Exploring the Charms of Silverton, Colorado

Nestled amidst the picturesque San Juan Mountains, the small town of Silverton, Colorado, offers a remarkable getaway that seamlessly blends history, nature, and outdoor adventure, according to this travel blog post from Travel + Leisure. If you’re in search of a destination that promises captivating sights, engaging activities, and a charming atmosphere, Silverton has it all.

When it comes to accommodations, Silverton offers a variety of options that perfectly capture the town’s rich history and modern flair. The Wyman Hotel stands out as the hippest spot in town, boasting mid-century modern design, a Scozy lobby bar, and stunning mountain views from its 15 beautifully appointed rooms. The hotel’s unique feature is its setting in a 1902 landmark building, evoking the nostalgia of a bygone era while incorporating modern luxuries.

Another iconic option is the Grand Imperial Hotel, affectionately known as “The Grand.” With its Victorian decor, carved wooden furniture, and mountain views from almost every room, The Grand exudes historic charm. For a more intimate experience, the Villa Dallavalle Historic Inn beckons with its European ambiance and distinct family history.

 Silverton is a playground for adventure enthusiasts, and the options are as diverse as they are exciting. The Durango and Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad steals the spotlight in the summer. This historic train winds through canyons, alongside the Animas River, and over rugged Molas Pass, offering an unparalleled journey with spectacular mountain vistas. For a unique twist, disembark between the two towns and immerse yourself in the wilderness for hiking, climbing, and skiing escapades.

Kendall Mountain Ski Area offers a more relaxed yet fun-filled experience. With one chairlift, an adjacent sledding hill, and an ice rink, it’s a fantastic spot for family enjoyment. Meanwhile, the Ice Lake Trail leads intrepid hikers into the heart of the San Juan Mountains, where wildflowers dot the landscape and culminate in the awe-inspiring Ice Lake. And for thrill-seekers, Silverton Mountain promises extreme skiing and snowboarding, guided or unguided, with helicopter access to untouched powder.

 No trip to Silverton would be complete without driving the Million Dollar Highway, a breathtaking 23-mile route connecting Silverton and Ouray via the stunning Red Mountain Pass. The road’s dramatic cliffside carvings provide constant panoramic views of the natural beauty that surrounds you. As you explore Silverton, don’t miss the chance to discover its charming shops. White Eyes Gallery offers authentic Indigenous art, including pottery, paintings, and jewelry. The Silverton Train Store showcases railroad art, particularly focusing on the Durango and Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad. And Fetch’s Mining & Mercantile provides the perfect souvenir haven, along with engaging conversations that make you feel like part of the family.

When it’s time to refuel, Silverton’s dining scene is equally inviting. Coffee Bear emerges as the morning go-to, offering coffee and breakfast burritos for early adventurers. Kendall Mountain Café, on the other hand, is a cozy spot for a diner-style breakfast and lunch, serving hearty dishes with a side of forest charm. For the best experience, plan your visit between June and October. This period offers a wealth of activities, from hiking and biking to fishing and train rides. The town’s businesses are all up and running, ensuring a vibrant atmosphere. However, if skiing and ice climbing are your passions, winter is the ideal time to explore Silverton’s snowy wonders.

From historical landmarks to outdoor adventures, Silverton, Colorado, offers a treasure trove of experiences for every traveler. Immerse yourself in the town’s rich history, relish its picturesque landscapes, and embrace the excitement of its outdoor pursuits. Whether you’re a history buff, an adrenaline junkie, or simply seeking a serene escape, Silvertonwelcomes you with open arms.

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Best Colorado Small Towns to Visit

There is one state in the United States of America that is beautiful year-round, so while many make sure to visit in the winter for its ski slopes or the summer for its hiking trails, the “Centennial State” is still worth the trip in Autumn and Spring, especially if you’re visiting a small town. These lesser-known towns of Colorado are becoming more popular (by word of mouth) due to the lack of crowds at the hot springs, top-of-the-line ski lodges, and hiking trails that are off the beaten path. So check out Travel + Leisure’s article detailing the “10 Best Small Towns in Colorado” for the next time you’re looking to reconnect with peace, quiet, and quaint experiences.

Before diving into the article, it should be advised that due to local regulations, travel restrictions, and COVID-19 surges, it is suggested that travelers properly research all local guidelines and CDC recommendations in order to keep themselves and those they care about as safe and responsible as possible in these unprecedented times.

Silverton, Colorado

Located along a rather remote portion of Colorado’s western San Juan Mountains lies the statutory town of Silverton. The town originated from mining claims made during the final years of Colorado’s Pike’s Peak Gold Rush, and ever since then, Silverton has attracted its fair share of animals, citizens, and adventures. One of the stand-out experiences to take advantage of in Silverton can be enjoyed year-round, as it’s the reason the town is a National Historic Landmark. Silverton is home to the scenic byway US 550, which has also been known as the “Million Dollar Highway” for over a century due to its breath-taking views of the San Juan Mountains that can only be seen from its roads. The Highway is a part of the larger San Juan Skyway, which is a 236-mile road that winds through the San Juan portion of the Rocky Mountains allowing visitors to connect with diverse mountain towns and major landmark attractions along the way.

Outside of the gorgeous views that can be seen from the road, Silverton offers those in the town to participate in canoeing, wildlife watching, paragliding, river rafting, touring gold mines, stargazing, mushroom hunting, and an unforgettable adventure called the Durango Silverton Narrow Gauge Train, and those are just the summer events! In the winter months, the town can be the perfect place to engage in snowmobiling, snowkiting, hockey, snowshoeing, ice skating, and all sorts of sledding. Consider staying in Silverton the next time you’re feeling adventurous because there are few other places in the United States where you can visit an actual 19th-century ghost town.

Steamboat Springs, Colorado

With a name as charmingly warm as Steamboat Springs, you’ll feel comforted and right-at-home in the authentic mountain town that’s brimming with western hospitality. This town offers its residents and visitors authentic experiences such as relaxing in hot springs, fishing for flies or trout along the Yampa River or at Steamboat Lake, and seeing gorgeous nature sights by way of the town’s famous hiking, biking, and walking trails. There’s plenty of engaging activities to take advantage of whether you find yourself visiting in the summer or winter, but don’t rule out the fall visit, as the changing colors of the fall foliage are quite beautiful in this town, and you can view them from the best perspective of all by booking an ariel “foliage flight” from the Zephyr Helicopter Company or a hot-air-balloon ride from Wild West Balloon Adventures.

The other towns can be further explored via Travel + Leisure’s full list, which includes the following stand-outs:

  • Pagosa Springs, Colorado
  • Carbondale, Colorado
  • Estes Park, Colorado
  • Snowmass Village, Colorado
  • Manitou Springs, Colorado
  • Crested Butte, Colorado
  • Paonia, Colorado
  • Salida, Colorado

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