Take it From a Local
There is never a bad time to visit Alamosa. The unique beauty found in each season makes it possible to enjoy year round! There is however a huge swing in the number of people that visit season to season, and Summer is undoubtedly the busiest time of year in Alamosa. Planning out your summer visit well in advance is highly recommended! The intention of this article is to help point you in the right direction toward planning, how to best experience Alamosa during our peak season, and some helpful tips and tricks from a local!
1. Book your lodging facility ASAP
When it comes time for summer in Alamosa, people flood in from all over the world to experience our grandest attraction: The Great Sand Dunes National Park and Preserve. Hotels, campgrounds, RV parks, glampgrounds, and cabins can reach capacity and hard to find a spot to stay in if you don't take the time to book in advance! This may leave you staying in a town further away from your intended activities or even not being able to find a place to stay at all. With the high travel volume experienced June-August, it is better to be safe than sorry and book your stay as soon as possible! Visit Alamosa.org to check out all of our great lodging facility options.
2. Be patient, you are sure to experience larger crowds and longer waits
Being that our beautiful town is not all that large to begin with and add the influx of visitors on top of the already existing community, wait times can end up being longer than anticipated in the summer months. During peak hours, there can be line at the Great Sand Dunes National Park entry. Locals recommend that you visit the Great Sand Dunes Monday-Wednesday as Thursday-Sunday are peak visitation days. Early mornings and late afternoons are the best times to avoid crowds, you can check our Great Sand Dunes National Park page for a visual representation of trends. There is less likely to be a long line and a higher chance of seeing fewer people. This gives more of an opportunity to find a good beach spot for the day as well as abundant chance to enjoy the dunes with a smaller crowd! If you are planning on fishing, the same rule applies. The peak fishing days are Friday-Sunday. Not only will you see higher numbers of visitors on the waters, that is also when the locals come out to play. You will have more opportune fishing Monday-Thursday. If you are planning on taking a guided trip, plan to book the trip 1-2 full weeks in advance. Slots fill up quickly and you won't want to miss out on the fishing experiences offered here! Check out Visit Alamosa's Fishing in the San Luis Valley blog for more information! When it comes to dining, booking reservations if allowed will make everything run smoothly. Calling the day before or the morning of will almost always guarantee that you get a table for your party. If you are traveling in a large group, reservations 3-5 days in advance are recommended. Weekends are peak dining times, but you will notice that the local dining establishments stay pretty packed throughout the week.
3. Choose lower traffic attractions to visit on the weekends
We know that The Great Sand Dunes are calling your name, but maybe not on a weekend day. The San Luis Valley is home to several amazing attractions that you can plan to visit through the weekend. Locals recommend the following:
This location is both fun and unique. Visiting during the day is cool, but if you can work in a visit during the night, it can be epic. Take your time, sit back and relax, enjoy the stars and the possibility of spotting something out of this world! Visit the garden and leave an item behind and look at all that past visitors have left behind in this unique location. If you happen to spot a UFO, you can report it to the Visit Alamosa team!
It is well known that you can visit gators in Florida, but how about in Colorado?! This one of a kind find is exciting, unique, and something that the entire family will be able to enjoy. Enjoy free fishing in their lake, included in the cost of admission. Wander through the rainforest and see giant snapping turtles, feed the tilapia, and even visit sharks! Wander to the big gator pens and say hello to Morris, famously known for his role in the movie "Happy Gilmore". See rare albino alligators and even take the opportunity to snap a holiday card photo with a baby gator! There is always something exciting to see and we are sure that his attraction will ensure hours of fun.
Summer water sports in Alamosa are a must do while you visit. There are a few locations that rent out water gear for your convenienceand enjoyment. Kristi Mountain Sports or the Colorado Welcome Center can help secure a paddle board rental for you. Alamosa's most popular water recreation location is Blanca Vista Park. The calm waters make it the perfect place to paddle board or bring water floaties on. There are picnic tables for public use when it is time for lunch with shaded covers for the hot days. Once you have had your fill of fun on the water, relax on the banks and try your luck at catching a fish or two.
4. A Day Downtown Never Disappoints
Summers in Downtown Alamosa can be the best. Take a day to enjoy our small town and take in all that it has to offer. Start with breakfast at The ROAST or All Valley Cafe. Both locations are located downtown and can be easily found walking. Take some time and enjoy shopping locations including Wild Roses, A Country Store and So Much More, Y&E Dress Code/White Shell Mountain Ranch, Happy Mountain Antiques, or Kreative Kraftworks. Do not be fooled however, as those are just a few examples of the incredible shops lining Downtown! Stroll down to No Limit Arcade for limitless fun waiting just behind their doors. Take a break and enjoy a beverage from one of our coffee houses. Milagros and ROOTS by Blessed are both located within walking distance and offer tasty options that span far beyond just coffee. Sip on your drink and head down to the San Luis Valley Museum to take in an afternoon of cool Alamosa history that you will be hard pressed to find anywhere else. Finish the day off with dinner at one of our delicious local eateries . There are an abundance of options, but for example, Woody's Q Shack, Lucky Bamboo, or Thai House are all top notch choices! There is no short supply of things to keep you busy for the day. Enjoy a laid back day and avoid the crowds enjoying a day Downtown.
5. Make a Plan, but be Flexible
Sometimes, things just don't go according to plan. The line is too long, the tickets are sold out, the car breaks down, you know how life goes! No matter how your plans get switched around, it can be frustrating! Be sure to have a backup plan just in case. The weather in Alamosa can sometimes be unpredictable and it may cause a little chaos in your original itinerary. Worry not, Team Visit Alamosa has itineraries you can choose from as well as a complete list of things to do in Alamosa so you don't have to stress about plan B! It is super easy to plan your trip using the itinerary planner on the Alamosa.org page. If you have any questions, feel free to reach out to our team or stop by the Colorado Welcome Center in Alamosa for assistance!
6. Know Before you go
Many visitors make their way here for the incredible hiking opportunities that are in and around Alamosa. While the hikes are beautiful and worthwhile, be sure you know all that you need to know before you go! Being aware of altitude sickness is important. Be sure to take the time to acclimate to our altitude before any rigorous. You will be glad you did about halfway up the mountain! The weather can change in the blink of an eye here. It is important that you prepare for all kinds of weather events. Taking the proper amounts of food and water, wearing the right shoes, using sun protection, and reviewing the leave no trace principles will ensure that you have a safe and fun hiking experience! Check out the Hike Alamosa blog for all you need to know about hiking in the area!
There is so much to do and see in and around Alamosa. Take your time planning your trip and keep in mind that June-August is our peak visitor season. Plan your visits to busy attractions accordingly to ensure that you have the best experience possible. Book your lodging in advance to guaranteeyou get the perfect accommodations for the occasion. With peak season is full swing, it is a locals advice to sit back, relax, be patient, and take your time drinking in all Alamosa has to offer.