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Best Small Towns in Colorado

Melbourne, Victoria
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Best Small Towns in Colorado


Can anyone recommend a great funky/weird/interesting/colourful small town to visit in Colorado? I want to go for about a week. I don't plan on water rafting or hiking really. I want to see beautiful scenery, meet some friendly locals, shop in the town and maybe see some historical or natural sites.

I'm in my late 20s so bars/pubs and a good nightlife are great. I'm a single gal traveling by myself so a safe place is good though I'll be cautious regardless.

As far as restrictions go I can't, or would be nervous as hell to, drive on the right side so aside from getting a bus/train/shuttle into town I need everything walking distance or for the town to have public transport or to offer tours.

I'm going in mid to late September. So far I'm looking at Manitou Springs and Montrose but I'm open to all places.

Thanks in advance!

Destination Expert
for Wisconsin, Colorado Springs
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1. Re: Best Small Towns in Colorado

Crested Butte


You can fly into Gunnsion (30 minutes out) find and find transport. Crested Butte has a town shuttle:


This town has a great feel as you described.

Glenwood Springs has a lot going for all ages:


Edited: 03 July 2013, 13:30
Colorado Western...
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for Ouray, Outdoors / Adventure Travel, Montrose
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2. Re: Best Small Towns in Colorado

Much as I love my hometown of Montrose, if you won't have a car, you'll have difficulties getting around to the unique museums or heading to the nearby Black Canyon National Park.

I think the Gunnison / Crested Butte combo would fit your criteria well.

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3. Re: Best Small Towns in Colorado

CB lodge & hostel has private or women's dorm rooms, is right in town, has a comfortable living/dining room & a great place to meet folks. I enjoyed my stay there. The beds were very comfortable:


Destination Expert
for Colorado
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4. Re: Best Small Towns in Colorado

Montrose isn't in the mountains so it is often overlooked as a tourist destination except for the Black Canyon, but for the things you want to do it sounds ideal. There is a good bus system now, and although it might be difficult to get out to the Black Canyon without a car, I think it might be possible through Telluride Express. If not, there's enough to do to keep you busy! It's a friendly community with nice mountain views all around and it has a historic downtown with galleries and shops, the Black Canyon of the Gunnison Natl Park, and the farm of Ute Chief Ouray and his beloved wife Chipeta, where the Ute Indian Museum is now located. Check out Canyon Creek Bed and Breakfast to stay right on Main Street. The Creek is an on site cocktail lounge where you can often find live music. The owner is a young woman who is active in the community and often hosts fun events.


You could walk to a number of restaurants and the Horsefly Brewery (they have food, too) is right down the street. It's a nice place to hang out, with lots of community events and live music, and so is the nearby Coffee Trader. https:/…226493915285


You might stay part of your week in Montrose and then get the shuttle to head for Telluride, which would give you awesome mountain scenery (late September, the drive to and from Telluride is one of the best for fall color) and a picturesque, historic, walkable town with the free gondola up to Mountain Village for more views and nice walks. For funky/colourful, it doesn't get much better than Telluride! www.visittelluride.com/discover-telluride



Crested Butte would be good, too, as would Breckenridge and Aspen or Glenwood Springs. Durango, too, and Pagosa Springs.

Edited: 03 July 2013, 14:41
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5. Re: Best Small Towns in Colorado

I vote for Manitou Springs, such a fun quirky little town.


Stay at The Cliff House. Old Colorado City area in Colorado Springs is also close and fun

Destination Expert
for Colorado
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6. Re: Best Small Towns in Colorado

Salida, http://www.simplelodge.com great funky/weird/interesting/colourful small town

Agree with Crestted Butte and Breckenridge http://www.firesideinn.com/

If the timing works out


Breckenridge's 19th annual Oktoberfest, September 13-15, 2013,

. Manitou Springs to me is more of a family destination.

Edited: 03 July 2013, 15:07
Fruita, Colorado
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for Fruita, Grand Junction
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7. Re: Best Small Towns in Colorado

Yeah, I wouldn't go so much for Manitou Springs. Crested Butte is right on - gorgeous summer flowers, great history - in fact I would suggest getting a good historical book to read about the town while you're there, it will add to the charm. There is a free bus service between Crested Butte (old town), Mt. Crested Butte (ski town), and Gunnison so you could vary your night life. http://gunnisonvalleyrta.org/

Check out their website for some great ideas and some great discounts, too. http://www.gunnisoncrestedbutte.com/decided

Hope you have a great trip.

Charleston, South...
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for Charleston, South Carolina, Telluride
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8. Re: Best Small Towns in Colorado

You don't say what your budget is, but Telluride would be a good spot. The entire town is walkable, lots of bars and night life. Free gondola ride to Mountain Village, beautiful scenery from the gondola, plus drop dead gorgeous scenery in Telluride and Mountain Village. They are high in the mountains, much better scenery than Montrose. You could fly into Montrose and the take the shuttle bus to Telluride. Even tho everything is walkable, there is still a free bus that goes to various areas.






Destination Expert
for Breckenridge
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9. Re: Best Small Towns in Colorado

I will put a plug in for Breckenridge as it is a great town for things to do, great free public transport where you can get to other towns around the area for free as well get over to Vail for a walk around (not free to Vail), plus easy to get to from the Denver airport (paid transportation ala Colorado Mountain Express).


Divide, Colorado
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for Maldives
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10. Re: Best Small Towns in Colorado

definitely Manitou ... historic , quirky , lively , young and in walking distance to old Colorado city .. spot on