This is a great Summer Road trip and Crested Butte and Aspen are two fun Colorado cities that couldn’t be more unlike each other!
People from Crested Butte revel in their free spirit and easy going attitude. The town is thick with saloons, shops and restaurants. This is a very casual and rustic town and a fun place to spend a few days. Of course, there is no shortage of things to do like hiking, mountain biking, shopping, fishing and balloon rides to name a few.
Try The Eldo Pub on Elk Street to meet some locals and enjoy main street from the elevated deck. There are a couple of good restaurants just across the street.
After a day or two in Crested Butte head toward Gunnison and then West. You will drive along the Black Canyon of Gunnison National Park. This is a beautiful drive and there are plenty of places to stop along the way for photos. As you get past the Canyon take HWY 92 North towards Hotchkiss.
I like to stop at the Home Town Cafe in Hotchkiss for lunch. After lunch take 133 North and then 82 into Aspen.
Unlike Crested Butte, Aspen is Quite Posh! There are fantastic Shops and restaurants and beautiful people everywhere. You also stand a good chance of running into a celeb or two. Try Casa Tua for lunch.
Like Crested Butte, I would recommend spending a night or two in Aspen. There are many great hotels there.
The shopping in Aspen is great! there are many of the high end retailers you would see in Chicago and New York. There are two places in particular that I stop at every time I go.
Pismo Glass is an art store that has a wide variety of art from many artists. Pick up some Chihuly Glass while you are there.
Another shop I hit every time I go is called Testosterone. You guessed it, this is a Men’s Store. They have shoes, shirts, chess sets and cigar humidors to name a few. You will find very cool stuff here that you typically don’t see. They are in the process of opening one in Vail too.
The entire trip from Crested Butte to Aspen is about 200 miles and will take about 5 hours plus your stops. Schedule this one now for Memorial Day or Later in the Summer.
If you are ready for more after this trip take HWY 82 South out of Aspen and hit Independence Pass and circle around to Vail or Beaver Creek!
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