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More Than Just Skiing: A Year-Round Look at Where to Stay & Things to Do in Telluride, Colorado

Written by Sam Cohen

Telluride, Colorado is a popular travel destination at any time of the year, though it typically provides the best experiences for those who like to vacation from late autumn into the heart of winter. If you like spending time outside exploring the great outdoors and sleeping under the stars, this is the perfect location for you. Situated in the Rocky Mountains, Telluride offers a range of activities for you and your family to enjoy. From alpine skiing to bustling film festivals, there’s always things to do — and somewhere to eat — in this quaint Colorado town.

Indoors or Outside — the Best Places to Stay in Telluride

best palces to ski: downhill skiing in Telluride, Colorado, USA

One of the biggest selling points of a Telluride vacation is the sheer number of places to stay. Whether you’re looking for a scenic campground or a luxury hotel, this cozy mountain town caters to all tastes and budgets. For those seeking rustic lodging with sweeping mountain views, look no further than the Mountain Lodge at Telluride. Located near Telluride Mountain, this resort offers a variety of room sizes and amenities, from condominium-style accommodations to cabins. If you’re here to ski, this is the ideal location as Mountain Lodge at Telluride lends ski-in/ski-out access, all while treating guests to panoramic views of the San Juan Mountains.

Telluride is popular among visitors who enjoy the experience of setting up a tent and spending the chilly autumn evenings gazing out over the breathtaking landscape. Lower Beaver Campground is a must for outdoor enthusiasts who want to embrace the natural beauty of Telluride. This location currently offers 18 campsites for you to choose from, four of which are available year-round. Prices are reasonable which is helpful if you’re planning your trip to Telluride on a strict budget. Each campsite is equipped with beneficial amenities such as vault-style toilets, drinking water with hand pumps, and centralized trash receptacles.

Visitors seeking a more refined experience are invited to stay at Hotel Columbia located near the San Miguel River. This hotel features an updated, modern design and an endless array of amenities, such as hot tubs in select rooms. The property is also home to Cosmopolitan — one of the best restaurants in Telluride. Each morning, guests at the Hotel Columbia are treated to a hearty deluxe continental breakfast at the restaurant, providing the necessary fuel for hours of outdoor activities.

Related: The Cutest Colorado Mountain Towns You’ll Want to Visit in Winter

Activities Abound in this Mountain Town

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Visiting Telluride in the autumn months is highly recommended if you are an avid hiker. Numerous hiking trails are found throughout the region to the point where you can successfully explore a new trail every day of your vacation. Whether you enjoy strenuous hikes or leisurely afternoon strolls, all skill sets can appreciate the scenic views found in Telluride. If members of your party want to enjoy less time in nature and more time in town, opt for one of the historic walks offered in the downtown area to learn more about the background of this wonderful mountain location.

If you’re booking your flights to Colorado on the cusp of winter, make sure to carve out time in your schedule for skiing. Telluride is a premiere ski destination, particularly for those who enjoy Nordic Skiing. Six different Nordic ski resorts are found throughout Telluride and each offer something different for you to experience during your trip. Spend the day on the slopes before settling in at your lodge, hotel, or campsite for a complete Colorado experience.

Visitors who are looking for a truly unique encounter are encouraged to attend any of the numerous festivals held in Telluride throughout the fall and well into the rest of the year. The Telluride Film Festival takes place from the last week of August into the first week of September and is regarded as one of the most popular festivals in the area. This star-studded affair features screenings of upcoming films as well as numerous discussions, panels, and events.

Family-friendly activities, such as the Bonfire & S’mores nights held at Mountain Village, provide you with a glimpse into the magic that is Telluride. Gather around the warm fire and toast marshmallows with your children as you listen to live music and breathe in the clean mountain air. If you’re visiting at the beginning of December, be sure to spend time exploring the Telluride Fire Festival. This nighttime festival features fire installations and fire spinners, delectable cuisine, and artist spotlights.

Chow Down on the Best Food in Town

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Telluride offers an array of notable restaurants and coffee shops for you to enjoy throughout your stay. Start off your morning at Coffee Cowboy, where you can enjoy locally roasted coffee, freshly baked pastries, and invigorating smoothies. Surrounded by several tables and chairs, this cute coffee cart is situated in the heart of Telluride. Select the beverage and pastry of your choice and settle in for a morning of lively chatter and people watching.

Spend a night out on the town at Liberty Bar and Lounge for cocktails and charcuterie in this comfortable, rustic location. Liberty Bar schedules performances from DJs and live musicians throughout the year. The venue provides a welcoming environment for those who want to unwind with a good drink and better company at the end of the day. The exposed brick and high ceilings make the space feel open and inviting. The beverage selection is also sure to please every member of your group.

No trip to Telluride would be complete without a meal from Siam. Considered one of the most popular restaurants in the area, Siam serves traditional Thai food prepared with the freshest ingredients and an abundance of love. The owners of Siam arrange to have fresh seafood flown in daily to ensure they are serving the best possible dishes to their guests. The restaurant is warmly decorated and the food is so satisfying that you’ll find yourself returning to Siam again and again throughout your trip.

Have you been to Telluride and have some advice to add on things to do when visiting? Let us know in the comments below!  

About the author

Sam Cohen

Sam is a writer and editor based in New England. She enjoy learning new languages, drinking lattes, and spending time with loved ones. Sam is an avid reader who practices yoga daily and tries to laugh as often as possible.