You’ll need lots of time to take in the fall beauty and fun of Mesa Verde Country, near the entrance to glorious Mesa Verde National Park. The nearby towns of Cortez, Dolores and Mancos provide an array of accommodations, dining and outdoor recreation. Named the “Number One Historic Monument in the World” by Conde Nast Traveler and one of the “50 Places of a Lifetime-The World’s Greatest Destinations” by National Geographic, Mesa Verde National Park is one of the nation’s first World Heritage sites and the largest archaeological preserve in the country.
In addition to the National Park, Mesa Verde Country boasts “must-see” archaeological attractions, including Hovenweep National Monument, Canyons of the Ancients National Monument and Visitor Center and Museum, Ute Mountain Tribal Park, Crow Canyon Archaeological Center and the Cortez Cultural Center. Mountain biking enthusiasts have recognized Mesa Verde Country as one of the next great mountain biking destinations.
Since one day just isn’t enough to take it all in, here are five unique places in Mesa Verde Country that guarantee a fun stay, from funky to luxurious!
Located in the scenic and serene countryside of Cortez, Canyon of the Ancients Guest Ranch offers a peaceful stay. The private home and rental cabins are located in the scenic McElmo Canyon, a Sedona-like area of Southwest Colorado. Guests can enjoy fresh, free-range eggs and organic veggies at the ranch during their visit, as well as grass-fed beef and lamb available for purchase.
A Colorado guest ranch and licensed outfitter, Circle K offers family-oriented western dude ranch vacations with high- country horseback riding, guided fly-fishing trips and Colorado elk and mule deer hunting. Guests decide what they want to do – or choose to do nothing at all – with tailor-made vacations that suit every style and budget.
As the only hotel inside the famed Mesa Verde National Park, Far View Lodge located 15 miles inside the park features rooms that capture the spectacular views. The property was designed to reflect the true essence of Mesa Verde, with solitude all around and freedom from the distraction of in-room TVs or cell phone service. Of course, there is plenty of wildlife watching to keep you entertained!
A life-sized Elvis statue greats visitors upon arrival at this retro-throwback motel. The motel offers comfortable rooms, each decorated in a themed motif to honor past decades. Selfie opportunities abound with There a life-sized chess board, an on-site vintage trailer and a checker-board dining room where complimentary breakfast is served.
Nature, history and art coalesce at Willowtail Springs Bed & Breakfast. Surrounded by lush gardens teeming with wildlife and botanical delights, this exclusive B&B sits on a private lake and offers the perfect mix of hospitality, tranquility and activity.
For more information on planning a trip to Mesa Verde Country, visit www.mesaverdecountry.com.
Photos courtesy of Mesa Verde Country Tourism