Telluride may not be as famous as its glitzier Colorado cousins like Aspen or Vail, but many who do know of this magical place and have been here at least once are hooked for good. This small ski town, remotely nestled in the San Juan Mountains of southwest Colorado, has been consistently voted “most beautiful,” “ most challenging,” and “most friendly” by Conde Nast magazine and others.
If you want to know what makes this town so special, you have to come and see for yourself. Once you’ve soaked in the incredible vistas and unmistakable mountain town charm, you’ll find a vast array of things to do in Telluride, whether in the winter or the summer.
We recommend the following activities:
- Go skiing and more at Telluride Ski Resort
When some people talk about Telluride, they may actually be talking about this ski resort. Located in the beautiful pedestrian community of Mountain View, on the mountains overlooking Telluride, Telluride Ski Resort has 148 ski trails and over 2,000 acres of skiable terrain.
- Have a daring cliff climbing adventure
- Take to the waters
- Attend a festival
- Take in some art
- Go shopping, dining, and more
Most trails are better suited for experienced skiers, but there are trails for all levels. The slopes open in early November and close to skiing in early April. During the rest of the year, when the weather is a bit warmer, you can go golfing, mountain biking, and whitewater rafting, or simply enjoy the breathtaking views.
Even those who are less skilled can climb a cliff face that stands several hundred feet high. This is accomplished with the help of local guides and through the use of a “ via ferrata,” a system of permanently-attached steel rungs, cables, and bridges. A word of caution: the amazing scenery can be highly distracting.
You probably wouldn’t want to swim in the mountain lakes – they’re too cold – but stand-up paddleboarding is definitely doable. Take a lesson at Trout Lake or, if you’re experienced, set out on your own to Woods Lake, Elk Pond, or even the San Miguel River. There is also whitewater rafting for the more adventurous, as well as fly fishing on days you prefer a more relaxing time in the great outdoors.
Summer is also festival season in Telluride. Bluegrass, jazz, film, wine, mushrooms, and architecture are all represented, among many others. Don’;t miss the highly-anticipated and prestigious Telluride Bluegrass Festival, the Telluride Film Festival, and the Telluride Jazz Festival.
The First Thursday Art Walk is held every month on, you guessed it, the first Thursday. It’s one way to learn about the local art scent in Telluride. If you want to take an art class, head for the Ah Haa School for the Arts. In addition to classes, they offer exhibits, talks, and even an annual art auction. Don’t forget to check out plays, concerts, the opera, and dance – all of which Telluride offers in buckets.
Telluride’;s historic downtown features independent boutiques and galleries, housed in beautiful 19th-century buildings. Restaurants are also found downtown, as well as on the top of mountains and hills, offering the most amazing views to go with the delicious cuisines.
Also must-tries are Telluride’;s acclaimed breweries and distilleries. The award-winning Telluride Brewing Company is one of the largest microbreweries in the US, and the Telluride Distilling Company best represents the town’;s long tradition of making spirits.
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