Small Towns – Big Rec Centers

Here’s a surprising thing about small towns, or small towns with money anyway:  Your tourist dollars have built many modern, aesthetically pleasing, and inexpensive to visit recreation centers serving the towns and surrounding community.   If your hotel’s “gym” consists of a broken treadmill or you’re road tripping it and need a workout break, search ‘em out before your trip.

Here are a few samples I found over the past year. This past winter I was pleasantly surprised to find this rec center during a ski weekend in Steamboat Springs. I spent an afternoon at the Old Town Hot Springs.  This non-profit community center has a waterslide, rock climbing wall, gym, and multiple pools.

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In September, after a night of camping in New Mexico, I drove to Santa Fe (below) and had a wonderful workout and swim at the Genoveva Chavez Community Center.  Here I found a sauna, ice hockey rink, and huge multi-level workout facility.  It was a busy Saturday morning with classes and early risers getting their workout time in, but far more spacious than my local gym at home.


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Visiting Moab, this small town catering to adventures houses the Moab Recreation and Aquatics Center.

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Best of all, a day pass is very economical for individuals or families. A pass at Steamboat is $15. I used the gym, showers, running track, pool, and hot tubs at the Chavez Center for $6.

These are just the three that I’ve found.  YMCAs in large cities also have surprisingly nice facilities, and perfect for an inexpensive workout if away from your home gym.

And, if you’re a bookwork rather than a gym rat, the Teton County Library in Jackson, Wyoming, is probably the most beautiful and tranquil library I’ve visited.