8 Colorado Small Towns for Stoners
Many Coloradans believe that Amendment 64 legalized recreational marijuana across the state, meaning adults of the legal age can travel anywhere in the Centennial State and find fresh, high-quality Rocky Mountain bud — but that just isn’t the case. The amendment allows counties and municipalities to decide for themselves whether they will permit recreational marijuana within their boundaries, which means many of the more conservative corners of Colorado have not one dispensary to be found. As a result, it isn’t always easy to get out of Denver for the weekend, visit a quaint country town and get incredibly high.
However, just because it isn’t easy doesn’t mean it isn’t possible. Here are a few small towns that do have a thriving cannabis culture, making them the perfect place to escape the city for a few days of freedom.
Aspen is one of Colorado’s most popular mountain towns — so much that it is a bit misleading to call Aspen “small” considering its luxury real estate and thriving boutique shopping scene. Still, Aspen easily has some of the best dispensaries in Colorado as well as some of the best outdoor activity, like ample skiing and snow sports in the winter and mountain biking, hiking, paddle-boarding and more in the summer.
Another top skiing town, Durango is a bit deeper in the mountain wilderness than Aspen — but it is worth the extra hours on the road. Thanks to Durango’s popularity, it offers plenty of places to purchase pot before visitors hike, bike, fish, ride horses or take one of several scenic train rides up steep slopes to otherwise unreachable and stunning scenic spots.
While Aspen, Durango and Telluride have developed a culture of tourism, Crested Butte is a mountain town that remains unabashedly authentic. Lacking the luxurious shopping opportunities of other ski centers, this small town boasts a short main drag but a long history of arts and culture. Consistently ranking among the best small towns for art and music, Crested Butte often has free outdoor concerts, art walks, arts festivals and more — giving visitors something to do after they pay a visit to one of a few marijuana shops.
Dinosaur, Colorado is named for its proximity to Dinosaur National Monument, a protected plot of land on the border of Utah and Colorado where an abundance of fossils have been found over the course of the last century. Dinosaur is a hotspot for cannabis dispensaries because it is a convenient place for visitors from Utah and Wyoming to spend a weekend getting loaded and enjoying nature and history. In fact, eating an edible and wandering through the Monument’s fossil and petroglyph walks sounds like a fantastic way to spend a few hours.
Antonito is one of the oldest towns in the San Luis Valley — the lowlands in south-central Colorado — and today, the town is kept alive by ranchers and farmers who live in the area. Like Dinosaur, Antonito is close to a state that currently lacks recreational marijuana dispensaries, New Mexico, so it maintains a healthy trade in weed. Visitors can enjoy the Old-West charm of this town and even see some interesting sights, like Indiana Jones’s “childhood home” and a castle made of beer cans.
Right outside Denver sits Morrison, a small town with a small amount of marijuana dispensaries — but easily the most active music scene in the entire state. The home of the Red Rocks Amphitheater, Morrison hosts all sorts of music festivals and tours with a stunning natural backdrop. Plus, Morrison claims the Arrowhead Manor, which is one of only a few bed-and-breakfasts in the Denver area that is proudly 420-friendly.
Though Central City has but few dispensaries, the town makes up for it in its wealth of activities. Central City is one of only a few areas in Colorado where gambling is legal, so casinos — and their all-you-can-eat buffets — abound. However, perhaps more importantly, Central City is rich in Old West history, and it boasts a 150-year-old cemetery known to be haunted. Those who like to get high and get spooked should plan a trip here, stat.
Despite the name, Idaho Springs is within Colorado’s borders; in fact, it is not too far from Denver, on the southern edge of Rocky Mountain National Park. Like other small towns in the Rockies, Idaho Springs is the perfect jumping-off point for all sorts of outdoor adventures, especially those to do with water. Plus, there are more than a dozen pot shops in and around the town. However, it is wise to plan fly fishing and whitewater rafting for the day and getting baked for the evening to avoid any disastrous mishaps.
It is important to get out and breathe the country air every so often — and if some of that air smells like freshly burned bud, so be it.