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Find Magic this Holiday Season

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by Jesse James Mctigue

Even if you don’t believe in Santa, you probably yearn to experience some Christmas magic this holiday season. Imagine if you could disappear to a snowy hamlet deep in the mountains, where Christmas lights illuminate Main Street and the street’s median is lined by snow banks. The skyline is composed of snow-covered peaks and the greatest Christmas present is fresh-fallen snow. Here Christmas tradition is created through skiing with family and friends and New Year’s is spent outside watching fireworks. This place is Telluride and after spending the holidays here, you’ll believe in holiday magic –and Santa -- once again.

Here are three ways to experience the magic of the holidays in Telluride this December:

Give the gift of world-class skiing: You’ve probably heard of Telluride’s beauty, its charm, and about its quaint shops and fine restaurants. But Telluride is first and foremost a ski town, symbolized by the outline of the chairlifts and Gondola cars ascending the mountain’s rugged face directly from the town. You’ll notice skis stashed in offices instead of briefcases and that lunch break takes place on legendary runs such as The Plunge and Spiral Stairs instead of over martinis. And, Telluride Ski Resort’s 2,000 plus skiable acres has something for everyone. From the mellow green runs off the Sundance Express Lift, to the gentle curves of See Forever, a top to bottom groomer with undulating terrain, the Mountain has the family covered. And of course, for the intrepid skier, Telluride’s hike-to terrain on Black Iron Bowl and Palmyra Peak takes in-bound extreme terrain to a whole new level

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Experience the magic of Telluride’s pedestrian-friendly town, après ski and nightlife: Holiday magic happens when the stress of logistics disappear, and once you arrive in Telluride, your car will stay parked. You will walk to the lift and take the free-Gondola back and forth between the funky, historic town of Telluride and the contemporary Mountain Village. This allows you to extend your ski day right into après with no worries. You’ll end your ski day at Alpino Vino, a charming European inspired chalet and the highest restaurant in North America. Enjoy boutique wine, exquisite sandwiches and fine cheeses. Or ski down to the Gondola’s mid station, Station Saint Sophia, and go to the bar at Allred’s restaurant for a handcrafted cocktail and tantalizing truffle fries. The floor to ceiling windows will reveal the surrounding mountains, steep slopes and setting sun. Cap off the après ski session with a hot tub or massage before hitting the town. Check out intimate concerts such as Shawn Colvin at the historic Sheridan Opera House or free performances by the Hot Club of San Francisco at the Palm Art’s Black Box Theater. Or, for true Christmas magic, cozy up at a backcountry hut or enjoy a sleigh ride and intimate rustic high-country dinner.

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Find that your presence is the greatest present: Telluride is known for its spectacular scenery for good reason. You will enter town via the three-mile valley floor where the San Miguel River trickles softly and elks lazily wander, even in the winter. Whether you are aimlessly walking Main Street, Nordic skiing or fat biking on the free groomed trails, or headed to the yoga studio, the surrounding rugged San Juan Mountains will demand that you pay attention, not just to them, but to those with whom you are sharing the magic of this holiday season. After all, your presence will be your greatest Christmas present. 

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