• By Kim Grant

Journey through time in the historic downtown of Telluride, Colorado. At the end of a remote box canyon surrounded by the towering San Juan Mountains, Telluride is a small town with a big personality. This former mining town has a rich history closely tied to the Gold Rush era, and its storied past is preserved in the beautifully restored Victorian-era architecture buildings.

Main Street, or Colorado Avenue, is its heart, lined with art galleries, boutiques, and eateries. Wooden sidewalks and clapboard facades transport you to the late 1800s when it boomed with mining riches. The town’s commitment to preserving its heritage is evident; you’ll find plaques illuminating historical details on many buildings.

What sets Telluride apart is not just its commitment to preserving the past but its dedication to celebrating the present. The tiny town known ’round the world is a hub for arts and culture. The historic Sheridan Opera House hosts cultural events throughout the year. Engage with locals, and listen to stories that breathe life into the town’s history. Discover the tales behind the buildings and immerse yourself in the cultural fabric of this mountain gem.

Town Park, East Colorado Avenue, Telluride, CO, USA

The Butcher & The Baker, East Colorado Avenue, Telluride, CO, USA

Baked in Telluride, South Fir Street, Telluride, CO, USA

Telluride Historical Museum, West Gregory Avenue, Telluride, CO, USA

Courthouse, Telluride, San Miguel County, CO, USA

Floradora Saloon, West Colorado Avenue, Telluride, CO, USA

La Cocina de Luz, East Colorado Avenue, Telluride, CO, USA

Sheridan Opera House, North Oak Street, Telluride, CO, USA

Cosmopolitan Restaurant, Gus's Way, Telluride, CO, USA

221 South Oak, South Oak Street, Telluride, CO, USA

New Sheridan Hotel, West Colorado Avenue, Telluride, CO, USA

Victorian Inn, West Pacific Avenue, Telluride, CO, USA

Last Dollar Saloon, East Colorado Avenue, Telluride, CO, USA

Before Breakfast in Telluride


Begin your day at Town Park, surrounded by stunning mountains. As dawn breaks, witness the breathtaking sight of the sun lighting up the San Juan peaks. This tranquil park, with its wide-open spaces and panoramic views, is the ideal spot to reflect and set intentions for your day of cultural exploration.

Best Places for Breakfast in Telluride

The Butcher & The Baker Café

I eat my first meal upon arrival in Telluride here — every single visit. It’s the epitome of a small-town cafe, but with a twist, serving a globally sophisticated and well-heeled audience. Breakfasts are healthy and hearty, with house-made bread and locally-sourced ingredients. Think house-roasted meats, cheeses, handmade sausages, and organic eggs. The farm-style interior, where you order from the counter and off a blackboard menu, never disappoints. There are tables on W Colorado Ave and on the side of the building overlooking a little park.

Baked in Telluride

Baked in Telluride, a beloved local bakery, is a cornerstone of the community. They have been dishing up freshly baked goods — bagels, croissants, donuts, scones, and other pastries — since 1977. Their breakfast menu also includes heartier options like egg sandwiches and breakfast burritos. B-I-T reflects the town’s spirit and charm. Drop in, check it out. It’s fast casual, with food to go and outdoor seating.

Best Things To Do in the Morning in Telluride

Telluride Historical Museum

Housed in the Hall’s Hospital building, this museum captures Telluride’s essence. Explore exhibits ranging from mining history to the ski industry. Interactive displays and engaging narratives transport you to different eras. The museum’s rich collection provides insights into the town’s transformation. Allocate around two hours for a full experience.

San Miguel County Courthouse

Visit this architectural gem built in 1885. The courthouse played a central role in Telluride’s mining history. With its ornate interiors and exteriors, the building reflects the prosperity of the mining era. Take a guided tour to fully appreciate its historical significance. Spend around an hour here.

Best Places for Lunch in Telluride

Floradora Saloon

Enter a vintage setting that harks back to Telluride’s early days. Floradora Saloon is adorned with antique décor and offers comfort food with a twist. Their duck confit tacos are a tantalizing fusion that pays tribute to the town’s evolving tastes. The warm atmosphere invites you to relax and savor your meal.

La Cocina de Luz

La Cocina de Luz, a vibrant place known for its Mexican and Southwestern cuisine with a health-conscious twist, is cheerful and casual, with indoor and outdoor seating options. La Cocina de Luz serves great tostadas and enchiladas —  and vegan tamales.

Best Things To Do in the Afternoon in Telluride

Walking Tour

Stroll along Colorado Avenue, the heart of Telluride, with its Victorian-era buildings. Admire the charming facades and discover boutiques, art galleries, and local craft shops. Walk with long-time resident, Ashley Boling, on Thursdays in the summer. The self-guided tour (via the link below) provides a glimpse into the town’s historical charm mixed with contemporary vibrancy. Allocate around two hours to explore at a leisurely pace and perhaps stop for a coffee at one of the charming cafes.

Sheridan Opera House

Built in 1913, the Sheridan Opera House is an icon of Telluride’s culture. This beautifully preserved theater is an intimate venue for films, concerts, and performances. If you can, catch a live show or take a guided tour to explore its history and classic architecture. Dedicate 1-2 hours depending on the event.

Best Places for Dinner in Telluride

Cosmopolitan Telluride

End your day at Cosmopolitan, where gourmet dining meets an elegant ambiance. The globally-influenced menu focuses on fresh, local ingredients. Standouts include lobster corn dogs, sushi rolls, and the rack of Colorado lamb. The sophisticated interior, coupled with impeccable service, makes for a delightful dining experience. And the extensive wine list and happy hour (4 pm to 5 pm) keep things loose.

221 South Oak

221 South Oak, a charming and elegant bistro, is set in a refurbished historic home. The interior is cozy and intimate, with a touch of rustic elegance. The menu, crafted by renowned Chef Eliza Gavin, is a testament to creativity and sophistication, using fresh, locally sourced ingredients. Try the savory elk bratwurst or the refreshing beet salad. The restaurant also offers an exquisite vegetarian menu, impeccable service, and a sommelier-selected wine list.


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Best Places to Stay in Telluride

The New Sheridan Hotel

Experience Victorian grandeur at one of Colorado’s oldest hotels. Elegant rooms blend historic charm with modern amenities. The New Sheridan Hotel is perfectly located on Main Street, offering easy access to Telluride’s attractions. The rooftop bar offers majestic views, making this hotel an ideal choice for cultural enthusiasts.

The Victorian Inn

This charming inn embraces Telluride’s history with its authentic Victorian architecture. Cozy rooms feature rustic furnishings. Its prime location near downtown and the gondola is perfect for explorers. Friendly service and comfortable amenities, including an outdoor hot tub, make The Victorian Inn a quaint and convenient lodging option.

After Dark in Telluride

Last Dollar Saloon

Wind down at Last Dollar Saloon, a historic bar with a lively atmosphere. The vintage décor is reminiscent of Telluride’s past. With an extensive selection of craft beers and cocktails, it’s an ideal place to chill and perhaps engage with locals, exchanging stories from your day’s discoveries.

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