Telluride, Colorado (summer)
The closest thing to the Alps of Europe in the US.
- More about your oliver guide: Kristine Gardner
- Trip type: Family, Mountains
- Activity level: high
- Ideal length of trip: Anywhere from a weekend (if you live close to Colorado) or up to a week. We were there 4 days and wish we could stay longer.
to & from
Connecting through Denver fly into Montrose (small airport) and rent a car and drive 1 1/2 hours or drive from Denver which is a 6 hour drive. There is also a small airport/landing strip for private planes. Telluride is not easy to get to… but worth it!
Where to Stay
You can either stay in the downtown of Telluride or the Mountain Village. The gondola connects you from the town to the “base” of Mountain Village. The downtown of Telluride is really charming and full of shops and restaurants- Mountain Village is a bit sterile, especially in summer.
- Hotel Telluride- In town, great location to walk everywhere. Fun music, fireplace and food.
- Fairmont- Mountain Village, residence (with kitchen) so great for families.
- Inn at Lost Creek- Mountain Village, pet-friendly
- New Sheridan Hotel- Historic downtown location, only 26 rooms, full of charm!
- The Madeline Hotel- Mountain Village, pet and family friendly
Where to Eat and Drink
- Allred's-10,551 feet dining where the food is as good as the views! You have to take a gondola there- in btw downtown and Mountain Village.
- The Butcher & Baker Cafe- LA-vibe (hyper local, vegan, vegetarian options, cool scene) Kombucha on tap, worth the wait- go for brunch or lunch.
- 221 South Oak- Downtown Telluride- southern influence. Make a reservation- popular with locals and visitors. Chef was on Top Chef!
- Telluride Bistro (dinner)
- The Cosmopolitan (dinner)
- New Sheridan Chophouse (dinner). If there during the summer/fall go to third floor roof top bar for drink.
- Ghost Town Coffee and Cowboy Coffee are the BEST places for your morning brew.
What to Do
There are so many hikes in Telluride. You feel like you are in Switzerland. A very unique and cool aspect of Telluride is they divide the mountain so hikers and mountain bikers do not cross paths. And when you are not on the trails, check out the shopping!
- Bear Creek Falls Hike- while it's long for kids the waterfall at the end is worth it!
- Jud Wiebe Trail- incredible views of town and mountain- About 3 miles, great hike that will give you time to explore Telluride.
- See Forever & Wasatch- For a looonog hike take gondola up to San Sophia Station and hike up Sea Forever (all uphill) then a long and technical downhill on Wasatch that connects to the top part of Bear Creek Falls Hike. This is about 10 miles.
- Bridal Veil Hike
- Cornet Creek Falls-short and sweet!
- SUP to Trout Lake with Bootdoctor Outfitter
- Nikki Lake- Hike or SUP
- Shopping! There are some great boutiques in downtown, my favorites are T. Karn (global imports, really special home and fashion) and Two Skirts
- Grilled Cheese Cart is a delicious lunch
- San Juan Outdoor Adventures is the best- they do everything from ice climbing and back country skiing in the winter to backpacking trips and rock climbing in the summer.
- The Peaks Resort is a great spot to stay in Mountain Village- however if you aren't staying there you can get a day pass to enjoy the outdoor pool, sauna, steam room and the coolest water slide ever!
What to Pack
Telluride is VERY casual– bring a fleece, jeans and clogs and you’ll be all set!
For a winter take on Telluride, check out Courtney Celeste Fisch’s Telluride Oliver Guide here.
Telluride, Colorado (summer) - Suggestions from the Oliver Community
Hmmmm…few suggestions (We have visited 2-3 times a year over the past 20 years).
Travel: You can fly into Telluride airport directly (TEX) via private. Montrose airport to Telluride is less than a 90 minute drive. Grand Junction and Durango airports are other options, both around 2.5 hours away. I wouldn’t recommend driving from Denver (6.5 hours in good weather). The nearest large city airport is Albuquerque (5.5 hours) and since it is south of Telluride it is usually OK in the winter.
Hotels: The New Sheridan Hotel is great, but it is not family friendly as it can be quite noisy at night (bar is on the first floor). Auberge Residences at Element 52 is nice and new boutique “condo” hotel that is Telluride-side slope side with tons of amenities. The River Club Condos are also quite nice and located next to Auberge. In Mountain Village, I would also recommend Lumiere as it is also a boutique slope side condo style hotel.
Restaurant’s: Allred’s is located at the top of St. Sophia Station. The local hot spot to eat is Siam (Thai).
Outfitters: Boot Doctors hands down. It is where Tom Cruise goes 😉
Hope this helps!
And a few more….
More food: There is actually a few places to get to-go sandwiches. Baked in Telluride is a local institution that is located off of Main St. Cindybread is a few miles out of town (turn off to Mountain Village) and is a great stop if you are headed out for a hike. If you aren’t feeling up to the whole dining experience, Telluride Brewing Company serves great pub food and award winning beers (and is good for families because it is loud and no one cares about screaming kids).
During the winter: Telluride has some great on-mountain dining (meaning, you must ski there): Bon Vivant (French, outside); Gorrono Ranch (bbq-style, live music) and Alpino Vino (wine bar). Telluride has a lot of extreme skiing, but if you are looking at going off piste check out Telluride Helitrax (heli-skiing).
Hikes: Telluride Visitor Center can provide you with maps and ideas for hikes.
I can never pass on ramen— luckily for you we didn’t— Wood Ear (named after the regional mushroom) is a new eatery on Colorado (main street) that blends Texas BBQ and Asian flavors. You cannot go wrong – drinks are delicious too and the sidewalk seating with the mountain backdrop is extra special.
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