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Our Favorite 10 Best FREE Things to do in Durango

As you may have heard through the grapevine, our incredibly mild and dry weather makes Durango, Colorado a year-round destination for visitors from around the world. All four seasons offer something for everyone. And, if you are fortunate enough to live here, you know this first-hand.

We moved our young family here from Florida nearly 29 years ago in the middle of January and have never regretted that decision. We spend much of our free time outdoors – all year long – enjoying the weather and our incredible scenery!

Summer is delightful in Durango. Warm sunny days give in to cool nighttime temps. Rarely, do we not need a blanket while sleeping, because the temperatures drop between 30 and 40 degrees at night from the daytime highs.  Who doesn’t like cool nights for sleeping?

One of us at Gateway Reservations will occasionally write about all the fun, seasonal things to do around Durango, Colorado. And, since summer began a few days ago, I’ll start there. In addition to sunny, dry days and cool nights, I thought I’d share my family’s favorite summer activities, in no particular order, so you can get a feel for how the locals live. Most of these activities are free, unless otherwise noted. Here’s the first 10 that came to mind:

Haviland Lake Paddle Boarding

Paddle Boarding at Haviland Lake

  1. Walking our dog on one of the many nearby hiking trails that offer amazing views of town.
  2. Hike in the high country to enjoy the beautiful wildflowers and incredible mountain scenery.
  3. Paddle boarding on one of our nearby lakes.  My two favorites are Haviland Lake (about 18 miles north of Durango) or our newest reservoir, Lake Nighthorse (located only four miles south of downtown Durango – small entrance fee required).
  4. Rafting, kayaking, or tubing down the Animas River.
  5. Bike riding on the Animas River Trail. E-bikes can be rented locally.
  6. Strolling Main Avenue in downtown Durango in the early evening after enjoying a great meal at one of our amazing restaurants.
  7. Playing tennis with the majestic La Plata Mountains as a backdrop at our newest public courts at Fort Lewis College.
  8. Listening to live music Thursday nights at Buckley Park in Durango and Wednesday nights at the Rochester Hotel’s Secret Garden.
  9. Shopping the Durango Farmers Market (veggies, crafts, music and more) on Saturdays located at the TBK Bank’s parking lot on 9th St.
  10. Enjoying a cold crafted beer on the decks of one of many local breweries.Durango Brews

We love living here, and know you’ll love playing here. Call us for help planning your Southwest Colorado visit.  We’re always happy to help.