Things to Do in Telluride When You're Alive
July 16, 2010 5:40 PM   Subscribe

(1) Stare at mountains. (2) Ride the gondola. (3) Stare at mountains while riding gondola. Please add to my list of things to do in Telluride, CO.

My girlfriend's family unexpectedly invited me along, so next week I'll be traveling to Telluride, Colorado for a week of carefree restful vacationey whatever-time. I've been to Colorado once before, but never in this area or at this altitude. What sights, activities, shops, hole-in-the-wall bookstores, galleries etc should I visit while there? I've already browsed several tourism websites but would appreciate any personal, from-experience opinions. Two caveats: getting to town conveniently will all but require a gondola ride, so that's already checked off, and there will be limited car availability.

Thanks in advance!
posted by MimeticHaHa to Travel & Transportation (10 answers total) 5 users marked this as a favorite
Best answer: telluride's awesome- you had better find out what festival is going on because more than likely the town's gonna be overrun with people for that festival.

Altitude's gonna be tough (it sits at just below 10,000 feet). Wear sunscreen, drink water (way more than you think you ever could) and go easy on the alcohol until you figure out just how bad your tolerance truly is at altitude.

If you aren't outdoorsy, it's gonna be a tough week. My recommendation (and I used to live there) is to check out the trails close to town- bear creek pretty easy, jud wiebe- a little more strenuous. Both walking distance in town if you take the gondola over. If you are into fly fishing, you can go down to the local fly shop and either rent a set-up and go by yourself or hire a guide for a day to show you the spots.

There are also 4 wheel and jeep tours which should be a great idea as there are some insane roads- especially if you go over the bridal veil falls pass (if it's still open).

If you can use the car, go check out alta lakes, fairly close and easy to access with some beautiful scenery.

Take a camera as this is probably one of the most scenic places EVAR!

Go over the pass and check out ouray and take a dip in the hot springs.

There are some really good restaurants in town, but you will pay a pretty penny- Allred's is pretty bad ass (at the top of the gondola) so if you are willing to throw down some coin, go have dinner, if not go for a drink or 2 in the bar.

Bluepoint has a pretty happening bar downstairs where you can go and hang out and have dinner if you don't want to sit in the dining room.

The sheridan is a good pool hall and bar.
posted by TheBones at 6:01 PM on July 16, 2010

Best answer: I love Telluride, it's literally one of the most beautiful places I've ever visited - and I've traveled a lot! We are usually there during the summer, but I think most places stay open year round. Definitely recommend taking the gondola to/from the town to Mountain Village, which is very quaint. Also, there's an awesome divey bar in Telluride called Bubble Lounge - it's actually an oxygen bar, but they never seem to have all of the necessary supplies when I've been there (that's how divey it is). It's where all the locals hang out, so you know it's a great place, and the bartender is a spitfire. For food, there's an awesome burger place whose name I can't remember, but it's in a house, and it's called something like "The House" - ask the locals and they'll be able to direct you. Finally, for a nice dinner, I recommend La Marmotte (also in Telluride) - it's super good food, but still laid back and low key - like everything in Telluride is. Have an awesome time, it's one of my favorite places on earth!
posted by elquien at 6:03 PM on July 16, 2010

Best answer: You may have seen, on the interwebs, a picture of a Rottweiler with a cat lying on his back, and a mouse lying on top of the cat's back. These guys work the Square in Telluride, much like living statues or street musicians might do, and I was glad to have seen them in person.

I was last there for the Festival about ten years ago, and I was getting tired of being another unwashed hippie, so I went into the public library and read New Yorkers for a while. It's a glorious little library and I suggest you drop in if you need to chill for no money.
posted by Countess Elena at 6:14 PM on July 16, 2010

Telluride is super beautiful, and I think the best thing to do during the day is to pack a lunch and hike! Get a trail guide - Both the 'Blue Lake' hike and the 'Silver Lake' hike start at the top of Bridal Veil falls. Both hikes terminate high up in the mountains at their respective lakes, and both hikes would give you a keen sense of accomplishment. And when you get down, jacuzzi!

My one tip is that if you can get a ride to the top of the falls, that would make your day a whole lot easier.

Jeep rides up the surrounding mountain sides are also fun.
posted by bonsai forest at 7:04 PM on July 16, 2010

My husband is going to cry when he sees this, then hate you. (Don't worry, he'll repent. Eventually.)

You are going to North America's version of heaven on earth. The most beautiful spot on the planet. The place HE used to live three or so decades ago back when a kid working a ski lift could still afford a place to stay.

Anyway, make sure to take the prospect of altitude sickness seriously. Rest the first day you are there, and take it easy the next several. Make sure to stay hydrated. Whenever I visit Colorado my mother in law or whoever I am staying with makes sure I have a bottle of water with me. Do ye likewise.

But do know the place is filled with rich people. Depending on your own income level, this will be either status quo or annoying.
posted by St. Alia of the Bunnies at 7:49 PM on July 16, 2010

If you can talk the family into a short day trip, Ouray is definitely worth seeing!
posted by occidental at 9:05 PM on July 16, 2010

Drink water. Lots of water. And then drink more.

Sunscreen, as has been mentioned.


When are you going? The blues and brews festival is in September; if you're there for that, that's all you'll be doing. It's a freakin' awesome time. (I've been twice.)

Telluride is tiny. Walk down main street, you've pretty much seen the town. It's a tourist trap, with boutiques and expensive restaurants. It's not like you're going to New York, where you gotta plan your itinerary. Walk around, breathe the rarifed air, be mellow.
posted by goblinbox at 9:19 PM on July 16, 2010

Great single track mountain biking...
posted by hellboundforcheddar at 2:01 PM on July 17, 2010

There's a big waterfall at the end of the main road thru town. The walk to the top is pretty easy and the view is great. The town itself is pretty small, so you won't have trouble checking it all out on foot. It is a beautiful place -have fun!
posted by spilon at 3:02 PM on July 17, 2010

Response by poster: Thanks for all your suggestions! I haven't had a chance to act on them yet: just got in this afternoon. I have been here all of an hour and never want to leave.

I've already put away more bottled water than I usually do in a week, and have been nursing a mild headache which I suspect is due at least in part to the altitude. The practical advice was especially useful right off the bat. Fortunately, I am a walker and am delighted by the hiking prospects. And a special thank-you for suggesting the library! I had the chance to visit Jackson Hole for an afternoon while working at Yellowstone many years ago and was wowed by their library (and used bookstores: the Mountain West has a great many excellent used bookstores). Helena, Montana also has a lovely library.

Thanks again! This place is absolutely overwhelming.
posted by MimeticHaHa at 3:16 PM on July 18, 2010

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