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Local IQ: Summer Travel; Telluride
|Summer Travel: Telluride|
|Wednesday, 16 May 2012|
In terms of summer festivals, Telluride, Colo., has something to offer nearly every single weekend, the most notable being theTelluride Blues & Brews Festival (Sep. 14-16). From film to music and balloons to wine, the festivals scheduled in this historic mining town in the summer are just as enticing as a ski trip here in the winter.
Founded in 1878 as a silver mining town, Telluride breathes history and beauty around every corner. The town itself is less than a square mile and sits nestled in a box canyon accessible from the west on Hwy 145. But much is packed into the town, including a number of hotels, both modern and historic, interesting art galleries and boutiques, funky bars and breweries and an overload of outdoor activities.
On a recent visit, my traveling companion and I pulled into town after the sun had gone down and holed up at The Hotel Telluride, a modern, sleek and clean resort that offers two hot tubs, spa services, a fitness room and (our favorite amenity) free bike cruisers in the summer. Upon waking up to stunning views of the canyon and Bridal Veil Falls, we pedaled through the town and back along the San Miguel River, stopping off along the way at Smuggler’s Brewpub and Grille for a pint or two, Two Skirts boutique for a bit of shopping and the Telluride Gallery of Fine Art to gaze at modern art. Interestingly, there is a statute in Telluride that bans chain stores or restaurants of any kind, so shopping/eating/drinking local is taken to heart here.
For lunch, La Cocina de Luz came highly recommended, and for good reason. This taqueria is unlike any other I have experienced in terms of freshness of ingredients and its organic approach. Believe it or not, the Vegan Plate ($12) is possibly the best dish on the menu. Also of note is Caravan, a Middle Eastern walk up restaurant just outside of La Cocina de Luz. Dinner at Rustico Ristorante was a delight — proper high-end Italian fare, a complete bar/wine menu and great service.
Hop on the free gondola that takes you to Mountain Village (in a mere 13 minutes) for additional summer activities, most notably, hiking and biking. Close to 20 trails await even the most experienced riders and hikers. Post ride, stop off at Poacher’s Pub for a pint and a bite. Other activities include platform tennis, golf, fishing and rock climbing.
Though Telluride and Mountain Village are remote by most standards, there is a far more remote summer destination inDunton Hot Springs, just a few miles south. Like Telluride, Dunton used to be a thriving mining town, only on a smaller scale. Today, it is perhaps one of the most splendid escapes available in the entire Southwest. “Downtown” Dunton is the largest of more than a dozen cabins and serves as the dining hall, bar and kitchen, where former Albuquerque chefsCarrie Eagle and Daniel Sopiwnik serve as executive chef and sous chef, respectively. Wines are exclusively provided bySutcliffe Winery, just down the road from Dunton.
Each guest cabin is fully restored and unique, but fits right in with the rustic environment. A two-minute walk away is a 75-foot waterfall and activities include fly fishing, hiking, rock climbing, rafting and much more. Even more relaxing is the hot springs itself (onsite) and the spa services available to guests.
See the full article here.