffuletta with them. He buys the best olives he can throughout the year and at the end of summer makes a huge batch to last him throughout the winter. Jackpot! He showed us his techniques and invited us to taste. He even wrote down a general recipe for us and gave us a bottle to use when we got home. They were the sweetest couple and I encourage EVERYONE to stop by this cool shop. As I began exploring all the trinkets he has created over the years I found a bundle of stunning copper ladles with the an 18th century style rod-iron handle. Absolutely gorgeous. When buying cooking equipment, it’s easy to hop onto amazon or stop by target to get a tool, but adding something as special as this, a lovingly hand-made ladle to my kitchen brings out a special sort of magic when I cook with it. The item is infused with story and respect for heirloom traditions and artistic expression. Alf took the time to explain to me all the little intricacies of the design. The 18th-century style is indicated by the large size of the cup (2 full cups in fact!). The cups were so large back-in-the-day because stews and soups included all of the bones from the animals and the large ladles easily scooped up every little nutrient-filled morsel. The long rod-iron handle has twists in it because it lengthens the handle without having to use more material which was crucial in the 18th century economy. His signature markings include his initials and the end of the ladle finishing in a heart shape. This is honestly my most prized possession in my kitchen to date and I can’t wait to cook with it every chance I get! You can purchase one of these beautiful ladles HERE! LUNCH AT HOUSE ROCK KITCHEN After chatting, shopping, and exploring we worked up quite an appetite and grabbed a tip from our farmer’s market friend to eat at House Rock Kitchen located conveniently on Main St. The fast and casual restaurant focuses on healthy and quality foods with a goal of having their customers leaving energized (rather than sluggish and bloated). The owners have a deep connection with serving high-quality foods through their own personal journey of successfully managing disease by being more intentional about their diet. But don’t worry it’s not a fully vegan restaurant – there is something for everyone including house smoked meats, vegetarian meal bowls, gluten-free beers, fresh-tap kombucha, and a lot more deliciousness! EXPLORATION After lunch we wandered the town shopping, browsing, and exploring bit more. One of my favorite moments of the day was seeing a family of deer wandering through backyards and crossing the streets with pedestrians. I have never been so close to a buck before because they are so skittish but this one obviously adapted well to the locals and visitors. It’s such a charming town because everyone is clearly dedicated to maintaining the integrity of the original buildings and the pristine beauty of the natural surroundings. We loved grabbing a refreshing drink at an old jailhouse that is now a bar yet still proudly highlights it’s original use. We stopped by the Surf Chateau, a delightful and elegant hotel situated right on the riverfront that we will definitely stay at when we return. In the end, the key to any good day trip (and honestly life in general) is to stay curious. What is the intention of your attention? Have a general idea of what you’re interested and practice your spontaneity as detours pop up and interesting pathways arise!