Tuesday, April 2, 2013
Tucked In The Mountains: Crested Butte, Colorado
Searching out the best places to read, write or sip on the Western Slope
Originally settled as a mining town, Crested Butte still retains much of its historic flavor with original buildings and architecture. Look closely as you walk the streets and you may notice a few of the older homes have doorways at a second floor level. If the snow was deep enough to bury the front door, there was always the upstairs door to use.
Townie Books, and maybe stop for a cup of coffee while you browse books at the attached, Rumors Coffee and Tea House.
Donitas Cantina and be sure to order a large margarita. If it’s pizza you’re craving, visit The Secret Stash, the absolute best and most unique pie this writer has ever tasted. Another local favorite, Slogars, is just off Elk Avenue and serves up fried chicken, mashed potatoes, and real creamed corn, family style, all sure to make your taste buds dance and your arteries slow down, just a little. One of my personal favorites is Pitas In Paradise home of delicious gyros and falafels.
Paragon Gallery, is the oldest art cooperative in Colorado and features 14 regular, local artists. The Paragon is located in the old City Hall building erected in 1883. If you stop by in summer, be sure to check out the dates for the People’s Fair—a glorious street fair sponsored by the Paragon and featuring a wide variety of arts, crafts, music and vendor food.
Of course, you’ll want to drive up to Mt. Crested Butte and check out one of the best ski resorts in Colorado. The Mountain has been featured in many magazines for its still unassuming but excellent skiing atmosphere. In the summer, take a lift ride up the mountain and soak in the incredible wild flowers or mountain bike the many trails.
Elk Mountain Lodge located just off Elk Avenue. Originally built as a miners’ boarding house, it is a simple yet historic flash to the past and features a full breakfast during peak season, gorgeous sitting rooms and a library—ideal for a writing retreat. If you’re looking for something a little less expensive and more earthy, check out the Crested Butte Hostel.
There is never a lack of activities in Crested Butte including hiking, scenic, breath-taking drives, mountain biking, skiing, fly fishing and too many recreational locations and activities to mention. And don’t forget the Crested Butte Writers Conference, June 21-23. It might just be the perfect excuse to visit and soak in a little mountain paradise.
Julie Luekenga lives in the high mountain ranching community of Gunnison, CO and is a freelance writer published in regional and national publications and a member of Rocky Mountain Fiction Writers. Writing under the name Julie Luek, she maintains two blogs, A Thought Grows and In Fine Company and is a regular, every other week, contributor to the international writing website, She Writes. Please visit her on Twitter @Julieluek and on Facebook.