Telluride, CO is a world-class skiing destination with stunning alpine views and a historic downtown. But it’s more than a weekend getaway – it’s also a place to call home. With a year-round population of 1,965, Telluride brings you luxury mountainside living in a small-town environment.
Home features to consider when buying a home in Telluride, CO
Telluride, CO is located in San Miguel County in a relatively remote area of southwestern Colorado. It is located roughly nine miles southwest of Ouray and about 67 miles south of Montrose. The nearest major airport is Telluride Regional Airport (TEX), which is roughly 10 miles from town.
A former mining town known for its ski resorts and luxury mountainside homes, Telluride is nestled at the foot of the San Juan Mountains, commanding views of the surrounding areas.
Here you’ll find cabins and lodges that epitomize mountain living, from mud rooms where you can stash your ski gear and snow boots, to stone fireplaces and oversized windows that let you bask in Telluride’s unique mountainside setting.
Luxury homes in Telluride were especially designed for the outdoor enthusiast, with elevators for transporting bulky ski gear and equipment as well as locations that provide convenient access to the town’s famed ski resorts.
Some of the most coveted homes provide convenient access to the slopes and ski runs for an impromptu skiing trip, or the historic downtown area with its trendy boutiques, bars, and restaurants.
Telluride, CO Real Estate
Telluride, CO real estate is known for luxury ski homes, upscale condominiums and western ranches that set a high standard for mountainside living. From ski chalets to sleek condos, the housing market has plenty to offer. Vacant lots are also available for those who prefer custom built homes.
The sheer number of properties and diversity of architectural styles can be overwhelming, but no matter what you choose, you can always be confident that you’re buying a property of high quality and value. Your choices include Contemporary, Chalet, Victorian, and Ranch-style homes, just to name a few.
Telluride is also known for its historic homes and buildings with vernacular architecture dating back to the town’s mining era.
Telluride, CO communities and subdivisions include:
- Town of Telluride
- Mountain Village
- Ski Ranches
- Trout Lake
- Alta Lakes
- Boulders at Mountain Village
- Brown Ranch
- Aldasoro Ranch
- Knoll Estates
- Elk Run
- Fall Creek
- Lawson Hill
- Hastings Mesa
- Sunnyside Ranch
- Specie Mesa
- Wilson Mesa
The Town of Telluride, which was formally recognized as a National Historic Landmark District in 1963, requires builders to follow design guidelines and standards to protect the town’s character and ensure visual cohesion among homes and buildings in the area.
The Historic and Architectural Review Commission (HARC) has a formal permitting process for alterations and new constructions upon approval of the proposed design or renovation.
Life in Telluride, CO
Telluride epitomizes laid-back luxury at its finest. The lifestyle is second to none, with fresh mountain air, stunning views, beautiful parks, and exquisite skiing terrain. Here’s what life is like in this highly coveted resort town.
Top attractions & activities
Telluride has a well-deserved reputation as a luxury getaway. Some of the town’s most popular attractions and activities include:
- Telluride Ski Resort at Mountain Village – Perched on top of the San Juan Mountains, this world-renowned skiing resort encompasses Mountain Village, offering more than 2,000 acres of skiable terrain and 148 trails for skiers of all skill levels. There are several terrain parks with varying levels of difficulty, from beginner to intermediate. With ample “powder”, which refers to more than 300 inches of snow each year, its icy slopes and trails are considered some of the finest in the country.
Ski season typically lasts from November to April. Equipment rentals and lockers are available. During the warmer months, guests can still enjoy a wide range of outdoor activities, including hiking, mountain biking, golfing, fishing, paddle boarding, and whitewater rafting.
Guests can stay in luxury lodges, enjoy on-mountain dining, and avail spa services during their visit. The resort can be reached via gondola ride or shuttle service.
