Top view of the architectural red and white exterior of Strater Hotel, one of the best places when choosing where to stay in Durango Colorado

Where to Stay in Durango CO (Best Places & Areas in 2023)

I’m a Colorado local with solid advice on where to stay in Durango! 

There are so many things to do in Durango, and fortunately, plenty of available lodging. This mountain town has historic hotels and B&Bs, along with modern hotels and motels at all price points. In this guide, I suggest several of the best places to stay in Durango, as well as the best areas to find accommodation. 

Whether you want downtown amenities, a quiet getaway, or easy access to the outdoors, I’ve got you covered! Plus, at the end of this post, I share several travel tips to help you stay safe and save some cash. 

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Best Places to Stay in Durango

Just looking for a quick answer on the best places to stay in Durango? Here are my top picks: 

Ok, let’s do a deep dive into the best areas and neighborhoods in Durango: 

5 Best Neighborhoods & Areas to Stay in Durango

View of the Strater Hotel and mountain valley from across the main avenue of downtown Durango, Colorado
(photo: WorldPictures / Shutterstock)

If you’re visiting Durango for the first time, you’ll likely want to stay in historic downtown Durango. However, there are several other options depending on your plans. 

You can stay near Purgatory Resort, one of the best ski resorts in Colorado. Or book lodging closer to Mesa Verde, one of Colorado’s top national parks! Here’s where to stay in Durango for these activities and more.

Historic Downtown Durango

Exterior view of the vibrant yellow and white building of General Palmer Hotel in Durango, Colorado
(photo: Trever Gearhart / Shutterstock) 

👉 Best Area For Tourists | ✨ Best Downtown Durango Hotels: Strater HotelGeneral Palmer HotelRochester Hotel

Most of Durango’s points of interest, and many of the best places to stay in Durango, are in the historic downtown area. This includes the Durango & Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad, one of the most scenic train rides in Colorado

The area is walkable and you can stroll to bars, restaurants, shops, museums, and more. If you get tired, the historic Durango Trolley is a fun way to get around town and most routes are just $1.

Pros of Staying in Historic Downtown Durango:

  • Close to most Durango town attractions
  • Lots of great restaurants and bars
  • More than 80 historic buildings

Cons of Staying in Historic Downtown Durango:

  • Hotels can be pricey

📚 Historic Downtown Durango Mini Guide 📚
Best Area to Stay for Tourists
Google Map

Purgatory Resort

Sunset view at the Purgatory Ski Resort during winter
A gorgeous sunset at the resort! 

👉 Best Area For Skiing | ✨ Best Purgatory Resort Hotels: Purgatory Lodge CondosPurgatory Village at Durango Mtn ResortPeregrine Point

Like many of the best Colorado mountain towns, Durango features a nearby ski resort. There are several condos and apartments close to Purgatory Resort that make a great home base! The restaurant selection is slim, but most of the lodging here features fully-equipped kitchens.  

Pros of Staying in Purgatory Resort:

  • Close to skiing
  • Beautiful views
  • More room, usually with equipped kitchens

Cons of Staying in Purgatory Resort:

  • Not much nightlife
  • You’ll need a car to get to bars, restaurants, and other attractions

📚 Purgatory Resort Mini Guide 📚
Best Area to Stay for Skiing
Google Map

Fort Lewis College Area

Aerial view of Animas River valley and the neighborhood in Fort Lewis College Area

👉 Best Area For College Visits | ✨ Best Fort Lewis College Hotels: Nobody’s InnRochester HotelBest Western Plus Rio Grande Inn

Durango is one of the best cities in Colorado, complete with higher education opportunities. Fort Lewis College is a small liberal arts college with about 3,800 students. If you’re headed to town to visit the school, there are a few nearby spots where you can stay. Fort Lewis also has some great hiking and biking trails in the area!

Pros of Staying in Fort Lewis College Neighborhood:

  • Close to downtown 
  • Lots of outdoor spaces

Cons of Staying in Fort Lewis College Neighborhood:

  • Hotels can be pricey

📚 Fort Lewis College Mini Guide 📚
Best Area to Stay for College Visits
Google Map


Scenic view of Durango, Colorado during the fall with yellow colored leaves
Fall foliage is beautiful in Durango

👉 Best Area For Quiet Vacations | ✨ Best Hermosa Hotels: Apple Orchard InnJunction West Durango Riverside ResortDalton Ranch Golf Club Home

Hermosa is just north of Durango and is a water stop along the Durango and Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad. It’s also near the Durango Hot Springs, some of the best hot springs in Colorado. It’s a nice, quiet spot for a secluded vacation!

