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Skiing and Tradition in Crested Butte

Martha Camarillo America’s Best Small Ski Towns

Photo: Martha Camarillo

Set among the endless snowfields and working cattle ranches of the Elk Mountains, “The Butte,” as residents call it, started as a rough-and-tumble coal-mining camp in the late 19th century. Coal gave way to ski resorts in the 1960’s, but this headstrong community held tight to its saloons and false-front stores, eschewing development in favor of Historic District status. Good move: stately Victorian houses and antique streetlights still line the town’s 37 blocks, and a proud tradition of locally owned businesses continues.

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Destinations: Crested Butte

Inspired by: America's Best Small Ski Towns — by Stacey Brugeman, Published Oct. 2008

Hotels (1)

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    Crested Butte Retreat

    Popular with groups and couples, this 10-room boutique hotel is set on a hillside just four miles from downtown and a short walk from the ski lifts

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Restaurants (4)

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    Camp 4 Coffee

    The beloved roaster pours scruffy mountaineers their morning cup in a former coal shed plastered with vintage license plates.

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    Izzy's

    Owner Craig Maestro dishes out fresh bagels, along with advice on where to find the best snow.

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    Soupçon

    Set in an old mining cabin, Soupçon covers French cuisine and American comfort foods on its regularly changing menu. Each evening, there are just t

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    Secret Stash

    A husband and wife team, Jeff and Kyleena Graceffa run this less-than-secret pizzeria, serving award-winning pizzas in a historic miner's cabin dec

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Activities (3)

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    Cookworks

    The petite store sells high-end kitchen accoutrements.

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    Crested Butte

    Receiving about 25 feet of snowfall each year, this Colorado ski hill is renowned for its expert runs (double-black diamond)—some with up to 50 per

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    Lavish

    A wooden storefront in the center of the heritage coal-mining town, Lavish sells scarves, handbags, jewelry, and other accessories—all from limited

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