Mountain Mayhem: Carbondale staycation

May Selby
Mountain Mayhem

For a recent fall getaway, I took a trip downvalley for an overnight staycation in Carbondale, under the shadow of Mount Sopris, with a few close friends. It was the perfect respite for a change of pace from Aspen, packing in as much as possible.

We started with a hike up Red Hill, meeting at the newly configured parking area at the intersection of Highways 133 and 82, a major enhancement from before with a better-defined arrival experience and direct access to the trail. The steep ascent led to stunning vistas of Sopris then we looped around and down, back to the lot and headed straight to Main Street. We strolled downtown, stopping to shop at local boutique, Lulubelle, to find thoughtful holiday gifts and browse their broad selection of cute and clever greeting cards. Next up was a blissful massage at True Nature Healing Arts in their serene spa set behind the main building and accessed by an outdoor path. I opted for a 60-minute massage though the entire spa menu is enticing from reflexology to facial treatments to sound healing.

We then checked into The Distillery Inn at Marble Distilling Company, which is not only a comfortable and contemporary boutique property with luxe appointments, but it’s also the only inn in the world housed within a working distillery. As described by co-founders Connie Baker and Carey Shanks, “guests can sleep with the stills,” which are located on the first floor, set back behind The Marble Bar, a vaulted-ceilinged tasting room and social hub of town. As head distiller, Baker greeted us upon arrival, apologizing for “being covered in grail dust” and invited us for a tour of the stills, speaking to their sustainability efforts utilizing all-natural, only Colorado-grown grains, pure Crystal River water and filtering through crushed YULE Marble (home of the Lincoln Memorial and Tomb of the Unknown Soldier). Shanks spoke about the awards they’ve won for their spirits and sustainability efforts with their goal to be net zero waste by 2022.

We crossed the street for a sushi dinner at Izakaya, a sister restaurant to Kenichi in Aspen, which earned our rave reviews. In the morning, we headed to Silo off of Dolores Way/133 for their breakfast-all-day menu (I recommend the King of Convenience breakfast sandwich).

Next visit, I’m adding in a stop to Landmark Café on Main Street, who is introducing several new programs starting this week – a Mercantile Market on Friday nights with live music, a full bar and light fare; Saturday Happy Hour with a DJ named Lil’ City Market and also holiday gift baskets with everything organic inside, available for curbside pick-up.