- Telluride Town Park – Located on the town’s southeastern tip, Town Park is a popular attraction in the warmer months, when visitors flock from all over Telluride and the surrounding areas to camp outdoors, stroll along its nature trails, enjoy picnics by the fish pond, or take a refreshing dip in the outdoor pool. The park also has a disk golf course, a multi-sports court, and two playgrounds.
Spanning 36 acres, it hosts the annual Telluride Bluegrass Festival, The Ride Festival, Wine Festival, Jazz Festival and Telluride Blues & Brews Festival, providing a scenic backdrop to concerts and other live performances.
Popular winter activities in the park include ice skating, sledding, and cross-country skiing.
- Telluride Historical Museum – Housed in a former hospital building, the museum features exhibits highlighting the town’s rich Ute Native American heritage, gold mining history, Otto Mears’ adventures, and the opening of the famed Telluride Ski Resort, among other fascinating topics.
Aside from the permanent exhibit, which showcases Ute and Puebloan artifacts and recreations of Telluride’s 1880s mining camps, the museum also hosts rotating exhibits to pique guest’s interest, covering a range of topics from geology and hydroelectricity to local art and music.
- Pandora Mill – Formerly known as the Smuggler-Union Mill, this historic structure was built in 1920, having played an integral role in the town’s mining boom by processing millions of tons of gold and silver-laced ore. The mill closed in 1978 and was set for demolition before residents voted to save the Pandora Mill. With preservation underway, the town council hopes to restore the building and make it suitable for public tours.
- Downtown Telluride/Main Street – The picturesque downtown area is known for its exquisitely preserved Victorian-style buildings. Here you’ll find bars, cafés, restaurants, galleries, and boutique.
Shopping & dining
Telluride takes retail to a whole new level with its Victorian buildings, cobblestone streets, and breathtaking views of the San Juan Mountains. Here you’ll find specialty stores and boutiques selling everything from artisanal chocolate and leather goods to skiing gear and Scottish cashmere. Many of the stores in and around town have been in business since the 1970s, making them an important part of Telluride’s social fabric and economic backbone.
Other must-visit stores include Between the Covers, which carries over 10,000 books and magazines, and Alpine Wellness, a local dispensary selling medical and recreational cannabis, edibles, and accessories.
When it comes to dining, Telluride is best known for on-mountain restaurants that command stunning views of powdery slopes and snow-covered peaks, but visitors will also find excellent dining options in the downtown area. Whether you’re dining on-mountain or at ground level, you’ll find a dizzying array of cuisines ranging from New American and Southwestern to Asian Fusion and French.
- La Marmotte offers exquisite dining with classic French fare in an elegant rustic setting.
Widely regarded as the most popular fine dining restaurant in town, this culinary hotspot is ideal for dinner dates, business luncheons, and other special occasions.
- Alpino Vino brings you the quintessential Telluride dining experience as the highest elevation mountain top restaurant in the U.S. with an extensive wine list to match.
- 221 South Oak is a fine dining restaurant that offers delicious vegetarian and
non-vegetarian options in addition to amazing wine and bar chow.
- Chop House serves classic steakhouse fare paired with the best French and American wines in a sophisticated and classy atmosphere.
- Allred’s is known for fantastic food, artisanal cocktails, superior service, and a tastefully decorated rustic-themed dining area.
- Cosmopolitan is located just steps from the base of a gondola lift and operates seasonally, so don’t miss the chance to book a table while reservations are still open. Cosmopolitan has an eclectic dining menu offering everything from tuna tataki to lobster corn dogs.
You’ll also find chocolateries, bakeries, cafés, and bars in and around town.
Health & wellness
Telluride is a wellness destination with high-end spas and fitness studios:
- The Peaks Resort & Spa – At 42,000 square feet, this luxury spa features a full-service salon, 32 private treatment rooms, dry saunas, Roman tubs, and eucalyptus-infused steam rooms in addition to a lap pool, oxygen lounge, and meditation area for a whole day of relaxation.
