Bergamo would have never been on my list of towns to visit, but I am so happy we got to spend time in this adorable walled city. A dear friend from college moved to Italy years ago and fell head over heels with a Venetian man. They got engaged in this tiny little town and decided it was the perfect place to tie the knot. My three best friends from college and their husbands/fiancé all made the trip to Bergamo, and we had the most amazing time!
Congratulations! You’re headed to Telluride Bluegrass Festival. This is a trip you will remember for the rest of your life. Telluride alone is a magical little town nestled in the San Juan Mountains, but when you add in bluegrass the experience is next level.
Don’t be surprised by the overwhelming positive energy and love bursting from this place when you arrive. Everyone is there to enjoy the music, bask in the mountain sunshine and have a damn good time.
In this post, I will walk you through the basics like how to get there, where to stay and what to eat and drink, outside and inside the festival. I will also go into detail on some long-standing traditions and let you in on you some veteran festivarian tricks. And of course, what exactly to pack so you can have fun in the sun, not get sunburn and be prepared for the cold weather when the sun goes down.
How To Get There
From Denver, it’s about a six-hour drive. There are two routes you can take, I-70 to Grand Junction, then head south or take the more scenic route down 285 through Gunnison. Depending on the traffic they can end up being almost the same amount of time so check Google before you leave.
There are a few airports that will get you closer to Telluride than Denver but you will still need a car as you are about an hour plus drive away.
Grand Junction – 2 1/2 hours
Durango – 2 hours
Montrose – 1 hour
Only those with Town Park camping, Warner Field camping or a Telluride car pass will be allowed to drive in town. Everyone else will be directed to park outside of town or in Mountain Village. It’s totally okay you won’t need your car until it’s time to leave anyway!
Where to stay
Ideal camping is in town at Town Park or Warner Field. Congrats if you were lucky enough to get one of these spots during the lottery!
Town Park: All of the OG “Festivarians” camp in Town Park and only those with a wristband can enter. Late night jams, costume parties, and creekside swimming can be found in this magical campsite in the woods.
Warner Field: A coveted camping spot located on the baseball field right next to the festival. Pack a shade tent as you are literally on a baseball field. Also, earplugs as you are basically inside the festival grounds.
The High School: Located at the other end of town is Family Camping. This is the only other in-town camping option. Be aware this is an alcohol and drug-free camping site with quiet hours.
Lawson Hill and Mary E. Ilium: Both campgrounds are both located outside of town, the only way you can get two and from these campsites is by bus. The buses run constantly so it’s not too much trouble getting back and forth.
Hotels & Airbnb
If you haven’t booked a spot you need to start looking now. Spots fill up way in advance. Airbnb and VRBO are great options. You can also check local rentals on Craigslist.
Telluride vs. Mountain Village
The earlier you can book the better. Securing a house in Telluride is hard and expensive. We typically opt to stay in Mountain Village at bigger homes and condos.
Mountain Village is on the other side of the ski mountain from town, connected by gondola. Since you can’t drive around during the festival, the gondola will be your ride to and from Telluride. The gondola runs from 7 a.m. to 2 a.m. so if you go to NightGrass, you will want to hurry back to catch the last gondola. We typically ride down in the morning then head back up around 4 or so to change for the night and then head back down for more music. When looking for houses, the closer you can get to the gondola the better. Some condos do offer complimentary shuttles service to and from the gondola as well.
Eating and Drinking Outside the festival
Truth be told I eat almost exclusively in the festival because the food vendors are soo good!
For a coffee, breakfast or a sandwich check out the Baked in Telluride for to-go breakfast, pizza and sandwiches for lunch. There is also a small grocery store next store. Another great breakfast spot is The Butcher & The Baker. For lunch or dinner outside on a patio head to Smugglers Brew Pub.
Again most of your time will be spent in the festival but after the shows, if you are looking for a drink check out the Sheridan, the quintessential Telluride bar. The Sheridan Hotel next-door just opened a new rooftop that is amazing!
