Discover Things to Do in Carbondale, CO

Nestled in a picturesque location in the Rocky Mountains, Carbondale, CO, is a quick drive away from the iconic skiing and shopping in Aspen and only a few hours from the amenities of Denver. But visitors and residents in Carbondale don’t have to leave the town to find plenty of things to do. Find out more about things to do in Carbondale, CO, below, including the best attractions, outdoor activities, wedding venues, golf clubs, and shopping locations.

Introduction to Carbondale, CO

Carbondale is a relatively small town with a population of less than 10,000 as of the 2020 census, but it packs a big punch when it comes to amenities and attractions. Visitors to the area are likely to first notice the awe-inspiring natural beauty. The snow-covered peak of Mount Sopris can be seen in the distance, as it rises majestically just outside of town, and the Roaring Fork River meanders through the valley nearby.

History of Carbondale, CO

The original settlers of Carbondale, CO, relocated from a town by the same name in Pennsylvania. Originally an agricultural and ranching community, Carbondale eventually became a second location to house people working and playing in Aspen as the ski resort town became more popular in the 1980s and after. In recent years, Carbondale has come into its own, growing in population and hosting larger events and attractions, including arts events such as Mountain Fair and the Carbondale Wild West Rodeo.

Why You Should Visit Carbondale, CO…and Consider Staying

The city of Carbondale, CO, offers a wide range of opportunities for individuals, couples, and families. The area is served by a number of elementary, middle, and high schools, including both Montessori- and Waldorf-style schools. Carbondale Community School also provides later educational options for residents. According to Area Vibes, the crime rate in Carbondale is 55% below the national average, and the unemployment rate is almost 30% lower than the national average. Even before getting into the plentiful list of top sights in Carbondale, CO, to visit, you can see that this little town is a safe, enjoyable haven for many.

Why You Should Visit Carbondale, CO…and Consider Staying

The city of Carbondale, CO, offers a wide range of opportunities for individuals, couples, and families. The area is served by a number of elementary, middle, and high schools, including both Montessori- and Waldorf-style schools. Carbondale Community School also provides later educational options for residents. According to Area Vibes, the crime rate in Carbondale is 55% below the national average, and the unemployment rate is almost 30% lower than the national average. Even before getting into the plentiful list of top sights in Carbondale, CO, to visit, you can see that this little town is a safe, enjoyable haven for many.

Attractions in Carbondale, CO

You’ll find plenty to do in Carbondale, from tourist attractions to locations designed to welcome residents with relaxing environments at the end of a day full of work or play.

Colorado Creative Corridor

The Colorado Creative Corridor takes visitors to the area through Certified Creative Districts. Stops on this path in Carbondale include True Nature Healing Arts Organic Café, the Allegria Restaurant, and the Carbondale Wild West Rodeo.

Colorado Creative Corridor

The Colorado Creative Corridor takes visitors to the area through Certified Creative Districts. Stops on this path in Carbondale include True Nature Healing Arts Organic Café, the Allegria Restaurant, and the Carbondale Wild West Rodeo.

Marble Distilling Co. and the Distillery Inn

Whether you’re looking for a quick bite to eat or drinks with friends, the Marble Distilling Co. is the place to be. Paired with the Distillery Inn, this location offers a place for revelry or rest. Suites at the inn include amenities such as private balconies, fireplaces, king-size beds and sleeper sofas, and spa bathrooms.

Marble Distilling Co. and the Distillery Inn

Whether you’re looking for a quick bite to eat or drinks with friends, the Marble Distilling Co. is the place to be. Paired with the Distillery Inn, this location offers a place for revelry or rest. Suites at the inn include amenities such as private balconies, fireplaces, king-size beds and sleeper sofas, and spa bathrooms.

Carbondale, CO, Offers Beautiful Wedding Venues

Imagine saying your vows against the backdrop of majestic Mount Sopris or the Roaring Fork River valley, a beautiful and historic old church, or a country club with a Western-style clubhouse and rustic ambiance. Brides and grooms can choose epic locations throughout the city for big or small celebrations on their big day.

Enjoying the Outdoors in Carbondale, CO

With the Rocky Mountains as a backdrop, the outdoors game in Carbondale, CO, is pretty strong. Hikers, kayakers, fishers, bikers, and many others can find local amenities in the area that rival those in pricier, more populous locations, making outdoor activities some of the best things to do in the area.

Roaring Fork River

Easy access to the Roaring Fork River makes Carbondale a great location for warm-weather water sport enthusiasts. Kayaking, fishing, swimming, and white water rafting are on the menu in various locations within minutes of town.

Aspen Snowmass Ski Resort

Test your skills on the slopes at the mammoth Aspen Snowmass ski resort, which boasts four mountains and plenty of amenities. From the gondola rides to the live music, the entire family can find something to do any time of year.

