11 Awesome Things to Do in Durango, Colorado

11 Awesome Things to Do in Durango, Colorado

11 Awesome Things to Do in Durango, Colorado

Durango Colorado is one of my favorite places to visit. Located in the northwest corner of Colorado, the small town of Durango is a dazzling combination of historic sites and cultural attractions. San Juan National Forest national parks that lies just a short drive to the north of town. There are majestic mountains, valleys and trees. With canyons and rocky terrain nearby there’s ample outdoor adventures for everyone in Durango. While most visitors to Durango enjoy its superb hiking, rock climbing, horseback riding, river rafting, whitewater rafting, mountain biking and ski areas, Durango co has a charm-able historical centre.

Be sure to stop at the visitor center before heading up to get information on the site and road conditions, particularly in winter. 

If you don’t want to stay in town, you may want to consider Purgatory Lodge , with ski-in, ski-out access to the mountain; two- to four-bedroom units; a pool; hot tub; and restaurant. This is a great option for families.

This article 11 awesome things to do in Durango co is best for adults. If you are looking for family things to do in Durango co, I wrote another article: 16 Fun Things To Do In Durango With Kids — Family Friendly Activities!

What is the best time of year to visit Durango CO?

The best time of year to visit Durango Colorado is from late May through early October. This is the peak season for outdoor activities, however, keep in mind that July and August are the busiest tourist months. We have visited Durango in the summer, spring and winter months. There are so many fun activities to do in Durango CO.

What is Durango famous for?

Durango is most famous for its scenic train journey, the Durango & Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad.

1. Take a ride on the Durango & Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad.

The railroad runs from Durango to Silverton, a small mining town in the San Juan Mountains. The trip takes about 3 hours and covers 45 miles of track. The train passes through canyons, tunnels and over bridges with spectacular views of the Animas River.

Durango & Silverton narrow gauge railway.
Photo Credit: Durango & Silverton narrow gauge railway

2. Visit the local craft breweries.

Durango is home to several craft breweries including Ska Brewing (our favorite), Steamworks Brewing Company, Carver Brewing Co., Animas Brewing Company and Anarchy Brewing Company. Most of the breweries offer tours, tastings and of course good craft beer!

11 Awesome Things to Do in Durango, Colorado

3. Explore Mesa Verde National Park.

Mesa Verde National Park is a UNESCO World Heritage Site located about an hour from Durango. The park is home to more than 4,000 archaeological sites including 600 cliff dwellings. The most popular attractions are the Cliff Palace and Balcony House which can be reached by ranger-led tours.

11 Awesome Things to Do in Durango, Colorado

With a thousand species, this untamed realm of deep canyons and sweeping vistas is home to several that live nowhere else on earth. For more than 700 years, the Ancestral Pueblo people constructed powerful towns on the mesas and cliffs of Mesa Verde. The park now protects the cultural heritage of 26 distinct tribes and allows visitors a rare glimpse into history.

4. Wine tasting at one of the nearby vineyards.

There are several vineyards and wineries located in Durango and the surrounding area. Visitors can enjoy wine tastings at Four Leaves Winery and Primi Pasta & Wine Bar.

5. Romantic dinner in Strater Hotel.

The Strater Hotel, built in 1887, is one of the most iconic hotels in Durango. The hotel offers a variety of dining options including the award-winning Mahogany Grille (make reservations). The hotel also has a restaurant, the Diamond Belle Saloon (doesn’t take reservations) which is a popular spot for dinning and live piano music.

11 Awesome Things to Do in Durango, Colorado

6. Hot Springs soaking at Durango Hot Springs.

Durango Hot Springs is a local favorite for its natural hot springs and views of the San Juan Mountains. The hot springs are located about 10 minutes from the historic downtown Durango. They have a food truck and a bar, also on Tuesdays and Thursdays they have live music. Reservations are required.

7. Visit Silverton, a nearby ghost town.

Silverton is a former mining town located about an hour from Durango. Silverton is a National Historic Landmark, part of the San Juan Skyway (with the Million Dollar Highway connecting Silverton to Ouray), home to Animas Forks and the Alpine Loop. The town is now a popular tourist destination with a variety of shops and restaurants. Visitors can also take tours of the old mines.

11 Awesome Things to Do in Durango, Colorado

8. Enjoy cocktails at the local distillery, Durango Craft Spirits.

Durango Craft Spirits is a local distillery that offers tastings of their small batch spirits of whiskey, moonshine & more. The distillery is located downtown on Main Avenue.

9. Visit Durango Art Galleries.

Durango is home to a number of art galleries featuring the work of local and regional artists. Some of the most popular galleries include TOH-ATIN GALLERY, Earthen Vessel Gallery, Sorrel Sky Gallery Karyn Gabaldon Arts & more.

10. Chuckwagon Dinner with live music.

Visitors can enjoy a Chuckwagon Dinner complete with live music at the Diamond Circle Melodrama. The dinner theatre is located in an old mining town about 30 minutes from Durango.

The Bar D Wranglers perform in concert after supper with music and songs of old west cowboys, comedy, and lively instrumentals. They also have a Western Art Gallery, Leather Shop, Blacksmith Shop w/ working Blacksmith, gift shop, chocolate shop, a Shooting Gallery, Wagon rides, Train rides, playground, gold panning and more!

11 Awesome Things to Do in Durango, Colorado

11. Hiking trails, walking tour or biking on the Animas River Trail.

The Animas River Trail is a popular place for hiking and mountain biking. The Animas River trail runs along the the river for about 7 miles. There are several access points along the way. It provides easy access to a variety of parks, open spaces and natural surface trails as well as the community recreation center, the public library, downtown Durango, neighborhoods and schools. Great for walking, biking or e-biking.

Along the Animas River Trail you can visit the Fish Hatchery and Wildlife Museum located in the North Main District. 

The Rim Trail is a very popular hiking and mountain biking trail that sits on edge of Fort Lewis College. With huge views of downtown Durango, the La Plata Mountains, and the Animas River valley. From downtown, look to the Horse Gulch Area , home to more than 30 miles of trails. The popular Colorado Trail starts on the edge of town, quickly taking you up into the mountains for fabulous views and awesome riding.

In conclusion, there are many things to do in Durango Colorado that will keep you busy and entertained during your visit. These are just a few of the many tourist attractions available in this beautiful town.

You may also enjoy reading: Visit Pikes Peak, Colorado! 8 Important Things You Need To Know.

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