Trinidad is a town of around 10,000 people in Las Animas County in south-central Colorado, right on the path of the old Santa Fe Trail.
Located south of the New Mexico border, Trinidad is easily accessible from Interstate 25.
It’s in a remote area of the state known for its many historic landmarks and beautiful natural landscapes.
Here are the 10 best things to do in Trinidad CO.
1. The Museum of Archaeology at Louden-Henritze
Numerous important archaeological sites can be found across much of Colorado’s expansive landscape.
Many of these sites date back thousands of years, to the time when the state was the sole possession of a variety of Native American cultures.
The Louden-Henritze Archaeology Museum grew out of a successful archaeology program at a nearby university.
It has since amassed an extraordinary array of historical relics.
The museum’s displays include artifacts such as pottery, baskets, and fossilized dinosaur bones that show signs of both human and animal habitation.
Louden-Henritze is open from 10 AM to 3 PM on weekdays (Monday through Thursday) within the Freudenthal Library.
2. Tutti Scoops
Despite the fact that visiting museums, historic landmarks, and magnificent natural landmarks are all fantastic ways to spend a vacation, sometimes all a tired tourist wants to do is sit back with a huge ice cream cone and relax.
Tutti Scoops, on North Commercial Street, serves up homemade ice cream in nearly 20 flavors, both old-school and cutting-edge.
Many of Tutti Scoops’s patrons have remarked that the restaurant is a nice throwback to the ice cream parlors of yesteryear while also incorporating modern touches.
Popular flavors include chocolate chip cookie dough and butter pecan, and parking is available for both cars and bikes on the street in front of the shop.
Read also: The 10 Best Things to do in Murrieta
3. Corazon Gallery
Western art’s popularity has spread beyond its original regional boundaries.
Spending time in a local gallery or two is a great way to quickly gain distinctive insight, especially for art lovers who are not familiar with the area and its culture.
East Main Street is home to the Corazon Gallery, a group exhibition space showcasing the works of local artists.
Artists are often present and approachable, so feel free to stop and chat with them about their work if you see them working in the gallery.
4. State Park of Trinidad Lake, Trinidad, Colorado
Visit Trinidad Lake State Park in Colorado to take in some of the great outdoors and the natural beauty that Trinidad is known for.
Water sports are highly recommended at the park due to the pleasant weather and beautiful large lake.
Anglers have their pick of several species, including brown and rainbow trout, channel catfish, walleye, largemouth bass, crappie, and bluegill.
Visitors can participate in a variety of watersports on the open water, and those who prefer land-based pursuits can hike the region’s many miles of winding trails, many of which pass through historic sites of historical and cultural significance.
Trinidad Lake State Park is a stunning place for those who appreciate nature.
5. Steam Engine 638
Tucked away in the back of a Trinidad chain grocery store parking lot is Steam Engine 638, a tiny but stunning relic of the country’s railroad past.
Steam Engine 638 was the last coal-burning steam engine to be used by the Colorado and Southern Railroad, but only a tiny sign at the front of the train even mentions this fact.
A supply train since its 1906 inception, the train hauled coal, cattle, and other heavy agricultural goods across the state.
Having been put out to pasture in 1963, the train now serves as a solitary but culturally significant monument to the bustling railroads of the Wild West.
6. It’s Time to Chill at Simpson’s
Simpson’s Rest, a popular tourist destination, is located atop a tall sandstone cliff in northern Trinidad and is easily recognizable thanks to the enormous illuminated sign perched atop it.
Simpson’s Rest, a popular city park beloved by both tourists and natives, was named after George S. Simpson, an adventurous and amiable pioneer who was among the earliest settlers in Trinidad.
Due to its narrowness and the difficulty of the terrain, a hike up Simpson’s Rest makes for a fantastic afternoon outing.
But the reward for those who make it to the top of the bluff is well worth the effort: a breathtaking panorama of the town of Trinidad and the surrounding mountains.
Read also: The 10 Best Things to do in Merced
7. Repertory Theatre of Southern Colorado
Undoubtedly, the Southern Colorado Repertory Theater is the crown jewel of the local performing arts scene.
The theater hosts a number of different programs throughout the year, including a professional summer season, a fantastic resident season running all year long, and a youth-focused program.
The theater offers a wide variety of classes and workshops, but the shows themselves are what bring in the crowds.
The talented actors, actresses, directors, crew, and more behind each Southern Colorado Repertory Theatre production are waiting to be discovered, so don’t miss a chance to see a seasonal show this year.
8. Temple of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Ave. Maria; Trinidad, Colorado
The Catholic community of Holy Trinity Parish in Trinidad erected the Ave Maria Shrine as a shrine to the Virgin Mary.
Many faithful Catholics in the area make the trip to Ave Maria Shrine in search of solace, healing, and an intensely spiritual experience.
The shrine extends a warm welcome to people of all faiths and no faith, and it promises grace and consolation to those who seek it.
It’s possible that the shrine’s architecture won’t impress everyone, but everyone who visits will agree that the great community that forms around the shrine is a wonderful thing.
This is undeniably a powerful testimony to the fervor and commitment of the local populace.
9. Streetcar in Trinidad
Trinidad’s rural, small-town vibe makes it easy to get around the island by car, foot, or bike, but there’s also a more unusual, romantic way to see the sights.
Fun and inexpensive, the Trinidad Trolley focuses on the city’s historic and architecturally interesting buildings.
Several different kinds of trolley tours leave from the terminal on Nevada Avenue.
Your tour may include a visit to the Ava Maria Shrine, a stop at a historic hospital, and a look at a massive mural painted by a local nun, all depending on which route you take.
10. Cafe with a Perky Atmosphere
For many, visiting a coffee shop is an integral part of their morning ritual.
Coffee shops are great for early risers who want to make the most of their limited vacation time.
Located on East Main Street, the hip, kooky, and friendly Perkatory Coffee House is a popular tourist destination in Trinidad.
On the menu, you can find anything from nitro brew and espresso to tea and juice.
Those who frequent the place regularly attest to the excellent quality of their pastries, muffins, and carrot cake with cream cheese icing.