The curators of the Telluride Jazz Festival use a very particular word to define their annual event—“celebration.” That joyful spirit permeates the three-day happening, which lauds the American art form by welcoming some of the jazz world’s brightest luminaries for performances in a stunning setting. Blue notes ring through a verdant field surrounded by the San Juan Mountains, providing a picturesque backdrop for audiences lounging in chairs or atop nature’s chair: grass. Sunshine gilds lively tunes throughout the day, while at night, visitors can explore additional sets at intimate venues throughout the town. A yearly parade brings the weekend to its jubilant peak as bands wind down Colorado Avenue toward the Town Park Stage.
Despite the extravagance suggested by its name, Bacchanale focuses on simple, modest dishes inspired by the Italian countryside. Though the menu changes seasonally, it often features artisan flatbreads, seasoned steaks, and hearty pastas topped with everything from butternut squash to wild boar. Like the cuisine, the decor falls somewhere between simple and elegant. Modern accents are offset with neoclassical ones, such as a bar reminiscent of a palace portico and a bearded philosopher who leads guests to their table.
Less than half a mile from the hotel, Telluride Ski Resort features 1,700 skiable acres of light powder snow blanketed across the San Juan Mountains. The Village Express escorts patrons to beginner and intermediate terrain, Village Bypass is a smooth, easier ride, and Humboldt Draw trail has a bumpy, sinuous track. Plunge lift presents sprawling views of the area and ascends the mountain's westernmost peak, which is angled with steep drops. The moderate-terrain Ute Park Express is a good place to start for aspiring freestyle skiers, who can test out its basic jumps and ride-on boxes. Telluride is known to enjoy a texturally consistent snow base, and its remote location renders lines and vagrant snowmen nearly nonexistent.The town's roots as a revolutionary mining village and a Wild West saloon market are put on display at Telluride Historical Museum, which resides fewer than 10 miles from The Peaks Resort. Built in 1896 as a community hospital, the landmark houses artifacts including mining equipment, Victorian architecture models, and remnants of the Ute Indian culture.