Do Durango, Part 3 – Get Touristy

Mayor’s note: I’ve written a three-part series on Doing Durango. Part one, published on 5/15, was all about beer and part two published on 5/29/13 was all about food. The final post is all about the touristy activities you shouldn’t miss.

beautiful haflinger horses and Dean from San Juan Sky Outfitters in Durango, Colorado. HeidiTown.com
Beautiful haflinger horses & Dean from San Juan Sky Outfitters in Durango, Colorado.

When I visit a new place, I usually try to blend in with the locals, but I’ll be honest, sometimes being a tourist is a lot of fun. We did a lot of stuff in Durango that locals love to do, but we also got to play tourists on our nearly week-long stay.

Ride the Train in Durango

I’ve already written about our excursion on the Durango & Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad here, and it is, without a doubt, the top tourist activity in the area. In addition to the standard train ride they have special train rides, like the Dinosaur Train this month, package excursions and more. Go to Durangotrain.com for more.

Don’t miss the Durango Train Museum located at the train depot. It’s free to tour and has an expansive model train set up that kids (and adults) will enjoy.

An Historical Walking Tour of Durango with the Victorian Aid Society

As part of the conference I was attending, I got to participate in an historical walking tour of downtown Durango guided by the Victorian Aid Society. Anyone can book a tour with this organization, just go here. They even have a Facebook page.

On our historical walking tour with the ladies of the Victorian Aid Society. HeidiTown.com
On our historical walking tour of downtown Durango, Colorado with the ladies of the Victorian Aid Society.

I’ve been on a few historical walking tours and this one is top notch. I wish I’d written down the names of our guides, but thankfully I got pictures. These gals were wonderful storytellers, and that’s what makes a good tour. I don’t just want dates and names, I want the inside scoop, the nitty gritty, the lowdown – and these ladies deliver all that and more.

Take a Horse & Carriage Ride in Durango

I’ll be honest. I have never wanted to go on a horse and carriage ride. It just seemed way too touristy. However, when I was offered a ride by Dean of San Juan Sky Outfitters, I decided to take him up on it, and Ryan and I were so glad that we did.

Even though I’d never been on a horse and carriage ride, as soon as I boarded, I knew this going to be a ride like no other. First of all, Dean and his haflingers are real characters. Haflingers are small horses known for longevity and their excellent disposition. This ride so memorable because of Dean and his horses.

Dean taking some local kids home by carriage in Durango, Colorado. HeidiTown.com
The father of these two local kids, bartered with Dean to give the children a carriage ride home for a small fee. Gotta love a small town!

We boarded the carriage in front of the beautiful Strater Hotel and took off fairly quickly as the haflingers were excited, after all, we were their first passengers of the season.

Our 40 minute tour of historic downtown Durango was exhilarating and humorous. Dean’s stories were slightly different versions than those told by the ladies of the Victorian Aid Society, which only added to the entertainment level. Let’s call Dean’s version of the same stories told by the VAS, the “Cowboy Version.”

You do not need reservation in advance. Just show up and jump aboard. Or you can sign up for a carriage tour with Dean at the Strater Hotel.

Want more info on Durango?   Go to Durango.org.

Special thanks to the General Palmer Hotel for hosting us during part of this trip. Room 301 was a wonderful place to relax after a busy day of exploring Durango.

This trip was sponsored in part by Durango.org.

2 Comments


  1. We just booked our trip to Ouray/Telluride/Durango last night! 🙂 🙂 I’m going back and re-reading your articles on these places! Yay for HeidiTown!

    Reply

    1. That’s a dream trip!!! You and the family will have so much fun. Just let me know if you need info that you can’t find in the articles!

      I’ll be in Telluride in October. Have only driven through and that will be my first stay there. It is one of the loveliest places on earth, that’s for sure.

      Reply

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