From the middle of September through the middle of October when the leaves change color, Durango, Colorado, is the perfect destination to witness the season's stunning fall transformation. Nestled among the scenic San Juan Mountains, the quintessential mountain town provides the perfect combination of unbeatable natural offerings with cutting edge cultural and culinary fare. From outdoor activities that offer adrenaline-filled adventure against the stunning backdrop of the changing leaves to family friendly harvest happenings, a new season means a wide variety of diverse and distinct vacation opportunities. Fall in love with fall in Durango, Colorado.
Boasting delicious meals featuring locally sourced, seasonal produce, Durango's dynamic culinary scene captures the flavors of fall. Harvest pumpkins, feed farm animals and enjoy the crisp autumn air at James Ranch, a family friendly farm that serves vegetables, cheeses and meats produced in-house at the Harvest Grill. From Honeyville's fall clover honey to local artisan products featured at the Durango Olive Oil Co, take a taste of the town home with seasonal products from the area. The leaves aren't the only things changing in Durango; energizing eateries, like the farm-to-table Cyprus Cafe or the Tuscan-inspired Kennebec Cafe, shift their menu to reflect the best that autumn has to offer. For an atmospheric autumn meal, enjoy fusion-fare on the rooftop of Eolus Restaurant, sip a pint of locally-crafted beer along the Animas River at the Animas Brewing Company (one of six local breweries) or savor authentic Italian eats on the urban patio at Guido's.
With a visually stunning variety of mountain ranges and forests, outdoor activities are the perfect way to experience the vibrant colors of fall in Southwestern Colorado. Take in the natural splendor of the changing leaves from the back of a horse or the seat of a mountain bike or an off-road vehicle. Go hiking and leaf peeping in an awe-inspiring national park or wilderness area, like Mesa Verde, the Weminuche Wilderness or San Juan National Forest. Drive out to Vallecito Lake or along the breathtaking San Juan Skyway for views of the changing foliage in the Four Corners. For sensational seasonal views in the heart of Durango, walk the Animas River Trail, a fully paved, multi-use trail that follows the town-treasured Animas River right into the heart of downtown. For an immersive experience, fly through fall colors with zip-lining opportunities at Soaring Tree Top Adventures. Whether you'd rather see the fall colors flying by from the back of a mountain bike or take them in peacefully on a scenic chairlift ride, Purgatory Resort guarantees enjoyable autumn activities for everyone.
With a fresh take on fall, Durango's art scene features stunning and unique interpretations of the season distinctively depicted in painting, photography, sculpture and multi-media art at one of the community's award-winning galleries. Learn how to capture the colors yourself with photography, painting or printmaking classes at the Durango Arts Center. Durango's live music offerings elevate the ambiance of autumn with local artists and atmospheric locations, like musical concerts held in the Secret Garden at the Rochester Hotel and Bar. For music, literature, film, storytelling and art as colorful and rich as the changing foliage, take in the Durango Cowboy Poetry Gathering, one of the town's premier cultural events that celebrates the area's Western heritage. Take a tour of Durango's public art collection, featuring sculptures and installation pieces that capture the spirit of the town against the stunning backdrop of fall colors.
To witness fall's changing landscape among the stunning San Juan Mountains, enjoy Durango's most iconic activity and ride the rails of the Durango and Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad. Tap your toes on the tracks aboard the Durango Blues Train, a musical mashup of steam train scenery and bluegrass tunes. Capture images of fall colors only available from behind an historic steam locomotive on the Fall Photographer's Train. Pair your mountain views with a locally produced pint or a pinot aboard the Brew Train and Durango Wine and Rails. Ride back in time with Railfest, a three-day celebration of the train's storied history that features a Murder Mystery train and the opportunity to travel on a train behind the treasured 1895 locomotive #315.
From the spectacular pieces showcased at the Autumn Arts Festival to brats and brews of Durango's Oktoberfest, the town's fall event's schedule ensures the leaves won't be the only thing capturing your attention this season. Featuring activities from dance lessons to tours of the Animas Museum, the 9th Annual Durango Heritage Celebration recognizes the town's rich heritage, complete with authentic Victorian costumes. For the freshest local produce, meats, cheeses and artisan products visit the Durango Farmer's Market or take matters into your own hands and go apple picking in the Animas Valley. From wine tastings at stunning local vineyards like Fox Fire Farms to bottles filled with your personal blend from Four Leaves Winery, Durango ensures your glass is filled with something seasonal and sensational.
For harvest-color headquarters, enjoy the exciting outdoor, cultural and culinary offerings of Durango, Colorado. With the changing foliage creating an unbeatable background for all the town's diverse activities, Durango is the ideal location for family friendly fun and adrenaline-filled adventure. Fall in love with fall in Durango, Colorado.
About the Durango Area Tourism Office
The Durango Area Tourism Office is a not-for-profit organization operating with the mission to promote Durango and La Plata County’s multitude of tourism attractions, events and services. 1-800-525-8855, www.durango.org
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