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Telluride is first and foremost a city people come to play outside, ski the slopes, hike the mountains, raft the waters. But the origins of this mountain town go back to the mining days and the era of the gold rush. After the Spaniards discovered the area and the abundance of natural minerals, the town built up for the mining industry. The old west feel is still alive and well and taking time to learn about it will make your experience all the more enjoyable.
You can start by visiting the Telluride Historical Museum. Come and learn about the beginning of the town by exploring artifacts, hearing people's stories, and checking out the different exhibits. Or stop by the Ah Haa School for the Arts, a community arts center situated in Telluride's historic train depot. Founded in 1990, Ah Haa School offers year-round class with day and multi-day workshops in a variety of mediums from painting and clay to metals, cooking and dance. In addition to classes, Ah Haa School offers exciting exhibitions by local artists, lectures and visiting artist workshops.
Another fantastic stop is directly on Main Street, 130 East Colorado Avenue. The Telluride Gallery of Fine Art is the region's oldest established fine art gallery. Since 1985, they have exhibited internationally acclaimed artists and local artists alike. Don't miss their exhibitions of painters, photographers, and sculptors as well as their eclectic and extensive studio jewelry collection.
It's hard staying indoors when you're surrounded by the beauty of the San Juan Mountains. But fear not, you can still take time learning about the area while spending it outdoors. Historical walking tours are a great way to get the best of both of worlds in Telluride. Learn about the city's architecture and origins first hand. More information and tickets are sold at the museum mentioned above.
If you want to get off your feet for awhile but still want a tour, try a jeep tour. These high energy tours whip you around the mountains while your guide gives you the best information you could ask for on the area. Bring your camera and wear your seat belt! Try Telluride Outside for your guided jeep tour.