It can be a hassle to find a table in Telluride during the summer. But one of the latest new offerings for eats here is tucked in a little sliver of space around the corner from the popular and bustling Smuggler’s Brewpub. Appropriately named the SideWork (sideworkspeakeasy.com), it takes up the spot where servers at Smuggler’s used to do their side work (e.g. rolling silverware into napkins or filling water pitchers). Owned by Smuggler’s proprietors Josh and Melissa Klein, veterans of the restaurant scene in their native New Orleans, it just opened on Christmas Eve last year. Styled in the manner of low-key 1920’s speakeasies, the place specializes in drinks and “Mediterranean-American comfort food.” The menu features dishes in the size options of Smalls, Plates and Sweets. We suggest you try the shepards pie made with local Colorado lamb and finish off with the blackberry pann cotta.
Summer or winter, The Peaks Resort and Spa (thepeaksresort.com) in Telluride’s Mountain Village wows guests with incredible views of the surrounding peaks of the Uncompahgre National Forest. It also offers easy walking access to all amenities of the Mountain Village (there’s a fun ropes course). Pop on the free gondola for a scenic, 13-minute to get to town (or you can drive). Kids are welcome and they’ll delight in the indoor and outdoor pools, including a short-but-steep waterslide. Rooms are simple, yet comfortable, with a range of different size suites (summer rates range from $215 to $250 per night depending on the day of the week).
The hot attraction here right now is the Via Ferrata (telluridemountainclub.org). Popular in Europe and literally translated as “iron way,” the route consists of a series of metal rungs and ladders bolted into to the sheer rock face. You move along the holds clipped into a cable that runs the length of the via ferrata connected by a system of two slings and carabiners. It’s incredibly exposed but well protected, making it a blast for both novice and advanced rock climbers (but do have the proper training). San Juan Mountain Guides (mtnguide.net) runs trips on the via ferrata for $179-$349 per person depending on group size. Seeking a big adventure? Consider the 215-mile mountain bike ride from Telluride to Moab or build your own itinerary in the San Juan huts (sanjuanhuts.com). And of course it’s hard to visit Telluride without running into a festival: This month, highlights include the Telluride Jazz Festival (telluridejazz.org), August 4-6, and Telluride Film Festival (telluridefilmfestival.org), August 30-September 4. Don’t miss the outstanding Brews and Blues Festival (tellurideblues.com), September 15-17.