Daytripper: Crested Butte
For your morning caffeine fix: Camp 4 Coffee
Serving 11 different kinds of small-batch, hand-roasted coffee beans, including the most popular blend, “SledgeHammer,” Camp 4 Coffee has been a Crested Butte staple since 1993—its name alluding to the mountain spirit of expedition about town. Get your steaming cup of joe from one of its two in-town locations (the original shack-like store is covered in license plates), or at the base of the mountain before a day on the slopes. 402 1/2 Elk Avenue. camp4coffee.com
For an afternoon off the beaten slopes: Crested Butte Nordic Center
Sledding, ice skating, photography workshops, backcountry snowshoe tours, and, of course, cross-country skiing—the list of activities is long for those who want to trade in their downhill skis for some other kind of outdoor fun. For a slower pace, opt for Sunday brunch or a moonlight dinner at the center’s Magic Meadows Yurt.
620 Second Street. cbnordic.org (Photograph by Xavier Fane.)
For après-ski bites and sips: Django’s Restaurant & Wine Bar
Locals and food critics agree that after a romping day on the slopes, Django’s is the spot to unwind. In the heart of Mountaineer Square at the base of the ski hill, the restaurant offers an extensive international wine list and cuisine that puts a Colorado spin on Southern European classics (think Rocky Mountain elk tartare). 620 Gothic Road. djangos.us
For locally crafted microbrews: The Eldo Brewery & Taproom
The Eldo pours 16 different brews—all made on-site with the brewpub’s seven-barrel system— and enjoys the favor of the locals: the spot is a three-time “Best of the Butte” bar winner, as voted by the townies. For a truly local experience, try the Eldo’s Sledgehammer Porter (made with Camp 4 Coffee espresso beans), and stick around for live music on week and weekend nights. 215 Elk Avenue. eldobrewpub.com
For the perfect picture: J.C. Leacock Photography and Gallery
There are a number of ways to explore the Crested Butte high country; one of the best may be with a camera in hand. See some of the area’s most picturesque sights through the eyes of local photographer J.C. Leacock, who offers private tours and workshops, then stop by his gallery downtown to admire (or take home) one of his iconic western landscapes. 327 Elk Avenue. jcleacock.com
FOR A FULL DAY
STAY Forget the drive home and check in at The Ruby of Crested Butte, a quaint, dog-friendly B&B run by husband-and-wife owners Chris and Andrea Greene, who serve up genuine small-town hospitality and a homemade, organic breakfast that’s worth waking up for.
LEARN To dig deep into the town’s colorful coal-mining past—or to learn a little about the geology of the surrounding mountains —pay a visit to the Crested Butte Mountain Heritage Museum, housed in an 1880s hardware store.
SHOP Wander down historic Elk Avenue and into one of the many charming boutiques: Zacchariah Zypp for jewelry and gifts, Retail Therapy for unique clothing, Pooh’s Corner for the little ones—just to name a few.