The town of Crested Butte was developed in the late 19th Century as a supply town to the numerous coal and silver mines in the surrounding area. As the mining operations began to decline, Crested Butte was able to grow and survive based on a long history of ranching. Today, this rich history of mining and ranching is still prevalent in the town’s identity.
Downtown Crested Butte consists of one main street: Elk Avenue. Elk Ave – as the locals refer to it – is a quaint stretch with dozens of restaurants, bars and shops, many of which still maintain the same infrastructure from Crested Butte’s original mining days. The colorful facades match the rich history to provide a fun, unique avenue to explore!
Members of your entire family will appreciate Elk Avenue. The youngest will enjoy the sweet treats that are found at Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory and Third Bowl Ice Cream, while adults will appreciate the eclectic mix of restaurants and funky artwork that adorns the sidewalks.
For foodies, be sure to check out The Secret Stash for gourmet pizzas or Soupcon for an unbelievable upscale French-American Bistro. If you’re looking for a spot to unwind and enjoy a drink, Montanya Distillers is the local distillery producing award-winning rum. Montanya has a large selection of rum drinks, not meant to overshadow the kid favorite “mocktails” and delicious small plates.
Located right in the middle of Elk Avenue is the Crested Butte Mountain Heritage Museum, which features rotating exhibits that emphasize the historical past of the town. Seasonally, the Museum also offers Historic Walking Tours for the biggest history buffs!
Seemingly around the clock, there are many events that take place on Elk Avenue, from the weekly Farmer’s Market to the annual Alley Loop cross-country ski race! Quirky events are hosted downtown throughout the year.
Whether or not you are coming to Crested Butte to ski or to relax, be sure to head downtown to explore picturesque Elk Avenue!