Ever dreamt of going to a place with a few hundred people and no telephone poles or towers? Want to absorb some good energy and meditate to your heart’s content? Crestone, Colorado could be the answer. A stark contrast to its neighbor Sedona, Crestone is a beautiful, quaint little town that houses a few hundred people and has a thousand quiet meditation nooks. There is a zen center, a temple, a restaurant, a cute little pub, a chorten, and a few other sites that could make a great itinerary for your week-long retreat. The sounds of the birds, the sights of the mountains, and the aroma of the crisp air is just the perfect set up if you’re on your path to self-discovery. To enjoy quality time with yourself and discover one of the most peaceful towns in this side of the world, here is a list of things to do in Crestone, Colorado you can consider.
1. Appreciate nature at Baca National Wildlife Refuge
Spawn over 3,000 acres (809.3 ha) of verdant green pastures, Baca National Wildlife Refuge is an oasis in the desert. Sights of mountains, blue skies, green grass, and rivers with clear water are the only things you’ll see here. The area is home to several colorful birds such as the kestrel, great horned owl, northern flicker, robin, yellow warbler, and more, like jewels studded in the blue skies and among tall trees. It is perfect for a day hike, a picnic, and even biking. This is a great way to enjoy nature!
Baca National Wildlife Refuge
Address: Crestone, CO 81131, USA
Website: Baca National Wildlife Refuge
2. Admire art from the unique rural mountain community at Crestone Artisans Gallery
Crestone Artisans Gallery is a cooperative gallery that opened about 15 years ago displaying art from the unique rural mountain community. They appreciate everything from wall art, photography, handwoven fabrics, high-end woodwork, furniture, organic sculpture, jewelry, and glasswork and really know how to give art a spot and highlight it. This eclectic mix of art brings artists together to create a vibe within these four walls that you will learn to appreciate and revere.
Crestone Artisans Gallery
Address: 120 S Cottonwood St, Crestone, CO 81131
Website: Crestone Artisans Gallery
Opening hours: Summer Gallery Hours: Sun - Thu: 10am - 5pm; Fri - Sat: 10am - 6pm
3. Climb up Crestone Ziggurat
The Ziggurat, a local landmark, rises from a rocky hill on the southeast edge of the Baca Grande. Elevated on the top of a small hill amidst the desert and the bright skies, it is the perfect place to get a full view of the cozy town. It’s a small town, but you’ll be taken back by the vastness of it. With air as pure as it can get and great views, it definitely is a rewarding trek. The mustard tower is something else even from a distance, with the stellar background of the mountains and the skies.
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4. Retreat to the tranquil Crestone Mountain Zen Center
This Zen Buddhist monastic practice and retreat center is the perfect getaway. The center is conveniently set up amidst 14,000-foot (4,267.2 m) peaks and surrounded by 240 acres (97.1 ha) of piñon pine and juniper forest, giving you all the reasons to be here for a couple of weeks. You’ll return a better, more evolved person when you’ve imbibed in you the teachings of a Zen living. Also, they serve the best, most delicious food with produce straight from the gardens and the mountains.
Crestone Mountain Zen Center
Address: 2000 East Dreamway, Crestone, CO 81131
Website: Crestone Mountain Zen Center
Opening hours: 5am - 9pm (daily)
5. Get spiritual at MahaLakshmi Temple
Another beautiful spot to find peace, join ceremonies, meditate, and participate in social events with several like-minded people, this ashram has been around for several years. With its brick-red and brown walls blending perfectly with the surrounding cacti and desert, this is one of those places where you have a plethora of options to choose from. Plan ahead, stay for a week or more, and live free. The ashram and the temple are both very particular with the food–they serve both vegetarian and organic food, and that surely is a treat!
Crestone MahaLakshmi Temple
Address: Camino Baca Grande, Crestone, CO 81131
Website: Crestone MahaLakshmi Temple
Opening hours: 6am - 7pm (daily)
6. Relish a pint at Crestone Brewing Co.
Who says you can’t enjoy a good brew when you’re discovering yourself–especially one that is delicious, crisp, and perfect for Crestone’s weather? Crestone Brewing Co. serves a variety of nano-brewed beers with interesting names like New Moon and Mystics & Misfits. The food is also exciting, especially with their beer-fried cod and a local Chokurei Yak burger topping many lists!
Crestone Brewing Co
Address: 187 W Silver Ave, Crestone, CO 81131
Website: Crestone Brewing Co
Opening hours: Thu: 5pm -10pm; Fri - Sun: 12pm - 10pm; Mon - Wed: 4pm - 10pm
7. Dine at Desert Sage Restaurant
One of the few restaurants in the area, Desert Sage Restaurant utilizes all of the best things the area can grow and make. With a focus on organic and local produce, their summer menu comes with salads, curries, and even a special organic red wine. They have a huge following of foodies who take out time every summer just to come to dine here while enjoying the calm of the mountains around. For those who enjoy simple and natural luxuries, this is the place!
Desert Sage Restaurant
Address: 242 Baca Townhouse, Crestone, CO 81131
Opening hours: Tue - Fri: 11am - 2pm, 5:30pm - 8:30pm; Sat: 5:30pm - 8:30pm; Sun: 9am - 1pm, 5:30pm - 8:30pm (closed on Mon)
8. Spend some downtime at The Cloud Station
Strike a chord, take a bite, and sip a cuppa in the heart of Crestone. Grab a book, watch a film, or just sit in perfect silence. The Cloud Station is a favourite for those who like good food and can appreciate good music. Lots of travellers and music lovers make this their home and there is an obvious reason why! They are located right next door to Elephant Cloud Market, from where they source high-quality organic ingredients.
The Cloud Station
Address: 300 S Cottonwood St, Crestone, CO 81131
Website: The Cloud Station
Opening hours: 7:30am - 3pm (daily)
9. Start your day with a hearty meal at Bob's Place
We suggest you start your day at Bob’s Place every day. A classic country diner with good food, good prices and good company, they also offer homecooked lunches. Their breakfast is a simple country style that comes with all things fried and delicious, with options to make it vegetarian or vegan. It’s a local favourite and really comes alive during the summer.
Address: 182 East Galena Avenue, Crestone, Co, 81131
Website: Bob’s Place
Opening hours: 8am - 3pm (daily)
Relax, celebrate, and eat well at Crestone
If reading about Crestone makes you calm, those are enough signs for you to book your tickets and pack your bags! It’s a beautiful town and will surely make you want to come back every year–several tourists swear by it. Whether you want to practice yoga, find inner peace, and get on the path to self-discovery, visit Crestone and experience the charm and beauty of this small town.
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