Mountain Town Museums Not to Miss

A visit to these historic treasures gives you deeper insight into the community

Almost every Colorado mountain town has a museum. A visit to these historic treasures gives one a deeper insight into a community. Here are some of my favorite mountain town museums.

Hotel de Paris (above)
Georgetown, Colorado

My all-time favorite “house museum,” Hotel de Paris, is special for many reasons. First and foremost, it’s authentic. Nearly everything in the building is original to the Hotel de Paris. This is almost unheard of in house museums.

Also, the story behind this hotel is delightfully colorful. Hotel founder, Louis Depuy was an interesting fellow. So interesting, in fact, that Hollywood has considered telling his story several times.

I encourage you to take a guided tour here. The docent is excellent and will give you insight into what Georgetown was like at the height of the gold and silver rush.

The museum's winter hours are weekends-only through mid-December. It closes during the winter and re-opens with summer hours on Memorial Day Weekend. Private tours can be arranged year round.


Ouray Alchemist 
Ouray, Colorado

This may be the quirkiest museum I have ever stumbled into. It’s a walk through the history of pharmaceuticals. While a museum dedicated to drugs may not sound especially interesting, I am here to tell you that a tour here is highly entertaining and informative.  

All tours are private and need to be booked in advance by calling 970-325-4003. And while in town, do not miss the Ouray County Museum. Called “The Best of the West” by the Smithsonian Institute, this three-story museum is a treasure trove for history lovers.


Tread of Pioneers Museum
Steamboat Springs, Colorado

I had visited Steamboat Springs many times before I went on the Tread of Pioneers Museum’s Downtown Historical Walking Tour. On the tour I realized that despite my numerous visits to Steamboat, I knew absolutely nothing about the town’s fascinating history.

Only available during the summer, be sure to book this free excursion on your next trip to Steamboat Springs.


Colorado Ski & Snowboard Museum & Hall of Fame 
Vail, Colorado

Walk through the history of skiing and snowboarding at this great little museum in Vail. If you think your ski boots are uncomfortable, check out the old boots in the history of skiing exhibit.

This museum is a nice escape from the hustle and bustle of Vail Village and is an enjoyable afternoon diversion.

Categories: The Heidi Guide