Found in a setting of breathtaking beauty in Colorado’s San Juan Mountains, Ouray brings pleasure to you and your family in both the summer and winter months. There are always sightseeing tours, off-road tours for all-terrain and four-wheel drive vehicles, and tours on horseback. Hike the Box Canyon and view the waterfall there, or enjoy the many trails, including the Lower Cascade Trail and Falls, the Horsethief Trail, the Perimeter Trail, and Red Mountain Pass. Bring the kids to the ghost town of Animas Forks, and explore the old Yankee Girl and Bachelor – Syracuse Mines. Luxuriate in the thermal pools at Wiesbaden and Ouray Hot Springs and Baby Bath Tubs.

Vacation rentals in Ouray range from one bedroom suites to mountain condos, studios with kitchenettes or stone homes with second-floor verandas to lovely, gingerbready Victorian cottages. Choose from these 10 locations to find just the right spot for your next vacation.

1. Telluride

Come for the skiing and stay for the film festival, but know that Telluride offers much more than these attractions. Bear Creek Falls, Jud Wiebe Trail, and the Bridal Veil hike beckon for nature lovers. Even the city’s unpresuming Main Street offers fantastic views of the mountains as well as shops and stores. The village gondola that takes you and the family up the mountain is free, and you’ll never forget the views.

2. Loghill Village

Situated on the majestic Log Hill Mesa, this community is an attraction for the nature lovers in your family. The land is filled with towering ponderosa pines, and an abundance of plants, flowers, and animals. Trails among the mesa allow for the best views. But if you love golf, check out the Divide Ranch and Club Golf Course and its club restaurant.

3. Lake City

Lake City is actually not far from Ouray, but you’ll need to drive around Uncompahgre Peak to get there. Even the trip is beautiful, and the long way around allows you to pass through several picturesque towns and the Curecanti National Recreation Area. Once at Lake City, visit the Visitor’s Center for some local history, then follow up with tours of the Hard Tack Mine and its museum. Take the kids to Sweety’s Wildlife Preserve Art Zoo, and charter a boat to catch trout and salmon on Lake San Cristobal.

4. Montrose

Montrose’s vacation rentals range from four bedroom penthouses to carriage houses, log cabins, and nice side gabled homes within walking distance of downtown. If you’re a steak lover, go to Ted Nelon’s Steakhouse or the Storehouse. The Horsefly Brewing Company serves delicious bar food. Montrose values its history, and its museums are dedicated to the old west and the Ute Indians. Bring the kids to the water Sports Park. They’ll love it, and love you for bringing them.

5. Ridgway

Not far north of Ouray, Ridgway is the home of the Orvis Hot Springs and Ridgeway State Park, where you and your family can hike and fish. The Last Dollar Road is a scenic drive that takes people to Telluride. You can go up over the mountains in a hot air balloon, or white water raft in Gunnison Gorge.

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6. Silverton

As opposed to the Last Dollar Road, Silverton is the home of the Million Dollar Highway. Many people navigate this road on their way to Ouray. Full of amazing views, including forests, animals, and bodies of water, there are plenty of stops where you can get out and take a picture. Come in the winter and ski and snowboard on Silverton and Kendall Mountains, or do some cat skiing at the Silverton Powdercats. For food that’s filling, delicious and not quite good for you, go to Rocky Mountain Funnel Cakes.

7. Powderhorn

The name of this town suggests all kinds of winter sports opportunities, and it’s true. Stay at the family-friendly resorts in winter for the skiing and snowboarding, and return in the summer for biking, hiking, and lifts that reveal the amazing scenery. Vacation rentals include townhomes with cathedral ceilings and picture windows for views of the mountains and forests.

8. Norwood

About an hour’s drive to Ouray, Norwood is famous for its horseback tours, care of Many Ponies Outfit. You and your family can ride on gentle mounts through beautiful country, and break for lunch. Eateries in town are humble, with good filling food. They include the Happy Belly cafe and deli, Maggie, known for its great pizza, and the rib-sticking pub food at the Lone Cone.

9. Cimarron

Found on the edge of the Curecanti National Recreation Area, Cimarron is great for fishing and boating as the recreation area has two marinas and three reservoirs. Be sure to come in the winter for the ice fishing. Take the kids to see the old-fashioned boxcar, locomotive, and caboose at the D & RG Narrow Gauge Trestle, and fish the Cimarron River for trout, including brown, cutthroat and rainbow. Vacation rentals include log cabins with wrap around decks and chalets with window walls.

10. Dolores

A wealth of interesting sites and activities can be found in Dolores including the Anasazi Heritage Center and the Rio Grande Southern Railroad Museum. Bring the family to the McPhee Reservoir for boating and fishing, then shop at the Traditional Charm Antique Mall. For a good, hot cup of java, visit the Pony Expresso. If you crave Mexican food, head to the Montezuma Mexican Restaurant or Chavolitos.

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