Fly fishing in Durango is one of the city’s most impressive offerings. And fly fishing on the Animas River is great, with rainbow, brown, brookies and cutthroat jumping high!
Spring isn’t the best time for fly fishing in Durango — spring runoff is too high and too fast — but now is the perfect time to get prepped for the Durango fly fishing season. The 2017 Duranglers Fly Fishing Festival is this weekend, March 31 through April 1, at that DoubleTree Hotel! Learn new techniques through demonstrations and presentations, and get prepped for the season with new gear!
Steve Henderson, who owns and operates Henderson’s Fly Fishing guide service in Steamboat Springs, will present “Exploring The Yampa River” in the Animas Room at the Double Tree by Hilton Hotel. Steamboat Springs is similar to Durango: They’re both mountain resort towns and they both have rivers that run right through the city offering world-class fishing. In Durango, it’s the Animas River, and Steamboat Springs has the Yampa River. There will be a social from 6:30-7 p.m. before Henderson presents when, why and various ways to fish the Yampa River.
Doors open at 8 a.m. for the daylong Duranglers‘ Fly Fishing Festival! Things kick off with some sweet swag, and the first 30 people through the doors get a bag of goodies — one of which has a $100 gift card tucked inside. Get it!
There will also be Door Buster sales on gear and free drawings throughout the day for great items. Stick around for the Grand Prize Drawing at 4 p.m. for a free Duranglers-guided float trip on the Rio Grande River. (The more events you attend, the better your chances are of winning!)
Here’s a breakdown of the schedule:
Fly fishing in Durango is serious business, and when it comes to fly fishing, Animas River is the place to be. The 2017 Durango Fly Fishing Festival is the perfect way to kick off the season and get to know more about the regional fishing specifics to have your best angling trips ever.
The Durango Quality Inn is less than a block from the banks of the Animas River, which makes our hotel a popular spot for visitors who want to get on the river for tubing or fishing. Whether you’ll be in town this weekend for a future fly fishing trip, book your room with the Quality Inn Durango today!
Remember summer vacation? Remember Christmas break? Remember Spring Break? Man, being a kid was great. Now, you’re lucky if you get PTO and even luckier if you ever get around to using it. So why not now? Whether you have kids who will be on Spring Break or are just looking to take a break from adulting, Durango is the place to be! Here are some great ideas for Spring Break activities in Durango:
Hit up Purgatory Resort to squeeze in some spring skiing and snowboarding before the mountain closes for the season. Purgatory has extended its season through April 30, so Spring Breakers have plenty of time to fit in a few hours or a full day on the slopes. Purgatory will remain open for daily operations through Sunday, April 2, (pond skimming day!) then will be open on weekends only, Friday through Sunday, April 7-9, April 14-16, April 21-21 and April 28-30. The Durango ski resort added the extra days in April to take full advantage of the insane amount of snow the San Juan Mountains have gotten, so closing day is now April 30, weather permitting.
Spring Break is the perfect time to force your kids to learn something under the guise of vacation. Let’s call it “eduvacation.” Mesa Verde National Park is an ideal way to do that. The park is a wonderland of ancient cliff dwelling where visitors can actually walk the same paths of the Ancestral Pueblo people who lived there for more than seven centuries, from roughly 600 AD to 1300 AD. Cliff Palace, the largest cliff dwelling in North America and the park’s most famous, is closed to self-guided this spring until a recently discovered rockfall above the site is cleared. However, the Cliff Palace Loop Road is now open, and all overlooks and Soda Canyon Overlook Trail are open daily. Spruce Tree House also remains closed for the foreseeable future because of safety concerns regarding rock falls. However, there are plenty of other dwellings to explore, tours to take and views to see.
If there’s one thing you can’t miss during your visit to Durango, it’s a ride on the historic Durango train. The Durango & Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad depot in downtown is home base for your trip, which departs from the depot with a historic steam engine chugging along the tracks through the Animas Valley and the Animas Canyon. The train will make its way to Cascade Canyon wye (train-talk for “turnaround spot”), turn around and come back to Durango. The shortened trip is offered during the winter months until the snow can melt and clear the way to Silverton.
