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Trot Over to Durango, Colorado



The 1888 Strater Hotel is a Durango landmark. Louis L’Amour loved the hotel and insisted on Room 222 above the Diamond Belle Saloon because the music put him in an “Old West” mood.

 

Doggone it! You just won’t find a more dog-friendly town than Durango, Colorado. That was the inspiration for a road trip with our dog Roxie, who loves the car and hates to be boarded. But whether you travel with a pooch or without, Durango is a great destination.



Steam locomotive #42 at the Durango and Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad Museum was built in 1887 for the Denver and Rio Grande Railroad.

While Native Americans Camped And Lived Along The Animas River For Thousands of Years, it was the mineral wealth in the mountains that brought many new people to the area. The coming of the railroad in 1881 fueled the boom, and the railroad is still doing so today. But instead of hauling miners and ore, the Durango & Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad takes tourists on scenic excursions from Durango through valleys and canyons, along the Animas River, to the old mining town of Silverton. The Durango depot, built in 1881, is one of the oldest buildings in town. Don’t miss the Railroad Museum behind the depot. It’s full of railroad history, memorabilia and a great model
train layout.

Another historic attraction is the 1893 Mission-style Powerhouse, one of the earliest alternating current electric plants in the world. Now it houses an interactive science museum in and amongst the old generating equipment. For a fascinating history tour of the plant, call ahead and make sure someone will be available. My docent, 13-year-old Liam Foster, was articulate and patient as he explained the components of the three-phase AC system – he tossed around terms and names like a French chef flipping an omelet. When he said, “Of course, you know who Tesla was?” I simply smiled and nodded. You don’t get to be my age without knowing when to keep your mouth shut!

The whole downtown area is a hotbed of history. Armed with a great little guidebook, “Walking Durango,” Roxie and I followed a mile-and-a-half route past interesting old buildings. Several of the downtown stores offered doggy treats to Roxie, but her favorite spot was the Durango Coffee Company with two bowls of water on the sidewalk. One was labeled regular, the other, decaf.

A vintage sign points to the wonderfully renovated, boutique, Rochester Hotel

No Place Was Friendlier Than The Rochester Hotel, a 15-room boutique hotel in an 1892 building. Two of the rooms are pet-friendly. Be sure to reserve in advance and they’ll be ready with a comfy pet bed and a “Wagging Welcome Package” from the Durango Tourism Office. They’ll even steer you to good doggy day care if you’re taking the train ride or checking out Mesa Verde.

Our bed was every bit as comfy as Roxie found hers to be. And our room, like all the Rochester rooms, was decorated with pictures and posters from movies made in the area. Also in the room was a cool little book, “Hollywood of the Rockies,” with insider stories about the many movies (and their stars) that have been shot here.

The breakfast was super and the location couldn’t have been better – two blocks off Main Avenue – quiet but close to the action.

There are over four dozen eateries in the historic downtown area alone, ranging from snacks and sandwiches to fine dining restaurants. We tried Seasons Rotisserie and Grill – a good choice. The menu changes seasonally and the chef makes maximum use of local products when available ... and that includes local rainbow trout.

Another night we tried El Moro, which is located in a historic saloon. The menu was one of the most intriguing I’ve encountered. For appetizers we chose garam masala dusted scallops and pickled shrimp. Jack’s a lamb fan, so he opted for the lamb burger on a potato sage bun, and I couldn’t resist the grilled cheese sandwich with local James Ranch Belford cheese, Gruyere, tomatoes and house-cured bacon. For dessert was muscato-raspberry gelee topped with vanilla whipped cream (think Jell-o that struck it rich and bought a chateau on the Loire). The menu changes frequently and the gelee isn’t on the current menu, but maybe it will be when you visit!

Durango Mountain Resort viewed from the Purgatory ski lift on the property

Think Colorado And Think Skiing – except we were there in July. Never fear. Purgatory at Durango Mountain Resort has plenty to offer.

The ski lift is great for getting a beautiful view of the mountains, but for those who are more adventuresome, it’s a way to get you and your mountain bike to the top for an exciting bike ride down. The resort has 10 bike trails for peddlers of varying abilities. You can also get off the lift about halfway to the top and slide down the quarter-mile-long Alpine Slide – or take the round-trip on the lift.

Other summer activities include zip-lining, miniature golf, disc golf and hiking – or renting a Diggler scooter. Some children were tumbling around like gerbils in large colored balls on a pool while others climbed overhead on a ropes course. One of Durango’s July highlights is the annual Music in the Mountains festival, with the majority of concerts performed at Durango Mountain Resort.

Overnight guests can enjoy the swimming pool and foosball, shuffleboard, Wii, movies and board games in the game room, an exercise room and day spa. Pets are allowed in some units at Purgatory Lodge, one of several choices of accommodations on the property. The only problem with pups in the summer is the cleated metal outside steps – safer in winter – are rough on tender paws. Roxie required carry-on service.

Whether you stay on the mountain or in town, activities and attractions can keep you as busy as you want to be – or just relax in some of the most beautiful scenery anywhere. Make no bones about it, Durango is a great destination. Roxie gives it four paws up! 

