There’s more to this southwestern Colorado ski town than just the slopes. Here are a few of our favorite things to eat, drink and do in Telluride
Go off the grid in a backcountry hut
Want to really get away from it all? The San Juan Hut System includes five backcountry wooden ski huts that connect Telluride, Ridgway and Ouray. Each hut can be accessed individually, or advanced skiers can travel hut to hut. Be prepared for rustic: each hut is equipped with eight padded bunks, a propane stove and lame, a wood stove, firewood and all necessary kitchen equipment, but water is obtained by melting snow.
Have breakfast at The Butcher and Baker
Breakfast at this cozy café in downtown Telluride isn’t particularly groundbreaking, but that’s part of what we love about it — it’s simple food, done really well. Plus, the atmosphere is so cute, we find ourselves wanting to sit and sip coffee all day.
Take a 4×4 up Tomboy Road
Once a well-traveled mining road that connected Telluride to the town of Tomboy, Tomboy Road is now an off-roading haven. The 7 mile trip provides a good mix of history and adventure, as you get a look at the ruins of the town of Tomboy before continuing on to Imogene Pass, which sits at an elevation of 13,114 feet.
Take a historic walking tour of town
In the mid-1800s, Telluride was a booming mining town, flush with cash. Along with the money came saloons, brothels and bank robberies — including Butch Cassidy’s first successful heist. Take a tour of town to see which modern-day storefronts were once home to something a bit seedier.
Eat a doughnut at Baked
For almost 40 years, Jerry Greene’s bakery has been churning out the town’s best baked goods. There are tons of options on the racks, but we go strictly for the cake donuts.
Stroll through the farmers market
If you’re lucky enough to be in Telluride on a Friday in the summer or early fall, it’s worth your time to take a stroll through the farmers market, which features a bounty of organic fruits and veggies, pasture-raised meats, eggs and cheese, artisan baked goods, and crafts. And it’s all truly local —everything sold at the market is grown or created within 100 miles of Telluride.
Drink a Flatliner at The Buck
The official name of this delectably-divey bar is the Last Dollar Saloon, but if you want to sound like a local, call it The Buck. And if you want to drink like a local, order Telluride’s signature drink, the Flatliner. The cocktail is a magical mix of espresso, rum and Bailey’s and is stronger than it tastes — one is usually enough.
Shop the free box
You know that saying, “one man’s trash is another man’s treasure”? It’s never been more true than at Telluride’s free box, where residents drop off usable clothing and household items for others to breathe new life into. It’s not unusual to find a pair of gently used ski boots for the taking.
Catch a show at the Sheridan Opera House
Dubbed the crown jewel of Telluride, this historic theater was brought back to life in the early 2000s and now plays host to a bevy of artists and events. Highlights include the annual Comedy Fest in February, which has drawn familiar faces from The Daily Show, SNL and Flight of the Conchords in the past, and frequent performances by Telluride resident Jewel.
Ride the gondola in the middle of the night
The towns of Telluride and Mountain Village are linked by a 13-minute free gondola ride, which during the day provides incredible views of the box canyon below. But it’s the night ride that is an experience all its own as you descend into an expanse of dark nothingness.