- The Spa at Madeline Hotel & Residences – Get an herb-infused shea butter body treatment or a gemstone massage to soothe your aching muscles after a long day of skiing and snowboarding. The on-site fitness center features high-end exercise equipment to help you get in the best shape of your life.
- Himmel Spa at Fairmont Heritage Place, Franz Klammer Lodge – This European-style spa gives you access to trained spa therapists specializing in innovative facials, massages, body treatments, and more. Their fitness center has a modern weights training system and other high-end equipment. They also offer daily yoga classes with trained professionals.
- Telluride Yoga Center – Book a private or group yoga class at the center, where you can explore the fundamentals of yoga, further your practice, or adjust to injuries.
Festivals & events
- Telluride Comedy Festival (February)
- Telluride Literary Arts Festival (May)
- Telluride Balloon Festival (June)
- Telluride Bluegrass (June)
- Telluride WOW Festival (June)
- Telluride Plein Air Festival (June-July)
- Telluride Wine Festival (June-July)
- The RIDE Festival (July)
- Telluride Jazz Festival (August)
- Telluride Film Festival (August-September)
- Telluride Film Festival (August-September)
- Telluride Blues & Brews Festival (September)
- Telluride Festival of Cars & Colors (September)
- Telluride Fire Festival (December)
- New Years Eve Torchlight Parade (December)
Climate & weather
Peak seasons span from June thruSeptember and November to April. The summer and winter seasons allow residents and visitors to attend popular festivals and experience world-class skiing. The population swells during this time, where all businesses are open.
- Winter provides the ideal conditions for skiing and snowboarding with average
temperatures ranging from the single digits to the mid-40s.
- Summer is marked by average temperatures hovering between the mid-50s and low 70s, which are suitable for hiking and biking.
Off-season spans from April to early June and from October to early November, which are the town’s spring and fall seasons. Many shops and restaurants close down during the off-season, and the town is quieter with fewer people.
- Spring is short with temperatures hovering from the low 50s to the low 70s, though snow sometimes lingers up through April. Once the snow melts, residents can enjoy kayaking, whitewater rafting, fly fishing, paddle boarding and other water activities.
- The autumn season also tends to be short-lived with average temperatures ranging from the mid-20s to the mid-60s. Those visiting Telluride in the autumn are rewarded with the sight of aspen trees briefly flashing their golden leaves in late September before shedding their leaves by the end of October.
Cost of living
With its reputation as a luxury vacation spot, it comes as no surprise that the cost of living in Telluride is higher than the national average, with housing as the main ontributing factor in living expenses. But the cost of living is a small price to pay for the quality of life that residents enjoy. The median household income is also higher than the U.S. average, which helps offset the relatively higher cost of living.
Residents are served by the Telluride School District No. R-1, which lists an estimated 911 students in grades PK-12. The district aims to provide children with quality education and the resources they need to meet their full potential.
Some of the schools in and around town include:
- Telluride Elementary School
- Telluride Intermediate School
- Telluride Middle-High School
- Telluride Mountain School
As a resort town, the hospitality, accommodations, and food and beverage services industries are the largest economic sectors in Telluride, followed by retail, trade, and education.
Telluride is also a wonderful place to do business and invest in rental property, with peak season drawing hundreds of thousands of high-spending tourists each year.
Work with a Realtor and top-tier broker who can open doors for you in the exclusive housing market. The T.D. SmithTeam brings “Mountains of Experience” to the table, having been in the industry for 49 years.
My real estate career started in 1971 with the Telluride Company (also known as the Telluride Ski and Golf Company). My team and I have closed nearly $200,000,000 in transactions over the last few years, showing great proficiency at representing elite properties.
Wall Street Journal/Real Trends ranked us 22nd in Colorado in 2016, and I was the only Telluride broker to appear in the top 100 rankings. I also received the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Telluride Association of Realtors in 2007 for my valuable contributions to the local real estate industry.