Silverton is a perfectly preserved Victorian-era mountain mining town. The Main Street is lined with colorful late 1800s building facades and false fronts where visitors will find local cafes and boutique shops. One of the coolest things to do is tour the Old Hundred Gold Mine. The hour-long guided tour takes guests one-third of a mile into Galena Mountain where visitors can follow the vein, see colorful minerals and crystals in hand-blasted tunnels and watch demonstrations of mining equipment, including air-powered drills, slushers and mucking machines dating to 1930s. Outside, visitors can pan for silver, copper and gold (and keep whatever they find) in the Old Hundred sluice box.
I don’t know about your parenting style, but this isn’t really for the kiddos. You can create your own brewery tour by hitting up a few, several or all of Durango’s craft breweries for a pint or a flight. Do it on bikes, get an Uber or designate a driver as your make your way from Durango Brewing Co. to Animas Brewing Co., Carver Brewing Co., Steamworks Brewing Co., Brew Pub & Kitchen and Ska Brewing Co. Collect a pint glass, souvenir coozie or T-shirt at each to show everyone you made it to all Durango’s breweries!
Make the Durango Quality Inn your home base for Spring Break in Durango! We’re right on Main Avenue, a short trip and a straight shot north of downtown Duarngo. The Quality Inn Durango is one of the top-rated Durango hotels. Enjoy our updated rooms (each with a chalkboard wall we invite you to scribble on), our convenient location, our heated outdoor pool, indoor hot tub and free breakfast buffet! Book your room today!
Purgatory Mountain Resort is extending its season! The Durango ski resort has added extra days in April to take full advantage of the crazy amount of snow the mountains have gotten. That means closing day at Purgatory is now scheduled for April 30, weather permitting.
Purgatory will maintain daily operations through Sunday, April 2, then scale back to weekends only and will be open Friday through Sunday, April 7-9, April 14-16, April 21-21 and April 28-30.
To take full advantage of its last month (and a half) of the 2016/2017 season, Purgatory has a slate of events and activities for guests to enjoy. Its spring break celebration will run through March 19, with a full itinerary of live music, kids’ nights, yoga sessions, balloon animals, snowshoe tours, a cardboard derby, wolves visiting the mountain and a Steamworks Brewing clambake.
The last full day of daily operations will be celebrated with the return of pond skimming at Purgatory! Purgatory pond skimming is a classic way to wrap up the season. It will kick off at 1 p.m., Sunday, April 2. People must sign up (registration starts at 10 a.m. on Purgy’s patio), and space is limited. There’s a $5 entry fee and skimmers must be at least 16 years old.
There will be prizes for the best skim, the best wipeout and the best costumes. And, according to Purgatory:
This will be an awesome party. We’ll have a DJ spinning tunes, the Red Bull crew will be on hand to pump up the crowd, and our friends from Ska Brewing will be there to keep the party going throughout the day.
Durango Quality Inn is also running its “Pay to Ski, Stay for Free” deal through the end of March. The Quality Inn Durango has partnered with Purgatory Resort (formerly Durango Mountain Resort) to offer guests two options: Get 15-25 percent off your stay at the Durango Quality Inn with the purchase of a lift ticket or a free night at our hotel with the purchase of two adult ski passes! Book your room today to take advantage of this screaming deal at one of the top-rated Durango hotels and get as much time on the slopes as possible before spring shows up!
Everyone’s Irish on St. Patrick’s Day — especially when it comes to the kissing (and drinking) part. And, in Durango, everyone’s Irish (or Scottish or Welsh) during the 2017 Durango Celtic Festival, now celebrating its fifth year.
The Durango Celtic Festival runs from March 9-12, and the three-day fete delivers performances by some of the best Celtic bands and musicians in the world. This year’s lineup features concerts by award-winning bands that include Solas, Colcannon, Barrule and Goitse — a quintet that learned the art of Irish Traditional music at Limerick University’s Irish World Academy of Music and Dance — as well as workshops and dance performances.
Festivities kick off Thursday, March 9, with an opening concert by Solas at the Henry Strater Theatre.
On Friday, Kitchen Jam Band and Patrick Crossing will perform in the afternoon at Henry Strater Theatre, followed by an evening concert by Aurora, Colorado-based group Colcannon. Goitse will put on a late-night romp at the Irish Embassy Pub.
Saturday is the big day, both for listening to music and for learning how to play it (or play it better). The day is jam-packed with workshops on harp, accordion, bodhran (an Irish frame drum), bouzouki (a type of Greek guitar), Irish fiddle, Irish flute, Irish dancing and Gaelic singing.
