A Day Well Spent on Main Street in Telluride

Telluride, Colorado, is one of those places that, if you know anything about it, you know you want to visit. A mountain town with plenty to offer, travelers come for a host of reasons: great skiing in winter, Rocky Mountains beauty, festivals celebrating almost any occasion, and incredible outdoor adventures year-round. You have probably heard of the famous Telluride Ski Resort, the free gondola rides, the Telluride Film Festival and Bridal Veil Falls.

But you might have missed the hidden gem of Telluride: Main Street.

Colorado Avenue is the main road that passes through the town running east and west. Over the years, while the ski resort has gotten the most attention, quietly Main Street has blossomed into a downtown that rivals any U.S. small town. In fact, the city has developed quite a reputation in the dining industry, as one of the best cities for foodies.

Condé Nast readers ranked Telluride in their Top 20 List of Best American Cities for Foodies. And Fodor’s ranked us in the Top 10.”

What makes Telluride such a favorite among diners? For starters, it’s the quality and variety of the restaurants. Restauranteurs have come to the mountains of Colorado to see what they could create and if it would win over the locals and tourists alike. Cafes, wine bars, dives, formal restaurants, ski-access only hotspots, bakeries, coffee shops, saloons, barbeques, and pubs dot the eating landscape of Telluride. Chefs prepare intricate menus with intense flavors, often finding their inspiration in international cuisines. Asian fusion, American Midwest fare, Italian specialties, cowboy comfort foods, delicate truffles, and French pastries can all be found here.

“They’ve got the highest restaurant in America (Alpino Vino) and an unquenchable zest for happy hour.”

Main Street is the place to find some of the best eats. But it’s also where you’ll find outfitters and rentals for your outdoor adventures, books and magazines for the readers in your family, yoga and pilates, live entertainment, art galleries, and souvenirs to remember your visit. It’s possible to spend a whole day on Main Street. Dining. Shopping. Gazing at art. You choose. You can even discover some of the history of the old mining town when you visit historic sights like the New Sheridan Hotel, founded in 1891. Or consider stopping by Elks Lodge, another establishment from the early mining years.

“During the gold rush, the Elks Lodge was one of Telluride’s most popular gathering places in the mining community. Great local spot for concerts, events, Turkey Bingo, weddings and more.”

Yes, you absolutely should visit all the scenic sights in Telluride. Ride the gondola. Take panoramic photos from the top of the ski lifts. Get up close and personal with Bridal Veil Falls. But then, when you’re ready to come back down to the valley, Main Street will be here waiting for you, with its offerings of food, beer, après, and atmosphere.

Where to Stay

An elegant western-style aesthetic and plenty of living space make The River Club one of the best places to stay in Telluride, Colorado, one of the top ski destinations in North America. The resort is located within the historic Depot District just two blocks from the Telluride Gondola Station, giving guests easy access to the town’s ski slopes, restaurants, cafes, and shops.

Franz Klammer Lodge is located the mountains above Telluride, a small but eclectic town that is an ideal year-round destination. The town’s ski slopes provide a wide variety of winter fun for alpine enthusiasts. Visit the town in the summer and you’ll find world-class mountain biking trails, golf courses, skate parks, and much more.


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