AOK Guide to Crested Butte

AOK Guide to Crested Butte, Colorado

Hi, friends! I just got back from a quick trip to Crested Butte, Colorado, and it was basically like being in a real life snow globe! I'm kind of over winter at the moment, but if winter in Oklahoma was half as beautiful as it is in Crested Butte, I'd be OK with it lasting a little longer.

Crested Butte is a ski town so most people visit in the winter specifically to ski/snowboard. I don't know how to ski or snowboard (I know, I know!!) so I can't attest to that, but I heard the "pow" was fantastic while we were there. We visited the first weekend in March with some friends and stayed with family, so our trip was more of a relax and hangout type of trip. It was much needed and so much fun! I wasn't ready for it to be over (I wish we would have stayed two-ish days longer so I could have learned to snowboard)! I rounded up a few of the things we did / places we stopped at below. I really want to visit Crested Butte again in the summer to do more outdoor activities (like hiking).... I'm sure it is absolutely fabulous.

Apologies in advance for the lack of quality food and drinks photos - since we were with friends I wasn't in full-on travel blogger mode and chose to enjoy myself > taking photos non-stop. 

Oklahoma blogger Amanda Martin of Amanda's OK shares here experience visiting Crested Butte, Colorado
Shop This Look Here

Travel Tips

If visiting in the winter, make sure you have a 4-wheel drive or all-wheel drive car. The snow was INTENSE, we got over a foot of snow almost every day we were there. We flew into Denver and drove to Crested Butte through the mountains (about 3.5 hours in good conditions) and there were some really rough spots (Monarch Pass in particular).... all-wheel drive was a life saver. Literally. There was an avalanche at one point on the way back to Denver that we barely missed. We rented a Q5 from Silvercar in Denver (our second time renting from them) and can't recommend them enough.

Pack warm layers. The temperatures in Crested Butte were lower than in Okla. (like, in the teens and down to 3 at one point) and it snowed non-stop, but honestly it didn't feel nearly as cold as it does at home. I think because the climate is so dry in Colorado and not as windy, the cold isn't quite as intense. However, that being said, if you're going to be outside for long periods of time, you will want to dress warm and layer! I packed a ton of scarves and layers and mittens and ended up only wearing one jacket the whole trip, but it might be different on the actual mountain as opposed to in town.

Stay hydrated and moisturized! It is SO DRY and with such high elevation, it is easy to get dehydrated. I highly recommend bringing a travel humidifier if the place you are staying doesn't have one. The inside of my nose was dry, raw and bloody the whole time (and is still recovering). My skin and lips didn't dry out too much because I packed a good face cream, chapstick and some sheet masks, but my hands/knuckles cracked really bad. Definitely make sure you stay hydrated, too; the locals recommended taking Acli-Mate (a sports drink powder specifically for high-elevation) to help with hydration and elevation sickness.

Take the Mountain Express! There is a free bus that takes you from town to the mountain every 15 minutes. It is super convenient and has several stops in town! You can find out more here.

Amanda's OK Guide to Crested Butte, Colorado, in the winter

Blogger Amanda Martin explores Crested Butte
Similar Puffer Coat HereHereHere | Levi Jeans | Duck Boots (30% off)

Where We Ate 

Secret Stash - my personal favorite meal of the trip! They have the most delicious pizza and their "crack fries" are covered in parmesan, pepper and white truffle oil....YES, please. I ate so much I was miserably full the rest of the day but it was 100% worth it. We got the Steazy Rider which was topped with ricotta, beef, shrimp, jalapeños, pineapples, cream cheese, bacon, cilantro and green onions. OH EM GEE. All of their pizzas looked amazing and they all had such unique names and flavors! If you visit, just note that the building Secret Stash is in says "The Company Store" instead of Secret Stash.

The Last Steep - rated as one of the top 15 restaurants in Colorado! It has great basic food like burgers, salads, wraps, etc. The crab cake wrap is 100% where it's at, hi, hello delicious.

