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The main attraction in Durango is undoubtedly a steam-train trip on the famous Durango & Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad. And of course there is Durango & Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad Museum, set in the Durango & Silverton rail yard, where you can climb aboard a locomotive, caboose, or parlor car. There is also tons of railroad memorabilia, including railroad art, photographs, lanterns, and conductors’ uniforms complete with watches and belt buckles. You can buy a separate ticket, or stop by after you ride the railroad.
But there are also many other things to see. The Animas Museum, for instance, is set in a 1900s stone schoolhouse and run by the La Plata County Historical Society. Exhibits include a classroom from that time period, as well as a restored 1870s log cabin and ever-changing displays that represent the local history, the American West, and the American Indians. Visitors can also peruse the photo archives, or purchase books on history and culture, or local arts and crafts.
The Center of Southwest Studies Museum is set on the Fort Lewis College campus, and features several Southwestern artifacts. The highlight is textiles woven hundreds of years ago by Hispanic, Puebloan, and Navajo weavers.
For a change of pace, check out the Durango Fish Hatchery and Wildlife Museum, where you can see mounted birds and other native wildlife, as well as visit and feed the trout. Run by the Colorado Division of Wildlife, there is also a video on fish hatchery operation.