The Telluride Social City Guide
September 02, 2016
You want to go to Colorado right now—you just may not know it yet. And lest you think that means pitching tents and hiking up to the lone and creepy ‘bathroom,’ let us explain in one word: Telluride. The itty-bitty town, circled up by 14,000-foot mountains, has remained an otherworldly time capsule of American ski culture. Wintertime visits involve dodging bros and slope novices, but autumn is quiet (and, frankly, easier to book yourself into one of the victorian inns or rehabbed boutique post-ups). And with the Telluride Film Festival under way this weekend, the town is buzzing.
Anyone can tell you where to sleep—there are only so many spots—but what about where to go? Well, when it comes to places we don’t actually live, we don’t pretend to be experts. So we turn to the people who actually are: the locals who keep Telluride turning all year round. A scroll through their Instagrams will arm you with enough geotags to plan a trip to rival even the most thorough travel agent’s. (Which—is that still a thing?) Let us introduce you to the musicians, artists, shopkeepers and foodies you need to know.
This is travel, today.
Bon voyage, The Gramlist Editors
Good on local kid Jake Burchmore for building a solid photography business even before he got to college.
Professional ski-mountaineer Hilaree O’Neill infuses motherhood with her adventurous spirit. She has actually spent mornings skiing while carrying her son, citing the “good training.” Any parents would do well to browse her feed for kid-friendly hikes and outdoor spaces.
Come for Ryan’s outrageously saturated landscape photos; stay for the dialogue in his comments. He responds to almost every inquiry about exactly where he snaps these scenes. Might we suggest engaging him as you plan a trip?
Former dorm-room tokers (and any over-21-er) can take advantage of Colorado’s leniency and hit up the Green Room, known for its tightly curated selection and welcoming vibe. Just be prepared for them—and any other dispensary—to turn you upside down and shake every taxed cent out of your pockets.
This Long Island girl decamped for the mountains in 2009 and has become one of the most followed local lifestyle bloggers. She pops up on ABC and NBC to talk style and food, and we rely on her for of-the-moment foodie spots.
If you still remain unconvinced, please take a few minutes with Mariah Agee’s feed. She and her pup Naya spend all their free time slack lining, climbing, hot air ballooning and making Telluride look fantastic.
Local artists benefit from the super-supportive Telluride Arts District group, a 501(c)3 nonprofit that’s been running the scene since 1971. Their humble mission is to fuel the region’s art scene by pitching in on marketing, funding art supplies, mentoring, and education. Their feed serves as an of-the-moment agenda, like Kevin Pashayan’s graffiti project at Stronghouse Studios.
This travel junkie trots the globe, collecting locally made housewares and souvenirs to stock T.Karn, one of Telluride’s best boutiques. Save suitcase room for Thai fish baskets, brass statuettes from India, and ceramic carafes from Chiapas, Mexico.
High Pie’s where locals circle up for the best chewy-crust pizza and 20+ brews on tap, often poured by Nina Mangini. When she’s not fishing or scrambling over rocks, that is.
Telluride Brewing’s limited-edition beers have won national awards, but that’s not the main reason to visit this cozy wooded taproom. It’s to have a conversation with Chris Fish, the chief brewing officer who’s often stomping around the grounds between tanks. He’s one of the friendliest faces in town, and uses the brewery’s feed to share business news, community events, and festivals.
Leslie Holley has his hands in so many parts of local life. He’ll sear your bison rib-eye at The New Sheridan Chophouse, spin you some hip-hop on his show Drunk Rock Radio, and outfit you with must-haves from Back of the House, gear designed for chefs. He’s intense, which is a welcome rarity in this chill mountain town.
With images of gorgeous mountainscapes, updates on pet friendly resorts and festival dates the official Instagram account of Telluride, Colorado, feels more like an illuminating guide than a jam packed travel brochure.