9 Great Places to Stay in Buena Vista, Colorado: Hotels, Camping, and Rentals

When you start planning where to stay in Buena Vista, you’ll quickly realize there aren’t many Buena Vista hotels to choose from. There are a few chain hotels and a few local hotels. You’ll also find a couple local inns and lodges.

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But if you want the best places to stay in Buena Vista, here are 9 of the best for hotels, rentals, or camping.

We had a hard time figuring out the lodging situation, but now that we’ve been and seen the town and the area around it, we have a much better feel for what accommodations there are in Buena Vista.

Check out the options for hotels, rentals, or even camping in Buena Vista so you can find the perfect place for your family on your upcoming visit.

pinnable image that says "9 best places to stay Buena Vista, Colorado for families". 4 images include overlooking a campsite among the trees, an indoor look at a kitchen/living room in a rental, the exterior of a 3 story Surf Hotel in Buena Vista, an overlook point of Mt Princeton Hot Springs resort with distant views of hot spring pools, trees, and a basketball court

Great Buena Vista Hotels

a local, 3 story hotel. First floor is the tallest with long vertical window amid the rock walls, patio tables with umbrellas along the front sidewalk, sign for Surf Hotel at the left side.

1. The Surf Hotel

The Surf Hotel is the best hotel in Buena Vista. It’s located right in town near River Park. It gives you easy walking access to shops and restaurants in the downtown area, River Park right outside, and the Arkansas River Trail just out the back door.

The Surf Hotel sits right along the river for great, peaceful views. Eat at the highly rated restaurant at one of the outdoor tables to hear the river run as you savor your meal.

The rooms are individually decorated in a modern way, with sleeping accommodations up to 4 per room. You can eat at the restaurant on site, and you might even line up your trip with live music The Surf hosts.

Perfect for: For convenience, comfort, and style, check out the Surf Hotel in Buena Vista.

overlooking a large resort area.  There are a lot of trees everywhere near and far, but between them you can see a blue and green tennis court, a pool to the right and a pool on the left, a few cabins sticking up from the trees below

2. Mt Princeton Hot Springs Resort

Besides rafting, visiting the hot springs is one of the best things to do at Buena Vista.

And most people head to Mt. Princeton for the hot springs fix.

These springs are part of a resort, which your family can stay at and get included access to the hot springs.

Mt. Princeton Hot Springs resort is a huge resort area, perfect for having everything you need while on your trip.

This resort is located a short drive out of Buena Vista in the town of Nathrop. (But again, those who visit Buena Vista often make a stop here anyway.)

Mt. Princeton resort is full of amenities, like the hot springs with waterslides, a gym, tennis courts, basketball court, a small onsite market (where you can pick up some pizzas), full-service spa, and bike rentals.

Plus, as a guest of the hotel you can participate in various classes like yoga and fitness classes.

Large families will love the option to book cabins that can sleep up to 10. Stay together for vacation, with room to spare!

Perfect for: Mt. Princeton Hot Springs Resort is perfect for families that want on-site entertainment, a pool (or many pools), and enough space for larger families to stay together in one accommodation.

Mt. Princeton is THE place to stay when visiting Buena Vista.

Cool Family Rentals in Buena Vista

a well lit picture of a rental home in Buena Vista.  Looking over the dining table and into the kitchen (on left) and living room (to the right).  Dining table is wood with wooden chairs with vertical slats.  The kitchen is a light wood with white counter tops on the island and wood stools.  The family room to the right has a couch you can see the back of and a couch to the side.  There is a flat screen TV against the far wall, and to the left in the corner is a wood-burning stove fireplace.  Ceilings are white with light wooden beams.

3. Spacious and Fun Rental

For families needing plenty of space, fun, and their own huge kitchen, a rental in Buena Vista is the way to go. Get all of that and more at this great rental just outside of town.

This stunning rental is over 3,000 square feet of fun for families. In addition to being able to sleep 9 comfortably across 4 bedrooms, you’ll also get a game area with billiards and foosball. The huge laundry room will make it so you can all pack lighter.

If the weather’s nice, you’ll be able to vacation outdoors. The balcony gives great views and the outdoor living space makes for serene gatherings. The family can enjoy a meal at the outdoor picnic table amongst the trees. Or kids can just run around since you’ll have 5 acres of space.

We have stayed at a nearby rental managed by Evolve (the company that manages this one) and felt very taken care of!

Perfect for: Big families, those wanting more space

looking towards a living area of a rental in Buena Vista. Angled wood ceilings are tallest as they meet in the middle, windows go to the ceiling , a TV in the middle on the far wall with a rounded sectional couch that you can see the back of. Foreground is part of the counter, sink, and a white dishwasher

4. More Affordable Spacious Rental

While this one doesn’t come in at quite the square footage as the last one, it still has plenty of room at a more affordable price.

This is actually the rental our family of 6 stayed in when we visited Buena Vista.

This rental is just a few miles away from town, giving you a break from the crowds and busyness of downtown.

You’ll get 3 bedrooms and two bathrooms, plus a futon that converts into a large bed in the living room.

The kitchen is small, but had everything we needed. It also has laundry machines, plenty of movies and games to choose from, and plenty of personal touches.

The owners have made the garage into a great storage area for extra fun. You’ll find a picnic table, fire pit, and outdoor games in the garage that guests are welcome to use.