Pros of Staying in Hermosa Neighborhood:

  • Quiet
  • Beautiful views

Cons of Staying in Hermosa Neighborhood:

  • You’ll need to drive to bars, restaurants, and most attractions

📚 Hermosa Mini Guide 📚
Best Area to Stay for Quiet Vacations
Google Map

Mesa Verde Area

View of the cliff dwellings at the park in Mesa Verde Area
The cliff dwellings are the biggest draw at the park!

👉 Best Area For Visiting Mesa Verde | ✨ Best Mesa Verde Hotels: Far View LodgeMancos InnStarry Nights Ranch Bed & Breakfast

Mesa Verde National Park is one of the best places to visit in Colorado. Its closest town is Mancos. It’s a very small town, but you’ll be just 10 minutes from the park entrance. There are some shops, restaurants, and galleries in Mancos, but the big draw is definitely Mesa Verde and its iconic cliff dwellings.

Pros of Staying in Mancos Neighborhood:

  • Close to Mesa Verde National Park
  • Small town feel
  • Several shops and restaurants

Cons of Staying in Mancos Neighborhood:

  • Not much nightlife

📚 Mancos Mini Guide 📚
Best Area to Stay for Visiting Mesa Verde
Google Map

Tips for Staying in Durango

Sunset over a golf course near the lake with red rock cliffs in the background
There’s nothing like a summer sunset in Durango!

Layer Up

Colorado weather is notoriously fickle. Locals wear t-shirts while spring skiing, yet sometimes, we need winter jackets in August! Regardless of when you visit, pack several layers — plus a pack to carry them in when you want to take them off. 

📚 Related Reading: Colorado Packing List (22 Things You Might Forget to Bring)

Always Wear Sunscreen

It’s easy to forget about sunscreen on freezing winter days, but the worst sunburn I ever got was on a ski slope! Be sure to use a high-SPF sunscreen (this one is my favorite) for your face, and a sport sunscreen on your arms and legs if needed. 

Don’t Rely on Cell Phones

Cell service in Durango can be sketchy, especially in the surrounding mountainous areas. You may want to bring a map and either print out or screenshot any directions you need. Hike or travel with others and make sure you have a backup plan that doesn’t rely on phone service.

Scenic view of the mountain and ducks on the lake at Vallecito Reservoir in Durango, Colorado
Hotels in Durango are cheaper during the slower seasons

Book in the Off-Season

Durango is definitely a seasonal town. The historic train and Mesa Verde National Park are huge draws in summer, while winter sports make Durango popular in winter. You’ll find cheaper hotels in Durango and fewer tourists during the fall and spring. 

Watch the Parking Meters

Downtown Durango has parking meters that require money from 8 am – 6 pm every weekday. Weekends and most holidays are free. There are also some public lots and you can buy an overnight parking pass at the Durango Transit Center. 

🚗 Need a Vehicle? If you’re in need of a rental vehicle, look no further than Discover Cars. It’s the best tool to compare agencies and score the lowest rate.  

FAQs About Where to Stay in Durango

A steam train on the Durango & Silverton Railroad with a scenic view in the background during autumn
(photo: FloridaStock / Shutterstock)

Is Durango expensive?

Durango can be an expensive place to visit. Tickets to popular attractions like the Narrow Gauge Railroad and Purgatory Resort can add up. However, many outdoor activities are free. Durango hotels range from inexpensive to upscale. Consider visiting in the fall or spring for lower nightly rates. 

Durango also has a higher-than-average cost of living. However, it’s one of the best places to live in Colorado

Is it better to stay in Durango or Cortez?

It is better to stay in Durango than Cortez. Cortez is closer to Mesa Verde National Park, but Durango has many more options for tourists. There are a variety of hotels, restaurants, bars, and shops in Durango, as well as an inexpensive transit system. You’ll also be closer to attractions like the Narrow Gauge Railroad.

What is Durango, CO is known for?

Durango, CO is known for Purgatory Ski Resort and the Durango and Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad. However, there are many more things to do in Durango

The former mining town in southwest Colorado has also been featured in many movies. This includes the scene in Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid where they end up in the Animas River.


Hopefully, this has helped you narrow down where to stay in Durango. If you’ll be spending more time in the state, be sure to check out my guide to the best Colorado getaways!

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