Ouray Colorado Vacation Guide and Trip Planning Information for SW Colorado

Dining and Entertainment over the Holidays in Ouray!

Posted by Guest Blogger on Sat, Dec 21, 2013 @10:50 AM

Ouray’s very First Christmas with a dash of Vinegar


Christmas Tree (1)Every town large and small has their own holiday traditions, and each has its own unique story of beginning.  Here in Ouray we have a wonderful tradition of going to Vinegar Hill to go sledding as children and later as adults we will take our own children there to sled on Christmas day. You may ask why this particular sled hill is named Vinegar Hill? Well the name goes all the way back to the very first Christmas ever celebrated here in Ouray in 1875.


sledoldIn 1875 the town of Ouray was yet to officially exist, this valley was still Ute Indian land with only a small handful of white men just starting to settle here. These first men were here to prospect, mine and start a small settlement that would later be named Ouray in honor of the Ute Chief Ouray.



balsamic vinegarIn December 1875 when winter was just beginning the 13 men and no women that lived here gathered together in a cabin for a simple dinner consisting of bread, bacon, and beans. The men, finding that none of the traditional spirits were on hand and the closest place to find any liquor or wine was in Silverton, decided to doctor the one fluid that they had to drink, Vinegar!


Thus with a simple meal toasted with a glass of vinegar the first Christmas was celebrated and the location was named for that one drink, retaining that name to this very day. Not only was Vinegar Hill christened with that meal but a town was born, first named Lexington then changed to Uncompahgre City and eventually becoming the city of Ouray.


Now days Vinegar Hill still has a place in our Christmas traditions…..whether you spend the day sledding down it with your friends and family or just enjoy watching all the fun. Should you be in need of a sled to use for your day of fun check out Ouray Mountain Sports. And please try to remember this special place and its unique history in our beautiful little spot of the world.


This Christmas don’t worry that we will be serving a glass of Vinegar for your holiday meal, there are plenty of fabulous restaurants to dine at:



turkeydinnerArtisan Bakery: 7 AM – 2 PM

Backstreet Bistro: 7 AM – 3 PM

Beaumont Hotel Grand Ballroom: 5 – 9 PM (Reservations 970-325- 7000)

Bon Ton: 5 PM - Close (Reservations 970-325-4951)

Buen Tiempo: 5:30 PM – Close (970-325-4544)

Cavallo’s: 7 AM—2 PM; 5:30 PM & 7 PM (Reservations 970-325-2042)

Goldbelt Bar & Grill: 11 AM – 4 PM

Mouse’s Chocolates: 9 AM – 7 PM

O’Briens Pub: 11 AM – Close

Ouray Brewery: 5 PM – Close

Outlaw: Closed


eye of round roast lCHRISTMAS DAY

Backstreet Bistro: 7 AM – 1 PM

Ouray Brewery: 5 PM – Close

Outlaw: 5 PM – 9 PM


From all of us at the Box Canyon Lodge & Hot Springs we wish you warm and wonderful holiday season.

About the Author: Morgan McDaniel is a Ouray County native. After graduating high school, Morgan continued through college, and spent some time out of Colorado. Recently, she returned to Ouray, and can be found pursuing a number of activities, as well as the occasional cameo appearance at the Silver Eagle. Morgan is also the newest member of our front desk team at the Box Canyon Lodge & Hot Springs.
Come in and say hello! 
Ouray, southwest colorado

Tags: ouray, things to do in winter, history of ouray colorado, ouray colorado, box canyon lodge & hot springs, ouray event