Groceries – Telluride has a two small (read $$$) grocery stores. Your best bet is to stop in Montrose on your way in to get all the supplies you need for the weekend. There are a few liquor store around town so no need to panic. And for all the southern this one Liquor Store – Wine Mine caries SweetWater!
Inside the Festival Booze and Food
Your options are beer and wine. On the first day be green and purchase a souvenir cup that can be reused all weekend!
Beer – New Belgium is the exclusive brewery to the festival. So if you are looking for something lighter like a coors light… might not happen.
Wine – There is great red and white wine available that is served in an awesome sippy cup as well so you don’t spill everywhere.
Water – Water is free! Bring your own water bottle and fill it up near the food vendors or porta poties. Watch out for the thousands of children with water guns.
Coolers – You can bring in your own cooler and probably everything else you may need…
Festival Food – There will be a line for dumplings and its totally worth the wait. I love getting a sweet tea from the southern BBQ joint too. You can even get breakfast in the venue.
Telluride Bluegrass Festival Traditions
Ah, one of my favorite traditions of Telluride Bluegrass. Let me set the scene. The venue is divided into four sections by a walkway. The front two and back right are all for tarps and shorts chairs, the very back left is for shade tents. In order to stake your claim in the venue, you lay down a tarp. To lay down a tarp you need to do a tarp run. To do a tarp run you gotta sleep in line. To sleep in line ya gotta get in line the night before!
Settle down this is actually a super fun tradition that once you do it will you want to do it again! Tarp Line Party! Yep sleep in line with over 100 other festivarians. You can read the full rules and regulations about the tarp run here.
You might be like WTF! I don’t want to do that! I can stand wherever I want! I don’t need a tarp! Totally cool. Anyone is allowed to stand on an empty tarp as long as they leave when the owner returns. Plenty of people run early to stake out a spot near the front of the stage then don’t come back until later in the day.
Sleeping in line is fun. And doing the tarp run is even more fun! We alternate so every night another crew gets to run. Some people get in line really early, but I have always dropped our stuff after the last show, gone to the bars and then come back. Around 5 a.m., numbers are handed out to those sleeping in line, at that point you are allowed to tag in and out. Someone can go to the bathroom, get coffee while the others stay. Around 9 a.m. you will line up in number order to run in. Here are some
videos of pass runs.
If you’re up early just head over to the venue to watch the tarp run! It is quite the spectacle. If you have kids or would like a shaded area with a good view you will need to sleep in line and run in as well. Here are the types of tents and chairs you can bring in.
Word of warning – Telluride is truly a safe place. But our Crazy Creek chairs were stolen from our spot in line last year. So do not leave valuables there. Just put some chairs down and come back later with any stuff you need to stay the night.
Saturday Afternoon – Leftover Salmon
When Leftover Salmon takes the stage on Saturday afternoon something strange happens. A giant dance party will break out with flying marshmallows! Not sure how or when this tradition started but they will start flying, so here is your warning. If one lands near you, throw it before it melts!
Here is a video of last Saturday’s Festivities
Nightgrass are “late night” shows that start after the festival ends. Shows are at Fly Me to the Moon Saloon, The Sheridan Opera House, and the Palm Theater. Tickets are sold via lottery in the early spring. Again if you don’t have tickets you may have luck outside the venue buying or trading. The Sheridan Opera House is a super intimate venue and it’s such a treat to so see some of your favorite bands there.
What to Bring Into the Festival
Chairs – You are only permitted to bring low back chairs or a crazy creek type chairs. The point is to not block everyone’s view.
Tarp – To stand on you are going to want a big one. And then maybe a sheet/tapestry to put over if its to hot to stand on.
Tarpestry – A tarp and tapestry combo! I purchased mine my first year at Telluride and there is even a picture of me in their tent!
Sunscreen – It will be hot and I mean HOT and sunny you will want to lather up constantly
Water bottle – Free water for refills
Spray bottle or personal fan – Again it’s super hot but there will be kids walking around spraying you as well
Bandana – Great for keeping cold just get it wet or stick a few ice cubes in it and wrap it around your neck
Sunglasses – Bring two in case you lose one!
