When you glimpse the mighty San Juan Mountains hovering above the tiny town of Telluride, you'll understand why Oprah spends much of her free time here-winter and summer. The town's remote location creates an atmosphere that's refreshingly removed from the modern world. Most of the year, Victorian homes, friendly dogs and cozy shops set the tone on Main Street. But come May, downtown transforms into a festival hub.
The summer lineup kicks off with the 25th Annual Mountainfilm Festival (May 23-26), showcasing the world's best mountaineering and environmental films. Next up is the 30th annual Telluride Bluegrass Festival (June 19-22), which draws 11,000 music lovers annually. If it sells out before you read this, there's also the Blues and Brews Festival (Sept. 12-14).
Or skip the festival madness, and simply bask in the stillness of the sun-soaked San Juans, where you can pick your pleasure. Hike the 13-mile loop through fields of wildflowers along Sneffels Highline trail; horseback ride along Wilson Mesa; cast for trout in the Dolores River; mountain bike some of the 250 miles of rolling trails; or simply chill on one of the many outdoor restaurant and cafÈ patios. Visit Telluride this summer, and you'll quickly learn why so many festivals call this beautiful mountain town home.
•DON'T MISS Pack a picnic and kick back under the stars to the sounds of bluegrass, country, folk and more. The summer-long Sunset Concert Series in Mountain Village is free.
•BEST DEAL June 1-Oct. 1, three nights' lodging at The Inn at Lost Creek and one activity of your choice (horseback riding, a 4x4 tour, a mountain bike rental) starts at $345 per person, double occupancy. 888-601-5678; innatlostcreek.com