Tucked away in a box canyon, Telluride is a little gem lauded for its excellent ski resort but also for its numerous diverse festivals that are held across the year, but mostly during the Fourth of July Celebration. A former Victorian mining town, today Telluride is regarded as one of the most alluring destinations to experience nature adventures equally. Travelers normally come here for its crisp air, mountainous landscapes, and historical landmarks including the ubiquitous Victorian houses and Sheridan Opera House. The welcoming and authentic nature of the locals has no doubt made this place, unlike others. Whether you’ll like to enjoy a live Americana roots music entertainment, some blues or jazz, food or wine, and even yoga, there is plenty to discover in Telluride. Below is a list of Telluride top summer festivals to consider:
The Ride Festival in Telluride
Can you imagine yourself swinging to the rock ‘n’ roll smack in the middle of a spectacular mountainous landscape? Well, this can be possible in Telluride where the magic happens in July during the RIDE Festival which is a family-friendly gathering that connects music aficionados with their favorite artists. Here you not only celebrate music but you are also exposed to the rugged landscapes composed of the San Juan Mountains, meandering rivers, and spellbinding waterfalls. The best part is you get to stay in a camping tent where you get many opportunities to mingle with like-minded people during the festival. The highlight is undoubtedly the late-night live music shows which take place in an intimate setting at historic venues.
Website: The Ride Festival
When to go: July
Telluride Mushroom Festival
You might not hear it from the mainstream academic talks and seminars, but you are sure to learn more about mushroom when you attend the Telluride Mushroom Festival which happens annually. From medical doctors to anthropologists, and psychonauts, many curious minds out there come together to unveil the mystery of microdosing and its benefits to the health. Of course with the wide abundance of mushrooms in the wild of Telluride it certainly becomes daunting to identify the edible ones, hence this festival comes in handy. There are many workshops where you’ll learn how to identify the right mushrooms. Each year the festival is based on a theme, for instance, the previous one was based on ‘Healing the Mind, Healing the Planet.’
Website: Telluride Mushroom Festival
When to go: August
Telluride Balloon Festival
A unique way to explore the picturesque vista of Telluride is hands down through a hot air balloon ride which you can try for free during the Telluride Balloon Festival. Though it might sound a little challenging to glide across the San Juan Mountains, the bird’s eye view is certainly going to be so worth it. Generally, the colorful balloons are launched at the sunrise, where visitors will get the chance to help to launch them up in the air. And in the night during the festival, you can feast your eyes on the gliding hot air balloons which glow in the dark sky. This is also a time to support young people in fundraising for school programs by buying hot chocolate, muffins, or coffee.
Website: Telluride Balloon Festival
When to go: June
Telluride Yoga Festival
A yoga retreat like no other-the Telluride Yoga Festival is a 4-day event where the main focus is on the body, mind, and spirit. And the best place to connect with nature is of course in the serene setting of Telluride. The aim of this festival is to build a healthy community of people who are seeking a balance in their life. So treat yourself with a new experience of yoga and meditation sessions, while you can equally indulge in outdoor activities such as hiking or mountain biking. Some of the perks not to miss are the free community yoga classes that are scheduled on the lawn, and there are also a plethora of books that have insightful information about classic yoga, and Ayurveda in the lobby area. Reach out to experienced teachers where they give inspirational talks and share their experiences.
Website: Telluride Yoga Festival
When to go: June
Telluride Plein Air Festival
It’s easy to understand why Telluride has become a popular destination among renowned artists. With its sublime alpine setting, it’s no wonder that the Plein Air Festival is organized in this charming town. Plein air means ‘in the open air’ in French. And it was during the 1870s where Plein Air painting was popularized among the impressionists to recreate the beauty of nature through vivid colors. During the one-week festival, about 25 nationally famous artists come to participate in painting competitions. This is a unique time to contemplate live painting sessions. At the end of the festival, there will be sales of incredible masterpieces.
Website: Telluride Plein Air Festival
When to go: June
Telluride Blues & Brews Festival
From an eclectic mix of music genres ranging from blues, rock, indie, funk, and gospel to soul performances, not to mention a myriad variety of brews to taste, the Telluride Blues & Brews Festival is a must-go. Experience an outdoor concert in the gorgeous setting of Telluride Town Park where late-night shows are organized. And if you’re a morning person do not miss the free morning yoga sessions. Food lovers will surely find some interesting food outlets where local cuisine is a highlight. And if you’re feeling enough energetic then head to the mountain for a hiking or mountain biking adventure to explore the off-the-beaten paths of Telluride.
Website: Telluride Blues & Brews Festival
When to go: September
Telluride Festival of Cars and Colors
If you happen to be an automobile aficionado then the Telluride Festival of Cars and Colors have some great surprises in store for you. Think classic Concours, vibrant red Aston Martin cars, and vintage cars placed against the contrasting mountain views. A 4-day festival which normally occurs in several venues such as the historic downtown Telluride, the Mountain Village, and at Telluride Regional Airport. Don’t forget to bring your cameras for some incredible pictures.
Take place: September