Driving into Crested Butte, Colorado, a former coal mining town cradled within the Elk Mountains, feels like driving into heaven. It lives at the end of a paved road, and dirt roads lead onward into the mountains surrounding the town. It’s blanketed by springtime wildflowers and a wintertime snowpack (for all levels of skiers).
Crested Butte residents are renowned for their strong sense of community and welcoming spirit, and they seem to have an appreciation for the simpler joys in life. It’s all about life outdoors. And it’s infectious whether you’re a mountain biking adventure-seeker or a quieter hiker.
Elk Ave, the flower-lined main street in the historic district, is lined with beautifully preserved Victorian and Western buildings. Dozens of creative dining, shopping, and drinking options abound. There’s also a funky and vibrant arts and cultural scene (i.e. the Crested Butte Music Festival and the Mountain Theater). It’s a magical and captivating place. — Kim Grant