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Lisa Dec 21st, 2001 05:50 AM

Last Minute Road Trip to Durango Set For Xmas Day Any Last Minute Advice For Hotels?Tips Very Much Welcome and Appreciated
Thanks to several of you on the board we are headed to Durango instead of Aspen. This is our last minute spontanious trip we take each season and all advice is welcome. I hope everyone has a wonderful Christmas and Holiday!

J T Kirk Dec 21st, 2001 06:20 AM

Head over to Mesa Verde for a day trip. It's home of some stunning cliff dwellings. It truly is an awesome place. Also, head up to Telluride. It's a great cowboy town, with some good skiing, shopping, and restaurants (such as La Marmotte). I love Telluride. It's like the Colorado of 30 years ago. And it's beautiful, the way its socked into a canyon, surrounded by some awesome peaks. Then, there's the drive to Ouray and Silverton (or take the train). There are some great off-roading areas if you are so inclined.

J T Kirk Dec 21st, 2001 06:26 AM

Forgot to mention: for lodging, check out the Strater Hotel, which is in downtown Durango. Old, historic hotel. I haven't been there in years, but it was a nice experience when I did stay there. But it may be a little too loud, being right on the main drag. If you're skiing, you'll want to stay out at Purgatory village. I'm not familiar with the place(s) out there. Have fun.

Jill Dec 21st, 2001 06:30 AM

Skip the hotel, and stay just a few miles north of Durango in the Logwood Inn B & B. Wonderful host/hostess and great B & B. Check out the website "" Don't miss the horseback riding - 2 locations just north of the logwood. Unforgettable experience!!!

travellyn Dec 21st, 2001 09:35 AM

Forget the off-roading and the drive to Ouray. We finally got a lot of snow and more may be coming. There are 3 passes on the way to Ouray that may close when it snows. Make sure you have chains for your rental car if you plan to drive any of the passes after a snow.<BR><BR>I like the Strater and the Doubletree hotels, but that B&B sounds good, too. <BR><BR>Mesa Verde's still a good choice. Telluride would all depend on the weather because of road conditions over Lizard Head Pass. A trip to the hot springs in Pagosa would be a great way to spend some time, especially if it snows while you're in a nice warm pool.<BR><BR>You can downhill ski at Purgatory (now Durango Mountain Resort), Telluride (fantastic, but busy), Wolf Creek, or at a very small center like Hesperus or Silverton.<BR><BR>There is good cross-country skiing in several places. If you have your own equipment, you might try the area around Vallecito Lake; if not, Purgatory has a Nordic Center that's a lot cheaper than downhill skiing. <BR><BR>You can also take sleigh rides from Mayday (toward Mesa Verde) and partway up Highway 550 toward Purgatory.<BR><BR>The train doesn't go all the way into Silverton at this time of year, but makes a beautiful trip into Cascade Canyon, where you stop for about 45 minutes to crunch around in the snow. I love the winter train.<BR><BR>Have a great time! (I'll be in Texas. Go figure.)

J T Kirk Dec 21st, 2001 09:42 AM

Even if you could find a place to rent horses in the winter (with snow on the ground), I wouldn't advise riding (unless you know what you're doing and you know the terrain.) Many a horse has broken their leg. When there's snow, stick to skiing or sledding. Cross country is great in that area. There's a place up behind the Tammarron that has some great trails which will lead you into some of the most pristine parts of the wilderness. I can't remember the name; it's off the main road. Dang, I'm getting old.

travellyn Dec 21st, 2001 09:50 AM

I forgot to mention restaurants!<BR><BR>Fancisco's and Gazpacho's for New Mexican food<BR><BR>Red Snapper for surprisingly good seafood and the best salad bar in town<BR><BR>Chez Grandmere for French<BR><BR>Ariano's for Northern Italian<BR><BR>Ore House for steak<BR><BR>Season's and 957 Main for trendier cuisine<BR><BR>Ken and Sue's East for trendy Asian<BR><BR>The Palace for romantic surroundings<BR><BR>The restaurant at the Doubletree for plate glass windows overlooking the Animas River<BR><BR>Carver's and Steamworks for good food and microbrewed beer<BR><BR>These are all within easy walking distance of the Stater, Doubletree, and Downtown hotels.<BR><BR>Kennebec Cafe is just past Hesperus on the way to Mesa Verde, on the north side of Highway 160. We like that restaurant for just about anything.

wintertraveler Dec 21st, 2001 01:08 PM

Durango is a wonderful town and if you like skiing the Durango Mountain Resort is a charming place with decent slopes. We stayed at the new Elkstone B&B just outside of Durango proper, and loved it. Right on the water, incredible scenary, great mattresses, huge rooms with fireplaces, nice baths and wonderful food and hosts. The Verhaydens sp? treated us to a fabulous Christmas Dinner alongside their family. Ken & Sues gets my restaurant recommendation too.<BR><BR>Have fun!

Lisa Dec 21st, 2001 03:22 PM

Thanks for all the excellent advice, it will make our trip all that more enjoyable!! This is a great travel board, all of you have been so kind.

gracie Dec 21st, 2001 10:22 PM

You have GOT to do a dinner sleigh ride. It was magical! I don't remember the company, but the pickup is north of town at one of the hotels. They bundle you up, stop by the cabin to put your dinner order in, and then a beautiful postcard pretty ride in the snow under the trees and stars with jingling bells. Awesome. BYOB if you want something other than soft stuff.<BR>It was a real treat!

kmd Dec 23rd, 2001 09:39 AM

Another vote for restaurant Ken & Sue's place in Durango. They have 2 separate locations on Main Street and both are excellent!

Lisa Dec 24th, 2001 02:39 PM

Thanks to the above folks for more advice, and suggestions. We will do the sleigh ride and ken and Sue's. Leaving in the A.M. thought I would bring this to the top one more time before we left. Safe trip to all and to all a good night.

Willow Jan 6th, 2002 06:21 PM

We stayed at The Rochester Hotel in Durango and loved the ambience and central location.<BR>

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