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The Telluride Checklist for First-time Visitors

Tuesday • April 15, 2014

Guest Post by Telluride.com Fan and Follower, Cami Webb (@camimonet). Cami is the Digital Editor for Islands.com-- a magazine inspiring travel to the Caribbean, Hawaii, Tahiti & more. Cami was excited to ditch the waterlocked tropics to check out the landlocked mountains of Telluride, CO with her Dad this past winter. Here's her checklist for first-time visitors:

I came for the skiing. My dad, a first-time visitor and non-skier, came for the experience. The town of Telluride has been on my must-travel list with my father for a while now, and even though we didn’t share much time on the snow (although he spent plenty of time falling into it), we found plenty to explore off the mountain. With gems tucked around every corner, the “little” town of Telluride is anything but. Here are the can’t-miss stops every first-time visitor has to see. 

Satisfy your sweet tooth. I'm a chocolate snob. But Telluride Truffle takes the cake, er, truffle when it comes to pleasing my chocolate needs. And my dad, a self-proclaimed chocoholic, thoroughly approved. Rich and velvety, those mountain-shaped morsels are sneakily addictive. I make it point to sample every single flavor on all my Telluride visits. And the gift boxes? A much cooler souvenir than a coffee mug branded with "To Hell You Ride." I like to follow up my chocolate attacks with (what else?) more homemade goodness at Baked in Telluride, where the stacks of pastries, cookies and donuts make for a perfect second dessert.

Get high. Alpino Vino, the country's highest wine bar at 11,966 feet, is hands-down one of the coolest places I've been. And I mean that literally and figuratively. Wine just tastes better with a mountain view. (Bonus: the organic tomato soup will warm you right up on a frigid ski day.)

See the other side. I spent my days wearing out the ski runs, but my dad found his own happy place hiking the many trails that start right at the base of town. His favorite? Tomboy Road — an old mining trail that’s easily accessible from Oak Street and offers a rivaling vantage point.

Catch a sunset. Speaking of vantage points, don’t miss Allred’s at the top of the gondola for the most spectacular sunsets — no filter needed.

Stuff your face. There's plenty of good eating in Telluride (just ask my waistline), and Southern girl like me knows the importance of a good meal...especially if it's fried, smoked or buttered. For a hearty, stick-to-your-bones meal, OakThe New Fat Alley BBQ doesn't disappoint. And if you still have room, make sure to go for the peach cobbler — it's fresh-from-the-oven and topped with a hefty scoop of ice cream, plenty for two people. (But for the record, I don't share.) Some other favorites? The Butcher and Baker Café for killer lattes and breakfast sandwiches, La Cocina de Luz for their incredibly fresh homemade mango salsa, and of course, the famous New Sheridan’s Chop HouseRestaurant for their elk shortloin with duck confit, sweet potato hash and wild mushrooms. Yum.

Do a little digging. Pure kitsch, Pip's Fine & Funky Consignment is a must-visit. Loaded with vintage finds that are stacked from floor to ceiling, Pip’s is a fantastic place for a solid pair of perfectly worn-in cowboy boots or one-of-a-kind retro piece. 

Try a pint (or four). Telluride’s local brewery, Smuggler's Brewpub is a cozy joint tucked in the corner of downtown. The buzz-worthy beers pair well with the buzzing atmosphere, and the bartenders are friendly enough to spark up a conversation, no matter how busy. My favorite brew? The Powder Night Espresso Porter. There’s no better way to end a day on the slopes.