Sip & Stay in These 3 Mountain Towns
A toast to three great places to enjoy a good drink and other mountain fun
I love traveling with a purpose. In the winter, that often involves snow, but it can easily involve craft spirits—an industry that has grown massively in Colorado over the last decade. A lot of Rocky Mountain towns have their own distillery so it’s easy to pick a place to sip and stay.
Ginger Room. Photo courtesy of The Inn at the Marble Distilling Co.
While this list isn’t numbered, if it was, this spot would be in first place. The Inn at the Marble Distilling Co. is located in the pretty town of Carbondale, nestled between the more well-known destinations of Aspen and Glenwood Springs.
Carbondale is an arts mecca and destination for lovers of amazing spirits; spirits which are made by the country’s first zero-waste distillery, Marble Distilling Co. The distillery features a second-story inn that has dog-friendly rooms. It’s hard to find anything else like it in the country, let alone in Colorado. This is luxury living with thoughtful touches such as fresh flowers, pocket lighting next to the bed and a Nespresso espresso brewer in every room. Guests can even stock their room’s martini bar in advance.
Marble Distilling Co. Photo by Jack Affleck.
Marble Distilling Co. has done a great deal in helping put Carbondale more firmly on the map, as has the Carbondale Creative District. Around 200 creative organizations, businesses and artists call Carbondale home, and the district is weaving these independent entities into a cohesive art brand that can be seen throughout the community.
The town is not only filled with art but also top-notch eateries such as Allegria, where the chef whips up locally sourced cuisine that’s delicious and memorable.
Photo courtesy of 10th Mountain Whiskey & Spirit Company
A place to play for residents, 10th Mountain Whiskey & Spirit Company has an active tasting room in the heart of Vail. When we were there on a Thursday, the tasting room was alive with locals and live music.
The distillery gets its name from the 10th Mountain Division, a light infantry division of the United States Army designated as a mountain warfare unit. The region is steeped in Division history because they trained at a nearby camp during WWII. And the name of the distillery isn’t just for show; they walk-the-talk by donating proceeds from every bottle sold to veterans programs.
The distillery is just a few steps from Solaris, offering exclusive residences ranging from cozy studios to six-bedroom penthouses. This place is in the middle of the action and yet once inside, it offers guests luxurious relaxation.
Photo courtesy of Four Seasons Vail
On the edge of Vail Village, and just a 10-minute walk from 10th Mountain, Four Seasons Vail is also an escape from everyday life. With one of the most gorgeous year-round outdoor pools in Colorado, and incredibly appointed guest rooms or residences, visitors to the Four Seasons don’t ever have to leave the property, but of course, Vail has a lot to offer, including 10th Mountain Whiskey.
Photo courtesy of KJ Wood Distillers
Long-known for ice climbing and the hot springs, Ouray is a destination that’s been attracting visitors for years. Case in point, I first visited Ouray when I was two-years-old, and that was 40 years ago.
Located downtown, KJ Wood Distillers is a genuine asset to the charming town of Ouray. Several years ago, the distillery outfit moved to town and built a beautiful facility on Main Street. Guests can watch the distillery process downtown or imbibe a cocktail in the airy, upstairs tasting room. KJ Wood Distillery produces vodka, gin and whiskey in bottles with artwork so delightful that you’ll want to keep it long after the booze is gone.
Photo courtesy of KJ Wood Distillers
There are ample hotel rooms in Ouray that are within walking distance of the distillery. There’s the Ouray Chalet Inn, Hotel Ouray and the Matterhorn Inn Ouray, just to name a few. And no trip to Ouray is complete without a soak in the Ouray Hot Springs Pool, a four-minute walk from KJ Wood Distillers. Sitting in the hot springs as the snow falls is an experience visitors to this Southwest Colorado town won’t soon forget.