Nestled just north of the New Mexico border and anchored in Colorado’s rich western heritage, the small town of Durango, CO waits to welcome you on your tour of the American Southwest. Every inch of this historic Colorado locale teems with activity, culture, and renowned cuisine. With its own airport with daily direct flights to and from Denver and Phoenix, Durango is easy to travel to independently, and it makes an ideal pit stop as you cruise through the region’s national parks. Read on for five reasons to make it a priority on your next vacation.
1) The Durango-Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad
Ride Durango’s starring attraction, the Durango and Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad, along miles of winding mountain roads, straight into nostalgia and historic Silverton. An old mining town, Silverton represents one distinctive component of western American heritage and offers a unique glimpse into the past. Don’t miss this one-of-a-kind, “bucket list” experience!
2) Easy Access to Local National Monuments and Parks
The adventure into local history and culture doesn’t end upon your return to Durango. The town offers easy access to three World Heritage Sites worth the day trip to explore: Mesa Verde National Park, Chaco Canyon, and Aztec Ruins. Visit these independently or add them to your next national park road trip, along with Chimney Rock National Monument, Canyon of the Ancients National Monument, and Hovenweep National Monument.
3) Recreational Activity for Everyone in Durango, CO
From mountain biking, hiking, whitewater rafting, kayaking, fishing, and horseback riding, to jeeping, zip-lining, skiing, and snowboarding, you’re sure to find at least one outdoor activity at every time of year that suits your thirst for adventure.
4) Historic Downtown District in Durango, CO
Here you’ll find historic hotels, year-round events, unique shopping destinations, and – best of all – award-winning eateries to tempt every palate and rival the culinary scene in any metropolitan hub. Try local favorites Ken & Sue’s, Steamworks Brewing Co, El Moro, Eolus, or Season’s. And if craft beverages are what you’re after, you’ll find plenty of breweries, distilleries, wineries, and cideries here, too.
5) The Bar D Chuckwagon
During the summer months, enjoy an authentic old west BBQ meal and live music courtesy of the Bar D Wranglers and their string instruments. Gather your companions for a meal and a musical comedy show that hearkens back to the old American west. It’s an experience you simply won’t get anywhere else!
To explore more in Colorado, check out our National Parks and the Colorado Peaks itinerary.
This story has been created in partnership with DURANGO AREA TOURISM OFFICE.