Hat – You will want a hat, preferably a wide brim hat over a baseball cap to keep the sun off your face and the back of your neck
Turkish Towel, Surong, Kimono – Basically a lightweight fabric to keep the sun off you. You can also go dunk it in the river and use it to cool down.
Backpack – if your not gonna go home to change then pack pants, jacket and beanie for when the sun goes down and the temperature drops
Headlamp – trying to find your belongings in the dark is hard, bring a headlamp
Glowsticks – when the sun goes down the tarps start to get folded up and made into giant piles of stuff. It is often hard to find your belongs and everyone has the same black jacket. use glow sticks to identify your stuff.
**Write your name and number on everything so it can all be returned. There are a few lost and found were your stuff could be returned if found. I have lots a jacket and speaker and because my name & number was on the speaker I got them back!
What to do Outside of the Festival
If you only get a single day pass or only plan to attend one day there is still plenty to do in town. Walking around town there is plenty of shopping, art galleries and cool bars and restaurant to explore.
Gondola – If you are not staying in Mountain Village, take the free gondola up the mountain and walk around. There is a stunning viewpoint overlooking all of Telluride. But the real treat is coming back down. Then the gondola dips down and all of Telluride reveals itself. Might be my favorite view in Colorado. It’s actually the background on my phone!
Hike To Bridal Veil – High in telluride upon Bridal Veil! Telluride is a “box town” surrounded by mountains on all sides. That beautiful waterfall you can see from the middle of town and Town Park is Bridal Vail Falls. You can either hike or dive up to the falls with a 4 wheel drive vehicle. Be very comfortable driving narrow switchback mountain roads if you are going to do this.
Another great hike near town is to a beautiful waterfall is Bear Creek Falls. This hike has less of an elevation gain except at the end to the base of the beautiful waterfall. SO PRETTY!
So if you hadn’t planned on going but my awesome post convinced you, now you need to find tickets! Tickets go on sale in early November and are selling out faster and faster each year. Town Park and Warner Field tickets are only sold via an online lottery. Single day passes typically go on sale when 4-day passes go on sale as well. If you missed out on the public onsale there is typically one re-release around February.
It is illegal to scalp tickets so don’t! And don’t buy anything over face. Once you purchase a ticket you commit to not selling that ticket for more than face value so don’t do it and do not promote it! There will be tickets on Cash Or Trade, Craigslist or The Festivarian forums. You just have to be super diligent.
Your other option is to just wing it and go. I have had plenty of friends luck out and get tickets day of. You can hang around the entrance and there is often a bulletin board where people will post information about extra tickets.
Check out past Telluride post here
A few weekends ago I checked into the Hilton Denver City Center for a little staycation. This was not your average staycation but a jam-packed girls getaway! With three of my besties in tow, we explored all downtown Denver has to offer. The Hilton Denver City Center was the perfect home base/jumping off point for our weekend, I’m thrilled to have worked with Hilton and their great team to plan this weekend to share with y’all!
I honestly love getting DM’s about what to do, where to eat and drink and most importantly where to stay when visiting Denver. If you follow my blog you that know while I live in Denver I spend almost every weekend in the mountains! Planning and spending a full weekend in Denver was a total change of pace and so freaking fun. Seriously, I have had a bucket list of bars, restaurants, and activities that I have finally checked off and can now recommend to you! So if you’re headed to Denver here is the perfect weekend itinerary.
Friday – Just Getting Settled
We were staying in a Junior Suite on the executive floor which gave us access to a complimentary Happy Hour and breakfast. Unfortunately, we missed the complimentary Happy Hour but if the breakfast was any indication of what Happy Hour could be I wouldn’t miss it again!
Our Suite was set up perfectly for our girls’ getaway. It featured one large living room with a kitchenette that attached to a Master Suite, which then connected to a double queen room. The entire hotel was renovated just last year and has a perfect mix of trendy yet Colorado vibes. I love the art used for headboards and all the built-in USB ports.
Hilton Denver City Center is running a great Rockies season package that includes breakfast, beer & pretzel vouchers plus a goodie bag with all things baseballs like Big League Chew, Cracker Jacks and root beer! The Hilton Denver City Center is the official partner of the Colorado Rockies and can help you plan the perfect Rockies weekend.
