Whether you plan to spend a day, a week or the rest of your life in Durango, Colorado, we want to welcome you home. Durango’s Welcome Center is the one-stop “information” shop for tourists and locals alike looking for recommendations in the southwest region. Pop in to just say hello or allow our local experts to guide you through the perfect itinerary to fit your interests.
Our smiling-faced greeters have heard it all and answered it all. These are the answers to your most-asked questions.
1. Do you have a bathroom?
Yes! Public restrooms can be found in the back of the Welcome Center, which is located at the corner of Main Avenue and 8th Street. The Welcome Center is also a great first stop to make on your tour of town, for personalized recommendations, a list of must-sees, informational brochures and the free water bottle fill-up station.
2. Where is a good place to eat?
A better question would be, where isn’t a good place to eat? Our historic Main Avenue is home to tons of award-winning dishes, cocktails, restaurants, and chefs. For a full business directory, check here. Read on for a sample of recommendations.
Those needing a Mexican fix can look to Tequila’s, Gazpacho or Cantera. Satisfy your pizza cravings at Fired Up Pizzeria or Father’s Daughter Pizza across the street. You can find fabulous Italian food at Mutus or Guidos, and impressively delicious fish and chips at our Irish Embassy pub. If it’s a Wednesday, be sure to check out Guidos for their $1 Winesday, where you can grab a full glass of wine for only one dollar. Some of the best burgers can be found at Grassburger, the Diamond Belle Saloon, or BREW Pub & Kitchen. Make a point to try breakfast or brunch at the Durango Diner, Michel’s Corner Crepe Stand, and El Moro Spirits & Tavern. You can look forward to the Asian cuisine served at Rice Monkeys, East By Southwest, Sizzling Siam and May Palace.
If you’re curious where the locals go, check out this article. And if you’re ever indecisive, Durango’s food truck lot, found at 11th Street Station, has a wide variety of options for every kind of hungry eater.
3. What is there to do for a few hours?
Exploring: Whether you’re by yourself, with a partner, or are planning to bring the whole family to town, there is plenty to keep everyone entertained. Take the kids to the Powerhouse Science Center for a fun, interactive learning experience. Challenge the whole family to solve the puzzles at Conundrum Escape Rooms. Rent bikes or take an afternoon hike along the Animas River Trail. Impress your date by learning the secret access code to Durango’s speakeasy, the Bookcase and Barber, or by taking on the challenge of the Southwest Craft Beverage Tour. Even if you don’t plan to ride the Durango & Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad (which you should!), you should at least check out their onsite museum located at the end of Main Avenue.
Shopping: If you find yourself with a few hours to kill downtown, take advantage of the unlimited shopping options. Browse clothing boutiques like Eureka, Lively, and the Silk Sparrow. Bring your home decor needs to Urban Market and Tippy Canoe. Visit each and every one of Durango’s must-visit art galleries. Find your next favorite book at Maria’s Bookshop, Second Story Books, White Rabbit Books & Curiosity or YESS the Book Hutch. Pamper yourself with a spa day at the Spaaah Shop & Day Spa followed by a bite of blissful chocolate at Animas Chocolate Company next door. If you’re looking to stock your outdoor gear closet for the next adventure, check out Pine Needle Mountaineering, Gardenswartz, and Backcountry Experience. You can also check out our Souvenir Gift Guide to Shopping Durango.
4. Can you give me information about the train?
The historic Durango & Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad runs year-round, carrying more than 200,000 annual passengers up the 45 mile summer route to Silverton. The total journey is a 9 hour round trip, but you can make it shorter by riding the bus back to town from Silverton or by hopping off in Cascade Canyon. During the winter months, the train only goes as far as Cascade. The oldest part of the train, concession car #212, was built in 1879, the same year that Durango was founded by the Denver and Rio Grande Railway. Still have questions? Swing by any time or check out the Durango & Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad and Museum just down the street at 479 Main Avenue.
5. Do you have tours of downtown?
There’s nothing like having a local expert whisk you away on a personalized adventure. Durango has local tour guides aplenty and a huge list of guided trip options you can enjoy during your stay. and you can find a full list of options here.
If you want to learn more about the historic past of our town, a self-guided walking tour of historic Main Avenue can be a great way to pass the time. Fall season visitors can even enjoy a guided Ghost Walk of Durango, bringing you through 140 years of haunted Rocky Mountain history. You can find a packet of information in the Welcome Center or read more about it here.
6. Is there a shuttle to the airport or Purgatory Mountain Resort?
If you prefer to not rent or drive a car, no problem. Separate shuttle services are available for both the La Plata Airport and Purgatory Mountain Resort. Likewise, navigating Durango’s local transit system is a total breeze. The historic Durango Trolley runs along Main Avenue to College Drive from 7 AM - 10:40 PM every day. Some hotels provide courtesy shuttles to their guests. Check the full list of ground transportation resources here.
