Overview of Durango
The Denver and Rio Grande Railroad. Durango’s fascinating history begins with its origin as a mining town and support settlement for smaller mining towns in the San Juan region, such as Silverton to the north. The Durango and Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad was constructed as a line of access between the two towns to ship precious metals out of the Rocky Mountains.
Today, the Narrow Gauge Railroad carries passengers from around the world to spectacular views hidden in the San Juans. Upon arriving to Silverton, visitors can explore sky-high mountains and ghost towns. Exploring Silverton is truly a walk through history. It is here that the whispers of the Old West become present-day wonders.
Modern-day Durango is a mecca for the adventurous. The surrounding Rockies cradle our little town giving each visitor a 360-degree view of mountains and mesas boasting endless trails to explore. Home of Fort Lewis College, the community is especially close-knit and supportive of neighbors, friends, and family. Durango strives to emulate what Western hospitality means and looks forward to each season of travel, yearning to share our beloved home with visitors from all around.
The Durango and Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad snakes through caverns, down canyons, and along cliffs on its way to historic Silverton, promising breathtaking views around every corner. The train follows the Animas River and passes rafters ready to take on rapids. Many of the rafting companies advertise jeep tours into remote regions of our Rockies.
Whether you’re a hiker, camper, mountain biker, nature enthusiast, or one who encompass all of these passions, each day in Durango contains a multitude of opportunities to thrill the everyday explorer.
When you stay at the Rochester Hotel and Leland House, you’ll find adventure at your fingertips by simply stepping out the door. We encourage you to find your own expedition and are proud to host all types of sojourners!
Live Like a Local
Durango offers many unique dining experiences throughout town. Whether it’s pub food, a fancy dinner date or a cool setting to have a drink, Durango has them covered just within it’s downtown grid. Between Main Ave and 2nd Ave, there are plenty of places for guests to eat, drink, and be merry. This easy access to great cuisine allows visitors to really immerse themselves into the culture of the Southwest and have an authentic Durango experience. With so many places to eat, it’s important to note that our staff can also make reservations for guests upon request.
Steamworks: An award-winning brewery with delicious pub-style food. A must-visit for anyone coming to town if they want to experience modern-day Durango’s culture.
The Bookcase and Barber: By day they’re a barber shop, but by night they turn into Durango’s only speakeasy, where a password is required to enter. This password can be found on their website or Facebook page.
El Moro: This tavern has been around since Durango was established, and they pride themselves for keeping their historic culture alive through delicious food in a historically restored restaurant.
11th Street Station: With live music, a bar, and multiple food trucks, 11th Street offers guests a tailored experience and a lively culture based on their own preferences.
Dandelion Café (formerly the Cyprus Cafe): Located next to the Leland House, this Mediterranean style café prides themselves on farm-to-plate foods for a fresh, light, meal.
Annual Rochester Events
Held in our very own Secret Garden, this summer concert series allows The Community Foundation to raise money for nonprofits in the area. Ten nonprofits are chosen, and each Wednesday from late-June through August a concert is held in the garden where the cover charge is donated to the chosen nonprofit for that night.
This event pushes the citizens of Durango to shop locally in order to boost the economy in the winter months. Originally this event started as a way to help those affected by the Missionary Fire in 2002, but since then it has become a way for the locals to understand how their buying power affects the city.
Iron Horse Classic
Held during Memorial Day weekend, the Iron Horse Classic is a group of biking events. The most popular event is the 50-mile race against the train, which starts in Durango and ends in Silverton.
Autumn Arts Festival
Held on 2nd Ave, this festival is a chance for artists to display and sell their work. This is also accompanied with live music on the mainstage and food booths surrounding the artists.
Rotating Artists in the Lobby
Approximately every four months, we enjoy showcasing a new artist and featuring their art the lobby of the Rochester Hotel . We hold an opening night, allowing the artist to come and discuss their work.
Durango Wine Experience
Nothing says “Hello Spring” better than the Durango Wine Experience. This weekend-long event is all about wine and food and benefits a local charity.