 Ropes and Water Runners provide active kids with great outlets for their energy.

Getting There is Half the Fun

It’s an 11- to 12-hour drive from OKC to Durango, drivable in a long day, but we decided to take a quick detour to Santa Fe. The sprawling pueblo-style Buffalo Thunder Resort north of town sits scenically at the base of the Sangre de Cristo Mountains. Its many amenities include a large casino with headliner entertainment, an elegant spa, indoor and outdoor pools, plus a 27-hole golf course. Beautiful Native American art is on display throughout the facilities. Foodies will find everything from fine dining to snacks in over half-a-dozen eateries. Add pet-friendly and you have a complete package!

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Calendar

April 2019

Men and women from across the American West played critical roles - both “over there” and on the home front - in helping the Allies win World War I. The National Cowboy & Western...

Cost: $12.50

Where:
National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum
1700 Northeast 63rd Street
Oklahoma City, OK  73111
View map »


Telephone: 405.478.2250
Contact Name: Jenni
Website »

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Celebrate Easter with a trip to Andy Alligator’s Fun Park! On Saturday and Sunday, get $5 off an All-Day Pass with our Eggcellent Easter Special. All-Day Passes include Go-Karts,...

Cost: $23.95

Where:
Andy Alligator's Fun Park & Water Park
3300 Market Pl
Norman, OK  73072
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Men and women from across the American West played critical roles - both “over there” and on the home front - in helping the Allies win World War I. The National Cowboy & Western...

Cost: $12.50

Where:
National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum
1700 Northeast 63rd Street
Oklahoma City, OK  73111
View map »


Telephone: 405.478.2250
Contact Name: Jenni
Website »

More information

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The Annual Mentorship Exhibition features pieces from Oklahoma City high school students that visit the Artspace studio each month. Throughout the duration of the program, the students engage with...

Cost: Free

Where:
Artspace at Untitled
1 NE 3rd st
Oklahoma City, OK  73104
View map »


Sponsor: Artspace at Untitled
Telephone: 405-815-9995
Website »

More information

Men and women from across the American West played critical roles - both “over there” and on the home front - in helping the Allies win World War I. The National Cowboy & Western...

Cost: $12.50

Where:
National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum
1700 Northeast 63rd Street
Oklahoma City, OK  73111
View map »


Telephone: 405.478.2250
Contact Name: Jenni
Website »

More information

The OSU Symphony Orchestra will conclude the 2018-19 season with Schubert's monumental and majestic Symphony No. 9 in C ("The Great"). The concert opens with The European Anthem,...

Cost: General Admission: $10; Students & Seniors: $7

Where:
Oklahoma State University Department of Music
132 Seretean Ctr
Stillwater, OK  74078
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Sponsor: Oklahoma State University Department of Music
Telephone: 405.744.6133
Contact Name: Dr. Thomas Dickey
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The Annual Mentorship Exhibition features pieces from Oklahoma City high school students that visit the Artspace studio each month. Throughout the duration of the program, the students engage with...

Cost: Free

Where:
Artspace at Untitled
1 NE 3rd st
Oklahoma City, OK  73104
View map »


Sponsor: Artspace at Untitled
Telephone: 405-815-9995
Website »

More information

Men and women from across the American West played critical roles - both “over there” and on the home front - in helping the Allies win World War I. The National Cowboy & Western...

Cost: $12.50

Where:
National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum
1700 Northeast 63rd Street
Oklahoma City, OK  73111
View map »


Telephone: 405.478.2250
Contact Name: Jenni
Website »

More information

Potbelly Sandwich Shop is giving back to the local neighborhood with Feed Your Smile, a fundraiser supporting Concordia Life Care Community.  Show this flyer on your smartphone or...

Cost: Free

Where:
Potbelly Sandwich Shop
8500 N Rockwell Ave
OKC, OK  73132
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Sponsor: Potbelly Sandwich Shop
Telephone: 405-792-5112
Contact Name: Katy Fabrie
Website »

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The Annual Mentorship Exhibition features pieces from Oklahoma City high school students that visit the Artspace studio each month. Throughout the duration of the program, the students engage with...

Cost: Free

Where:
Artspace at Untitled
1 NE 3rd st
Oklahoma City, OK  73104
View map »


Sponsor: Artspace at Untitled
Telephone: 405-815-9995
Website »

More information

RexFest will feature an interactive art exhibit called a luminarium created by Architects of Air. From April 25-28, visitors can walk through the inflatable sculpture, which disperses light and...

Cost: $8 for kids; $10 for adults; $30 for families of four

Where:
Together Square
400 W Sheridan Avenue
Oklahoma City, OK  73102
View map »


Sponsor: Delta Dental

More information

Men and women from across the American West played critical roles - both “over there” and on the home front - in helping the Allies win World War I. The National Cowboy & Western...

