Every Christmas, we go away on December 27th for a family ski trip. Each year it’s a different place so we have experienced our fair share of ski resorts. Keith and I have been avid skiers since we were 7 and 10 years old and our kids, who are now 7 and 10, started even earlier. Just as we were getting to the point where we could ski together as a family with similar abilities, I had hand surgery. No skiing for me this year! So I had to discover Telluride for the non-skier. And I discovered there is plenty!
Our first day dawned beautiful and sunny and the rest of the family raced off to ski, leaving me to find my own alternatives. I quickly discovered that just sitting in a condo watching House Hunters International with a cup of coffee without hearing “Mom, watch this” every five minutes was delightful. But I knew I had to get out.
I decided to stroll around Colorado Avenue, Telluride’s main drag and experience one of the few ski towns with no Starbucks, no McDonalds, no chain of any kind. It’s against town rules. What I found were gorgeous art galleries, quaint cafes, historic buildings and beautiful, “old west” Victorian architecture. I walked around for quite a while, meandering in and out of stores, people watching and stopping for lunch in Brown Dog Pizza. It was a perfect day for a normally very busy mom.
On our second day, I set out to research Telluride for the non-skier more in-depth and discovered a ton of activities. Telluride Outside, a local company located on Colorado Avenue, offers plenty of activities both in summer and winter. Wintertime activities include fly fishing, snowmobile tours and photography tours. Offering half day and full day tours, the snowmobiling takes you through some of the most beautiful scenery imaginable. The half day tours are family friendly and easy even for younger kids. The fly fishing takes you to several different river spots to experience one of the best kept secrets in Colorado – winter fly fishing. And the photography tours take you through beautiful unknown areas with an experienced guide and photographer.
The Telluride Historical Museum offers enough exhibits to keep a guest interested for hours and also has a self guided walking tour, easily downloaded onto your smart phone. The self guided walking tour will take you to interesting sites such as the former red light district and the San Miguel Valley Bank, scene of Butch Cassidy’s first bank robbery.
Keith would ski every day of the vacation if I let him, but I asked him to take a day off so we could find some interesting things for the family to do. We took a day to have family brunch in the historic New Sheridan Hotel restaurant. The New Sheridan Hotel was built in 1895 as the “go-to” place for miners who struck it rich back in the day. The architecture is beautiful and the kids loved eating in a place that was over 100 years old.
After a full day of exploring, we went back to New Sheridan that evening for a drink in the Historic Bar, the town’s oldest bar. The bar has remained unchanged since 1895….it has its original lead glass divider panels, mahogany wood paneling and filigree light fixtures. The people are friendly and the service is great. The kids played pool with their uncle (or tried to play pool) while we relaxed and took in the atmosphere.
Our last two days in Telluride were spent introducing the kids to ice skating. Right next to the Hotel Madeline is a great ice skating rink, complete with skate rentals and ice scooters to help beginning skaters learn to skate. The kids loved it so much that they’re begging us for skating lessons now! Each day ended with a trip to Dylan’s Candy Bar for candy and gum. Yum!
Without a doubt, Telluride has some of the best skiing in Colorado. Fluffy snow, beautiful scenery, and amazing trails and runs. But Telluride for the non-skier does exist with a little research and planning. Last time we visited the town it was summer and it was chock full of activities, and I was pleasantly surprised to find winter is just as active, even for the people who can’t ski.
Planning a ski vacation to Telluride? I can help! Contact me here to set up a planning call.