Step into the town of Durango in the Colorado Rocky Mountains, you will feel like you have arrived on the set of an old cowboy movie. In fact, the town was used as a filming location for several classics including Butch Cassidy And The Sundance Kid and How The West Was Won. Stroll through the historic center of the city and you will find much to discover, from gastropubs to boutique shops to organic stores and independent art galleries. Here are some of the best things to do in downtown Durango.
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Visit The Railroad Museum
Get a glimpse into the history of Durango at this fascinating museum. Many of the old railroad workers and their families have donated or provided artifacts that tell a story about Durango’s past. The city was founded in 1880 by the Denver & Rio Grande Railroad. At the museum you can get a close up look at two full size locomotives, as well as an immigrant sleeper car, a caboose and Durango’s first motorized fire engine. Take a ride on the Durango & Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad in a historic narration coach and hear the history of the train by actors in period dress.
Have a Drink at the Rochester
The Rochester Hotel is an iconic landmark in Durango and sipping on a whiskey or a cold beer at the bar will really make you feel like you have gone back in time to the Old West. Check out the movie posters of films that were made in the Durango area. They are framed in marquee lights and line the hallways.
Catch A Show At The Strater
Another historic landmark in Durango is the Henry Strater Theater, which originally opened in 1962 as the Diamond Circle Theatre. It is one of the oldest and most prestigious theaters in the state of Colorado, offering more than 50 years of live performances. The theater recently received a facelift with improved stage lighting and sound equipment, yet while the technology is new it still retains its classic elegance. Check out what productions are on and maybe catch a show during your stay!
Enjoy the Farmer’s Market
Head down to the parking lot of the First National Bank on Saturday mornings from May to October to shop at the local farmers market. Fresh produce, meats, bkaed goods and locally produced crafts are available for purchase. Pick up lunch for your picnic in the mountains!
Admire the Artwork at the Durango Arts Center
The Durango Arts Center is the cultural hub of the community and it offers arts education programs for all ages. There is an ever changing display of fascinating exhibits there, so pay them a visit and get a glimpse into Durango’s artistic scene.
Perhaps these days the elegant Victorian-era saloons have Wi-Fi and the locally owned inns are now posted on TripAdvisor, but the friendly warmth of the Old West is still as strong as ever. Durango manages to find a perfect balance between its past as a 1800s mining town and its future as a modern travel destination. Its stunning mountain setting and rich history make it a very popular vacation spot.
A day of exploring the historic downtown of Durango will be packed with exciting things to do, so why not plan a visit to this friendly and welcoming Wild West town?