Skiing and dining in southwestern Colorado.

By Travel & Leisure
January 28, 2013

Once a good-time Colorado mining town, the Telluride of today is known primarily for its superb alpine skiing, with mountain biking and comedy festival tying for a close second. Whichever you choose, the Victorian downtown, rife with tony restaurants and swanky hotels, affords an entirely different kind of play.

Telluride Bluegrass Festival

Centered on the late June main festival, the Telluride Bluegrass season runs from June to August with five different events and academies. The stage is set in Town Park among the San Juan Mountains, and the first gathering took place in 1973. The festival tends to stretch the definition of “bluegrass,” and has hosted artists like Mumford & Sons, The Decemberists, and Counting Crows. The “traditional” side isn’t neglected, though, and is represented by Sam Bush and groups like Steve Martin and the Steep Canyon Rangers. RockyGrass Academy and The Song School offer a chance to learn how it’s done.

Naturescapes Gallery

Celebrating the beauty and grandeur of the West, Naturescapes Gallery specializes in photographic prints of landscapes in Colorado, Montana, Wyoming, and the Pacific Northwest, all created by photographer-owner Dale Malmedal. Malmedal grew up camping in the Rocky Mountains, inspiring an appreciation for nature that eventually led him to take up photography and open his own gallery. From oversize panoramic prints to small matted images, the work on display spans the seasons, capturing fall colors, snowy winters, and spring wildflowers in mountain meadows. In addition to selling photography, the gallery also provides custom framing and matting services.

Town Park

Take a hike beneath cottonwoods and aspens alongside the rushing San Miguel River.

9545 Restaurant & Bar

Set on Telluride Mountain at the exact elevation for which it’s named, the restaurant turns out rarefied Rocky Mountain dishes, from elk carpaccio to ruby trout in brown butter.

New Sheridan Hotel

Recently and ambitiously renovated, the historic New Sheridan Hotel has retained its 1895 charm, but now has stylish rooms with iPod stations and heated bathroom floors.