How do you ever figure out where to start in Colorado when you plan a vacation? Sure, there is fabulous skiing, hot springs, art museums, the Air Force Academy, and all of those gorgeous mountain ranges to hike and bike. Colorado has something for just about anyone who wants to get out and about and see something special, and more. Lots more.
A lot of people do not realize that Colorado is also one of the richest archaeological locations in the nation. Seriously. We have some of the oldest and best preserved ruins, tribal homes, and other settlements from the ancient Puebloan Nations in the country. Mesa Verde, the most famous cliff dwelling settlement, is literally in the back yard of Cortez, Colorado, and due to it’s central location, Cortez can provide a fantastic hub for your Four Corners and beyond historical vacation with your kids.
Kids are welcome in Colorado, something Coloradans feel ought to be the norm. When you find a place to stop, be it hotel or restaurant, Cortez will welcome them. They know that only through educating our children can we hope to preserve our cultures and heritage.
Some restaurants are better than others about welcoming families, especially those traveling. Often kids are either worn out or wound up from all the energy, car riding, or neat things they have seen. One thing important is refueling them with healthy food. Too often kid’s menus are full of preservatives and junk. Look for a restaurant that offers things kids can engage with, are healthy and tasty, and if possible, colorful, art-filled cultural gems that let them explore and grow appreciation for the diversity we have in this country.
Nothing is more local but more diverse than Mexican food in Cortez. Being so close to the border and having been part of “old Mexico” for centuries, our First Nations and Hispanic cultures intertwined. True Mexican cuisine ought to be the norm, but is not always, in a place like Cortez. When you are looking for a Cortez Mexican restaurant, ask around. Ask where the locals eat and where their kids are welcome and have a good time. Ask if the restaurant accommodates smaller appetites and choices of seasonings as we all know well how picky some kids’ palates are. The best Mexican restaurants in Cortez will accommodate all that with a smile.
A lot of people do not know what genuine Mexican food is, or tastes like. Too often stateside we have gotten used to the big chains with bland sauce, lots of hot, and mediocre ingredients. True Mexican cuisine is flavorful but not overwhelming. It is fresh, with the freshest ingredients and hand made tortillas and salsas. In a real Mexican restaurant, and why would you eat anywhere else when in the heart of history?, the cuisine will usually match the region of Mexico the chef is from. Ingredients might be heavily corn, lots of seafood, pork and chicken, or a variety of moles. Ask what the region is and the wait staff should be able to explain accurately the what and where as well as what to expect in dishes. Having a meal like that is a terrific extension of that awesome outdoors history soaked day you and your kids will remember forever.