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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

January 2019

Through March 2019, Oklahoma Contemporary is partnering with Madison Square Park Conservancy to bring Erwin Redl’s installation Whiteout to Campbell Art Park. Whiteout is comprised of...

Cost: Free

Where:
Campbell Art Park
NW 11th and Broadway
Oklahoma City, OK  73103
View map »


Sponsor: Oklahoma Contemporary
Telephone: 405.951.0000
Contact Name: Lori Brooks
Website »

More information

Visitors to Heard Natural Science Museum & Wildlife Sanctuary will be able to let their imaginations run wild as they travel back in time with life-size animatronic dinosaurs along a half-mile...

Where:
Heard Natural Science Museum & Wildlife Sanctuary
1 Nature Place
McKinney, TX  75069
View map »


Sponsor: Heard Natural Science Museum & Wildlife Sanctuary
Telephone: 972.562.5566
Contact Name: Stephanie Jennings
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

ArtNow is Oklahoma Contemporary's annual exhibition of Oklahoma-based contemporary artists. It closes with art sale - the first big party of the year with cocktails, tastemakers and the...

Cost: Free

Where:
Oklahoma Contemporary
3000 General Pershing Blvd
Oklahoma City, OK  73107
View map »


Sponsor: Oklahoma Contemporary
Telephone: 405.951.0000
Contact Name: Lori Brooks
Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

Through March 2019, Oklahoma Contemporary is partnering with Madison Square Park Conservancy to bring Erwin Redl’s installation Whiteout to Campbell Art Park. Whiteout is comprised of...

Cost: Free

Where:
Campbell Art Park
NW 11th and Broadway
Oklahoma City, OK  73103
View map »


Sponsor: Oklahoma Contemporary
Telephone: 405.951.0000
Contact Name: Lori Brooks
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

ArtNow is Oklahoma Contemporary's annual exhibition of Oklahoma-based contemporary artists. It closes with art sale - the first big party of the year with cocktails, tastemakers and the...

Cost: Free

Where:
Oklahoma Contemporary
3000 General Pershing Blvd
Oklahoma City, OK  73107
View map »


Sponsor: Oklahoma Contemporary
Telephone: 405.951.0000
Contact Name: Lori Brooks
Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

Through March 2019, Oklahoma Contemporary is partnering with Madison Square Park Conservancy to bring Erwin Redl’s installation Whiteout to Campbell Art Park. Whiteout is comprised of...

Cost: Free

Where:
Campbell Art Park
NW 11th and Broadway
Oklahoma City, OK  73103
View map »


Sponsor: Oklahoma Contemporary
Telephone: 405.951.0000
Contact Name: Lori Brooks
Website »

More information

Visitors to Heard Natural Science Museum & Wildlife Sanctuary will be able to let their imaginations run wild as they travel back in time with life-size animatronic dinosaurs along a half-mile...

Where:
Heard Natural Science Museum & Wildlife Sanctuary
1 Nature Place
McKinney, TX  75069
View map »


Sponsor: Heard Natural Science Museum & Wildlife Sanctuary
Telephone: 972.562.5566
Contact Name: Stephanie Jennings
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

ArtNow is Oklahoma Contemporary's annual exhibition of Oklahoma-based contemporary artists. It closes with art sale - the first big party of the year with cocktails, tastemakers and the...

Cost: Free

Where:
Oklahoma Contemporary
3000 General Pershing Blvd
Oklahoma City, OK  73107
View map »


Sponsor: Oklahoma Contemporary
Telephone: 405.951.0000
Contact Name: Lori Brooks
Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

Through March 2019, Oklahoma Contemporary is partnering with Madison Square Park Conservancy to bring Erwin Redl’s installation Whiteout to Campbell Art Park. Whiteout is comprised of...

Cost: Free

Where:
Campbell Art Park
NW 11th and Broadway
Oklahoma City, OK  73103
View map »


Sponsor: Oklahoma Contemporary
Telephone: 405.951.0000
Contact Name: Lori Brooks
Website »

More information

Visitors to Heard Natural Science Museum & Wildlife Sanctuary will be able to let their imaginations run wild as they travel back in time with life-size animatronic dinosaurs along a half-mile...

Where:
Heard Natural Science Museum & Wildlife Sanctuary
1 Nature Place
McKinney, TX  75069
View map »


Sponsor: Heard Natural Science Museum & Wildlife Sanctuary
Telephone: 972.562.5566
Contact Name: Stephanie Jennings
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

ArtNow is Oklahoma Contemporary's annual exhibition of Oklahoma-based contemporary artists. It closes with art sale - the first big party of the year with cocktails, tastemakers and the...

Cost: Free

Where:
Oklahoma Contemporary
3000 General Pershing Blvd
Oklahoma City, OK  73107
View map »


Sponsor: Oklahoma Contemporary
Telephone: 405.951.0000
Contact Name: Lori Brooks
Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

Through March 2019, Oklahoma Contemporary is partnering with Madison Square Park Conservancy to bring Erwin Redl’s installation Whiteout to Campbell Art Park. Whiteout is comprised of...

