The town of Telluride with kids in winter
Telluride is a tale of two cities: Telluride (the town) and Mountain Village.
One is an old cowboy town started in 1875. The other, is a mountain village built by developers around 1978. But the great thing is that they are connected by a free gondola, and you can ski down to the bottom of both places. I’ll do another post about their great skiing, and another about dining, so this is about what else there is to do in town.
I want a really good value for our travel spending. Don’t we all? Telluride has a lot to offer, but can often be viewed as a ski trip in the “expensive” category.
I hesitated to take my kids to expensive ski resorts when they were little, because I felt like they wouldn’t know the difference. So I saved the “expensive or fancy” ski resorts for couples or girls trips since I could get away with only one room, one flight, one or two lift tickets, etc. Any resort with 1 day lift tickets upwards of $100 is fancy in my book.
Well, this past year we (our family of 5) had the opportunity to stay in a friends home in Telluride, CO.
During Spring Break.
At no charge.
Hell to the yeah, people. Don’t look a gift horse in the mouth, say yes, and figure the rest out later. Our friends do not rent out their home, so this is not a sponsored post in any way, shape, or form.
But wait, isn’t that where the movie stars go to ski? Didn’t Oprah and Tom Cruise have houses there? This place has got to be way out of my league. But free is free and I would not be deterred.
We stayed in the town of Telluride in a restored home built in 1877. I’ve since perused VRBO for accommodations, and you can find homes, B&Bs and condos all over the town of Telluride. Hubby and I both decided that if we never get invited to our friends house again, we will be back. On our own dime. It’s just that great. Everything is unassuming, no giant high rises around. I barely even noticed there were hotels around anywhere. I love the way it makes it feel like a small cowboy town, with friendly folks. The majority of locals live around here and it shows.
I did an informal poll on the ski lifts, and the overwhelming majority like to stay in town as opposed to Mountain Village. One major reason was the restaurants and nightlife. The majority of that takes place in town. During the summer, that’s where all the festivals take place too. The free gondola runs late into the night, so people can go back and forth easily.
Junior (13) had broken his arm and was not cleared to ski this season. Luckily, he went to DC with a school group and ended up flying into Telluride for the last few days of our ski trip. So when Junior caught up with us, Hubby and I took turns hanging out with him during the day while the other parent went skiing with Duke (12) and Bo (10). On my day off with Junior, we walked up and down the main drag in town shopping. I rarely do that with my boys, anywhere. But the variety of shops lent itself to being able to do this, even with him. I just didnt want to spend the entire day vegging out in the house.
One of Junior’s favorite places was Between the Covers Bookstore. We wandered in there based on his love for books, my need for morning caffeine, and the promise of a pastry. We loved the cozy small business feel of the place. The tiny cafe in the back has a small coffee bar that seats about 5, and about 3 small tables. I justified buying him several books since I was saving money not buying lift tickets for him. We are book lovers, and perusing their interesting shelves was fun.
Pastries were also a theme later in the afternoon when we stopped by Baked in Telluride. Don’t ya just love the kitchy names they come up with for their stores? Anyway, the bakery had indoor and outdoor seating, which was perfect for a sunny spring day. The array of pastry choices was mind boggling. Their wide menu for lunch and even dinner, would please a lot of different people and everything smelled delicious. Keeping up with the treats theme, no trip to Telluride is complete without stopping at Telluride Truffles. The triangle shaped truffles are extraordinary. Although my boys liked the chocolate covered Oreos too.
Junior rolled his eyes when I went into a women’s clothing store, like Two Skirts. I rolled my eyes when he looked at cowboy knives in an outdoor store, like Black Bear Trading Co. There were the obvious ski supply stores, and a few souvenir stores so I could pick up a Christmas ornament. We didn’t limit our shopping to the town. We headed over to Mountain Village too. The free gondola ride was appreciated since Junior couldn’t ski anyway. His mood was a little somber when he was able to really view the slopes and terrain park he was missing out on this season.
Mountain Village has a lot fewer stores, but several of the retail stores have locations in both Telluride and Mountain Village. It was great to catch lunch with his brothers before they headed out on the slopes again. We were out and about for 5 or 6 hours including lunch. I could have wandered around all day, but Junior was still recovering from his travels the day before. Next up on the blog, the fabulous skiing and other snow activities of Telluride…stay tuned.