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a VirtualTourist member from Santa Fe


Things to do (especailly May 5th to May 9th) & random questions

Hi there,

I live down in Santa Fe (4 hours away from Durango). My parents are coming to visit me from Scotland and like to show them Durango as well - I've been there before (just for day), so I already know that they'll love it.

I plan to arrive in Durango on May 5th around lunchtime and drive home the following day in the late afternoon (it's a very short visit, I know). My plan is to just explore downtown on Thursday, check into a hotel, and then have dinner/drinks. On the Friday morning, I was planning to go to Mesa Verde and then home.

Can anyone recommend some fun places for my parents? My dad is fascinated by the old west, and we all enjoy bars with live music. I need recommendations on places to eat that are very southwest (e.g. patrons having cowboy hats), and bars that are lively and not filled with a college crowd. Actually, can someone list all the popular bars in town?

Also, where can I find a detailed event listing for Durango? I've found various sites via Google, but they've been lacking. What (online) resources do the locals use to find out who's playing at bars/venues? I realize that we're only there for a short time, but it could be prolonged if there were something great going on!

When I was there we stayed at a Best Western or Holiday Inn (or something) just a few blocks from downtown. It was pretty reasonable, and I'd stay there again. However, is there anything nearby that's a lot more appealing to tourist e.g. log cabins surrounded by trees and rolling hills?

If anyone has any ideas on things to do while we're there, please feel free to share.

Thanks in advance for any replies.

- Best regards,

PS: Last time we went to Mesa Verde, we couldn't actually walk down to the structures. Is there somewhere we can phone in advance for passes, or is it first-come, first-serve?

3 Answers

answered by
a VirtualTourist member from Austin

A great place to stay/eat/drink is the Strater hotel in downtown Durango. It's real old west style. The hotel was built in 1887, and has nostalgic rooms, a saloon, and a restaurant. There sometimes is a piano player and a saloon girl singing in the bar.

One of the best things to do in the area is take the Durango to Silverton single gauge railroad ride. It goes through some exremely beautiful scenery.

Hope that helps,


answered by
a VirtualTourist member from Santa Fe

Thanks, Marc. The Strater hotel is now on the to-do list - it sounds ideal. Regarding the train, I was under the impression that it didn't start until May 7th? A previous post on here mentioned - the schedule on there doesn't show anything before May 7th. Maybe a train runs throughout the year, but the one on that site is a special "touristy train" TM or something?

Assuming a train is running, would it be a day-trip. Is Silverton worth getting off at?

Thanks for your help.

- Lee

answered by
a VirtualTourist member from Austin

I rode it in December, but it was back in 1997. It didn't go the whole route because of the snow. So maybe it will run for a condensed route before May.

Silverton is worth stopping at. It has alot of old west buildings.


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