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Telluride is the Real Deal

What makes Telluride so special? Without a doubt, it’s the authenticity of this place. Spend time here and you will soon see how very real this town is. We just don’t do things cookie cutter in the box canyon, with events, traditions, shops and restaurants, and people – all intrinsic parts of this community – that truly contribute to the character of Telluride, making it a unique, truly special locale.

First and foremost, Telluride is a real community. Sure, it has a world-class ski area, stunning natural beauty and renowned festivals, but beneath its surface charm there beats a heart as big as the Colorado sky.

Then there are Telluride’s very real traditions. Take, for instance, the tarp run, a revered – and hilarious – event that takes place each day during the Bluegrass Festival. Festivarians who want prime stage-front real estate usually stake a spot in the admission line early. And we mean early, like often the night before. In the morning, when festival staff open the gates, these hardy and enthusiastic souls sprint to find the best spot for festivalling. The tarp run is a fun mix of competition and laughter with friends, colleagues and even family members dueling it out to toss their tarp in just the right place. It’s also an event that has been going on for years.

The town’s independent, locally owned businesses keep it real too. There aren’t any chain stores in Telluride. Saunter into our establishments and the first person you meet will likely be the owner. We’re thinking about stores like the Telluride Toggery and Trappings, a funky clothing store that has graced Main Street for 45 years, still partly in the hands of the family that founded it. Or Two Skirts, whose owner, Kristin Holbrook, is a former Citizen of the Year, recognition of her extraordinary contribution to a number of local causes. Telluride’s restaurants and bars are much the same, with the owners working in the kitchen or behind the bar. It makes for a friendly and fun night out, whether you are grabbing a beer at the Last Dollar Saloon, noshing on the pizza at Brown Dog or High Pie, or enjoying exquisite fine dining restaurants like the Cosmopolitan or 221 South Oak.

Perhaps the most important ingredient in Telluride’s authenticity mix is its history. A National Historic Landmark District, Telluride is steeped in it. The town’s roots run right back to the second half of the 19th century when it was at the center of the mining industry. Look around town and you will see a wealth of historical homes and buildings – structures that have been carefully preserved over time. Visit the Telluride Historical Museum or take a walking or jeep tour and witness history come alive with tales of miners and bank robbers, hordes of gold and perilous high-altitude adventures.

Don’t just take our word for it. Come and experience the real Telluride yourself. Immerse yourself in the community, explore our characterful history by hike, bike, paddleboard or jeep, do the tarp run before spending the day at one of our fantastic festivals, browse independent shops, dine at exquisite restaurants and enjoy vibrant nightlife – all locally owned. Telluride is the real deal – it’s authentic – and we hope you enjoy every last bit of it.

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