You might be planning a trip to the Butte in the near future. You may have already visited, but are feeling a big empty hole in your life ever since you left. Either way, make note of this list for the next time you are lucky enough to find yourself taking in these sights. Though some activities change depending on the season, this list is good year ’round.
No, seriously. Step away from the vehicle. Get outside and take a few deeeeep breaths. Our fresh mountain air doesn’t get much better anywhere in this country. Far from the crowded cities, and far from any industrial center, we could probably bottle and sell the air up here.
2. Get a lift
Though you may see some hitchhikers, or be one yourself, the Silver Queen lift at Crested Butte Mountain Resort will take you up to 11,875 ft with grand views of the valley, surrounding peaks, and the town of Crested Butte. Optional hike to the summit if you’re in shape and up for a challenge.
3. Coffee (or tea)
Caffeine addicts rejoice! Some of the best coffee beverages in the state can be found in this little town including two shops that roast their own beans right here. Check out this full list of coffee & tea shops.
4. Stroll down Elk Ave
-To go for a leisurely walk
When was the last time you did this? Not for exercise or to get somewhere, but to just breathe and take in the sights. Crested Butte is an extremely pedestrian friendly town with historical buildings, mountain views, and plenty of places to stop in and visit. Most of the town’s shops and restaurants are on this street and all are locally owned and operated. One of our favorite shops is Chopwood Mercantile, with a curated selection of awesome mountain gear and apparel, and the owners, Travis and Lisa, love helping visitors get the most out of their trip with insider knowledge.
5. Listen to Good Tunes
There is live music year-round in the Butte. Both Alpenglow concerts in the town of Crested Butte, and the Mt. CB summer concert series up on the mountain are perfect outdoor venues for the whole family. Grab a blanket, have a picnic, and enjoy the live music all summer long. If you’re visiting in the winter, check out the Center for the Arts notable music lineup, with nation wide talent and a great indoor venue, this is a great way to spend an evening in CB!
6. Hike or Snowshoe
Crested Butte lies close to the heart of the Elk Mountain Range in the Colorado Rockies. Wildflowers dominate the summer, golden aspens in the fall, and serene snowscapes in the winter. There are trails close to town for all ability levels. You owe it to yourself to leave your worries behind and escape into the wilderness.
7. Dine Out
This was probably already on the itinerary, but it still surprises us how much great food is available in a town this size. Choose from pretty much any cuisine and be delighted. This complete dining guide will help narrow down the choices, but for one of our favorites, check out Django’s for delectable and intentionally sourced small plates, and seasonal, share-worthy bites, now on Elk Avenue. Feel like staying in? You can get easy heat-and-serve family meals prepared for busy weeknights from Django’s, with new menu’s released every Sunday, its amazing food, made easier.
Summer and fall mountain biking is world class and usually on peoples’ bucket lists. Winter now offers the allure of fat biking on snow. Townies can be seen and ridden year-round. Road cyclists are in for a treat as well! Bring your own or easily rent your favorite velocipede at Big Al’s on Elk Avenue.
9. Enjoy the Wildflowers
When it starts to green up in Crested Butte, things get really special. Summer at 9,000 feet is short, but oh-so-sweet. The wildflowers start to pop up in May typically with the glacier lilies, then once July hits, hillsides are washed in every color. Crested Butte is the Wildflower Capital of Colorado, so if you’re here for the season, it’s definitely a sight to behold. One of our favorite places to lounge and take in the views is at the 9380 Prime outside bar at Elevation Hotel, which is a stones throw away from the the slopes of Mt. Crested Butte, which tend to get hip-deep in wildflowers.
Bonus: Snap a Pic
You’re on vacation right? Share the beauty of Crested Butte with the world with a few sweet shots of town, the mountains, the wildflowers–whatever. Its easy to get great photos with such an epic backdrop. Need some photo inspiration? Check out J.C. Leacock Photo Gallery on Elk Avenue for stunning photos of Crested Butte and the American West.
Ready For The Next Ones?
The Center for the Arts brings talented musicians to perform all summer long. The outside and inside venue offers plenty of room to take in live music. Every Monday throughout summer, starting in June, the Center for the Arts hosts Alpenglow, a FREE outdoor concert series in the sunshine. Expect everything from classic rock to bluegrass to hip-hop.