48 HOURS IN TELLURIDE
The mountain town marries Old West charm with modern luxury.
Telluride has a reputation as one of the country’s least accessible, albeit most atmospheric ski locations. But this season, United launched direct, daily routes to Montrose Regional Airport, just outside of town, and Boutique Air debuted daily connections straight into the local airport.
2019 is also Telluride Ski Resort’s first year joining Epic Pass—along with over 40 ski resorts around the world—which makes it better connected than ever before. Though it’s renowned for its powdery slopes, there’s much more to this Rocky Mountain town than ski runs.
Here’s what to see, eat, and do in Telluride.
WHERE TO STAY
Steps from the public gondola, Dunton Town House is a luxe bed and breakfast with five elegant rooms. Austrian textiles and handmade ceramics, a nod to the region’s early history of Tyrolean inhabitants, accent the modern aesthetic.
In the thick of Mountain Village, 15 minutes from downtown Telluride, is the newly-renovated Lumière Hotel with Inspirato. The ski-in, ski-out boutique property includes amenities like an outdoor splash pool, hot tub, and sauna. If you’re traveling with a group, book one of their multi-room penthouses or residences.
Grab coffee with homemade almond milk or a turmeric-coconut chai at Ghost Town, a charming cafe in a courtyard on Main Street. The avocado toast is served with hard-boiled egg, chèvre, and chili crunch on sourdough. Sample one of their colorful smoothies—the purple includes açai, blueberries, and cashew milk.
Choose Your Afternoon Adventure
OPTION 1: CULTURE
Fueled by its inspiring location, artists and musicians have embraced Telluride. The Arts District offers a number of galleries. The most established, Telluride Gallery of Fine Art shows contemporary painting, photography, and jewelry. For artisanal home goods and collectibles, check out MIXX Projects on West Colorado Avenue—a portion of their proceeds are donated to global nonprofits.
OPTION 2: FITNESS
Pick up rentals at Telluride Sports and board the gondola towards Telluride Ski Resort. Hit the slopes, which average up to 300 inches of snowfall per year, or take it over the top with a heli-skiing adventure. Telluride Helitrax boasts an exclusive permit for over 200 miles of off-trail, alpine terrain.
For an indulgent lunch, visit the Grilled Cheese Cart in Mountain Village—order the apricot and Brie version—or try the Avo Taco from Taco Del Gnar, less than two blocks from the gondola at Telluride Station. If you prefer a picnic-style lunch, get some crudité, cheese, and fixings from Over the Moon and sit on their patio with a glass of wine.
Book dinner at there, a buzzy boîte not far from the Coonskin lift. The spot is known for its jam jar cocktails (spirits are combined with a spoonful of red pepper, strawberry, or apricot preserves), and inventive tapas like crab ceviche lettuce wraps, mushroom-beet tostadas, and wild-caught prawn skewers.
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Begin another day in the mountains with a hearty breakfast at The Butcher & Baker Cafe. Get one of their amaranth, quinoa, and brown rice porridge bowls—the sweet version contains local plum compote, apples, and homemade granola, while the savory features roasted heirloom tomatoes, steamed organic greens, and an over-easy egg.
Choose your Afternoon Adventure
OPTION 1: CULTURE
No matter the season, Telluride is a town of events. June’s annual Bluegrass Festival and August’s Film Festival are both widely known, but nearly every week champions a curiosity worth exploring. Check out the calendar, which showcases activities ranging from wine tastings to mushroom festivals. For a nearby adventure, drive to Orvis and soak in the hot springs, famous for their natural lithium-filled waters.
OPTION 2: FITNESS
Traverse one of the six Nordic trails in and around Telluride. Rent cross-country and skate skis at the Parks and Recreation office on the east end of town, and then start on the nearby Telluride Town Park trail (about a mile and a half) or head to Priest Lake for a path measuring a little over six miles. Alternatively, get a fat-tire bike at Boot Doctors and explore the nine-mile Valley Floor trail.
Dating back to 1895, the New Sheridan Hotel is a classic in the area. Its Chop House restaurant serves a casual daytime menu until 2 p.m., with items like elk chili, Rocky Mountain trout salad, and steel-cut oatmeal. After lunch, take in a performance at the nearby Sheridan Opera House, a vaudeville-era theater built in 1913. Or, just pop in, and then stroll along Telluride’s historic streets, which display Old West charm in the form of saloons and Victorians.
221 South Oak, a New American restaurant by former Top Chef contestant Eliza Galvin, revels in the homemade, with pasta, sausages, pickles, and even cheese crafted on-premises. For a lighter lineup, dive into their vegetarian menu featuring dishes like crispy cider-braised Brussels sprouts and pear kimchi, delicata squash with tatsoi and blistered turnips, and miso and herb–crusted tofu accompanied by parsnip and ginger purée.