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Leadville is the highest incorporated city in North America, at 10, 200 feet above the sea level. Placed in the base of two tallest Fourteeners in Colorado – 14,433-foot Mt. Elbert and 14,421-foot Mt. Massive – Leadville should be on your travel bucket list. In recent history, the city became a nationally famous spot because of the Leadville Trail 100 Mile. This race, just like the mounting biking race, brings together many ultrarunners and cyclists to this small city.
If you do one thing in Leadville and you are staying the weekend, it must be the hike up Mt. Elbert, the taller of the two peaks. There are two ways to get to the tops, and both are around the 10-mile round trip. If you are not for such a challenge, you could always climb the second tallest – Mt. Massive. This hike is around 7 miles long, on its shortest route, the Southwest Slopes.
How to Get to Leadville, CO
Although Leadville is just 100 miles away from Denver, the high mountains make the journey seem like it’s lasting forever. But, one thing is for sure, you will be stunned by the beauty of every scenery you pass by. Many routes lead to Leadville, depending on where you start. Fly into Denver International Airport, and rent a car to get to Leadville
Leadville is quite a small city, so getting around is not an issue. The best way to explore the city and it’s gorgeous surroundings is by foot, especially if you are not a massive fan of driving in snow, but if you are not bothered by the weather, renting a car is also a good idea.
Where to Eat in Leadville for Dinner
High Mountain Pies // A place you must visit if you like pizzas and, well, pies. It is a small and cozy pizza shop. The food is delicious, especially the pies with their crispy crusts and amazing toppings. But be prepared to wait a bit for the pizza to be ready – all the great things take some time – but trust me, it is worth it.
City on a Hill Coffee and Espresso // A fun, small place to grab a cup of coffee, lay back in a comfy chair, and have a great, relaxing time. Apart from coffee, they offer pastries, breakfast burritos, salads, and sandwiches. Make sure to order eclairs and share them with a special person – they are lovely and go perfectly with any coffee you drink.
Treeline Kitchen // A restaurant you have to go to when in Leadville. The modern-rustic design gives the place a charming look, and you will fall in love with it. They have an incredible selection of local beer, but their main offer is fantastic food choices. Whatever you order, you will not be disappointed.
Tennessee Pass Caffe // A place to go if you are a burger fan. There is nothing better than a homemade, delicious burger at Tennessee Pass Caffe. But be prepared to look over the menu for a long time because there are just so many options to choose from, and unique choices, as well. One thing is for sure, you must order The Brussels sprouts appetizer, it will be the best thing you have ever had.
Cookies with Altitude // Your go-to breakfast place. The place is tiny and without much space to eat, so it is a good idea to have it pack for to-go. Although they are mainly a cookie place, make sure to try their sandwiches, they are delicious!
Things to See in Leadville at Night
Apart from hiking to the mountains, and visiting the twin lakes, there are so many good ways to have fun in Leadville.
Rent a bike at Cycles of Life and enjoy the city. Or, if you are in town at the time of their events, make sure to check them out because it is fun and exciting.
Experience life as a miner with one of the last mine tours in Colorado – the Hopemore Underground Mine Tour. The owner of this tour, who is a former mine worker, takes the visitor 600 feet underground in cages similar to what miners used. This tour is not to be missed, but please note that you should wear warm clothes because the underground temperatures can be as low as 40 degrees Fahrenheit. Also, keep in mind that children under ten are not allowed.
The Tabor Opera House is a gorgeous and colossal building constructed in 1879. Broadway, opera, and ballets are just a few events that you can see in this magnificent place. Other events and performances take place in the opera house throughout the year, so make sure to check it out.
Visit the Temple Israel for a fascinating story about this small town. It was built in 1884 in less than two months. The history of the building and it’s restoration is also interesting. The building shows how a small detail can bring minorities together, and it also shows how different cultures can have a positive effect on a country.
If you like adventure, visit Halfmoon. Their most popular your is horseback riding through nature, but there are other activities, as well. For example, the overnight camping trip or camping on horseback. These camps can be for only one night or several nights, depending on how much time you have.
Leadville is a city to explore and a city you will immediately fall in love with. People are warm and welcoming, and there is an option for everyone – vegans, vegetarians, and omnivores. You will be excited to come back and enjoy the most beautiful scenery in Colorado.
Guide by Stella Green Thompson | Twitter
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