Thanksgiving holiday can be hectic, but only if you let it. Why labor over a hot stove all day when you could be snowshoeing through the forest, fine dining in a historical city, or skiing Purgatory Resort on Opening Day?

This holiday season, transform your break into a dream mountain vacation by spending it in Durango, Colorado. Kick your feet up by the fire, leave the cooking to the professionals, and spend more time with the people who matter most.

These are our favorite reasons why Durango is the best place to spend your holiday.


#1 - It’s your chance to spend more time with the family

Rather than wasting your day driving, shopping, cooking and cleaning, make time for making memories. Take the family out for an unforgettable excursion through Durango’s winter playground. Where else can you hike, ski, snowshoe, ice climb, snowmobile, dog sled, and even take a heli tour all in the same weekend?

Rent a cabin out in the mountains, stay in a historical hotel in town, or cozy up in a lodge with the whole clan. No matter where you stay, choose to make this Thanksgiving an experience worth remembering.


#2 - Purgatory Resort opens November 17th

No longer is Opening Day exclusively an event for the locals. With the San Juan National Forest right at your doorstep, the coveted ‘first chair’ is as good as yours. Purgatory Resort opens on November 17th, where you’ll be able to bike and ski all day long.

If you plan to stay near or at Purgatory Mountain Resort, Purgy’s will be hosting its annual Thanksgiving dinner at noon and 2:30 pm. The buffet style feast will serve all the fixings, including turkey, ham, buffalo ribeye, stuffing, sides, pie, and more. Kids and adults alike will enjoy the hot chocolate bar and dessert buffet. Even if a traditional thanksgiving isn’t your style, guests at Purgatory can have a holiday meal delivered right to their door. You can reserve your dinner here.


#3 - A gourmet chef will cook for you

If cooking up a huge meal sounds unappetizing, there are plenty of chefs in town ready to take care of you and your family. Some of our favorites include Mahogany Grille, Edgewater Grille, Guido’s, and Serious Texas BBQ. Most of these restaurants have a limited amount of reservations and supplies, so book your spot now!

The Mahogany Grille Thanksgiving Feast is legendary around town. Dine in old style elegance at the massive Thanksgiving buffet, which is open from noon to 8PM. Reservations fill up fast so book your spot soon.

The Edgewater Grille is tucked into the DoubleTree Hotel along the Animas River and boasts one of the most idyllic views of the river in town. The team hosts a Thanksgiving buffet at 11AM to 4:30 PM.

Guido’s, the italian restaurant on Main Avenue, understands that there is more to Thanksgiving than cooking and planning. They offer an entire menu of Meals-to-Go, including a whole herb roasted turkey, garlic mashed potatoes, pumpkin cheesecake, sausage and mushroom stuffing and more.

Serious Texas Bar-B-Q, the local BBQ chain and expert meat smokers, prepares nearly 100 turkeys for purchase every year, for you to bring home to your family. Don’t forget to call ahead and reserve your bird.


#4 - You’ll Celebrate alongside Durango’s incredible community

No matter what brings you to Durango, you’ll always have a seat reserved at our dinner table. The Durango Community Thanksgiving Dinner is free of charge and celebrates local community, fellowship, and family. This 32nd annual event is held at the La Plata Fairgrounds, where you’ll find a hearty bounty of turkey, gravy, mashed potatoes, pies and every other dish you could possible dream of.

If you’re looking to work up an appetite, start your Thanksgiving Day at the annual Turkey Trot at the Fort Lewis College. The 5 mile and 1 mile races are hosted Thursday at 9:45 am.


#5 - It’s Easy to Prepare the Perfect Farm-To-Table feast 

For those who just love to cook on Thanksgiving, the Durango Farmers Market opens just for you. You’ll find local fresh veggies, meats, cheeses, and more at the La Plata Fairgrounds on Saturday, November 17th. Locally produced ingredients generally boast the richest flavor and highest nutritional content, so you can feel good about what you eat this holiday.


#6 - Welcome in Christmas Season

As the snow continues to fall, we welcome the Christmas season. The famous Polar Express Train arrives to town on November 16th, ready to bring children and families straight to the North Pole. Share the experience of a lifetime with your family, sing Christmas carols, enjoy hot chocolate, and view the stunning mountain scenery north of Durango from your cozy boxcar. Pajamas 100% permitted.

Singing with Santa, a beloved annual family event, takes place the Friday after Thanksgiving. Families will love singing Christmas carols on the community march to light the Christmas Tree at Buckley Park, which stays lit for the season. Shortly after, the Holiday Arts and Crafts Festival will kick off, where you can shop Christmas decor, food, salsa, local goods, and artisan gifts.