Durango, Colorado: Railroad Town Close to Ski Resort and Archeological Preserve

Durango’s history is intertwined with that of the locomotive—the town was established by the Denver and Rio Grande Railway to service the gold and silver mines in the San Juan Mountains. The same steam train that ran 131 years ago is still in operation today; you can ride it through breathtaking mountain scenery from the Durango & Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad & Museum.

Life in Durango revolves around the great outdoors all year long. In winter, head to nearby Durango Mountain Resort. The resort features 85 downhill skiing trails and two terrain parks. Just 35 miles east of here, Mesa Verde National Park is well worth the trek. The UNESCO World Heritage Site is home to some of the best-preserved cliff dwellings in the world, built by the Ancestral Pueblo people as long ago as 600 AD.