Alamosa is the commercial hub of the San Luis Valley, a rural area of some 8,000 sq. miles surrounded by the Sangre de Cristo and San Juan mountain ranges. Historic Downtown Alamosa boasts some 200 businesses, including a county courthouse, post office, city hall, public library, and four banks. Recent additions to the downtown business community include a centrally located brew pub, and the Rio Grande Scenic Railroad, a tourist railroad that runs from Alamosa to La Veta and southward to Antonito to connect to the Cumbres & Toltec Scenic Railroad. Other businesses include: art galleries, a bookstore, coffeehouse, fabric shop, hardware, sporting goods and apparel, restaurants, and a JC Penney department store, located on Main Street since 1913.
Downtown retains much of its original character in the many brick structures on Main Street, built in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, including a magnificent Masonic Hall. Seven buildings are listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Alamosa's Cole Park and levee path along the scenic Rio Grande are a few blocks away, and the Valley Farmers’ Market brings local produce and live music to downtown Saturdays, July through mid-October.