Shop-Eat-Play in Ridgway

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[SW Colorado | July 2020 | By Mary Menz]

Restaurants and businesses are open in Ridgway with the state’s Covid-19 safe distancing and mask-wearing (ever-changing) guidelines in place.

Whet Your Appetite with Hiking, Biking, and Water Sports

Rat Trail above Dennis Weaver Park

RAT trail above Dennis Weaver Park. Image, ©Rusty Weaver.

Walkers and cyclists can start their adventure from Ridgway’s centrally located Hartwell Park on a paved path that runs approximately five miles along the Uncompahgre River into Ridgway State Park. Dennis Weaver Park and the Ridgway Area Trails (RAT) are both accessed midway along the trail or from the intersection of Highway 550 and County Road 10.

Mountain bikers can prove their prowess on 26 miles of RAT single-track trails on CR10. Start at the bottom of Big Cheese and work your way up to Exterminator, Speedy Gonzalez, and other challenging routes. More than 40 miles of other trails are located within the town, Ridgway State Park, and along Owl Creek Pass on CR10.

If something more leisurely is on your agenda, RIGS Fly Shop offers guided floats on the Uncompahgre River generally through July (depending on snowmelt) as well as stand-up paddle board rentals. Pick one up and head to the reservoir to work up an appetite.

A Foodie Town

True Grit favorite: catfish with hushpuppies – goes great with draft beer. Courtesy photo.

Known for its variety of really great food, Ridgway boasts a remarkable number of culinary pleasures in a town with fewer than 1,000 people. Visitors can indulge in scrumptious foods from Crumb Bakery, Colorado Boy Pub & Brewery, Eatery 66, Four Corners at Chipeta Lodge, Tacos del Gnar, Kate’s Place, Land and Ocean Costa Rican Restaurant, Provisions Café, Thai Paradise, and True Grit Restaurant. All are open with limited seating (currently 50 people or 50% capacity).

Lunchtime options include those as well as takeout from Beth’s Sandwich Shop, Hippie Mermaid Donut Shop, Ridgway Lodge & Star Saloon, and Panny’s Pizza, all located on the east side of town.

Don’t forget ice cream or a dessert treat from Cimarron Coffee & Books or Café Ridgway a la Mode (window service only). Try the eisekaffe, a coffee and vanilla ice cream float.

Ridgway Farmers Market every Friday all summer long. Fresh food, flowers, handcrafts and more. Image, ©Kathryn R. Burke

The summer Farmers Market in Hartwell Park is open Fridays, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Bring your own basket or shopping bags and visit with local growers and artisans. If you want to know where your food comes from, this is the perfect place to buy it. [See related story in March’s Silver Stage.] The Farmers Market is open ages 60-plus during the first hour. A favorite after-shop stop on Friday afternoons is the True Grit, across from the Park. [Related story.]

Although it tends to be busy on Fridays because of the market, the park is a favorite gathering place, perfect for an afternoon picnic or an evening interlude, with or without food, other days of the week. Pick up some take-out (cocktails are permitted also), and stake out a table in the shade or under the stars at night.

Soak, Shop, or Take in an Intimate Concert

Orvis Hot Springs pools, soak in a scenic setting. Courtesy photo.

Soaking at Orvis Hot Springs is a great way to soothe sore muscles after a day of outdoor activity. Relax in the beautifully landscaped pool areas and take a dip in the Lobster Pot, if you dare. Clothing is optional.

Most Ridgway businesses are open and ready to serve customers, except where noted on signs indicating special hours. Call ahead to ensure a favorite shop is open! And bring a mask.

The Ridgway Creative District is also open and features art galleries, specialty shops, the historic Sherbino Theater, restaurants, retail and second-hand shops, and more.

If you love jewelry, be sure to peruse Jenn Dewey’s original designs at Amulet. Next door, the Vault carries creatively curated, affordable, and sustainable items for you and your home. Just up the street, in the old bank building (across from Colorado Boy and the Sherbino), you will find some delightful, slightly used wearables.

Look what I found (and bought) at at Lupita’s. Image (and new pillow owner), ©Kathryn R. Burke.

Over on the boardwalk, across the highway from Hartwell Park and next to the ice cream shop, check out southwest art, jewelry, and clothing at Art By The Park. At the other end of the boardwalk, long-standing favorite Lupita’s Bizarre Bazaar carries the unusual and unique, including art, gifts, toys, tabletop and kitchenware, and great cards.

Many places stay open Friday and Saturday evenings, when locals and local visitors enjoy strolling through the downtown area, where you can listen to music, stop for an adult beverage. grab a pizza at Colorado Boy, or take time for a leisurely meal at one of several restaurants, including Eatery 666 and the True Grit Cafe. For a listing of who is open, visit ouraycountyresources.com/local-business-listings.

The Sherbino Theater is still mostly dark due to government mandates on social distancing, but the 610 Arts Collective next door is open (with limited seating) for intimate events and concerts throughout the summer.

Traditionally Fridays are favorites in Ridgway, from Farmers Market mornings to evening entertainment. But if an uncrowded stroll with fewer people about is your choice, come other days. And anytime is a good time to enjoy the trails, where natural social distancing is the norm.  

Live music at the 610 Courtyard. Courtesy photo.