10 OF THE VERY BEST TELLURIDE MOMENTS
It’s impossible not to have ‘a moment’ in Telluride, which is surely the most beautiful ski town in all the land. With big mountains and serious small-town ski charm, this place grabs you by the heart and refuses to let go until you appreciate every little thing about it.
From the deep, light snow to the incredible runs to the dinner destinations to the insane Main Street views of the box canyon, here are our 10 favourite Telluride moments.
1. Seeing – and skiing - Telluride for the very first time.
The first time you take the free, wind-and-solar-powered gondola from Mountain Village to Telluride Station and see the town spread out underneath you, all tucked in to that canyon and surrounded by 360-degree views of the San Juan mountains... well, put your phone away and just take it all in, because a picture is worth a thousand words but the memory is worth a million more.
Once on the slopes, head up to the iconic Revelation Bowl on a powder day for skiing and snowboarding; or, if you’re hoping for a moment filled with adrenaline, take the hiking stairs up to the chutes and join the locals on some hot laps with no other crowds to be seen. Carve your turns on See Forever where on a clear day, you can do just that.
2. Alpenglow and après at Allred’s.
Allred’s restaurant serves up jaw-dropping views at the top of the gondola. By day, it works as a private member’s club that exclusively serves lunch to Telluride ski resort members. But here’s the most important part: by night, it’s an après bar and restaurant open to the public, and you can catch one hell of a sunset over the mountains over a wine and a cheese plate.
3. The dogs, the dogs, the dogs of Telluride.
Big dogs. Short dogs. Dogs in jackets and bandanas and winter boots. Dogs on the gondola. Dogs tucked under the tables in cafes. Dogs going snowshoeing. Dogs diving into piles of powder. If you’re a dog lover, you’ll find endless happy moments in Telluride – it is a totally dog-friendly town and home to some mountain hounds with beautifully peak-sized personalities. Tip: follow #dogsoftelluride on Insta.
4. Alpino Vino for a wine cellar lunch.
Alpino Vino is the highest elevation fine-dining restaurant in North America, and that in itself makes it a moment you need to have. Ski into the hut during the day for Italian Alps gourmet comfort food, and sit on the deck, complete with daybeds and sheepskin throws; or take an enclosed snowcat up at night for a five-course dinner menu with wine pairing. Unforgettable (unless you’ve had too much wine, of course).
5. The hot chocolate and coffee moments.
A snow holiday just isn’t complete without a hot beverage to warm the toes. Ski into the coolest on-mountain den, Giuseppe’s, where the tattooed hipsters behind the counter will always make you laugh. If you’re with an instructor, then hot chocolates are free. If you’re not, then hand over your cash anyway, because the hot chocolates are completely legendary.
Feel like sharing a kind moment? Head to the Cowboy Coffee caravan in town, buy an extra coffee for someone who needs it more than you, and leave it on the ‘pay it forward’ pinboard. They’ll give one to those that forget their wallet, or those in need of a warm drink on a cold day.
6. The first rummage through the Free Box.
Telluride is a town full of beautifully generous souls, and as a result, they have a box on the corner of Main Street where people leave the things they don’t want – everything from old skis to books, clothes and plenty more. Discovering the magic of this box is a true ski town moment, especially when you realise that you can take anything you like, for free. The only condition is that you and your family will make use of the item. When you’re leaving town and you have one too many souvenirs in your suitcase, it’s also the best place to drop something off for other people to enjoy.
7. The desserts.
Those with a sweet tooth will be in their element in Telluride, with endless sugary moments to keep them happy; like the gold dusted marshmallows, hot chocolates and homemade s’mores at The Madeline Hotel and Residences. Or take a stack of Telluride truffles home; they’re locally made with organic Colorado cream and Belgian chocolate, and have to be tasted to be believed.
8. TAB: The Telluride AIDS Benefit.
Truly the highlight of the winter calendar in Telluride, this is when locals become models and present a Cirque de Soleil-style fashion show for AIDS research. It’s a riot and followed up by an after party that will knock your après socks off.
9. Celeb watching in the totally under-the-radar town.
Hoping for a brush with fame? Oprah, Neil Young and Jerry Seinfeld all have property in Telluride. Head to There Bar, which is an institution among the locals and tucked away down the end of an under the radar street in town. Nab a seat, enjoy the free popcorn appetizer, grapefruit martinis, fried Brussels sprouts and their delicious ramen bowls, and keep your eyes peeled for any famous faces.
10. The library. Really.
There’s a sticker around town that reads, “I came for the skiing and stayed for the library.” The amazing library in Telluride is truly the epicenter of town. Take the bio fuel bus there, get yourself a library card and you take out snow shoes, karaoke machines, GoPros, star-gazing binoculars and, well, books of course.