Saturday is also filled with concerts and performances. The Saturday afternoon concert series at the Henry Strater Theatre starts with the Coleman Academy Dancers followed by the Singing Pilgrims and a concert by Barrule, and the evening concert features Goitse.
Saturday afternoon at the Irish Embassy Pub, visitors can enjoy a full lineup of performances by the Next Generation Fiddlers, Coleman Academy Dancers along with workshops, and a late-night concert with Barrule.
The festival wraps up Sunday afternoon with an open session upstairs at the Irish Embassy Pub.
Because the festival has sold out the past two years, it’s probably a good idea to buy your weekend passes in advance! And it’s also a good idea to book your hotel room at the Durango Quality Inn in advance. Stay with us at the Quality Inn Durango, one of the top-rated Durango hotels.
The 12th annual Durango Independent Film Festival will kick off March 1 with five days of cinematic fun! This year’s festival will feature 115 independent films, panels and workshops, parties and events from March 1-5.
The festival kicks off with — what else? — as festival kick-off party at the Ore House from 4-6 p.m. followed by free movie night at 6 pm. the Gaslight sponsored by DGO. That event is free and open to the public, but seating is first-come, first served so get there early. Films of all kinds — features, shorts, documentaries and more — will be screened throughout each day of the festival at a variety of venues, so check out the film schedule to be sure not to miss your favorites.
A big part of the festival fun is the non-film events, like the Craft Beer & Culinary Crawl on Thursday, March 2, that allows visitors to sample Durango craft beers paired with appetizers from a few of our talented local chefs. Pairings will take place at Brew Pub & Kitchen, Carver Brewing Co., The General Palmer Hotel (pairing Ska Beer with apps from The Container Restaurant) and Studio & (pairing Durango Brewing Co. with Home Slice Pizza). Start wherever you like and crawl to all locations within the allotted time (see map on this page for locations). This event is only for festival pass holders only. Must be 21 and over.
This year’s special guest comes with a lot of name recognition and screen cred: Jim Belushi! Although he’s known for his comedy and acting chops on the stages of The Second City and Saturday Night Live, and on the big screen for K-9 and Mr. Destiny, this will give people a chance to see him as a musician. Jim Belushi & the Sacred Hearts will play at Fort Lewis College on Saturday, March 4, bringing a lot of Memphis-seasoned R&B. Admission isn’t included in the film festival pass. VIP tickets are also available that include a pre-show reception with appetizers and beverages, premium reserved seating and a backstage post-show “meet and greet.”
The festival festivities wrap up Sunday with a wrap party at Irish Embassy Pub Underground from 8 p.m. to midnight.
While you’re in town for the Durango film festival, be sure to book your room with us at the Quality Inn Durango. We are one of the top-rated Durango hotels and offer a great value for your Durango vacation. Book your room at the Durango Quality Inn today!
Presidents’ Day Weekend is a big one for the Durango & Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad: Not only is it time for the Winter Photo Train, it’s also a rare chance to ride the Goose No. 5 train — and an even rarer chance to do a photo excursion on the Goose.
The Durango & Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad offers seasonal photo trains to allows passengers-turned-photographers and photographers-turned-passengers a chance to marry the two. The Durango train departs from downtown Durango and stops several times on the way to Cascade Canyon wye to allow passengers to disembark, set up their photo equipment and try to get the perfect shot as the train chugs past them. Of course, it stops and backs up to allow passengers to get back on.
For the first time in over six decades, the Goose No.5, a former Rio Grande Southern railcar that ran between small Colorado mountain towns, will be running in winter, and it will be running this weekend on the Durango train rails. The “Galloping Goose” was a new, smaller, more efficient rail vehicle developed during the Great Depression. All the “geese” were cobbled together from old automobiles — mostly Buicks and Pierce Arrows — and were used as smaller, gas-powered rail vehicles that provided a more economical way to haul less freight and fewer passengers. The RGS5 was originally built from a 1928 Pierce-Arrow limousine body and running gear and was rebuilt in 1946-47 with a World War II surplus GMC gasoline truck engine and a Wayne Corporation school bus body.
If you’re looking for things to do over President’s Day Weekend, Durango is the place to be. And when you’re in Durango for President’s Day Weekend, the Durango Quality Inn is the play to stay! We’re one of the top-rated Durango hotels, and the Quality Inn Durango is quick trip and a straight shot north of downtown Durango and the Durango train depot. Book your room for the holiday weekend today!
