Durango, Colorado has something to offer everyone, and that includes older adults. Whether you are traveling with someone who has mobility problems or are on a retirement vacation and simply do not care for too much excitement, there are plenty of activities for seniors in Durango. To convince you that no trip to Durango offers too much or too little for people over retirement age to enjoy themselves, here are some of the best activities for visiting seniors in Durango, CO.
Durango and Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad and Museum
One of the absolute best ways to experience the scenic beauty of Durango without having to bear hours of driving or hiking is by riding the historic Durango and Silverton Railroad instead. This authentic circa 1882 rail represents a significant slice of the area’s history and has been featured in classic Hollywood films like Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid.
The rail equipment is a genuine restored locomotive first constructed between 1923–1925. The train and the passenger cars have been lovingly restored to preserve their historic characteristics while adding modern amenities like ADA-compliant restrooms, wheelchair lifts and passageways. Ride packages can include snacks, hot beverages and even entertainment in the form of narratives delivered by historical impersonators or songs sung by true cowboy poets.
Of course, the best draw is outside the window. The rail winds through the San Juan Mountains through the Animas Canyon to deliver breathtaking views of the Colorado landscape.
Durango Fish Hatchery & Wildlife Museum
Ever wonder about all the natural beauty that surrounds Durango? Learn about native species in detail with a visit to the Durango Fish Hatchery and Wildlife Museum. Their enthusiastic volunteers can tell you as much as you want to know about the area, species, game and especially fish. You may even learn a few tips on how to catch the biggest trout you can from local fly fishing experts.
Historic Downtown Durango
Just the historic architecture of downtown Durango is enough to keep someone captivated, but the specialty shops and restaurants that lie inside are even more than meets the eye. Enjoy wine tasting, art galleries, specialty gifts, clothing and more. Outdoor vendors roam the streets during the day offering even more goodies, and at night the city provides ample entertainment in the form of musicians, comedians and entertainers both local and touring.
Durango Botanical Gardens
The award winning Durango Botanical Gardens are perfect for seniors. The experience is self-guided, allowing you to enjoy the beauty at your own pace, and free! Not only are there 9 unique, individually themed gardens, there are other opportunities to enjoy including chatting with volunteers about the park and the native plants, visiting the Literary Garden, taking a picnic to enjoy on the grounds and listening to the sounds of the rushing Animas River.
Durango Art Galleries
The Durango art galleries are a free and self-guided way to explore the culture and history of southwest Colorado. Each shop features local, national and international artists, and are under a two-minute walk to each other. Purchasing artwork is a great way to support artists and bring a piece of Durango home. Download the Durango art gallery map to guide your tour. Be sure to plan a meal at a Durango restaurant before or after your tour.
Durango Hot Springs
After the tours and excursions, you're probably ready to relax and visit a Durango hot spring. Where else can you sit in healing geothermal waters surrounded by picturesque mountains and views, while snow gently falls around you? A hot spring's water is often above body temperatures and has a high mineral content and therefore, it creates the perfect soak for rest and relaxation for tourists.
Fishing is a wonderful, relaxing way to enjoy your vacation and the outdoors. Durango offers opportunities to fly fish on the free flowing Animas River and you can rod and tackle fish the famous tailwaters of the San Juan River, Vallecito Lake and Lake Nighthorse. The Animas River is close to town and others are located in remote high country lakes in the middle of the largest wilderness area in Colorado. These Colorado waters are known to have native cutthroat, brook, golden and rainbow trout and grayling.
Taking a guided tour is a great way to remove the guesswork out of a tour, make the most of your vacation time and get an insider’s look at the attractions. Some of the most popular tours include the cliff dwellings of Ancestral Puebloans at the Mesa Verde National Park and the Canyons of the Ancient at the National Monument and jeep tours of the San Juan Mountains and Durango, where you can relax and leave the driving to local guides.
This is just the tip of the iceberg for what Durango, CO can offer seniors. Depending on your abilities and your taste for adventure, the sky is the limit. Go hiking at Spud Lake, watch the sunset from the benches on the Fort Lewis College campus, enjoy chocolate at the Animas Chocolate Company or house-made vodka at Durango Craft Spirits. People of all ages are guaranteed to have a great time and carry home lots of fond memories from their trip to Durango.