Colorado is more than just a ski destination.

High Altitude Harmony: Exploring Colorado’s Natural and Cultural Treasures

Colorado is the land where breathtaking mountain landscapes meet lively urban scenes. Our week-long journey through Colorado absolutely lived up to its hype and left us craving to explore more. Nature and music co-exist alongside each other in each town, intertwined between mountains and rivers. Colorado has a tune for everyone and its cultural and historic richness captivated and amazed us at every step of our journey.



We began the week-long excursion in the quaint small town of Durango. Beautiful weather, delicious restaurants, an abundance of family-owned businesses, and friendly people made Durango a great place to visit.

One of our favourites from Durango’s food scene was the Nugget Mountain Bar, with its live music and kid-friendly environment. The ghost of a sheriff murdered outside El Moro Spirits and Taverns allegedly haunts the restaurant. However, it is well worth a stop, even for those who do not believe in ghost stories, as their bartender, Roberto, is one of the best in Colorado. We also enjoyed 11th Street Station, a friendly pub with live entertainment, a great atmosphere and friendly servers.

There are many ways to enjoy Durango’s outdoor spaces, including white water rafting and kayaking. We especially enjoyed biking and a relaxing journey on the Silverton train along the river. It is also worth noting that the 29 hot springs in the area are known for their medicinal effects. Be sure to stop at the Strater Hotel, a historical building used as a filming location for iconic movies like True Grit and The Prestige.


Silverton and Telluride

The aforementioned Silverton train, one of Colorado’s top attractions, led us to our next destination. The train glides through the San Juan mountains and the Rockies to Silverton, a small western town atop an extinct volcano. From Silverton, we took the Red Mountain pass to Telluride, the first city in the world to use electricity-powered lights.

Telluride is split into two portions—a ski town and a musical paradise alongside many blasts from the past. The Peaks Resort and Spa is accessible only by gondola but has a stunning view of the mountains and landscapes, including Mt. Wilson, the inspiration for the Coors Light label. Be sure to check out the Town Park area to enjoy a potential music festival with a stunning backdrop.

Built in 1913, the Sheridan Opera House is one of the most iconic movie theatres. Telluride has one of the top five film festivals in the world, the first of which began at the Sheridan. Today, it is a familiar face to many celebrities such as George Clooney and Jimmy Stuart. It is also a non-profit focused on providing arts education to kids.

One of the best ways to experience Telluride that isn’t on a pair of skis is by jeep. Telluride Outside Scenic Tours are experts in crafting the perfect adventure. The tour is not for the faint of heart as it explores mine shafts and ascends to 12,000 feet.


Glenwood Springs

As suggested by its name, Glenwood Springs is known for its giant hot springs pool. Early settlers Isaac Copper and Walter Devereux believed it could be developed into a world-class destination. Their vision came to fruition when the first tourists arrived in 1887, and they continue to soak in the pool’s health benefits today.

Glenwood Springs is also the only Mountaintop Theme Park in the U.S. Visitors can explore the underground universe of thousands of formations, such as stalactites, stalagmites, and flowstone. There are also many western-themed roller coasters, movie theatres, and laser tag. Another iconic destination is Hotel Colorado, which has hosted notable figures like Al Capone and Teddy Roosevelt.



We began our exploration of Vail at the Four Seasons Hotel. We felt right at home with the incredible views, great service and delicious food from an Argentinian chef.

One of the most entertaining activities was hiking with llamas on a 1000-year-old trail. Our guides were very friendly and gave us many historical facts about the area. Although we didn’t ride the llamas, they were excellent hiking companions as we explored the wildflower-covered mountainsides.

The town of Vail is clean and beautiful, with great shops, friendly people, and more. One of our highlights was the Gerald R. Ford Amphitheatre. We enjoyed performances by The Head and The Heart and Father John Misty, who captivated the audience with their great groove and chemistry.



The last stop on our journey was Denver, which left us longing for more. It’s the home of Coors Brewery, many bars and a thriving craft beer scene. One of our favourite breweries was TRVE Brewery Company, which supports local musicians and bands. Profits from the business go towards assisting communities and the environment. They also teach young people how to create music festivals to strengthen Denver’s musical ecosystem.

We also enjoyed Black Shirt Brewery, which has a wide selection of craft beer, live music, and a friendly atmosphere. Less known is the Blaire Caldwell Library, one of Denver’s biggest jazz hubs, where many famous jazz pioneers started their careers.

However, we knew we couldn’t visit Denver without a stop at Red Rocks Amphitheatre. Since 1941, Red Rocks has been a top musical destination. Once upon a time, the Beatles played here for $6. There was no better place to watch Japanese Breakfast and Phoenix and Beck perform- the perfect end to an unforgettable trip.

From the charming streets of Durango and Denver to the mountain paradises of Vail and Telluride, Colorado was a playground for outdoor enthusiasts and relaxation seekers alike. The sounds of the music and the echoes of the mountains followed us long after we returned home, and it will continue to do so for all visitors.

To help plan your trip, you can check out Visit Denver and Colorado Tourism.

Header Image: Wildflowers explode with colour near Engineer Pass in the San Juan Mountains near Ouray (Matt Inden/The Colorado Tourism Office). All other images are by George Stryker.

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