After stopping for lunch at Farm Bistro in Cortez on our way to Durango, we knew it was a neat little town and would make a great base from which to visit Mesa Verde National Park, and from Cortez we would pick up the highway to head north into the mountains.
We stayed in a quiet, grassy spot at Sundance RV Park and could walk to downtown.
After deciding not to eat at the brewery based on the menu showing pictures of the food (a bias based on this blog post about decision fatigue heuristics), we went across the street to Loungin’ Lizard. Silly name aside, the food was really good (fish tacos! fried Brussels sprouts!) and the bartenders were fun to chat with. One moved to Cortez to work on an organic farm through WWOOF International, and loved the area so much he stayed.
Often, when planning an early morning of hiking or National Park visiting, we like to make breakfast burritos for a mid-morning picnic. The night before going to Mesa Verde, we were walking home and spotted the breakfast burrito menu at Burger Boy Drive-In, and they open at seven! That saved us the trouble of making our own burritos, but they weren’t nearly as good–maybe it’s just me, but I don’t want potatoes in my breakfast burrito. I’ve seen that a lot in the Southwest.
We stopped at Mancos Brewing Co to taste a few beers after hiking around Mancos State Park. It’s a tiny tasting room, with a patio and a small kitchen, and a super-cool neighborhood vibe.
Main Street Brewery and Restaurant, on the other hand, did not have a super-cool neighborhood vibe. We tried really hard to like it, but it just wasn’t our scene. It’s in a neat building, though. J wrote more about both breweries here.
Mancos State Park is just outside the next town over from Cortez. We wanted a quick and easy hike and the park delivered, plus this scenery:
The main reason we were in Cortez was to visit Mesa Verde National Park. It’s a very different National Park in that you’re not hiking to get the grand nature vistas, but to see the ancient, complex cliff dwellings built by Ancestral Pueblans. We did a few short hikes, and I’ll do a separate post with some pictures.