Planning your summer vacation can be a daunting task, and when you come to Durango we want you to get the most out of your vacation! So here is a list of activities with something for everyone that we’re sure you don’t want to miss; from A to Z!
A: Allow your creative juices to flow at Cocktails & Creations!
B: Blast your buddies with paintballs at Full Blast Adventure Center!
C: Careen downhill on Durango Mountain Resort’s alpine slide (among other fun activities)!
D: Drink at any (or all) of Durango’s local breweries: Ska, Durango Brewing, Steamworks & Carvers!
E: Experience the tops of the mountains and old mining ruins on a guided jeep trail tour!
F: Forget the hassles of daily life and escape on an extreme overnight raft trip on the Upper Animas!
G: Grab a quick pick-me-up at Durango Coffee Company on Main Street!
H: Hike up Animas Mountain for a bird’s eye view of Durango!
I: Indulge your mind and body at Trimble Spa & Hot Springs!
J: Jump back in time on the 700 Years Tour at Mesa Verde National Park!
K: Kayak through the gates at the Whitewater Park at Santa Rita Park!
L: Lunch at one of the several restaurants with an open-air patio!
M: Meander through the dozens of downtown shops and art galleries!
N: Navigate some of the over 2,000 miles of mountain biking trails around Durango!
O: Organize your thoughts during a peaceful stroll along the Animas River Trail!
P: Paddle along the calm sections of the Animas on a Stand-Up Paddle Board for exercise & fun!
Q: Question the energy around us at Durango Discovery Museum, great for kids and kids-at-heart!
R: Raft the Lower Animas River, a great family river adventure for ages 4 and up!
S: Saddle up and enjoy a blissful day horseback riding in the mountains!
T: Toast to your health at the Office Spiritorium, attached to the Strater Hotel!
U: Undress out of your street clothes and don the duds of a bygone era for an Old Tyme Photo!
V: Venture into the Animas River Canyon on the Durango & Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad!
W: Watch a spectacular performance at the Durango Arts Center!
X: X-plore the native wildlife of Southwest, CO at the Fish Hatchery & Wildlife Museum!
Y: Yelp & clap the night away at Bar-D Wranglers, a musical-comedy dinner show!
Z: Zip through the canopyat Soaring Treetop Adventures, the largest & highest zip line in the world!
I know that “X” might have been cheating, but if you have a better one, I’d love to hear it! Like I said, we want you to get the most out of your Durango vacation and what better way to get to know the town than by asking the locals! We’ll see you in Durango!
Mild to Wild Rafting & Jeep Trail Tours
I have the inside scoop, I am the first person to try a new menu. Today, I am a VIP invited to taste the new Seasons summer menu before anyone else…in the world. Impressive… more like delicious. If you ever get the opportunity to participate in a chef’s preview menu tasting –clear your calendar and be there.
Seasons Rotisserie & Grill Head Chef Dave Stuart, Sous Chef Neal Drysdale and owners Karen and Wayne Barger unveiled their summer menu and I was invited to attend. Perched on my bar stool, I listened to Chef Stewart vividly describe each item on the summer menu. It’s seduction–a sexy summer menu featuring succulent fruits, locally raised meats, artisan breads, fresh cheeses and inspired wine pairings. The descriptions were enticing and conjured images of feasts, bountiful gardens, wine harvests and luscious ingredients.
With each intriguing menu explanation, we sampled items that showcased the best of local and regional produce, hand made butters, secret sausage recipes and full-flavor, gluten-free options. The tried and true Seasons favorites remain on the menu, however summer’s fresh ingredients invite delicious new appetizers like Chicken Liver Mousse with Colorado cherries and fresh Brioche, Tequila Lime Shrimp prepared roasted Poblanos.
Summer entrees include summer Tomato Tagliatelle with handmade noodles and heirloom tomatoes, Giant Pork Meatball… giant in savory flavor and size, Free Range Chicken Breast Saltimbocca–a classic that will jump in your mouth. New lunch additions include: Ginger Chicken Salad, Neal’s Chipolata Pork Sausage and the retro Grilled Cheese Sandwich on homemade Brioche.
Chocolate lovers should start their dining experience with the Black Forest Cake–fresh cherries, rich Devils-food style cake, maraschino-scented whipped cream. Seasons continues its award winning wine list tradition and offers excellent pairs for each course. Welcome to Summer dining, and I had the first taste.
