Hotel at a Glance: Windsor Hotel & Restaurant
Built in 1874 at the base of the San Juan Mountains, the Windsor Hotel is one of Colorado’s oldest hotels. It narrowly avoided destruction in 1993—the wrecking ball was literally waiting on the curb before a local couple intervened. Since then, it has undergone a full restoration, complete with a “turn-of-the-century” parlor, renovated guest rooms, and a living-history interpretive area. One of the best places to enjoy the property’s mix of old and new is in the outdoor courtyard: kick back on an old wooden bench and breathe in the fresh mountain air.
- Luxurious guest rooms feature period furniture, Victorian-style tiles, and natural marble showers.
- Locally sourced cuisine at The Dining Room incorporates Haefeli’s honey, Gosar organic sausage, and Off Family Ranch all-natural beef.
- Try specialty cocktails made with Colorado spirits and liqueurs at Bistro BARbara; its Old Fashioned is also popular.
- The onsite art gallery is stocked with Western-themed oil paintings and wildlife sculptures.
- Find one-of-a-kind collectibles such as antique wooden hutches and animal hides at the Colorado Cowgirls shop in the hotel.
- Distance to Rio Grande National Forest: 34 miles
- Wolf Creek Ski Area, less than a 40-minute drive away, boasts up to 5 feet of snow in some areas.
Del Norte, Colorado: Quiet Mountain Town with Hiking and Top-Notch Fishing
A prosperous mining and ranching town during the late 1800s, Del Norte was in the running to become Colorado’s state capital seat before Denver won out. Since its industrial peak, the town has quieted down quite a bit, and we’re all the better for it.
Del Norte is situated at the base of the beautiful San Juan Mountains, a small mountain community that serves as a gateway to recreation year-round, including hiking, biking, and rafting along the Upper Rio Grande. The river is also a renowned fishing spot—its “Gold-Medal waters” are filled with brown, rainbow, and brook trout. Southern Colorado’s Great Sand Dunes, the tallest dunes in North America, are located an hour east of Del Norte, too, and Rio Grande National Forest offers camping and wildlife viewing about 30 miles away.
There’s also plenty of local culture to soak up in the city as well. The nearby Creede Repertory Theatre stages contemporary and classic performances throughout the year, and you can admire views of picturesque mountain valleys during a ride aboard the new Rio Grande Scenic Railroad train.