36 Hour Itinerary

36 Hours in Pueblo, Colo.

Pueblo has worked hard to diversify its image beyond simply an industrial small town. Still proud of its steel-mill past and present, Pueblo is evolving into a multi-ethnic, multi-generational, and multi-faceted community. After a decade, the Historic Arkansas Riverwalk has emerged as a dynamic urban center of Pueblo. The Lake Pueblo State Park is the most popular park in Colorado, boasting over a million visitors each year. Pueblo intermingles young urbanites with deeply rooted families, creating a community with both youthful energy and rich history. Beyond strip-mall style tourism and cookie-cutter destinations, Pueblo offers a raw authenticity to travelers and visitors.

Want to experience a good cross-section of what Pueblo has to offer? Here is an easy guide to a weekend in Pueblo, hitting many highlights. But, know that this is just a fraction of what we've got to offer. We're sure you'll want to come back for more!

FRIDAY

5 p.m.

RIVERWALK & UNION AVE HISTORIC DISTRICT

More than anything, Pueblo is defined by the Arkansas River. It is a symbol of the town’s history, present and future. It once served as the Mexican-American border until 1848, and now is the source of Pueblo’s plentiful summer produce. Local leaders created the beautiful Historic Arkansas Riverwalk bringing the river back to the city center. Visitors can stroll, dine or enjoy a boat or gondola ride along the river, which makes the Riverwalk the perfect start to a Pueblo vacation.

Dine along the Riverwalk at either Wireworks Coffeehouse (Pueblo’s only all-vegetarian restaurant) or Angelo’s Pizza – both delicious and locally owned. On the First Friday of each month, the Riverwalk is in the middle of the First Friday Art Walk, which stretches from Mesa Junction, along Union Avenue and to the Historic Downtown Area. The First Friday Art Walk is an opportunity to see great art, shop, mingle with locals and enjoy free reception food. (Pick up a map at any location with an Art Walk flag.) Each month, El Pueblo History Museum showcases a production of the Song of Pueblo, an oratorio written by famed composer Daniel Valdez. A short walk from the Riverwalk, this amazing production gives visitors a poetic view of Pueblo.

9 p.m.

PUEBLO NIGHTS

Pueblo has a flourishing music scene with live music at bars around town. Near the Riverwalk, three bars (The Downtown Bar, The Senate, and The Cock & Bull) offer live music on the weekends. Or, for all-ages entertainment, The Red Raven in the Bessemer neighborhood (a short drive) showcase an eclectic mix of art and music on weekends. (To see a nighttime entertainment schedule, visit www.pueblopulp.com.)

SATURDAY

8 a.m.

JAVA JUMPSTART

Pueblo boasts over 300 days of sunshine each year. This solar abundance has made Pueblo a player in the new energy economy. One tangible – and delicious – example of this is Solar Roast Coffee (www.solarroast.com), coffee that is roasted purely by Pueblo sunshine. Founded by a duo of Oregonian brothers who came to Pueblo in search of sunnier weather, Solar Roast Coffee also runs a local-favorite coffeeshop in Pueblo’s historic downtown. Start the day here with sun-kissed coffee and quirky breakfast items, such as a locally made croissant topped with Pueblo chiles, egg and cheese.

9 a.m.

CANYON TRAILS

Grab your bike or hiking shoes and head west of Pueblo, just west of the Pueblo State Park, for a surprising conduit of trails created by local bicycle enthusiasts by connecting old cow paths. Now, nearly 50 miles of trails – for biking and hiking – sit on 27,000 acres of BLM land, featuring piñon-dotted arroyos, unique wildflowers, bald eagles, shale cliffs, and great view of Pueblo Reservoir and the Sangre de Cristo Mountains. Take Colorado Highway 96 (Frontier Pathways Scenic Byway) west to South Marina Road. Do not go through the gate. The trailhead is a short distance up the road to a picnic area on the left. Trails are marked by signs made by volunteers, bearing names like: Skull Canyon, Pin Ball, Dead Dog and Stonehenge.

11:30

BINGO BURGER

Pueblo is very proud of its green chiles and local produce. Bingo Burger (101 Central Plaza; www.bingoburger.com) marries locavore passions with fast-food chic, by creating voluptuous burgers out of locally raised beef. The signature Bingo Burger comes with Pueblo chiles inside the burger, but you can also order roasted chiles as an additional topping. Bingo Burger boasts specialty burgers named after Pueblo neighborhoods, like: Peppersauce Bottoms with thai peanut sauce and caramelized onions; or Goat Hill, a lamb burger with goat cheese, mushrooms, and lemon-rosemary aioli. (Vegetarian options are also available.) The hand-cut fries (sweet potato or regular) are cut right-before-your-eyes from San Luis Valley potatoes and come with fresh dipping sauces like curry ketchup and roasted garlic blue cheese. Finish all this with a milkshake made from creamy, hand-made ice cream from affiliate Hopscotch Bakery.

1:00 p.m.

