Top 10 (and other) Durango Area Attractions*
*drive time from Casa de Pura Vida in minutes in parentheses
1. Durango and Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad and Museum (30)
This train trip is so jaw-droppingly amazing that it is one over 15 awards, including one of the 15 best train trips in the world. Need we say more? Pictures of the train trip are available on our site. It is the #1 Trip Advisor destination for Durango.
2. Mesa Verde National Park (60)
Known as the largest Native American cliff dwelling structure in North America, and this amazing park protects some of the best preserved Ancestral Puebloan archaeological sites in the United States. One of the most frequently visited Native American sites in the Southwest given the amazing complexity of the cliff dwelling and surrounding structures. It is so amazing that a vast majority of those who visit this monument are from other continents!
3. Historic Downtown Durango (30)
An award-winning town with an award-winning heart. One of the friendliest and most cost-effective towns in the Southwest. To our family, no other town has its diversity and combination of Mountain, River, outdoor, culinary, and other kinds of activities. Don’t believe us? Click here to view nearly 100 awards this “best of the West” town has one and continues to win.
4. Drive The San Juan Skyway (1)
Recognized as one of the most scenic drives in the Southwest, road cyclists, car drivers, and motorcyclists all have voted this approximately one hour drive one of the most breathtaking drives. It has been called “the road which touches the sky” given its entrancing winding around several Colorado peaks. Our condo is only one minute off of this road which has such little traffic it is more like a country road than a highway.
5. Zipline & Aerial Adventure Parks (15)
6. River Rafting &Tubing (25) [we love Mild to Wild]
7. Animas River Trail (25)
What makes Durango so unique is not only does it have an amazing ski Mountain but it also has one of the last free-flowing rivers flowing right through its downtown. In saying that, there is a distinct river culture involving rafting, kayaking, fishing, and tubing in the summer. In the state of Colorado, the Animas River is a unique and rare treasure. With the newest and one of the best Gold Medal Water sections in Colorado, the Animas is a river that should be on your list of places to enjoy, whether it is by walking along, tubing rafting/kayaking, or fishing.
8. Climbing Tours (25)
9. James Ranch (10)
One of our families favorite places to visit, just down the road from our condo. Every time I hear about James Ranch it makes my mouth water! The food there is all farm grown, super fresh, and amazing! What is so great about this place is you can walk run with your kids and it is a combination of open pasture, petting zoo, and ice cream parlor. A gem of a find!
10. Cultural Tours (25)
Other award-winning attractions right out our front door:
Horseback riding at Rapp Corral (10)
Rapp Corral is one of Durango’s longest-running and favorite venues for horseback riding and winter sleigh rides. Family owned and operated, Anne Rapp and her team are sure to make your western horseback experience one for the memory books. A wrangler for movies and TV series and a local guide for horseback riding, packing, and sleigh rides since 1981, Anne Rapp has the experience and knowledge to guide riders through some of the most picturesque mountain landscapes in Southwest Colorado.
Mt Engineer Hiking/Mountain Biking (10)
One of the highest rated, most picturesque trails in the San Juan Mountains, so awesome it is a local favorite which people come back to time and time again. Why? Hikeable in the winter and summer, it is a moderate difficulty hike. It weaves nicely upward, giving you a sense of gradually greater views. The route up to the top is forgiving and even beginning hikers can enjoy it significantly and climbed to where they are comfortable. In the summer time amazing collections and diversity of wildflowers are found throughout the hike.
Dining at the Sow’s Ear (10)
The Sow’s Ear Restaurant, established in 1986, is located in the Silverpick Lodge, one mile south of Durango Mountain Resort. Set amongst the beautiful San Juan mountains, the Sow’s Ear is the longest running restaurant in the area with a new owner and head chef George Mehaffie taking over in May 2008 bringing new ideas and fresh seasonal menus to the restaurant, while continuing the tradition of “the best steaks on the mountain”. Come up and see us and enjoy a unique mountain dining experience.