Is it that time already? Yes, yes it is. Time for Snowdown, Durango’s favorite homegrown annual festival of wackiness. Now in its 39th year, 2017’s theme is “intergalactic space.” Intergalactic Snowdown will be happening from star dates Feb. 1-5, and all five days are jam-packed with spacey activities all over town!
Snowdown kicks off with the annual “Snowdown Fashion Dos and Don’ts” at La Plata County Fairgrounds, a fashion show that’s an homage to the fact that USA Today once named Durango the “Worst Dressed Community.” We’ll show them worst dressed! The day also includes the Snowdown Totally Awesome Scavenger Hunt, Frisbee Golf, Family Feud Snowdown Style, and the 39th annual Snowdown Bartenders’ Contest. The Annual Snowdown Kids Follies is a 90-minute talent show for kids between the ages of 8 and 18, and the Snowdown Spellebration is a spelling bee for grownups that includes cocktails and costumes. Don your best bad sci-fi cosplay for the costume contest and don’t miss out on butt darts, bra wars, the intergalactic game gauntlet and so much more!
Thursday brings with it so many contests and competitions. Beer pong and beer bingo. Dodgeball and washers. An oyster-eating contest or a waterslide-a-thon to see how many times in two hours the winner can go down the waterslide at the Durango Recreation Center. If you have some fine facial hair, get thee to the beard contest, or if feats of strength are more your thing, there’s an arm-wrestling match. There’s also a drag race and fashion show for “drag queens and faux kings,” and the day’s events will be capped off with Snowdown Follies Gala Premiere Performance at Henry Strater Theatre.
Friday has as much going on as any other day — salsa-making contest, chili cook-off, games of four square and intergalactic human foosball — but it’s also the day of some of Snowdown’s most signature events. At dusk don’t miss the Snowdown firework. That’s right. Singular. There’s a spectacular display of a single firework, which marks the start of the Snowdown Light Parade. This year’s light parade down Main Avenue is sure to please with its intergalactic space theme. After the parade, head up to Purgatory Resort to catch the game of Ski Softball — softball played on skis and snowboards.
Saturday kicks off bright and early with the Snowdown Balloon Rally. Hot-air balloons will rise in the frosty morning air and float down the Animas Valley. Frolickers can also sign up to compete in the karaoke contest or the pull-up contest (uh, count us out), the fly-fishing casting competition or the bloody Mary contest. You can also carve Spam, play in the cornhole tournament or compete in the Hula Hoop-off!
The final day of Snowdown doesn’t ease up on the wacky activity. Start off the day watching the hot air balloon ascension again followed by breakfast at the La Plata County Fairgrounds. During the day, there will be basketball, 8-ball and poker tournaments leading up to THE big event: the Super Bowl. Catch the game during the Super Galactic Super Bowl Party at Derailed Pour House, which will be showing it on eight big-screen TVs and offering prizes and raffles.
At the Quality Inn Durango, we love us some Snowdown — and we’d love to host you while you’re here to enjoy all things Snowdown. Durango Quality Inn is one of the top-rated Durango hotels, so book your room today!
Colorado has gotten so much snow in January that we’re on track to break records! Colorado’s snowpack is at 150 percent of average for this time of year, and some experts estimate that, by month’s end, we could have more snow than we’ve had in the past 100 years. Heck, recent snowstorms forced three ski resorts — Crested Butte, Arapahoe Basin and Monarch Mountain — to close. That’s right; there was so much snow, the ski resorts couldn’t even deal.
So now is a great time to take advantage of the Quality Inn Durango‘s sweet “Stay and Ski” deals! We’ve partnered with Purgatory Resort (formerly Durango Mountain Resort) to offer guests two options: Get 15-25 percent off your stay at the Durango Quality Inn with the purchase of a lift ticket or a free night at our hotel with the purchase of two adult ski passes! Yep. That’s right.
So, if you only want to ski one day but stay more than one night, the discount package is a better bet, but if you plan to ski two days (and stay one or more nights), go for the free night! It’s your choice. To recap, either way, you get a screaming’ deal to stay at the Quality Inn Durango, one of the highest-rated Durango hotels, and ski at Purgatory.
Nestled in the San Juan Mountain, Purgatory Resort offers the best skiing in Southwest Colorado and some of the best Colorado skiing period.The resort has gotten a WHOPPING 35 inches of snow in the past week, and you can keep up on the latest by checking Purgatory’s daily snow report.
