A little while ago, J. and I decided to go check out Crested Butte, Colorado. Aside from billboards along side I-70 trying to coerce you to come ski there and claims of being Colorado's last great ski town, I didn't really know to much about it. J told me it was where mountain biking originated- a sport he is super into and I just keep trying in hopes that one day my love of road biking will transfer to mountain biking. (Side note, it's kind of working. Stress kind of. If only I could get over the mindset of "you know, it'd be easier just to walk up this mountain..." I'll get there one day.) But anyhow, aside from that (and the fact Heidi Montag is from there- an embarrassing bit of trivia that's stuck in my head for some unknown reason) we just packed our bags and winged it.
Because we rarely do anything the "normal" way, we hopped off the interstate as soon as possible and decided to make our way to Crested Butte via the Cottonwood Pass. (On the way home we took Marshall Pass in case anyone is curious.) The views were spectacular and there were a ton of trailheads off of the pass in case you wanted to squeeze in some hiking as well. (We decided to go on a quick walk at the Continental Divide since there was still some snow and the drive was already going to be over 4 hours. The views were completely worth the detour if you have the time!) We arrived before check in so we decided to go do some off-roading (There are a ton of beautiful campsites as well, but we wanted to check out some restaurants and bring Bella so we opted for a room at the Inn at Crested Butte. Nice place, close to everything.) Over the next few days, we just explored outside- both on foot and by car.
Going through the photos I realized I didn't really take any of the town- which isn't surprising. The landscape is breathtaking so you get a little distracted. That said, we really enjoyed the non-outdoor side of Crested Butte as well. Unlike most ski towns, it's actually a town- i.e. it doesn't close up shop in the summer like Aspen or other ski towns tend to do- so there was always something going on. Everyone was friendly, bikes were just propped up against brightly painted houses (the lack of locks on super expensive mountain bikes baffled us, but most likely the punishment of stealing a bike is pretty severe so they don't stress about it) and overall everything just seemed pretty close knit and laid back. It wasn't weird at all to have the coffee shop owners recognize you from the morning before or for the restaurant owner to come over and sit down with you to chat, which was really nice. Of course, if you're looking for a lot of none outdoorsy adventure/activities, this probably isn't the town for you. Everyone is outdoorsy. That said, if you are into biking, hiking, running, rafting, etc. this is THE place to visit. Crested Butte has is all.)
Places to check out- Bacchanale for dinner, Teocali Tamale for lunch, and Izzy's for breakfast. Warning, Izzy's is really slow, but really good. If you're starving, you may want to grab something elsewhere. If you'd like coffee, check out camp 4 coffee. (I don't drink coffee, but J. loves it and liked this place.)