It's the best time of the year, y'all.
C H R I S T M A S !
This was our second year in a row spending Christmas in Telluride, Colorado. Since skiing and family are two of our favorite things, with Telluride being our favorite ski resort, why not make this a tradition right?
If you have never been to this ski resort before, well get ready. I'll be sharing photos, restaurants, hot spots, stories, tips & tricks, etc. You will either 1) feel like you were there, even though you weren't, and it's now your new favorite ski resort... or... 2) book your next trip to Telluride Ski Resort.
I'm being serious. Here we go, friends!
So my sister and I decided to road trip this year from San Francisco to Telluride with both of our animals. This could have been a recipe for disaster, but it surprisingly turned out to be a great road trip. Notice I didn't say "perfect" road trip...
Our parents & brother were flying from Texas to Colorado and were scheduled to arrive around noon on the 21st. With that being said, we of course, wanted to arrive around the same time they did. Alex and I decided to depart around 6:00pm on the 20th, the night before. Let's just say, driving in the dark for over 12 hours is ROUGH. Especially when your sister sleeps for 10 of them...
N E V E R A G A I N .
If you are road tripping from San Francisco or Northern California area, I highly suggest staying the night at a hotel somewhere. It's a long road trip if there are only two of you. If you have a larger group and trade off drivers, then you will be fine driving straight through.
The kids (dog & cat) were amazing btw. No fighting, no whining, nothing. They slept the whole way... lucky them.
P I T S T O P
FOUR CORNERS MONUMENT
The Four Corners Monument is the only location in the country where you can be in 4 states at one time!
Utah | Colorado | Arizona | New Mexico
If you are interested in learning more about this pit stop location, check out our "Four Corners Monument" post.
The roads get pretty scary as you drive into Colorado. Lots of snow and lots of ice. Definitely make sure to drive carefully, slowly, but please do not freaking go 2 mph or you will stop & get stuck. I repeat.. you will get stuck! Always keep a nice slow and steady speed no less than 35 mph - my parents taught us well (they used to live in Colorado).
I would be sure to check the weather beforehand. We drove in a couple days after the blizzard hit, so the roads weren't terrible. If you are driving on icy roads with snow pouring down on your windshield... mhm, yea, no bueno is exactly right.
ANDDD WE MADE IT!!!
I mean how beautiful is this?
I felt like I was in a fairytale. These photos don't even look real.
E X P L O R E
Each time we have come to visit Telluride, we've stayed in the downtown area. We have fallen in love with this cute little town and the residents here. You can also stay on the other side of the mountain, which is called Mountain Village. That's a very popular spot for tourists and probably a bit cheaper if this is your first time to vacation here. If you are planning on coming back each year like we do, it's fun to rent a house or a condo in the town!
The first year we spent Christmas in Telluride, we decided to rent a beautiful two story house for the week. This was the best decision we could have made with a family of 15 (yea I know). The house was in the heart of Telluride and right down the street from the ski lifts & gondola to Mountain Village. It was PERFECT.
We walked into the house with Christmas decorations and the Christmas tree already set up [whatttt], the fridge and pantry were already stocked with groceries [hell yeaaa], and we also found out that an appointment was set to retreive our ski rentals [huh?]. Guess what... the rental company was coming to OUR HOUSE. That's right. We didn't have to wait in a long ass line to get our boot sizes or try on skis. They came to us. It was the coolest & easiest way I have ever gotten my ski rentals (and I've skied a LOT). Every resort should do this, no joke. If you want an experience like this and you are staying in downtown Telluride, reach out to
I would actually be pretty shocked if you reached out to them before they reached out to you.
This year we had a smaller group attending the Christmas trip. Smaller meaning 10 people less than last year. Yup - just the Nunn fam of 5. With that being said, we decided this would be a great year to rent a fun condo in downtown Telluride. We stayed in an adorable two story condo at the Ballard House. The Ballard House is in a badass location right down the street from the ski lift & gondola to Mountain Village. It's located near all the shops, restaurants, the bakery, and the grocery store which was extremely convenient.
We took over that whole corner of the building in the photos above. The balcony upstairs was a great size and faced the mountain with a balcony on the first floor to place our ski rentals. If you are bringing your pets with you, Telluride is EXTREMELY PET FRIENDLY! Since I was bringing Libby (my basset hound) this year, we wanted to find a place that allows dogs. There is also a garage underneath the complex for parking. THIS IS A BIG DEAL. Not much indoor parking around here. The worst is having to clean off your car and wait for the windshield to defrost on the day of your departure. I would definitely recommend the Ballard House for this reason alone.
Downtown Telluride - Main St.
