Historic train experience in Colorado.

By Travel & Leisure
April 04, 2012
Yvonne Lashmett

Bustling Durango, CO, is home to one of the most scenic narrow-gauge railroads in the West. Settle into a plush indoor coach or an open-air gondola for the nine-hour round-trip passage, which evokes the Old West, with its throwback whistle, over the course of 45 miles. Go from May to mid-October, when the train runs each day.

Ken & Sue's

Along the Old West-inspired Main Street in downtown Durango, Ken and Sue Fusco fused two menus from previously owned locations to form this larger version of their eponymous restaurant. Opened in 2003, the tavern-like space is bright with natural light, and has large booths for seating, as well as a 100-seat patio in the rear of the restaurant. The menu consists of American cuisine with Asian touches, like the signature Thai shrimp with tomatoes and coconut curry, and pistachio-crusted grouper with rum butter on sweet potato mash.

Strater Hotel

The four-story Strater Hotel, constructed in 1887, maintains the authenticity of its origins with oak beams, velvet curtains, and crystal chandeliers. The hotel has 93 rooms that showcase the property’s vast collection of American Victorian-era walnut furniture, reflective of a time when guests included the likes of Butch Cassidy. Some have views of Telluride Mountain. The Diamond Belle ragtime saloon has live music nightly; the Mahogany Grille provides on-site dining, with dishes such as elk medallions and bison burgers.

Durango & Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad

Ride the historic Durango & Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad, which travels 45 miles through snowcapped mountains and along the Animas River to the old-time mining town of Silverton.

Steamworks Brewpub

Grown-ups may appreciate the Steam Engine Lager and Lizard Head Red served here, but the whole family can tuck into pizzas, burgers, and other good-quality pub grub.