Unlike resort towns like Aspen, Vail and Telluride, Silverton isn't a town that oozes "romantic charm." Silverton attracts bearded, tried-and-true adventure types. However, if you know where to look, you can plan a romantic trip to this scenic mountain town in southwest Colorado.
You'll find quaint, Victorian-era bed and breakfasts lining Silverton's streets. The Animas Bed and Breakfast at the Wingate House (wingatehouse.com) offers Victorian-inspired lodging with down comforters and pillows. Both private and shared-bath rooms are available, so be sure to specify. The Inn of the Rockies (innoftherockies.com) is another Victorian-era property that has 10 rooms, some with fireplaces and private baths, a tea room and an outdoor spa.
The town-owned Kendall Mountain is a small, inexpensive hill good for families and beginners, Kendall has skiing, snowboarding, sledding and tubing. (Silverton's primary resort, Silverton Mountain, is designed for advanced and expert skiers, and isn't the most romantic place to ski.) In the summer, consider taking a scenic train ride on the Durango & Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad (durangotrain.com). Rides begin and end in nearby Durango, providing round trip service to Silverton through mountainous backcountry. The train runs year-round, but doesn't make it all the way to Silverton in the winter.
One romantic attraction that you shouldn't miss in this part of the world is the Ouray hot springs. Known as the "Switzerland of America," Ouray is a scenic mountain town 25 miles north of Silverton. Surrounded on three sides by sharp, 13,000-foot peaks, Ouray provides a romantic backdrop. The 250-by-150-foot public hot springs pool offers bathing and swimming within this breathtaking scenery. Telluride is a more built-up, cosmopolitan ski resort town near Silverton. You'll find a variety of activities including world-class skiing, dining, nightlife and shopping.
The Pickle Barrel (thepicklebarrel.com) bills itself as "Silverton's finest dining experience" and offers entrees like Prime Rib, Filet Mignon and Walnut Crusted Chicken. It is located in a historic building that dates back to 1880 and has a full bar and wine menu. Many of Silverton's restaurants are historic and blue collar establishments that capture the essence of Silverton's mining heritage, Durango, located an hour south of Silverton, has a more diverse selection of dining. It even boasts that it has more restaurants per capita than San Francisco.