Escape to Telluride

December 7, 2017

In 1889, Butch Cassidy’s First Major Recorded Crime Occurred In Telluride, Colorado.


Cassidy made off with $24,580 or $665,943 in today’s dollars when he robbed the San Miguel Valley Bank. Currently, I have no plans to rob a bank, but I do wonder how Butch would have spent 48 hours in Telluride with all that dough at his disposal. 


Inquiring more about the town’s history with my friend Bill Jensen, CEO of Telluride Ski Resort, he tells me “I’m actually preparing for a speaking engagement on Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid. In my research on this robbery, Cassidy paid the Marshall $2,200 not to be in town the day of the robery. Most people agree that the Sundance Kid may have helped with a change of horses for Cassidy. This was the first time he and Butch Cassidy would have teamed up and the rest is history,” he continues.


There’s certainly not a shortage of ways to pamper yourself and spend some cash in this part of Colorado. Follow along as we show you how to stay, play and eat in Telluride.



In 30 years, I’d never ventured out to this region of Colorado, so when Gateway Canyons Resort - located in Gateway, Colorado and the town of Telluride called and invited Colorado Living Well out to write a story, I capitalized on the chance to showcase to our readers how to eat like royalty, play like a local and stay in style.

Where to Stay




Position yourself right in the heart of town at The Hotel Telluride ( Their lobby is filled with warm furniture, a large stone fireplace and natural wood beams, inviting you to sit down with a great book and cup of hot cocoa. If you’re going this winter we’d recommend their ‘Sled & Soak, Ski & Sip’ winter adventure package. A glass of champagne will welcome you on this 3-day getaway as you snowmobile up to the historic town of Dunton, professionally guided by Telluride Outside. Enjoy a gourmet lunch before soaking up the Dunton Hot Springs and resting those tired muscles. 


Traverse glades, forests and park land to some of Colorado’s highest peaks. A welcome 3-day weekend is calling your name and this adventure is sure to get you off the beaten path to explore a new way of seeing the mountains, plus a guarantee to get your adrenaline pumping.


Where to Stay



 This year TRAVEL+LEISURE named Gateway Canyons Resort the “Best in Colorado” ( From the moment I pulled into this captivating resort, I knew I had arrived at a phenomenally impressive place. 
For the next two days Gateway and the surrounding red mountains would refresh my soul and reboot me from the stresses of life. I would define Gateway as a remote sanctuary of serenity that transports you away to another world.


There is no shortage of activities here. I don’t have space to mention everything, but highlights include a $50 Million dollar world-class car museum, private helicopter tours, Bentley rentals for exploring the nearby canyons, UTV and Jeep exploration trips, skeet shooting, horseback riding, plus rooms and private casitas that will take your breath away from the moment you walk in. 

Where to Play



As one of Colorado’s finest fly shops, these guys don’t just get you hooked on fishing - they also specialize in river rafting, stand up paddle boards, snowmobile and 4WD tours.Guiding year round, fall is certainly one of the best seasons for fishing and the San Miguel or Dolores River are their two favorite spots to hit. 


Wading through these authentic Colorado trout streams (which I prefer to floating), the fact that Telluride is a destination part of Colorado means the fish to fisherman ratio is high. Whether you’re a seasoned fly fisherman or just beginning, you’ll enjoy seeking out multiple wild species of trout under their professional instruction. Stop in, no matter the season, and see what adventure awaits you at Telluride Outside.



Where to Play




Originally built in 1913, the Sheridan Opera House (, was the genesis of Telluride’s theater and cultural center. At risk of losing this historic gem in the 1990’s, Sandra and Keith Carradine saved it from demolition and have since restored the property to its original glamour. 

Left to Right: Graham Sharp, Banjo Player & Vocals for The Steep Canyon Rangers with Colorado Springs Living Well Magazine Publisher & Founder Josh Cates, who is also a banjo player.


Enjoying a performance in this historic, intimate venue was like nothing I’d experienced before. Standing just feet away from the Grammy Award Winning Steep Canyon Rangers, roughly 200 passionate music lovers and I stomped our feet on the old wood planks, bathed in the pink hue of the historically correct stage lighting.

FUN FACT: They tell me the light bulbs are over $70 each and must be custom ordered. Stepping into this venue, you are instantly transported back in time. This is the way music was meant to be enjoyed. Catching a show here is a must when visiting Telluride.



Where to Play




Ray Cody, Founder of the Telluride Festival 
of Cars and Colors (, is 
passionate about bringing awareness to the beautiful town of Telluride. He and his wife made Telluride their home in 2006 after visiting and being overcome by the beauty. Now with 3 years of Cars and Colors under his belt, Ray firmly believes that Telluride presents one of the best venues for fine automobiles, motorcycles and private jets. USA Today agrees with him - ranking Cars and Colors as one of the Top 10 Automotive Events in America.


Ray, who is one of the nicest guys I’ve ever met, is quick to give credit to the wonderful partners who’ve made this event possible. “My passion is for Telluride and this community. Obviously, I love and collect cars myself. It’s the universal love of fine automobiles along with the memories and emotions they evoke that bring people from all walks of life to attend our event,” he says.



Where to Eat






The space here certainly doesn’t justify how many wonderful things I’d like to say about my three favorite eateries. Deep down we all have a “foodie” in us just dying to try that next, delicious meal when on vacation. For a memorable breakfast or lunch that is priced just right and a local favorite, try out The Butcher & Baker Cafe ( Operated by locals Megan and Cinda, they give you a pool ball for your order, which is rad - just like the food. 




Heading out for dinner - here are two restaurants that will make your mouth water and deliver award-winning feasts. Try the filet and lobster tail at the Cosmopolitan ( and don’t be surprised when the host hands you an iPad to easily navigate their ever changing wine selection. It’s no surprise Wine Spectator has given them their Award of Excellence for nine consecutive years.




Another favorite of ours is the New Sheridan Chop House ( We recommend the Seared Hudson Foie Gras paired with the Kettmeir Moscato Rosa to start, then move onto the Frutti Di Mare featuring their unforgettable King Crag Legs. Welcome to the epicenter of Telluride’s amazing food scene. With a consistent Top 3 rating on TripAdvisor, this is your classic steak house stop.



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