It’s just 24 miles from Aspen as the crow flies, but Crested Butte feels a world away. You won’t see any furs or fake tans, for one thing—and that’s how the locals like it. With a distinctly small-town feel, Crested Butte’s historic downtown looks like it was stolen out of a snow globe, but it’s also home to world-class skiing and mountain biking, and some memorable restaurants and watering holes. In other words: all the beauty and nightlife, none of the pretense. You might want to hurry, as the secret is starting to get out.
Where to Stay
Before you arrive, ask yourself whether you want to stay in town or on the mountain. They’re only about 10 minutes apart and there’s a free shuttle between the two every 15 minutes, so it’s really a question of whether easy access to downtown is worth schlepping your ski gear back and forth. On the mountain, check out the Lodge at Mountaineer Square. It has everything from smaller studios to four-bedroom suites (plus hot tubs), and it’s steps from the lifts. If you want to stay in town, the rustic Elk Mountain Lodge has a warm B&B feel and is only a few blocks from restaurants and shops. If you want to go a little more high-end, check out the Taylor River Lodge, a Condé Nast Traveler Hot List hotel just 20 minutes from town.