durango colorado

Awards & Distinctions

Home Explore Awards

With its charm and natural beauty, as well as the passion of its citizens, Durango has earned, and continues to be honored with numerous awards and distinctive designations. Spend a few days in Durango and you'll understand why this community has been recognized in all these ways!


Durango Area Awards


2017 “Best Family Ski Resort – Purgatory”, Family Travel Magazine
2017 “Top-Rated Vacation Destinations in North America”, Expedia
2017 “Best Towns – Durango”, Cowboys & Indians Magazine
2017 “Best of the West – Durango”, Arizona Republic
2017 “Best of the Rockies Awards – Best Brewery: SKA Brewing”, Elevation Outdoors
2017 “Top Rated Ziplines – Soaring Tree Adventures”, Cowboys & Indians Magazine
2017 “Best Ski Town Breweries and Distilleries - Durango & SKA”, The Observer   


2016 “16 Best Places to Live in the U.S.”, Outside Magazine (July issue)
2016 “Best Train Experience in The West,” D&SNGRR, Sunset Magazine
2016 “America’s Best Train Journeys, Ranked” D&SNGRR #6, USA Today
2016 “10Best Reader's Choice Poll” D&SNGRR #2, USA Today
2016 “San Juan Skyway, one of Colorado's All-American Roads”, The Washington Post
2016 “Best Towns,” finalist, Outside Magazine
2016  “Top Adventure Town,” Sunset Magazine, finalist
2016 “America's 20 Best Small Towns for Christmas”, Cosmopolitan Magazine
2016 “Top Holiday Attractions Across America – Durango”, CBS News


“13 Most Affordable US Ski Towns for Rentals in Winter 2015-16”, TripAdvisor
“America’s 20 Best Small Towns for Christmas,” Country Living Magazine, #8
The Top 50 Small Towns in America,” Discount My Flights
“Top 12 Small Cities in Colorado,” 101usa.com
“Best Destination for Outdoor Enthusiasts” USA TODAY, #2
“10 U.S. Cities Where The Weather Is Perfect Year-Round,” Buzzfeed (6/29/15)
“Best Places to Start a Business in Colorado,” NerdWallet
“12 Budding Destinations in the Southwest,” TripAdvisor
“World’s 15 Most Scenic Train Rides,” D&SNGRR, MSN Travel
“100 Best Small Towns,” Durango #3, Livability.com
“10 Best Ski Towns in America,” Forbes
“2015 Top Western Towns,” #1 Western Town, True West Magazine


“Colorado's Most Improved Cities,” Safe Choice Security News
“Top 3 Livable Ski Towns,” Liftopia.com
“San Juan Skyway Best Motorcycle Trip,” 10Best and USA Today’s Readers' Choice contest
“Top 10 of the best waterfall runs in the U.S.,” Adrenaline Falls, Lime Creek, National Geographic
“Most Scenic US Bike Trails,” http://www.theactivetimes.com
“Best U.S. Cycling Town,” #8 town, 10Best Readers' Choice/USA TODAY
“NTA Favorite Scenic Railroad,” National Tour Operators Distinguished Dozen
“Top 10 Western Towns 2014,” True West Magazine
“Top 10 Sleigh Rides in North America,” Fox News
“Top Value Ski Spot In North America,” TripAdvisor Tripski Index


