Telluride, Colorado and the San Juan Mountains at night Photo Credit: mdesigner125 (iStock).

This photo, taken from a unique angle, captures the town of Telluride (below) and nearby Mountain Village (above). The two areas are connected by gondola. Photo Credit: mdesigner125 (iStock).

Travel & Leisure recently published a list of the 11 'best small towns' in the United States and one Colorado spot made the cut.

Listed first on the un-numbered list of eleven is Telluride, Colorado, a former mining town turned adventure hot spot. Known as a year-round destination, hiking and off-road vehicle exploration are top picks for summer activities while the local resort attracts slopegoers from around the world come winter.

NEWSLETTER: Sign-up for daily headlines from OutThere Colorado here

Telluride is particularly unique in that it's surrounded by towering cliff walls and rugged mountain terrain – found at the end of a winding, remote road. With a population that's estimated to be around 2,500 residents, this destination embodies the 'ski town' vibe.

While the town might be small, the local ski resort is world-renowned, boasting 4,425 vertical feet and spanning 2,000 acres. One big draw of the resort is the ample amount of expert-level terrain – 41 percent of the runs at the resort with just 23 percent of the runs at the beginner level.

A tiny town found in the middle of nowhere with attributes that make a visit appealing to even the most seasoned traveler, it's no surprise that Telluride, Colorado made the cut for Travel & Leisure's 'best small towns' in America list.

Other spots on the list include Sedona, St. Augustine, and Mackinac Island. See the full list here.

Think another Colorado spot should have made the cut? Let us know in the comments.

NEWSLETTER: Sign-up for daily headlines from OutThere Colorado here

Director of Content and Operations

Spencer McKee is OutThere Colorado's Director of Content and Operations. In his spare time, Spencer loves to hike, rock climb, and trail run.


Get OutThere

Signup today for free and be the first to get notified on new updates.

(9) comments

Jackie Treehorn

Assuming you don’t have to actually find affordable housing on a working stiffs wages, yea it’s a great little place.


With all of the free press this website gives to Colofornia, these "Small towns" are nothing of the sort. They may have few residents, but have trust funds to live there. This state is nothing of what it used to be. It's growing too fast, expensive and those who "manage" it are rather clueless.


I was born and raised in southwest Colorado and remember when Telluride was accessible only by a gravel "highway" and was a true mining town. Over the years I've watched it turn into a place that is NO longer that true mountain town that is charming, comfortable and certainly NOT affordable for most. The mountains and scenery is stunningly beautiful, but Telluride no longer fits the description fitting a "hamlet". Sorry, but I think it's sad.




I have spent time in Tellluride since the mid-70's. I went to church camp and so did my kids at Ilium. While it is beautiful, the cost is prohibitive for many families. I would much rather stay in Gunnison County. It is every bit as beautiful and much more affordable.My heart belongs there!


Telluride? Who can afford to live there? I agree with Grand Junction, as it's beautiful and has everything one needs. Montrose is wonderful as well, and it's not too far away from Telluride if you want to VISIT!


Telluride can do much more to take care of their locals. They recently took away Healthcare Worker's lift ticket discounts. Yep, those $90 dollar discounted tickets being purchased by households earning less than 60k per year must have been bankrupting the Megaresort. Its that or they didn't want "Those kinds of people" rubbing elbows with the wealthy. Telluride is all about Los Angeles, New York City and Chicago and wants nothing to do with Grand Junction, Delta and Montrose.


Re: Telluride

What about Lake City? We have just about every activity you can think of both summer and winter. Also, its remote and gorgeous here. We are not nearly as expensive as Telluride or Vail or Aspen. Plus, the people are friendly and caring.


Re best small town being Telluride. I like Telluride and skied there in the seventies. Now, no average person can afford a ski vacation there, much less buy or rent a home.

Telluride is for billionaires and multimillionaire. I think a more average town that people can afford is what should make the list. How about Grand Junction with great biking, fishing, Coronado National Monument wineries and fruit orchards a short distance away?

Welcome to the discussion.

Keep it Clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
Don't Threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
Be Truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
Be Nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
Be Proactive. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
Share with Us. We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts, the history behind an article.