5 Reasons Telluride is the Coolest Summer Getaway
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You’ve heard all the expressions describing summer heat -- scorcher, sizzler, heat wave. And, worse you’ve felt them – the stifling 100-degree air, car seats that burn your legs and sidewalks that can fry an egg.
But, you also know there are places where you can escape the dog days, where snow melts to fill the high mountain lakes, rivers cascade down mountainsides and a plunge in the cold waters will keep you cool all day long. Places where 50-degree nighttime temperatures invite you to snuggle deep under a duvet and where you’ll throw on a light layer on your morning run.
And this summer there are non-stop flights from Phoenix to such a place, Telluride, Colorado. Although there are numerous reasons to visit Telluride, the number one is that it’s cool to the core. Not that you need them, but here are another five why you should beat the heat in Telluride this summer.
Fly or Drive: It’s not far
Telluriders think of Phoenix as close – just a road trip away. And just as Telluride residents flock to the Arizona sun and desert to escape mountain snowstorms in May, so too can Phoenicians make the reverse trip in the summer. A road trip is as much a part of summer as cold beer and ice cream. But this summer, there is another option: direct daily flights on American Airlines from Phoenix to the Telluride/Montrose Regional Airport, a scenic 65 miles from Telluride. Shuttle companies provide regular service to Telluride so there is no need to rent a car as walking and biking are the preferred mode of transport once you arrive.
Trade the AC for fresh mountain air
There’s no need for air conditioning during the summer months in Telluride. Temperatures range from 50 to 85. Mornings are busy as folks get their coffees and croissants before meeting for hikes and rides, hustling to yoga or lining up for the best seats at the weekend’s music festival in Town Park. Safe to say, people have their summer priorities straight. Each day begins with the smell of crisp, mountain air and ends as the sun casts its last light on the valley’s highest peaks, setting them aglow.
Leave the gym for high mountain trails and cool river runs
Telluride’s mountains offer solace to those wanting to explore. Meandering trails beckon hikers into high-mountain valleys speckled with wildflowers, alpine lakes, and mining ruins. Rowdy single track and bermed downhill trails tease cyclists, while on the valley floor, The San Miguel River playfully cajoles fly-fishermen, boaters and SUP enthusiasts into its waters. The mountains beg visitors and locals alike to come explore.
Park and never drive again
Whether you fly or drive, you’ll follow a sleepy two-lane highway into town. It follows the San Miguel River and meanders across a verdant valley floor littered with grazing elk before it slithers into the rugged box canyon where trails wait, waterfalls cascade, and time slows down.
You’ve arrived in Telluride, where you’ll park your car and never use it again. The charming, historic town begs you to walk or ride a laid-back, beach cruiser to get around. The-G, the affectionate name for the town’s free Gondola, climbs from the eclectic town and up the ski mountain before descending into the quaint, Alps-inspired plaza in the amenity-rich Mountain Village. It’s the perfect ride to the Village’s free sunset concerts, Gravity Kids Park, downhill mountain bike trails and, if you’re staying there, your hot tub and bed.
Eat al fresco
Telluride is a small town with big city creativity when it comes to food and drink. Visit the patio at La Marmotte, a quaint, French bistro, that serves up elegant dishes and exquisite wines or literally go above it all, enjoying a hand-mixed Mezcal cocktail, steak and fries at the historic Sheridan Hotel’s rooftop bar. Ride the G and get out at the top to enjoy a craft cocktail overlooking town at Allred’s or ride to the village to enjoy truffle fries and one of the numerous cold beers on-tap at Tomboy Tavern’s outside bar.
Escape the mall for boutique shops
The heart of Telluride lies in the town – a Main Street lined by coffee shops, cafes, bars, yoga studios and independently owned-shops. Here, bikes slow traffic; business takes place on the sidewalk; and people stop to say hello. You won’t find the Gap or Anthropologie, instead you’ll find boutiques such as the upscale Two Skirts and Scarpe where the owners know their clients so well they keep their tastes in minds when they go on buying trips in New York. Also check out the Toggery and Down to Earth for your eclectic bohemian side and Bootdoctors for all of your essential mountain gear.
Telluride’s cool isn’t just about the temperature. It’s about eliminating logistics so you can focus on being outside, experiencing the mountains and on the people you’re with. For the coolest vacation you’ll ever take, escape to Telluride this summer.