“10Best Readers' Choice,” nominees for Best Ski Destination, USA TODAY Travel Media Group
“America’s Best Bike Shops,” Mountain Bike Specialists, Bicycle Retailer and Industry News
“Top 18 Spots for Fall Color,” Sunset Magazine
“Downtown Colorado Inc. and Governor’s Awards for Downtown Excellence,” the City of Durango, Best Public Space Facility Award for the Durango Welcome Center
“AAA Inspectors' Favorite Historic Hotels,” Strater Hotel, AAA Three Diamond Classic Historic Hotel
“The Best Towns in Colorado for Young Families,” #9 Durango, Nerdwallet.com“5 Beautiful Places Every American Should Visit,” Today Show
“Top 10 Colorado Getaways:  Durango Mountain Resort,” ResortandLodges.com
“Municipal Leadership for Children and Families in Small and Mid-Sized Cities,” National League of Cities, Innovative Strategies--City of Durango Youth Engagement Program
“Top 10 Emerging Ski Town in North America,” National Geographic
“SASI-ONE Gold Medal Winner:  Destination Management Organization,” Agritourism and Heritage program, Shop America Salutes Innovation
“The New Company Town,” Forbes.com
“Favorite Scenic Railroad,” NTA Courier Gold Winner, Distinguished Dozen
“Best Colorado Ski Town,” Best Big Town, Elevation Outdoors
“Top 10 Western Towns 2013,” True West Magazine
“Top Value Ski Spot In North America,” TripAdvisor


“Best Places to Spend Christmas,” Travel + Leisure
“Best Holiday Destinations for Singles in the USA,” Tripify
“Top Christmas Town,” HGTV
“National Gold Medal Award for Excellence in the Field of Park and Recreation Management,” American Academy for Park and Recreation Administration
“Equitrekking Top 20 Ranch,” Wilderness Trails Ranch, Equitrekking Vacation Guide
“Top 10 North American Train Trips,” #1 Peak Experience, Durango & Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad, National Geographic
“Top 11 Colorado Tasting Rooms:  Ska Brewing Co,” Denver Post
Nominated for “Prettiest Painted Place in America,” Paint Quality Institute
Finalist: “The Best River Town in American,” Outside 
“Top ten 'micropolitan' area in U.S.” Policom
“Gold Level Bicycle Friendly Community,” League of American Bicyclists
Ten All−American Road Trips off the Beaten Path,” Yahoo.com
“BeerCity USA,” Examiner.com, Finalist City
“The 20 Best Small Towns in America,” Smithsonian.com
“Best New Adventure Hub: Runner -up,” Outside
“Dream Town: Durango,” Skiingmag.com
“Best of the West, Best Historic Hotel,” True West Magazine, General Palmer
“Top 10 US Travel Destinations for 2012,” Lonely Planet
“Distinctive Dozen,” NTA Courier, Durango & Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad, Gold Medal
“Ten Great Races in Amazing Places,” National Geographic, Iron Horse Bicycle Classic


"An international foodie's annual list of the year's best (and worst) food," Denver Post, Ore House
"Life is Better Here," Outside Magazine, Finest places you'd ever like to call home
"Award of Merit," American Association for State and Local History, La Plata County Historical Society
"Top 'micropolitan' area in U.S." Policom
"Best Places to Live," Men's Journal
"Top 200 Towns," Outdoor Life
"Top Ten Western Towns," True West Magazine


"Green Power Community" - Environmental Protection Agency
"Top Small Town for Meetings & Events," Meetings & Events
"Top Ten Ski Resorts to Down a Local Beer," Away.com
"The Top 20 Ski Resorts in America," Aroundme.com
"Town to Watch," True West Magazine


"Top 10 Places to Raise an Outdoor Child," Backpacker Magazine, CBS News
"Best Places to Live in Rural America," Progressive Farmer
"Top Ten Train Rides," Society of American Travel Writers
"The West's 20 Best Small Towns," Sunset Magazine
"America's 200 best Hunting and Fishing Towns," Outdoor Life
"Top 20 Romantic Getaways," Sunset Magazine


"Top 20 Resort," Conde Nast Traveler
"Top 10 Christmas Towns," HGTV
"Colorful Colorado Award," Governor's Award for Downtown Excellence
"Silver Level Bicycle Friendly Community," The League of American Bicyclists
"Governor's Award for Historic Preservation," Colorado Historical Society
"7 Great Mountains to Ski with Your Kids," Ski Magazine
"Top Ten Western Towns," True West Magazine


"Next Best Places to Ski, Live, Invest and Retire," Ski Magazine
"America's Dozen Distinctive Destinations," National Trust for Historic Preservation

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