Explore Silverton, CO: A Haven of Scenic Beauty and Warm Hospitality

Explore Silverton, CO: A Haven of Scenic Beauty and Warm Hospitality

Silverton, Colorado: A Small Town In the San Juan Mountains.

Recently, I had the pleasure of traveling once again to the small town of Silverton, CO. It was a pleasure due to both the scenery AND the people you meet. My family and I typically  start our Colorado adventure in Durango, Co approximately an hour South of Silverton. We may spend a day and visit the shops before continuing on our way. The vibe in Durango is very different than the vibe in Silverton. In fact, locals seem proud of this difference and celebrate it. Call it a healthy family feud. Durango feels like the more hip and trendy small town vs. Silverton’s throwback to the old West. Don’t get me wrong, Silverton has its trendy coffee in The Coffee Bear (a must visit by the way), but is far more laid back.


On our first visit to the area, my family and I took the Durango-Silverton small gauge railroad train up into the San Juan mountains. There are two spurs to the train tracks – one into the mountains with a turn-around and one that visits Silverton for a few hours. Since we were planning a trip to Silverton we elected to try to San Juan spur. One word: Gorgeous! Fews that cannot be beaten. We rode in the open car for better access to the views. Seats are assigned, so you get one view in one direction and the opposite view from the return ride. Guard your space, because people will try to come to the view side on each leg of the journey.


On our second trip to the area we spent a week in Silverton. We stayed at the Teller House and enjoyed the hospitality of Shirley who runs the hotel. A nicer person you will not meet. What a treat it is to have people care. Getting to know Shirley a little bit more each time we ventured out or returned from our day was a delight. I highly recommend the Teller House and say hello to Shirley for us.


Each day the Durango & Silverton train visits Silverton with a load of passengers eagerly seeking a lunch meal and a walk about town. The locals can set their watches by the punctuality of the comings and goings of the train. Sometimes two and even three trains a day visit Silverton. Make sure you get lunch before the train crowd hits! Once the crowd dies down and the train folks leave the town is  much quieter. To me, that meant a great time to visit the shops and get to know the shop keepers. Let me tell you, a nicer group of people you will not meet. I know I said that before, but it is true. Ask them about their town and most will be happy to give you a cool story or bit of history. Some shop owners are even authors of the books they sell. If you buy one, they will sign it for you.


A few shops I would like to note and recommend you visit. You will see more unique items and get a better sense of the town starting with

  1. Ye Olde Livery 2 (owner Edith and shop manager Brent). Tell Brent Hi for me. Very cool gentleman.
  2. The Silverton Train Store (owner Bob). You will see an amazing collection of train art and train gear. Bob is also an author.  Make sure to pick up one of his novels.
  3. The Orange Crate Too (owner Teki). This is another unique collection of gift ideas. In fact, Teki is related to store owner Edith just down the road.
  4. Henry Smith’s Gifts. We cannot forget Heidi and Teki’s sister Edith who owns the Henry Smith’s gift shop. I purchased a really cool carved bear from them and it proudly sits on my desk. I really enjoyed the locally made items and the fact that the inventory was different than most.


And with all of these examples you will experience small town hospitality and care in your shopping and at checkout. Whether you are visiting on the train and only have a moment or staying in town for a bit and have time to chat, please, please make sure you have these shops on your list to visit. You will be glad you did.


Enjoy Silverton, Co


Silverton Chamber of Commerce

Durango Chamber of Commerce

The Silverton Train Store

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