MUSEUM HOPPING

With a full belly, an afternoon in Pueblo is the perfect time to visit one or two of the city’s museums. Within easy walking distance, Sangre de Cristo Arts Center contains impressive collections of art that defines the American Southwest. They are also home to the nationally ranked Buell Children’s Museum – an exhilarating interactive experience. El Pueblo History Museum of the Colorado Historical Society features rotating exhibits that illustrate the unique history of Pueblo in the spot of the original Fort Pueblo. Other local museums:
• Steelworks: Museum of Industry and Steel (www.steelworks.us)
• Rosemount Museum (www.rosemount.org)
• Southeastern Colorado Heritage Center (www.theheritagecenter.us)
• InfoZone News Museum (www.infozonenewsmuseum.com)
• Medal of Honor Memorial (www.pueblomohfoundation.com)

3:30 p.m.

COOKIE BREAK

Pop into Hopscotch Bakery in the Union Avenue Historic District for a cookie cheerfully crafted from wholesome Colorado-grown ingredients. (333 N Union Ave; http://hopscotchbakery.com/).

6 p.m.

MODERN MEXICAN

Mexican restaurants flourish in every neighborhood in Pueblo. Jorge’s Restaurant in the southside Bessemer neighborhood is a local favorite with brightly painted walls and robust margaritas. This restaurant proudly served President Obama and his family, while they were on the campaign trail. And, now, they serve an El Presidente dish that matches Obama’s order. Beyond such fame-filled legacies, Jorge’s serves great food. Locals love the pork-avocado burritos smothered in green chile or chorizo tacos on white (fried flour tortillas).

7:30 p.m.

STAR-SEEKING

Even though Pueblo isn’t a big city, nothing beats a short drive to the mountains, away from urban light pollution, to witness a true star-speckled sky. Travelers can get on to Northern Avenue (one block north of Jorge’s) and drive west to Beulah – a short 30 minute drive complete with great night-sky views or sunsets. Spend the night at the recently renovated and eco-friendly Horseshoe Lodge at the Pueblo Mountain Park (www.hikeandlearn.org). At 7000 feet and in the Wet Mountains, the Lodge built in the 1930s by WPA crews sits among towering pine trees. Each unique room, starting at $85/night, embodies cabin coziness and reflects the Mountain Park’s respect for nature. A night’s stay comes complete with a healthy self serve breakfast with fresh fruit, yogurt, cereals (hot or cold), hot beverages and juice.

SUNDAY

9 a.m.

MORNING MOUNTAIN FUN

The Horseshoe Lodge is nestled in the 611-acre Pueblo Mountain Park, bordered by an additional 17,000 acre San Isabel National Forest. The area promises great hiking almost all-year. If it is snowy, sledding, cross country skiing and snowshoeing are even better alternatives for the six miles of trails. The area boasts a rich and unique ecology of native plants, migrant and resident songbirds and wildlife. Staff at the Horseshoe Lodge are also stewards of the park and can offer helpful guidance for your outdoor adventures. The mountain park often has snowshoes for visitors to rent or borrow.


Itinerary Ideas to Fit Any Personality

History Fan
• El Pueblo History Museum
• Rosemount Museum
• Steelworks Museum of Industry and Steel
• Weisbrod Aircraft Museum
• Historic Arkansas Riverwalk
• Union Depot
• Union Avenue Historic District

Creative Soul
• Classes and Exhibits at the Sangre de Cristo Arts Center
• First Friday Art Walk
• Live Performances, see Pueblo Performing Arts Guild
• Levee Mural Project
• Nature Writing Classes at the Mountain Park Environmental Center
• Center Stage Performances at Sangre de Cristo Arts Center
• Broadway Theatre League
• Veronika String Quartet
• Pueblo Symphony

Military Buff
• Weisbrod Aircraft Museum
• Medal of Honor Memorial/Pueblo Convention Center
• Veterans Bridge

Adventurer
• Pueblo State Park
• Pueblo Whitewater Park, an urban kayak course
• Cross-Country Skiing or Snowshoeing at Mountain Park or San Isabel National Forest
• Biking Trails at Pueblo State Park

Foodie
• Ethnic Grocery Stores
• Restaurants
• St. Charles Mesa Farms

The Cowboy
• Professional Bull Riders International Headquarters
• Little Britches Rodeo
• Colorado State Fair
• Wild, Wild West Fest
• Charles Goodnight Barn along the Frontier Pathway Scenic Byway
• El Pueblo History Museum

Latino Inspired
• Pueblo/Puebla Plaza
• Statue of Diana at Union Depot, gift from Puebla, Mexico
• Mexican Restaurants
• Spanish Mass at Mt. Carmel Parish
• Sangre de Cristo Arts Center
• El Pueblo History Museum

Family Fun
• Historic Arkansas Riverwalk
• Buell Children’s Museum
• Pueblo Zoo
• City Park Rides
• Fountains in the Union Avenue Historic District
• Pueblo Mountain Park
• Pueblo Nature Center
• San Isabel National Forest
• Rock Canyon Swim Beach
• Pueblo State Park

Nightlife Seeker
• For a great source on all nightlife happenings, visit pueblopulp.com