While most hot springs around Colorado are heading toward full-on resort status with their fancy massage rooms and water slides, Cottonwood Hot Springs Inn & Spa, five miles outside of Buena Vista, remains old-school and dated in the most delightful way. The vibe is relaxed and low-key; get your tarot cards read, then recover from the news in one of the pools, which range in temperature from 94 to 110 degrees and are rimmed by rocks and backed by pine and cottonwoods. Buddha and goddess statues keep watch here and there, and hammocks and picnic tables make it easy to chill and snack while you soak. Stay overnight in the motel-like lodge or one of the old (and primitive) cabins, or if you're just passing through, grab a day pass for $20 to $24, good from 7 a.m. to midnight.
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