Teocalli Tamale - full disclosure, I didn't love my tamale here (it was all heat, no flavor) but C has still been talking about his burrito ever since. The margs were top notch, too!

Third Bowl Ice Cream - I heard this little ice cream shop had blood orange chocolate ice cream and knew I had to give it a try (even though it was below freezing outside). It's never too cold for ice cream! And the ice cream didn't disappoint. They had a ton of fresh and unique flavors, all handmade....I wish I could have sampled each and every one!

Niky's Mini Donuts - I almost always find a local donut shop when traveling! Niky's was fantastic. They have mini donuts which I'm a fan of because you can try more flavors without feeling guilty! The donuts themselves were the perfect consistency and flavor; the toppings just added to them. My favorite flavor was strawberry cheesecake with bee hive coming in a close second!

Avalanche Bar & Grill - we went up the mountain one afternoon and had lunch here, it is right at the bottom of the ski lift. It was probably my most forgettable meal of the trip, but they had great hot spiked drinks and their buffalo wings were delicious, too!

Where to eat in Crested Butte, Colorado, according to Amanda's OK
Camp 4 Coffee | Similar Puffer Coat HereHere & Here | Levi Jeans | Duck Boots (30% off) | Blush Beanie

Where to eat in Crested Butte, Colorado
Niky's Mini Donuts

Where We Drank

Montanya - if you like cocktails, this is the place for you! They are a craft distillery making their own rum and they have page after page of unique cocktails. I wish I could have tried every single one because they all sounded fantastic. My favorite drinks were the Smoke Show, the Smokey Greyhound and the Basil Paradisi. It was kinda fun drinking tropical drinks in the middle of a snow storm, but I also loved their hot cocktails (I got the Wassail which was like a spiked cider). Their bar snacks and appetizers also looked AMAZING, but we were always too full from lunch to order food.

Eldo - Eldo is just a basic bar that serves Elk Avenue Brewing beer and pub food but it was a great place to hang out and drink a few cold ones. They had a balcony that would be great when the weather is nice, lots of games to pass the time, and their beer selection was really great! They also had a happy hour which we definitely took advantage of both days we were in town, and I believe they have live music pretty regularly.

Octopus Coffee - this little coffee shop is aaaaall the way at the west end of Elk Avenue so it is easy to miss, BUT, their coffee was the best I had in CB! They had organic pastries and such, as well. I got the Turkish Delight latte and it was everything I hoped for and more.

Camp 4 Coffee - this coffee shop is in a tiny little building covered in license plates and seems to be very popular! Honestly I didn't love my coffee but it is rated the best in Crested Butte, so I must have just ordered the wrong thing.

Beer from Eldo in Crested Butte, CO

Amanda Martin sips coffee in Crested Butte wearing her coziest PJs
Shop This Look Here

Where to Shop
There are lots of little gift shops, ski shops and boutiques all along Elk Avenue! I'd recommend wandering up and down the street and popping in all of them. It isn't a long street, so it doesn't take up too much time.

Sights & Activities
We just wandered around town, ate and drank, so I don't have a ton of recommendations here. Of course there is snowboarding and skiing on the mountain + I have heard that you can go snowshoeing in the winter and fly fishing / hiking in the summer! I hear they have amazing wildflowers when the weather is warm.

Crested Butte, Colorado has such winter charm

Travel blogger Amanda Martin's guide to Crested Butte in the Winter
Shop This Look Here

Have you ever been to Crested Butte or other ski towns in Colorado? CB was the prettiest little town and the snow made it absolutely magical. I loved all the old "cowboy town" wood buildings on Elk Avenue (kind of their main street), they were so charming. I really felt like I was walking in a winter wonderland the whole time! Visiting such beautiful places sometimes makes me wonder why I live in Oklahoma (HA) but it is always nice to come home. Shoutout to C's aunt and uncle for letting us take over their gorgeous home for the weekend!

I'm counting the days until a BIG international trip with my mom!! 36 days to go, stay tuned to see where we're headed!

No comments

Back to Top