Monday, March 25, 2013

Telluride Notebook: Laid-back Beauty

Uncompahgre National Forest shot from chairlift #6

Telluride, Colorado might just be one of the most beautiful places in the country. I am back from spending a week there so I thought I'd share my list of favorite spots as well as a few swipes from my fantasy Telluride house file. 

Telluride ranks #1 in my book for many reasons. With its dramatic setting, Telluride's early settlers built the town at the end of a majestic box canyon. A National Historic District at 8750', surrounded by towering 14,000' peaks, the town looks much like it did in the 1880's, only 12 blocks long and 5 blocks wide, everything is in walking distance. I have family there and I've been skiing there since the mountain first opened (don't bother doing the math, I've been skiing since I was four). 

Its a very cool town, with a rich history and a smart, close-knit community that is working hard 
to preserve the small town culture and the pristine natural beauty of the area; their environmental initiatives are ongoing and impressive. There is always something for everyone, from the naturalist to the outdoors enthusiast as well as the artist or the musician. When the snow melts all you will find is mud and locals, but wait a couple months and it becomes the spot for every Festival du jour.  

via Kim Agnew @ pinterest

My dream house is simple, small and cozy. A mix of old, rustic and modern, with lots of textures. I have my eye on an old miner's shack in town, one of the last few remaining in need of  TLC. After a day of skiing, my favorite past time is cruising the real estate office windows in town. Gotta dream big. Here's a peak at some of the various inspiration in my Telluride house file: 

shot by John Werich
via japanese trash
 via interiorsporn
via borders&frontiers @ pinterest

via ana fohmann @ pinterest

via mrs.french@ pinterest

Can you imagine lying in bed and looking out over the San Juans? Here are a few more shots of the beautiful reality that is Telluride:

view from the top of our favorite run, See Forever
walking into town along the San Miguel
New Sheridan Chop House Main St.
Ah Haa School for the Arts / American academy of bookbinding
Tibetan Prayer Flags flying over Coffee Cowboy
breakfast @ the new sheridan looking up the mountain

just a few of my favorites: 

221 S. Oak: new american / chef-owner eliza gavin on top chef season 10
Cosmopolitan : local / great wine list / seasonal fusion / cozy apres ski / sushi
La Marmotte : seasonal / french / set in 125 yr old rustic Ice House
La Cocina de Luz : mexican / organic + free range / local / casual
Telluride Bistro: northern italian / organic + local / friendly / no res
The New Sheridan Chop House: opened in 1895 / new american/ organic / best steak / great bar

on the mountain:
Alpino Vino : @12,000' a perfect stop for lunch @ the top of see forever run / gold hill lift #14
Gorrono Ranch: favorite hang out / out buildings are original to the 1880 Gorrono Ranch homestead / sun / live music / beer / smokehouse / life is good / misty maiden run / lift #4 / 10,100'
Tomboy Tavern : @the base of lift #4 / lunch or apres skiing /  local and belgium craft beers / 9540'

hotels ( all ski in / ski out):
The Peaks: mountain village / home to golden door spa 
Hotel Madeline: quiet and small / mountain village / great restaurant (especially for breakfast)
Hotel Columbia: in town, across the street from the gondola / cozy rooms and friendly service

Between the Covers: epic bookstore / great assortment / lots of soul
Garden Store: beautiful flower shop /  nice home accessories / gifts at the end of colorado ave
Pip's Fine & Funky Consignment: seriously good vintage / check out cowboy boots collection / already broken in = win-win
Tweed: sweet home store and interior design

hang out at:
Brown Dog Pizza: great for kids / best pizza in town / locals bar
Coffee Cowboy:  pick up a coffee + some sun at the caravan / local roaster / seen in Edible San Juans
Steaming Bean: local hang out for cappuccinos or catching up on the local gossip
Last Dollar Saloon: local bar / dates back to the mining days
There: tapas bar / simple / kid friendly / opened by a smart new yorker who gave up his career @ Nobu for a life in the mountains

check out:
Wilkinson Public Library:  "Came for the skiing and stayed for the library." says a popular Telluride  bumper sticker. What ski town do you know invests in building a brand new, cozy, light flooded, well stocked, five star public library? Their motto: " Inspire. Engage. Challenge. Transform." 

Kinda says it all; very cool place.

soaring high over the canyon

Lots more places to stay / things to do @ Telluride.Com and Telluride Ski Resort. While you can fly into the tiny Telluride Airport, its easier (and more reliable in bad weather) to fly into Montrose and rent a car or hire Telluride Express for the scenic hour and a half ride; besides, you really don't need a car once you're there.  Enjoy! 

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