We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

Need lots of guidance

Tuscaloosa, Alabama
7 posts
1 review
Save Topic
Need lots of guidance

Hello everyone! My husband and I are looking for an anniversary trip in late November/ early December. Neither of us have been skiing before. We're from Alabama and we have always dreamed of visiting Colorado. I've done lots of researching online and I'm still unsure of our best options. Where is the best place to visit for beginners? And just in case skiing doesn't turn out to be our thing, we would like to be in close proximity to other activities. Also, we would like to rent a car so we can drive around and explore but we're concerned about driving conditions. I've fantasized about staying in a little mountain town, with cute little shops and restaurants. Does anyone have any suggestions?

Mentioned in this post
Colorado
Colorado
United States
WestSlope,CO
Destination Expert
for Colorado
Level Contributor
11,127 posts
169 reviews
Save Reply
1. Re: Need lots of guidance

Hi, MillsRN and welcome to the Colorado forums.

One reason you're having trouble finding your best place is that there are so many great options! Since you want to stay in a little mountain town, and likely will want to do some things other than skiing every day, here's a suggestion to narrow things down a bit. Look for real towns that are near ski areas or resorts, rather than "ski villages" that have built up at ski resorts. Either that, or divide your time with part of your trip at a resort and part of your trip at another location.

Frisco would be an example of a cute town near ski resorts. Pagosa Springs is a great town near Wolf Creek Pass ski area, which generally has great early snow and is one of the most reasonably priced ski areas. Glenwood Springs and Steamboat Springs are a little bit larger towns with ski areas/resorts nearby. Redstone is a picturesque, historic little village near Sunlight and the Aspen mountains...and of course, Aspen itself fits the "town" requirement. Breckenridge and Crested Butte suit your wishes perfectly, as would my personal fave, Telluride. For romantic charm, spectacular scenery, and ease of skiing, Telluride can hardly be beat. (Mountain Village is the ski resort area, and you can stay at either location and easily access the other, as they are connected by a free gondola.)

Mentioned in this post
Colorado
Colorado
United States
Frisco
Frisco
Colorado
Redstone
Redstone
Colorado
Aspen
Aspen
Colorado
Telluride
Telluride
Colorado
Charleston, South...
Destination Expert
for Charleston, South Carolina, Telluride
Level Contributor
12,574 posts
44 reviews
Save Reply
2. Re: Need lots of guidance

Telluride sounds like exactly what you are looking for. The town is 100 plus years old, not a brand new ski town. There are many historic buildings and even the newer buildings are designed to "fit in". Lots of cool little shops, restaurants, etc Drop dead gorgeous scenery.

Mountain Village is a new ski town, but the 2 are connected by the gondola. The easier (beginner) skiing is more on the Mountain Village side of the mountain.

Driving should not really be a problem ~ all roads are paved, state maintained roads that are kept plowed, etc. You can always rent a 4 wheel drive vehicle if you are concerned. Or you could take the shuttle from the Montrose airport to Telluride and not even have to drive. However, if you want to venture over to Ouray (well worth the 1 hour drive) you will need a vehicle. Ouray is also a quaint mountain town, but does not offer any skiing.

To get to this area of SW Colorado you generally fly into Montrose. Durango is an option also, but is further away.

www.visittelluride.com

www.telluridemuseum.org

www.mountain-village.co.us

www.OurayColorado.com

www.visitmontrose.com

I am from the south also and this is by far, my favorite part of Colorado.

Edited: 14 October 2012, 15:29
Mentioned in this post
Montrose
Montrose
Colorado
Ouray
Ouray
Colorado
Colorado
Colorado
United States
Durango
Durango
Colorado
Colorado
Destination Expert
for Seven Mile Beach, Grand Cayman, Crested Butte, Gunnison
Level Contributor
7,972 posts
189 reviews
Save Reply
3. Re: Need lots of guidance

I would also suggest trying cross country skiing when you're considering other activities to do while on vacation. The learning curve is much shorter than alpine skiing and so essentially you can just walk around on snow covered trails in nature with little or no experience. Alpine skiing can be a difficult (and painful) sport to pick up. Cross country (or Nordic) skiing is far less painful for first-timers. Even the boots are about as comfortable as normal shoes compared with the "frankenstein" boots for alpine skiing. Plus, the privacy of being out with your husband by yourselves in the forest tends to be a far more romantic experience compared with crawling around on a crowded ski slope trying to find your errant skis.

My home resort is Crested Butte so I'll put another plug in for skiing here. We also have extensive networks of hundreds of miles of nordic trails. Last xmas I had family out visiting. They were beginner skiers and picked up nordic skiing within a few minutes. I wound up taking them out twice to nordic skiing (plus 4 days alpine) and they said that it was the best two days of the trip. No need for lift tickets, no worries about lift lines and the gear rental was $12-15.