Aspen Snowmass Ski Resort

Test your skills on the slopes at the mammoth Aspen Snowmass ski resort, which boasts four mountains and plenty of amenities. From the gondola rides to the live music, the entire family can find something to do any time of year.

Frying Pan Road

Another winding drive through scenic locations in the area is Frying Pan Road. This drive is also around 30 miles, and the road lends itself to biking for those who want to put their legs to the test in the mountains.

The Independence Pass

Visitors or residents in Carbondale can enjoy the picturesque view along the Independence Pass drive during summer and early fall. The drive is just over 30 miles and takes around an hour to complete, depending on how long you stop to enjoy the sights.

Penny Hot Springs

This location on the Crystal River is free to access. The natural hot mineral spring offers a restful place to take a dip while you enjoy the incredible views of canyons and mountains.

The West Elk Loop Scenic and Historic Byway

Carbondale is located on the north end of the West Elk Loop Scenic and Historic Byway. This drive takes you through more than 200 miles of historic locations, scenic spaces, and towns in the area. Do part of the drive as a quick addition to your day in Carbondale, or spend a day meandering through the miles and stopping at whatever attractions seem to call your name.

The West Elk Loop Scenic and Historic Byway

Carbondale is located on the north end of the West Elk Loop Scenic and Historic Byway. This drive takes you through more than 200 miles of historic locations, scenic spaces, and towns in the area. Do part of the drive as a quick addition to your day in Carbondale, or spend a day meandering through the miles and stopping at whatever attractions seem to call your name.

The Maroon Bells

Take a bus up to view the Maroon Bells, two of the most photographed peaks in the entire state. Visiting during the week lets you enjoy stunning views and outdoor amenities without fighting larger crowds. You can hike in the area by choosing an easy 1-mile trail or adventuring on longer trails that make wildlife sightings more likely.

The Maroon Bells

Take a bus up to view the Maroon Bells, two of the most photographed peaks in the entire state. Visiting during the week lets you enjoy stunning views and outdoor amenities without fighting larger crowds. You can hike in the area by choosing an easy 1-mile trail or adventuring on longer trails that make wildlife sightings more likely.

Carbondale, CO, is Home to Exclusive Social Clubs

If you decide to stay in Carbondale as a resident, rest assured you can find and create community easily in the area. One way to do so is to join one of the amazing social clubs, where membership usually comes with plenty of perks. Play tennis and golf with others, enjoy fine dining, or host an event and bring the entire family in to marvel at the gorgeous landscape you call home.

Carbondale, CO, Is Home to Amazing Golf Courses

Golfers can find plenty of opportunities for teeing off with mountain views and testing their swing on sloping courses that run through the majestic landscape. Carbondale is home to three golf courses, including Carbondale country club courses, and there are other options within a short drive. Meet with family and friends to perfect your game and lower your handicap, or talk shop with a new client on the links.

Arts, Museums, and Culture in Carbondale, CO

Elevate your experience in Carbondale by enjoying arts and education at historical attractions and museums.

Powers Art Center

The Powers Art Center is free to visit, and you’ll find a rotating collection of artists and exhibits on view. The museum is closed to the general public on Mondays, but you may be able to plan for a group viewing by calling ahead. As with many attractions in the area, winter weather may change operating hours for the museum, so always check before you go.

Powers Art Center

The Powers Art Center is free to visit, and you’ll find a rotating collection of artists and exhibits on view. The museum is closed to the general public on Mondays, but you may be able to plan for a group viewing by calling ahead. As with many attractions in the area, winter weather may change operating hours for the museum, so always check before you go.

Mt. Sopris Historical Museum

Explore a historic home full of authentic artifacts and furniture to better understand the story of historic settlers in the area.

Mt. Sopris Historical Museum

Explore a historic home full of authentic artifacts and furniture to better understand the story of historic settlers in the area.

Redstone Castle

This wellness resort and spa offers a wide array of activities and amenities to serve body, soul, and mind. Engage in altitude training to get yourself right with the mountains, or enjoy meditation options indoors and out. Redstone Castle also offers outdoor adventures, weight loss programs, and fine dining.

Redstone Castle

This wellness resort and spa offers a wide array of activities and amenities to serve body, soul, and mind. Engage in altitude training to get yourself right with the mountains, or enjoy meditation options indoors and out. Redstone Castle also offers outdoor adventures, weight loss programs, and fine dining.

Entertainment in Carbondale, CO

While the wild western vistas of the area provide their own entertainment, you can take a break from adventuring and exploration for laughs and thrills of a different kind in Carbondale, CO. 

Thunder River Theatre Company

Break away from mainstream blockbusters and enjoy local theater at the Thunder River Theatre Company. Single tickets for shows are $35, but locals can get a season pass for access to all shows within a season at a discount.