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Telluride

Mr. Harper's Travel Guide

Nestled in a box canyon amid the towering peaks of the San Juan Mountains in southwestern Colorado, the resort town of Telluride is surrounded by slopes that were until recently best suited for expert skiers. But Telluride Ski Resort's "Prospect Bowl," after a $14 ...

Nestled in a box canyon amid the towering peaks of the San Juan Mountains in southwestern Colorado, the resort town of Telluride is surrounded by slopes that were until recently best suited for expert skiers. But Telluride Ski Resort's "Prospect Bowl," after a $14 million investment, now provides conditions suitable for all abilities, with runs varying from "serene to extreme." 

For the non-skier, there is still plenty to enjoy in this historic former mining town. The Telluride Film Festival, held each Labor Day weekend, is in its fourth decade of operation, and grows more exclusive and acclaimed each year. The annual Telluride Bluegrass festival draws big names and sellout crowds during the summer solstice. The twelve-by-six-block town itself -- a National Historic Landmark District -- is suffused with Victorian charm, and nearby hiking trails range past the ruins of old mining operations and awe-inspiring waterfalls. 

Winter sports are still the main draw. The 1,700 acres of skiable terrain are crisscrossed with a seemingly inexhaustible network of runs. A free commuter gondola connects the town of Telluride with the modern resort of Mountain Village, some 1,000 feet above.

bird icon Recommended Luxury Hotels in Telluride

All Andrew Harper-recommended hotels offer impeccable accommodations and high levels of personal service. Only the best of the best make our list, so we rate them on a scale from bird icon 90 to 100.
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Best Restaurants in Telluride

We enjoyed a fine Italian lunch at this classic restaurant on Colorado Avenue, Telluride’s main commercial street. I particularly enjoyed a plate of citrus-cured salmon served with crunchy white cabbage and tangy Borettane onions. The steep $29 price tag of the homemade tagliatelle with porcini mushrooms was less palatable. But I would return just to take advantage of the impressively broad selection of Italian wines. I ordered a sprightly Picollo Gavi di Gavi, and a lush La Cappuccina “Arzimo” Passito for dessert.

114 East Colorado Avenue Telluride

Attached to the Hotel Columbia, overlooking the gondola to Mountain Village, this contemporary American restaurant incorporates local ingredients in as many dishes as possible. My appetizer of goat-cheese burrata came with heirloom tomatoes, pumpkin seeds, savory pumpkin-seed oil and arugula. The buffalo tenderloin that followed was very flavorful, and was accompanied by risotto studded with foraged porcini mushrooms. A short but well-chosen wine list focuses on California, France and Italy.

300 West San Juan Avenue Telluride

This former house a short walk from the Hotel Columbia has no view of note, but it ranks as one of Telluride’s leading restaurants. In a cozy space decorated with bright landscapes, we started with a selection of housemade sausages, of which the sweet and savory chicken-cranberry and the Asian-inflected duck-mushroom versions were especially delicious. I also relished my main course of Colorado striped bass, served with meaty mushrooms and crunchy haricots verts.

221 South Oak Street Telluride
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