Cost: Free

Where:
Campbell Art Park
NW 11th and Broadway
Oklahoma City, OK  73103
View map »


Sponsor: Oklahoma Contemporary
Telephone: 405.951.0000
Contact Name: Lori Brooks
Website »

More information

Visitors to Heard Natural Science Museum & Wildlife Sanctuary will be able to let their imaginations run wild as they travel back in time with life-size animatronic dinosaurs along a half-mile...

Where:
Heard Natural Science Museum & Wildlife Sanctuary
1 Nature Place
McKinney, TX  75069
View map »


Sponsor: Heard Natural Science Museum & Wildlife Sanctuary
Telephone: 972.562.5566
Contact Name: Stephanie Jennings
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

ArtNow is Oklahoma Contemporary's annual exhibition of Oklahoma-based contemporary artists. It closes with art sale - the first big party of the year with cocktails, tastemakers and the...

Cost: Free

Where:
Oklahoma Contemporary
3000 General Pershing Blvd
Oklahoma City, OK  73107
View map »


Sponsor: Oklahoma Contemporary
Telephone: 405.951.0000
Contact Name: Lori Brooks
Website »

More information

You weren't going to keep them anyway. Break your resolutions in style with your girlfriends: check out The Melting Pot's special Resolution Buster Ladies’ Night Out. The evening will...

Cost: $29.95 per person

Where:
The Melting Pot
4 E. Sheridan Ave
Oklahoma City, OK  73104
View map »


Telephone: 405.235.1000
Contact Name: Rob Fazle
Website »

More information

Find your new fave on 1/17! The COOP Showcase brings local artists together for a live concert experience you won't find anywhere else. 

Cost: $10

Where:
Tower Theatre
425 NW 23rd St
Oklahoma City, OK  73103
View map »


Sponsor: Tower Theatre
Telephone: 405.708.6937
Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

Through March 2019, Oklahoma Contemporary is partnering with Madison Square Park Conservancy to bring Erwin Redl’s installation Whiteout to Campbell Art Park. Whiteout is comprised of...

Cost: Free

Where:
Campbell Art Park
NW 11th and Broadway
Oklahoma City, OK  73103
View map »


Sponsor: Oklahoma Contemporary
Telephone: 405.951.0000
Contact Name: Lori Brooks
Website »

More information

Visitors to Heard Natural Science Museum & Wildlife Sanctuary will be able to let their imaginations run wild as they travel back in time with life-size animatronic dinosaurs along a half-mile...

Where:
Heard Natural Science Museum & Wildlife Sanctuary
1 Nature Place
McKinney, TX  75069
View map »


Sponsor: Heard Natural Science Museum & Wildlife Sanctuary
Telephone: 972.562.5566
Contact Name: Stephanie Jennings
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

ArtNow is Oklahoma Contemporary's annual exhibition of Oklahoma-based contemporary artists. It closes with art sale - the first big party of the year with cocktails, tastemakers and the...

Cost: Free

Where:
Oklahoma Contemporary
3000 General Pershing Blvd
Oklahoma City, OK  73107
View map »


Sponsor: Oklahoma Contemporary
Telephone: 405.951.0000
Contact Name: Lori Brooks
Website »

More information

Tickets are now on sale for the the first must-attend party of 2019 - featuring signature cocktails, tastemakers and live art-making! ArtNow is your opportunity to party with a purpose and purchase...

Cost: $75-$150

Where:
Oklahoma Contemporary
3000 General Pershing Blvd
Oklahoma City, OK  73107
View map »


Sponsor: Oklahoma Contemporary
Telephone: 405.951.0000
Contact Name: Lori Brooks
Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

Through March 2019, Oklahoma Contemporary is partnering with Madison Square Park Conservancy to bring Erwin Redl’s installation Whiteout to Campbell Art Park. Whiteout is comprised of...

Cost: Free

Where:
Campbell Art Park
NW 11th and Broadway
Oklahoma City, OK  73103
View map »


Sponsor: Oklahoma Contemporary
Telephone: 405.951.0000
Contact Name: Lori Brooks
Website »

More information

Visitors to Heard Natural Science Museum & Wildlife Sanctuary will be able to let their imaginations run wild as they travel back in time with life-size animatronic dinosaurs along a half-mile...

Where:
Heard Natural Science Museum & Wildlife Sanctuary
1 Nature Place
McKinney, TX  75069
View map »


Sponsor: Heard Natural Science Museum & Wildlife Sanctuary
Telephone: 972.562.5566
Contact Name: Stephanie Jennings
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

Celebrate during MLK weekend with fun! From Saturday 1/19 through Monday 1/21, experience our Winter Fun Pass for just $19.95! This pass includes unlimited laser tag, bumper cars, frog hopper, kidz...

Cost: 19.95

Where:
Andy Alligator's Fun Park
3300 Market Place Dr
Norman, OK  73072
View map »


Sponsor: Andy Alligator's Fun Park
Telephone: 405.321.7275
Website »

More information

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
View map »


Sponsor: The Dinner Detective
Telephone: 866.496.0535
Website »

More information

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