No one can accuse Durango, Colorado of being short of things to do, no matter what time of year you visit. Whether you are an active outdoor enthusiast, prefer to stay inside, or somewhere in between, there is something for everyone. Your greatest challenge is going to be finding time to squeeze everything in that you want to do—you’ll just have to stay longer or come back and visit Durango again!
From mountains to plateaus, rivers to lakes, desert to lush forest, southwest Colorado is renowned for its geographic beauty in every direction. Cruise the Million Dollar Highway up to over 10,000 feet and be swept away by the magnificent splendor of this part of the world. It’s why many people come to visit and end up spending the rest of their lives here, as Durangoans.
It’s said that Durango rivals the big city when it comes to diverse dining options. Wake up slowly at one of the many coffee shops sipping on locally roasted beans. Visit a diner for your favorite southwest green chili omelet or lunch-time bison burger. Taste handcrafted brews and sodas. Lounge casually over a long evening of fine dining in relaxed atmospheres such as the Mahogany Grille. Enjoy unique beverages at a variety of establishments including The Office Spiritorium and the Diamond Belle Saloon. No matter what your taste buds are craving, you’re sure to find an option right here in Durango—even fresh sushi!
Durango, Colorado was founded on the Denver & Rio Grand Railway in 1879. Now this historic steam engine train, the Durango & Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad, has been in operation for over 130 years. It operates year-round—pending weather—winding its way from Durango north to the small mining town of Silverton and back; the journey is one you will not forget. *Visit D&SNGR for a full train schedule—routes are shortened during the winter season.
For such a small town, Durango has an incredibly varied and talented art scene including beautiful galleries to peruse, great live music and concerts at local establishments, the Durango Discovery Museum for children and adults, historic buildings downtown and around town—in particular on East 3rd Avenue, coffee shops decorated with local art, the Durango Art Center, the Animas Museum, the D&SNGR Museum, and much more.
Mesa Verde National Park is home to some of the most notable and best preserved archeological sites in the United States. Visitors are able to look back into the history, culture, and lives of the Ancestral Pueblo people who made it home from 550 A.D. to 1300 A.D. There are nearly 5,000 known archeological sites protected at Mesa Verde (Spanish for green table), including 600 cliff dwellings. Mesa Verde is opened year-round, though some of the areas are seasonal. This spectacular park is just a short scenic drive west of Durango.
Durango isn’t necessarily known for having a great nightlife but some of the best action happens after the sun goes down. In just a few short blocks, on Main Avenue, there is a plethora of evening options from country saloons to modern martini bars. If something a little more quiet is your speed, Durango’s coffee shops, such as the Durango Coffee Company and the Steaming Bean, have a habit of staying open late just for those of you wanting a bit of java and quiet conversation.
Hiking and walking, rafting and kayaking, skiing and snowboarding, road and mountain biking, sleigh rides, boating—you name it and Durango, Colorado most likely will have an outdoor activity for you! It’s an outdoor lover’s paradise, no matter what time of year. Just a half hour north of town is world-class skiing and snowboarding at Durango Mountain Resort. Go a little further and the hardcore enthusiast can easily enjoy a pristine backcountry wonderland. Summertime brings many things to do from wild flower viewing to all kinds of water activities. Durango, Colorado is easily one of the most active and fun playgrounds in the world!
For shopping fanatics, you will be amazed at the variety of fun stores there are to wander around in for hours. Durango has unique tourist shops to find your favorite t-shirt momento, beautiful galleries full of local art, funky clothing boutiques, outdoor gear, and clothing stores, just to name a few. There is even a Nepalese shop specializing in handcrafted items from this faraway land. If you’re looking for something to remind of you of the Southwest, it won’t take you long to find your special treasure or two—the hard part will be deciding what you will want to scoop up for your pleasures and memories of this very magical place.