Colorado has a little bit of everything. That is, if you don’t count the ocean. But our rushing rivers and steamy hot springs backdropped by majestic mountains could rival any ocean view. Find Colorado’s adventure escapes and mountain meccas by journeying through our staycation guide. We recommend taking the scenic route.
When the snow melts, the bros, coeds and ski-nuts leave with it. That makes summer the ideal time to visit the Victorian-style, 122-year-old New Sheridan Hotel. (Quick FYI, the top producing mine here in 1876 was the Sheridan.) While much was overhauled in its 2008 renovation, the light fixtures and brass chandeliers date back to 1895—rooftop hot tubs aren’t exactly Victorian. The hotel brings back that old-time Colorado feel, and is conveniently located within Telluride shops and spas. Down in the Chop House restaurant, the chef has selected choice steak cuts from around the nation. Next door is their handcrafted mahogany bar with rich wood, paneling perfect for sipping scotch and whiskey to drive home an old Western feel.
And if nostalgia is your thing, go to the Sheridan Opera House’s centennial celebration on July 6 with their Speakeasy Gala. Expect 1920s-style drinks, gambling and the Cab Calloway Orchestra to provide the warm partying atmosphere of a bygone era. In the morning, take the free gondola 2,710 vertical feet into the San Juan Mountains for some proper outdoor time without breaking a hard sweat or busting out the hiking boots.
Weeklong bike trips can be life changing—that is, you blow a fuse and become apoplectic from all the planning, heavy backpacks, and gear to haul. So, San Juan Hut Systems eases your preparation woes with food-stocked huts set up periodically across a 215-mile route from Telluride, exploring the scenic San Juan Mountains, to Moab, Utah’s canyon country. These rides are intended for groups of 7 – 8 people in relatively good health (thunder calf muscles help too) who don’t mind sharing close spaces or using a compost bathroom. And if bike excursions don’t grab you, there’s always the option to hike Telluride’s amazing backcountry where the huts have the same amenities: woodstove, cookware, propane light, padded bunks—sleeping bag liner not included.
That’s for ground level fun. For a higher perspective, opt for hawk-like flights over the San Juan Mountains with Glider Bob. His dual-purpose sailplane runs down Telluride Regional Airport and pulls up just before hitting the cliff, cruising at a steady 160 mph. That’s until he shuts off the engine, and the propellers tuck into the nose of the plane. Gliding minus the engine will change the way you think of flight, soaring into thermal lifts (where warm air rises off the ground) to continue the ethereal adventure. Who knows, maybe if you’re nice enough Bob will tell you about the time Neil Armstrong was his passenger.