Durango, Colorado — Destination Overview

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If you’re planning a trip to Durango Colorado soon and looking for the best things to do, look no further. I have lived in the Durango area for 20 years and couldn’t think of a better destination to explore. From delicious restaurants, to exciting outdoor activities, and cozy places to stay – Durango is a wonderful place to check out. When it comes to food, Durango is home to some of the most delicious restaurants in Colorado. Whether you’re looking for classic American cuisine or one-of-a-kind southwestern dishes, you’ll find them here. Try the heavenly biscuits and gravy at Doughworks or sample an eclectic mix of flavors (and beers) at Steamworks Brewing Company. Caver Brewing Company has an amazing steak sandwich and you can’t go wrong with a pizza from Homeslice. If you are looking for more upscale places to dine, I highly recommend 636 Main Ave, Season’s, Mahogney Grille or my personal favorite — Ore House.

When it comes to outdoor activities, Durango is a paradise for nature lovers. Take a hike along the famous Animas River Trail, explore the incredible ruins of Mesa Verde National Park, take an adventurous jeep tour through the nearby San Juan Mountains or enjoy a whitewater rafting trip down the Animas. You can also experience some of Colorado’s most unique wildlife – including coyotes, elk, and bears on the Durango-Silverton Narrow Gauge railroad.

Durango Hot Springs

Are you looking for a hot springs paradise? Look no further than Durango Hot Springs! Located 5 minutes from downtown Durango, this stunning destination offers guests a relaxing experience with multiple geothermal-fed pools. The naturally-heated pools are perfect for those who want to take a dip, relax and take in nature. A bar is located on the property with a fine selection of local beers and cocktails as well as a food truck for a quick snack. Whether you’re looking to spend a romantic evening with your significant other, enjoy time with the family or just want to get away — you’ll be able to back and enjoy the breathtaking views of the Animas River Valley.

Hotel Accomindations

There are many lodging options in the Durango area. From cozy B&Bs in historic downtown to luxurious resorts with breathtaking views of the San Juans – you can find something that fits your budget and preferences. For those looking too rough it a bit, check out Vallecito Lake Campground for some camping under the stars. The historic Strater Hotel and/or the General Palmer Hotel offers its guests an unforgettable Western style experience that will make you feel like you have traveled back in time. Both properties offer fantastic accommodations and a perfect base for your Durango adventure. A must see is the Diamond Bell Saloon located in the Strater Hotel. When you walk through the old western style saloon doors you will find live country music, staffed dressed as if it’s the 1800’s and maybe a couple of locals at the bar chatting about their day at the local ski hill, Purgatory Mountain Resort.

Purgatory Mountain Resort

Don’t forget to check out Purgatory Mountain Resort for some of the best skiing in Colorado. My first time skiing at Purgatory Mountain Resort in Durango, Colorado was an experience I’ll never forget. From the moment I stepped off the ski lift and onto the slopes of Purgatory, I knew this is the place I wanted to call home. The views from up high are absolutely breathtaking – from snow-covered trees and mountainsides. The skiing itself is a blast! Purgatory has plenty of runs for all skill levels, from novice to expert – so you will have no problem finding a slope that’s perfect for you. The snow is often fresh, and the powdery conditions will make your visit to this resort an absolute joy. Be sure to check out Purgy’s for a beer/cocktail after hitting the slopes as well as the best ski bar in Durango located about half a mile from the resort called The School House.

On the downside, Durango has become more and more expensive over the years. Not in comparison to a Vail or Aspen price tag, but my worry is that this once fairly quiet mountain town will eventually mirror the major resort ski towns Colorado is known for. If you do end up visiting Durango, please tip your waiter/waitress generously and support the local mom and pop shop’s. No matter what you’re looking for, Durango is a destination that is sure to be unforgettable — in a lesser known part of Colorado.

Editorial Note: Information and opinions articulated in this article are solely those of the author’s, not those of a credit card company, bank, airline or hotel chain. This article has not been reviewed or approved by or otherwise endorsed by any of these companies or organizations.

Travis is a Senior Editor at Miles Junkie. An avid outdoorsman, you'll see him shredding the slopes of Colorado in the winter and cutting rounds to heat his home in the national forests during the summer. He lives with his wife and three dogs in southwest Colorado.

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