Several months ago, I reached out to countless businesses in Gunnison, Colorado, offering my content writing and social media services. On an unsuspecting Tuesday, I received a reply: a restaurant owner was available to meet, in Gunnison, the next afternoon if I was available.
So, I marked my calendar and the next day I hopped in my car and drove 3.5 hours to my hometown, with plans to head back soon after.
Like most people, there’s a long laundry list of to-do items when back home for a visit, and I was no exception. However, I had to be extremely strategic with my time.
Here’s how to spend a painfully quick afternoon in Gunnison, Colorado.
Stop for Coffee
Like most people, I have a soft spot for hometown coffee shops. Gunnison has a mix of classics and new shops popping up, so I decided to try something new.
Here are all of the amazing coffee options in town:
- Coffee Trader (where I went)
- Mochas (usually my go-to)
- Double Shot Cyclery (doubles as a bike shop)
- Gunnison Coffee Co. (drive-through hut)
- Jermaine’s (they have froyo too!)
- Tributary Coffee
Check Out City Market
This might sound weird, but I absolutely needed to see what City Market looked like. It’s always changing, and I’ll always have a sweet spot for my hometown grocery store that’s three-times too small. I worked there as a Starbucks barista one summer and it’s barely recognizable inside.
I ran in quickly to grab a water, and bumped into my brother-in-law. Small towns, man.
Grab a Bite to Eat
With limited time, this is the absolute hardest decision. I have several favorite restaurants. It comes down to the following options:
For my quick stop, I chose Mario’s and ordered a half-and-half salad with ranch in the same breath as I sat down. It has been my go-to order since childhood. It’s classic, simple, and so, so good.
It’s always worth it to grab a sweet treat.
- A Big Cookie from the Gunnisack (literally the best thing ever—giant chocolate chip cookie with cinnamon ice cream on top
- The Dive
- Dessert Knots from Piezans
- Froyo or bakery treats from Jermaine’s
Margaritas to Go
The best (and strongest) margaritas are sold at Anejo’s. To honor my favorite drink, I ordered some to-go cups (thanks, COVID!), four total—one each for Chad and I, and two for my parents to enjoy as a stop on my drive back home.
There are a few other drink stops if you have the time to lounge and relax (especially if you’re not driving 4 hours home after):
Drive by the Spots
When I’m back home, I need to drive by the sentimental spots. I decided to go past my childhood home by Hartman Rocks, wave at my in-law’s house, loop through the softball fields, check out the high school and college campuses, see how my dad’s old office is looking, and be sure to check out Blue Mesa on my way out of town (not that it can be missed—it’s Colorado’s largest man-made reservoir).