Photograph by Keith Ladzinski, Aurora Photos
GPS: 37°56'N 107°48'W
Situated in the bottom of a box canyon, Telluride is the ski and film festival town of Colorado. Plan on spending your winters schussing around the Mountain Village, accessible by a quiet, 15-minute gondola ride up through the surrounding San Juan Mountains. And come summer, Telluride hosts film, bluegrass, and jazz festivals downtown—all the while the Bridalveil waterfalls of the San Miguel River thunder down in the distance.
Catch the Mountainfilm Festival in May, which highlights the most adventurous independent documentary films of the year (www.mountainfilm.org). And extend your stay because there's a nest of thirteeners and fourteeners in the area, if you're in the mood to bag a peak. Or you can choose from innumerable biking, hiking, and whitewater opportunities, all within an hour's drive. Kokopelli Bike & Board in nearby Cortez helps maintain a rollercoaster 26-mile (42-kilometer) long singletrack run called Phil's World, which traces through a haunted-looking juniper forest (www.kokopellibike.com). Stage a whitewater assault on the San Miguel with Bill Dvorák's Kayak & Rafting Expeditions, Inc. (four days, $672; www.dvorakexpeditions.com). Or climb the technical Ophir Wall at about 9,000 feet up in the nearby town of Ophir.
La Cocina de Luz uses local, organic ingredients, stocks a spicy salsa bar, and makes their tortillas by hand (www.lacocinatelluride.com).
Hunker down at the River Club, which stocks its mountain-style suites with fireplaces, kitchens, and Wi-Fi (doubles from $399; www.theriverclub.com).