Buena Vista translates to good view and that's an accurate description of the Buena Vista valley. 14,000 foot peaks surround the valley and provide the perfect backdrop from any angle. the town, because of the ecotourism, has thrived and grown. there's a brewery and some great restaurants in addition to the old favorites like Panchos which has been there forever. the Arkansas River provides some of Colorado's best whitewater rafting as it winds through the valley and canyons. after a day of thrills on the river hitting up a hotspring is a way to relax. throughout the rocky mountains there are geothermally heated hot springs and there are two that have been developed in the area. i like the Cottonwood Hot Springs which has soaking pools in a natural environment.
there are rooms available here but i've never stayed in them. the staff is outstanding. very attentive and accommodating. the Mt Princeton Hot Springs Resort is much larger and more kid friendly.
don't leave the valley without exploring one of the many ghost towns. St. Elmo's still has some structures standing and a main street. there's a general store but the rest of the buildings are not accessible. the drive is beautiful and follows the old train tracks. there are multiple state maintained camping areas along the road and a river that drains into the Arkansas.