Full access to recreation and summer adventures
Durango, CO – Durango is fortunate that our summer activities, travel and tourism businesses have not been affected by wildfires. It’s business as usual in the scenic Colorado mountain town. Durango offers cooler temperatures and plenty of water activities for a refreshing Colorado mountain vacation. Enjoy attractions like Mesa Verde National Park, Durango & Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad, Durango Mountain Resort, as well as superb dining, galleries, zip lines, microbreweries, rafting, hiking, horseback riding, fishing, biking and other outdoor adventures. Take advantage of the uniquely-Durango summer events including Music in the Mountains, USA Pro Challenge Overall Start, Dante’s Summer Concert Series and more. Start planning your trip at: www.durango.org or call 1-800-525-8855.
Coolest Temps in the Southwest
With temperatures in parts of the country ranging from 100 -116 degrees, Durango offers a reprieve from the heat. This morning there was a refreshing rain at Durango Mountain Resort (DMR) that gave way to blue bird skies. Temperatures at DMR are forecasted to be in the mid-70s for the next week.
Colorado is home to 23 million acres of public lands, including 10 national parks and monuments, 41 state parks and 334 state wildlife areas. The active fires represent less than 1 percent of the state’s public lands and most of the state’s destinations and attractions are open for business. The Colorado Tourism Office has announced an online travel resource for tourism-related fire updates at www.colorado.com/articles/colorado-wildfire-updates-travelers.
Choo Choo with the blues… it was no ordinary ride on the scenic steam train and I missed it. The Durango & Silverton Narrow Gauge train pulled out of the rail yard last Saturday as the “Durango Blues Train” for an evening of Blues on the Rails. The Telluride Blues and Brews Festival transformed the scenic train ride into a live blues venue for 7 bands and acts. My friends Jim and Daryl who are regulars for live blues performances in downtown Durango happily took my place and enjoyed telling me the fun I missed. They roamed/danced between the vintage cars, enjoying local microbrews, food and awesome music. Both raved about the quantity and quality of artists they were able to enjoy in a short span of time. When I the heard the late night train whistle echo through the valley on its return trip, I thought it added an extra note. Their “thanks for a fantastic evening” text also reminded me to buy tickets (and be on board) for next year’s Blues Train and also for the Blues & Brews Festival.
I grew up in Minnesota, tapas weren’t part of our culinary “hotdish” vocabulary. Being a curious foodie, I have sampled tapas on various menus, however this evening I experienced tapas. Invited to Seasons Rotisserie and Grille with my favorite dinner companions (my children and their grandma) I was properly introduced to something that soothed my culinary passion: Tapas. Before rushing out the door, I logged on the internet for a brief introduction to tapas and was intrigued by the delightful promise of this small-portioned cuisine that also claimed to encourage conversation (I am a mother of teenagers, need I say more about conversation?). Seated at the intimate kitchen bar reserved for single seating tapas menu, our server Chloe enticed us with her description of fresh local radishes, harvested less than an hour ago, paired with smoked sea salt and anchovy butter. For a moment our budding conversation ceased as we sampled the crunchy, salty, buttery first course. I eavesdropped as the chefs chatted over the bar about the local lamb cuts and tempted us with a flat of plump ripe figs perched out of reach behind the glass. Next item was house pancetta wrapped fresh figs served with a slice of blue cheese and walnuts. Again silence as we savored each bite and pondered how to eat a whole sun-ripened fig that threatens to burst with juice at first bite? The chefs chopped, sliced, and seared on their side of the kitchen bar and kept us entertained with their precise technique and casual conversation as if they were unaware of the bustling restaurant.. Local Foxfire lamb tartare, topped with Foxfire egg yolk and served house-made poppyseed crackers. I was in love with tapas and intrigued with the sensual descriptions as we received each course. Fried baby artichokes with spicy dipping sauce; James Ranch Andala and Belford cheese with Mondo Vecchio porcini salami and sopresata. Our senses feasted on each dish and we laughed and chatted about things from grades to politics to lost loves. More than a sampling of hand-sized cuisine, my first true tapas experience at Seasons was a satisfying culinary pageant of exquisitely prepared, fresh local cuisine, filling as a meal and at the heart of good conversation. At the moment it’s a bit of a secret, however now that you are in-the-know you can make a reservation to enjoy Season’s tapas.