Purgatory Resort is only 25 miles north of the Durango Quality Inn, a straight shot on U.S. Highway 550. You literally have to turn only twice to get there: once out of our parking lot and once into Purgatory’s. Our proximity to the resort makes it easy for our guests to catch some powder and come back to Durango après-ski to get dinner at any of the city’s amazing restaurants, try a flight at one of our breweries or just browse around hip, historic downtown Durango’s cool shops and galleries.
The deal is available through Friday, March 31, 2017, so book your Purgatory ski passes and get your free or discounted Durango Quality Inn room now!
It’s that time of year again: Time to figure out how to show your special someone just how special they are. Or, if you’re more jaded, it’s that time of year when you feel pressure to live up to some standard of a Hallmark-card holiday. Either way, if you’re looking for things to do in Durango for Valentine’s Day, look no further. We have a list of suggestions that will please the super-sappy romantics — wine and chocolate, anyone? — and ideas for the casual couples who like to spend Valentine’s Day like any other night: getting a quick bite and a good beer.
Chocolate is almost cliché on Valentine’s Day, but who’s complaining? If you want to treat your sweetheart to some of her or his favorite sweets, try taking them on a “Sweet Treat Tour” of Durango. Start off at Durango’s local chocolatier, the Animas Chocolate Company. They make a wide variety of artisanal chocolates, their own special blend of hot cocoa and sometimes offer special-event tastings, so keep an eye out for any Valentine’s Day events. Next, check out Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory. The company has stores all over the U.S. and in Japan, Saudi Arabia, South Korea, the Philippines and other international locations, but did you know it was founded and still maintains its headquarter in Durango? The downtown Durango location has a wide variety of Valentine’s Day chocolate gifts, including the classic, red, heart-shaped box of chocolates. Next, walk down the block to check out Fuzziwig’s Candy Factory, a candy store that will speak to every kid at heart with its magical, Willy Wonka-esque candy bins. The store is packed with every imaginable type of candy and also offers homemade chocolate and fudge.
For years, doctors have said wine is good for the heart, but it doesn’t take a medical professional to know it’s also good for matters of the heart. Durango is home to Four Leaves Winery, a downtown Durango staple known for its custom blends and varietals. Four Leaves Winery imports the highest quality grapes from around the world then crushes, ferments and blends all their wines onsite. If you’re feeling really fancy, it would be an amazing date to sign up for Four Leaves’ “Make Your Own Wine” experience using the winery’s state-of-the-art wine-making equipment and under the guidance of Four Leaves’ winemakers who will help you customize a blend to your own palate. The Quality Inn Durango is also partnering with Four Leaves Winery for our Valentine’s Day “Romance Package,” which provides our guests with a free bottle of Four Leaves wine with any stay during the month of February. You must make reservations via phone, so call the Durango Quality Inn at 970-317-2857 today!
Looking for something unique to do for Valentine’s Day this year? How about brunch? No, a brunch date is not terribly unique, but it is when it’s aboard the Durango & Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad. The Durango train is offering its “Romance on the Rails Brunch Train” Saturday, Feb. 11 — a special-event train that sold out last year. Guests will board historic, turn-of-the-century passenger cars and enjoy a day taking in the beautiful scenery of the Animas Valley and San Juan Mountains as the Durango train chugs to Cascade Canyon. All passengers who book premium-class cars will enjoy a morning brunch buffet, live music on the train, a special chocolate treat, a free glass of champagne or sparkling cider, and the ladies will also receive a beautiful, long-stem rose! Each Champagne Brunch Train car will have an attendant as well as tables or trays to use for food and beverage. Because the train will be offering alcohol, staff must ensure all passengers on the Romance on the Rails portion of the train are 21 years or older, so reservations must be made via phone and not online. Call 970-247-2733 or 1-877-872-4607 to make your reservation today!
Not every person will be wooed by wine and chocolate; some people prefer the bubbles of beer over bubbly champagne. Durango is a craft brewery haven, and taking a tasting tour to sip and sample at Durango breweries is a great date night idea. For something more casual, Ska Brewing will be hosting Super Ted’s Super Trivia Night on Valentine’s Day and will have two-for-one pint special. Or hit up Carver Brewing, Durango Brewing, Steamworks Brewing or Brew Pub & Kitchen for dinner and a draft.