Main Street is where all of the shopping, restaurants, and bars are. We had so much fun walking along this street going from shop to shop. If you are wanting to purchase souvenirs for friends & family, this is definitely where to go. There are so many hidden bars & restaurants that you will find by just walking up & down Main St. Some are underground, some are in tiny upstair studios, and some are actually in houses. SO MUCH FUN.
Ok so we probably walked into this store, Overland, every single day. No, we didn't buy one thing. We just wanted to pet the sheepskin and smell the leather. I'm obsessed with this store. Go check it out!
WARNING: Do not spend over 15 minutes in this store or you will buy something... and it's not cheap.
If you're a reader or one of those who just enjoys the feeling of walking into a bookstore, then you will love Between the Covers Bookstore. It's located downtown Telluride on Main St.
There is also a cute little coffee shop in the back of the bookstore. Don't forget to check it out and order a cup of coffee to go. I actually don't even read... I just like walking around bookstores with a coffee in my hand *not ashamed* [although I do admit, I really really wish I enjoyed reading books like the cool smart people].
I thought this was kinda funny.
F O O D & D R I N K S
Smuggler's Brewpub is a cool place to go grab a beer, obvously, or a cocktail. We had dinner here the first night, and the food wasn't too bad either. If you're a sports fan, don't worry, there are TV's all around the bar to watch your favorite teams.
The restaurant gets pretty packed by dinner time, so I would suggest arriving a bit earlier. We came right before the crowd hit which was nice. It has a great location, right down the street from the gondola (which means you go straight to the bar). Definitely go check it out!
Our "take a break from skiing and go grab some food & alcohol" go-to restaurant would have to be.. drumroll please...
We were here every single day. Ordered the same thing every single day. Around the same time every single day. If you want more info on this restaurant, check out our blog post "Tomboy Tavern".
One of my favorite restaurants in all of Telluride is Alpino Vino. It's located on one of the highest peaks of the mountain and is the highest elevation fine-dining restauarant in all of North America!
This is a restaurant you should definitely check out. Feel free to visit our blog post, "Alpino Vino" for more info!
Another favorite bar of ours that we make sure to hit every year is called Allred's Restaurant. Notice I said "bar" when it's called "restaurant". If you want to sit down and have a meal at the restaurant then you will have to make reservations at least a year in advance. FOR REAL.
We normally just go straight to the bar for some cocktails & apps. No reservations needed. Since the restaurant is located at the top of the gondola, it has a beautiful view of the town of Telluride, which is one my favorite parts.
BTW: If you are a Moscow Mule type person, then this is your spot! If you like a little spice like I do, order the Moscow Mule with jalapeno in it! THE BEST.
So another bar... not a surprise. Gorrono Ranch is located mid-mountain on the Misty Maiden run. So yes, located in the MIDDLE of the mountain. Convenient right? Let's park our skis, go grab a freaking delicious burger and beer, and then finish our run down the mountain.
Gorrono Ranch typically has great happy hours going on as well. Lawn chairs are placed all over the area with firepits for people to sit and listen to live music. I would definitely recommend this spot to get a good buzz going (yes, I know you want it) as you continue down the mountain.
Ok so this was pretty cute. Our family decided to cook dinner on Christmas Eve instead of going out to a restaurant. We went to the local grocery store in Telluride and had a Mexican fiesta indoors.
Talk about an easy dinner to prepare... tacos, chips, queso, and salsa. Add a bottle (or 5) of wine... DONE!
For our last night in Telluride, we had dinner at a very nice restaurant in downtown called Rustico Ristorante. If you are looking for more of an upscale authentic Italian restaurant, I would definitely recommend this spot to you.
The customer service was out of this world. We walked in with no reservation at all, and they made sure to get us seated as soon as possible. We never had to wait on our water or wine glasses to get filled and our food was extremely fresh & prompt. It was delicious.
If you are celebrating a birthday, accomplishment or spending the holiday in the area, Rustico Ristorante is definitely a great spot to have dinner one night.
F A M I L Y & F U N
We had a huge snowstorm come through on Christmas Day, which brought us this beautiful Winter Wonderland. I have never skied on so much powder in my life!
The coolest part of this whole entire trip was on Christmas Eve. My family went to a small church service in downtown Telluride. There were locals who attended as well as visitors like us. After the church service, everyone walked outside, and it was snowing. It was one of the most beautiful things I have ever seen. I was with my family on Christmas Eve, in one of our favorite spots in the whole entire world, with snow falling from the sky - it can't get much better than that.
Visit Telluride Ski Resort, you guys! It won't let you down. If you have any questions, don't forget to comment below.
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