Dinner at Prospect
We were treated to dinner at the hotels signature restaurant, Prospect’s Urban Kitchen & Bar. I think we were all pleasantly surprised by how good our meal was. Our server was also amazing and hilarious. Be wary of the 9 oz. wine pours too!
We started off with cocktails a cheese plate (of course) and their newest appetizer Grilled Octopus. After that, we switched to our 9 oz wine pours – a very welcomed heavy-handed poor! Scott urged us to try the Graham Cracker Porter Onion Soup and we were all so happy we did. Seriously one of the best French Onions soups I have had.
For entrees, two of ordered the Rocky Mountain Trout and another the Duck Confit. Everything was delicious and were quite large portions of food, which gets bonus points in my book! For dessert, we indulged in the Lemon Ricotta Cheesecake and Chocolate Fudge Cake. After dinner, we headed back up to our suite to drink wine, gab, and snack on our goodie bag treats.
Saturday – It’s a Marathon, not a Sprint!
Saturday we were up early for a full day of activities before heading to the Rockies game. We had brunch reservations at noon but headed to the Executive Lounge for breakfast, around nine am. Sometimes complimentary hotel breakfast leaves something to be desired… AKA more food! This breakfast did not disappoint, we went back for 2nds and 3rds as did everyone else who was enjoying the Executive Lounge.
Spring in Denver can often bring disappointing weather. Unfortunately, we woke up to snow and rain canceling our Denver Graffiti walking tour. River North, also known as RiNo, is a very hip part of downtown and almost every inch is covered in art. This two-hour tour goes in depth on each design, the artist’s inspiration and more. Learn more about the Denver Graffiti Tour here. But since ours was canceled we played Settlers of Catan instead.
Brunch at The Bindery
For brunch, we took the complimentary hotel car to The Binderyin Lohi. This spot is beautiful! With floor to ceiling windows and super tall ceilings, the space was so bright and airy even on a gloomy Saturday morning. I love beignets and berries so the Seasonal Berries with crème fraiche, maple syrup and beignets was a must, and damn was it good! We were all totally torn on what to order but decided on the La Emmabella (eggs in brioche with truffle butter, duck prosciutto), Toasted Quinoa Porridge and Avocado Toast. The vibe of The Binderyis relaxed but classy, we really oohed and aahed over the space and joked that we felt like we were on an episode of Sex in the City!
Wine Tour at Infinite Monkey Theorem
Next up was a wine tour at Denver’s urban winery, Infinite Monkey Theorem. This was the perfect rainy day activity. The tour takes about an hour and includes about four very hefty pours. Our tour was super educational and fun. You could really tell how much our guide loved being a member of the Infinite Monkey team and the passion they have for wine.
All of Infinite Monkey Theorem wine is produced from grapes harvested right here in Colorado. Infinite was also one of the first wine producers to can their wine! All of Infinite Monkey Theorem’s glass bottle wines use twist off caps which are greener than corks and also makes the bottle of wine more affordable for the consumer.
I have drunk Infinite Monkey plenty of times but have never taken the time to notice the beautiful engraved bottle. Yep, engraved! No paper labels – another way they are green and awesome! Public tastings are only $25 and private tours with barrel tastings are $75. Learn more about the tourshere
Shopping at Modern Nomad
The RiNo neighborhood has lots to see and do, so before heading to the game we decided to check out some locals stores. Modern Nomadjust opened and it is like walking into boho heaven! The space has five distinct but cohesive retailers as well as rotating pop-up shops. Nothing is better than walking into a hip home store flipping over an item and being totally shocked at how reasonable the price is! I did this not only once but at least five times in Modern Nomad.
Unfortunately, the rain and cold deterred us from going into the game, but we did go and take pictures outside the stadium! The Rockies were playing the Cubs so naturally, it was packed! Even if you’re not a Rockies or even baseball fan the games are so fun! We always head up to The Rooftop and grab a margarita from The Rio, a hot dog from Biker Jim’s and a giant bottomless popcorn.
