Blue skies, fresh powder and crisp clean air…it’s easy to fall in love with this quintessential Colorado mountain town, especially during the holidays. Try snowcat or backcountry skiing, stroll Main Avenue while its lit with colorful lights and wreaths, take an invigorating winter snowshoe hike or snuggle up for a sleigh ride. Try ice skating, skiing, beer tasting and enjoy a plethora of delicious cuisine. There’s so much to love about Durango including the casual friendliness of our locals, inspiring art galleries, boutique shopping and winter fun.
Head for the slopes at Purgatory Resort. With over 1,325 skiable acres, 260” annual snowfall, 10 lifts, 2 terrain parks and almost every snow-centric activity imaginable, there is something for everyone from expert to beginner. Enjoy après ski drinks “on the beach” at Purgies before you head into town, and upon returning, try a sampling of our finest brews and dinner at one of our six craft breweries.
Our winter wonderland offers a smorgasbord of winter activities. Choose from a snowmobile tour, snow shoeing, cross country skiing, dog sledding, a sleigh ride, ice skating or a train ride on the Durango & Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad through Cascade Canyon. Find your way back to town for dinner and a sleigh ride on Main Avenue.
You’ve earned a day of rest and relaxation. Start with breakfast at Carver Brewing Co. followed by a massage and soak at Trimble Natural Hot Springs and Spa. Head to Historic Downtown Durango for lunch then shop the galleries and stroll Main Avenue. When you are ready for dinner, try one of our award-winning restaurants. End your evening with a show at the Durango Arts Center, Henry Strater Theatre, or live music at one of many venues.
Hit the slopes one more time at Purgatory Resort. Enjoy snowbiking, The Plunge zipline, ski biking and tubing. Looking for adventure? Try snowcat skiing or backcountry skiing.
Winter is a fantastic time to visit the authentic western mountain town of Durango! Whether you love to ski, snowboard, ice climb, or go for a winter hike, Durango is surrounded by unparalleled outdoor winter recreation. If shopping and celebrating is on your list, Durango comes alive with unique winter shopping opportunities and festivities including the annual Snowdown Festival, Purgatory’s Winterfest and the Durango Independent Film Festival. And, of course, you’ll want to experience one of the Durango & Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad’s winter journeys to Cascade Canyon or one of the special event trains including THE POLAR EXPRESS™ Train Ride or Winter Photography Special.
SUGGESTED WINTER ITINERARY
All Aboard the Durango & Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad for a historic steam train ride to Cascade Canyon. Experience one of the D&SNGRR special event trains like the Christmas Tree Train where you can pick out and cut down your own Christmas Tree. Or how about an unforgettable trip on THE POLAR EXPRESS™ Train Ride!! Or experience one of the fun adventure train package trips. A train ride and a Snowmobiling Adventure with Ice Pirates is so much fun! Upon return, explore the Durango & Silverton Narrow Gauge Museum and then stroll through Historic Downtown Durango enjoying the numerous art galleries before having dinner at one of the craft microbreweries or other local restaurants.
Hit the slopes at Purgatory Resort. With over 260” of annual snowfall and every snow activity imaginable from downhill skiing, backcountry skiing, snowboarding and more, you’re bound to find an activity that excites. Or try your hand at dogsledding by taking an Intro to Mushing on The Old Flume Trail. Find your way back to town for dinner then catch a show at the Durango Arts Center, The Henry Strater Theatre or Fort Lewis Community Concert Hall.
Explore Mesa Verde National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site 35 miles west of Durango, that features the best -preserved Anasazi Indian cliff dwellings with over 4,000 ruin sites and 600 cliff dwellings. You will have an unforgettable opportunity to experience the life of Ancestral Puebloans at the ruins and also in the on-site museum. Upon your return, sample another one of Durango’s fine restaurants before partaking of the various downtown shopping opportunities. And if you’re up for entertainment, attend a San Juan Symphony, Fort Lewis College Community Concert Hall, Durango Arts Center or other performance at a local venue.
