“The Mountains Are Calling, and I Must Go…” –John Muir
And thus, I booked a trip to Durango for some fresh air and adventurous mountain vibes. Located in southwest Colorado, Durango was founded in 1880 by the Denver and Rio Grande Railroad, when they extended their line from the town to Silverton in order to haul precious metals from high-country mines. In my experience, if it can be done outdoors, it can be done in Durango. There are so many day trips and activities in this bustling mountain town. Not far away is Vallecito Lake reservoir where I spent the afternoon on a high-mountain lake, hiking along amoung the aspen trees, paddleboarding on the water, and camping under the stars.
The next day, I soaked my weary bones at Trimble Spa & Natural Hot Springs, where I watched the moonrise over the cliffs while relaxing in the steamy waters. I also climbed aboard the Durango & Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad for a 45-mile trip through the still-wild San Juan Mountains to Silverton, where I explored before re-boarding for the trip home. In Silverton, it’s always a treat to dine at Handlebars and walk around the colorful town!
It isn’t a trip to Durango without a river adventure along the Animas, and a hike to the top of Perins Peak for breathtaking views of the Animas Valley and the La Plata Mountains.
I love spending time in downtown Durango for the best local restaurants, bars, and coffee shops. In downtown, you will also find beautiful historic hotels and quaint shops on Main Avenue. Make sure to stop at the Historic Strater Hotel for a dirty martini in the lounge. Fourth Avenue is home to many beautifully restored Arts and Crafts homes, including Hood Mortuary. Also, I took several yoga classes at YogaDurago which left me feeling recharged and enlightened. On top of the gorgeous scenery, there is also a happening food and beer scene in Durango. I had one of the best sandwiches of my life at Bread. Their cookies, breads, coffee, and other treats are all homemade and always fresh! For local beer and whiskey, check out Ska Brewing, Durango Brewing Co., and Honey House Distillery. Finally, I highly recommend eating at hyper-local, farm-to-table restaurant, El Moro as they get many of their ingredients from James Ranch.