Deciding the best spot to stay is a tricky question for many first time visitors to Telluride. You might be wondering, what is the difference between Telluride and Mountain Village? Which location is preferred in winter and summer? I’m bringing my kids, which is the best location for our family?
Let’s start with the two different locations – Telluride & Mountain Village.
The Town Of Telluride
Telluride town is the original, historic Victorian mining town that was settled in the late 1800’s. This charming, quaint town is set in a dramatic box canyon, with Alp-like peaks rising up 12-14,000 feet above the valley below. You have very likely seen the iconic image of Ajax Peak hovering high above Colorado Avenue, dwarfing the town below. There really is no mountain town quite like Telluride in North America! The accommodations in Telluride town tend to be smaller than Mountain Village. You can stay in a gorgeous, Victorian vacation rental home, a riverside condo or a town home.
The majority of restaurants, bars and shops are in Telluride town, and town generally has more vitality year round. Everything in Telluride town is within walking distance. There is a free shuttle bus, the Galloping Goose, that laps around town every 10-15 minutes. To access Mountain Village, you can jump on the free gondola that links Telluride town and Mountain Village.
It takes about 15 minutes to travel between the two, and offers some of the most stunning views of the area. The ski area also connects the town of Telluride and the town of Mountain Village. You can ski right into town. There are 2 main lifts that give you access to the ski hill (Chair 7 & 8) as well as the free gondola mentioned earlier.
Mountain Village is the resort town of the ski area. It resembles the main hubs of Snowmass and Beaver Creek – that is, purpose built villages that were constructed in the last couple of decades to satisfy the needs of the growing ski area.
Mountain Village has large hotels, condos, town homes, and some fairly impressive large ski in/ski out homes. Mountain Village is a very spread out area. There is the main core of Mountain Village which is mostly pedestrian based, and then a number of residential developments fanning out over several miles.
But where should I stay?
Now…the burning question! Where should you choose for your Telluride vacation? During the winter months, I usually recommend people with small kids stay in Mountain Village. The ski access is easier, and this fact generally trumps everything else for parents with small kids. However, I always like to point out that Mountain Village gets very quiet at night. If you like to dine out, you will likely be riding the gondola down to town each night. Most kids love riding the gondola so this is a bonus! However, when it is really cold, riding the gondola can seem less like fun, and more like effort.
For couples, and people with older kids, I recommend staying in town. If you fall into this category, you will likely want to head out for cocktails and dinner, and it’s definitely nicer to be in town so that you are not sitting on the gondola for half of your night! You also don’t want to have to be subject to the “Cindarella gondola syndrome” – that is, you have to make it to the gondola by 12 midnight or you are stuck without a way to get home.
During the summer months, you really can’t beat staying in Telluride town. This may seem like a tough decision, as many of the impressive vacation rental properties in Mountain Village are priced lower during the summer months. However, I highly recommend staying in Telluride town during the summer, as this is where 95% of the action is.
I hope this post clears up some of the questions you have regarding the different locations. If you have ANY further queries about your Telluride vacation, or accommodation options, please call us at Lodging In Telluride on 888-998-6471. I would also love for you to leave any comments below!