Eat, stay and play in Historic Downtown Durango where you will find beautiful hotels, friendly shops, first class restaurants, famous breweries and many things to do. Take a stroll through the streets and marvel at the historic buildings and unique shops, sip a gourmet cup of coffee or enjoy some of the rich arts and culture of downtown. A stroll down Durango’s Main Avenue is a sensory treat: the Colorado air is crisp and subtly scented by restaurant and café delicacies; on most days the sun streams through the streets, intensifying the colorful store-front awnings and highlighting the neighboring mountain ridge. Streets are a bustle with seasonal snow and commerce and visitors mingling in everyday transactions. Smiles and friendly greetings are commonplace along the downtown’s Main Avenue, where it is safe to walk and explore at all hours, day and night.
Downtown Historic District
Today Downtown Durango is a Nationally Registered Historic District, with something special in store for each visitor. The downtown area has been coined “the living room of the Durango community” by voices of the Durango Business Improvement District, who have a 20-year revitalization plan in store for historic downtown that began in 1997. Downtown Durango is a central part of the city’s allure, business, and history, and Durango leaders intend to continually nurture the beautiful historic district.
What To Do Downtown
Visitors can find something exciting happening downtown throughout the four seasons. Durango is a hidden gem for spectacular outdoor and cultural festivals. Snowdown is a classic Durango winter celebration that has offered much merriment for locals and visitors alike. Outdoor enthusiasts can enjoy challenges like The Iron Horse Classic, a road and mountain bike tournament scheduled each Memorial Day, or the Durango Double, a weekend of trail and road marathons back-to-back (not for the weak of heart). Cultural festivals of all sorts abound, including the bluegrass Durango Meltdown festival, the Cowboy Gathering, the Summer Jazz festival, the beer and music extravaganza Oktoberfest, the Durango Arts Festival, and many more!
The Boomtown Years
Now, flash back 126 years ago when settlers were flocking to the San Juan Mountains in the hopes of striking it rich in gold, silver, and copper. The Denver & Rio Grande Railroad was founded by William Jackson Palmer, and around the railroad, a city was born. Palmer had big plans for Durango. He envisioned a town that would deliver an exceptional “quality of life” in a visually appealing and commerce drawing lay out. Plans consisted of the Main Avenue serving “wholesale” interests and the residential Third Avenue sprawling parallel to Main with a scenic median of planted trees and vegetation.