Everyone has a different attitude about traveling during the pandemic. Some people haven’t traveled at all. Some people left home the minute they were allowed to. My husband and I sort of split the difference by taking the same trip several times. Having never skied at all before 2020, and we took two trips to Telluride, Colorado to ski in Mountain Village last year … and we went again in January. And we’re back again this week.
Why? Well, it’s partly because Telluride has always seemed a pretty safe choice during the pandemic — the town takes safety seriously, and outside activities seem like a good bet. But it’s also such an amazing place to go and to ski. They have lots of easy runs (greens) as well as blacks and blues — that means there’s plenty of skiing for a beginner like me. Telluride is also a perfect place to explore with a group (we’ve taken our families and our coworkers) because there’s lots to do for people who aren’t skiing: You don’t need a car to get around in Telluride, so people skiing have as much freedom as people who aren’t.
Honestly though, as great as Telluride is, I’m a little embarrassed when people ask why we come so much. I’ve actually thought about lying and saying we have family here, just so there’s a reason why we’ve come so often.
But the truth is, we’ve found a lot of joy in going to the same vacation spot several times. Don’t get me wrong — I still want to travel to new places, especially when the whole world really opens up again. But for now, it’s really nice to be able to get away and still know exactly where you want to go, what you want to do, and what you want to eat. And it’s been especially nice during this time of so much uncertainty.
I’m a very anxious traveler usually, but having a good idea about what airports we’re flying into, which restaurants we want to be sure to hit up and where I can find bathrooms and water stations is actually extremely comforting. (If you’re planning a ski trip soon and want to take advantage of my scouting, here are my blogs on skiing for beginners, what to wear when you ski and what to pack in your ski trip day bag.
I thought I’d share a few of our favorite spots to eat while in Telluride and Mountain Village. (I try to buy local whenever possible, but I did include a few non-local spots, especially in Mountain Village, where so much is owned by the resort or big corporations.)
Favorite spots to eat in Telluride:
This is a cafe, coffee shop and bar. They use local sources for pretty much everything, and it’s right on main street in Telluride. I have an interview with The Butcher and the Baker owner Megan Ossola coming out on the Localist podcast soon!
Baked in Telluride is Russell’s favorite place in town. It’s not far from the Gondola, so we like to go for ham and swiss croissants and coffee in the morning before we hit the slopes. (I’m the kind of person who says “hit the slopes”! Ha!)
Brown Dog has good pizza, and they also have lots of different flavors of wings. Ordering a bunch of wings to go and taking them back to the place we’re staying is definitely a tradition for us. (As of February 2022, Brown Dog is still closed inside, so you’ll need to plan for carry out.)
Favorite spots to eat in Mountain Village:
(All the places I list here are in the part of Mountain Village that’s accessible to anyone, even people who aren’t skiing. So if you want to meet family at these places in the middle of your day or after you’re done skiing, any of these spots are good!)
Russell and I usually split a coffee over lunch before we head back out for more skiing. There is a Starbucks in Mountain Village, but I always to choose a local spot when possible. Plus, Telluride Coffee Company is closer to base of the mountain. They’re very near The Pick, where we usually have lunch once or twice.
Place des Crepes Cart
I absolutely love getting a Nutella and banana crepe after skiing all day. The crepes cart is a Mountain Village staple, but sometimes they do pack up a little early, so get there early if you want to be sure to get a crepe. They’re also cash only, so come prepared with a $20 if you want a couple of crepes. (There is an ATM at the Wells Fargo if you need last minute crepe cash.) Place des Crepes has both sweet and savory crepes.
Crazy Elk is at the base of the mountain, and they have Russell’s favorite pizza in the area. They also have great sandwiches — the Happy Thought is my favorite — but the sandwiches can take awhile, so order pizza if you’re in a hurry or with a group.
I’m pretty sure The Pick is owned by the resort, but it’s a quick and easy lunch. It’s basically a copy of Chipotle — they have burritos and good chips and guacamole. They don’t have inside seating, but there are a few tables outside.