Telluride, Colorado

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1. New Sheridan Hotel (pictured above) Primped and polished after a top-to-bottom renovation, this historic hotel in the middle of town mixes casual elegance with classic Victorian style. Its 26 beautifully furnished rooms and suites, Chop House Restaurant, historic bar, casual parlour and rooftop hot tubs are hard to beat for charm and class. newsheridan.com, 800-200-1891

2. Paragon Outfitters/Further Adventures This trio of shops, located in town and up at Mountain Village, are the go-to venues for gearing up to get outside, whether you’re into mountain biking, rafting, fly-fishing, biking or hiking in Telluride’s magnificent outdoors. furtheradventures.com, 970-728-8954

3. Ah Haa School for the Arts Get creative with a photography, ceramics, metalwork or jewelry workshop at this year-round community arts center (ahhaa.org). But that’s not where Telluride’s arts culture stops: check out the Nugget Theatre (nuggettheatre.com)—home of the Telluride Film Festival and Mountainfilm festival—and the Sheridan Opera House (sheridanoperahouse.com), too.

4. Dakota Home Furnishings Accessorizing a mountain home couldn’t be easier when you shop at this appealing boutique, which carries everything from the Alpine Stag dinnerware collection to rustic antique furniture to Italian bath sets. It’s a good bet for lighting, linens and gifty things, too. dakotatelluride.com, 970-728-4204

5. Gardenstore This peaceful, modern shop with wide-plank floors and pale green walls is the place to find unique garden accessories like colorful “upcycled” benches, planters and pottery, as well as scented candles and garden tools. You’ll find fresh flowers, too, as well as year-round inspiration for theme parties. 970-728-0534

6. Capella Telluride More like a private club than a hotel, this luxe spot just off the gondola in Mountain Village offers 95 top-notch guestrooms (including suites and one-, two- and three-bedroom condominium residences), as well as a full spa and mountain-chic dining at Suede Bar and Onyx restaurant. Personal assistants ensure that you won’t lack for anything. capellatelluride.com, 877-247-6688

7. Cosmopolitan Long-time local chef Chad Scothorn’s stylish restaurant in Hotel Columbia draws a loyal crowd that keeps coming back for his creative flavors and presentations. Lobster corn dogs, slow-roasted Berkshire pork, tomato-saffron fish stew and apple-pie donuts are favorites. Looking for a local spot to host a private party? The rustic Tasting Cellar might be the perfect place. cosmotelluride.com, 970-728-1292

8. Allred’s This classy restaurant’s views of town and the surrounding peaks create a dramatic backdrop for chef Mike Weist’s menu of sustainable meat (beef, buffalo, lamb, elk) and seafood (salmon, trout) dishes. Book a table by the windows or try the chef’s table to keep an eye on the open kitchen. Located on-mountain at the St. Sophia gondola station. allredsrestaurant.com, 970-728-7474

 

And don't miss these extra Web-exclusive tips for what to see and do when you go...

 

TOP 10 PICKS

1. Ditch your car and hop the free wind-powered gondola for a scenic 13-minute ride between town and the Mountain Village. Dogs? Kids? Bikes? All are good to go.

2. Attend a fall festival. September dates include the Telluride Film Festival (Sept. 2-5, 2011; telluridefilmfestival.org), Telluride Blues & Brews Festival (Sept. 16-18, 2011; tellurideblues.com) and the inaugural (2010) Telluride Photo Festival (telluridephotofestival.com), geared toward pros and amateurs alike.

3. Eat! Stop by La Cocina de Luz (lacocinatelluride.com) for migas, tamales, enchiladas and more, all made with organic ingredients. The Butcher & The Baker (970-728-2899) is the place to go for irresistible carrot cupcakes, salads and sandwiches straight from the bakery/kitchen. And don’t miss Brown Dog Pizza (browndogpizza.net) for delish thin-crust pizzas, burgers, subs, brews—and flat-screens for sports fans.

4. Take a guided Historic Walking Tour—offered by the Telluride Historical Museum—around the town of Telluride, a National Historic Landmark District, which highlights structures (Popcorn Alley, Old Town Jail) dating back to the late 1800s. telluridemuseum.org

5. Relax and rejuvenate at the Altitude Elixir Oxygen Bar at The Spa at Capella (capellatelluride.com). Try “The Most Awesome Wrap and Vichy” at the Atmosphere Spa (telluridespa.com) or a “Gemstone Balancing Massage” at the Hotel Telluride’s day spa (thehoteltelluride.com).

6. Shop local boutiques of all stripes. Visit the Telluride Music Company (telluridemusic.com) for classic guitars and a huge selection of unique and hard-to-find music (there's a sound room, too). Forgot to pack the right outfit? The Jagged Edgejagged-edge-telluride.com) has a great selection of outdoor and athletic wear, while Scarpe (shopscarpe.com) offers high-style outfits and shoes for women and kids. Make time for a stop at Between the Covers Books & Espresso Bar (between-the-covers.com) for books, cards, magazines and then some.

7. Pop into Telluride Bottle Works (telluridebottleworks.com) for the perfect libation for your picnic, day of backpacking or dinner on the deck. More than 1,500 wines (including artisanal and regional selections), spirits and 250 beers round out the shop’s extensive offerings.

8. Go leaf-peeping. Catch the best of the golden aspens in the high country via a 4x4 tour (telluride.com), or rent a jeep (888-353-5473) and go your own way.

9. Catch your breath. Hang out in one of the town's many little parks—you won’t want to miss Town Park—or on a bench or barstool to marvel at the looming mountains. Chat up a local (and be sure to pet their dog).

10. Make plans to come back in winter, when enjoying the great outdoors means everything from fantastic skiing to ice skating, sleigh rides, snowshoe tours and more. telluride.com

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