Chill…like relax, find some calm, rejuvenate, you know? This is a family-friendly place after all. Although if you want to discuss chilling in the “herbal” sense I miiiight have a post on that for another day…Hey, don’t judge I did travel 3900 miles in a car with my three-year-old over two weeks and it’s Colorado so…#youwouldtoo #admitit
If I were forced to pick a favorite place in the entire world, it would most likely be Pagosa Springs. Pagosa Springs is a small town in Southwest Colorado roughly one hour east of Durango and 3 hours northwest of Santa Fe. Pah-gosah is from the Ute language and can be translated as “boiling water” or “healing water.” The town is nestled right in the San Juan Mountains on the San Juan River and is famous for its hot springs which are fed by the Great Pagosah Spring. The spring is known as the deepest geothermal hot spring in the world. To say this is a pretty cool place would be an understatement. It is a complete gift of nature.
I feel connected to this town for so many reasons. For starters, I am very much a mountains person but also a water sign. The combination of mountains and water gives me life and refills my soul. Ryan and I got engaged here on a walk right along the San Juan River. We’ve visited this town with friends, and it was our first trip together after his deployment to Iraq. It’s a very special place for us. Since our first trip here almost ten years ago we’ve been back five times and it never disappoints.
I’m all about that RV life, but we did ditch our beloved tiny house for a few days to stay in a hotel. It takes a lot for me to leave the Airstream behind, but when you stay at The Springs Resort and Spa, you get 24/7 access to the pools, and you can’t beat that. Ryan’s former step-dad was kind enough to let us stash our home-on-wheels in his driveway so we could live that hotel life for a few days and really enjoy ourselves. Traveling with a three-year-old is no cake walk, and 24/7 access to the hot springs meant that not only could we enjoy the pools as a family but Ryan and I could also take turns visiting the pools alone for some valuable quiet time. If you are visiting Pagosa Springs, I highly recommend staying on the resort to really maximize the experience.
So, what makes this place so amazing? Oh, I don’t know…do you have all day to talk about it? If you are an outdoors person, it is the perfect place for hiking, river rafting, horse-back riding and skiing at nearby Wolf Creek ski resort. If you are not an outdoors person but you enjoy pretty scenery and relaxation, it is also a perfect place for you. The town is adorable with fun shops, restaurants, spas and of course The Springs Resort and Spa which has 23 geothermal hot spring soaking pools is terraced along the river, and you can see the steam rising up as you drive into town. The resort also has a full-service spa that can accommodate all your relaxation needs.
What I appreciate most about Pagosa Springs is you get a laid-backed, super relaxed vacation that feels incredibly luxurious. The town isn’t trying to impress you, and the area doesn’t overwhelm you, it just welcomes you and treats you well, and you leave feeling so much better than when you arrived. This was our first time traveling here with Hank and to be honest, I was really nervous. With a little extra supervision and patience, we enjoyed the healing waters together, and it was a great learning experience for Hank. He learned to appreciate water and nature for its calm and stillness checking his normally spunky behavior at the door, and I was really proud of him.
Children genuinely pick up on energy, and not one child during our visit was disruptive. Hey, kids might be the reason we need to relax, but they also need healing and relaxation in their little lives, too. A man even mentioned to us that it was his first time at a family-friendly hot springs resort and he was really impressed with the environment the resort had to offer for all visitors, and I agree. It is an open and welcoming place for everyone, which is the best part about staying there. Pagosa Springs is the place to go if you are looking for healing, reflection, nature and enjoyment.
When we visit our trips have no itinerary or plan. We just go about our day anyway that feels good. I usually get up early for a soak in the springs and a cup of coffee then we’d go for a walk, grab a late breakfast or early lunch at The Rose Restaurant or The Peak Deli. Our afternoons are usually spent hiking or in town. I love to visit Coyote Jane’s or Goodman’s for some gifts and spa products. Since it wasn’t ski season (which btw nearby Wolf Creek is fantastic! If you want the thrill of Rockies without the crowds check it out!), I save some time in the day for a long run along the river before dinner. There are so many great restaurants it is honestly hard to choose, but our favorites are the Alley House, Pagosa Brewing and Tequila’s because well…I can’t pass up a good plate of nachos and a margarita.
We close the evenings out by soaking in the hot springs together as a family before setting up our tired little Hank with a movie in the comfy hotel bed. Ryan and I take turns snuggling him and watching the movie while the other person soaks, but my sweet husband always gives me first dibs on venturing to the pools. I like to think it’s because he is so thoughtful, but I honestly think it’s so he can secure some quiet movie watching time away from his not so quiet non-movie watching wife.
Hey, we all fill our tanks in different ways, and this is the perfect place to do just that.