Book Lodging

The Official Blues & Brews Bible

Tuesday • September 11, 2012

Who’s ready for some Blues, Brews and GORGEOUS views? We want you to be ready for an epic weekend here in Telluride… so we’ve created the “Blues & Brews Bible” – A complete guide on what to do, what to bring, who to see, where to eat/drink/play and any other info that will help you have the best weekend of your life. CHEERS!

What to Do – A lot of your time will be taken up in Town Park (not a bad thing)… BUT, if you want to get outside and explore all that Telluride has to offer, here are a few recommendations on ‘What to Do’ around town this weekend:

  • Drink Beer - Yes, please. The general theme of the entire festival is to drink beer and be merry… Saturday will host 50+ microbreweries from across the nation during the Grand Tasting in Town Park. Make sure you travel around and “taste” these amazing brews. And don’t forget to vote for your favorite brew (you’ll receive a chip in your tasting glass to place at your favorite brewery tent). For a complete list of ALL the breweries attending this year’s festival,
  • Sunset Blues Concert - Thursday evening, September 13th 5:00-7:00pm, FREE kick off Blues & Brews Festival Concert in Mountain Village Sunset Plaza featuring MarchFourth Marching Band. Bring a blanket and a bottle of wine and come celebrate the 19th annual Telluride Blues & Brews festival in style!
  • Juke Joints - These Late Night Shows are one of the best parts of our festival weekend! Listen to your favorite bands up close and personal at some of Telluride's most historic venues. Little Hurricane kicks off our four night juke joint schedule with stellar lineups Friday and Saturday nights closing with Anders Osborne & Friends on Sunday. Buy a Friday and/or Saturday Juke Joint ticket and you’ll be able to attend a show of your choice (first come, first serve)…but make sure you get these early, they will definitely sell-out! ANYTHING at the Sheridan Opera House is not to be missed! 
  • Telluride Farmers Market - Friday afternoon from 11:00am-4:00pm on South Oak Street, the Telluride Farmers Market will take place. Stroll through many local vendors and farmers providing great products - flowers, vegetables, kettle corn popcorn (you've got to try this stuff!), live music, massages, art and much more! 
  • Blues for Breakfast - The top 6 entries from the Telluride Acoustic Blues Competition will play at the Elks Lodge on Saturday, September 15th from 9:00am-Noon. The winner of the competition will play on Main Stage later that afternoon. Come eat pancakes and cheer on the finalists! 
  • Hike – If you need a break (recommended) from all the delicious beer… check out one of our amazing hiking trails that start from Downtown. Bear Creek Trail is less than one block from Town Park (S. Pine Street) and is a perfect beginner trail (5 miles round trip, gradual the entire way) up to the beautiful Bear Creek Falls. If you need a little more challenging hike, check out the Jud Wiebe Trail (N. Aspen Street) that takes you to an overlook of the entire town. This trail is fairly steep at the beginning (2.5 miles round trip) with several switchbacks… but, the view from the top is worth every step. Bring your camera for killer shots of Town, Town Park, the Ski Resort and more. 
  • Ride the Gondola – The only FREE transportation of its kind in the country… the Gondola is a must-do while visiting Telluride. If you don’t journey up to the free concert on Thursday night, make sure you take the time to check out this spectacular ride. Get out up top (San Sophia) to hike around or ride it down into Mountain Village to check out the local bars, shops and restaurants. 
  • Walk the River Trail – Our "major" thoroughfare in the town of Telluride, the River Trail connects the West end of Telluride to the East End & Town Park. Take a walk along the beautiful San Miguel River to and from your condo or hotel... or walk all the way "Down Valley" to get some excerise and/or see wild elk.
  • Mingle with the Locals – After spending the weekend here in Telluride... you're going to want to come back, we can promise you that. Mingle with some locals at the festival, bar, restaurants... and make friends. It's always good to have a connection in town so you can get the "local scoop" when you visit us again for the ski season or next summer!
  • Rainbow Kids Area – This is definitely a kid-friendly event! Children 11 and under are free at the festival and campground. The Rainbow Kids area provides plenty of entertainment on the festival grounds, including inflatable games and climbing wall, face painting, talent show, and more.
  • See Bridal Veil Falls – Want to check out Colorado's largest free-falling waterfall? It's right in our backyard. Ideally, a car would be the easiest and closest way to check it out... but you can hike down (along the River Trail) to the parking area and see the falls and old mining structures. At 360+ feet, its a must-see!   

What to Bring – Make sure you pack for all 4 seasons… Telluride weather is extremely hard to predict. It’s been dipping down into the cooler temps (40’s) at night, so pack accordingly. Pack a rain jacket, hiking boots and a sun hat. Don’t forget your CAMERA. You’ll find great opportunities to take some beautiful photos around town and great pictures of your drunk friends. Oh yea, don’t forget to pack your Party Pants.

