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VisitTelluride - Telluride, Colorado in a Nutshell   by VisitTelluride

There are three things visitors agree on about Telluride Colorado: It's small, it's remote and it's as beautiful as it gets.

Located on the San Juan Skyway, a 236-mile loop of spectacular scenery in southwestern Colorado, Telluride is surrounded by waterfalls, national forest lands, and one of the largest concentrations of 14,000-foot peaks in North America. As a result, it's a jewel of a town for nature lovers. The area is a summer favorite of Colorado Mountain biking, Colorado Camping, Telluride Hiking and Fly fishing Colorado and in the winter it turns into a telluride ski resort that's on its way to cracking national top-ten lists. One honor it's doubtless already earned: "The most beautiful place you'll ever ski." But this kind of scenic beauty can't be found just next door -- to anything really. Snuggled in a box canyon high in the San Juan Mountain Range, Telluride is seven hours from Denver, five from Albuquerque and 65 winding mountain miles from the next "major" town. That town is Montrose, and it's where many visitors will fly into in order to get to Telluride Colorado. Telluride does have its own airport -- the world's second highest, actually -- but it's only open commercially to commuter planes (not jets) and bad weather forces it to shut down periodically.

Unlike other Colorado ski resorts, Telluride's geographical isolation means skiers and boarders can't easily hop from one mountain to another during a week's vacation. Also unlike other Colorado ski resorts however, Telluride's geographical isolation, plus its freewheeling Wild West history, means that it's a little more laid back. One example: the town's "Free Box" where since the 1970s people have been depositing their unwanted goods to be picked up by grateful beneficiaries somewhere down the line.

In terms of lodging, activities, and attitude, the San Sophia Ridge neatly divides the area into two distinct parts: Mountain Village and Telluride itself. Mountain Village, founded in 1987, is a full-service European-style pedestrian hamlet located right on the slopes. It is home to upscale modern Telluride hotels, a number of shops and Restaurant Telluride and plenty of ski-in/ski-out accommodation. Completing the luxurious design, Mountain Village is also the site of the Telluride Golf Club.

Telluride, on the other hand, is a 125-year-old former mining town and current National Historic Landmark District. A year-round community of 2,000 people, Telluride has around 50 eating establishments, a public library, and more varied lodging than its on-mountain neighbor. Historic Victorian inns, low-key hotels, practical condominiums and elegant ski-in/ski-out resorts can all be found here. One interesting note: Telluride is an independent hotel aficionado's dream, as Mountain Village's Wyndham Peaks Resort is the only chain hotel in the region.

The advantage of Telluride's small size is that getting around is a snap. The town is only one mile square, with downtown just two blocks from the ski slopes. Telluride and Mountain Village are linked by a free 13-minute telluride gondola ride which has been called "one of the most beautiful commutes in the world." (Spring and fall visitors should know that the telluride gondola closes for a month or so during these low seasons, but is replaced by buses.)

Because of its on-slope status, Mountain Village's lodging seasons mirror those at most ski areas around the country: higher rates in winter, with the peak from the third week of December to the first week of January. Summer in Mountain Village is quieter and a bit cheaper.

Telluride's in-town lodging, however, has two peaks -- the holiday ski season and the summer festival season. From May to September, Telluride hosts an outrageous number of festivals both funky and famous, including the Mushroom Festival, the Jazz Celebration, and the Blues & Brews Festival. In fact, summer is so jam-packed with festivals that the locals decided to give themselves a break by declaring one weekend the Nothing Festival.

Visitors planning to come to Telluride during the warmer months will have to keep an eye on the timing of events because lodging prices and availability will fluctuate accordingly. This is especially true during June's telluride blue grass festival and the telluride film festival on Labor Day weekend, when room rates in town are likely to match those at the peak holiday ski season. However, the dates in between spring and fall festivals can yield some of the cheapest at any point during the year.

About the Author

Visttelluride is the owner of http://www.visittelluride.com. For a more in-depth view of the Telluride, visit http://www.visittelluride.com.

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