Take a magical sleigh ride, go snowmobiling or hit the slopes again at one of the local ski resorts. Purgatory, Hesperus or Chapman Hill Ski Area all have so much to offer. Chapman Hill even has a skating rink if ice skating sounds like fun for you!
Take some time to relax at Trimble Spa & Natural Hot Springs, visit the Animas Museum then take a walk around Historic Durango before dining at one of the award-winning restaurants.
Make the journey to beautiful Vallecito Lake for some ice fishing or groomed track Nordic Skiing on the winter recreation trail system. Dine at the Lake House Bar & Grill or Pura Vida Café before returning to Durango.
Take a stroll along the Animas River Trail. Stop by and visit the Powerhouse Museum located just off the trail. Then head back downtown for lunch and some shopping before hopping on board the Train for a magical ride on THE POLAR EXPRESS™ Train Ride to the North Pole.
Downtown Durango is a great place to get your Christmas shopping done, and to have a little fun for yourself!
Most shops open at 10 am, so start your day with a wonderful breakfast. Carver Brewing Company always has a great breakfast menu. The Mahogany Grille inside the historic Strater Hotel also serves up a great breakfast. If you prefer a diner, check out Oscar’s Café or Durango Diner. Durango Doughworks in the North Main District offers a great breakfast too. Coffee is a must, and Durango Joe’s and 81301 Coffee in North Main District are two good options. In Downtown you can get coffee at Hermosa Roasters, Durango Coffee Company, Starbucks or Magpie’s Newsstand.
After you are fueled up, it’s time to start shopping. There are over 100 unique shops in Downtown Durango, so there is something for everyone. The Durango & Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad has unique train themed Christmas items. Rio Grande Trading Company, right next to the Railroad, also has a good selection of ornaments and Christmas gifts. Need a new coat and gloves? Be sure to visit Overland. Kids items can be found at Kids Rock.
Need a gift for the art lover in your life? Downtown has you covered, with many galleries to visit. Azul, Karyn Gabaldon Fine Arts, Sorrel Sky, Diane West Jewelry and Art, Toh Atin, Studio &, Earthen Vessel, Scenic Aperture, and Wildshots will not disappoint.
If you need some outdoor gear, you have several options. Pine Needle Mountaineering and Gardenswartz both have two stores in Downtown. Crow’s Closet also has you covered. If you want to find a boutique, visit Dolce, The Sparrow, Lively, Animas Trading Company, Article, Eureka Dans, or A Lil’ Chic. All have amazing clothes.
Other interesting shops include Urban Market, with unique and funky housewares, and There’s No Place Like Home, with humorous gifts and nice clothes. No visit to Downtown is complete with stopping in one of our bookshops – Maria’s, YESS The Book Hutch, and Second Story Books all have something for the reader in your family.
By now you are ready to eat again, so stop for lunch at Steamworks Brewing Company, or RGP’s Flame Grilled Wraps in the Main Mall. The Palace, Cuckoos Chicken House, and Fired Up Pizza are also great options for lunch.
Wrap up your shopping excursion by getting a Durango hoodie or t-shirt from Half Price Tee’s, Durango T-Shirt Company, or Barefoot Durango. Need shoes or hiking boots? Pop in to Brown’s Shoe Fit or Brown’s Sports Shoes.
Ready for a cocktail or craft beer? Find out the password for Bookcase and Barber, Downtown’s speakeasy! El Moro Spirits and Tavern also has amazing mixologists ready to serve you. Carvers and Steamworks make their award-winning craft beers on site. And 11th Street Station has a full bar with five food trucks on site with many options.
If you are ready for fine dining for dinner, you came to the right place. The Ore House, East by Southwest, The Roost, Seasons, Eolus and Primus are some of our favorites.
Be sure to visit DowntownDurango.org for the business directory, information on parking, as well as a great calendar of events. If you are shopping on a weekend in December, look for the Downtown Ambassadors in their bright red uniforms for any questions you have. And stop by the Strater Hotel lobby for free gift wrapping.
We look forward to seeing you in Historic Downtown Durango this holiday season!