After two days in Aspen we road tripped to Telluride for the weekend. Aspen to Telluride is a spectacularly scenic 4 to 5 hour drive south over a massive mountain pass taking you from the White Mountain National Forest down into the San Juan Mountain Range.
Colorado's landscape is stunning and this drive really shows her off. Telluride was pretty damn cool but not entirely what I expected. For some reason I had this image in my mind of a gritty, remote, off the grid mountain town. Sure, downtown main street has some of that vibe but overall Telluride was fancier and pricier than I expected, especially some of the on piste restaurants like Alpino Vino and Bon Vivant. And I guess Oprah has a house here?! So yes, real estate is off the charts. For ski town comparison sake, I guess it felt more akin to a smaller Park City than say Revelstoke.
Telluride is incredibly beautiful, both the mountain and the town. Even thought I made some comparisons above, make no mistake - the way the rugged pistes envelope the downtown neighborhoods is unique and surreal.
On our first night in town after settling into our airbnb we ate down the street at Siam. Sometimes you just can't beat authentic Thai food, especially when served in a convivial atmosphere with welcoming staff.
We desperately wished Telluride had more open terrain for us to experience. The slopes were crowded, the lift lines were long and the lift ticket lines were long. [We have the Mountain Collective Pass which requires a season pass loaded with 2 days at each mountain you visit. This is definitely my least favorite aspect of the pass.] We waited in a relatively short line for forty-five minutes and as a result missed the 10am rope drop for fresh tracks from the previous days storm. This was a huge disappointment. But do we look sad?!?
This has been a very tough season overall for them. So, we skied what we could and in the meantime?! A lot of sunny photo shoots, champagne cocktails, and sunshine. It was a very entertaining way to spend our time after we skied all the open trails.
Alpino Vino and Bon Vivant are worthy stops even if you don't decide to sit down and splurge on a fancy lunch. Alpino does not have a bar area but the staff were super friendly and served us drinks while we hung out just off the deck. Meanwhile Bon Vivants "beach" offers lounge chairs and a snow boccie court!
Another entertaining and more affordable on mountain venue is Gorrono Ranch. An open slope Adirondack chair + deck space with live music, cafeteria style BBQ fare and a log cabin saloon; we spent a few solid afternoon hours drinking, dancing and lounging. We had SO much fun here!
Apres Ski was at Brown Dog Pizza with local friends who steered us towards DETROIT Style Pizzas. I had never had Detroit Style but it's legit and apparently the must eat when in Telluride. Pictured is a rectangular slice of the Sweety Pie with fresh pineapple rings, applewood smoked bacon, jalapeno and creamy NY ricotta. Basically four of my favorite toppings on a ridiculously thick deep dish pizza. Incredible.
Last Dollar Saloon is another must visit when in town. So is The New Sheridan. Both are beloved local spots.
Right outside our Airbnb (the building pictured straight thru the trees) was this lovely stream we crossed over to get to the ski lift at Cimarron. It was convenient and easy to get around from here. Telluride has inexpensive local drivers designated by a light up sign on their trucks as well as a free shuttle.
Finally, on our last morning in town we had brunch at The Butcher + The Baker. The chilaquiles (basically breakfast tacos) are where it's at.