I recently returned home to Durango from 8 days in a “Big City” visiting family. What a relief! I sat in stagnant traffic often and observed a lot of what I interpreted as anxiety and frustration among the masses. With no disrespect to our nation’s “Big Cities”, our quality of life and pace of living here in Southwest Colorado is, I feel, so much healthier. Since moving here over a year ago, I have come to find I get just as much done as I did before but enjoy the process more. That means taking more time stopping to taste the coffee, smell the roses and really, really take in the beauty that surrounds us. Here at Sorrel Sky Gallery it is such a treat to watch our guests move slowly thru the gallery. I believe the environment of an art gallery promotes a slower approach to enjoying the surroundings but I also believe that Durango itself sets the pace for the people who live here and those who visit. After 8 days away and an exhausting flight I couldn’t help but feel so lucky to be back to Sorrel Sky Gallery and to call Durango home!
Sorrel Sky Gallery
Art for the pure enjoyment of art is often why a person purchases a particular piece from Sorrel Sky Gallery. Then there are times when art serves a specific purpose. The oil paintings of local artist Sharon Abshagen transport the viewer away to the mountains and valleys, rivers and Aspen groves of our region. A physician from the East Coast visited Sorrel Sky Gallery over the weekend and selected a wonderful piece by Sharon for just that purpose; to transport his patients to another place far away. For many patients, art in the waiting or exam room can often lend a peaceful dimension to a stressful environment. We are honored to know that a vision of Durango’s surrounding majestic landscape will serve such a comforting purpose. Kay Ford, Marketing Director, Sorrel Sky Gallery
Watching the wonderful annual fireworks display here in Durango on the evening of the 4th of July was like watching a temporary piece of art created with each explosion. I longed for some of the colorful combinations to remain “painted” on the night sky. How fortunate we are in Durango to be blessed with so many wonderful ongoing displays of color and light and movement in the works of art featured in our many galleries. Each new workweek I walk into Sorrel Sky Gallery I am greeted with a new splash of color with our ever changing art presentation. Changing out, rehanging and relocating our art and artists brings new life, energy and interest to the gallery. Consider following suit in your own home…art need not be stagnant to be enjoyed. Switch things out; shake it up a bit and enjoy a fresh new “explosion” of color frequently. In the meantime, enjoy the fresh new look of Sorrel Sky Gallery with each visit! Kay Ford, Marketing Director, Sorrel Sky Gallery
The sun is out, it’s a great day to be in Durango and I’m surrounded by
art. Does it get any better than this? The value of the sun and the location go without saying, but did you know that viewing art has health benefits? One of our customers just made the comment that “coming to Sorrel Sky Gallery is like getting a massage”. I knew exactly what he meant, but he went on to explain that it is a relaxing place to visit. A gallery, versus a museum, is a place where one can invest in the fine art and jewelry on view. But it also means that visitors are welcome to simply amble thru the gallery taking in all that the art on view offers in terms of reflection and beauty and interest. We so enjoy sharing the stories of the paintings, pottery, sculpture and jewelry and of the artists whose extraordinary talents we represent. Enjoy Durango for the natural beauty that surrounds us in the landscape and in the diverse offerings of our talented artists.
Finally a little bit of some cooler weather today in gorgeous Durango, Co. All I
can say as that this heat wave is making me jealous that I am working instead of
relaxing in the refreshing Animas River. I know it is still a little to early to be
inner tubbing, but I need to go rafting hopefully once this weekend. It is so
great to see all the different rafting companies doing such a great job making
sure their passengers have a one of a kind experience. Keep it going Mild to
Wild, Mountain Waters, Durango River Tripppers, Outlaw Tours and Durango
Rafting Company for all your hard work to making our Animas River adored by
everyone willing to take the trek down river! Especially since it is already Animas
River Days which is one of my favorite activities to do enjoy in the summer! I
mean who does not love going down to a spot where you can over look the river
and see all the smiling faces having such a great time. There is so much to be
entertained by from a river parade to face painting to an art show making sure
there is activities for all ages. Cannot wait to head down to the the Doubletree
hotel and sit outside the Animas River Cafe to watch as the festivities
Read more blog entries at Durango Area Tourism Office.