Cost: $12.50

Where:
National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum
1700 Northeast 63rd Street
Oklahoma City, OK  73111
View map »


Telephone: 405.478.2250
Contact Name: Jenni
Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

The Annual Mentorship Exhibition features pieces from Oklahoma City high school students that visit the Artspace studio each month. Throughout the duration of the program, the students engage with...

Cost: Free

Where:
Artspace at Untitled
1 NE 3rd st
Oklahoma City, OK  73104
View map »


Sponsor: Artspace at Untitled
Telephone: 405-815-9995
Website »

More information

Men and women from across the American West played critical roles - both “over there” and on the home front - in helping the Allies win World War I. The National Cowboy & Western...

Cost: $12.50

Where:
National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum
1700 Northeast 63rd Street
Oklahoma City, OK  73111
View map »


Telephone: 405.478.2250
Contact Name: Jenni
Website »

More information

RexFest will feature an interactive art exhibit called a luminarium created by Architects of Air. From April 25-28, visitors can walk through the inflatable sculpture, which disperses light and...

Cost: $8 for kids; $10 for adults; $30 for families of four

Where:
Together Square
400 W Sheridan Avenue
Oklahoma City, OK  73102
View map »


Sponsor: Delta Dental

More information

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A Sporting Chance will host the 25th annual Track and Field Meet at Branson Junior High in Branson, Missouri. A Sporting Chance provides year-round sports and recreation programs designed for those...

Where:
Branson Junior High
263 Buccaneer Boulevard
Branson, MO  65616
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Sponsor: A Sporting Chance
Telephone: 404-314-2188
Contact Name: Hannah Schachinger

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Shop over 200 vendors at this indoor event with everything from vintage furniture, retro and mid-century decor to handmade goods, antiques, industrial finds and architectural salvage!

Cost: $5 at the door, 13 and under free

Where:
Heritage Place
2829 S. MacArthur
Oklahoma City, OK  73128
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Sponsor: Junk Hippy
Contact Name: Kristen Grandi
Website »

More information

The Annual Mentorship Exhibition features pieces from Oklahoma City high school students that visit the Artspace studio each month. Throughout the duration of the program, the students engage with...

Cost: Free

Where:
Artspace at Untitled
1 NE 3rd st
Oklahoma City, OK  73104
View map »


Sponsor: Artspace at Untitled
Telephone: 405-815-9995
Website »

More information

Men and women from across the American West played critical roles - both “over there” and on the home front - in helping the Allies win World War I. The National Cowboy & Western...

Cost: $12.50

Where:
National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum
1700 Northeast 63rd Street
Oklahoma City, OK  73111
View map »


Telephone: 405.478.2250
Contact Name: Jenni
Website »

More information

RexFest will feature an interactive art exhibit called a luminarium created by Architects of Air. From April 25-28, visitors can walk through the inflatable sculpture, which disperses light and...

Cost: $8 for kids; $10 for adults; $30 for families of four

Where:
Together Square
400 W Sheridan Avenue
Oklahoma City, OK  73102
View map »


Sponsor: Delta Dental

More information

This one-day festival is rooted in the printing of large-scale woodblocks carved by local Oklahoma artists. We bring in a 5-ton steamroller and print pre-carved blocks throughout the day on Tyvek...

Cost: Free

Where:
Artspace at Untitled
1 NE 3rd st
Oklahoma City, OK  73104
View map »


Sponsor: Artspace at Untitled
Telephone: 405-815-9995
Contact Name: Evan
Website »

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Andy Alligator's is celebrating teachers! On Saturday and Sunday, teachers with a valid ID will receive a FREE All-Day Pass and $5 off for each family member! An All-Day Pass includes...

Cost: Teachers receive a FREE All-Day Pass; family members get $5 off

Where:
Andy Alligator's Fun Park & Water Park
3300 Market Pl
Norman, OK  73072
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America’s largest interactive comedy murder mystery dinner show is now playing at the Skirvin Hilton Hotel. At The Dinner Detective, you’ll tackle a challenging crime while you...

Cost: $59.95

Where:
The Skirvin Hilton
1 Park Ave
Oklahoma City, OK  73102
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Sponsor: The Dinner Detective
Telephone: 866.496.0535
Website »

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Get a sample of the nightlife of Spain at Tulsa Botanic Garden's "Viva La Vida." The Garden is bringing star chef Jamie Bissonnette (Toro restaurants in Boston, NYC, Bangkok and...

Cost: $250

Where:
Tulsa Botanic Garden
3900 Tulsa Botanic Dr
Tulsa, OK  74127
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Sponsor: Tulsa Botanic Garden
Telephone: 918-289-0330
Contact Name: Lori Hutson
Website »

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2nd annual gathering of "The Big Lebowksi" fans at The Dude Abides OKC All Oklahoma City Urban Achievers, Abiders and Coen Brothers fans are invited to join us at Fassler Hall OKC and...

Cost: Free, contests have entry fee

Where:
Fassler Hall
421 NW 10th
Oklahoma City, OK  73103
View map »


Sponsor: Revolve Productions
Telephone: 405.810.6977
Contact Name: Tobi Coleman
Website »

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