Dinner at Ophelia’s
When you visit Denver you will be recommended a few restaurants and I can guarantee you Linger will be at the top of that list, and rightfully so – it’s amazing. As are all the Edible Beats restaurants around Denver. Not only is the food top notch but the decor, ambiance, and vibe is edgy and cool. Ophelia’s might take the cake on decor as this half venue, half restaurant is decorated with vintage pinups and movie posters, the stage backdrop is a collage of classic radios and the girls bathroom stalls are made of vintage yardsticks from local businesses.
Ophelia’s is always a winner in my book and our dinner didn’t disappoint. We decided to order a few things to share including Scallops, Shishito Peppers, Drunken Muscles, Plantains, and the Truffle Mushroom Flatbread. I highly recommend the Scallops, which are smoked and served cold. Sounds weird, but they were super yummy. Also, on special that night was asparagus with burrata – wowzers, hopefully they will be adding this to the regular menu!
Hit The Town
After dinner, we headed toBe On Keys to see my favorite Phish cover band and my future wedding band woot-woot! Now, I know that is not everyone’s ideal Saturday night so head to my Denver Guideto see my other favorite bars around town.
Sunday – Time to Relax
Sunday we decided to sleep in and enjoy mimosa in our robes. I mean a hotel trip isn’t complete without some robe time, right? Instead of heading to the Executive Lounge we opted for brunch at RiNo’s newest hot spot,Barcelona Wine Bar
Brunch at Barcelona Wine Bar
You may have heard of Barcelona Wine Baras they have a few locations across the country. I know you may be thinking, eh a chain? No! Barcelona is anything but, each location is totally unique creating a genuine local feel. And it’s spreading like wildfire because of how amazing they are! Everywhere we went over the weekend people asked if we were going to that new wine bar in RiNo! A Spanish wine & tapas bar may seem like an odd choice for brunch but it was delicious! When you go, you have to get Jamón & Manchego Croquetas, Bacon Wrapped Dates, Shakshuka and Potato Tortilla. This place is going to be so popular once summer hits, just look at this patio! I can’t wait to go back!
Sunday ended up being beautiful so after brunch, we walked around RiNo and snapped pics in front of the great street art, before heading home.
We had such a blast on our girls getaway weekend! I checked so many things off my Denver bucket list and remembered why I just adore this city! If you’re a Rockies/Baseball fan than the Triple Play Package is perfect for you. Hot pretzels, free beer, and a goodie bag? Win-win!
If you could care less about baseball, Hilton Denver City Center is still a great location for all of your Denver activities. The complimentary Hilton car literally took us everywhere we wanted to go, which made getting around so easy. Learn more about the Hilton Denver City Center and The Triple Play Package here.
This post is sponsored by Hilton, but all thoughts and opinions are my own.
Thanks to The Bindery, Infinite Monkey Therum, Ophelia’s and Barcelona Wine Bar for hosting us as well.
A few weeks ago Clay and I spent closing weekend in Vail at Hotel Talisa. If you remember Clay and I took a ski trip to Vail with Hotel Talisa at the beginning of the season and had a blast – read about that trip here. Ski season may be over but Spring is just starting to heat up so now is the best time to book and save at the Hotel Talisa. Plus, the spa just opened and its SO beautiful and amazing. Hotel Talisa is offering special discounts for locals looking for a weekend or weekday getaway.
Spring Staycation Experience – $169/night inclusive of a $50 resort credit (perfect to put towards the spa or dining/beverage!) valid through 6/14.
Colorado Resident Savings – 20% savings on nightly rates for stays through 9/30 – so it’s wonderful for a summer getaway or to check out the changing leaves this fall.
Spa Debut Package – 20% savings inclusive of two massages valid through 6/14
Spa Specials – Up to 40% off spa services through June 15th, perfect for mother’s day or for spa pampering!
Clay and I drove up for the a night and while he skiied I spa’d! I chose the Hight Altitude package which was a TWO-hour massage complete with food rub and finished with an oxygen tank. It was freak’in incredible. Seriously, hands down the best massage of my life. Let me qualify this, I get a massage monthly, I get some work done but this… this was next level. It definitely helps to put on the robe have access to the steam room, sauna and lounge to enjoy as well. Michelle was my masseuse and she is a miracle worker. I mean the spots she got on my back… damnnnnn. So ask for her!