The free shuttle that runs to Purgatory Resort from downtown Durango operates every year from December 16th to January 7th. Check out the Purgatory website for specific times.
7. Do you have a map of the area?
Inside the Welcome Center, you’ll find maps and guides for everything, from Durango, La Plata County and the Four Corners region, to local trails, prime motorcycling routes, Purgatory Resort, the San Juan Skyway and more. You can also find digital, printable copies of these maps here.
8. Where is the ATM?
ATM machines can be found all up and down Main, including inside the Welcome Center, at Magpies Newsstand across from Durango Roasters, in the 600 block below the Balcony Bar, and at 915 Main Avenue, in front of the First National Bank Mortgage Lending Office. There is also a Wells Fargo and First Southwest Bank on West College Drive, as well as an Alpine Bank and Bank of Colorado on Main Avenue.
9. Are there any good museums here?
In Durango, you’ll find museums of every variety and specialty. If you’re interested in the history of the region, check out the Durango & Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad & Museum, the Fort Lewis College Center of Southwest Studies, and the historical Animas Museum. Learn about the natural landscape and local biology at the Durango Fish Hatchery and Wildlife Museum, just a short stroll from downtown. Or, get curious at the recently opened Durango Cannabis Discovery Center. Don’t forget to take the kids through the interactive Powerhouse Science Center and Discovery Museum.
10. Do you have information about Mesa Verde?
As of this year, the Durango Welcome Center partnered with the Mesa Verde Museum Association and Mesa Verde National Park to sell ranger-led tour tickets inside the Welcome Center. That means you can book, purchase and organize guided ranger tours within Mesa Verde National Park from the Welcome Center. You’ll have no problem scheduling popular tours to areas like the Cliff Palace, Balcony House and Long House up to two days in advance, even during peak season. All tickets must be purchased in person.
11. Can we buy tickets for shows here?
Absolutely! Not only can you purchase tour tickets to Mesa Verde National Park at the Welcome Center, but you will also find resources for Durango’s Community Concert Hall, the Four Corners’ premier venue for all things music, theater, dance, performance, lecture and more, within the Welcome Center.
12. Do you have a map of the Million Dollar Highway?
You bet! The Million Dollar Highway has been named one of the most beautiful drives in America several times, so we want to make sure that you are as prepared for the journey ahead as possible. Find your map resources and ask questions of the Welcome Center staff. And be sure to check out our Insider’s Guide to the Million Dollar Highway before setting out.
13. Can you recommend some good hiking trails?
There are several trails accessible right from town, including the Animas River Trail, the Animas Mountain Trail, and Hogsback Ridge. The further you get from town, the more options you’ll find, including Smelter Mountain, the Colorado Trail, and Spud Lake. Check here for some of the best drives, hikes, and rides to see fall colors.
14 .Where can we ride/rent ATV's?
There are a number of tour guides and rental companies who can set you up with an ATV. Colorado Outback Adventures, Durango Adventure Rentals, Altitude ATV, and Purgatory Resort are just some of the businesses to choose from. La Plata Canyon is one of the closest areas to downtown for off-road adventures, but you can read about more options here. If you’re looking for more information, check out our full off-road planning guide.
15. Where can we camp for free?
You’ll find dispersed campgrounds all throughout the San Juan National Forest. As a general rule, you may camp anywhere in a national forest unless otherwise posted. Always choose an impacted site, meaning a site that appears to have been used before. You will find several reasonably priced RV resorts throughout the area as well, including Durango RV Resort, Alpen Rose RV Park, and the United Campgrounds of Durango.
16. What are the roads like?
While the Million Dollar Highway is nothing to sneeze at, getting around the town of Durango and neighboring Southwestern Colorado towns is fairly easy to do in the summer, early fall, and late spring. You’ll find smooth driving both west to Hesperus, Mancos, Cortez and beyond and east to Pagosa Springs. However, do watch out for rainy weather in the mountains during the summer, which can trigger mudslides.
During the winter and most of spring, the roads can become tricky to navigate, especially higher up in elevation. While not frequent, you should be considerate of rock falls year round, especially along the Million Dollar Highway and when driving over passes.
If you plan to do any off-roading, we recommend that you respect “4WD only” signs when posted. Low clearance or 2WD vehicles will never fare well on our rugged dirt roads, no matter how great of a driver you think you are.
17. Can I bring my dog?
Durango prides itself on being an extremely dog-friendly town. Many of our shops, lodging options, hiking areas and restaurants welcome pets with open arms. While some eateries will not allow animals inside for health reasons, you’ll find plenty of patios for your four-legged pals to rest. For a full guide, check out our “Bring your Pet” page here.
18. Are there any special events this week?
There is always something going on in Durango, so check our Events Page frequently so you can make the best of your stay. You’ll find events such as summer concert series, happy hours, fitness activities, farmers markets, live music concerts, theater shows, brewfests, and so much more.