One thing to note: This rental is closer to the road than the pictures make it appear. However, we didn’t notice road noise while staying. The road isn’t busy like the downtown area.

Also, there is no A/C. This wasn’t a problem at all for us as it stayed nice and cool and the rooms had ceiling fans.

At the time of writing this, the rental has nearly 150 reviews of which almost all are 10/10!

What we loved: the space, it had everything we needed, and quicker access to places like Cottonwood Hot Springs, Cottonwood Lake, and easy access to town (It took less that 10 minutes of an easy drive).

Perfect for: larger families wanting space, but on a budget.

a small rental in Buena Vista: small living room with gray couch on the left looking at the TV in front against the right wall. Beyond the living room is a kitchen with a counter going across with white countertop, dark brown cupboards below (facing opposite the viewer).

5. Buena Vista In Town Rental

If you you don’t mind less space but want to be right in the heart of town with all the action, then take a look at this downtown condo.

This condo is a newer place with modern style. There is one bedroom with a bed and futon to sleep up to 4.

While you’ll find many rentals don’t have A/C thanks to the cooler mountain weather, this unit does have a portable A/C unit that you can use in case it gets warm.

The real charm of this rental is how convenient it is to town. In one block you can be to Main Street and all the popular shops and restaurants.

Perfect For: smaller families who don’t mind sharing a room, those you like to be within walking distance of town

Camping in Buena Vista

If you visit Buena Vista during the warmer months and want a family camping trip, there is not shortage of options! This outdoor town is a great place to camp, often with the option to camp near the Arkansas River.

Here are a few option of where to camp in Buena Vista that will be perfect for your family!

6. Turtle Rock Campground

Turtle Rock is located north of Buena Vista along the Arkansas River down a dirt road. It is surrounded by plenty of rock scenery and views.

The camp sites have picnic tables and fire pits and have available options for tent sites or RV sites. There are over 20 sites, and each is available on first come first serve basis.

The campground has a few bathroom facilities.

Past guests have loved how clean the campground was and proximity to the river. They have also loved how welcoming the campground hosts were.

Camping here is free as it is on BLM lands.

Find Location Details

a lake with sun rays shining down on the right, a few small lush green mountains on the left and forward across the lake. The dirt trail is along the right

7. Cottonwood Lake Campground

Co Rd 344C, Nathrop

Cottonwood Lake Campground is run by the USDA Forest Service and therefore has a fee to camp each night payable via cash or check. Those with an America the Beautiful pass can receive 50% off their fees.

Each of the 25 sites has a fire ring and picnic table. There is no water on site.

Camp sites are first come first served. While sites are limited, those finding themselves without a tent site can drive farther up 344 (1 mile west of the lake) for dispersed camping.

Campers will get to enjoy plenty of aspens that cover the campground, making it especially colorful in fall. Just a short walk off the campground is Cottonwood Lake, a beautiful place for fishing or hand-propelled watercraft.

Ruby Mountain Campground near Buena Vista.  Looking from a dirt road over the campground area.  Tops of tents can be seen among big trees.  A few big boulder rocks separate the dirt road from the camping area

8. Ruby Mountain Campground

Ruby Mountain Campground is located right off the Arkansas River in Nathrop. It’s not a long drive from Buena Vista to arrive at this beautiful location.

While Ruby Mountain Campground is right along Browns Canyon National Monument, it is owned by Colorado Parks and Wildlife. You must make a reservation to stay.

There are 22 campsites here and each has a fire ring grill and a table. The campground has 4 vault toilets on site.

The campground brings great hiking in the area plus access to the river if you are wanting to launch any watercraft. You’ll find plenty of rafting companies pass along the way at Ruby Mountain as they go deeper into Browns Canyon.

a brown river at the center with light green trees in the foreground somewhat blocking the view of the river.  A hill covered is bush is on the other side of the river

9. Hecla Junction Campground

Hecla Junction, much like Ruby Mountain, is another camping area that sits right along Browns Canyon. It’s the common take out spot for many rafting trips, so you’ll have your fair share of rafting viewing.

Hecla Junction also offers a few hiking trails, giving you quick access to exploring the canyon. It offers 23 campsites and 4 vault toilets.

Owned by Colorado Parks and Wildlife, you’ll have to pay a fee to camp here and it is by reservation only.

Where to Stay in Buena Vista

Whether you are looking for hotels in Buena Vista, great rentals, or camping in Buena Vista Colorado, you have some really great options to decide what is best for your family.

Mount Princeton Hot Springs resort is perfect for those that have a larger budget and really want an experience of a lifetime while visiting. But those who like to rough it a little can find some great Buena Vista campgrounds (or camping close to Buena Vista) with some incredible views.

Of course rentals are always so convenient to give your family a little more space.

No matter where you stay, you’ll have a great time as you visit one of Colorado’s beautiful towns!

pinnable image that says "9 best places to stay Buena Vista, Colorado for families".  4 images include overlooking a campsite among the trees, an indoor look at a kitchen/living room in a rental, the exterior of a 3 story Surf Hotel in Buena Vista, an overlook point of Mt Princeton Hot Springs resort with distant views of hot spring pools, trees, and a basketball court

Make sure to check out 18 Fun Things to do in Buena Vista with Kids

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