As always our stay at the Hotel Talisa is nothing short of fabulous. After the Spa, I hit the slope for a few runs before we came back to enjoy some hot tub time. 50-degree spring weather feels like 70’s out by the pool. We jumped between the pool and hot tub, drank champagne and ate chocolate chip cookies. Because there are free chocolate chip cookies followed by champagne sabering in the afternoon! Seriously nothing short of fabulous at Hotel Talisa. Also, the spa is gorgeous! The decor is bight, airy and relaxing. I am obsessed with all the art and little touches they do around the property so no surprise the spa is just as amazing.
This post is sponsored by the Hotel Talisa, as always all thoughts and opinions are my own
Destination: Vail, Colorado
About: Located in the Eagle Valley surrounded by The White River National Forrest and Gore Range
Route: I-70 West
Distance: 98 Miles
Time: 1h 30 mins
Trip Length: Overnight or Day Trip
Sleeping: Airbnb or Hotel
The heart an d soul of Vail! The village was founded when the ski lifts opened in 1962. Modeled to resemble the European village of the Swiss Alps, Vail Village is adorable! The village is pedestrian only with cobblestone streets, little shops and bars everywhere.
Lyons’ head is the next village over from Vail Village (heading west). I always make a stop in Lyons’ head when skiing for lunch at Moes BBQ. I have never stayed in Lyons Head but I think the nightlife is a little tamer then Vail Village.
West Vail is where you will find the grocery and liquor stores and any other conveniences you may need. Plus, some pretty tasty restaurants. Most residence and Airbnbs at a lower price point will be in this part of town.
Like most mountain towns, public transportation makes it super easy to get around. Is your goal to be next to the slopes/village or are you okay a little further from the action?
If you can ($$$), I would stay in Vail Village as you will only need your car to go to the grocery store. So if you plan to shuttle to the mountain, staying in the village is a great choice. Staying almost anywhere in Vail Village or Lionshead will give you easy access to the mountain as well.
Vail Village is mostly hotels and condos so if you’re looking for a large house, those will be outside of the villages but still super close to everything.
Another thing to consider when staying a ride away from the slopes: you don’t have to lug your stuff around. There are plenty of ski valets and lockers to store your gear!
The Sebastian is the only privately owned boutique hotel in the village. This hotel hits everything on your list – ski valet, hot tubs, a killer bar for apres ski and delicious dining option that is actually pretty reasonably priced. Steps away from the center of Vail Village it’s a perfect spot for ski season or summer.
Where to Eat & Drink
Northside Kitchen – Further west of Vail in Edwards, this spot is great for grabbing something to go but you’re gonna want to sit down and dig in. Everything on the menu is delicious and once you see all those pastries you’re going to have a hard time deciding what to get.
Westside Cafe – Claiming to have the world’s best benedict, this is a hot spot for breakfast in Vail.
The Little Diner – All-day breakfast. Yes, please!
Loaded Joe’s – Once you are in Vail Village and need something to eat, this is the spot!
After 5 years of blogging, all the long hours are paying off! I can’t describe how giddy I was when I received an email from Hotel Talisa last fall about a potential partnership. Of course, my answer was yes, yes, yes! A weekend in Vail at a totally remodeled resort with its own ski lift? YES!!
The transformation of Hotel Talisa has been a long time coming. The property was purchased a little over 2 years ago and underwent a complete renovation. I am talking floor to ceiling gut, remodel and full-on interior design makeover. The resort opened just in time for ski season this past November and is now in full swing! Read on to learn more about the resort and watch the video of our weekend at Hotel Talisa.
Vail is the cream of the crop when it comes to skiing in Colorado and really the world. It’s the largest ski resort in Colorado and the 3rd largest in the US with a total of 5,289 acres. Originally, home to the Ute Indians, the valley along Gore Creek became popular for mining in the 1870’s. During WWII, the famous 10th Mountain Division trained in the Gorge Range. Members later returned to the Valley and eventually became the founding fathers of Vail.
