Did Garance’s trip to Jackson Hole leave you with wanderlust for the American West? Well, I’ve got your next getaway planned then. Telluride, Colorado is absolutely the most beautiful place I’ve ever been. And in addition to it’s awe-inspiring natural beauty, the town has an infectious spiritual energy and a deep sense of community. Though a little tricky to get to (likely a connecting flight through Denver before landing in Montrose, CO, followed by a 1.5-hour shuttle ride up the mountain to Telluride), it is worth every penny and second x a thousand.
I’ve grown up skiing here every winter with my family and I spent a summer in college living here with my brother so I feel uniquely capable of guiding you through the best of everything this mountain-town has to offer! I’m almost hesitant to give away the goods because this place is my secret spot for serenity and rejuvenation, so take this public insight as a sign of my love for you all.
Telluride is broken up into two parts: the town of Telluride at the base of the mountain—where the locals live and work—and Mountain Village—the more touristy resort counterpart to the town where all the ski/ golf action happens.
If you stay in Mountain Village, stay at Hotel Lumière. If you prefer to stay in town, choose Hotel Columbia or Hotel Telluride. One of the best things about Telluride is that its vibe is way more laid back than other resort towns such as Aspen or Vail. You can wear jeans and a tee shirt anywhere, even the nicest steak house, which happens to be the New Sheridan Chop House, if you were wondering. This is a blues town where the beer is brewed local, front doors remain unlocked, and the post office serves as a local hangout.
The town and the village are connected by the Gondola—which is a free transportation system made up of glass-enclosed cabins that can fit up to eight people and travels 1,790 vertical feet along its 13-minute ride. AND its entirely powered by wind and solar energy! If you couldn’t tell I’m kind of obsessed with the Gondola. I used to take it to work everyday and it is hands down the best commute I’ll ever have, with 365-degree views of the gorgeous San Juan Mountains. And *pro tip*: my favorite thing to do is take the Gondola at night, when its pitch black out. It’ll be so quiet and you’ll be surrounded by stars, feeling as if you’re flying through space. Its one of my ultimate secret joys.
When my brother and I were living here, we had conflicting schedules so I found lots of adventurous ways to busy my solo days off. My favorite summer days consisted of a quick hike up Bear Creek Trail, followed by a paddle board rental from Telluride Outside, where I’d take it up to Trout Lake or Alta Lakes for the afternoon. If this is your plan, don’t forget to grab a snack from Baked in Telluride (I’m dreaming of their pizza bagels right now!) to take with you!
If the weather isn’t great (which is rare given Telluride’s average of 250 sunny days per year!) or you’re not feeling up for adventuring, pop into some of my favorite boutiques for a peek around. For women’s clothing, shoes, and accessories (and also kid’s + men’s!!), you shouldn’t miss Scarpe. I used to work here so I’m a little biased, but I’m not kidding, I truly believe they have the best edit of comfortable and chic women’s clothing I’ve ever seen. Over the years, I’ve collected the majority of my wardrobe here. From Amo jeans and Velvet tees, to Nili Lotan shirts, Giada Forte blazers, and Fine Collection sweaters—Scarpe carries all the clothes I want to LIVE in. And don’t forget to say hi to my friends Jenny and Chelsey when you’re in! Next, stop into Mixx Atelier for the coolest selection of affordable jewelry pieces, unique home accessories, and unusual art. If the walls of my home could look like the interior of Mixx, I’d be a happy girl. It’s an inspiring space.
If you’re looking for a sit-down lunch, you shouldn’t miss The Butcher & The Baker—an airy and delish salad/ sandwich spot that features a rotating mix of local artists’ work on their walls. For a quick dinner and some of the best tacos I’ve ever had, check out Taco Del Gnar. For après ski, or in my case, après work, drinks + snacks, you’ll want to stop by there (I know, it’s really just called “there!”) for Asian tapas or Sidework for boards decked out with meats, cheeses, roast veggies, and spreads. Now for the goods…how about some pizza? I live in New York City (the American capital of pizza!!) but I still count Brown Dog Pizza as my ultimate favorite slice. Despite having, in my humble opinion, the best pizza ever, it’s also the favored hangout of locals and visitors alike. So go here if you want a real taste of what Telluride life is like!
I LOVE live music so after dinner I like to check out The Liberty to see who’s playing (usually a jazz quartet or a bluegrass trio!) And if you’re a true music fan, you’ll want to plan your trip around one of Telluride’s famous music festivals: Bluegrass, Jazz, Blues & Blues, or The Ride.
Grab a coffee from Coffee Cowboy on your way out of town and relish in your last few moments in the most special place in the world. My ten-year life plan includes figuring out some way I can live here again. Just writing this piece is making me itch to get back. But until then, I hope you can make it there and enjoy the magic for me!