No matter the season, there are always events that Durangoans anticipate. Whether it’s Snowdown in the winter, Taste of Durango in the spring, Fiesta Days and the Fair in the summer, or Oktoberfest in the fall, each season brings locals together to enjoy the wonderful town of Durango. No matter what time of year you visit, you will find an event that suits you!
The Polar Express Train ride is fun for the entire family and kids of all ages. Everyone is encouraged to dress in PJs, sing their favorite carols, and bring the story to life. Enjoy cookies, hot cocoa, and the novel written by Chris Van Allsburg, narrated by Santa's helpers, all while on a magical journey to see Santa aboard a historic steam train. The Polar Express generally runs from mid-November to early January. Visit the Durango & Silverton Train's website for more information.
Snowdown, the original “Cabin Fever Reliever,” is a mainstay winter event and the locals’ way to beat those winter blues! Each year features a new and different crazy theme. For a true local experience, don your favorite costume, partake in the hilarious weekday events, and don't miss the light parade, held on the Friday evening of Snowdown. With many events throughout the week, both adult-only and family-friendly, everyone is bound to find something that suits them. Typically held the last weekend of January or the first weekend of February. Visit snowdown.org for more information.
A favorite spring event of both locals and visitors alike, the Durango Bluegrass Meltdown features a full weekend of world-class bluegrass music. With a full line-up of different events, including many family-friendly ones, downtown Durango comes alive with music in mid-April. Experience the Meltdown in true local fashion by grabbing a drink at the Diamond Belle Saloon and listening to the impromtu jam sessions taking place in the lobby of the Strater Hotel.
The Iron Horse Bike Race, which has been running every Memorial Day weekend since 1972, is a true Durango event you won't find anywhere else. You can watch other bikers or you yourself can race the train all the way to Silverton! Take a day trip to greet the cyclists at the finish line in Silverton and enjoy this historic mining town for an afternoon.
Durango has long been a water town, and our locals love nothing more than a good day on the river! Animas River Days is a full celebration of our community’s love and appreciation for our local river. Watch as pro and amateur kayakers and rafters alike take on the rapids, or give them a ride yourself! Even if you aren’t into water sports you can watch from the river trail and cheer on your favorite team(s) or person(s) in surf/SUP competitions, raft rodeos, kayak slaloms, and more. Plus don’t miss a true local favorite: the Boat Parade. Typically held in early June; click here for more information.
For a true taste of Durango's Western heritage, don't miss Fiesta Days. This celebration features rodeos and a parade. For over 80 years, Fiesta Days has been an important element of Durango that celebrates Durango's past, while providing fun and entertainment during Durango's present! Generally held in mid-July.
Featuring a carnival, demolition derby, animal and craft exhibits, rodeos, and more, the La Plata County Fair, is a quintessential summer event like none other. The fair takes place for an entire week in mid-August, giving you plenty of time to see all you want (and maybe enough to circle back around for another peak at the bunnies)!
As the kids get ready to head back to school in late August, San Juan Brewfest gives the adults something else to look forward to! This adults-only event showcases the many local breweries in and around Durango. Paired with live local music, this is the perfect chance to try new brews or have more of your favorites!
Oktoberfest serves up all of your favorite local brews from six local breweries. With food and activities for all ages, this is a great family-friendly event. Stop by and enjoy your favorite brews or non-alcoholic beverages while enjoying live music and games. Typically held in mid-October. Click here for more information.
Celebrate the culture and heritage of the American cowboy at an event unlike any other. The Durango Cowboy Poetry Gathering. This multi-day event held in early October features evening performances by cowboy poets and songwriters. Plus, take in Durango’s only completely non-motorized parade.
Hiking, biking, and even horseback riding are more than just forms of transportation in Durango; they’re lifestyles! Enjoy these favorite activities of locals on any one of our number of trails.
Durango offers many stores to buy or rent gear, as well as designated places for bikers and trails filled with beautiful scenery. Even if something mellow is more your speed, the river trail is an easy, paved trail stretching seven miles right through town.
For other local trails, check out any of these options or visit Durango Trails for interactive maps and more information.
To visit like a local, you’ll have to eat like a local! Which, in Durango, means enjoying delicious, unique food at any of our amazing restaurants. Not to mention all of the coffee shops in town. It's like the town runs on it (spoiler- it does!).
Most local favorites can be found on Main Avenue and even in the most hidden places, like the Steaming Bean Coffee Shop, tucked below the Irish Embassy bar. So when in Durango, make sure to visit some local restaurants and taste some really great, award-winning food.
Look for locals’ favorites specials, such as Burger Nights at Olde Tymers, or Taco Tuesday at Gazpachos, or any number of daily happy hour specials throughout town. See our tips of how and where to dine like a local in Durango, our most celebrated brunch destinations, or even our own Durango cocktail bucket list.
Durango locals spend a lot of time outside, particularly on the river and the various lakes that surround the area. In the late spring/early summer you’ll find locals readying their rafts and kayaks for spring runoff-- the time of year when the snow melts and makes the river surge. Rafting at this time of year is fast and adrenaline-pumping, with exciting whitewater rapids. As the summer continues on, days will get hotter and the water will get lower, making for perfect tubing conditions! Look for many tubers and stand-up paddle boarders to dot the river in late July and early August; rent your own equipment and join in!
Our large number of flat water lakes also provide great avenues to enjoy the sun and water. Rent a boat or paddleboard at Vallecito Lake, Lemon Reservoir, or Durango's newest body of water, Lake Nighthorse, for a day on the water, or hike to any number of high-altitude lakes for clear, blue water and unparalleled views!
Besides all of the fun spring, summer, and fall bring to Durango, winter season is a perfect time to break out your skis and snowboards and head up to the mountains.
Durango has several different options for winter sports, including skiing, snowboarding, cross-country skiing, dogsledding, snowshoeing, snowmobiling, or sledding. If you don’t have gear or can’t bring it along, you can rent or buy gear from several stores in town. You can go to Purgatory Resort (or Purg, as the locals affectionately call it!), Ski Hesperus, Wolf Creek, or Chapman Hill.
Parking meters are enforced Monday-Friday, from 8am to 6pm
Parking is free at meters on weekends and on most holidays
Failure to pay your meter will result in a $25 parking ticket
No on-street parking is allowed in the Central Business District (downtown Durango) between 2am and 5am, and vehicles parked there between those hours will be towed at the owner's expense
Overnight parking is available at any of the municipal parking lots (Transit Center or along 2nd Avenue). Day parking passes are also available for these lots, and can be purchased at the Durango Transit Center.
Things are pronounced a little differently around here. Speak like the locals speak by following these easy guidelines!