EAT, SLEEP, PLAY: Durango, Colorado

Seek powder in the Southwest this winter.


A lot of breweries take the easy way out with bulk food-service deliveries, but Steamworks Brewing Company ( on Second Avenue does food just as well as they do beer. They source as much as they can locally like the daily fresh ground Black Angus beef for their burgers, seasonal salads, and homemade beer bread. This is also an extremely family friendly restaurant—it’s already loud so loud children fit right in, and the concrete floor is impervious to all sorts of messes. For the totally opposite ambiance, Cyprus Cafe ( is set in a beautiful Victorian House that was renovated in 2014. The award-winning Mediterranean-focused lunch and dinner servings are sourced locally including the produce grown in their own garden.


Shack up at the downtown Rochester Hotel and Leland House B&B ( Built separately some 40 years apart around the turn of the 20th Century, the older (built in 1892) Leland House features historically themed rooms and the younger (1927) Rochester Hotel has rooms with themes inspired by classic Western movies. Enjoy a gourmet breakfast included with your stay. And even though it’s right downtown, the Rochester’s Secret Garden provides a little touch of nature.


The San Juan Mountains, including Purgatory Resort (, always manages  to get far more than its fair share of snow with a 10-year average annual snowfall of 260 inches—and most of that is dry fluffy powder. The ski area maintains 13 lifts to access 101 trails covering 1,605 skiable acres. Purgatory is an easy 35 minute drive up the wide and cruisey road (no switchbacks!) from downtown Durango. Drive it yourself or take the $10 skier shuttle service (on the weekends and select holidays) that picks up at the Durango Trainsit Center at 8:30 a.m.. Ski and gear hauling carts are available at the skier drop-off, and accompanying the resort’s excellent beginner terrain, Purgatory offers free tickets and season passes to all kids 10 and under. If you want a cardio rush, head just one third of a mile north and across the highway from the resort to the Durango Nordic Center (, where trails for all ability levels wind trhough the woods.

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