  • For a complete list on what to bring, what NOT to bring, what’s provided on the Festival Grounds, etc…

Who to See – This year’s lineup is amazing. You ideally need to see every single show because they’re all incredible and diverse. BUT, if I had to choose a couple unique shows (this is a VERY tough one) that you absolutely can’t miss, these would be the ones (for the complete schedule and times:

  • Heartless Bastards – These guys are definitely one of my favorites! The Ohioans originally formed in 2003 and have a similar sound to The Black Keys. Erika Wennerstrom, the only constant member, has an incredibly unique sound and wails on vocals. “Parted Ways” is a personal favorite of mine.
  • Gov’t Mule – When they weren’t busy making records with the Allman Brothers Band, Warren Haynes and Allen Woody took up a side project which became Gov’t Mule. These guys are some of the hardest working bands in rock history and have a classic Southern rock, blues, and funk collaboration that is not to be missed!
  • The B-52s – Nicknamed the World’s Greatest Party Band, the B52s have produced over 30 years of timeless classics.  Their unforgettable hits include, “Rock Lobster,” “Planet Claire,” “Love Shack” and “Roam,” all sure to get you into the dance-party mood!
  • Orgone – Funk and soul are these guys’ specialty! Almost all self-taught musicians, Orgone is well known as one of the “baddest go-to backing bands on the planet.” If you dig rhythmic instrumentals and upbeat funk, these beats are for you!
  • The Chris Robinson Brotherhood – The lineup includes Adam MacDougall (of the Black Crowes), George Sluppick, Mark “Muddy” Dutton (of Burning Tree), and Neal Casal. Can’t miss this set!
  • Phil Lesh & Friends – One of the most extraordinary musical talents in rock history…No way I’m going to miss this!

Where to eat: 

  • Brown Dog Pizza – Want to catch some College or NFL Football between sets? Head over to the best Sports Bar in town. Brown Dog Pizza is located on Main Street and has delicious pizza, subs, salads and of course, ice cold PBR on tap.
  • Floradora – Looking for the best burger in town? Checkout Floradora on Main Street for delicious burgers (get the Matty Burger!), jalapeño poppers, salads, Sliders and more!
  • New Sheridan – Hands down some of the best food in town. You can eat two ways – very nice or laid back. ‘Very nice’ consists of sitting down for a nice steak and glass of wine. Or you can eat ‘Laid back’ by sitting at the bar or in the Parlor Bar for an informal meal with the same tasty menu.
  • Baked in Telluride – GREAT spot to grab coffee and a quick breakfast in the morning… “BIT” offers bagels, doughnuts, croissants, muffins, pizza, sandwiches, cookies and a whole lot more.
  • La Cocina – Delicious spot to grab some organic Mexican food. On main street with indoor and outdoor seating. 

Where to Drink – We like to drink here in Telluride... hence, the Blues & BREWS Festival. Here are the top bars we recommend checking out after Town Park to keep the party going:

  • The Last Dollar Saloon – called “The Buck”… a great, laidback local joint to drink some PBR, play some foosball and mingle with the locals. The Buck is CASH ONLY... so don't be that guy who breaks out a credit card.
  • New Sheridan – Come shoot some Pool in this historic old-timey bar. Great vibe, music and drinks.  
  • The Steaming Bean – Best place in town to grab a cup of joe in the morning... live music and full bar in the evenings. The perfect, cool hangout spot to get on the internet if you need to and mingle with locals.   
  • Sheridan Opera House – Great place to grab a drink and check out live music! One of my three favorite venues in the COUNTRY (the other two are Red Rocks and Telluride Town Park)... the Opera House is small, intimate, and always a good time. Go see a live show here and check it off your bucketlist. 

Where to Park – Parking is always a free-for-all when it comes to 8,000+ people traveling to our tiny town of 2,000 year round residences. Here are tips for parking, camping and more from the Telluride Daily Planet:

  • Parking meters remain in effect all weekend except Sunday.
  • Permit parking zones W, O and G are suspended and not in effect Friday through Sunday.
  • The regular town loop of the Galloping Goose Transit system will operate on Thursday from 7:00am-1:00am, Friday and Saturday from 7:00am-2:00am, and Sunday from 7:00am-midnight.
  • The Gondola will operate on Thursday from 7:00am-1:00am, Friday and Saturday from 7:00am-2:00am, and Sunday from 7:00am-midnight.
  • There will be free day and overnight parking available in Mountain Village on Friday, Saturday and Sunday at the Gondola Parking Garage. Pay to park day and overnight parking will be available at the Heritage Parking Garage. Space will be limited in the parking garages and parking will not be available on the roadways.
  • Please no parking on South Oak Street on Friday between 8:00am-6:00pm for the Telluride Farmers Market.
  • Car camping is not allowed on streets or rights-of-way in the Town of Telluride.