Today, Vail is a luxury ski destination for travelers all over the world. It’s not surprising to hop on a lift and hear a few different languages. Vail is modeled after the Swiss Alps and is home to world-class restaurants, local breweries, and one amazing Bama based BBQ joint. While it’s a luxurious place, you are still in Colorado! So cowboy boots, blue jeans, and craft beer are very much “in” and appropriate.
While Vail is home to the some of the best skiing, it also offers world-class fly fishing, hundreds of hiking and biking trails, zip line course, horseback riding and white water rafting! Hense the slogan “Vail, Like Nothing On Earth”!
Hotel Talisa Location
Hotel Talisa sits right on the banks of the Gore Creek in West Vail. Talisa actually stands for beautiful water in Ute! P.S. If you like fly fishing you can fish just a few steps from the pool deck!
During the warmer months, you can walk or bike the path from Hotel Talisa to Lionshead and Vail Village. The hotel also offers a complimentary shuttle between the hotel and other villages that run constantly throughout the day.
Ski in – Ski Out
Hotel Talisa is one of the only true ski-in/ski-out resorts in Vail. The hotel is located right next to the Cascade Lift. I mean, right next to it. Walk out the door from renting or picking up your gear at the ski valet and you are in the lift line. On our trip it snowed 9 inches overnight and being right at the lift on a powder day was a dream come true! We were basically the first chair!
This is post is part of a partnership with Visit Taos and I am so excited to share why Taos, New Mexico holds such a special place in my heart! In this post, I will go over all the fun activities Taos has to offer… basically everything! If you’re looking for where to stay and eat check out this post.
Destination: Taos, New Mexico
About: Located in north-central New Mexico along the Sangre de Cristo Mountains and Rio Grande River Valley.
Distance: 289 Miles from Denver
Time: 4h 30m from Denver (2h 30m from Albuquerque)
Trip Length: Overnight
Season: Year-round or Winter for skiing
Sleeping: Resort Living or Airbnb
The question really is what can’t you do in Taos?! No matter what time of year you visit Taos you will find something everyone can enjoy from cultural tours, skiing to shopping Taos has it all.
The Taos Pueblo is a must visit for everyone. You really get a sense of history and culture of the area by visiting The Pueblo. The Pueblo is over a 1,000 years old and the homes are often called the first apartments. Even today, people still live in the Taos Pueblo making it the longest inhabited place in North America. I highly suggest taking a guided tour of the Pueblo on your visit. Check out their website to learn more about tours and special events.
Museums & Gallery
Taos is known for their art so and the museums and galleries in the area are top notch. Whats really cool about most of the museums is that they are located in old homes. So you are not only seeing incredible southwestern art but also getting a taste of the area’s history and architecture.
Millicent Rogers Museum – My personal fav! Millicent Rogers has a fascinating life story and is integral to putting Taos on the map. The museum showcases art, pottery, blankets and more from her personal collection. She also has a stunning silver and turquoise jewelry collection that is just to die for!
The Hardwood Museum – Located in town on Ledoux Street, The Hardwood Museum showcases a collection of historical southwestern art as well as modern-day art. We visited The Hardwood Museum during The Lighting of Leduex were all the museums, shops and galleries line the street with paper lanterns and open their doors to visitors.
See a full list of Museums in the area here.
Taos is an outdoor lovers dream! Ski during the day then hit the single track in the afternoon. How about a long hike then a soak in the hot springs, or maybe an all-day float trip down The Box.
La Vista Verde Trail – To reach this trail you head to south Taos then make your way up the Rio Grande (directions here) This out and back trail gives you a totally different perspective as you are hiking inside of the gorge. On our hike we saw tons of bighorn sheep – watch my video at the bottom to see!
The Gorge Bridge – Hop in your car and take a drive out to The Gorge Bridge. On the far side of the bridge is a parking area that often has local vendors. From there you can walk to the middle of the bridge and take in the sheer depth of the gorge. There are also a few trails from the parking lot that lead you around the rim and are super easy, with fantastic views. Whenever I am in Taos I always make a trip to the Gorge Bridge.
