DETAILS Ouray, Colo.
GETTING THERE: The closest airport to Ouray is in Montrose, Colo., about 35 miles away. Several airlines, including United and US Airways, offer connecting service; round-trip fares begin at about $350, with restrictions, from the Washington area. If you're planning on renting a Jeep for your whole stay, it might be cheapest to take a taxi to Ouray (there's no shuttle) and get your vehicle upon arrival. If not, rent a car to get to Ouray, then rent a (more expensive) Jeep there.
JEEPING: Guided tours (with a driver) and rentals are available from several companies. A good choice is Switzerland of America Tours (226 Seventh Ave., 800-432-5337, http:/
WHAT ELSE TO DO: Ouray is surrounded by Uncompahgre National Forest and is near two of its protected wilderness areas: Mount Sneffels and Uncompahgre. Hiking Trails of Ouray County is an excellent fold-out map with trail descriptions. Details: http:/
Ouray's family-friendly Ho t Springs Pool and Fitness Center (1220 Main St., 970-325-7073; $8) has a water slide and a diving board. For more luxury and privacy, check out the Wiesbaden Hot Springs Spa & Lodgings (see below), which has one pool in a cave and two outdoors. Three hours' access to everything but one of the outdoor pools, which is private, costs $15, a steal.
WHERE TO STAY: By far my favorite place in town is the Wiesbaden Hot Springs Spa & Lodgings (625 Fifth St., 888-846-5191, http:/
Lovers of Victorian architecture and decor should investigate the Beaumont Hotel (505 Main St., 888-447-3255, http:/
Ouray has several good B&Bs, including the Manor Bed and Breakfast (317 Second St., 800-628-6946, http:/
I chose the best deal in town: Amphitheater Campground, in the woods just above town. The campground charges $16 for a tent site. They go fast, and the ones with the best views are reserved weeks in advance. Reservations (for an extra $9 fee): 877-444-6777.
WHERE TO EAT: Locals love the Bon Ton Restaurant (426 Main St., 970-325-4951, http:/
With its own chef, the Beaumont Hotel's Tundra Restaurant offers upscale dining in a Victorian atmosphere. Dinner entrees $18-$35. To try the handiwork of the same chef for less, go to Bulow's Bistro, in the hotel courtyard. Dinner entrees $14-$19, with a selection of tapas, sandwiches and soups for a bit less.
For steaks, seafood and a rollicking Old West flair -- one of John Wayne's cowboy hats is behind the bar -- try the Outlaw Restaurant (610 Main St., 970-325-4366, http:/
INFORMATION: Ouray Chamber Resort Association, 800-228-1876, http:/