Telluride Mountain Village vs Downtown

If you’re planning your first trip to Telluride, you’re probably not sure if you should stay in Downtown Telluride or Mountain Village. Travel between the two is easy, but determining the best area to make your base camp is a little more difficult. Each location offers different advantages to its guests. To help you decide, we’ve put together a brief guide to help you learn the differences between Telluride and Mountain Village and decide which town to stay in for your trip. As for vacation rentals in Telluride and Mountain Village, SilverStar has you covered for that, too!

Downtown Telluride and Mountain Village: Main Differences

The Town of Telluride is rich in history. What started as just another “Wild West” mining camp in the mid 1800s became a renowned ski town a century later. Mountain Village was established soon after this in the 1990s as a resort town resting above historic Telluride. The history of each location is still significant to this day. Downtown Telluride oozes character, with quaint historic buildings lining the streets and several local history museums. There is a wide variety of activities to enjoy right in Telluride, from the many summer festivals that take place in Town Park to the numerous easily accessible hiking trails to the nightlife scene in town.

Mountain Village was established purposefully as a luxury ski resort town and while it is by no means pretentious, the town does offer more of an upscale experience to those who lodge there. Telluride Ski Resort is located in Mountain Village and allows visitors access to all kinds of terrain as well as hosting ski lessons for all levels. Golf lovers will enjoy Mountain Village as well, since the resort also features a golf course. Lodging in Mountain Village is available either at luxury resorts or private rental properties. Many of the accommodations allow you to ski in/ski out. And if you’re looking for fine dining apres-ski, Mountain Village is the place to be.

If you’re feeling indecisive, remember that travel between Telluride and Mountain Village is extremely easy, so lodging in one will not prevent you from exploring the other. What makes travel between the towns so simple? The Gondola, of course!

woman in Telluride, CO when you book your next luxury vacation rental with SilverStar Telluride

How to Get from Telluride to Mountain Village

One of the area’s most unique features, the Gondola connects Downtown Telluride to Mountain Village above it. Built in 1996 after the incorporation of Mountain Village, the Gondola is free for all to use and only takes 13-15 minutes to ride. As the first of its kind in the US, the beloved Gondola system is not only convenient, but also offers incredibly beautiful views as you soar above the San Juans. The Gondola operates from 7 am to 12 am 7 days a week.

Is It Better to Stay in Telluride or Mountain Village?

Now that we’ve covered the basics of what Telluride and Mountain Village are like, as well as how to travel between the two, we come to the big question! Which town should you stay in? The answer to that is entirely subjective.

Town of Telluride

You might want to stay in Telluride if…

You want to be in the center of the action. At a Telluride vacation rental, you can step out your door and access a wide variety of shops, restaurants, bars, and activities – all within walking distance. In the summer, a number of local festivals are held right in Telluride.

You consider yourself a history buff. Telluride’s story, from mining town to ski town, is an exciting tale. History buffs will enjoy residing in a town that almost looks like it stepped out of the past. Compared to Mountain Village, the town of Telluride is certainly more unique.

You like to experience local nightlife. The fun in Telluride doesn’t stop when the sun goes down. The town offers you great nightlife after a long day exploring and adventuring. Since Telluride’s size makes it easily walkable, you don’t have to worry about driving back to your accommodations after enjoying drinks at the bars.

You seek an entirely unique ski vacation experience. Telluride’s charming historic appearance makes it stand out among other popular ski towns. Many ski towns look the same from one to the next, but not Telluride.

mountain village

You might want to stay in Mountain Village if…

Skiing is your main focus. While the Gondola and Lift make it easy for those lodging in Telluride to access the slopes above, staying in Mountain Village can put you only steps away from some of the best terrain in the country.

You prefer a more traditional ski village atmosphere. Mountain Village was designed as a pedestrian friendly European style resort village – more along the lines of what you’ll be used to if you often visit top ski spots.

You want peace and quiet. Staying in Telluride puts you among the action, but that can get noisy at times. If what you seek is a quiet, private retreat from the world, Mountain Village is the place for you. With many private residences available for rent, you can relax in a hot tub and enjoy the view without hearing everything that’s going on around town.

We hope we’ve made your decision of whether to book a stay in Telluride or Mountain Village a little easier! To find accommodation in either area, we welcome you to explore our own luxurious Telluride and Mountain Village rental properties. If you still need help deciding where to stay, feel free to give SilverStar a call at (970) 728-3001!