There are some great outfitters in the area that can help plan your trip. If you’re looking for a mix of adventure & shopping or culture check out Heritage Inspiration Tours.
Skiing – Taos Ski Mountain is a quick 30 mins drive from Taos and offers the best skiing in New Mexico. With 101 runs there is something for everyone plus the ski school is consistently rated one of the best in the country.
Spa & Hot Springs
Along the Rio Grande River north of the Gorge Bridge are two natural hot springs, Black Rock and Mandy. Learn how to locate and hike to the hot springs here.
El Monte Sagrado – An eco-friendly resort and spa located in the heart of Taos offers world-class spa services in their award-winning “living Spa”. Read more here
Ojo Caliente Resort & Spa – Located an hour from Taos this beautiful resort and spa offers mineral springs, hot springs, mud baths, spa services, hiking, biking, and Yoga! I visited Ojo on a girls trip and it was so much fun – read more about it here.
You can’t explore Taos without shopping. The streets are lined with fabulous galleries, boutiques, and jewelry shops. Yes, some of the stores are a little touristy, but you just need to know where to look! Off the plaza check out Bent Street and John Dunn Street and north along Paseo Del Pueblo Norte for the best galleries and boutiques. East on Paseo Del Canõn you will find more galleries, museums and home goods.
Heritage Inspiration Tours
If you are a little overwhelmed with all the activities or prefer to have someone else plan everything for you check out Heritage Inspiration Tours. Angelisa, the owner, guided us around Taos for two days and was absolutely amazing. Angelisa knows the land, history and culture so well and does a great job showing and telling all Taos has to offer. Best hike? Best Coffee? The best place to watch a game? Best ski run for bumps? Angelisa knows!
Read more about Taos – Where to Stay and Eat Here – Comment, Tweet or DM me any questions about Taos! I’d love to help you plan a trip to this beautiful town!
This post is sponsored by Visit Taos, but all thoughts and opinions are my own.
In partnership with Visit Taos, I have put together TWO guides on visiting Taos, New Mexico. In this guide, I will share the best places to stay and eat while visiting. My next guide will be all about what to do! I also have a blog post on how to plan a girls trip to Taos here.
Destination: Taos, New Mexico
About: Located in north-central New Mexico along the Sangre de Cristo Mountains and Rio Grande River Valley.
Distance: 289 Miles from Denver
Time: 4h 3m from Denver (2h 30m from Albuquerque)
Trip Length: Overnight
Season: Year-round or Winter for skiing
Sleeping: Resort Living or Airbnb
I first visited Taos as a little girl on spring break with my family, where we spent most of our time in the Taos Ski Valley. It wasn’t until college that I really fell in love with New Mexico. My college, SMU, has a small campus south of Taos where I spent two, two-week sessions. We spent the mornings in class and the afternoons and weekends exploring the Taos Valley. My mother has also always had a southwestern flare both in interior design and jewelry, reasons why I love anything turquoise and wearing cowboy hats.
Taos is a magical place you will fall in love with on your first visit and plan to return again and again. The landscape, culture, and light of the area are totally different… I suppose a lot of New Mexico has this feeling, hence the state tagline “The Land of Enchantment”. Since its only a 4-hour drive from Denver and two hours from Albuquerque, it’s easy to make a weekend trip.
First, let’s discuss the layout of Taos. There is Taos proper then 30ish minutes north-east is the Taos Ski Valley. If you plan to ski then you may want to stay in the Ski Valley rather than the town of Taos. Also north of Taos is the Taos Pueblo a must visit! The Taos Pueblo it is the longest continually inhabited place in North America, over 1,000 years old!
Where to Stay
El Monte Sagrado Living Resort & Spa – The El Monte Segrado is a stunning resort right in the heart of Taos. El Monte Segrado is part of the Heritage Hotel & Resort collection and is consistently named one of the top luxury hotels not only the southwest but the US. The decor and architecture are quintessential Taos with a mix of American West, Native American, Mexican and Spanish influences. Not only is the resort and grounds beautiful it is also an eco-friendly resort. Check out my video to see how awesome our hotel room is.