Southwest

Leadville, CO

leadville, co / observant nomad

I hope you had a wonderful weekend no matter where you were. Contrary to this post title, we actually spent this weekend in town enjoying the weather and family which was great. However just a couple weekends ago, Rus and I made the short trip up to Leadville, CO to spend the weekend with his family.

They have a small home up there that they spend most weekends in the summer enjoying as well as a few in the winter, so we always have a free place to stay which is an extra bonus. We rolled up on a Friday morning and enjoyed a long weekend of mid 50’s sunny weather. When we got into town we headed straight over Tennessee Pass Cafe for some lunch and brews to set our mini-vacation off right.

leadville, co / observant nomad

leadville, co / observant nomad

I love Tennessee Pass Cafe because it has a ton of fresh vegetarian options as well as some classic comfort foods like burgers, pizzas, and sandwiches. We enjoyed our long lunch in the warm sunlight of the window watching as people walked and biked past along. Following lunch we decided to slowly mosey our way down the main street to Doc’s for some libations and large Jenga on the patio.

That first night we decided to call it early and stay in to watch some standup specials on Netflix. Leadville doesn’t have a ton of local haunts to hang out in at night which can be both a pro and a con. We found that most locals make the 30-40min trip to Breckenridge if they really want to go out.

Starting early the next day, Rus and his mom spent the morning on Ski Cooper ridge for some late season skiing. While they were out, Rus’s stepdad and I decided to take their two malamutes out into the gorgeous hiking areas right behind Leadville, CO.

leadville, co / observant nomad

leadville, co / observant nomad

Taking the dogs out was a great excuse to enjoy the gorgeous weather and tour some local old mining settlements. Leadville has a fascinating history, full of wild west characters, mining, striking it rich, and historical celebrities. Much like a episode of Deadwood. There are plenty of coffee table books and local museums that showcase the compelling black and white images and history of the old mining camps.

leadville, co / observant nomad

leadville, co / observant nomad

leadville, co / observant nomad

The weather was absolutely perfect. Even though the highs reached a cool mid-50s, at an elevation of 10,152 feet, the sun can really help out. People often visit Colorado thinking it’s cold, and then don’t realize that you’ll more than likely be shedding layers in the afternoon. At one point I was hiking in a long sleeve shirt with all my coats tied around my waist.

After our hike, we met back up with Rus and his mom to enjoy some time at Doc’s relaxing. Afterwards, Rus and I decided to get out a bit later in the afternoon and do some shopping and exploring the main strip. Leadville is full of local businesses and many within the town are passionately against chains or large ski resorts coming in and taking over their mountain town culture.

leadville, co / observant nomad

leadville, co / observant nomad

leadville, co / observant nomad

I really enjoyed a couple of the shops including Aspen Traders. A little bohemian boutique with a ton of character. It’s full of loud, quality, worldly clothing that would make a Free People girl giddy. All of the jewelry was gorgeous and well curated and I was so bummed I didn’t score a turquoise bracelet before leaving. Another really great stop was Melanzana, a local outdoor apparel store that makes all of its garments on location. Pretty cool! They even had the people working on their sewing machines right in front of you.

After some shopping we enjoyed the homemade fudge at Cookies with Altitude and followed it up with a cup of great coffee at City on the Hill. I highly recommend any of these spots I’ve mentioned throughout if you happen to pass through Leadville. We’re planning on spending time up there this summer when the patios open and we can enjoy more activities along the lake and in town.

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all photos by observant nomad

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Those snow filled valleys look magical!

Brianna

thanks! they have a special place in our heart :)

Looks gorgeous! I’m all about popping by Colorado in the future for a low key, calm weekend. This seems to be just the place to do that!

Brianna

hope you get to come out one day!

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