Are you dreaming of the Wild West? Durango, Colorado has all the snow-capped peaks, steam engine rides, mountain biking, and state parks that you could desire. The finishing touch to a trip out west is a cozy rental from Experience Colorado as it is meant to be seen, through the eyes of a local!

What to Do in Durango

durango winter

Snow-Filled Winter Fun

Any Durango travel guide will tell you that Colorado is one of the best places in the country to hit the slopes. While this is of course true, there are also many other ways to enjoy the season. Climb aboard the Durango Cascade Train for a scenic journey, plan a magical sleigh ride through the San Juan Mountains, or soak your sore muscles in the Trimble Hot Springs.

Excellent snow conditions provide the quintessential Colorado getaway in Durango. Whether you want to spend a week perfecting your skiing and snowboarding skills or trying something new such as snowshoeing or dog sledding, the scenery in Durango is sure to leave you breathless.

Outdoor Recreation All Year Long

Each season has its own variety of outdoor activities to offer. The spring is an incredible season as it offers the best of both worlds. It is possible to enjoy spring skiing one day, and mountain biking the next! Altitude makes all the difference in the spring, so be sure to bring along different types of clothing.

durango recreationDuring the summer, even more outdoor adventures become available for visitors. Spend your days horseback riding, white water rafting, or fishing. If you plan on fishing during your trip, remember to get a permit first. During the fall, fly-fishing is especially popular. To see the incredible fall foliage, take a drive along the San Juan skyway. A thorough Durango travel guide will reveal all the pleasures of each season in Colorado.

Family Adventures in Durango

While the mountain scenery of Durango is sure to inspire romance, it is also the perfect backdrop for family adventures. Your kids will love the opportunity to climb a rock wall, hit the mountain biking trail, or cruise down the alpine slide. At the top of the adventure list is a day spent ziplining. This high-flying activity is sure to get the adrenaline pumping.

Are your kids movie fans? If so, you may want to take advantage of the City Slickers tour that shows visitors areas in Durango where the movie was shot. This tour also reveals history about Durango itself. Beyond Durango, there are ghost towns to explore, steam engines to ride, and new snow activities to try.

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What to See in Durango

durango sightseeing

Beyond Adventure in Durango

A complete Durango travel guide must also mention all of the history and educational opportunities available in the area. Many visitors don’t know that a UNESCO World Heritage Site is right near Durango. The Mesa Verde National Park is the cliff dwellings of the ancestral Pueblo people. As one of the best preserved archeological sites in the country, this is an essential stop for history buffs.

A ride on a coal-fired steam engine is also a must for visitors to Durango. Climb aboard the Durango & Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad as you chug through the canyons of the San Juan National Forest. Historic downtown Durango is full of its own charms, so be sure to explore this local gem as well.

Landmarks and Attractions

While there are plenty of attractions for families, there are also some that are best just for kids. Treat your kids to a visit to the Durango Discovery Kids Museum to add an educational element to the trip or take a tour of an abandoned nearby ghost town.

Durango also offers pleasures just for adults. Try your luck at the nearby Sky Ute Casino or catch a stage show at Bar D Chuckwagon. One of the most romantic landmarks near Durango is the Vallecito Lake where you can spend a romantic day boating or indulging in a picnic.

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Where to Shop and Eat in Durango

Bring a Slice of Durango Home

No Durango travel guide would be complete without filling you in on where to shop. This Colorado town offers everything from fashion and children’s boutiques to outdoor stores and kitchen supply shops. The odds are, no matter what your hobby is, you will be able to find a store in Durango to pick up something new.

There are a few specific shopping spots including historic Downtown Durango, the Main Avenue Mall, and the Durango Mall. Amongst the impressive variety of stores, some local favorites include From the Heart Boutique, Durango Silver Company jewelry store, and Artesano’s for unique gifts.

durango restaurants

Diverse Dining in Durango

You might picture Durango as a quiet mountain town, but the truth is Durango offers more restaurants per capita than the foodie city of San Francisco. It is possible to spend an entire vacation eating at different (and equally fantastic!) restaurants. A little research ahead of time can help you to narrow down your options.

Whether you want award-winning restaurants or a place where it’s acceptable to throw peanuts on the floor, you will find a match in Durango. There are also many local microbreweries, so don’t leave without sampling the Colorado version of a craft beer. Top choices for dining include Mahogany Grille in the heart of the historic district, The Ore House for steak and seafood, and Carvers Brewing Company for hearty meals.


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When to Visit Durango

Durango, Colorado has an established reputation as a winter destination, but the truth is outdoor pleasures are on offer all year long. The winter ski season lasts from November through March, with spring skiing extending the season even longer depending on weather.

Many visitors love the spring season in Colorado, when the snow melts away and the landscape is vibrantly colored with wildflowers. The mountain air is especially crisp in the spring, and visitors flock here to enjoy horseback riding and hiking. Summer is perfect for boating, fishing, and swimming. If you want to try white water rafting when the water is at its warmest, plan a trip towards the end of the summer. Autumn has its own pleasures as well, including the gorgeous fall foliage.

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What to Bring Durango

Your packing list for a Durango vacation will largely be influenced by what time of year you are traveling. During the winter, layers of breathable clothing are a must. Temperatures will change according to time of day and altitude, so it is best to be prepared for all types of weather.

Colorado is known for its relaxed atmosphere, so don’t bring along anything too fancy. Even the best restaurants in Durango won’t be black tie. In the summer, remember your hiking boots and insect repellent. To make the vacation rental feel more like home, bring along some entertainment for the kids and maybe a few items for the kitchen. Nothing says home like mom’s special buttermilk pancakes.

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Local Services in Durango

A Durango travel guide might neglect to mention excellent the local services, but this would be a mistake. Durango offers a high level of service that will make almost any trip to Colorado easier. If you forget anything at home, you will be able to find it in Durango. Shopping is abundant, grocery stores are well stocked, ski rentals are widely available, and local tourist offices can help you to make the most of your trip whether you’re interested in outdoor adventure or local history.

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What to Know About Durango

A trip to Durango, Colorado wouldn’t be complete without visiting the Four Corners. This spot where New Mexico, Arizona, Utah, and Colorado meet is only a short drive away from Durango. The beautiful drive is full of scenery as well. From the peaks of the San Juan Mountains to the dramatic Animas River Valley, this trip will be full of visual surprises.

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Getting to Durango

Durango is located in southwest Colorado in the foothills of the San Juan Mountains. There is a full service regional airport called Durango – La Plata Airport that offers more than a dozen flights to Denver or Phoenix. The closest international airport is in Albuquerque, New Mexico, a three and a half hour drive from Durango. If you are looking to plan a road trip, the Denver Airport is 360 miles or six and a half hours drive from Durango.

To maximize your time in Durango, take a connecting flight on US Airways from Phoenix or United Express from Denver. The regional airport is only 19 miles from the historic downtown area. Many visitors choose to rent a car to be free to explore the area at their leisure.

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Why Durango Vacation Rentals?

In the wide expanse of spectacular Colorado, why would you want to be stuffed into a cramped hotel room? A trip to Durango offers the chance to enjoy the wide open spaces of the Colorado Rockies, and this sense of spaciousness should apply to your accommodation as well. Vacation rentals in Durango will offer all the pleasures of a home away from home. Treat your family this year to a mountain vacation they won’t forget with a cozy Durango cabin.

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