The Perfect Day in Crested Butte
Your “perfect Crested Butte day” might look different than mine, but here’s an itinerary that won’t disappoint. On our recent trip to town, we stayed at The Grand Lodge at Crested Butte Mountain Resort.
Start the day with a soak in The Grand Lodge’s hot tub. Their pool and hot tub area is a beautiful amenity at this well-appointed property, which also features a ski valet, spa, restaurant, gift shop, laundry facilities and more. The slopeside property is conveniently located steps away from the downtown shuttle and the Red Lady Express that zips skiers, and summer visitors, up the mountain.
After a relaxing soak, enjoy the breakfast buffet at Woodstone Grill inside Grand Lodge. This is an excellent breakfast buffet; patrons order their custom omelets from the table, and they bring it out when it’s done—no need to wait around a busy omelet station.
Downtown Crested Butte [Photo by Heidi Kerr-Schlaefer]
Once sufficiently stuffed on omelets, fresh fruit, sausage, muffins and other goodies, it’s time to experience the mountain. In the winter, visitors to Crested Butte can ski, snowboard, ski bike or snowshoe. I went on a guided snowshoe tour with David from the resort (reservation required).
Snowshoers ride the lift to the top and then snowshoe across to Umbrella Bar before working their way down the mountain via an easy and mostly downhill trail system. The views along the trail are astounding.
In the summer, the mountain is pure joy for hikers and mountain bikers who jump on the lift in order to hike and bike down the hill instead of up—brilliant! There are plenty of other summer activities at Crested Butte Mountain Resort.
After burning a few calories on the mountain, it’s time to explore Crested Butte. Hop on the free shuttle bus just outside of The Grand Lodge and take the seven-minute ride downtown.
Camp 4 Coffee [Photo by Heidi Kerr-Schlaefer]
It’s such a lovely little town, and it doesn’t take long to explore it on foot. For a caffeinated pick-me-up stop by Camp 4 Coffee. Their historic building, covered in colorful license plates, may hold the record for the most photographed building in Crested Butte.
The namesake of Scout's General [Photo by Heidi Kerr-Schlaefer]
Coffee in hand, explore everything downtown Crested Butte has to offer. Our favorite find was the brand new Scout's General, an adorable shop in a historic home, with an equally adorable greeter named Scout. Here, pick up everything from picnic supplies to home decor.
Model railroad and town at the Crested Butte History Museum [Photo by Heidi Kerr-Schlaefer]
History buffs won’t want to miss the Crested Butte Mountain Heritage Museum where I became absorbed in the model town and railroad, which depicts Crested Butte as it was in the 1920s. There’s also a great section here on the history of the ski resort and mountain biking in the area. I’ve been to a lot of small-town museums across the country, and this is a good one.
Photo by Nathan Bilow, courtesy Montanya Distillers
At this point, it’s probably time for a drink, which means a stop in at Montanya Distillers where they make rum and only rum, and they make it very well. Celebrating 10 years this spring, in my illustrious opinion, this distiller makes the world’s best rum, but you don’t have to take my word for it. Montanya Distillers’ rum was voted “Best Rum in the World” by the World Rum Awards.
Their tasting room doubles as a restaurant that’s become the locals’ go-to place for pho. Before ordering a cocktail, I’d encourage you to sample their three award-winning rums.
No perfect day in Crested Butte would be complete without pizza at Secret Stash. This eclectic pizza joint is a mishmash of all the places in the world that the owner loves, making it a swirl of color and sparkle that’s dizzying.
Like the decor, the pizza here is also a bit outside of the box. We had the Notorious FIG, winner of the World Champion Pizza Challenge. It features mozzarella, bleu and asiago cheeses, thinly sliced prosciutto, dried black mission figs and a drizzle of truffle oil—it’s divine.
After a couple of slices of this pizza, some of us are ready to take the shuttle back to The Grand Lodge, but if a nightcap is desired, head to the Public House for a pint of Colorado craft beer in the world’s comfiest bar stools.