Leadville. Where have you been all my life?
I travel as often as I'm able, but I don't usually do too much planning. I don't have a list of cities or countries I want to visit in order of preference. As it tends to happen, I usually find myself presented with an opportunity, and then shrug and say, "Sounds great!" I throw myself into the destination when I arrive, and try to absorb as much of the sights and sounds and culture as I can. I fall in love with everywhere.
Leadville, Colorado might not be the most exotic or unknown locations, but it's a place that felt like home right away. Colorado breeds a very specific brand of people, and they're some of the most genuine I've encountered in America. The folks who are lucky enough to call the Rocky Mountains home are active, enthusiastic, and appreciate life down to the smallest moments. They even pour a cappuccino that's as tasty as any I've had in the United States.
Harrison Avenue, the main street that runs through this incredibly charming town, begins somewhere around 8th Street with Melanzana Outdoor Clothing. I'm not a very athletic person and still found one or two pieces I needed, but it's so cool to see them sewing the products you see in the front end of the shop right behind the cash wrap. It's just down the street from the historic Delaware Hotel, which boasts an eclectic gift shop filled with Colorado souvenirs, antiques, and both new + vintage clothes.
I spent the most time browsing Aspen Traders, which is a quick walk across the street. They have a beautiful selection of bohemian clothing and vintage turquoise jewelry, and I wanted to buy one of just about everything I found. The store was so well conceptualized, designed, and organized that I'm sure they could open and thrive in a big city just as easily. If I were lucky enough to live in Leadville, I would never need to shop anywhere else. It's small, but chock full of everything I desire. Stop in to The Mule Kick for all your flannel + cowboy boot needs.
There are a few more trinket stores to bop into on your trek down Harrison, but don't leave without spending an hour or so seated at City on a Hill Coffee & Espresso. I think it might be my favorite place on planet Earth. The coffee shop & roaster warmed my heart and soul on a rainy afternoon with their Traditional Cappuccino. The baristas are the kindest and the vibe is the coziest. It's rugged without being hipster. It's classy without being stuffy. I loved every aspect of it, from the vintage bicycle displayed at ceiling level to the little red bistro tables that sit outside.
Travel is a hard thing for me. I fall so far in love with the places I discover that it pains me to leave, and I've convinced myself at this point I'm going to need about eighty houses across the world to spend enough time in every place I love. After my time in the Rockies last month, a cabin in the mountains around Leadville will be at the top of my list.
Care to see more? I put together a few clips of our family roadtrip together in my newest lil' travel video: