For our last ski trip of 2018, we spent about 5 days in Telluride, Colorado. I have never been to Telluride before, but seeing it pop up on list after list for best places to ski, I knew we had to try it. Not only is it a great ski resort with awesome runs and some of the best mountain top restaurants ever, but its downtown will charm the pants off of you!
Getting to Telluride
As we were on our 6 month road trip, we drove from Keystone, Colorado to Telluride. It is located in the south west part of Colorado. For most people coming in, your easiest bet is to fly into Montrose Reginal Airport, which is about an hour away. You can either rent a car or take a shuttle from the airport to your accommodations. While the flights will definitely cost more flying to Montrose rather than Denver, Colorado, you will save yourself a 6 hour drive.
Where to Stay – Telluride versus Mountain Village
One of the main questions I had when researching Telluride was which part of Telluride would be better to stay in with kids – the historic downtown or the Mountain Village Ski Resort? For those that don’t know, Telluride is basically split between the main town of Telluride and the Mountain Village area. After visiting and getting to know both areas, they each have their advantages and disadvantages. However, if I had to recommend one over the other, I would lean towards Mountain Village if you are skiing with kids, and the downtown area if you are traveling as a couple or with friends.
The main town of Telluride is surrounded by 14,000-foot peaks, it is just eight blocks wide and twelve blocks long. It is one of the cutest downtowns I have ever seen, with its charming stores & restaurants set back against incredible snow capped peaks. These streets were fun to walk around, and I love having restaurants right outside our doorstep. We found a house to stay in here that was a little more affordable than the Mountain Village area, which is why we choose it as we wanted the space to spread out. The con to this area comes into play when you have kids – as the ski school is located at Mountain Village. You have two options – drive to Mountain Village and pay to park (it is about a 10 minute drive). Or you can take the Gondola up from the town of Telluride to the base of Mountain Village. Depending on where you stay in town, it is about a one to five block walk to the Gondola which then takes about 13 minutes to get to the base. Either way, when you have kids, all bundled up, and have to lug their gear because lets face it, they aren’t carrying it, it can be exhausting just getting them to ski school. When its time to get back down to Telluride at the end of the day, unless you kids can ski black & blue runs, you have to take the Gondola back down again.
Mountain Village is the newer, resort-like area set at about 9500 ft that features ski-in/ski-out resorts, restaurants and shops. This is where the meeting spot for ski school, as well as the ice-skating rink and some of fun kid activities (like the trampoline jump when we were there). What it lacks in historic charm it makes up for in convenience. You can access a lot more green runs from Mountain Village, making it a better choice for kids. Because everything is right at your fingertips here, I would recommend Mountain Village if you are traveling with young kids and inexperienced skiers.
Take a look at the trail map here to understand the difference in the locations.
There are a lot of great resorts & hotels for families right there in Mountain Village. However, if you want more space to spread out or are traveling with another family, a great option is a condo, townhome or house rental. We booked our rental in downtown Telluride through Accommodations in Telluride. We were very happy with the space and the girls we worked with were awesome! Definitely check them out if you are planning a stay in Telluride.
Telluride has some of the best restaurants out of any ski town I have been too. Not only do they have some famous eateries in town, but be prepared to be wowed on the mountain while you take a break in between runs. We had luxury of eating lunch at Bon Vivant one day and enjoyed not only amazing French cuisine, but breathtaking views of Palmyra and the Wilson Rang. The restaurant is an open air outside dining venue with a glass surround to block the wind but allow you to soak up the views. It comes with a heftier price tag, but in my opinion it was worth the splurge. It was truly an experience I won’t forget, and my favorite on-mountain restaurant out of any ski resort.
They are also known for their other famous European on-mountain restaurant, Alpine Vino, which is the highest elevation fine-dining restaurant in North America at 11,966 feet. You can ski in or ski out during the day or travel by enclosed snow-coach at night. We did not have the opportunity to try this restaurant, but I have only heard rave reviews. Until next time…
There are plenty or restaurants around Mountain Village as well, which make for a great apres ski drink spot after grabbing the kids from ski school. In downtown Telluride, you have everything from burgers to pizza to fine dining. Be sure to try Steamies Burger Bar. A casual place to take the kids, it was awarded “Colorado’s Best Burger”. We grabbed it for take out one now and my husband could’t stop raving about his burger!
We had a fantastic week in Telluride with the kids! The town is what you imagine when you think of a quintessential ski town, the ski school was a hit with the kids, the food was never ending and the views were never ending. It is not the easiest ski destination to get to, but once you are here, you never want to leave 🙂 I cannot wait to come back!