Colorado Springs...
Level Contributor
4,867 posts
1 review
Save Reply
4. Re: Need lots of guidance

You got a lot of useful information. One caveat: Most of the places mentioned are 8,000ft and above. So, be sure that altitude is not a problem for you. Steamboat Springs is around 6,000ft, but snow conditions may not be as good at the time of your planned visit as in the other higher locations.

Mentioned in this post
OK
Level Contributor
222 posts
1 review
Save Reply
5. Re: Need lots of guidance

Durango might also be a choice. Durango is a nice little town (although, maybe not as cute as some of the others mentioned) and we really enjoy Durango Mountain Resort for skiing. You can stay up at the ski resort or down in Durango - they are about 30 minutes apart.

I think the train still runs in winter? Someone else can probably say for sure about that. That would be a fun non-skiing activity. There are hot springs close.

Mentioned in this post
Durango
Durango
Colorado
Colorado
Destination Expert
for Colorado
Level Contributor
14,191 posts
64 reviews
Save Reply
6. Re: Need lots of guidance

Another chiming in for Frisco. Very charming less costly than Aspen / Telluride. More of a local feel. They do have the Adventure center which offers never ever lessons in a much less intimidating environment.

www.townoffrisco.com/adventure-park/winter/

You'd be minutes from all sorts of activities. I will disagree about Cross Country being "easy" to me it gives a whole new meaning to "steep"! I do love it, though I never go to the Nordic Center just hiking trails. Snowshoeing really is like walking. Tons of places to snowshoe around Frisco.

http://www.dinnersleighrides.com/ is a fun and memorable night out.

http://www.hotelfrisco.com is right on the cute little Main street.

Frisco is just s few miles from Breckenridge, which will be more $$ but fun for walking around.

Mentioned in this post
Frisco
Frisco
Colorado
Vail Nordic Center
Vail Nordic Center
3 Reviews
Vail, CO
Main Street
Main Street
1,542 Reviews
Breckenridge, CO
Colorado
Level Contributor
787 posts
3 reviews
Save Reply
7. Re: Need lots of guidance

I would recommend you deciding which airport you intend to fly into. That (your budget) might help to narrow down the choices. Denver might be quite a bit less expensive than Aspen, Durango or Telluride. You will have a lot more choices of airlines to Denver than to the smaller airports (Southwest flies B'ham to Denver). Summit County (Breck, Copper, Keystone, Frisco) is just a couple hours drive from Denver on an Interstate that is usually not a difficult drive for people that are not used to driving in the mountains. Driving to Telluride from the closest airport can sometimes be difficult (especially in heavy snow) for drivers not used to the mountains.

Also, I wouldn't recommend cross country skiing unless you are extremely fit, are a runner, and work out every day (including lifting weights). Cross country skiing will use muscles that you didn't even know existed, and will make you sore for the remainder of your trip. I have friends that live at 5000ft, work out daily, and are mountain bikers, that were sore for days after their first time at cross country. It's lots of fun, but just keep in mind that it is a lot more exercise than it looks like, and you will not be at sea level.

Mentioned in this post
Denver
Denver
Colorado
Durango
Durango
Colorado
Telluride
Telluride
Colorado
Summit Inn
Summit Inn
169 Reviews
Frisco, CO
Breck Inn
Breck Inn
311 Reviews
Breckenridge, CO
Keystone
Keystone
Colorado
Frisco
Frisco
Colorado
Tuscaloosa, Alabama
7 posts
1 review
Save Reply
8. Re: Need lots of guidance

Thank you all for your wonderful suggestions! Obviously, we have a lot to think about. Frisco sounds like a great option. Again, thank you all for your wonderful expertise.

Mentioned in this post
Frisco
Frisco
Colorado
Colorado
Destination Expert
for Colorado
Level Contributor
14,191 posts
64 reviews
Save Reply
9. Re: Need lots of guidance

You are welcome, let us know how it goes. To Frisco I'd recommend that you stay in the historic section, not the newer part by the highway. In addition to the Hotels there are numerous condo options too.

http://rockies.craigslist.org/

vrbo.com/vacation-rentals/…Bedrooms

Mentioned in this post
Frisco
Frisco
Colorado
10. Re: Need lots of guidance

-:- Message from TripAdvisor staff -:-

This topic has been closed to new posts due to inactivity. We hope you'll join the conversation by posting to an open topic or starting a new one.

To review the TripAdvisor Forums Posting Guidelines, please follow this link: http://www.tripadvisor.com/pages/forums_posting_guidelines.html

We remove posts that do not follow our posting guidelines, and we reserve the right to remove any post for any reason.

Removed on: 15 December 2013, 09:17